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Impulse buying isn't (entirely) your fault
Often people regret their impulse purchases, the authors write, but have no way of avoiding the temptation.
October 10th, 2012
05:01 PM ET

Impulse buying isn't (entirely) your fault

Ever gone to the grocery story intending to buy apples and milk and left with a jar of queso dip, a gallon of ice cream and an enormous bag of Halloween candy? Impulse shopping can wreak havoc on your healthy eating plans, but experts say it may not be entirely your fault.

An editorial published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine blames part of the obesity epidemic on our food environment. Dr. Deborah Cohen and Dr. Susan Babey collaborated to write the article "Candy at the Cash Register - A Risk Factor for Obesity and Chronic Disease."

"The reality is that food choices are often automatic and made without full conscious awareness," the authors write. "In many cases they may even be the opposite of what the person deciding would consciously prefer."

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Cervical cancer vaccine in early stages
October 10th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

Cervical cancer vaccine in early stages

The most common sexually transmitted disease is often silent and invisible: human papillomavirus (also called HPV). But in some people HPV leads to genital warts and cancers – notably, cervical cancer.

The vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix were designed as a prevention for young women who have not yet been exposed to HPV. Men up to age 26 are also eligible for Gardasil to protect against HPV. But there are a lot of people out there who still have HPV, and nothing protects against all 130 strains of the virus. At least half of all sexually active males and females have had HPV, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A Pennsylvania start-up company called Inovio Pharmaceuticals has developed an experimental vaccine for people who already have HPV and precancerous lesions that are associated with it. A new study demonstrating the vaccine's safety and potential effectiveness was published this week in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
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New barcoding technique may predict prostate cancer severity
A new technique that could predict the severity of prostate cancer may be available within five years.
October 10th, 2012
12:45 PM ET

New barcoding technique may predict prostate cancer severity

A newly-developed gene barcoding technique may predict how severe a man’s prostate cancer is likely to be, according to new research from the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London.

The findings are a "very important" development towards achieving a cure, says Johann de Bono, lead author of the study published this week in the British medical journal The Lancet.

The blood tests can select aggressive prostate cancers by their specific patterns of gene activity. By reading the pattern of genes switched on and off in blood cells, researchers can accurately identify which cancers had the worst survival rates. In response to this, doctors can adjust treatment accordingly.
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Filed under: Cancer • Conditions • Genetics

October 10th, 2012
11:12 AM ET

Cancer doctor is also a cancer survivor

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, we profile survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. Dr. Alyssa Rieber has known since she was a child that she wanted to be a doctor. What type of doctor she became changed when she became a patient herself.

A simple goal brought Alyssa Rieber to attend medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, 15 years ago.

"Just helping people. And I know that sounds so trite and that's what everybody says, but that's really why I wanted to be a doctor was to help people."

Rieber says she loved the movie "Doc Hollywood" with Michael J. Fox, in which a doctor is sentenced to work in a small-town hospital.

"I was like, 'That's what I want to do.' So I was all ready to move out into a small town and take care of everybody and be the town doctor. And then during my first few months of med school, things shifted quite a bit (when) I was diagnosed with 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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