Small boy fights tall list of cancer-related ailments
Editor's Note: This is the second in a series of stories in conjunction with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. As Marshall Pullen climbs the stairs, determined to make it to the slide, his mother, Stephanie, can't help but be proud. He slides to the floor with a little help from his physical therapist and is quickly on his feet heading to the next slide. ...
U.S. works to step up Ebola aid
WASHINGTON -- The American strategy on Ebola is two-pronged: Step up desperately needed aid to West Africa and, in an unusual step, train U.S. doctors and nurses for volunteer duty in the outbreak zone. At home, the goal is to speed up medical research and put hospitals on alert should an infected traveler arrive...
Skin shocks used at Mass. school draw FDA look
CANTON, Mass. -- Some cut themselves. Others slam their heads against walls or desks -- so hard that one girl detached both retinas and a young man triggered a stroke. Another pulled out all his teeth. Self-injury is one of the most difficult behaviors associated with autism and other developmental or intellectual disabilities, and a private facility outside Boston that takes on some of the hardest-to-treat cases is embroiled in a major debate: Should it use electrical skin shocks to try to keep patients from harming themselves or others?. ...
Local school lunches skew more healthful
What schoolchildren eat and drink not only helps determine their health and success in school, but it also influences their long-term well-being. So it's no mystery why the topic gets the attention of everyone from Congress to schools and parents. Supervisors at the Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Scott City school districts say the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 wrought some changes for the better, taking sodas and candy out of vending machines and putting healthier menus in cafeterias...
Respiratory illness hits hundreds of children
CHICAGO -- Hundreds of children in more than 10 states have been sickened by a severe respiratory illness that public health officials say may be caused by an uncommon virus similar to the germ that causes the common cold. Nearly 500 children have been treated at one hospital alone -- Children's Mercy in Kansas City, Missouri -- and some required intensive care, according to authorities...
Heart group: E-cigarettes might help smokers quit
The American Heart Association's first policy statement on electronic cigarettes backs them as a last resort to help smokers quit. The American Cancer Society has no formal policy but quietly took a similar stance in May. Both groups express great concern about these popular nicotine-vapor products and urge more regulation, especially to keep them away from youth. They also stress that proven smoking cessation methods should always be tried first...
Health beat: Prevent shingles
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, causes a painful, blistering skin rash that can last two to four weeks. For some people, the pain can last for months or even years after the rash goes away. This is called postherpetic neuralgia or PHN. It is the most common complication of shingles. The risk of shingles and PHN increases as a person gets older...
Just because it's almost fall doesn't mean allergies aren't lurking
Allergy sufferers may note the change of seasons with their eyes and noses, and people lucky enough not to be allergic need only watch the sneezing, nose-blowing, red-eyed ones who are. Doctors with SoutheastHEALTH Primary Care and Saint Francis Medical Center say pollen always blows through Southeast Missouri -- from trees in the spring, grasses in the summer and weeds in the fall...
Study questions need for most people to cut salt
A large international study questions the conventional wisdom that most people should cut back on salt, suggesting the amount most folks consume is OK for heart health -- and too little may be as bad as too much. The findings came under immediate attack by other scientists...
Health beat: Child passenger safety
In 2012, more than 1,100 children 14 and younger died in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 176,000 were injured. But parents and caregivers can make a lifesaving difference. Whenever on the road, make sure child passengers are buckled in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats or seat belts. The safest place for children of any age to ride is properly restrained in the back seat. Data show that:...
Health beat: Six tips for college health and safety
Going to college is an exciting time in a young person's life. It's the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. College is a time for new experiences, both inside and outside the classroom. Here are a few pointers for college students on staying safe and healthy...
Study ties new gene to major breast cancer risk
It's long been known that faulty BRCA genes greatly raise the risk for breast cancer. Now scientists say a more recently identified, less common gene can do the same. Mutations in the gene can make breast cancer up to nine times more likely to develop, an international team of researchers reports in last week's New England Journal of Medicine...
USDA overhauls decades-old poultry inspection procedures
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is overhauling poultry plant inspections for the first time in more than 50 years, a move it says could result in 5,000 fewer foodborne illnesses each year. Final rules announced Thursday would reduce the number of government poultry inspectors. ...
Despite cost, $1,000 Sovaldi now hepatitis treatment of choice among patients
WASHINGTON -- The price is sky-high, but so is demand. A new $1,000-per-pill drug has become the treatment of choice for Americans with hepatitis C, a liver-wasting disease that affects more than 3 million. Even with insurers reluctant to pay, Sovaldi prescriptions have eclipsed those for all other hepatitis C pills combined in a matter of months, new data from IMS Health indicate. The promise of a real cure, with fewer nasty side effects, has prompted thousands to be treated...
Decade on, separate lives for once-conjoined twins
SCARSDALE, N.Y. -- One twin uses an iPad, plays video games and dances to Michael Jackson tunes. The other has significant, possibly permanent, problems walking and talking. The delicate separation 10 years ago of conjoined twins from the Philippines wasn't perfect, but the boys' mother says their very survival is reason enough to celebrate the anniversary...
Cape Girardeau support group available for those recovering from brain injuries
Liz Schott was only 15 when she was diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation. She had two successful surgeries to shrink the mass in her brain, but during the third surgery, she suffered a stroke. She survived and learned to walk, talk, feed and dress herself all over again. Now 28, Liz still has some paralysis on her left side and short-term memory loss, but she's striving to improve...
National Alliance on Mental Illness to establish presence in Cape Girardeau
A long-established Cape Girardeau-based depression and bipolar assistance group is joining with the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Jefferson City, Missouri, to provide services to the family members of people who struggle with mental illness...
Poor teens' health may benefit from top schools, research suggests
CHICAGO -- Disadvantaged teens may get more than an academic boost by attending top-notch high schools -- their health may also benefit, a study suggests. Risky health behavior including binge-drinking, unsafe sex and use of hard drugs was less common among these students, compared with peers who went to mostly worse schools. ...
Health beat: Leptospirosis risk in outdoor activities
People who enjoy outdoor activities such as freshwater kayaking, rafting, canoeing or swimming may be at risk for leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a disease caused by bacteria. These bacteria are carried in the urine of infected animals. If an infected animal urinates in a body of fresh water -- such as a lake, river or stream -- or soil, the disease can live there for weeks to months...
Study: Fist bumps less germy than handshakes
NEW YORK -- When it comes to preventing the spread of germs, maybe the president is on to something with his fondness for fist bumps. The familiar knocking of knuckles spreads only one-twentieth the amount of bacteria that a handshake does, researchers report. That's better than a high-five, which still passes along less than half the amount as a handshake...
Before doctors check your vitals, check theirs
WASHINGTON -- Americans consider insurance and a good bedside manner in choosing a doctor, but will that doctor provide high-quality care? A new poll shows that people don't know how to determine that. Being licensed and likable doesn't necessarily mean a doctor is up to date on best practices. ...
Diagnosis rate for HIV fell by third in U.S. over decade
NEW YORK -- The rate of HIV infections diagnosed in the United States each year fell by one-third over the past decade, a government study finds. Experts celebrated it as hopeful news that the AIDS epidemic may be slowing in the U.S. "It's encouraging," said Patrick Sullivan, an Emory University AIDS researcher who was not involved in the study...
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