Today in Medicine: Don’t forget your cancer screenings!

The government wants more people to get screened for cancer.

Obesity and pain

Study subjects: 1,010,762 men and women
Location of study: U.S.
Results: Stony Brook University researchers published a report in the journal “Obesity” that found that of the 63 percent of respondents classified as overweight or obese, their rates of pain were significantly higher than those with a low or normal weight.
Significance: Researchers suggest several reasons for this obesity-pain relationship, including excess fat resulting in inflammation and pain, depression leading to pain sensitivity and medical conditions that cause pain, like arthritis, which may make people less inclined to exercise.

Radiation and the brain

Study subjects: Mice
Location of study: Greece
Results: A Greek study found that protein in mice brains changed after the animals’ bodies were exposed to RF electromagnetic fields, similar to the radiation emitted by cell phones, portable phones and wireless computer equipment. The changes were in areas of the brain necessary for learning, memory and other functions.
Significance: This is new evidence for a potential relationship between everyday technology use and brain-related illnesses like headaches, dizziness, sleep disorders, tumors and Alzheimer’s.

National cancer screening below recommended rate

Study subjects: CDC data
Location of study: U.S.
Results: The CDC and the National Cancer Institute released a report that states cancer-screening remains below the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ targets. The data included screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers.
Significance: Screening and early detection prevent cancer deaths. The report stated that the Affordable Care Act, which will broaden insurance coverage, should improve people’s access to screenings.

Home births
on the rise
Study subjects: New mothers nationwide
Location of study: U.S.
Results: A report published by the National Center for Health Statistics states that the number of home births increased between 2004 and 2009 by 29 percent. In 2009, 29,650 home births were reported in the United States, with one in every 90 babies birthed to non-Hispanic white women born at home. Home births were less popular in other ethnic categories.
Significance: The increase could be because of greater access to good at-home midwife care and the desire for a more natural birth outside of a hospital delivery room.
 linda clarke


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