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Health News Results - 202

Should Your Child Get a COVID Test?

If you're trying to decide whether to have your child tested for COVID-19, talk with your pediatrician, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) suggests.

Children and teens with COVID-19 symptoms should be tested immediately. This is especially important if they're going to school, playing sports or have in-person jobs, according to the academy.

Testing is also recommended before m...

Cancer Screening Fell Sharply Early in Pandemic, But Has Rebounded

As clinics closed for non-essential care and patients' COVID-19 fears kept them from check-ups, the United States saw a steep drop in cancer screenings and diagnoses during the first peak of the pandemic, a new report finds.

Researchers analyzed data on how many patients underwent cancer screening tests -- procedures such as mammograms, colonoscopies, Pap tests, PSA blood tests for prost...

Genes Help Explain Role of Race in Prostate Cancer Risk

If you're a Black man, your risk of getting prostate cancer is 75% higher than it is for a white man, and it's more than twice as deadly.

Now, research is helping to bring genetic risks for people of various racial and ethnic groups into focus. In doing so, dozens more risk factors that could better help pinpoint the odds of developing prostate cancer have been uncovered. And that could ...

Some Americans Can't Access Telemedicine, Study Shows

Telemedicine rapidly expanded during the COVID-19 pandemic as people turned to their phones and computers rather than leave their homes for health care.

But some groups of people were left behind in the telemedicine boom, a new study reports.

Middle-aged and older folks are much less likely to complete their scheduled telemedicine visits, as well as Medicaid recipients and those who...

Tips for Making 2021 a Healthier Year

A New Year's resolution to take better care of yourself is one you should keep, especially in the era of COVID-19.

Wearing a mask, maintaining a safe distance from others and washing your hands frequently are going remain important in 2021. But don't forget to prioritize a healthy lifestyle that improves your overall health and quality of life, and helps prevent cancer, according to exper...

Blood Pressure Often Differs Widely Between Two Arms: Study

Blood pressure readings between the two arms can be different, and that disparity can sometimes be a warning sign of heart trouble down the road.

That's the finding of an analysis of 24 past studies: When people have at least a 5-point difference in blood pressure between the two arms, their risk of heart attack, stroke or premature death inches up. And the greater the difference, the mor...

Esophageal Cancer on the Rise Among the Young: Study

Esophageal cancer is increasing among young Americans, and they're more likely to be diagnosed with advanced disease, according to a new study.

Esophageal cancer accounts for about 1% of U.S. cancer diagnoses, and just over 18,000 cases are expected to be diagnosed nationwide this year. Only one in five patients is alive five years after diagnosis.

In the new study, researchers ana...

Pandemic Closures, Fears Keep Patients From Lung Cancer Screening

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the United States, many routine cancer screenings were put on hold. Now a new study suggests that lung cancer screenings have yet to rebound.

The findings come from one hospital system, but experts said they add to worries about the pandemic's impact on cancer care.

In the spring, when many U.S. hospitals were overrun with COVID-19 patients and stay-at...

FDA OKs First Over-the-Counter Home Test for COVID-19

The first non-prescription COVID-19 test that enables people to collect samples and get results at home has received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"This is a great step forward," said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in Baltimore. "If people could know their status on any given day, they could chang...

Body Temperature Higher in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis patients who are in remission have significantly higher body temperatures than people without the joint disease, new research shows.

The study included 32 rheumatoid arthritis patients who were in remission and a healthy "control" group of 51 people without rheumatoid arthritis, who all had thermal scans of different areas of their feet.

"These tests demonstrate...

COVID in Kids: The Most Telling Symptoms

Among thousands of kids tested for COVID-19, an upset stomach, loss of taste/smell, fever and headache were symptoms most predictive of positive test results, a Canadian study found.

But one-third of children and teens with the coronavirus showed no symptoms, the researchers noted.

"Because more than one-third of pediatric patients who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection exhibit...

MS Has Mixed Impact on Patients' Cancer Risk: Study

How does having multiple sclerosis (MS) affect a person's odds for cancer? The answer may depend on the type of cancer, new research shows.

The study found that MS patients do have much greater odds of developing bladder cancer compared to people without the illness. But there was good news, too: Their risk of breast and colon cancer is no higher than for people who don't have MS, accordi...

More Childbearing Women Having Suicidal Thoughts: Study

The number of women who contemplate suicide or self-harm during or after pregnancy may be on the rise, a large, new study suggests.

Among nearly 600,000 U.S. childbearing women, researchers found that close to 2,700 were diagnosed with suicidality in the year before or after giving birth. And the diagnosis -- defined as suicidal thoughts or intentional self-harm -- grew more common over t...

Asymptomatic COVID Woman Shed Virus for 70 Days

Most people with the new coronavirus appear to actively shed infectious virus for about eight days. But a woman in Kirkland, Wash., may have set a record, shedding the virus for at least 70 days.

The 71-year-old was infected for at least 105 days overall, but had no symptoms, according to a new report.

This unusual case involved a woman with leukemia and a low antibody count who was...

Are Healthy Kids Getting Too Many Heart Tests?

Not every kid needs an electrocardiogram (ECG) before playing sports or as part of routine exams, child health experts say.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is advising parents and pediatricians to avoid unnecessary tests, and has released a list of common medical practices and therapies that may not be needed for young patients.

The AAP and the Choosing Wisely campaign al...

Loss of Smell More Common in COVID-19 Than Thought

Loss of smell is common in COVID-19, but fewer people say they have this symptom than objective tests reveal, a new study finds.

In fact, about 77% of COVID-19 patients who were directly measured had smell loss, but only 44% said they did, researchers found.

Direct measures of smell involve having patients smell and report on actual odors, while self-reporting incl...

What You Need to Know About Your Colon Cancer Risk

Early diagnosis of colon cancer is crucial to improve a patient's chance of survival, an expert says.

Colon cancer is on the rise, especially among younger people, so it's important to know the symptoms and how to prevent it, according to Dr. Sameet Shah. He's a gastroenterologist with Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Group in Verona, N.J.

The risk is the same for me...

Many Male Breast Cancers Diagnosed Late, and Delays Can Be Lethal

Breast cancer in men is rare. But because it's not often suspected in men, diagnosis often comes only after a tumor has begun to spread throughout the body, new research shows.

"Approximately one-half of males with breast cancer received a diagnosis after it had already spread," either to nearby or distant tissues, said a team of researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and...

Bedside COVID-19 Test Faster Than Standard PCR Test

Bedside tests for COVID-19 may speed results and improve infection control, making them better than standard laboratory tests, a new study suggests.

Results of the bedside test take about 2 hours, compared with 21 hours for PCR lab tests, the researchers said. These findings are from more than 1,000 British hospital patients tested with the QIAstat-Dx POCT test.

Reducing t...

DNA Analysis Might Reveal Melanoma Risk

DNA mutations in skin cells may signal a risk for melanoma long before it's visible to the eye, a new study suggests.

Exposure to sun damages skin and DNA, and this damage can be measured. Using a new method for analyzing DNA harm, researchers say they can estimate the risk of developing melanoma.

"It turns out that a multitude of individual cells in so-called normal skin ...

Accuracy of COVID-19 Antibody Tests Varies Widely, Study Finds

Wide variation exists in the accuracy of commercial testing kits that check for antibodies against the new coronavirus, researchers say.

Antibody tests can determine whether someone has had the virus in the past. For diagnosis at a later stage of illness or in cases of delayed-onset, antibody tests could also be an important part of hospital diagnosis, the study authors said in the ne...

Blood Test Could Spot Those at Highest Risk for Severe COVID-19

If you're unfortunate enough to be admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, a common blood marker may predict how severe your illness might become, new research shows.

The blood marker is called "red cell distribution width" (RDW) -- basically, the greater the variance in the size of red blood cells, the poorer a patient's prognosis, the study authors explained.

A COVID-19 pa...

Many High-Risk Patients Don't Know They Need Follow-Up Colonoscopy

Many Americans at high risk for colon cancer don't know how often they need to have a screening colonoscopy, researchers say.

The report follows the recent death of actor Chadwick Boseman, who died Aug. 28 at age 43 after a private, four-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman was best known for playing the superhero Black Panther.

Colon cancer is the third most common cause ...

Another Rapid COVID-19 Test Shows Promise

Yet another rapid COVID-19 test has proven its mettle in spotting infection with the new coronavirus, this time in a British study.

The lab-in-a-cartridge testing device -- which can be performed at bedside, doesn't require a laboratory, and can be performed in cartridges smaller than a mobile phone -- was tested on 386 National Health Service staff and patients in Britain.

...

Mother and Son Draw Hope, Healing From Shared Cancer Treatment

Families bond over lots of shared experiences -- but one Leslie Seigel and her adult son, Josh, never expected to share was battling cancer.

Soon after Leslie finished chemotherapy for an aggressive form of breast cancer, however, Josh found himself waging his own battle with testicular cancer.

The mother and son soon learned they shared something else -- a genetic mutation ...

Just How Reliable Are COVID-19 Tests? Experts Weigh In

You're feeling pretty darned sick -- headache, fever, fatigue, a cough -- but your COVID-19 test came back negative.

What do you do now?

Well, chances are good that you don't have COVID-19 if that's what the test says, according to experts.

Labs that are testing for COVID-19 rely on what's called a PCR test, a slow and complex molecular scan that looks for t...

For COVID-19 Survivors, Virus Test 1 Month Out May Be Needed

You tested positive for COVID-19 and dutifully quarantined yourself for two weeks to avoid infecting others. Now, you're feeling better and you think you pose no risk to friends or family, right?

Not necessarily, claims a new study that shows it takes roughly a month to completely clear the coronavirus from your body. To be safe, COVID-19 patients should be retested after four weeks o...

Quick and Cheap, New COVID-19 Test Could Enhance U.S. Screening Efforts

The new rapid COVID-19 test approved last week is probably not the most reliable option for determining whether someone is infected.

But it's cheap and it's fast, and if used correctly, it could be the basis of a screening strategy to keep Americans safe as they return to school and work, infectious disease experts say.

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card produced by Abbott Labora...

Many Thyroid Cancer Ultrasound Scans Unnecessary

As many as one-third of doctors may be sending patients for a thyroid ultrasound for reasons not supported by guidelines, a new study finds.

The use of ultrasound to detect thyroid cancer has led to a large increase in thyroid cancer cases, but many of these cancers are low-risk and won't cause serious harm, the study authors explained.

For the study, the researchers quest...

Women Smokers Less Likely to Get Cancer Screenings

Women smokers already have one bad habit. A new study finds another: They're less likely than others to go for cancer screenings.

Moreover, they're more likely to have spreading cancer when diagnosed, according to findings.

For the report, researchers collected data on more than 89,000 postmenopausal women who took part in a long-running U.S. study.

More than hal...

Mammograms in 40s Can Save Women's Lives, Study Finds

Adding to an ongoing debate over the timing of mammography, a new British study finds that screening women aged 40 to 49 for breast cancer saves lives, with only small increases in overdiagnosis.

"This is a very long-term follow-up of a study which confirms that screening in women under 50 can save lives," researcher Stephen Duffy, from Queen Mary University of London, said in a unive...

Blood Test Might Spot Most Dangerous COVID-19 Cases

A simple blood test may predict which COVID-19 patients are likely to get worse and die, a new study suggests.

"When we first started treating COVID-19 patients, we watched them get better or get worse, but we didn't know why," said researcher Dr. Juan Reyes. He's an assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Washington, D.C.

Many Older Americans Getting Cancer Screens They Don't Need: Study

Contrary to recommendations set by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, many Americans are getting screened for cancer even when old age or poor health would likely render such screenings risky and pointless, new research finds.

The task force notes that screening always entails some degree of risk, and cancer treatment can be harsh. So the reasoning is that neither the risk nor t...

Cancer Diagnoses Plunge as Americans Avoid Screening During Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to impact nearly all aspects of American health care, researchers warn that the United States has seen a troubling drop in cancer diagnoses since the pandemic began.

The drop is not being attributed to a downturn in cancer incidence, but rather a COVID-driven reluctance to get screened.

"Our research found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, between Marc...

American Cancer Society Recommends HPV Test for Cervical Cancer Screening

An updated guideline from the American Cancer Society calls for more simplified cervical cancer screening, administered less often.

The new guideline calls for an initial cervix screening at age 25, followed by the human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years, continuing through age 65, the guideline says.

"These streamlined recommendations can improve compliance and re...

Repeat Bone Density Tests Might Not Be Needed, Study Finds

Bone density tests are often touted as a way to predict the risk of fracture in postmenopausal women, but a new study casts doubt on the value of repeating this commonly used test.

The research was led by Dr. Carolyn Crandall, of the division of general internal medicine and health services research at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. Her team collected data on more than 7,000 ...

Blood Test Might Spot Cancer Years Earlier

Scientists are working on a blood test that may catch five common cancers years sooner than current methods.

The blood test, which is still experimental, hunts for certain genetic "signatures" associated with tumors. Researchers found that it can detect five types of cancer -- colon, esophageal, liver, lung and stomach -- up to four years earlier, compared to routine medical care.

...

Check Early and Often for Glaucoma

Regular eye checks are crucial for people with early-stage glaucoma, a new study shows.

Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain becomes damaged. It develops slowly and affects peripheral vision first. Untreated glaucoma leads to permanent vision loss.

Glaucoma makes it harder to see contrast -- the differences between shades of lig...

Get on the Bus: Lifesaving Lung Screens Hit the Road

Irene Johnson noticed a big, blue bus bearing the words "Breathe Easy" outside the Benton, Tenn., library during the 2019 Labor Day weekend.

Inside, a librarian told Johnson that the bus was a mobile CT unit that travels around screening smokers for lung cancer.

Former longtime smokers, both Johnson and her husband, Karl, fit the criteria for getting screened, so they decide...

Blood Test May Reveal Concussion Severity With Accuracy of Spinal Tap

A simple blood test may predict the severity of a concussion as accurately as an invasive spinal tap, researchers report.

They focused on a biomarker called neurofilament light chain. This nerve protein can be detected in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid when nerve cells are injured or die, according to the study.

"When your brain is injured, neurofilament light chain leve...

New Guidelines Could Double Number Eligible for Lung Cancer Screening

CT scans have been proven to help spot lung cancer early and save lives. Now, updated expert recommendations could double the number of Americans who are eligible for the yearly screening.

The recommendations -- from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) -- would expand the definition of "high risk" for lung cancer. That's expected to not only increase the number of people ...

Obamacare Helps Poorer Americans Spot Cancer Earlier: Study

Medicaid expansion under Obamacare may have decreased the number of poorer Americans diagnosed with advanced cancer, a new study suggests.

The study focused on Ohio, which was among the first states to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.

The researchers found that in the three years after expansion, low-income residents saw a 15% dro...

No Good Evidence on Accuracy of Coronavirus Antibody Tests: Study

Do you wonder if you've been exposed to the new coronavirus in the recent past?

Good luck finding out for sure: A new review finds there's little good evidence of the accuracy of blood antibody tests for COVID-19, especially those performed outside a lab.

The new findings "indicate important weaknesses in the evidence on COVID-19 serological [blood] tests, particularly thos...

FBI: Beware of Scammers Selling Fake COVID-19 Antibody Tests

Fake or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests are being sold by scammers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns.

The FBI said fraudsters are also trying to get people's personal information (such as names, birthdates and Social Security numbers) as well as personal health information (including Medicare and/or private health insurance info). This information can be used in insurance ...

NBA Players to Assess New Coronavirus Test

A saliva-based test for the new coronavirus will be assessed in a study that includes NBA players and staff, Yale University researchers said.

"Our players are excited to be a part of this study," said Joe Rogowski, chief medical officer of the National Basketball Players Association.

"Not only does it offer the potential for players to have an alternative method of testing ...

Don't Let COVID-19 Scuttle Your Child's Health Exams

Wondering whether stay-at-home advisories mean you should skip your child's check-up? According to one pediatrician, parents should keep their kids' regular health appointments during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm having these conversations every day with my patients," said Dr. Mona Patel, an attending physician in the division of general pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles...

New Blood Test May Improve Liver Cancer Screening

An experimental blood test may improve screening for the most common form of liver cancer, researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute say.

The test checks people for previous exposure to certain viruses that may interact with the immune system and increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to their new study.

"Together with existing screening test...

Blood Donors Will Get Results of Coronavirus Antibody Test, Red Cross Says

The American Red Cross will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies so donors can learn whether they've been exposed to the new coronavirus.

"We recognize that individuals and public health organizations desire more information about COVID-19, and as an organization dedicated to helping others, the Red Cross is fortunate to be able to help during this pan...

More Evidence Do-It-Yourself COVID Tests Work Fine, Without the Discomfort

Most Americans have winced watching one of those nurse-administered COVID-19 nasal swab tests, where the swab reaches painfully farther up the nose than anyone would want.

Well, the days of "nasopharyngeal" swab tests, administered only by health care workers, may be drawing to a close: New studies find a much more comfortable swab test, performed by patients themselves, works just as...

Do-It-Yourself COVID Tests Work Fine, Without the Discomfort: Study

Most Americans have winced watching one of those nurse-administered COVID-19 nasal swab tests, where the swab reaches painfully farther up the nose than anyone would want.

Well, the days of "nasopharyngeal" swab tests, administered only by health care workers, may be drawing to a close: A new study finds a much more comfortable swab test, performed by patients themselves, works just a...