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More Childbearing Women Having Suicidal Thoughts: Study


The number of women who contemplate suicide or self-harm during or after pregnancy may be on the rise, a large, new study suggests.

Among nearly 600,000 U.S. childbearing women, researchers found that close to 2,700 were diagnosed with suicidality in the year before or after giving birth. And the diagnosis -- defined as suicidal thoughts or intentional self-...

Asymptomatic COVID Woman Shed Virus for 70 Days

Most people with the new coronavirus appear to actively shed infectious virus for about eight days. But a woman in Kirkland, Wash., may have set a record, shedding the virus for at least 70 days.

The 71-year-old was infected for at least 105 days overall, but had no symptoms, according to a new report.

This unusual case involved a woman with leukemia and a low antibody count who was...

Are Healthy Kids Getting Too Many Heart Tests?

Not every kid needs an electrocardiogram (ECG) before playing sports or as part of routine exams, child health experts say.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is advising parents and pediatricians to avoid unnecessary tests, and has released a list of common medical practices and therapies that may not be needed for young patients.

The AAP and the Choosing Wisely campaign al...

Loss of Smell More Common in COVID-19 Than Thought

Loss of smell is common in COVID-19, but fewer people say they have this symptom than objective tests reveal, a new study finds.

In fact, about 77% of COVID-19 patients who were directly measured had smell loss, but only 44% said they did, researchers found.

Direct measures of smell involve having patients smell and report on actual odors, while self-reporting incl...

What You Need to Know About Your Colon Cancer Risk

Early diagnosis of colon cancer is crucial to improve a patient's chance of survival, an expert says.

Colon cancer is on the rise, especially among younger people, so it's important to know the symptoms and how to prevent it, according to Dr. Sameet Shah. He's a gastroenterologist with Hackensack Meridian Mountainside Medical Group in Verona, N.J.

The risk is the same for me...

Many Male Breast Cancers Diagnosed Late, and Delays Can Be Lethal

Breast cancer in men is rare. But because it's not often suspected in men, diagnosis often comes only after a tumor has begun to spread throughout the body, new research shows.

"Approximately one-half of males with breast cancer received a diagnosis after it had already spread," either to nearby or distant tissues, said a team of researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and...

Bedside COVID-19 Test Faster Than Standard PCR Test

Bedside tests for COVID-19 may speed results and improve infection control, making them better than standard laboratory tests, a new study suggests.

Results of the bedside test take about 2 hours, compared with 21 hours for PCR lab tests, the researchers said. These findings are from more than 1,000 British hospital patients tested with the QIAstat-Dx POCT test.

Reducing t...

DNA Analysis Might Reveal Melanoma Risk

DNA mutations in skin cells may signal a risk for melanoma long before it's visible to the eye, a new study suggests.

Exposure to sun damages skin and DNA, and this damage can be measured. Using a new method for analyzing DNA harm, researchers say they can estimate the risk of developing melanoma.

"It turns out that a multitude of individual cells in so-called normal skin ...

Accuracy of COVID-19 Antibody Tests Varies Widely, Study Finds

Wide variation exists in the accuracy of commercial testing kits that check for antibodies against the new coronavirus, researchers say.

Antibody tests can determine whether someone has had the virus in the past. For diagnosis at a later stage of illness or in cases of delayed-onset, antibody tests could also be an important part of hospital diagnosis, the study authors said in the ne...

Blood Test Could Spot Those at Highest Risk for Severe COVID-19

If you're unfortunate enough to be admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, a common blood marker may predict how severe your illness might become, new research shows.

The blood marker is called "red cell distribution width" (RDW) -- basically, the greater the variance in the size of red blood cells, the poorer a patient's prognosis, the study authors explained.

A COVID-19 pa...

Many High-Risk Patients Don't Know They Need Follow-Up Colonoscopy

Many Americans at high risk for colon cancer don't know how often they need to have a screening colonoscopy, researchers say.

The report follows the recent death of actor Chadwick Boseman, who died Aug. 28 at age 43 after a private, four-year battle with colon cancer. Boseman was best known for playing the superhero Black Panther.

Colon cancer is the third most common cause ...

Another Rapid COVID-19 Test Shows Promise

Yet another rapid COVID-19 test has proven its mettle in spotting infection with the new coronavirus, this time in a British study.

The lab-in-a-cartridge testing device -- which can be performed at bedside, doesn't require a laboratory, and can be performed in cartridges smaller than a mobile phone -- was tested on 386 National Health Service staff and patients in Britain.

...

