This Week in Health: Botox may improve heart health
Check out this week's latest health news.
Location of study: Russia
Study subjects: 60 patients undergoing bypass surgery
Results: When people hear Botox, cosmetic surgery is often the first thing that comes to mind. But the American Heart Association reports that the famous wrinkle-fighter may also improve cardiovascular health. In a recent study, injecting Botox into the fat that surrounds the heart was found to stave off irregular heart rhythms following bypass surgery.
Significance: For roughly one-third of bypass patients, an irregular heartbeat (also known as atrial fibrillation or AFib) occurs after the procedure. The condition is associated with dangerous complications like blood clots and heart disease. Botox, which is produced by a bacteria, works by blocking the nerve signals responsible for muscle contraction.
Location of study: U.K.
Results:Looking to get an accurate prediction of your risk for melanoma? A recent study found that predicting skin cancer risk might be as easy as counting the moles on your arm—your right arm, to be precise. Women with over seven moles on the right arm were also nine times more likely to have over 50 on the entire body. Women with more than 11 right-arm moles were also more likely to have more than 100 body-wide moles. In other words, these women were at an elevated risk for melanoma.
Significance: Identifying and counting every mole on the entire body can be a timely process for most doctors. But doing so is considered an important part of skin cancer prevention. According to researchers from King’s College London, mole count is a key marker for skin cancer risk. They say it’s believed that each additional mole on the body ups the risk by as much as 2 to 4 percent.
Study location: U.K.
Results: While chemotherapy is widely considered an effective means of treating testicular cancer, it doesn’t come without side effects. Now, researchers in London say they’ve developed a test that may be able to accurately predict relapse risk. It focuses on whether or not tumors have blood vessels, the appearance of cancer stem cells, and more. When these factors were taken into consideration, researchers say the test was able to accurately predict which men were at the highest risk for relapse.
Significance: If the test becomes the norm, it would allow low-risk men to avoid chemotherapy, opting instead to monitor their health. Researchers say that the best choice for men who are deemed low risk would be to avoid chemo, while high-risk men should be offered curative chemotherapy.
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