Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 28, 2007
Education program leads to lasting improvement of cancer knowledge in African-Americans
Disparities in access to health care and education hinder minorities and socioeconomically disadvantaged populations from receiving needed cancer services and often delay cancer diagnoses.

The way forward for vital statistics
There is no single blueprint for establishing and maintaining systems for gathering sound statistics on births, deaths, and causes of death, as each country has its own unique set of challenges.

Researchers find origin of 'breathable' atmosphere half a billion years ago
Ohio State University geologists and their colleagues have uncovered evidence of when Earth may have first supported an oxygen-rich atmosphere similar to the one we breathe today.

New peptide communication factor enabling bacteria to 'talk to each other' discovered
Discovery by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers of a new communication factor that enables bacteria to

Smoking does not lead to more aggressive or advanced breast cancers
Smoking cigarettes is associated with an increased risk of cancers of the lung, head and neck, esophagus, bladder and many others and also affects response to anti-cancer treatments.

Positioning pelvic cancer patients on stomachs for radiation yields better results
Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute researchers have found that positioning pelvic cancer patients on their stomachs rather than their backs is a better method for delivering radiation therapy.

Integrated approach to IMRT provides quality care for head and neck cancer patients
Results from a University of Pittsburgh study demonstrate that intensity-modulated radiation therapy can be uniformly delivered in a large healthcare system of academic and community cancer centers through a centralized planning and treatment process.

OHSU researchers: Surgery, radiation gives early survival advantage in bile duct cancer
Oregon Health & Science University researchers are reporting the discovery of an early survival advantage when a combination of surgery and radiation therapy is used for patients with a rare but deadly bile duct cancer.

What is a critical lab value? It depends, Hopkins researchers find
When it comes to lab tests, interpreting the clinical importance of an out-of-range result depends on how much experience a physician has, suggests research from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Intravenous gene therapy protects normal tissue of mice during whole-body radiation
Gene therapy administered intravenously could be used as an agent to protect vital organs and tissues from the effects of ionizing radiation in the event of large-scale exposure from a radiological or nuclear bomb.

Patient navigators help minority, low-income cancer patients get life-saving treatments
Volunteers who guide low-income and minority cancer patients through cancer treatment, called lay patient navigators, help them to overcome major obstacles that prevent them from receiving quality care and achieving better outcomes, according to a study presented Oct.

Guided radiation therapy for prostate cancer prevents damage to surrounding organs
Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute researchers have found that highly targeted radiation therapy for prostate cancer can ensure that the majority of persons with this tumor will not have any long-term rectal damage.

Vital statistics: not vital enough
The need for reliable national statistics for births, deaths, and causes of death has never been greater -- but countries and developmental partners have not recognized this as a priority.

Demand for Spanish-language cancer Web materials quadruples
Although Spanish-speaking cancer patients are rapidly increasing their search for patient education resources on the Internet, there are very few Spanish-language Web sites available to provide this information, according to a study presented Oct.

Interim measures to obtain vital data for developing countries
Most developing countries do not have fully-functional civil registration systems.

Cancer patients not getting live-saving flu and pneumonia shots
Although flu and pneumonia can be lethal for cancer patients, more than one quarter of patients undergoing radiation therapy are not complying with national guidelines to be vaccinated against these potentially life-threatening yet preventable illnesses, according to a study presented Oct.

A scandal of invisibility: making everyone count by counting everyone
Most people in Africa and Asia are born and die without leaving a trace in any legal record or statistic, a situation which has arisen due to the stagnation of civil registration systems in many poor countries.

Countries need to invest long-term in civil registration
Civil registration is a long-term investment, and countries first need to get the right legislation in place, making it a requirement to register births and deaths.

Burrowing mammals dig for a living, but how do they do that?
Next time you see a mole digging in tree-root-filled soil in search of supper, take a moment to ponder the mammal's humerus bones.

Women with breast cancer have less dermatitis when treated with IMRT
All women treated with radiation therapy for breast cancer are at risk of developing dermatitis -- a sometimes-painful skin condition caused by radiation as it makes its way through the skin to the tumor area and tissue within the breast.

PET scans track small tumors after stereotactic body radiotherapy
Readily available CT screening for lung cancer is increasing the discovery of small, primary lung cancers.

Walking prevents bone loss caused from prostate cancer treatment
Exercise may reduce, and even reverse, bone loss caused by hormone and radiation therapies used in the treatment of localized prostate cancer, thereby decreasing the potential risk of bone fractures and improving quality of life for these men, according to a study presented on Oct.

The lively little girl is a miracle for everyone
Doctors at Bonn University Clinic have saved a baby girl's life with surgery in the womb that stimulated lung growth.
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