Mother and Son Draw Hope, Healing From Shared Cancer Treatment

Families bond over lots of shared experiences -- but one Leslie Seigel and her adult son, Josh, never expected to share was battling cancer.

Soon after Leslie finished chemotherapy for an aggressive form of breast cancer, however, Josh found himself waging his own battle with testicular cancer.

The mother and son soon learned they shared something else -- a genetic mutation ...

Just How Reliable Are COVID-19 Tests? Experts Weigh In

You're feeling pretty darned sick -- headache, fever, fatigue, a cough -- but your COVID-19 test came back negative.

What do you do now?

Well, chances are good that you don't have COVID-19 if that's what the test says, according to experts.

Labs that are testing for COVID-19 rely on what's called a PCR test, a slow and complex molecular scan that looks for t...

For COVID-19 Survivors, Virus Test 1 Month Out May Be Needed

You tested positive for COVID-19 and dutifully quarantined yourself for two weeks to avoid infecting others. Now, you're feeling better and you think you pose no risk to friends or family, right?

Not necessarily, claims a new study that shows it takes roughly a month to completely clear the coronavirus from your body. To be safe, COVID-19 patients should be retested after four weeks o...

Quick and Cheap, New COVID-19 Test Could Enhance U.S. Screening Efforts

The new rapid COVID-19 test approved last week is probably not the most reliable option for determining whether someone is infected.

But it's cheap and it's fast, and if used correctly, it could be the basis of a screening strategy to keep Americans safe as they return to school and work, infectious disease experts say.

The BinaxNOW COVID-19 Ag Card produced by Abbott Labora...

Many Thyroid Cancer Ultrasound Scans Unnecessary

As many as one-third of doctors may be sending patients for a thyroid ultrasound for reasons not supported by guidelines, a new study finds.

The use of ultrasound to detect thyroid cancer has led to a large increase in thyroid cancer cases, but many of these cancers are low-risk and won't cause serious harm, the study authors explained.

For the study, the researchers quest...

Women Smokers Less Likely to Get Cancer Screenings

Women smokers already have one bad habit. A new study finds another: They're less likely than others to go for cancer screenings.

Moreover, they're more likely to have spreading cancer when diagnosed, according to findings.

For the report, researchers collected data on more than 89,000 postmenopausal women who took part in a long-running U.S. study.

More than hal...

Mammograms in 40s Can Save Women's Lives, Study Finds

Adding to an ongoing debate over the timing of mammography, a new British study finds that screening women aged 40 to 49 for breast cancer saves lives, with only small increases in overdiagnosis.

"This is a very long-term follow-up of a study which confirms that screening in women under 50 can save lives," researcher Stephen Duffy, from Queen Mary University of London, said in a unive...

Blood Test Might Spot Most Dangerous COVID-19 Cases

A simple blood test may predict which COVID-19 patients are likely to get worse and die, a new study suggests.

"When we first started treating COVID-19 patients, we watched them get better or get worse, but we didn't know why," said researcher Dr. Juan Reyes. He's an assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, in Washington, D.C.

Many Older Americans Getting Cancer Screens They Don't Need: Study

Contrary to recommendations set by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, many Americans are getting screened for cancer even when old age or poor health would likely render such screenings risky and pointless, new research finds.

The task force notes that screening always entails some degree of risk, and cancer treatment can be harsh. So the reasoning is that neither the risk nor t...

Cancer Diagnoses Plunge as Americans Avoid Screening During Pandemic

As COVID-19 continues to impact nearly all aspects of American health care, researchers warn that the United States has seen a troubling drop in cancer diagnoses since the pandemic began.

The drop is not being attributed to a downturn in cancer incidence, but rather a COVID-driven reluctance to get screened.

"Our research found that during the COVID-19 pandemic, between Marc...

American Cancer Society Recommends HPV Test for Cervical Cancer Screening

An updated guideline from the American Cancer Society calls for more simplified cervical cancer screening, administered less often.

The new guideline calls for an initial cervix screening at age 25, followed by the human papillomavirus (HPV) test every five years, continuing through age 65, the guideline says.

"These streamlined recommendations can improve compliance and re...

Repeat Bone Density Tests Might Not Be Needed, Study Finds

Bone density tests are often touted as a way to predict the risk of fracture in postmenopausal women, but a new study casts doubt on the value of repeating this commonly used test.

The research was led by Dr. Carolyn Crandall, of the division of general internal medicine and health services research at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. Her team collected data on more than 7,000 ...

Blood Test Might Spot Cancer Years Earlier

Scientists are working on a blood test that may catch five common cancers years sooner than current methods.

The blood test, which is still experimental, hunts for certain genetic "signatures" associated with tumors. Researchers found that it can detect five types of cancer -- colon, esophageal, liver, lung and stomach -- up to four years earlier, compared to routine medical care.

...

Check Early and Often for Glaucoma

Regular eye checks are crucial for people with early-stage glaucoma, a new study shows.

Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain becomes damaged. It develops slowly and affects peripheral vision first. Untreated glaucoma leads to permanent vision loss.

Glaucoma makes it harder to see contrast -- the differences between shades of lig...

Get on the Bus: Lifesaving Lung Screens Hit the Road

Irene Johnson noticed a big, blue bus bearing the words "Breathe Easy" outside the Benton, Tenn., library during the 2019 Labor Day weekend.

Inside, a librarian told Johnson that the bus was a mobile CT unit that travels around screening smokers for lung cancer.

Former longtime smokers, both Johnson and her husband, Karl, fit the criteria for getting screened, so they decide...

Blood Test May Reveal Concussion Severity With Accuracy of Spinal Tap

A simple blood test may predict the severity of a concussion as accurately as an invasive spinal tap, researchers report.

They focused on a biomarker called neurofilament light chain. This nerve protein can be detected in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid when nerve cells are injured or die, according to the study.

"When your brain is injured, neurofilament light chain leve...

New Guidelines Could Double Number Eligible for Lung Cancer Screening

CT scans have been proven to help spot lung cancer early and save lives. Now, updated expert recommendations could double the number of Americans who are eligible for the yearly screening.

The recommendations -- from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) -- would expand the definition of "high risk" for lung cancer. That's expected to not only increase the number of people ...

Obamacare Helps Poorer Americans Spot Cancer Earlier: Study

Medicaid expansion under Obamacare may have decreased the number of poorer Americans diagnosed with advanced cancer, a new study suggests.

The study focused on Ohio, which was among the first states to expand its Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014.

The researchers found that in the three years after expansion, low-income residents saw a 15% dro...

No Good Evidence on Accuracy of Coronavirus Antibody Tests: Study

Do you wonder if you've been exposed to the new coronavirus in the recent past?

Good luck finding out for sure: A new review finds there's little good evidence of the accuracy of blood antibody tests for COVID-19, especially those performed outside a lab.

The new findings "indicate important weaknesses in the evidence on COVID-19 serological [blood] tests, particularly thos...

FBI: Beware of Scammers Selling Fake COVID-19 Antibody Tests

Fake or unapproved COVID-19 antibody tests are being sold by scammers, the Federal Bureau of Investigation warns.

The FBI said fraudsters are also trying to get people's personal information (such as names, birthdates and Social Security numbers) as well as personal health information (including Medicare and/or private health insurance info). This information can be used in insurance ...

NBA Players to Assess New Coronavirus Test

A saliva-based test for the new coronavirus will be assessed in a study that includes NBA players and staff, Yale University researchers said.

"Our players are excited to be a part of this study," said Joe Rogowski, chief medical officer of the National Basketball Players Association.

"Not only does it offer the potential for players to have an alternative method of testing ...

Don't Let COVID-19 Scuttle Your Child's Health Exams

Wondering whether stay-at-home advisories mean you should skip your child's check-up? According to one pediatrician, parents should keep their kids' regular health appointments during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm having these conversations every day with my patients," said Dr. Mona Patel, an attending physician in the division of general pediatrics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles...

New Blood Test May Improve Liver Cancer Screening

An experimental blood test may improve screening for the most common form of liver cancer, researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute say.

The test checks people for previous exposure to certain viruses that may interact with the immune system and increase the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), according to their new study.

"Together with existing screening test...

Blood Donors Will Get Results of Coronavirus Antibody Test, Red Cross Says

The American Red Cross will test all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies so donors can learn whether they've been exposed to the new coronavirus.

"We recognize that individuals and public health organizations desire more information about COVID-19, and as an organization dedicated to helping others, the Red Cross is fortunate to be able to help during this pan...

More Evidence Do-It-Yourself COVID Tests Work Fine, Without the Discomfort

Most Americans have winced watching one of those nurse-administered COVID-19 nasal swab tests, where the swab reaches painfully farther up the nose than anyone would want.

Well, the days of "nasopharyngeal" swab tests, administered only by health care workers, may be drawing to a close: New studies find a much more comfortable swab test, performed by patients themselves, works just as...

