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Surgery Can Boost Outcomes After Chemo for People With Pancreatic Cancer

Even in patients with stage 2 pancreatic cancer, surgery is typically worthwhile after chemotherapy, because it appears to extend patients' lives, a new study concludes.

In stage 2 cancer, the tumor has already grown large enough to be close to vessels that supply blood to nearby organs, such as the liver or intestines.

That can complicate surgeries and cause doctors to hesitate go...

'Couch Potato' Lifestyles Cause Up to 8% of Global Deaths: Study

"Couch potatoes," take note: Sedentary behavior now accounts for up to 8% of non-communicable diseases and deaths worldwide, researchers say.

Physical inactivity is a known risk factor for premature death and several non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and several cancers.

In a new study, researchers analyzed 2016 da...

Cancer Survivors May Face Higher Odds for Heart Trouble

Cancer survivors, especially older ones, have an increased risk of heart disease over the next decade, a new study finds.

Ohio State University researchers analyzed data from more than 15,000 U.S. adults, aged 40 to 79, who were followed from 2007 to 2016. At the start of the study period, 13% reported a history of cancer but none had a history of heart disease.

Over the next decade...

Global Warming Could Make Survival in Tropics Impossible: Study

Limiting global warming to targets proposed in the Paris Agreement could keep tropical regions from reaching temperatures that are beyond human tolerability, a new study projects.

Researchers estimate that if countries are able to cap warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the tropics will be spared temperatures that surpass the "survival limit." But life in the worl...

Patients With Sickle Cell Disease Often Overlooked for Life-Saving Kidney Transplants

People with kidney failure related to sickle cell disease are less likely to receive a transplant than those without sickle cell disease, but it could be life-saving for them, a new study finds.

Sickle cell disease is a risk factor for kidney failure, and adults with sickle cell-related kidney failure who are on long-term dialysis have high rates of early death.

Kidney transplant is...

Vaccinating Oldest First for COVID Saves the Most Lives: Study

Putting the oldest people near the front of the line for COVID-19 shots will save more lives and may extend their lifespan, too, researchers say.

The new study findings challenge the view that older people should be lower on the list for shots because they have a shorter life expectancy, according to the team from the University of California, Berkeley.

"Since older age is accompani...

Rheumatoid Arthritis Meds May Help Fight Severe COVID-19

Rheumatoid arthritis drugs may save lives of patients hospitalized with severe cases of COVID-19, according to a groundbreaking clinical trial.

The findings, first announced in January, have now been peer-reviewed and published in a major medical journal.

"We are delighted that our full results are now published after peer review. This confirms the robustness of our findings, that t...

From Sourdough to Sacrifice, How COVID Is Changing Americans' Values

As the COVID-19 pandemic transformed everyday lives in 2020, Americans began dwelling on a few key topics, sourdough bread among them.

But we were also tweeting about and researching sacrifice, survival and death, according to new research on online trends.

Researchers analyzed how Google searches and the phrasing of a half-billion words and phrases on Twitter, blogs and internet fo...

COVID-19 Caused U.S. Life Expectancy to Drop by 1 Full Year

In a sign that the coronavirus pandemic is cutting short the lives of Americans, a new government report finds that average life expectancy in the United States took a drastic plunge during the first half of 2020, particularly among Black and Hispanic people.

Overall U.S. life expectancy dropped to 77.8 years, down one full year from the 78.8 years estimated in 2019.

Declines were e...

Drug Combo May Boost Survival for Tough-to-Treat Liver Cancers

A new drug combination for advanced liver cancer can extend people's lives substantially more than the long-standing drug of choice, new study findings confirm.

The treatment involves two drugs approved to fight various cancers: bevacizumab (Avastin) and atezolizumab (Tecentriq). Avastin, an intravenous (IV) drug, starves tumors by preventing new blood vessel growth.

Tecentriq, also...

Exercise Rehab Should Include Stroke Survivors, Study Suggests

Exercise programs that are standard for heart attack survivors can also benefit people who've suffered a stroke, a new pilot study suggests.

Researchers found that a three-month cardiac rehabilitation program improved fitness levels and muscle strength in 24 stroke survivors.

While the study was small, the researchers said it offers evidence of what's intuitive: People recovering fr...

More Breast Cancer Survivors Opting for 'Going Flat' After Mastectomy

When journalist Catherine Guthrie learned that she would need to have a mastectomy following a breast cancer diagnosis, she was shocked by what seemed like a cursory explanation from her surgeon about what would happen next.

That included removing both of her breasts, adding implants, and moving a muscle from her back to her chest to make the results look more natural. It didn't feel righ...

U.S. Cancer Death Rates Keep Falling: Report

Improved lung cancer treatment is a major reason for the 31% decline in cancer death rates in the United States between 1991 and 2018, including a record 2.4% decrease from 2017 to 2018, the American Cancer Society says.

How the COVID-19 pandemic will affect this downward trend is unknown, the society noted.

"The impact of COVID-19 on cancer diagnoses and outcomes at the population ...

First 10 Days After Hospital Discharge Especially Risky for COVID Survivors

Being discharged from the hospital following a serious bout of COVID-19 is far from a clean bill of health, new research warns, and the risk of rehospitalization or death peaks early.

In the study, more than one-quarter of such patients ended up back in the hospital or died in the weeks after discharge. The researchers tracked almost 2,200 U.S. veterans discharged at 132 VA hospitals this...

Esophageal Cancer on the Rise Among the Young: Study

Esophageal cancer is increasing among young Americans, and they're more likely to be diagnosed with advanced disease, according to a new study.

Esophageal cancer accounts for about 1% of U.S. cancer diagnoses, and just over 18,000 cases are expected to be diagnosed nationwide this year. Only one in five patients is alive five years after diagnosis.

In the new study, researchers ana...

Women Less Likely to Survive Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest

Women who are resuscitated from cardiac arrest are less likely to receive two common treatments once they arrive at the hospital, and are much more likely to die while hospitalized than men, a new study finds.

The researchers analyzed data gathered on nearly 4,900 resuscitated out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients in the United States and Canada from 2010 to 2015. Of those, just over 37...

Why Do Black Patients Fare Worse With Blood Cancer Than Whites?

A pair of studies shed new light on why a relatively rare blood cancer — acute myeloid leukemia (AML) — is more deadly among Black patients.

The takeaways: Where patients live and their access to quality health care matter. And even when Black people with AML have the same access to treatment as white patients, their survival is shorter — something genetic differences might explain....

Post-Op Deaths Decline for Cancer Patients, But Blacks Still More Vulnerable

Fewer U.S. patients are dying after cancer surgery, but Black patients still have a higher risk than white patients, new research shows.

For the study, researchers analyzed Medicare data on nearly 871,000 cancer surgeries conducted from 2007 to 2016 on patients with nine major types of cancer.

During that time, death rates after surgery improved by 0.12% a year among Black patients,...

COVID-19 Can Damage Lungs So Badly That 'Only Hope' is Transplant

Case studies and autopsy results are confirming that, in some cases, COVID-19 can cause such severe lung damage that patients require a lung transplant to survive.

In a new study, researchers in Chicago analyzed discarded tissue from COVID-19 patients who had lung transplants and from patients who died of the disease. They found that COVID-19 can destroy the "fundamental framework" of th...

Women More Likely to Survive Lung Cancer After Surgery: Study

Women have higher survival rates after lung cancer surgery than men, according to a new study.

Previous research on sex differences in survival after lung cancer treatment has yielded conflicting results, so researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden decided to study the association between gender and survival after lung cancer surgery.

"The health care sector is always striv...

'Weekend Effect' Affects Survival Odds for Rural Stroke Patients

Stroke patients have a higher risk of death if they're admitted to a rural hospital on the weekend, a new study finds.

University of Georgia researchers analyzed 2016 data on stroke deaths at U.S. hospitals to learn whether the so-called "weekend effect" influenced stroke outcomes.

"The weekend effect is the phenomenon where the risk of bad or adverse outcomes, such as morta...

New Drug Could Extend Life for People With ALS

An experimental drug combination lengthens survival for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), new research shows.

A previous clinical trial found that the two-drug combo -- called AMX0035 -- slowed progression of the neurodegenerative disease over six months.

The new clinical trial of 137 patients with the disease, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, found that ...

Immunotherapy Drug Boosts Survival for Lung Cancer Patients

A newly approved drug for the leading form of the number one cancer killer, lung cancer, does improve patient survival, a new study confirms.

The immunotherapy drug Tecentriq (atezolizumab) was approved earlier this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat patients with newly diagnosed non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC), which comprise up to 85% of all lung tumors.<...

COVID-19 Patients Have Similar Survival When Hospitalized, Regardless of Race

Revealing some good news for minorities, a new study found similar survival rates for Hispanic, Black and white COVID-19 patients at a New York City hospital system.

"It is well-documented that communities of color have shouldered the heaviest burden of COVID-19 in the United States, and there have been many explanations offered for why that is the case," said Dr. Andrew Racine. He is...

