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It may sound dramatic, but skin checks save lives.

While encouraging people to do routine self-exams, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) shares some case studies that led to important discoveries.

Richard Danzer, of West Palm Beach, Fla., found a large, painful cyst on his back during a skin self-exam. Dermatologist Dr. Brittany Smirnov examined him, and he was later diagnos...

Teens and young adults with autism show marked differences in their brains' white matter compared to those without the disorder, a new study finds.

"If you think of gray matter as the computer, white matter is like the cables," said study co-author Clara Weber, a postgraduate research fellow at Yale University School of Medicine.

The changes are most apparent in the region involve...

President Joe Biden is undergoing a routine colonoscopy Friday, and will briefly transfer power to Vice President Kamala Harris while he's sedated for the procedure, the White House said.

The colonoscopy will be part of Biden's first routine physical exam as president, and will take place at Walter Reed National Military Center.

"As was the case when President George W. Bush had the...

Lung cancer survival rates in the United States continue to rise, but certain racial groups are still hit hard by the disease, the American Lung Association reports.

Its fourth annual "State of Lung Cancer" report shows that the average five-year survival rate increased from 14.5% to nearly 24%, but it remains at 20% for people of color overall, and 18% for Black Americans.

"The rep...

Parent-collected nasal swab samples from kids could be as good at detecting respiratory infections such as COVID-19 as those taken by nurses, but that's not the case with saliva samples, British researchers say.

Respiratory infections such as colds and flu are among the most common illnesses in kids treated by primary care doctors. COVID-19 is also a respiratory infection.

"Our...

A recall of Ellume at-home COVID-19 test kits has been expanded to include roughly 2 million of the 3.5 million tests that had been shipped to the United States by last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.

The original recall, involving 427,000 kits, was first announced in early October due to a "higher than acceptable" rate of false positives. It's a Class I recall ...

Since 1971, when the U.S. government made defeating cancer a goal and put major funding behind it, death rates for many cancers have plummeted, but some are increasing, according to a new American Cancer Society report.

Death rates for all cancers combined have declined since passage of the National Cancer Act of 1971, according to the report. For example, in 2019, deaths from lung c...

Black, Hispanic and Asian men in the United States are less likely than white men to receive a follow-up MRI after a screening suggests prostate cancer, a new study finds.

"We can't say definitively if the reason Black, Hispanic, and Asian men did not receive this particular test is that physicians did not refer them for it, or if the patients opted themselves out of further testing," sai...

Researchers have identified two previously unrecognized symptoms of pancreatic cancer -- a discovery that might help with earlier detection and improve extremely low survival numbers, they say.

"When pancreatic cancer is diagnosed earlier, patients have a higher chance of survival. It is possible to diagnose patients when they visit their GP, but both patients and GPs need to be aware of ...

Schools could provide solutions for kids who are grappling with depression, a new study suggests.

Students who have school-based depression screening are twice as likely to begin treatment as peers who don't get that service, researchers say.

"Our study is publishing at a time when more adolescents are reporting symptoms of depression," said principal investigator Dr. Deepa Sekhar, ...

Whole genome sequencing of blood samples improves detection of rare genetic conditions called mitochondrial disorders, British researchers report.

These disorders are inherited and affect about 1 in 4,300 people, causing progressive, incurable diseases.

Though they are among the most common inherited disorders, mitochondrial disorders are tough to diagnose because they can affect ma...

It's a life-and-death prediction: How likely is early-stage breast cancer to spread throughout the rest of a patient's body?

A new analysis that tried to make that call easier for doctors to predict found that a younger age at diagnosis was a strong indicator of spreading ("metastatic") cancer.

To come to that conclusion, the researchers analyzed data from tens of thousands of women...

Managing your diabetes can be tough, but your eyes might thank you for it.

Diabetic retinopathy is a diabetes complication that damages the retina's blood vessels, often resulting in vision loss and blindness. The condition occurs in more than half of people with diabetes.

It affects nearly 8 million Americans and that number is expected to double by 2050, according to an Ameri...

Mike Smith is beating the odds.

Diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer back in 2016, the 56-year-old South Carolina resident says there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic as the "narrative of lung cancer changes from being a horrific, terminal disease to a chronic disease and, ultimately, to a cure."

Still, he remains clear-eyed about the challenges he faces.

"I'm at war," he s...

An experimental Breathalyzer-type test can detect COVID-19 within seconds and could become a noninvasive, faster alternative to nasal swab tests, researchers report.

COVID-19 infection produces a distinct breath print from the interaction of oxygen, nitric oxide and ammonia in the body, the investigators said. An initial study of the breath test found that it accurately identified COVID-1...

In his work with patients who have pancreatic cancer, Dr. Srinivas Gaddam was bothered by something that he was seeing.

"There are some patients that you can't stop thinking about because they've left a mark on you and you try your best to turn things around, but there's only so much you can do," said Gaddam, who said he had found himself caring for a few patients who were very young.

The tell-tale sign of Lyme disease is its bulls-eye rash, but that might be harder to spot in Black people, who are often diagnosed with more advanced disease than white people are, new research suggests.

