June 13, 2015

Short and Sweet

Children who watch three hours of TV a day could be left 'educationally stunted and prone to bullying': Researchers have found that after two hours of viewing, every extra hour of TV has the potential to harm a child's development, both physically and socially.  This includes poorer vocabulary, math skills and attention in class, victimization by classmates and poor physical prowess at nursery. Read more at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2559336/Children-watch-three-hours-TV-day-left-educationally-stunted-prone-bullying.html#ixzz2tOgrett1 

Antibiotic-Resistant Diseases Described As 'Apocalyptic' Threat: Britain's most senior medical adviser, Dame Sally Davies, said the threat from infections that are resistant to frontline antibiotics was so serious that the issue should be added to the government's national risk register of civil emergencies. She described what she called an "apocalyptic scenario" where people going for simple operations in 20 years' time die of routine infections "because we have run out of antibiotics". Read more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jan/23/antibiotic-resistant-diseases-apocalyptic-threat?intcmp=239

Children Exposed to More Brain-Harming Chemicals Than Ever Before: In 2006, scientists identified five industrial chemicals responsible for causing harm to the brain – lead, methylmercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (found in electric transformers, motors and capacitors), arsenic (found in soil and water as well as in wood preservatives and pesticides), and toluene (used in processing gasoline as well as in paint thinner, fingernail polish, and leather tanning). Exposure to these neurotoxins was associated with changes in neuron development in the fetus as well as among infants, and with lower school performance, delinquent behavior, neurological abnormalities, and reduced IQ in school-aged children. “The consequence of such brain damage is impaired [central nervous system] function that lasts a lifetime and might result in reduced intelligence, as expressed in terms of lost IQ points, or disruption in behavior.” Read more at http://healthland.time.com/2014/02/14/children-exposed-to-more-brain-harming-chemicals-than-ever-before/#ixzz2tM20Qn26

Heartburn Drugs Linked to Kidney Failure: Older patients taking drugs known as proton pump inhibitors, a common remedy for heartburn and acid reflux, are two times more likely to be hospitalized with kidney failure than peers who don't take the pills, a study finds. While the side effect is extremely rare, and the study doesn't prove the drugs cause kidney failure, the association is worrisome because tens of millions of people a year take these pills, sold by prescription and over-the-counter in some countries, with brand names including Prilosec, Prevacid and Zegerid. Read more at http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/heartburn-kidney-drugs-proton/2015/04/16/id/639044/#ixzz3XX9zDIyS 

Surprising Ways the Moon Affects Your Health: A study of British physicians found that visits and emergency calls increased during a full moon and decreased during a new moon. And numerous studies have also confirmed that the moon has a definite effect on sleep, menstrual cycles, heart health, kidney stone pain, mental and emotional health, and even animal behaviors. Read more at http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Headline/moon-affects-health-tales/2015/04/15/id/638770/#ixzz3XX9SeXM1 

“Antioxidant supplements should not be used to replace a nutritionally adequate diet”: Antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E, are plentiful in vegetables and fruits and may help protect against cell or DNA damage – as a result, they’ve been touted for cancer prevention, heart disease prevention and warding off dementia. “There is good scientific evidence that eating a diet with lots of vegetables and fruits is healthful and lowers risks of certain diseases,” said lead author Annlia Paganini-Hill of the Clinic for Aging Research and Education at the University of California, Irvine. “However, it is unclear whether this is because of the antioxidants, something else in these foods, other foods in people's diet, or other lifestyle choices,” she stated. Read more at http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/07/us-health-antioxidants-mortality-idUSKBN0KG1TN20150107

A hormone used to raise beef cattle may be staying in the environment longer than previously believed and changing the sex of fish, among other effects: These hormones are so effective at causing the sex changes in fish that some fish farms in both the U.S. and abroad intentionally feed similar compounds, such as 17-alpha methyltestosterone, to their fish—usually tilapia—to prevent breeding by turning all of their fish into males. This helps farmers control populations, and divert the energy the fish would use for breeding to growing more tissue, producing a larger animal. http://www.cnbc.com/id/102667398

Whole Grains Help You Live Longer: That’s the upshot of a new study from the Harvard School of Public Health that indicates each average daily serving of whole grains lowers a person's risk of dying from heart disease by 9 percent and lowers the overall risk of dying from anything by 5 percent over a quarter-century. "Eating whole grains as a regular part of a healthy diet for many years is associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular-related diseases," the researchers said. "These findings further support current dietary guidelines that recommend increasing whole grain consumption to facilitate primary and secondary prevention of chronic disease and also provide promising evidence that suggests a diet enriched with whole grains may confer benefits toward extended life expectancy." Whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, and whole oats. Read more at http://www.NewsmaxHealth.com/Health-News/whole-grain-health-longevity/2015/01/05/id/616525/#ixzz3NzxKJfcw 

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June 1, 2015

"O" Zone - Guest Writer

The following article, by Donald M. Petersen Jr. and published in Dynamic Chiropractic, contains important information about breast cancer screenings and the dangerous overdiagnosis of breast cancer due to false-positive test results. Please take this information into consideration as you make your personal decision concerning future mammographies.

