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    Simple Blood Test to Diagnose Lung and Other Cancers

A recent study revealed that early-stage lung and prostate cancers as well as their recurrence can be detected with a simple blood test. The findings of the study were released at the ANESTHESIOLOGY 2013 annual meeting.

Serum-free fatty acids and their metabolites may be used as screening biomarkers to help diagnose early stages of cancer, as well as identify the probability of recovery and recurrence after tumor removal, researchers found.

The study looked at blood samples from 55 patients with lung cancer and 40 patients with prostate cancer and compared them to blood samples of people without cancer. In a second phase of the study, blood was examined preoperatively from 24 patients scheduled for curative lung cancer surgery and again at six and 24 hours after the surgery.

The cancer patients had one- to six-times greater concentrations of serum-free fatty acids and their metabolites (the biomarker) in their blood than patients without cancer. In the second phase, the serum-free fatty acid concentrations decreased by three to 10 times within 24 hours after tumor removal surgery.

Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide as well as the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. It causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast and prostate), according to the American Lung Association.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in American men, other than skin cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. While there is a blood test for prostate cancer, the prostate-specific antigen test, or PSA, has a high false-positive rate that results in many unnecessary biopsies and complications, according to Dr. Liu. The test developed in this study could be a helpful additional blood test for prostate cancer.

    Pacemakers for Brain, Bladder, and Back

Pacemakers are usually associated with heart disease. They are implanted just under the skin of the chest and help maintain a regular heart beat and rhythm by sending out electric signals. Now, the technology, the application of electrical energy to nerves to elicit a response or deliver a therapy is being used to treat a host of ailments. From chronic back pain and epilepsy to Parkinson's Disease (PD) and urinary incontinence, neuro-modulation (the technical term for the treatment) is bringing relief to many patients.

The device is implanted below the collar bone. Its leads (or wires) connect to electrodes embedded in the brain. The device sends out electric signals that block the nerve impulses which cause tremors associated with the disease. The treatment, called deep brain stimulation, does not cure PD but it helps control its symptoms and enhance the effect of medication.

    Estrogen Fights against Urinary Tract Infection in Postmenopausal Women Says Study

A recent study showed significant role of Estrogen in defeating urinary tract. The study was conducted by the researchers of Karolinska Institute in Sweden. The researchers involved in the study said that estrogen supplements may help menopausal women to ward off recurrent urinary tract infections.

Urinary tract infections are among the most common diseases, affecting over half of all women at some point in life and repeatedly in 25 percent of these. Menopausal women have an increased risk of recurrent urinary tract infections, which has been associated with low estrogen levels.

Infecting bacteria first come in contact with the inside of the urinary bladder. The bladder lumen is covered with epithelial cells, acting as a fence protecting the vulnerable tissue as well as producing antimicrobial peptides, the body's self-made antibiotic. These peptides act as rapid front line soldiers fighting infecting microorganisms. By the early action of the antimicrobial peptides, the number of bacteria can be reduced before they have a chance to multiply. In the postmenopausal woman, however, the epithelium is fragile and often damaged with occasional gaps between cells, which in turn affect the ability to resist infection.

    HPV Testing Can Cut Down the Cases of Cervical Cancers Significantly Says Study

A recent study, shed light over the significance of testing women for the human papillomavirus (HPV) first in relation to the increased cases of cervical cancer. According to the findings of the study, the HPV testing can help in reducing the incidences of cervical cancer significantly. According to the researchers of the study, about 600 cases of cervical cancer can be cut if HPV testing is done timely. For the study, the researchers and scientists identified more than 8,750 women with cervical cancer and analyzed the screening records of individual patients.

During the study, about 40 percent had a negative cytology test result - the existing cervical screening test within six years of their diagnosis. They then used these data to predict how many more cases of cervical cancer could have been prevented if HPV testing had been used as primary screening test instead of the cytology test.

Assuming that primary HPV1 testing would pick up 95 percent of the cases missed by cytology, the researchers estimate that it could prevent up to 33 percent of cervical cancer cases in women aged 25-64 if introduced in England. The cervical screening program prevents cases of cervical cancer by detecting and treating abnormal changes in the cells of the cervix, which can be the precursors of cancer.