Epidemiologists at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden
announced on Wednesday that the continued use of analog cell phones
for 10 years or more increases the risk of acoustic neuroma brain
tumors by 4-fold on the side where the phone is habitually used.
Acoustic neuroma is a noncancerous brain tumor that grows slowly
and accounts for less than 10% of all brain tumors. The auditory
nerve, the site of the brain tumor, is exposed to radiation during
normal cell phone use.There is no evidence of increased risk with
less than ten years phone use.
The Karolinska Institute is one of Europes largest medical
universities, it is a clinical and biomedical research center.
The institue awards the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.
The study is part of a 13 nation Interphone study that is
coordinated by the International Agency for Research on Cancer in
Lyon, France. The study participants plan to release the information
they have gathered on other brain tumors shortly including
astrocytomas and meningiomas.The study is published in the November
2004 issue of the journal Epidemiology.
Women on Immune Supressing Drug have Increased Risk of Cervical Cancer
Women with systemic lupus erythematosis who are treated with the
immune suppressing drug Cyclophosphamide, may have a 3-fold higher
risk of developing cervical cancer. The study appears in the
September 2004 Journal of Rheumatology.
Commentary by Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
The drawback with this study is that the researcher didn't account
for infection by human papaloma virus, the wart virus family -
certain strains increase the risk of cervical and other cancers
tremendously. However, it is not a stretch to worry about a
connection with supressing the immune system with medication and
an increased cancer risk. This type of research should also be
focused on chronic use of corticosteroid and other drugs that
inhibit immune system activity. The best natural protection for
cervical tissue is the cabbage family phytochemical
Weight Loss Surgery May Lead to Nerve Damage Due to Malnutrition
Weight loss surgery for morbidly obese patients (minimally 100
pounds overweight) is connected to nerve damage. In 435 obese
patients who underwent obesity-surgery, 16% developed peripheral
neuropathy.In contrast, only 3% of obese patients who underwent
gall bladder surgery developed neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy
is when damage occurs to the nerves that relay information from
the brain and spine to the rest of the body. The neuropathy
ranged from symptoms in the hands and feet: tingling, numbness,
weakness, to severe pain and damage. 31 people developed carpal
Dr. P J Dyck, a Neurologist at the Mayo Clinic and chief author
of the study feels that the neuropathy was preventable Obesity
surgery limits the amount of food and calories a person can eat
and absorb. If the patients are not counseled on balancing the
diet and supplementation they are prone to nutritional deficiencies.
Many of the patients who developed peripheral neuropathy showed
signs of malnourishment. Typically they lost weight very rapidly,
they suffered prolonged bouts of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
They were not taking a high enough level of vitamin supplementation
or calcium supplements. Dr Dycks opinion is that if they ate a
good diet and supplemented with vitamins and minerals they should
not develop neuropathies. He states that patients at the Mayo
Clinic are counseled on supplements and diet and they do not have
the risk for nerve damage. The study is published in the October
26th issue of the journal Neurology.
New Warning on Bextra (Vioxx Type Drug)
Bextra is in a class of drugs known as COX-2 inhibitors. These
drugs are mainly used for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Today the manufacturer of Bextra has announced that it is sending
new information to healthcare professionals regarding the safety
of this anti-inflammatory drug that is in the same family of drugs
as the Vioxx, which was withdrawn from the market this month.
After releasing Bextra to the market life-threatening skin and
allergic reactions were reported. Anaphylaxis, a severe allergic
reaction that often causes death if not treated was reported.
Stevens Johnson Syndrome, a condition where your skin dies and
sloughs off, is also occurring because of the drug Bextra. Also
the drug is not to be used in patients with sulfa allergies.
Other recent reactions include exfoliative dermatitis, toxic
epidermal necrolysis, and erythema multiforme (a painful rash
all over the body including the mouth throat, and eyes). The
company has announced that it is working with regulatory
authorities around the world to update the Bextra label to warn
about this toxic effect.
Anaphylactic Reaction characteristics:
Serious and deadly allergic reaction (peanuts, penicillin, and insect venom can cause these reactions in some people)
Angioedema - the body swells
Swelling in the throat that hampers swallowing and breathing
Fainting from a precipitous drop in blood pressure
Itchy skin like ants crawling on you
Death from incredibly low blood pressure or suffocation
Stevens Johnson Syndrome Characteristics (due to a drug reaction)
Often preceded with flu like symptoms and a high fever
Painful blistering of the skin
Painful blistering of the mucous membranes
As the condition progresses the skin literally sloughs off
Eye involvement - severe conjunctivitis, iritis, swelling of the eyeballs, blisters on the cornea, erosion of the cornea, holes in the cornea.
Note: Adverse drug reactions kill about 100,000 hospitalized
patients each year and less than 1% of all drug reactions are
reported to the FDA. The Public needs to know what to look for in
the event of a drug reaction - Jerry Hickey, R.Ph.
Note - in two trials with patients who received coronary artery
bypass surgery, Bextra increased the risk of heart events. Blocking
the COX-2 enzyme in such a complete manner apparently causes heart
attacks. Recently the drug Vioxx, a Bextra category drug, was
removed from the market because it increased the risk of and
actually caused heart attacks and strokes. It was causing swelling
of the body, high blood pressure, and heart failure. Vioxx has
caused approximately 160,000 heart attacks and strokes.
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