This special Factual Tuesday contains health news about diet pills, Spinia Bifida, breast cancer, and strokes.
Diet-pill denied…In a surprise move, the FDA rejected weight-loss drug Contrave last week. A prescription diet pill from company Orexigen Therapeutics, prior to the rejection, an FDA panel had recommended the drug’s approval. This is the third obesity drug the FDA has turned down in the last few months.
Unnecessary Measures…This week, a routine procedure for breast cancer was declared unnecessary by some. The surgical removal of cancerous lymph nodes from the armpit is a procedure that has been used for 100 years. However, researchers say this does not improve survival rate, nor make the cancer less likely to return.
Surgical Suggestion…Spinia bifida, a common birth defect to the spine, has no known cure. However, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine says that by operating on the baby while still in the uterus, the most serious complications can be lessened.
Rising Rates of Stroke…Strokes, which in the past commonly afflicted older patients, are now occurring more with young Americans. Increases were seen for both males and females, ranging from the ages of 5 to 44. However, stroke rates among those over 45 are actually decreasing. The study did not look for reasons behind this, though several ideas include improved diagnostic capabilities, more referrals to neurologists, and heightened awareness of stroke in the younger population. Those in Los Angeles are recently well aware about the stroke scare. Young Americans please be aware.