Health Front (CDC Questions Routine Pelvic Exams)

By Dr. Jerry DeCapua, Two Rivers Tribune Contributing Writer

Many doctors give women pelvic exams when they’re not called for by guidelines, such as before prescribing for birth control pills, a U.S. study said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) find the exams excessive and worrisome, particularly because the exams are invasive and come with the risk of false positives. “Women should know that screening tests come with both harms and benefits, and the pelvic exam is not an exception to that,” said Analia

Stormo, who led the study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Women have become accustomed to getting a routine pelvic exam every year, and doctors to giving them. But it’s unclear if they serve any real purpose without any pelvic pain or signs of infection. Researchers are now stating that there is no need to do a full pelvic examination without cause. A urine or swab test is sufficient.

Smoking is now linked to skin cancer in women. A new study found that women who had squamous cell skin cancer were more likely to have smoked than those who were free of the disease. Women who smoked for at least 20 years were twice as likely to develop skin cancer. The study was conducted at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida. The researchers found that the more one smoked, the more likely they were to get skin cancer. Researchers note that hormonal differences affecting the metabolism of nicotine and the body’s ability to repair damaged DNA caused by smoking suggests that the female hormone estrogen may play a role.

In 1999, coconut oil received negative press from scientists in the U.S. due to high level of saturated fats. Coconut oil got a reputation of being the bad boy of vegetable oils. However, modern research is showing that not all saturated fats are alike and that the fatty acids in coconut oil do not raise serum cholesterol, or contribute to heart disease. What a change a decade can be with nutritional science. It appears that the original studies that condemned the food were faulty.

Unaltered, virgin coconut oil appears to be as healthy as virgin, unprocessed olive oil.

Traditional Asian cultures never got the warning about the oil and ate significant amounts in their diet, and they do not suffer from its use. Nutritional and medicinal benefits have been surfacing in recent years. Approximately 50 percent of the fats in virgin olive oil are lauric acid. It creates monolaurin in the human or animal body. Monolaurin is the anti-viral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal monoglyceride used by the body to destroy lipid coated viruses such as influenza and HIV. Its antimicrobial effects include fighting giardia. Even though it is a fat, it is very beneficial for low thyroid and diabetes. It is actually being used for people who want to lose weight while not giving up essential fats. It is now appreciated by some of the medical community as a powerful tool against immune diseases.

Snow shoveling does increase the risk of heart attack, a new study at Queens University in Kingston, Canada shows. At least seven percent of heart patients at a Canadian hospital said symptoms started while shoveling snow.
A long-awaited U.S. government-mandated report from the Institute of Medicine recommends that the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research be conducted only in very limited circumstances. The Institute of Medicine is an independent panel that reviews medical and scientific issues. They concluded that the use of chimpanzees is not necessary for most medical research and that other models of research models be made available.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. and the West African country of Gabon are the only two countries in the world known to conduct medical research on chimps. Currently, about 10 percent of the world’s entire chimpanzee population is in scientific trials. Chimpanzees may not be the best model for disease and medical research anyway. As research models they can be dangerous. Chimps may be postponing the development of new treatments.  The HIV virus is not benign to humans, but it is benign to chimps.

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