The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 14, 1998 · Page 14
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 14

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Thursday, May 14, 1998
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C2 THURSDAY. MAY 14. 1998 HEALTH THE SALINA JOURNAL T COLON CANCER Too few tested for colorectal cancer, study finds About one-third of men, one-fourth of women undergo proper testing By LAURAN NEERGAARD The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Less than one-third of Americans get properly tested for deadly colorectal cancer, and women especially are missing out because of the myth that it's a man's disease, says a congressional report released Tuesday. "This is an equal opportunity cancer... striking men and women at equal rates," said Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., who asked federal health officials to define barriers to colorectal cancer screening. "It is curable if it's detected early, and far too few Americans T MEDICINE get tested early." Cancer of the colon and rectum is expected to strike 131,600 Americans this year, and kill 56,500. National statistics show it strikes men and women about equally, and is the No. 3 cancer killer for each group. While relatives of cancer patients or people with colon growths, called polyps, are more prone to the disease, the biggest risk is simply getting older. So people are supposed to be tested regularly starting at age 50. But too few people are tested — mostly because doctors don't push the exams and patients find them "embarrassing and unpleasant to talk about," said the report to Congress by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Twenty-six percent of Americans ages 50 or older have'been "This is an equal opportunity cancer... striking men and women at equal rates." Rep. Louise Slaughter New York congresswoman tested for blood in their stool samples within the last three years, and only 29 percent had an actual colon exam within five years, according to the CDC's latest data. Men were more likely than women to be tested, 35 percent vs. 24 percent, and minorities also were significantly undertested, the report said. • The nation's colorectal screening guidelines, issued last year, say simply taking those fecal blood tests every year after age 50 — with easy, $5 at-home test kits — could cut colorectal cancer deaths by a third. People also can choose a test that threads a small tube into the lower colon to hunt cancer every five years, or a full colonoscopy every 10 years that can detect even tiny polyps that years later could turn cancerous. Most insurance pays for some colorectal screening; Medicare coverage began in January. Slaughter wants Congress to urge a national colorectal screening campaign that educates doc- tors to recommend testing and patients to demand it — much like earlier public-awareness campaigns that helped increase breast cancer screening. The CDC, American Cancer Society and other expert groups have begun planning such campaigns, focusing on doctors, said Dr. Robert Smith of the cancer society. "It doesn't matter how unpleas- ant the test is, a physician's recommendation is very persuasive," said Smith, noting that too often patients see doctors only for acute illnesses, not checkups, meaning doctors have fewer occasions to offer cancer screening. "We have a greater potential to save lives from colorectal cancer than breast cancer, and we've neglected this opportunity for too long," he added. presents 7ft id West HunKi Grapefruit juice can affect medicine featuring DR. PAUL DONOHUE North America Syndicate Dear Dr. Donohue: The enclosed clipping says grapefruit juice can have an effect on certain heart medications. Does that apply to verapamil? — R.P. Dear R.P.: Grapefruit juice can cause increased absorption of quite a few medicines, including vorapamuY which is sold under trade names "Calan," "Isoptin" and "Verelan." Here's a list of the more-common medicines that grapefruit juice affects: • The sedatives triazolam (Hal- cion) and midazo- lam (Versed). • The heart and blood-pressure medicines nifedipine (Procardia, Adalat) f amlodipine (Norvasc) and verapamil. • The immune-system-regulat- Blood/ Supply is more safe FROM PAGE C1 Another product, called "Numby Stuff," by the IOMED company, eliminates the pain of a needle stick by delivering an anesthetic medication into the skin with low- level electrical currents from a small battery pack. After wearing the device for 10 to 15 minutes, a small section of a person's arm becomes numb, and consequently, numb to a needle puncture. A scan of a person's eye, originally invented to be used at automatic-teller machines for identification, is also being considered by the Red Cross as a way to eliminate its lengthy donor questionnaires. The scan would immediately provide a positive identification for previous donors. The American Red Cross, a nonprofit, mostly volunteer agency, supplies nearly half the nation's blood to 3,000 hospitals. About 20,000 people daily receive the blood, plasma and tissue products collected at hundreds of schools, works sites and other locations. Started as a relief effort to save soldiers during World War II, blood banks of the Red Cross almost came to a halt 40 years later during the nation's worry over blood-borne diseases, such as AIDS and hepatitis. When Dole took over the agency's reins in 1991, the fear of contamination of America's blood supply was so great, even she admitted there were days when she thought Red Cross blood drives would be a thing of the past. Instead, the agency hired a quality assurance leader, consulted the nation's top scientists and created a safeguard system. "In 1991, an American's risk of HIV transmission from a blood transfusion was one in 220,000. Today, it's nearly one in 700,000 — more than a three-fold reduction in risk," she said. WINNER BEST ENSEMBLE ACTWQ ONE OF THE YEAR'S TEN BEST FILMS "MESMERIZING! IAN HOLM IS SUPERB!" ian holm , the sweet hereafter a film by j-jtom egoyan BL-i ->T>:. SL~ i5==* Show Dates: 5/14-S/lK Thurs. -I: IB 7:0(1 7:UO il:0() 2:00 .