November 25, 2009

Markets in everything: menstrual blood

It won't come as a suyprise to some, that there are markets in everything: we've recently seen that there is a market in human fat for example. But a market in menstrual blood? Yes, indeed there is and it's a company called C'elle leading it. But no, it isn't quite what you think: no one is actually selling it. The point is to collect it and store it.

For, you see, scientists have discovered that menstrual blood is rich in adult stem cells: yes, that's right, the little things that we're pretty certain are going to revolutionise medicine in the years to come. For from stem cells can be grown replacement organs (yes, this has already been shown to be possible) and who knows what else might be possible?

To find out more you can look at their FAQs or read more about C'elle. But the basic point is quite simple.

Adult stem cells are already being used to treat and cure horrible diseases: but they are usually harvested from invasive procedures like bone marrow sampling. Menstrual blood is rich in adult stem cells and can thus be a better source and this company will help you in how to collect and store it.

There truly are markets in everything.

November 25, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2009

Natalie Morton

Natalie Morton has just died aged 14. She died as a result of receiving the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine.

Whether this was a rogue batch of the vaccine or whether it was simply a reaction to the vaccine itself is not as yet known. However, we knew that someone, somewhere, was going to die as a result of the vaccination program. For someone always does die as a result of a vaccination program.

Yes, sadly, this is true: there are always some who suffer a reaction to a vaccine and in rare cases it will indeed kill some of them. This does not mean that a vaccine is (necessarily) a bad idea. What matters is whether more people are killed by the vaccination program than are saved by it. With some diseases the calculation is simple: smallpox for example. That disease would regularly take percentage points of the population in sweeps through the society: a few deaths here and there are a small price to pay to avoid such horrors. With HPV the numbers are smaller: it is estimated that the vaccine program will save 700 lives a year.


If Natalie Morton's death was indeed a reaction against the vaccine, rather than a rogue batch, then she is part of the price that is paid to avoid those 700 deaths. Apologies if this all sounds a little cold and bloodthirsty but that is indeed how public health calculations are made.

September 29, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

July 27, 2009

Choosing where to have plastic surgery

I think we're all aware that plastic surgery is becoming more popular these days? Something which happens more often? It isn't just because people are unhappier than they used to be and thus want to change their looks: in fact, it's nothing to do with that at all. What's actually been happening is what happens to every medical procedure over the years.

Originally, when invented, it's hugely expensive and is the preserve only of the rich: as time passes techniques get developed and as they become more routine the price drops: to the point where just about anybody who saves a little can now afford plastic surgery.

Please also note that it's not all about looks nor is it just about larger breasts: one of the most popular surgeries is in fact breast reduction, something that might cure bad backs but isn't done for looks at all. A Tummy Tuck for example might be done for purely looks reasons: but might also be done to get rid of the evidence of having had a few children, something that can make some women deeply unhappy.

The real benefit of plastic surgery is to make you feel happier in your own body: might be larger, smaller, just differently shaped or even nipped and tucked a touch to smooth away the wrinkles of the years.

And yes, of course. you do want to travel to where you can be sure you're getting the best treatment by the best team. Which is why you might want to click through that link to see what Mya Cosmetic Surgery can do for you: you've already seen handsome examples of their work on Big Brother, X Factor and Shipwreck: but you'll have to click through to find out which those are.

July 27, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

May 09, 2009

Seasonal Affective Disorder

And there was I thinking that seasonal affective disorder (SAD) was all about not seeing the sun from one end of a week to another. Certainly, that's been my own experience, when I lived well north. That the sun only rose above the horizon for a couple of hours a day....and was usually obscured by cloud....led me to feeling pretty miserable.

Spirits always lifted when spring came and you could feel the days getting longer.

However, it seems that I'm wrong. Or at least, not entirely right:

Too much sunlight in places like Greenland where long summer days often cause insomnia appears more likely to drive a person to suicide, Swedish researchers said Friday.

Despite a belief that suicides tend to rise in late autumn and early winter months because of darkness, the new findings suggest that places where constant sunlight in summer seasons is a fact of life may be just as dangerous.

"During the long periods of constant light, it is crucial to keep some circadian rhythm to get enough sleep and sustain mental health," Karin Sparring Bjorksten of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and colleagues reported in the BioMed Central journal BMC Psychiatry.

