March 26 - 30, 2012

National News

Prostate Cancer Therapy Too Good to Be True Explodes Health Cost
Bloomberg Businessweek
...A University of North Carolina study of prostate cancer patients released in February found a somewhat higher rate of bowel side effects with the new machines, and similar rates of impotence and other side effects. While not definitive, the finding may indicate the protons lose precision as they penetrate the body, said lead researcher Ronald Chen, an oncologist at the university’s Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. 

Israelis pose a no-skinny-models plan to target eating disorders (Blog),0,4494261.story
The Los Angeles Times
...University of North Carolina eating disorders specialist Cynthia M. Bulik gave "unequivocal kudos" to the provision that requires media outlets to disclose their graphic alteration of women's bodies, saying there are "no downsides" to letting girls and women know that these pictures "do not reflect real women's bodies."
Related story:

Link Between Opioids and Cancer Growth
...The other study led by Andrey Bortsov, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of anesthesiology at the University of North Carolina, used human data to study the opioid-cancer link. Researchers observed survival rates from an earlier study of 2,000 breast cancer patients. The women being treated had a tiny genetic mutation that caused them to be less sensitive to opioids and were more likely to survive another ten years after treatment.

Checklist keeps heart failure patients out of hospital
USA Today
...Among those with high scores, patients who saw images of their hearts were 2½ times as likely to take their statin drugs and more than three times as likely to lose weight. Most patients lost around five to 15 pounds, he said. Seeing these images can be a "come to Jesus moment" for many patients who aren't taking their heart risks seriously, said Cam Patterson, chief of cardiology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who wasn't involved in the studies.

Surgery can put Type 2 diabetes into remission
The Associated Press
... "It is a major advance," said Dr. John Buse of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a leading diabetes expert who had no role in the studies. Buse said he often recommends surgery to patients who are obese and can't control their blood-sugar through medications, but many are leery of it. "This evidence will help convince them that this really is an important therapy to at least consider," he said.

UNC professor has a different prescription on aging
Kaiser Health News
Nortin Hadler, a professor of medicine and microbiology/immunology at UNC Chapel-Hill, has been warning for years about the lack of evidence supporting many popular medical treatments and tests.

Year without mirrors, months sans makeup: Can less be more?
USA Today
...That's a tough relationship for a lot of women -- and men, too, says Cynthia Bulik, author of The Woman in the Mirror: How to Stop Confusing What You Look Like with Who You Are. So the University of North Carolina professor has started her own "Mirror Project:" She is carrying around a little gold mirror and asking people to look into it -- and "say something positive about who you are and what you contribute to the world instead of reciting your litany of flaws."

State and Local News

New treatments keep the aging voice spry
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
...As the baby boomers grow old, the estimated 30 percent of older North Carolinians with speech disorders will roughly double over the next two decades. Those born between 1946 and 1964 will likely object even more than today’s patients to a lessened ability to speak and be heard clearly, said Dr. Robert Buckmire, a UNC Chapel Hill otolaryngologist.

How do genes pick eye color?
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
Jim Evans is a Bryson Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill. Here, he explains the science behind those baby blues (or browns or greens). ...It turns out that more than a dozen genes control eye color. So depending on how variations in these genes are mixed and matched by your parents, just about any combination of eye colors can result in a given family. That said, the two genes that appear to be most responsible for determining a person’s eye color are called OCA2 and HERC2.

Regulations at the tanning bed could soon be up for debate among lawmakers
News 14 Carolina
It's a practice that's been at the center of controversy for years -- indoor tanning and regulations placed on salons. "What we're doing is trying to help the under 18 avoid using the class one carcinogen," said David Ollila, Professor of Surgery at UNC Chapel Hill.

UNC Health Care Finalizing Agreement To Lease Former Borders Building
WCHL 1360-AM (Chapel Hill)
After months of speculation, officials from UNC Health Care are reportedly in the final stages of leasing the building that formerly housed Chapel Hill’s only Borders bookstore. “As you know, the Borders bookstore has been vacant for the better part of a year,” he says. “We’re in the final throws of completing a lease agreement to use that space. The programs we’re looking to place there are both physical and occupational therapy, as well as some PMR’s, which is short for physical medicine and rehabilitation.” That’s Mel Hurston, who serves as senior vice president for operations at UNC.

Legislator was a force for better care (Letter to the Editor)
The News & Observer (Raleigh)
In a political climate dominated by partisan agendas and heated by high-volume rhetoric, it’s easy to overlook those elected leaders who do the right thing at the right time for the right reasons even when it might not be in their own best interest. On March 17, North Carolina lost such a leader, former state Sen. John T. Henley Sr., whose desire to serve his neighbors has had profound impact throughout the state and beyond. (Warren P. Newton, M.D., Aycock Distinguished Professor and Chair, UNC Family Medicine, Vice Dean for Medical Education, UNC School of Medicine and Brad Wilson, Director of Development, UNC Department of Family Medicine, Chapel Hill)

Share This: