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FDA committee recommends 2nd new hepatitis C drug for approval
April 28th, 2011
04:20 PM ET

FDA committee recommends 2nd new hepatitis C drug for approval

A Food and Drug Administration advisory committee is unanimously recommending approval of a second new treatment–in as many days–for hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in adults with liver damage who have not been treated or whose treatment failed. Hepatitis C is a chronic viral disease that causes inflammation and swelling of the liver.

The drug, telaprevir, is a new class of protease inhibitor manufactured by Vertex Pharmaceuticals. It too would be used in combination with ribavirin and peginterferon–the current standard of care. Telaprevir also prevents the virus from replicating, and studies show the three-drug cocktail is more effective than the two-drug regimen.

"We are thrilled with today's FDA Committee decision," said Dawn Kalmar, a Vertex spokeswoman. "This is an important step in our more than 15 year effort to bring telaprevir to people living with hepatitic C."

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SF could vote on male circumcision ban
April 28th, 2011
12:40 PM ET

SF could vote on male circumcision ban

Activists who want to ban all male circumcisions in San Francisco took a step closer to getting the measure to a vote this fall.

Led by Lloyd Schofield who is part of a Bay Area “intactivist” group, the advocates call the after-birth procedure "male genital mutilation" and liken it to cutting female genitals.

Schofield and the intactivists seek to make it "unlawful to circumcise, excise, cut, or mutilate the whole or any part of the foreskin, testicles, or penis" of anyone 17 or younger in San Francisco.  Under the proposal, a person who violates the proposed ban could be jailed (not more than one year) or fined (not more than $1,000). Exemptions for religious reasons would not be allowed. FULL POST


Tri-Challenge: The 6-pack inspired me
April 28th, 2011
11:55 AM ET

Tri-Challenge: The 6-pack inspired me

Former professional triathlete Nicole DeBoom and her husband, triathlete and Ironman champ Tim DeBoom, spent time with the CNN 6-pack last week in Hawaii.  In addition to coaching in each of the three sports of triathlon, the DeBooms lectured on raceday prep, how to train in open water using a wetsuit, and how to transition effectively. They also worked individuall y with the athletes, answering questions about confidence and mental toughness.

Last week, Tim and I were invited to join the CNN crew as guest coaches on the Big Island of Hawaii. We had been following the program, but it's really tough to prepare any coaching until you actually meet the athletes and can gauge their levels of fitness and training. It was time to put faces to the names!

We first met the 6-pack on Monday morning. What I love about this program, is that the 6-pack are REAL PEOPLE. They are men and women who never thought they would do a triathlon. They realized that they needed to make a major life change, and they reached out for help. CNN answered!

Tim and I spent four days working closely with the athletes, learning their strengths and "areas for improvement." All I can say is that the journey is officially in progress. I saw marked improvement in every single athlete in just five short days in Hawaii.

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Wanted: Fewer science nerds, more 'culturally competent' doctors
April 28th, 2011
11:52 AM ET

Wanted: Fewer science nerds, more 'culturally competent' doctors

The test that all medical school applicants take  could place greater emphasis on behavioral and social sciences, adding a new component and lengthening the test to seven hours, if proposed changes are accepted.

Members of the committee that proposed the changes to the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) say that this could help better identify applicants who have a greater understanding of behavioral and social factors that contribute to health problems.

“We want to broaden the knowledge base that students have about those factors that influence health,” said committee chair Dr. Steven Gabbe, who is also CEO of the Ohio State University Medical Center. “Yes, you must have solid base in science, but you have to understand the challenges.  You have to be culturally competent to understand socio-economic challenges in different groups face dealing with health problems.” FULL POST


April 28th, 2011
09:16 AM ET

What are the symptoms of prostate cancer hormone therapy?

Every weekday, a CNNHealth expert doctor answers a viewer question. On Wednesdays, it's Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society.

Question asked by Diana of Norfolk:

My husband has non-Hodgkins lymphoma, stage 4, and has been treated with chemotherapy. His doctor says it is under control. He wonders does that mean it is gone or just being held at bay? He has been having "hot flashes" since he began his treatment for his prostate cancer (cannot remember the Gleason score, but tumor was in both lobes of prostate, without changes to his bone marrow.) He was treated with hormones, brachytherapy and radiation for this. We can't seem to get an answer for the question of the "hot flashes." Are they a symptom of ongoing disease, the hormone therapy or will he just continue to have them for the rest of his life?

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Do women like porn as much as men?
April 28th, 2011
08:48 AM ET

Do women like porn as much as men?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.

If you’d asked me this question a couple of years ago, I would have said “no.” But the times they are a-changing: just as female infidelity is on the rise, women are catching up to the guys in other ways, too - including a propensity for porn.

As a sex therapist and founder of the website Good in Bed, here’s what I’m observing:
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Arthritis impacts physical, mental health
April 28th, 2011
12:01 AM ET

Arthritis impacts physical, mental health

Arthritis can limit mobility and make everyday tasks painful, and it can also take a toll on your mental health and overall quality of life, a new study suggests.

Researchers analyzed data from several national health surveys conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  and found that people with arthritis—which includes those with aging-related osteoarthritis and similar conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and gout—tend to rate lower than their peers on measures of overall health.

Got RA? How are you coping? Take this test

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Filed under: Arthritis • Health.com

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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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