Not getting any night can be just as bad for you. Oh well, just another reason to move closer to hte equator then, eh?

May 9, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 04, 2009

Raccoon Roundworm

The raccoon roundworm has been found to infect two kids in New York. The things is, while the raccoon roundworm is quite rare, at least as an infection in humans, roundworms of all types are distressingly common.

A rare disease transmitted through contact with raccoon feces has left a New York City teenager blind in one eye and an infant brain damaged.

The city's Department of Health warns parents to be on the alert for raccoon roundworm, which can cause nausea, nerve damage and even death. It says fewer than 30 cases have been reported in medical literature.

Health department spokeswoman Sally Slavinski says parents should supervise children to keep them from eating raccoon feces. Droppings should be picked up using gloves and disposable bags and put in the trash.

Stopping the children from eating raccoon feces is of course a good idea. For the outcome can be a great deal more than just this blindness:

The infant is currently hospitalized and is suffering from seizures and other brain damage.

The causes of the raccoon roundworm problems are detailed here:

People become infected when they accidentally ingest infective eggs in soil, water, or on objects that have been contaminated with raccoon feces.When humans ingest these eggs, they hatch into larvae in the person’s intestine and travel throughout the body, affecting the organs and muscles.

Joyous, eh, being eaten from the inside by the little beggars.

But do remember, there are very similar parasites that can infect cats and dogs. One of the reasons you keep working your pets is that you're not just trying to be nice to them: you're also protecting the kids around them.

May 4, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

April 29, 2009

Swine flu death in Texas

Yes, it's happened, a swine flu death in Texas. We were always worried about whether the disease would stay virulent as it expanded. And perhaps it is as this swine flu death in Texas is the first death from it in the US.

A 23-month-old Texas toddler became the first confirmed swine flu death outside of Mexico as authorities around the world struggled to contain a growing global health menace that has also swept Germany onto the roster of afflicted nations. Officials say the death was in Houston.

Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Houston Health and Human Services Department, said Wednesday that the child had traveled with family from Mexico to Brownsville in South Texas. The child became ill in Brownsville and was taken to a Houston hospital and died Monday night, she said.

It is of course desperately sad that a child so young is taken from this life. But then that's what tendes to happen in epidemics, that it's the young and the old who suffer the most.

A government official confirmed the death from the new H1N1 swine flu on Wednesday.

It is the first death from the flu outside of Mexico, which has been the country hardest-hit by the influenza outbreak.U.S. officials have confirmed 65 cases of swine flu, most of them mild.No confirmed cases have been reported in Massachusetts.The acting head of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention says the confirmed death of a toddler in Texas is a tragic development, but that it's too soon to say just how fast the swine flu virus is spreading.

How fast it spreads and how virulent it is when caught are the two factors which will decide whether we've got just another variant of flu on our hands or a true pandemic.

President Barack Obama said this morning that Americans should know the government is doing all it can to control virus. Obama also says schools should consider closing if the spread of the swine flu virus worsens.

Canada, Austria, New Zealand, Israel, Spain, Britain and Germany also have reported cases of swine flu sickness. Deaths reported so far have been limited to Mexico, and now the U.S.

This isn't just the first swine flu death in Texas, or in the US, it's the first swine flu death outside of Mexico.

As the swine flu epidemic continues to spread, the United States now reports its first causality, a 23 month old child in Texas. The toddler is reported to have recently been in Mexico and is thought to have been exposed to the swine flu while there. This child's case in Texas is the first confirmed swine flu death outside of Mexico.

The number of states reporting confirmed cases of swine flu remains steady at five (California, Kansas, New York, Ohio, and Texas). Britain, Germany, Israel, Austria, and New Zealand have been added to the countries with confirmed cases. Texas swine flu death has pitched up the anxiety in USA because of the worries that the virus is spreading.

The worst part is that this swine flu death in Texas isn't going to be the last one, either in Texas or elsewhere. Of course, flu kills tens of thousands of people each and every year, but this new strain could be much worse than that. Could be, might be, but probably won't be, at least from what we know so far.

April 29, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 04, 2009

Lap Band

Lap band is the short name for gastric band surgery. It's a method of helping you to lose weight by making sure that you cannot overfill your stomach.

In essence, by constricting the way that your stomach expands when you eat and fill it it makes you feel fuller than you would have done before you would without the surgery.

