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Sun., April 30, 2017, 9:10 p.m. | Search

Breast cancer study will assess watchful waiting

UPDATED: Sat., April 29, 2017, 7:05 p.m.

Barbara Nickles, who lives in Selden, New York, had a double mastectomy after she was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a condition in which cancerous-looking cells are found in the breast duct. “I just wanted it out, and I have no regrets,” she said. (Jackie Molloy / Washington Post)
Each year, 60,000 women are diagnosed in the U.S. with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), a condition in which cancerous-looking cells are found in the breast duct. What exactly is it – a pre-cancer, cancer or more a risk factor? How much treatment is too much? Too little? Which women can safely skip surgery? What about those who want more treatment than their doctors recommend?

Looking for a perfect match: Blood center working to get more people on the bone marrow registry

Mon., April 24, 2017, 10:42 p.m.

Grace Ndayizeye holds a tray of one month’s worth of blood for an exchange transfusion at Inland Northwest Blood Center in Spokane on April 18. Ndayizeye has sickle cell anemia and needs a bone marrow transplant to cure the disease. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
In the United States, sickle cell disease affects 70,000 to 100,000 people. It’s most common among African-Americans and Hispanics, according to the National Heart Blood and Lung Institute, but is also found in other ethnic and racial groups. The only cure is a bone marrow transplant. The only known cure for the disease is a bone marrow transplant. However, finding a marrow match is difficult.

House Call: Taking care of your teeth is important to your health

Mon., April 24, 2017, 4 p.m.

Aside from the obvious social and functional aspects of having an attractive-looking mouth, healthy teeth and gums are linked to better overall health. It’s hard to get good nutrition if you can’t chew those fruits, vegetables, and nuts that I’m always encouraging you to eat. Rotting teeth and gums also increase your body’s general state of inflammation and the risk of heart disease and infections.

New study: Antidepressants not as harmful during pregnancy as previously thought

Mon., April 24, 2017, midnight

Women who take antidepressants early in pregnancy are not at a higher risk of having children who develop autism or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, contrary to earlier reports, a study published April 18 found. The new study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found only a slight increase in the risk of premature birth for infants of mothers who used antidepressants during the first trimester of their pregnancy. But the researchers found no increase in the risk of autism, ADHD or reduced fetal growth among children exposed to antidepressants during fetal development.

Risk of flu-related death higher for unvaccinated children

Sat., April 22, 2017, 1:31 p.m.

A new study from the CDC showed that being vaccinated reduced the risk of death from flu complications by nearly two-thirds for healthy children. (Dreamstime / TNS)
That’s according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published online earlier this month in Pediatrics. The article says this is the first study of its kind showing that flu vaccination significantly reduces a child’s risk of dying from influenza.

Crowned TOPS King, Phil Hayes made good on a promise

Mon., April 17, 2017, 5 p.m.

Phil Hays applauds the weight loss of a fellow TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) member during a meeting at Turning point Church in Spokane on Thursday, April 6, 2017. He was featured in TOPS News Magazine after losing nearly 70 pounds in 2015. (Kathy Plonka / The Spokesman-Review)
Losing 67 pounds for Phil Hayes goes beyond a goal reached more than a year ago. Phil Hayes once tipped the scale at 294 pounds when he wore 3X shirts and 46-inch waist for pants, but he made a promise to his wife before she died to stick with a weight loss commitment.

Raw thighs, tummy trouble and other running struggles they don’t tell you about

Mon., April 17, 2017, 7 a.m.

Runners cool off at the top of Doomsday Hill during Bloomsday 2016 on May 1. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Most endurance runners are well acquainted with the idea of a gradual ramp-up of speed and distance over several months. But how about all the other stuff that isn’t necessarily in a training guide? Is that big breakfast going to cause trouble at mile 8? What if you hit the wall when you’re 10 miles in, with no transportation other than your legs? And let’s not even talk about chafing. Actually, let’s.

Risk of a rare but deadly mouse-borne virus increases in the spring

Fri., April 14, 2017, 3:20 p.m.

Deer mice, found almost everywhere in North America, are carriers of hantavirus, which causes a rare but potentially fatal syndrome. (James Gathany - Centers for Dise / James Gathany / Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
The severe respiratory illness is known as hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, or HPS. In the United States, most of these cases are spread by deer mice, which live in woodland areas and deserts and are found throughout North America. People get the disease by breathing in hantavirus when dust from dried rodent urine, saliva and droppings is stirred up in the air, which can happen in houses, garages and cabins, especially while cleaning. People can also get it by touching mouse urine, droppings or nesting materials that contain the virus, and then touching their eyes, nose, or mouth.

Six foods to eat for a mood boost

Mon., April 10, 2017, 11:10 p.m.

If you’ve ever found bliss in a bite of chocolate or smiled when someone offered you a french fry, then you know food can make you happy. But while it’s true that your favorite treat may give you a brief emotional lift, sustained mood-boosting brain power can only come from a consistent supply of nutritious foods. Recognizing the difference between a quick jolt of cookie-fueled joy and the positive effects of long-term nutrition for brain health is important. Researchers are taking a closer look at how food can impact your mood and future cognitive function, and they are finding that what you eat does make a difference.

Despite the anti-carb diet fads, whole grains are still good for you

Mon., April 3, 2017, 7 p.m.

 (Philip Brooker / TNS)
It hasn’t been a great decade for fans of grain consumption – not even whole grains. Popular diet books like “The Paleo Diet,” “The Wheat Belly Diet” and many others have argued for limited grain consumption. Meanwhile, apparent scientific softening on the fat-is-bad-for-you dictum has increased interest in healthy fat consumption. That, too, has put grains, which are mainly composed of carbohydrates, on trial.

Alzheimer’s patients needed for clinical trial

Mon., April 3, 2017, midnight

Spokane patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease can enter a second-phase clinical trial using a new drug treatment showing potential to slow progression of early-stages, said Neurim Pharmaceuticals.

Health leaders in Washington state seek improvements in existing health care law

Sun., April 2, 2017, 3:27 p.m.

Nurse Walter Davis checks on a patient in the emergency room at Harborview Medical Center on Wednesday, March 12, 2003, in Seattle. Healthcare professionals in Washington are looking for ways to change existing laws now that Republicans have abandoned plans for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. (ELAINE THOMPSON / AP)
Now that Congress has set aside – at least for the moment – Republican plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it with the American Health Care Act, local and state health care leaders hope legislators will look at ways to improve the existing law so it can better serve patients and providers.

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