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Why Are More U.S. Babies Being Born With Syphilis?

The number of U.S. infants born with syphilis is climbing at an alarming pace, reaching a high not seen since the 1990s, according to new government figures.

Newborn syphilis, a potentially fatal condition, was at one time nearly eliminated in the United States. But the disease has seen a resurgence in recent years — and 2020 was no exception, say researchers with the U.S. Centers for D...

Having Even a Cousin or Grandparent With Colon Cancer Raises Your Risk: Study

Colon cancer risk runs in families, and it's not just a parent or sibling having had the disease that should concern you.

If you have a second- or third-degree relative who had colon cancer at an early age, your odds of having the disease substantially increase, a new study finds.

First-degree relatives include parents, children and siblings. Second-degree relatives include aunts, ...

9/11 First Responders Face Higher Cancer Risk 20 Years Later

Twenty years on, responders to the World Trade Center attacks in New York City are showing increased risks of certain cancers, two new studies confirm.

Researchers found higher-than-average rates of prostate cancer among firefighters, medics and other workers who toiled at the disaster site on and after Sept. 11, 2001.

And compared with firefighters from other major U.S. cities...

Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Helped Americans' Blood Pressure

With the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, fewer Americans are uninsured and more are getting their blood pressure and blood sugar under control, a new study finds.

The gains are especially strong among Black and Hispanic patients, according to Boston University researchers.

"Our results suggest that over the longer-run, expanding Medicaid eligibility may improve key chronic di...

Your State's Laws Might Save Your Life If Breast Cancer Strikes

When Nancy Cappello was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2003, she was stunned.

How could this have happened? She went for her annual screening mammogram every year and was always told that all was fine.

It wasn't.

Cappello had dense breasts, but no one had ever told her. "The tumor was likely growing for five to seven years," said her husband, Joseph Cappello. "At th...

Child Cancers Are Rare, But Here Are Signs to Look For

Most parents want their children to live carefree lives, so a diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating. Fortunately, pediatric cancers are rare.

Yet it doesn't hurt to be watchful for the warning signs, suggest experts in childhood cancer from Penn State Health.

The best screening most parents can do is to stay on track with well-child visits, the doctors said.

"For e...

Black Americans, Mexican Americans Develop Diabetes Earlier in Life

Black Americans and Mexican Americans typically develop type 2 diabetes up to seven years earlier than their white counterparts, a new study finds.

In all, more than 25% of adults in the two groups reported being diagnosed with diabetes before age 40, and 20% didn't know they had the disease.

Researchers said the findings highlight the need to address economic and social conditions ...

Sen. Amy Klobuchar Treated for Breast Cancer

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar revealed Thursday that she's been treated for early-stage breast cancer, including surgery to remove a lump and radiation therapy.

The 61-year-old Minnesota Democrat said in a statement posted on social media that Mayo Clinic doctors found worrying signs...

Mom-to-Be's 'Leaky' Heart Valves May Pose More Danger Than Thought

Leaky heart valves can put pregnant women at serious risk, according to a large study that runs counter to established practice.

The condition used to be considered relatively harmless during pregnancy. But this analysis by Johns Hopkins University researchers of more than 20,000 individual medical records reveals that heart valve disease puts women at risk for bleeding, high blood pressu...

Pandemic Brought Big Drop in Breast Cancer Screening in Older, Low-Income Women

Many parts of the United States saw a significant drop in breast cancer screening of older low-income women during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows.

The analysis of data from 32 community health centers that serve low-income people found that breast cancer screening for 50- to 74-year-old women dropped 8% between July 2019 and July 2020. That wiped out an 18% increase between Jul...

Expert Panel Lowers Routine Screening Age for Diabetes to 35

The recommended age to start screening overweight and obese people for diabetes will be lowered by five years from 40 to 35, the nation's leading panel of preventive health experts has announced.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has decided an earlier five years of testing could help detect more people who have prediabetes, said Dr. Michael Barry, vice chair of the USPSTF....

Spotting the Signs of Deadly Melanoma Skin Cancers

Regular skin checks to look for signs of melanoma could save your life.

Self-exams for the deadliest type of skin cancer should be done at least once a month in a well-lit room in front of a full-length mirror and also with a hand mirror for hard-to-see areas, said Dr. Arun Mavanur, a surgical oncologist.

You also need to get checked by a doctor if you have risk factors for melanoma...

Working Night Shifts Could Raise Odds for A-Fib

Long stints on the night shift could set you up for the dangerous heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation (a-fib), new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on more than 283,000 people in the UK Biobank database, and found that those who worked night shifts on a usual or permanent basis had a 12% higher risk of a-fib than those who only worked during ...

One Key Question Can Help Spot Skin Cancer

When a suspicious skin lesion sends you scurrying to a dermatologist, asking for a full-body skin check could save your life.

Dermatologists are twice as likely to find skin cancer with a full-body check, a new study reveals. More than half of the skin cancers discovered were not in the location the patient was concerned about.

"If the dermatologist did not check their entire body,...

Incomplete Polyp Removal During Colonoscopy Can Bring Cancer Danger

Colonoscopy screening can help prevent colon cancer by allowing doctors to find and remove potentially pre-cancerous growths called polyps. But if they fail to get the whole growth, the odds of a recurrence are high, a new study shows.

The likelihood that it will occur within the next few years more than doubled.

Repeat exams found a new growth in the same colon segment 52% of the t...

6 Tips on Getting Back to Your Regular Doctor's Checkup

Admit it, you've probably put off doctor visits whenever possible during the pandemic, and getting back on track with your health care is a daunting prospect.

Never fear, says an expert who offers some advice on resuming in-person health care visits.

The first step is to push aside any shame about falling behind on regular appointments, said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, president of...

At-Home Saliva Test Can Spot COVID Variants

Spit and scan. That's all you have to do, and in less than an hour, you can not only find out if you have COVID-19 but what variant you have, all without leaving your home.

This is the hope and promise of a new saliva-based COVID-19 test that is currently under development.

"Several at-home tests are available for telling you whether you have COVID-19, but none of them test for vari...

Is It COVID? Early Signs May Differ by Age, Gender

Exactly what symptoms of early COVID-19 infection you suffer may depend on both your age and gender, a new study finds.

"As part of our study, we have been able to identify that the profile of symptoms due to COVID-19 differs from one group to another. This suggests that the criteria to encourage people to get tested should be personalized using individuals' information such as age. Alter...

Deaths From Alzheimer's Far More Common in Rural America

Death rates from Alzheimer's disease are particularly high in the rural United States, a preliminary study finds, highlighting a need for health care resources in traditionally under-served areas.

Researchers discovered that over the past two decades, rural areas in the Southeast have seen the highest death rates from Alzheimer's, at 274 per 100,000 people. That's about twice the rate as ...

Seniors Rarely Discuss Their Drinking With Their Doctors

Plenty of seniors may struggle with problem drinking, but a new study shows that less than half of them discuss their alcohol use with their health care providers.

"Older adults are at high risk for the harms of alcohol use, especially for those with existing chronic disease and who take prescribed medications," said lead study author Pia Mauro. That makes "discussions about alcohol with ...

Many Patients Billed for Preventive Care That Should Be Free: Study

Many Americans are being charged for preventive -- and supposedly free -- health care, new research shows, and those bills may keep them from booking appointments in the future.

Out-of-pocket charges for preventive care that should be free under the Affordable Care Act can discourage patients from receiving recommended care, said study lead author Alexander Hoagland, a Ph.D. student in ec...

Screening Often Misses Endometrial Cancer in Black Women

A noninvasive method of screening for endometrial cancer often fails to detect signs of it in Black women, a new study says.

The findings raise questions about the use of transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) to determine the need for a biopsy in these patients, according to the authors.

"Black women have an over 90% higher [death] rate after diagnosis of endometrial cancer when compared w...

Long Distance to Care Can Mean Worse Outcomes for Young Cancer Patients

Teens and young adults with cancer who live in rural areas or far from the hospital where they were diagnosed are more likely to have advanced cancer and more likely to die, new research shows.

"A number of studies have indicated that place of residence can influence cancer survival; however, few studies have specifically focused on geographic factors and outcomes in adolescents and young...

A Better Test to Help Spot Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss in older people, and early detection can bring better treatment. Now, researchers in Australia say their experimental genetic test for glaucoma can identify 15 times more people at high risk for the disease compared to a current genetic test.

"Early diagnosis of glaucoma can lead to vision-saving treatment, and genetic information can potentiall...

Pandemic Delays in Screening Mean More Breast Cancer Deaths Ahead: Study

The COVID-19 pandemic could leave a grim legacy for women's health.

New research suggests that disruptions in breast cancer screening and treatment in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic could lead to an increase in deaths from the disease.