If you want more information about this you can call 1-800-GET-SLIM to get it. For lap band testimonials you can click through that link. And for lap band before and after stories you can have a look at that one.

It has helped a large number of poeple to lose weight.

April 4, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 17, 2009

Emergency Medical Supplies

These here intertubes are really changing the world in unexpected ways. It's a little like those other great technological revolutions, the railways (when they reached the Ukraine, they caused a Depression in the UK) or electricity. The ramifications are flooding through society in ways you might not expect.

For example, using the web to retail or wholesale supplies changes the whole sector. Instead of a retailer needing to have hundreds upon hundreds of stores, and each and every store needing to have a selection of everything available for purchase, matters can be made much simpler. One warehouse, one web site, and the retailer can stock many more lines of products (because they don't need to repeat stock in many stores) and they can also sell them cheaper....because they're not paying so much rent.

We know of this from things like books, but as I say it's flooding out across the society. Things like emergency medical supplies (or ems supplies) can be and are sold in the same manner.

The end result is a better chpoice at lower prices...not too shabby for a system that started out as a way to send emails to each other. With things like medical supplies there's also the point that the stock will turn over faster, making sure that everything is in date.

March 17, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 16, 2009

Stage 2 prostate cancer

Stage 2 prostate cancer is in the news today as Don Imus announces that he is suffering from that state 2 prostate cancer himself.

What stage 2 generally means is that it has not spread beyond the prostate itself, that the cancer has not "metastasized" to other parts of the body.

Stage 1 prostate cancer is of course easier to treat but the prognosis with state 2 prostate cancer is still good. Here's the technical description:

Briefly, Stage I disease is cancer that is found incidentally in a small part of the sample when prostate tissue was removed for other reasons, such as benign prostatic hypertrophy, and the cells closely resemble normal cells and the gland feels normal to the examining finger. In Stage II more of the prostate is involved and a lump can be felt within the gland. In Stage III, the tumor has spread through the prostatic capsule and the lump can be felt on the surface of the gland. In Stage IV disease, the tumor has invaded nearby structures, or has spread to lymph nodes or other organs. Grading is based on cellular content and tissue architecture from biopsies (Gleason) which provides an estimate of the destructive potential and ultimate prognosis of the disease.

Stage 2 prostate cancer is the first time that it's likely to be diagnosed even with a prostate exam. The prognosis can be good: th majority of men with state 2 prostate cancer live more than five years after their diagnosis (with cancer, living more than 5 years is regarded as a cure).

A short roundup of stories about Don Imus and his announcement that he has stage 2 prostate cancer:

Don Imus Suffering From Stage II Prostate Cancer
AP Radio host Don Imus announced on his radio show Monday that he is battling stage II prostate cancer. Imus, 68, known for his controversial and outspoken ...

Radio Host Don Imus Battling Prostate Cancer
People Magazine - USA
Radio host Don Imus made light of some serious news on Monday: He has stage two prostate cancer. "I'll be fine. If I'm not fine, then I won't be fine. ...

Newsday - Long Island,NY,USA
(AP Photo / December 3, 2007) Controversial radio show host Don Imus announced Monday morning that he has stage II prostate cancer. ...

The Inquisitr
Don Imus Battling Prostate Cancer
The Inquisitr - Melbourne,Victoria,Australia
The Gleason score can range from 2-10. Stage II prostate cancer may also be called stage A2, stage B1, or stage B2 prostate cancer. ...

Don Imus Battling Prostate Cancer
NBC Washington - Washington,DC,USA
The 68-year-old radio host said he was confident that his doctors would be able to successfully treat stage II prostate cancer. ...

March 16, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 28, 2009

Stem Cell Collection

I have to admit that this is a completely new idea to me: C’elle .

The idea is that contained within a woman's menstrual blood there are stem cells and that these could and should be collected. It's most certainly true that we are finding out that adult stem cells can be used in all sorts of amazing ways. We really are seeing in the labs treatments for hard to cure diseases coming to fruition. Cancers have been cured this way for example.

The advantage of stem cells collected from the adult that they will then be used to treat is of course that there are no possible rejection issues. And as a woman is obviously closely genetically related to her children that will help too if they need treatment at some time.

If you want to take this further you can have a look at their order now page and their pricing page.

February 28, 2009 in Health Care | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack