Hypnosis can replace general anesthesia

By: Maria Cheng

As the surgeons cut into her neck, Marianne Marquis was thinking of the beach.As she heard the doctors’ voices, she was imagining her toes in the sand, the water lapping.Marquis had been hypnotized before surgery to have her thyroid removed. She’s among a growing number of surgical patients at the Belgian hospital, Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc in Brussels, who choose... READ MORE

Cataracts don’t need to ‘ripen’ anymore

By: Dr. Jeffrey S. Heier

Q. I think I may have cataracts. I heard somewhere that they need to be “ripe” before I get surgery. Is that true?A. The lens of the eye is normally clear and has a consistency that is a bit stiffer than Jell-O.A cataract is a clouding of the lens caused by degradation and clumping of various proteins in the tissue. When that happens, the lens also gets stiffer, and in extreme... READ MORE

Irradiated food is safer, but unpopular

By: Lauran Neergaard

Microwaving salad fixings with just a bit of radiation can kill dangerous E. coli and other bacteria — and U.S. food safety experts say Europe’s massive outbreak shows that wary consumers should give the long-approved step a chance.The U.S. government has OK’d irradiation for a variety of foods — meat, spices, certain imported fruits, the seeds used to grow sprouts.... READ MORE

Cancer risks abound. Should you worry?

By: Marilynn Marchione

You’re sitting in a freshly drywalled house, drinking coffee from a plastic foam cup and talking on a cell phone. Which of these is most likely to be a cancer risk?It might be the sitting, especially if you do that a lot.Despite all the recent news about possible cancer risks from cell phones, coffee, styrene, and formaldehyde in building materials, most of us probably face little if... READ MORE

Benefits of custom-made blood vessels

By: Marilynn Marchione

Three dialysis patients have received the world’s first blood vessels grown in a lab from donated skin cells. It’s a key step toward creating a supply of ready-to-use arteries and veins that could be used to treat diabetics, soldiers with damaged limbs, people having heart bypass surgery and others.The goal is to one day have a refrigerated inventory of blood vessels in various... READ MORE

Beware free trials of anti-aging products

By: Arlene Weintraub

Kathleen Cole was browsing an Internet drugstore when an ad popped up too tantalizing to resist. A company called Syndero was featuring a 14-day free trial of Dermitage, a cream that promised to fade wrinkles and restore youthful-looking skin.Cole, 70, was happy with how she looked, but what, she wondered, did she have to lose? So she handed over her credit card number with the... READ MORE