While mammography rates have accelerated in 2021, "facilities should prioritize screening women who missed their routine mammography ...

Most Cancer Screenings Make Big Rebound After Pandemic Decline

A major U.S. hospital system had a strong rebound in most cancer screening tests after a steep drop-off in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study shows.

The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Boston-based Mass General Brigham system. Depending on the type of test, between March and June of 2020, the number of cancer screenings dropped off between 65% a...

Adding MRI to Screening Can Cut Prostate Cancer Overdiagnosis in Half

One of the big issues in prostate cancer care is overdiagnosis -- men who are treated for low-risk, slow-growing tumors that might be better left monitored and untreated.

Now, research out of Sweden suggests that having patients undergo MRI screening, along with targeted biopsies, could reduce the number of prostate cancer overdiagnoses by half.

The new approach can detect just as...

U.S. Deaths From Cancer Continue to Decline

Americans' overall death rate from cancer continues to fall -- but rising rates of certain cancers and ongoing racial disparities linger.

Those are among the findings of an annual report to the nation from several major cancer organizations.

The good news includes an accelerating decline in the overall cancer death rate, among both women and men, and across racial and ethnic groups....

Cost a Barrier to Cervical Cancer Screening for Many U.S. Women

Many women in the United States aren't screened for cervical cancer because they can't afford it, a new study finds.

Screening helps reduce cervical cancer cases and deaths, but disparities in screening rates exist based on income, insurance status, race and ethnicity.

"Low-income women need greater access to insurance coverage options, Medicaid eligibility, or free screening progra...

Women's Cancer Screenings Plummeted During Pandemic

Breast and cervical cancer screenings dropped sharply among low-income minority women during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

That could lead to delayed cancer diagnoses, health consequences and an increase in existing disparities, the agency warned.

The new findings "reinforce the need to safely maintain routine health care services d...

Gene Differences Could Have Black Patients Undergoing Unnecessary Biopsies

A gene variant may be driving high rates of unnecessary bone marrow biopsies in Black Americans, researchers say.

The variant is responsible for lower white blood cell levels in some healthy Black people, the investigators said.

"We've essentially created this racial health disparity by not fully considering how genetic variation affects white blood cell levels," said study co-autho...

Could Home Test for Colon Cancer Mean a Big Medical Bill to Come?

You decide to take a popular colon cancer screening test that can be performed at home, and it comes back positive. A follow-up colonoscopy is scheduled, but then you suddenly receive a large and unexpected medical bill.

That's what happened to a Missouri woman who was hit with $1,900 in medical expenses after using the popular at-home colon cancer screening test called Cologuard.
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Most Cases of Dementia in U.S. Seniors Go Undiagnosed: Study

Most Americans with dementia are undiagnosed, which shows how important it is to screen and assess seniors for the disease, researchers say.

Their new analysis of data from a nationwide survey of about 6 million Americans aged 65 and older revealed that 91% of people with cognitive impairment consistent with dementia did not have a formal medical diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer's disea...

Could a DNA Blood Test Spot a Range of Hidden Cancers?

Could a new one-and-done blood test designed to detect as many as 50 different types of cancer become a diagnostic game changer?

Yes, say researchers, who report the method appears accurate and reliable at identifying and locating cancer, including some kinds for which there are now no effective screening methods.

"[The test] sets the stage for a new paradigm of screening individual...

Screen All Kids for Heart Problems, Pediatricians' Group Says

All children should be screened for conditions that may put them at risk for cardiac arrest or death, a new American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) policy statement recommends.

The screening should be done whether or not kids play sports, and it is particularly important as they begin middle school or junior high, the statement says.

It updates 2012 guidelines and was published online ...

5 Tests You Should Not Order for a Child With Autism

A leading medical group is offering testing guidelines for children with autistic behaviors.

The American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Environmental Health emphasized that certain measurements to test for exposure to chemicals are not helpful to guide treatment. The council pointed out that just because a chemical is found in the body doesn't mean it will cause harm.

The counc...

On Father's Day, Give Dad Tips to Keep Healthy

Men tend to put their health care last, but Penn State Health offers some tips this Father's Day for ensuring guys stay healthy in the future.

"Men tend to take care of their cars more frequently than they do themselves. But when men wait to see the doctor once their 'check engine' light comes on, they suffer major health problems that could've been prevented," said Dr. Eldra Daniels. He ...

Many 'High-Risk' Americans Unconcerned About Skin Cancer: Poll

It's long been known the sun's rays can cause skin cancer.