Last-Ditch Life Support System Is Saving Lives of COVID Patients

A life support technique called ECMO has saved the lives of many critically ill COVID-19 patients, a new study shows.

The ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine takes over the function of the lungs and heart. Blood is pumped from the body into equipment that adds oxygen to the blood before it's returned to the body.

This technique has saved lives in previous epid...

COVID-19 Patients Rarely Survive Cardiac Arrest: Study

Folks whose hearts stop due to a severe case of COVID-19 are very unlikely to leave the hospital alive, a new study shows.

Out of 54 patients at a Michigan hospital who suffered cardiac arrest while battling COVID-19, none survived their illness even though 29 were resuscitated by cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), the researchers reported.

"I don't think we can say cardia...

Exercise Ups Life Span for Type 2 Diabetics

For someone with type 2 diabetes, exercise can cut the risk of dying early by as much as one-third, researchers report.

Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, reduces the risk of heart disease, and inhibits inflammation, said the Taiwanese research team.

Among nearly 5,000 men and women with type 2 diabetes, those with a higher level of exercise had a lower risk of dying du...

Is an Early Form of Breast Cancer More Dangerous Than Thought?

Women diagnosed with an early, highly treatable form of breast cancer still face a higher-than-normal risk of eventually dying from the disease, a large new study finds.

The study looked at women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), where cancer cells form in the lining of the milk ducts but have not yet invaded the breast tissue. Sometimes it's called a "pre-cancer," other times a "...

Immunotherapy Drug Boosts Survival With Bladder Cancer

An immunotherapy drug significantly improved survival in patients with the most common type of bladder cancer, according to a new study.

About 550,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year, making it the 10th most common type of cancer, the study authors noted.

Chemotherapy is the initial standard of care for advanced bladder cancer. After chemotherap...

Life Expectancy Could Decline Worldwide Due to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic could cause short-term decreases in life expectancy in many parts of the world, according to a new study.

Using a computer model, the researchers concluded that infection rates of only 2% could cause a drop in life expectancy in countries where average life expectancy is high (about 80 years).

At higher infection rates, the decline would be great...

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...

Flu, Pneumonia Vaccines Save Lives of Heart Failure Patients: Study

Flu and pneumonia vaccines lead to fewer hospital deaths among heart failure patients, a new study finds.

"Our study provides further impetus for annual immunizations in patients with heart failure. Despite advice to do so, uptake remains low," said study author Dr. Karthik Gonuguntla, of the University of Connecticut.

In heart failure, your heart can't pump blood as well as...

Could Long Naps Shorten Your Life?

A frequent need to nap could be a red flag for future heart problems and a higher risk of early death, a new analysis concludes.

Long naps lasting more than an hour are associated with a 34% elevated risk of heart disease and a 30% greater risk of death, according to the combined results of 20 previous studies.

Overall, naps of any length were associated with a 19...

Blood Pressure Meds Could Improve Survival in COVID-19 Patients

In the largest such study yet, researchers have found that two classes of common blood pressure medications seem tied to better survival against COVID-19.

The U.K. findings should allay any worry that the two types of mediations -- angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) or angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) -- might actually harm COVID-19 patients.

"We k...

Can Women With Early Breast Cancer Skip Post-Op Radiation?

Instead of weeks of radiation following a lumpectomy, a new study shows that many women with early breast cancer do just as well with only a single dose of targeted radiation that is given during their surgery.

"Breast cancer outcomes, in terms of cancer coming back, breast cancer survival, dying from breast cancer, being mastectomy-free, being free of disease elsewhere in the body, a...

Delayed Surgery for Early Breast Cancer Won't Harm Survival: Study

Women with early-stage breast cancer whose surgery has been postponed during the coronavirus pandemic need not worry about the delay, new study findings suggest.

A longer time from diagnosis to surgery doesn't affect overall survival of women with early-stage tumors, the researchers found. They also said a delay didn't lower survival among women with estrogen-sensitive, early-stage b...

Better Treatments Bring Better Survival After Lung Cancer

Fewer Americans have been dying of lung cancer in recent years -- partly because of advances in treatment, a new government study finds.

The researchers found that after a gradual decline, lung cancer deaths in the United States started to drop more quickly in 2013. That coincided with the introduction of new "targeted" drugs that can more precisely go after certain lung tumors.

...

Even Mild Obesity Raises Odds for Severe COVID-19

Even mild obesity significantly drives up the risk for serious illness or death among COVID-19 patients, researchers from Italy report.

"Health care practitioners should be aware that people with any grade of obesity, not just the severely obese, are a population at risk," said study lead author Dr. Matteo Rottoli.

"Extra caution should be used for hospitalized COVID-19 pat...

Loss of a Twin Linked to Risk for Mental Illness

The death of a twin, especially earlier in life, leaves the surviving twin at risk for psychiatric problems, a new study finds.

"Losing a co-twin by death may be a particularly devastating life stressor with considerable health implications for surviving twins, yet there have been few studies on this type of bereavement," said lead author Dr. Huan Song. She is a senior researcher at ...

Will CPR Save Your Life? Study Offers a Surprising Answer

The success of CPR is vastly overrated by patients, a new study suggests.

Not only does the general public consider CPR more effective than it really is, they tend to discount the negative effect it can have, the researchers said.

Doctors should discuss CPR's success rate, benefits and risks with patients and their loved ones, the study authors suggested. CPR is an emergen...

Most Survivors of Severe COVID-19 Report Symptoms Many Weeks After 'Recovery'

Even a month after hospital discharge and "recovery," a majority of patients who had survived severe COVID-19 were still dealing with fatigue, shortness of breath and other symptoms, Italian research shows.

The study tracked outcomes for 143 hospitalized patients treated in April in Rome, at the height of the Italian COVID-19 pandemic.

They'd spent an average of about two ...

Follow Exercise Guidelines and You'll Live Longer, Study Says

Getting the recommended amount of exercise could cut your risk of early death, a new study indicates.

U.S. government guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or at least 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity a week. They also suggest adults do moderate or greater intensity muscle-strengthening exercise at least two days a week.

That effort...

Biggest Hurdle for Young Burn Survivors Is Acceptance

The way they're treated by other people can cause young burn survivors more distress than their physical challenges, two surveys find.

In one, researchers asked 64 burn survivors between 17 and 25 years of age what they found hardest to deal with. The seven most common responses: people staring; being bullied; memories of being burned; needing more surgeries; self-consciousness about ...

Drug Could Boost Survival From Lung Cancer Affecting Non-Smokers

MONDAY, June 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The drug Tagrisso could offer hope to patients battling a form of lung cancer that typically hits people with little or no history of smoking, a new trial finds.

Taken after surgery to remove the lung tumor, Tagrisso (osimertinib) greatly extended the average survival of people battling a non-metastatic form of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCL...

Breaks in Health Insurance Hurt Cancer Care, Survival

Health insurance disruptions are never a good thing, but for people with cancer it can lead to poor care and lower odds of survival, a new study finds.

This could prove ominous for the many Americans who have lost health insurance due to coronavirus-related layoffs.

"Our findings were consistent across multiple cancer sites, with several studies finding a 'dose-response' r...

Depression, Anxiety, PTSD May Plague Many COVID-19 Survivors

The ordeal faced by critically ill COVID-19 patients likely won't end even if they pull through and survive their life-threatening infection, experts fear.

Some of these survivors will be emotionally scarred by their time spent in an intensive care unit (ICU), and they are at increased risk of psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD...

Stricter Clean Air Laws Could Save Thousands of Lives a Year: Study

Daily exposure to ground level ozone increases city residents' risk of early death, researchers warn.

Ground level ozone -- commonly found in cities and suburbs -- forms when pollutants react in sunlight.

New study findings suggest that thousands of ozone-related deaths "could be potentially reduced under stricter air quality standards," according to study co-author Ana Vice...

More Aggressive Surgery Can Extend Survival From Brain Cancer: Study

Adults with glioblastoma -- the most common and deadly type of brain tumor -- could survive more than twice as long if surgeons removed surrounding tissue as well as the tumor, a new study finds.

That involves cutting out "non-contrast-enhancing tumor" -- which doesn't light up on an MRI when a contrast agent is injected -- as well as contrast-enhancing tumor.

"Traditionally...

Strong Support Network Is Key to Women's Cancer Recovery: Study

Older women with colon or rectal cancer are more likely to die early if they lack support from family, friends or others, a new study finds.

For the study, researchers looked at more than 1,400 postmenopausal women with colon or rectal cancer who were enrolled in the long-term U.S. Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study.

Compared to those with strong social support, those wit...

Bone Marrow Transplants Less Risky Now

The risks faced by U.S. bone marrow transplant patients have dropped sharply, a new study shows.

While this type of transplant can be lifesaving for patients with blood cancers (such as leukemia) and other diseases, there are potentially life-threatening risks, the researchers noted.

But the new analysis of 1,148 patients who had bone marrow transplants at the Seattle Cancer...