Health and Fitness

Hormone Therapy Linked To Greater Risk Of Ovarian Cancer, Danish Study

Researchers studying a large population of women in Denmark found that those who took hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause had a significantly higher risk of developing ovarian cancer than those who did not. However, one independent expert suggested the findings don't prove that HRT causes ovarian cancer and aren't clear enough to help women weigh up the pros and cons of going on HRT. The study was the work of first author Lina Steinrud Morch of Copenhagen University and colleagues and is published in the 15 July issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA. While other studies have suggested a link between ovarian cancer and postmenopausal hormone therapy, they don't reveal how this might depend on the type, dose and duration of therapy, wrote the researchers. Using national registries, they followed a cohort of 910, 000 Danish women aged 50 to 79 for an average of 8 years (equivalent of 7.3 million women-years). During that time 3, 068 incident ovarian malignancies (2, 681 of which were epithelial cancers ) were diagnosed.

Osteologix Inc. Announces Plans To File For European Marketing Authorization For Proprietary Osteoporosis Drug

Osteologix Inc. (OLGX.OB) announced that the company anticipates that it will be prepared to file a marketing application in 2011 in the European Union for its proprietary second-generation strontium therapy, NB S101 (strontium malonate). If successful, this will be Osteologix' first marketing approval of NB S101 for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis. Following the successful completion of the company's initial Phase 2 study comparing NB S101 (strontium malonate) to Protelos® (strontium ranelate), which is marketed by Les Laboratoires Servier (Servier), Osteologix sought feedback on its development program from various regulatory authorities. As a result of these discussions, Osteologix has determined that the company will be positioned to pursue a European Marketing Application for NB S101 as a treatment for post-menopausal osteoporosis. The company expects that it can complete the additional development work in 2010 and will be prepared to file a marketing application during the first half of 2011.

Cognitive Function Is Superior In Breast Cancer Patients Treated With Letrozole Versus Tamoxifen

New results show that postmenopausal women with breast cancer receiving adjuvant letrozole have better cognitive function than women being treated with tamoxifen. The data, from a recent meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), are drawn from a sub-study of the Breast International Group (BIG) 1-98 trial. The trial, which enrolled postmenopausal women surgically treated for early-stage, hormone-responsive breast cancer, found that letrozole was more effective at preventing recurrent disease (especially distant metastases) than tamoxifen. Karen E. Ribi, PhD, with the International Breast Cancer Study Group in Bern, Switzerland, and her colleagues had theorized that because of the estrogen deprivation associated with aromatase inhibitors, patients who have received letrozole will have worse cognitive function than tamoxifen-treated patients. "While cognitive function is recognized as a potential long-term side effect of adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer treatment, few studies have looked at the effect of adjuvant endocrine therapy on cognition, " Dr.

Bone Strengthening Drugs Linked To Lower Breast Cancer Incidence

New research from the US has discovered that women who used bisphosphonates, commonly-prescribed bone-strengthening drugs, had significantly fewer invasive breast cancers than women who did not use them. The study is the work of lead investigator Dr Rowan Chlebowski, medical oncologist at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed), and colleagues, and the findings are being presented at the 32nd San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in Texas this week from 9 - 13 December. The symposium is presented by the CTRC (Cancer Therapy & Research Center), AARC (American Association for Cancer Research), and the Baylor College of Medicine. "The idea that bisphosphonates could reduce breast cancer incidence is very exciting because there are about 30 million prescriptions for these agents written annually in the US targeting bone health, and more could easily be used to counteract both osteoporosis and breast cancer, " Chlebowski told the media. For the study, Chlebowski and colleagues re-analyzed data from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), a large observational study set up by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in 1991 to examine the most common causes of death, disability and impaired quality of life in postmenopausal women.

Lung Cancer Risk May Be Increased By Ovary Removal

Women who have premature menopause because of medical interventions are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Cancer. The startling link was made by epidemiologists from the Universit√ de Montr√ al, the Research Centre of the Centre Hospitalier de l'Universit√ de Montr√ al and the INRS - Institut Armand-Frappier. "We found that women who experienced non-natural menopause are at almost twice the risk of developing lung cancer compared to women who experienced natural menopause, " says Anita Koushik, a researcher at the Universit√ de Montr√ al's Department of Social and Preventive Medicine and a scientist at the Research Centre of the Centre Hospitalier de l'Universit√ de Montr√ al. "This increased risk of lung cancer was particularly observed among women who had non-natural menopause by having had both their ovaries surgically removed." The scientists studied 422 women with lung cancer and 577 control subjects at 18 hospitals across Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

