Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Body & mind


Taking care of your whole self

Just in

        Link: Aggressive ovarian cancer might be tied to thrombocytosis, a blood disorder characterized by high platelet cell counts, according to researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

        Discovery of the link could lead to the development of more targeted therapies and help physicians offer patients more effective treatment options.

        Findings of the study indicated that ovarian cancer linked to thrombocytosis responded poorly to treatment, said Dr. Beth Karlan, senior author of the study and medical director of the Women's Cancer Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai.

        Platelets help the blood clot and help control bleeding. In normal conditions, platelet levels are regulated by bone marrow factors. But cancer cells may secrete substances that trigger the marrow to produce excessive amounts of platelet cells, and those platelets may, in turn, produce factors that cause cancer cells to grow or spread.

        Data showed that 41 of 183 patients who had surgery for advanced ovarian cancer demonstrated thrombocytosis before surgery.

        The next step will be to find out whether thrombocytosis is a reaction to aggressive ovarian cancer or whether it exacerbates the cancer, Dr. Karlan said.

Research

        Prevention: Regular use of aspirin, ibuprofen and other similar drugs could help prevent prostate cancer, a new study from the Mayo Clinic suggests.

        The study found that men 60 and older who used aspirin, ibuprofen or other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) cut their risk of prostate cancer as much as 60 percent. The study also suggests the benefits may increase with age.

        Researchers tracked 1,362 white men for an average of 5 1/2 years. Of the 569 men who reported using NSAIDs daily, 23 developed prostate cancer, compared to 68 of the 793 men who did not use NSAIDs daily.

        More research is needed, said Dr. Rosebud Roberts, an epidemiologist at the Mayo Clinic and lead researcher of the study. Men should not begin taking NSAIDs daily on the basis of the Mayo study, Dr. Roberts said.

Siting

        Click: Visit www.safekids.org, the Web site for the National Safe Kids Campaign, for information on safety in the pool, in the car, on the playground and at home.

Calendar

        For families: Erica Boller and Dr. Maureen Dwyer will discuss diagnosis, treatment and support options for families dealing with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder at 6:15 p.m. April 10 at St. Elizabeth Behavioral Health Center in Edgewood. The Mental Health Association of Northern Kentucky is co-sponsor. Free. Reservations: (859) 292-2486 or (859) 431-1077.

Shelf help

        How to: KidsHealth Guide for Parents (Contemporary Books; $19.95) by Steven A. Dowshen, Neil Izenberg and Elizabeth Bass covers just about every question parents could have about their little one's well-being from prenatal care to the tot's fifth birthday. The writers are the medical experts at KidsHealth.org.

        Contact Peggy O'Farrell by phone: 768-8510; fax: 768-8330; e-mail: pofarrell@enquirer.com.

       



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