But a new poll shows that only about 30% of American adults say they're concerned about developing skin cancer -- even though nearly 70% have at least one risk factor for the disease.

The American Academy of Dermatology's survey found that 49% of respondents were more worried about avoiding sunburn than preventing skin cance...

Think You Can Skip That Annual Physical?  Think Again

Despite calls from some leading health experts to scrap annual physicals because they are a waste of time and money, a new study finds advantages to routine screenings.

"While it is disappointing that I can't tell my patients a visit with me or my colleagues will help them live longer, it is good to know there are proven, measurable benefits," said senior study author Dr. Jeffrey Linder. ...

Your Doctor Appointments Might Look Different Post-Pandemic

If it's been a while since you've seen your doctor, it may be time to schedule a visit to catch up on preventive health screenings or discuss any health concerns and chronic medical conditions.

During the 15 months since people began quarantining, many have avoided leaving their homes except when necessary, including not going to the doctor. But now COVID-19 cases in the United Sta...

U.S. Blood Supply Is Safe From Coronavirus, Study Finds

COVID-19 does not pose a threat to the safety of the United States' blood supply under existing donor screening guidelines, researchers report.

For the study, the investigators reviewed the results of tests for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in nearly 18,000 pools of donated blood, representative of over 257,800 single blood donations that were collected between March and September 2020 from ...

After Testing Fell During Pandemic, Is a Surge in STDs Ahead?

There was a sharp drop in testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that could translate into a future rise in cases, researchers say.

"The quickest way for people to spread STIs is to not know that they have one," said study author Casey Pinto, an assistant professor of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicin...

Mammography Rates Plummeted During Pandemic

There was a sharp drop in mammography breast cancer screening during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the decline was especially severe among American women of color and those living in rural areas, new research shows.

Those trends could cost lives in years to come, because "detecting breast cancer at an early stage dramatically increases the chances that treatment will be successful," said stu...

Just 1 in 10 People With Alcohol Problems Get Treatment

Americans with drinking problems are rarely referred for treatment, even though most say a doctor has asked about their alcohol use, a new study finds.

The study is not the first to uncover low rates of treatment for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) -- the medical term for drinking that interferes with a person's life and well-being.

According to the U.S. National Institutes of Hea...

Get First Colonoscopy at 45, not 50: U.S. Expert Panel

A lot of people think of age 50 as the magic number for getting a first colonoscopy, but earlier is better, a prestigious U.S. expert panel now says.

Based on evidence that younger people are being diagnosed with colon cancer and would benefit from screening, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) is moving the recommended age for colon cancer screening from 50 to age 45.

Parents' Input Key When Screening Toddlers for Autism

Early screening for autism can speed up diagnosis and treatment, and now new research shows that pediatricians are more likely to act when parents express concerns.

According to pediatricians surveyed in the study, only 39% of toddlers who had failed a screening looking for autism signs were then referred to additional expert evaluation.

"The lack of referral follow-through was beca...

Researchers Develop First App-Based Rapid Gonorrhea Test

Researchers say they have developed a rapid test for gonorrhea that could help reduce the spread of the sexually transmitted disease.

The test consists of an inexpensive, portable device and a cellphone app that will diagnose gonorrhea in less than 15 minutes. It can also determine whether the strain of the infection will respond to frontline antibiotics.

"Our portable, inexpensiv...

COVID-19 Appears to Have No Lasting Impact on College Athletes' Hearts

Heart complications are rare among college athletes who have had COVID-19, according to a small study.

"Our findings may offer reassurance to high school athletes, coaches and parents where resources for testing can be limited," said senior author Dr. Ranjit Philip, assistant professor in pediatric cardiology at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, in Memphis.

For the ...

Could Your Child Have a Heart Defect? Know the Warning Signs

Heart defects are often - but not always - detected at birth, so it's important to pay attention when a child gets dizzy, passes out or says her heart is "beeping."

These and other warning signs, such as an apparent change in fitness, shouldn't be overlooked, an expert says.

Evaluating a child who has these symptoms is important to ensure nothing is missed that could become li...

Relatives' Colonoscopy Results Could Affect Your Colon Cancer Risk

Having close relatives with colon polyps -- which can be precursors of cancer -- could mean that you have a higher risk for colon cancer, researchers say.

Colon cancer is the second deadliest form of cancer in the world, according to the World Health Organization.

Being overweight and inactive increases the risk, but genetics also play a role, researchers in Sweden and Boston said ...