Do-It-Yourself COVID Tests Work Fine, Without the Discomfort: Study

Most Americans have winced watching one of those nurse-administered COVID-19 nasal swab tests, where the swab reaches painfully farther up the nose than anyone would want.

Well, the days of "nasopharyngeal" swab tests, administered only by health care workers, may be drawing to a close: A new study finds a much more comfortable swab test, performed by patients themselves, works just a...

At-Home Gene Test for Breast, Ovarian Cancers Looks Effective

Screening for breast and ovarian cancer genes might be added to the list of medical tests that can be safely and effectively done from home, new research suggests.

The study looked at screening for BRCA1, BRCA2 and other gene mutations linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have as much as a 7 in 10 chance of getting breast canc...

Blood Test Might Predict Worsening MS

A new blood test might help doctors predict whether someone's multiple sclerosis may soon get worse.

The test looks for a substance called neurofilament light chain. It's a nerve protein that can be detected when nerve cells die. People with higher levels of it were more likely to have worsening MS effects within the next year.

"In a disease like MS that is so unpredictabl...

Poor Americans Likely to Miss Preventive Heart Screenings: Study

Low-income Americans are much less likely to be screened for heart disease or to receive counseling about controlling risk factors, a new study finds.

Heart health screenings -- such as regular blood pressure and cholesterol checks -- and counseling to improve diet, increase exercise or quit smoking play important roles in reducing heart disease risk.

Income has long been as...

Heart Screening of Young Athletes Is Cost-Effective

Screening to detect potentially deadly heart problems in U.S. college athletes saves lives, researchers say.

And it's also cost-effective. "It can be implemented for much less than the cost of a pair of athletic shoes," said study leader Dr. Kimberly Harmon, of the University of Washington School of Medicine, in Seattle.

Sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death amo...

FDA Approves First At-Home Saliva Test for COVID-19

The first COVID-19 test using saliva samples that patients collect at home has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The emergency use authorization was issued to Rutgers Clinical Genomics Laboratory for the diagnostic test using home-collected samples. Patients return their sample to the New Jersey-based lab in a sealed package for analysis.

The screening...

Necklace Spots A-Fib in Just Over 30 Seconds

The latest addition to medical haute couture may be a necklace outfitted with a pendant that people can use to screen themselves for signs of an abnormal heart rhythm condition known as atrial fibrillation.

Fashioned by a team of Finnish researchers, the pendant houses a portable electrocardiogram (EKG) designed to transmit heart readings to a cellphone app and ultimately to a cloud-b...

Obamacare May Have Boosted Use of Mammograms

Medicaid expansion under Obamacare has increased access to mammograms for impoverished older women, a new study suggests.

In those states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women who didn't have access to this breast cancer screening tool have it now, the study authors said.

"The ACA created a natural experiment in which some states expanded Medica...

Parent or Sibling With Colon Cancer? You May Need Colonoscopy Earlier

If colon cancer runs in your family, screening at age 40 might help catch the disease at an early stage, or even prevent it, specialists say.

But a new investigation suggests that that advice is rarely heeded among those who go on to develop colon cancer before age 50.

"We need better public awareness of the importance of family history, and systems put in place to help make...

New COVID-19 Test Could Give Results in Under 1 Hour

Researchers say they've developed a low-cost swab test that can diagnose COVID-19 infections in about 45 minutes.

The CRISPR-based test -- which uses gene-targeting technology and requires no specialized equipment -- could help relieve testing backlogs in the United States as COVID-19 continues to spread, the scientists said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not app...

Blood Test Might Spot Pancreatic Cancer Early

Pancreatic cancer is known as a "silent killer" because it's often detected far too late. But there's hope a new blood test may be able to spot the most common type of pancreatic tumor in its early stages.

In a small study, the test also appeared to be able to accurately identify the stage of pancreatic cancer in patients -- helping to determine the most appropriate treatment, researc...

More COVID-19 Tests Arrive, But Bottlenecks Persist

U.S. pathology labs are now awash in COVID-19 tests, with more than two dozen rapid tests on the market thanks to expedited approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, infectious disease experts say.

Despite this, laboratories are still struggling with shortages that hamper their ability to get ahead of the ever-expanding pandemic.

"Early in the outbreak testing was l...

How One Patient's Battle With COVID-19 Changed U.S. Testing Protocols

The first community-acquired case of COVID-19 in the United States posed many questions for doctors, but the answers they found led to key changes in federal guidelines for coronavirus testing, according to a case study.

The patient was an otherwise healthy woman in her 40s who was admitted to University of California (UC) Davis Health with a respiratory infection. Doctors suspected c...