Health Newsbrief
September 5, 2001
Vol. 2, No. 31
ISSN 1530-3616
______________________________________________________


Bruce Maxwell, Editor - bmax@silverhammerpub.com
Silver Hammer Publishing - http://silverhammerpub.com

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The News
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CANCER MENACE ON THE RISE
A study published in the journal Lancet Oncology predicts that
the number of new cancer cases worldwide will jump more than 50
percent in just 20 years, from 10.06 million in 2000 to 15.35
million in 2020. The number of deaths from cancer worldwide also
will rise sharply, from 6.2 million in 2000 to 10 million in
2020. The increases are largely attributed to the continued aging
of the world population, since the risk of cancer rises with age.
Source: British Broadcasting Corp. - Aug. 31, 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1517000/
1517668.stm



AMA BLASTED FOR LETTING DRUG FIRMS
PAY FOR ETHICS CAMPAIGN
The American Medical Association is launching a $1 million
campaign to educate medical students, doctors, and drug company
sales representatives about its ethics guidelines that generally
frown on doctors accepting gifts from pharmaceutical companies.
Critics say the campaign is a farce because it's largely financed
by the very pharmaceutical companies that are the subject of the
ethics rules.
Source: Washington Post - Aug. 30, 2001
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16279-2001Aug29.html


PAIN CONTROL AND RESEARCH
The lead article in this extensive package examines the
management of acute and chronic pain with prescription drugs. The
sidebars look at the different drugs used to treat pain, various
treatment guidelines for managing pain, organizations that are
active in pain issues (with contact information, including Web
URLs), selected clinical trials involving pain management that
are currently in progress, and selected books. The editorials
focus on the need for doctors to be more aggressive in treating
pain. Although all of the stories are aimed at physicians,
consumers may find some of them useful.
Source: Southern Medical Journal - August 2001
http://www.sma.org/smj2001/augsmj01/barkin.pdf
Sidebar (medications):
http://www.sma.org/smj2001/augsmj01/medup.pdf
Sidebar (guidelines):
http://www.sma.org/smj2001/augsmj01/selguide.pdf
Sidebar (organizations):
http://www.sma.org/smj2001/augsmj01/selcomre.pdf
Sidebar (clinical trials):
http://www.sma.org/smj2001/augsmj01/selclitri.pdf
Sidebar (books):
http://www.sma.org/smj2001/augsmj01/selbooks.pdf
Editorials: http://www.sma.org/smj2001/augsmj01/editorials.pdf


FOR-PROFIT NURSING HOMES
OFFER WORSE CARE: REPORT
If you're looking for a nursing home, a new study strongly
suggests that non-profit facilities will provide better care than
their for-profit counterparts. Meanwhile, the British Medical
Journal article documents the widespread problems in U.S. nursing
homes, with an eye toward lessons that can be learned by United
Kingdom regulators.
Sources: Reuters Health - Aug. 31, 2001
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010831/hl/care_1.html
British Medical Journal - Sept. 1, 2001
http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/323/7311/507


'THE FORGETTING' BY DAVID SHENK
This review praises "The Forgetting," David Shenk's new book
about Alzheimer's disease. The book is quirky, according to the
reviewer, but provides a fascinating look at everything from the
mechanics of human memory to the high-stakes world of medical
research.
Source: Salon - Aug. 29, 2001
http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2001/08/29/alzheimers


DETOX DEMYSTIFIED
It comes as no great surprise that this story originates in
California. It seems that lots of folks out there are spending
big money on products and treatments that supposedly "detoxify"
their bodies. Proponents say that the treatments, which range
from lengthy liquid fasts to colonic irrigation, remove poisons
from bodily systems. Most medical professionals think the whole
thing is a bunch of hooey (for our non-American readers, that's
slang for a whole lot of nonsense).
Source: Los Angeles Times - Sept. 3, 2001
http://www.latimes.com/features/health/
la-000071258sep03.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dhealth



CANNABIS 'DRAMATICALLY IMPROVES PAIN RELIEF'
Early results from the first British clinical trial of marijuana
show that the drug is highly effective at controlling severe pain
in patients with multiple sclerosis and spinal injuries. In the
study, patients are self-administering medical extracts of
cannabis in the form of a spray that goes under the tongue.
Source: British Broadcasting Corp. - Sept. 3, 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/in_depth/sci_tech/2001/
glasgow_2001/newsid_1523000/1523461.stm



LASIK SURGERY SALES TACTICS RAISE EYEBROWS
The so-called "patient counselors" at one of the nation's largest
chains of laser eye surgery clinics receive sales commissions,
just like those nice folks who sell timeshare properties. They
also require prospective patients to pay hefty, nonrefundable
deposits before the patients see a medical professional of any
type or learn about possible risks of the surgery. The sidebars
provide tips when shopping for laser eye surgery and a brief list
of Web sites that provide information about the procedure.
Source: Washington Post - Sept. 4, 2001
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37121-2001Sep3.html
Sidebar (how to buy):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/health/print/
A27427-2001Aug31.html

Sidebar (online information sources):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/health/print/
A27425-2001Aug31.html



ARTHRITIS DRUGS: PAIN AND CONFUSION
A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical
Association reported that the popular arthritis drugs Vioxx and
Celebrex may increase the risk of heart attacks, stroke, and
other cardiovascular problems. In question-and-answer format,
this article examines what the study means for people who are
taking the two drugs.
Source: Washington Post - Sept. 4, 2001
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/health/print/
A27430-2001Aug31.html



LOW-CALORIE DIET REVERSES AGING IN MICE IN STUDY
Feeding older mice an extremely low-calorie diet for as little as
four weeks reversed many of the changes in genes that occur with
aging, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences. The study appears to be one more
step toward learning how restricting calories can lengthen the
lives of animals. Researchers hope this work will eventually
result in anti-aging therapies for humans.
Sources: Washington Post - Sept. 4, 2001
http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A37337-2001Sep3.html


Need a Writer or Researcher?
______________________________________________________

The editor of this newsletter is a full-time freelance writer
and researcher who's available for a variety of assignments -
articles, brochures, books, Web consultations, or a nice e-mail
newsletter like this one - about health or other topics. He has
20 years of professional writing experience, and has written
several books about searching the Internet. If you'd like to
learn more, visit http://bmaxwell.home.mindspring.com, send an
e-mail to bmaxwell@mindspring.com, or call 703-532-6327.
______________________________________________________

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