|:.|5 7:00 11:00 ing drug cyclosporine (Sandim- mune). • The antihistamine terfena- dine (Seldane). Seldane's manufacturer halted production in January, so unless you have hoarded a supply of it, you won't run into it today. If you're taking one of those drugs and washing it down with grapefruit juice, check with your doctor. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can boost blood levels of such drugs by as much as 1,000 percent. When a person, right from the start, has been drinking grapefruit juice and taking one of the medicines, side effects of overmedication are unlikely. If you have questions about grapefruit juice's effect on your medication, ask your doctor. Dear Dr. Donohue: My friend acquired Ludwig's angina, and we would appreciate any information you have. — R.C. Dear R.C.: It's been a long time since I've had a request for information on Ludwig's angina, an uncommon illness. Don't let the "angina" in the name fool you. The condition has nothing to do with the heart. It's a mouth infection. The infection involves the floor of the mouth and spreads quickly to the back of the mouth and throat. Mouth-lining tissues can become so swollen that they bulge over the lower teeth. Neck lymph nodes enlarge. Pus can fill the mouth. Swallowing becomes next to impossible. The swollen tissues can block the passage of air from nose to throat. A mix of bacteria causes the infection. Streptococcus often is part of the bacteria soup. For as many as half of all patients, a tooth infection or a tooth extraction is the route bacteria take to infect the mouth. To control spread, antibiotics are called into action right away. The patient's breathing needs to be monitored. If it appears that the swelling is blocking air flow, then a tube placed in the trachea can be a life-saving measure. Dr. Wilhelm F. von Ludwig, a German surgeon, first described the condition in the middle of the last century. Dear Dr. Donohue: I was a cigarette smoker for the past five years. I used the nicotine patch and was successful in quitting. After quitting I developed insomnia, which has lasted for three months. Is this common for ex-smokers to develop a sleep disorder? — T.W. Dear T.W.: Insomnia can dog an ex-smoker, but it's unusual for it to last longer than a week or two. Experiment. Put a patch on, and see if your insomnia goes away. If it does, use a low-nicotine patch intermittently for the next few weeks and then wean yourself off it slowly. Men of PCayairC 'Appearingat: m^ Rumors ' West State Street Road, Salina Sat., May 16th, 8PM Doors open at 7PM $5.00 Advance $7.00 at the Door Must be 18 to enter, 21 to drink -" * T FOOD POISONING Salmonella strain resistant to 5 drugs Highly resistant bug has plagued Europe for several years now By The Associated Press BOSTON — Hundreds of thousands of Americans may get sick each year with salmonella poisoning caused by a strain of the germ that is resistant to five antibiotics. This strain has been a problem in Europe, particularly Britain, for several years. But until recently it was rare in the United States. It is suspected of causing even more severe illness than the ordinary salmonella. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that between 68,000 and 340,000 cases of infection with this germ now occur annually in the United States. The estimate is rough because most food poisoning cases caused by salmonella never get reported. The CDC estimates that between 800,000 and 4 million people in all get sick with salmonella each year, and 500 people die. The highly resistant bug is impervious to ampicillin, chloram- phenicol, streptomycin, sulfonamides and tetracycline. Most salmonella cases do not need to be treated with antibiotics. However, severe infections may require antibiotics, and can still be controlled with ciprofloxacin or ceftriaxone, at least for now. In Britain, salmonella immune to the five other drugs is also becoming resistant to ciprofloxacin. Dr. M. Kathleen Glynn and others who described the emergence of the drug-resistant salmonella emphasized the need to use antibiotics prudently, especially on farms, where much bacterial resistance to drugs is thought to. have developed. The CDC report, published in today's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, was based on an analysis of data collected by local and state health departments since 1979. In an editorial, Dr. Stuart B. Levy of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston noted that nearly half of the 50 million pounds of antibiotics produced in the United States annually is used in animals. Most of this is intended to make animals grow faster rather than to prevent or treat diseases. • ^^ JSJS2 SAUNA 2346-A Planet Avenue 823-9561 JZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ2 All Female Revue x SATURDAY, MAY 16 Doors Open at 7 pm Show starts at 8 pm Women welcome after the show. $5 cover charge Randy's "'•;« West State Street Road No membership required F V'v^ •^ ^ ^ •^ v ^•vwv k. A A. A A A. A. A A. A. A.. - - ' M M H li M M H H zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzii | the Salina Journal We Deliver News You Can Use B B B B B B B BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB 1/2 Price! It's an advertising offer you wont believe!!! Call your Salina Journal marketing * consultant for the incredible details j > * ; , * > ' .- 1 ^ > *5 , ( - - 4 ' tfiA £1 •!'• • -.V'.-W. , ^ • aahna Journal (785) 823-6363 • sjadv@saljournal. • www.saljournal.com

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