The first sign of Lyme disease looks different on darker skin, and these differences are not usually reflected in images found in medical textbooks, explained study author Dr. Dan Ly. He...

Just over a decade ago, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) made many common cancer screenings free. But a pair of new studies caution that when those free tests turn up signs of trouble, important follow-up tests may be too pricey for some patients.

The bigger concern: Some patients may forgo these expensive tests, even when they may prove lifesaving.

"With t...

A shift in thinking means it's OK to skip your monthly breast self-exam — but don't miss your regular professional checkup and diagnostic imaging, health experts say.

A periodic visual check in a mirror can be helpful, breast health experts from the Cedars-Sinai health system in California suggest.

"Beginning at age 40, women with an average risk for breast cancer should rely on a...

Colon cancer numbers dropped dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn't mean fewer people have the disease.

In Spain, researchers discovered a more than 40% decline in colon cancer diagnoses, leading experts to worry about the ramifications.

"These are very worrying findings indeed -- cases of colorectal cancer undoubtedly went undiagnosed during the pandemic. Not ...

When people suffer a severe head injury, it's hard to predict how they will fare in the long run. But a new study suggests that something fairly simple — measuring a protein in the blood — could help.

The protein, called neurofilament light (NfL), is a component of the nerve fibers brain cells use to transmit signals. Damage to those fibers (called axons) is known to foretell a high...

A pair of experimental tests could help doctors detect colon or prostate cancer with just a sample of blood or saliva.

One test examines a person's blood for four biomarkers linked to inflammation. In a small study, it outperformed the fecal blood test now used in colon cancer screening, said lead researcher Dr. Mona Eldeeb, of Alexandria University Medical Research Institute in Egypt.

An artificial intelligence tool could help radiologists spot breast cancer on ultrasound images and reduce the need for extra testing, new research suggests.

"Our study demonstrates how artificial intelligence can help radiologists reading breast ultrasound exams to reveal only those that show real signs of breast cancer, and to avoid verification by biopsy in cases that turn out to be be...

Hispanic people in the United States have lower cancer rates than white people, but they are much more likely to develop certain preventable cancers.

"The good news is that overall cancer rates are lower in Hispanic people, but we are seeing very high rates of infectious disease-related cancers, many of which are potentially avoidable," said study author Kimberly Miller, a scientist at th...

Many middle-aged adults with apparently healthy hearts have a "silent" buildup of fatty deposits in their arteries, a large, new study shows.

Researchers found that of more than 25,000 50- to 64-year-olds, about 42% had signs of atherosclerosis — a buildup of "plaques" in the arteries that can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

That was despite the fact that none had any history of...

Potentially dangerous symptoms of type 1 diabetes in children are not always immediately recognized by primary care providers, new research suggests.

In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas fails to make enough insulin, the hormone that helps regulate blood sugar used for energy by cells. Between 5% and 10% of cases of diabetes are type 1, which often first surfaces in childhood.

The Swe...

The number of U.S. infants born with syphilis is climbing at an alarming pace, reaching a high not seen since the 1990s, according to new government figures.

Newborn syphilis, a potentially fatal condition, was at one time nearly eliminated in the United States. But the disease has seen a resurgence in recent years — and 2020 was no exception, say researchers with the U.S. Centers for D...

Colon cancer risk runs in families, and it's not just a parent or sibling having had the disease that should concern you.

If you have a second- or third-degree relative who had colon cancer at an early age, your odds of having the disease substantially increase, a new study finds.

First-degree relatives include parents, children and siblings. Second-degree relatives include aunts, ...

Twenty years on, responders to the World Trade Center attacks in New York City are showing increased risks of certain cancers, two new studies confirm.

Researchers found higher-than-average rates of prostate cancer among firefighters, medics and other workers who toiled at the disaster site on and after Sept. 11, 2001.

And compared with firefighters from other major U.S. cities...

With the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare, fewer Americans are uninsured and more are getting their blood pressure and blood sugar under control, a new study finds.

The gains are especially strong among Black and Hispanic patients, according to Boston University researchers.

"Our results suggest that over the longer-run, expanding Medicaid eligibility may improve key chronic di...

When Nancy Cappello was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2003, she was stunned.

How could this have happened? She went for her annual screening mammogram every year and was always told that all was fine.

It wasn't.

Cappello had dense breasts, but no one had ever told her. "The tumor was likely growing for five to seven years," said her husband, Joseph Cappello. "At th...

Most parents want their children to live carefree lives, so a diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating. Fortunately, pediatric cancers are rare.

Yet it doesn't hurt to be watchful for the warning signs, suggest experts in childhood cancer from Penn State Health.

The best screening most parents can do is to stay on track with well-child visits, the doctors said.

"For e...

Black Americans and Mexican Americans typically develop type 2 diabetes up to seven years earlier than their white counterparts, a new study finds.

In all, more than 25% of adults in the two groups reported being diagnosed with diabetes before age 40, and 20% didn't know they had the disease.

Researchers said the findings highlight the need to address economic and social conditions ...

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar revealed Thursday that she's been treated for early-stage breast cancer, including surgery to remove a lump and radiation therapy.

The 61-year-old Minnesota Democrat said in a statement posted on social media that Mayo Clinic doctors found worrying signs...

Leaky heart valves can put pregnant women at serious risk, according to a large study that runs counter to established practice.

The condition used to be considered relatively harmless during pregnancy. But this analysis by Johns Hopkins University researchers of more than 20,000 individual medical records reveals that heart valve disease puts women at risk for bleeding, high blood pressu...

Many parts of the United States saw a significant drop in breast cancer screening of older low-income women during the COVID-19 pandemic, new research shows.

The analysis of data from 32 community health centers that serve low-income people found that breast cancer screening for 50- to 74-year-old women dropped 8% between July 2019 and July 2020. That wiped out an 18% increase between Jul...

The recommended age to start screening overweight and obese people for diabetes will be lowered by five years from 40 to 35, the nation's leading panel of preventive health experts has announced.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has decided an earlier five years of testing could help detect more people who have prediabetes, said Dr. Michael Barry, vice chair of the USPSTF....

Regular skin checks to look for signs of melanoma could save your life.

Self-exams for the deadliest type of skin cancer should be done at least once a month in a well-lit room in front of a full-length mirror and also with a hand mirror for hard-to-see areas, said Dr. Arun Mavanur, a surgical oncologist.

You also need to get checked by a doctor if you have risk factors for melanoma...

Long stints on the night shift could set you up for the dangerous heart rhythm disorder known as atrial fibrillation (a-fib), new research suggests.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data on more than 283,000 people in the UK Biobank database, and found that those who worked night shifts on a usual or permanent basis had a 12% higher risk of a-fib than those who only worked during t...

When a suspicious skin lesion sends you scurrying to a dermatologist, asking for a full-body skin check could save your life.

Dermatologists are twice as likely to find skin cancer with a full-body check, a new study reveals. More than half of the skin cancers discovered were not in the location the patient was concerned about.

"If the dermatologist did not check their entire body,...

Colonoscopy screening can help prevent colon cancer by allowing doctors to find and remove potentially pre-cancerous growths called polyps. But if they fail to get the whole growth, the odds of a recurrence are high, a new study shows.

The likelihood that it will occur within the next few years more than doubled.

Repeat exams found a new growth in the same colon segment 52% of the t...

Admit it, you've probably put off doctor visits whenever possible during the pandemic, and getting back on track with your health care is a daunting prospect.

Never fear, says an expert who offers some advice on resuming in-person health care visits.

The first step is to push aside any shame about falling behind on regular appointments, said Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, president of...

Spit and scan. That's all you have to do, and in less than an hour, you can not only find out if you have COVID-19 but what variant you have, all without leaving your home.

This is the hope and promise of a new saliva-based COVID-19 test that is currently under development.

"Several at-home tests are available for telling you whether you have COVID-19, but none of them test for vari...

Exactly what symptoms of early COVID-19 infection you suffer may depend on both your age and gender, a new study finds.

"As part of our study, we have been able to identify that the profile of symptoms due to COVID-19 differs from one group to another. This suggests that the criteria to encourage people to get tested should be personalized using individuals' information such as age. Alter...

Death rates from Alzheimer's disease are particularly high in the rural United States, a preliminary study finds, highlighting a need for health care resources in traditionally under-served areas.

Researchers discovered that over the past two decades, rural areas in the Southeast have seen the highest death rates from Alzheimer's, at 274 per 100,000 people. That's about twice the rate as ...

Plenty of seniors may struggle with problem drinking, but a new study shows that less than half of them discuss their alcohol use with their health care providers.

"Older adults are at high risk for the harms of alcohol use, especially for those with existing chronic disease and who take prescribed medications," said lead study author Pia Mauro. That makes "discussions about alcohol with ...

Many Americans are being charged for preventive -- and supposedly free -- health care, new research shows, and those bills may keep them from booking appointments in the future.

Out-of-pocket charges for preventive care that should be free under the Affordable Care Act can discourage patients from receiving recommended care, said study lead author Alexander Hoagland, a Ph.D. student in ec...

A noninvasive method of screening for endometrial cancer often fails to detect signs of it in Black women, a new study says.

The findings raise questions about the use of transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) to determine the need for a biopsy in these patients, according to the authors.

"Black women have an over 90% higher [death] rate after diagnosis of endometrial cancer when compared w...

Teens and young adults with cancer who live in rural areas or far from the hospital where they were diagnosed are more likely to have advanced cancer and more likely to die, new research shows.

"A number of studies have indicated that place of residence can influence cancer survival; however, few studies have specifically focused on geographic factors and outcomes in adolescents and young...

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss in older people, and early detection can bring better treatment. Now, researchers in Australia say their experimental genetic test for glaucoma can identify 15 times more people at high risk for the disease compared to a current genetic test.

"Early diagnosis of glaucoma can lead to vision-saving treatment, and genetic information can potentiall...