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October 14th, 2010
06:41 PM ET

OTC chelation products are not FDA approved, agency warns

The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on companies who advertise over-the-counter (OTC) chelation products to treat a range of diseases.  The agency warned eight companies to stop marketing these products because they are not approved and violate federal law.

Chelation  is a recognized therapy for lead, iron and other heavy metal poisonings.  "These products are not meant to be marketed over the counter at all," Dr. Michael Levy, the FDA's director of New Drugs and Labeling Compliance said. "The only FDA approved products are marketed by prescription and under the guidance of a physician."

Companies that don't comply could have their products seized or face criminal sanctions.

OTC chelation products, often sold over the Internet, claim to treat a number of diseases including autism, heart disease, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

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October 14th, 2010
06:23 PM ET

Survey: More children using marijuana

More kids and teens are smoking marijuana at younger ages, according to data collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. From 2008 to 2009, there was a 9 percent increase - to 7.3 percent of people age 12 or older - who currently use marijuana. During the same time period, the average age of first-time marijuana users decreased to 17 years old.

The human brain is still developing throughout the teen years and in to a person's 20s That's why the Office of Drug Control Policy says using marijuana at the age of 12 can lead to addiction, respiratory illness, weakened motor skills, and cognitive impairment not only while the child smokes but for years after a person quits.

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How the ancient world dealt with cancer
October 14th, 2010
06:15 PM ET

How the ancient world dealt with cancer

Cancer is widespread today, but it doesn't appear to have been in the ancient world. Why not?

Researchers are learning more about the history of cancer and how civilizations have treated it.

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October 14th, 2010
01:18 PM ET

Positive HIV test prompts call for halt to porn shooting

An HIV/AIDS organization is calling for the suspension of all pornography production in Southern California after an adult film actor tested positive for the virus.

All filming should stop, said president Michael Weinstein, president of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “We’re quite concerned, because while a number of companies have expressed they are going to shut down production, there are many more that has indicated they will not shut down production.”
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October 14th, 2010
11:13 AM ET

Bone drugs may cause fractures, FDA warns

A class of osteoporosis drugs appears to increase the risk of bone fracture, the Food and Drug Administration cautioned doctors and patients Wednesday.  The agency has requested a labeling change in the Warnings and Precautions section of all bisphosphonate products used to treat the disease that makes bones weak and more likely to break.  The drugs must also now have a medication guide to alert patients of the risk.  This is not, however, a box warning.

Bisphosphonates help prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of fractures.  But the FDA says a rare type of thigh bone fracture has been reported in patients taking these drugs. Dr. Sandra Kweder, deputy director, Office of New Drugs in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says this kind of fracture is rare and the agency believes, possibly associated with long-term bisphosphonate use. "There is a dull aching thigh or groin pain that occurs weeks or months before the fracture occurs," Kweder said. "It is predominantly in patients who have taken bisphosphonates for five years or more."

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October 14th, 2010
10:36 AM ET

TEDMED: What the world eats

You might not think that the Asmat, who live in the jungle of New Guinea, would eat the same things as the average American college student. But nowadays, you might find both with a package Ramen noodles in hand.

Photojournalist Peter Menzel has found this trend all over the world: Regardless of environment and culture, many societies are turning to the fatty, sugar-rich foods of the West. And that, he argues, is a problem: The homogenized diet is contributing to obesity and related health problems.

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Breast cancer journey: A new lump
October 14th, 2010
09:09 AM ET

Breast cancer journey: A new lump

This week, Amanda Enayati shares the milestones of a life-altering journey that began the day she learned she had late-stage breast cancer more than three years ago.

A few weeks later, I went back to Stanford to get an ultrasound on the lump that my oncologist had found—now officially known as “eight inches from the left nipple at one o’clock.”

I arrived at 1:30 and waited about a half-hour until I was ushered into a tiny waiting area and told to go into a closet of a dressing room to change out of my shirt and bra, and into the hospital gown. I opened my mouth to protest the gown but decided to pick my battles. I stepped in and changed into a forlorn white cotton shirt-thing with a smattering of tiny pink and green flowers and a handful of bedraggled white strings hanging off of it. Does anyone truly know how to tie these things? And is it really necessary for them to be so hideous? I felt like the indignity of having to wait around like cattle only to go in to get your boob squished for the better part of an hour was bad enough without having to don a costume that makes you look like a refugee from Camp Fashion Faux-pas, Class of 1974.

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Filed under: Cancer

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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