First Do No Harm?
By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence. Some women with a genetic risk have even elected to have preventive double mastectomies (removal of both breasts) in an effort to eliminate the possibility of developing breast cancer.
While I certainly respect their deeply personal decisions and appreciate the potential danger / risk breast cancer poses, particularly if a high-risk situation exists, it's also important to note that a mounting number of studies suggest there is a considerable amount of overdiagnosis when it comes to the disease. These studies bring to light high "false-positive" rates and suggest women not at high risk may want to reconsider whether to have routine mammograms in the absence of additional indications.
For example, a 2012 study in The New England Journal of Medicine1 found breast cancer has been overdiagnosed with the advent of mammograms. Researchers note, "Our estimate of overdiagnosed cancers attributable to mammography over the past 30 years involved more than 1 million women." In the study, the authors question the current value of mammograms:
"Our study raises serious questions about the value of screening mammography. It clarifies that the benefit of mortality reduction is probably smaller, and the harm of overdiagnosis probably larger, than has been previously recognized. And although no one can say with certainty which women have cancers that are overdiagnosed, there is certainty about what happens to them: they undergo surgery, radiation therapy, hormonal therapy for 5 years or more, chemotherapy, or (usually) a combination of these treatments for abnormalities that otherwise would not have caused illness."
A new study published in Health Affairs2 presents even more information on the issue of unnecessary and harmful care provided to women who are victims of "false-positives" within a given year:
  • "The cumulative probability of a false-positive recall after ten years of screening mammography for an individual woman has been estimated to be 61 percent."3
  • "Breast cancer overdiagnosis, defined as the diagnosis of lesions that are unlikely to become clinically evident during the lifetime of a patient, exposes patients to the harm of overtreatment. A recent randomized controlled trial of screening mammography in Canada reported an overdiagnosis rate of 22 percent for all screen detected invasive breast cancer."4
  • "The US rate of overdiagnosis has been estimated to be 22-31 percent of all breast cancers diagnosed.1
  • "False-positive mammography results are more common among women ages 40-49 than among older women."
  • "A total of 77,729 women (11.1 percent) received a false-positive mammogram that led to further diagnostic workup and breast-related procedures."
  • "When we used the estimated false-positive rate of 11 percent shown in our data, we found that 3.2 million women would receive a false-positive mammogram. This translates to a national cost of $2.8 billion per year."
  • "If we assume a false-positive rate of 11 percent and overdiagnosis rates of 22 percent and 86 percent for invasive breast cancer and DCIS (the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer), respectively, the national cost of false-positive mammography results and breast cancer overdiagnoses among women ages 40–59 is about $4 billion each year."
  • "Ultimately, the decision to undergo breast cancer screening must be based on a careful consideration of the trade-off between the benefits and harms of screening."
In short, we have a medical system that is raking in $4 billion per year solely from false-positives and overdiagnosis. As a result, every year millions of women unwittingly become physically and emotionally scarred by their unnecessary actions. The two take-home messages here are simple:
Arm Your Patients – Provide this information to your patients so they can make better-informed choices about when to have a mammogram and how to react to positive results. It doesn't mean they should skip the procedure; it means they should talk to their doctor about its annual necessity as part of a larger discussion about risk factors.
Honor the Oath – The Hippocratic Oath maintains the fundamental principle that it may be better to do nothing than to do something more harmful than the illness itself (or lack thereof). The medical profession has apparently forgotten this; chiropractic must not. By putting our patients' health first, doctors of chiropractic will continue to be the providers people trust.

  1. 1 Bleyer A, Welch HG. Effect of three decades of screening mammography on breast-cancer incidence. N Engl J Med, 2012;367:1998-2005.
  2. 2 National expenditure for false-positive mammograms and breast cancer overdiagnoses estimated at $4 billion a year. Health Affairs, April 201534:4576-583.
  3. 3 Hubbard RA, Kerlikowske K, Flowers CL, et al. Cumulative probability of false-positive recall or biopsy recommendation after 10 years of screening mammography: a cohort study. Ann Intern Med, 2011;155(8):481-92.
  4. 4 Miller AB, Wall C, Baines CJ, et al. Twenty five year follow-up for breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study: randomised screening trial. Brit Med J, 2014;348:g366.

Read more findings on the author's blog: http://blog.toyourhealth.com/wrblog/. You can also visit him on Facebook.

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.

Article shared from: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=57387&no_paginate=true&p_friendly=true&no_b=true