Thursday, October 9, 2008

Eat drink man woman!

We were discussing caffeine (stress and being grumpy) on our way to a meeting at work, but there were 2 interesting and seemingly important health-related news items that caught my eye today - with different consequences for men and women.

First, for women...the OvaSure test that tests for early ovarian cancer with reasonably high accuracy (it seems) has been flagged as illegal by the FDA - sounds a bit bureaucratic since it is a test (not medication) . Hopefully approval is just a matter of time, as the tradeoffs seem quite dramatic, as quoted below:

More than 21,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are diagnosed annually in the U.S.; more than 15,000 women die of it each year. When ovarian cancer is caught early, the five-year survival rate is over 90%, according to the American Cancer Society. But only about 20% of cases are caught that early. When it is discovered later, the five-year survival rate is less than 30%.

In a study published last February in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, the test correctly identified 95% of cancers in 224 samples, with a false positive rate of 0.6%. But because it hasn't been validated in the usual gamut of tests, some cancer specialists remained wary of it.
Next, for men...certain cells from male testes behave like embyonic stem cells and can be cajoled into becoming heart, bone, pancreatic and nerve cells. The downside ...benefits could only apply to men.

While using these cells would be far less controversial than using embyronic stem cells, imagine a brain grown from these cells!!

What's on your mind today?
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