Week of Aug. 2 - Aug. 6, 2010

New hope to fight ovarian cancer
The Providence Journal (Providence, R.I)
...“It is a glimmer of hope,” said Dr. Daniel Clarke-Pearson, chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists. “It certainly sounded very favorable.” But he noted there was no comparison group to show whether patients who’d had routine exams would have had the same rate of detections.

GE Foundation joins UNC's Project-Uganda
The Herald-Sun (Durham)
The GE Foundation has entered into partnership with UNC Project-Uganda at UNC. The partnership will advance the clinical and educational goals of the pediatric heart program. With financial, logistic and equipment support from the GE Foundation, UNC Project-Uganda will organize a fifth mission to Kampala to provide corrective surgery to children with congenital heart defects at Mulago Hospital. The team also will offer additional training to Ugandan health care workers to enable them to perform the procedures themselves.

UNC Professor Analyzes New Colon Screening Study
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
A UNC medical professor says a new study will better inform patients thinking about getting screened for colon cancer. The study examines the cost-effectiveness of colon cancer screenings like ordinary colonoscopies and “virtual” colonoscopies, also known as CT colonography. Dr. Russell Harris wrote the editorial that accompanied the study published in the online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that showed some downfalls in the virtual approach.

Not So Young at Heart?
The Wall Street Journal
f you think you're too young to worry about your cholesterol, new research suggests you might think again. In a 20-year study involving 3,258 people between 18 and 30 years old, researchers found that the cumulative effect of even modestly abnormal cholesterol heightens your risk of developing telltale signs of heart disease by age 45. ... Among the study's limitations, said Sidney Smith, a cardiologist at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, is that a calcium scan is only a proxy for a more definitive outcome such as a heart attack. In addition, it isn't known whether participants had calcium in their arteries when they entered the study.

Failing Heart Linked to Failing Brain
MedPage Today
Poor cardiac output, even at the low end of normal, may accelerate the brain volume losses that come with age, researchers said...Some evidence even may suggest a common "wear and tear" process from build-up of misfolded proteins in heart and brain that could account for the association rather than a direct cause-and-effect link, commented Cam Patterson, MD, MBA, of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
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Pain drug might stop the hurt for days
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
A new way of blunting pain is being developed at UNC-Chapel Hill, where researchers hope their approach could eventually be used to block pain for several days and diminish the need for narcotics. The novel therapy interrupts the cascade of events that occurs when nerves are stimulated by pain, blocking the flow of a crucial enzyme that nerves need to communicate sensation. Used before surgery, it could block pain for days.

Hormone replacement therapy cuts risk of distal colon cancer, study finds
The Los Angeles Times
...After the results of the Women's Health Initiative  appeared in 2002, hormone replacement therapy prescriptions plunged by at least 50%. That study found the drugs can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and breast cancer in post-menopausal women. Colon cancer rates in women have been on the decline for much longer. But whether the rates of distal colon cancer in women will rise now that hormone therapy is out of favor is a reasonable question, said the authors, from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

"Freshman 15" Isn't True Says UNC Official
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
UNC officials say the “freshman 15” isn’t true. The myth that students gain 15 pounds in their first year of college isn’t backed up by concrete evidence. Dr. Cynthia Bulik is the director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program. She says talk about first-year students ballooning is overblown. Bulik says the “freshman five” isn’t limited to women.  Men gain weight, too, but because they tend to engage in more physical activities, they’re more likely to gain muscle mass. She says many first-year women gain weight in the midst of social pressures that focus on weight and shape.

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