Irradiated food is safer, but unpopular

By: Lauran Neergaard
Posted on: August 19, 2011

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
Posted on: August 01, 2011

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
Posted on: August 01, 2011

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
Posted on: July 15, 2011

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

Do men go through a ‘male menopause’?

By: Dr. J. Taylor Hays, M.D.
Posted on: July 15, 2011

Menopause refers to the end of menstruation and fertility in women. It’s caused by a dramatic drop in production of the female hormone estrogen by a woman’s ovaries. There’s no equivalent in men.But men do experience a hormonal change as they get older. Clear evidence indicates that they gradually produce less testosterone, the primary male hormone, throughout... READ MORE

Hospitals face acute shortages of drugs

By: Lauran Neergaard
Posted on: July 01, 2011

A growing shortage of medications for a host of illnesses — from cancer to cystic fibrosis to cardiac arrest — has hospitals scrambling for substitutes to avoid patient harm, and sometimes even delaying treatment.“It’s just a matter of time now before we call for a drug that we need to save a patient’s life and we find out there isn’t any,” said Dr. ... READ MORE

New healthcare trend: Group checkups

By: Lauran Neergaard
Posted on: July 01, 2011

Wait a minute, Doc. You want me to share my appointment with 10 other patients?Group appointments aren’t just for psychotherapy anymore. Put diabetes, high blood pressure and maybe even Parkinson’s disease on the list.Shared checkups aim to help patients who are battling certain chronic diseases, and they’re far from the typical 15-minute office visit. They’re... READ MORE

Register now for local Senior Olympics

By: Barbara Ruben
Posted on: July 01, 2011

Bernie Stamm spent his childhood skiing in the Alps and moved on to become a ski instructor as an adult. A lifelong athlete, the 72-year-old resident of Ashburn, Va., also plays singles tennis and competes in numerous track and field events in the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics.One of his favorite events is the javelin throw. In fact, Stamm has a photo of himself taken in 1958 at age 19, ... READ MORE

Device kills cancer cells, not healthy ones

By: Matthew Perrone
Posted on: June 17, 2011

The Food and Drug Administration approved its first-of-a-kind treatment that fights cancerous brain tumors using electrical energy fields.The FDA approved the device, made by Novocure, for patients with aggressive brain tumors that have returned after treatment with chemotherapy and other interventions. Patients with recurring brain cancer usually live only a few months.Studies showed that... READ MORE

Popular brand-name drugs going generic

By: Jim Miller
Posted on: June 17, 2011

Dear Savvy Senior:I’ve heard that the drug Lipitor and a few other popular brand name medications will soon be available in cheaper generic form. What can you tell me? — Frugal SeniorDear Frugal:It’s true. Generics for Lipitor and a slew of other brand name drugs will soon be coming down the pipeline, and the savings to consumers will be significant. Here’s what you... READ MORE