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CT scans show promise for lung cancer screening
June 29th, 2011
06:16 PM ET

CT scans show promise for lung cancer screening

A heavy smoker for more than 45 years, Fernando Sandoval quit cold turkey after a CT scan revealed he had a tumor in his lung.  Nine years ago Sandoval was one of the first people to participate in a clinical trial at UCLA to determine whether  a low-dose CT scan can be used as a possible screening tool for the deadliest cancer. Final results from this clinical trial, which enrolled more than 53,000 people at 33 different sites, found low-dose CT screening reduces the number of lung cancer deaths in high risk smokers by 20%.

Sandoval received a regular chest X-ray in 2002 and was told his lungs looked like those of a 40-year-old, even though he had already passed his 60th birthday.
But his wife didn't believe the X-rays because she knew he smoked too much, so she urged him to participate in the clinical trial.

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Don't blame people for their pain, report says
June 29th, 2011
01:38 PM ET

Don't blame people for their pain, report says

Chronic pain – no matter where it strikes – is a problem not many of us really understand.

It can sometimes be dismissed and not effectively managed by health care professionals.

Pain is widespread, but underdiagnosed and undertreated, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute of Medicine.  The independent, nonprofit organization that gives advice to decision makers and the public focused on pain as a public health issue.

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Drug addiction usually starts before 18
June 29th, 2011
11:55 AM ET

Drug addiction usually starts before 18

The top public health problem in the United States is not obesity, as many might guess, says one public policy organization. The National Center for Addiction and Substance Abuse, also known as CASA, leaves no question as to where it stands on the subject, titling its latest study "Adolescent Substance Use: America’s No. 1 Public Health Problem."

The report released Wednesday finds that the consumption of alcohol, the use of tobacco and marijuana and the abuse of prescription drugs is on the rise among teens.  That's not terribly surprising but this might be:  CASA found that 9 out of 10 adult addicts started using before the age of 18,  compared with  1 in 25 Americans who started using these substances at age 21 or older.

Another finding: 75% of high school students have used addictive substances with 1 in 5 of them meeting the medical criteria for addiction.

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FDA panel rejects arguments for cancer drug
June 29th, 2011
10:36 AM ET

FDA panel rejects arguments for cancer drug

An FDA advisory panel on Wednesday unanimously rejected arguments from Genentech that its controversial anti-cancer drug should continue as an approved therapy for advanced breast cancer.

In pointed comments, several members of the panel said the company had not demonstrated that Avastin could help breast cancer patients live longer, or improve their quality of life. They also pointed to significant side effects, including high blood pressure in many patients, and cases of hemorrhage and intestinal perforations. One panel member, Dr. Wyndham Wilson of the National Cancer Institute, said that given the data, prescribing Avastin to breast cancer patients would be akin to violating the physician’s oath of “first, do no harm.”

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June 29th, 2011
07:24 AM ET

How can I stop this high-pitched noise?

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 Alex from Bulgaria

Two weeks ago I began having a really disturbing sound in my ears. The noise is constant, with high frequency. I can hear it almost all the time, especially in the mornings. Why is this happening? I have not had any accidents. What can I do about it?
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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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