ChiliPad trade; Reduces Severity Of Hot Flashes In Menopausal Women

For many women, the word " menopause " means living with innumerable symptoms which can alter the course of their lives. Menopause affects nearly 40 million women in the United States and while it is a natural time of physical and emotional change, it can also be a time of confusion and worry. Common symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, insomnia, irritability, low libido, and depression. Hot Flashes are the most common symptom experienced by menopausal women. ChiliPad™ , a revolutionary mattress pad with both heating and cooling functions, reduces the severity of hot flashes by allowing consumers to adjust the entire surface of their bed to the desired temperature. ChiliPad cools and warms a bed from 48 to 118 degrees F. "Often if a room is too cold for one person it is too warm for the other, " said Todd Youngblood, president and co-founder, ChiliTechnology, LLC. "Some couples resort to opening windows or turning on the AC all night to stay cool. Instead of cooling the whole house to get a comfortable night's sleep, you can just cool the bed.

Increase In Visceral Fat During Menopause Linked With Testosterone

In middle-aged women, visceral fat, more commonly called belly fat, is known to be a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but what causes visceral fat to accumulate? The culprit is likely not age, as is commonly believed, but the change in hormone balance that occurs during the menopause transition, according to researchers at Rush University Medical Center. "Of all the factors we analyzed that could possibly account for the increase in visceral fat during this period in a woman's lifetime, levels of active testosterone proved to be the one most closely linked with abdominal fat, " said Imke Janssen, PhD, assistant professor of preventive medicine and the study's lead investigator. The study, which has been published early online in the medical journal Obesity, included 359 women in menopausal transition, ages 42 to 60, about half black and half white. Fat in the abdominal cavity was measured with CT scans, a more precise measurement than waist size. Blood tests were used to assess levels of testosterone and estradiol (the main form of estrogen).

Newer Drug Shows Better Survival Rates Than Tamoxifen For Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Patients

Postmenopausal women with breast cancer who are treated with the drug letrozole show increased survival rates after surgery compared with those treated with the drug tamoxifen, which is more widely used, according to a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, HealthDay / U.S. News & World Report reports. According to HealthDay / U.S. News, both drugs are used to prevent the recurrence of breast cancer in postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive cancer by preventing the production or activity of estrogen. However, the drugs work differently, and it has been unclear whether one drug is better than the other. The study compared letrozol -- a newer, aromatase inhibitor drug that blocks the production of estrogen -- with tamoxifen, which is more widely used and interferes with estrogen rather than blocks its production. The five-year study -- led by Alan Coates, co-chair of the scientific committee of the International Breast Cancer Study Group and a clinical professor at the University of Sydney's School of Public Health -- involved more than 8, 000 postmenopausal women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.

Estrogen Supplements Not As Effective As Claimed

Dietary supplements claiming to help postmenopausal women with bone health may not be doing what they say, according to new research from Purdue University. "We found that some plant-derived isoflavones have a modest effect on suppressing bone loss during post-menopause, but more concerning is many dietary supplements that claim to have the power of estrogen do not, " said Connie Weaver, distinguished professor of foods and nutrition. "It's buyer beware. Some of the supplements in our study claimed to be substitutes for estrogen, yet they weren't effective at all or weren't as effective as some of the current treatments for osteoporosis ." Women who are menopausal or postmenopausal produce less estrogen, and that leads to bone loss. More than 2 million women in the United States reach menopause each year, according to the National Women's Health Resource Center. Estrogen hormone replacement therapy was the traditional treatment, but it is no longer recommended for the long term because of links to stroke, embolism and breast cancer.

The Mammalian System For Controlling Bone Remodelling Also Regulates Fever

The so-called RANK protein and the molecule that binds to it, the RANK ligand or RANKL, form a focus of the work of Josef Penninger, director of the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology (IMBA) in Vienna. In 1999 his group deleted the RANKL gene from mice and showed that the RANK/RANKL system was the "master regulator" governing bone loss (Kong et al. 1999 Nature 402, 304-309). The work provided the fist genetic proof for a completely new and rational treatment for osteoporosis, one of the most serious public health problems for older women. The results of phase III clinical trials for a human antibody to RANKL have recently been published (see Cummings et al. 2009, New Eng. J. Med. 361, 756-765) and, pending approval by the authorities, it is conceivable that this antibody will soon be made widely available for osteoporosis treatment. Considering that such treatments might be of potential benefit to millions of patients, it is important to understand any possible side-effects and in this regard the old observation (see Kartsogiannis et al.

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