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Breakthrough therapies are saving lives. Can we afford them?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Harnessing the body’s own cells to fight disease, long a medical dream, is finally a reality.

Now comes the bill.

Last month, Stanford became the first hospital in the nation to use a new $515,000 cell therapy to treat a patient with advanced melanoma. A related approach, costing $420,000 to $475,000, is offering hope to patients with lethal...Read more

KFF Health News/TNS

What's keeping the US from allowing better sunscreens?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

When dermatologist Adewole “Ade” Adamson sees people spritzing sunscreen as if it’s cologne at the pool where he lives in Austin, Texas, he wants to intervene. “My wife says I shouldn’t,” he said, “even though most people rarely use enough sunscreen.”

At issue is not just whether people are using enough sunscreen, but what ...Read more

Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS

Biden team's tightrope: Reining in rogue Obamacare agents without slowing enrollment

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

President Joe Biden counts among his accomplishments the record-high number of people, more than 21 million, who enrolled in Obamacare plans this year. Behind the scenes, however, federal regulators are contending with a problem that affects people’s coverage: rogue brokers who have signed people up for Affordable Care Act plans, or switched ...Read more

Mario Tama/Getty Images North America/TNS

Coming off Ozempic slowly could prevent weight gain, study shows

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Patients could wean themselves off blockbuster obesity drugs such as Ozempic or Wegovy without piling the pounds back on, according to a scientific study.

Data presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Venice, Italy on Sunday provides some of the first evidence that it could be possible to stop taking Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic or Wegovy ...Read more

Daryl Wilson/Chicago Tribune/TNS

A blood test to help detect lung cancer? New test offered at OSF Healthcare part of trend in medicine

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO — Julie Harris had never been tested for lung cancer. A low-dose CT scan, the only recommended screening for adults at risk of developing lung cancer, was not something she’d ever found time to do.

But when her primary care doctor recently suggested a new blood test to help look for signs of the disease, Harris was intrigued. She ...Read more

Jason Lee/jlee@thesunnews.com/The Sun News/TNS

Energy drinks can lead to serious heart issues in kids and teens, health experts say

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Hennessy Sepulveda thought she was going to die.

“I began dissociating as I was driving. I was 10 minutes away from my house. My vision started warping and the lights were hitting me really bright,” she said. “I felt my chest pounding, I felt a wave of panic hit me — I knew something was wrong.”

Sepulveda, a Florida International ...Read more

Dreamstime/Dreamstime/TNS

30-year study: Ultraprocessed foods increase risk of death by any cause

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Low in nutrition and high in calories, ultraprocessed foods account for 57% of adult diets in the United States. A study published in the BMJ on Wednesday associated these snacks, drinks and ready meals with an increased risk of death by any cause.

“Higher ultra-processed food intake was associated with slightly increased all cause mortality,...Read more

California banned sales of flavored e-cigarettes in 2022 − but a study finds online stores are still selling them, even to kids

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

This article was originally published on Dec. 21, 2023 Californians – including minors – are still able to buy flavored electronic cigarettes online, even after the state’s much-publicized ban went into effect. That’s the key finding of my team’s 2023 study, published in JAMA Network Open.

On Dec. 21, 2022, California ...Read more

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/TNS

Child measles case at Sacramento hospital may have exposed 200 people, health officials say

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — At least 200 Northern California residents may have been exposed to measles after a child with the airborne disease came to the UC Davis Medical Center’s emergency department twice during the past week, Sacramento County health officials said Thursday.

A child came to the Oak Park facility on Monday between 10 p.m. to 3...Read more

Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/TNS

There's a new highly transmissible COVID-19 variant. Could FLiRT lead to a summer uptick?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Two new COVID-19 subvariants, collectively nicknamed FLiRT, are increasingly edging out the winter's dominant strain ahead of a possible summer uptick in coronavirus infections.

The new FLiRT subvariants, officially known as KP.2 and KP.1.1, are believed to be roughly 20% more transmissible than their parent, JN.1, the winter's dominant ...Read more

Kirk McKoy/Los Angeles Times/TNS

Do zinc products really help shorten a cold? It's hard to say

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

You feel a cold coming on, or maybe it's already upon you: the telltale cough, sore throat and stuffy head. You swing by the drugstore, where a shelf full of over-the-counter products containing the mineral zinc claim to be able to shorten the duration of your symptoms.

The promise of relief is tempting. But is it one these products can make ...Read more

Bridget Bennett/KFF Health News/TNS

Bill of the Month: Sign here? Financial agreements may leave doctors in the driver's seat

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Cass Smith-Collins jumped through hoops to get the surgery that would match his chest to his gender.

Living in Las Vegas and then 50, he finally felt safe enough to come out as a transgender man. He had his wife’s support and a doctor’s letter showing he had a long history of gender dysphoria, the psychological distress felt when one’s ...Read more

Partner talks in their sleep? Here's how to slumber soundly

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Parasomnia — it’s a blanket term for pesky behaviors that wreak havoc on your sleep. A third of U.S. adults get less than the recommended amount of shut-eye, a nationwide struggle linked to chronic diseases ranging from depression to Type 2 diabetes. Some parasomnias, however, don’t affect just the sleeper; they can affect others within ...Read more

How cannabis and psilocybin might help some of the 50 million Americans who are experiencing chronic pain

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency announced in late April 2024 that it plans to ease federal restrictions on cannabis, reclassifying it from a Schedule I drug to the less restricted Schedule III, which includes drugs such as Tylenol with codeine, testosterone and other anabolic steroids. This historic shift signals an acknowledgment of the ...Read more

Bridget Bennett/KFF Health News/TNS

Bill of the Month: Sign here? Financial agreements may leave doctors in the driver's seat

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Cass Smith-Collins jumped through hoops to get the surgery that would match his chest to his gender.

Living in Las Vegas and then 50, he finally felt safe enough to come out as a transgender man. He had his wife’s support and a doctor’s letter showing he had a long history of gender dysphoria, the psychological distress felt when one’s ...Read more

Jesse Costa/WBUR/KFF Health News/TNS

Could better inhalers help patients, and the planet?

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

Miguel Divo, a lung specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, sits in an exam room across from Joel Rubinstein, who has asthma. Rubinstein, a retired psychiatrist, is about to get a checkup and hear a surprising pitch — for the planet, as well as his health.

Divo explains that boot-shaped inhalers, which represent nearly 90% of ...Read more

Oyvind Zahl Arntzen/NTB/AFP/Getty Images North America/TNS

Should you be worried about bird flu? Here are 5 things to know about the virus

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

As a new virus takes center stage at the heart of a global outbreak, it’s easy to get flashbacks of March 2020.

Now more than four years after the world was rocked by a pandemic, H5N1, or avian or bird flu, has exploded in bird and livestock populations, and at least one human case has been confirmed by health officials.

This isn’t the ...Read more

Tom Gralish/The Philadelphia Inquirer/TNS

A Pennsylvania study on racial bias in health care algorithms shows 'race is a bad variable'

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

PHILADELPHIA — University of Pennsylvania researchers undertook the most comprehensive review yet on the algorithms that doctors and health systems use to help make decisions on patient care and whether they contribute to long-standing racial biases in health care.

Their wide-ranging review of more than five dozen studies on algorithms and ...Read more

Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune/TNS

New COVID 'FLiRT' variants are spreading nationwide. Chicago health experts urge up to date vaccination

Health Advice / Health & Fitness /

CHICAGO — A new family of COVID variants nicknamed “FLiRT” is spreading across the country, as vaccination rates in Chicago — as well as nationwide — remain concerningly low for some public health experts.

While symptoms and severity seem to be about the same as previous COVID strains, the new FLiRT variants appear to be more ...Read more