Almost all Canadians would benefit from palliative care. Only one in seven can actually access it at end-of-life

(André Picard/ Globe and Mail) — An estimated 89 per cent of Canadians could benefit from palliative care in the last year of life. But only 15 per cent are actually getting it. That’s a pretty damning commentary on the state of end-of-life care in this country, and it only tells part of the story. The […]

FIND OUT MORE

Eating junk food tied to higher risk of numerous cancers

(CNN) — You probably already know that junk food, though delicious, is bad for you. It can have negative health effects such as increasing your risk of heart disease, metabolic disease and even cancer. Now, researchers have used a new nutritional labeling system to tie a diet low in nutritional quality with increased risks of […]

FIND OUT MORE

Was Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile caused by a thyroid condition?

(Jason Daley/ Smithsinian.com) —  The “Mona Lisa” is so iconic that few people actually take the time to really look at the half-length portrait. But examine the Leonardo da Vinci creation for a few minutes and there’s one inevitable conclusion: something’s not right with the sitter. That’s exactly what happened to Mandeep R. Mehra, medical […]

FIND OUT MORE

Her dense breast tissue hid cancer for years. Now she’s warning others

Fibrous breast tissue can obscure or camouflage cancer in mammograms (CBC Radio) — In 2014, Michelle Di Tomaso was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. It came as a shock to her because she had undergone four clear mammograms. She was devastated to learn that the tumour in her left breast had been growing for two to […]

FIND OUT MORE

What does it mean if your ESR is high?

(Daniel Murrell, MD/ Medical News Today)  — The ESR test measures the erythrocyte sedimentation rate, which is how quickly red blood cells settle at the bottom of a blood sample. Doctors cannot use the results of the test to diagnose a specific disease because many different health conditions can cause the ESR to be high […]

FIND OUT MORE

Cancer deaths rise to 9.6 million globally as populations age

Nearly half of new cancer cases and more than half of cancer deaths worldwide in 2018 will be in Asia (Thomson Reuters) — Cancer will claim the lives of 9.6 million people in 2018, accounting for one in eight of all deaths among men and one in 11 among women, the World Health Organization’s cancer research […]

FIND OUT MORE

Probiotics might not help your gut microbiome and could prevent return to healthy state, studies say

(Australian Broadcasting Corporation) — Is there much benefit in the average person taking over-the-counter probiotics? Research released last week says no — and suggests that in some cases, it could even cause harm. Our guts are home to colonies of bacteria, collectively known as a microbiome, that aid digestion and help keep us healthy. Probiotics are […]

FIND OUT MORE

It’s not just the EpiPen. Canada had 25 new drug shortages this week alone

(Kelly Crowe/ CBC News) — It’s not just the EpiPen. Drug shortages have quietly become a chronic problem for Canada’s health-care system. This week alone, 25 new drugs were listed on Canada’s drug shortage website. They include treatments for migraines, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, hepatitis B, genital herpes, hypertension, and even generic Viagra. They’re the latest […]

FIND OUT MORE

UBC researchers have found a way to convert any blood type to the universal O

(CBC Radio) — Researchers at the University of British Columbia have found a technique that could make all donated blood compatible with all patients, regardless of the blood type of the donor or the recipient. UBC biochemist Stephen Withers announced that he and his team had found a way to convert different types of blood into […]

FIND OUT MORE

Gene discovery may prevent preterm births

(Futurity) — Preterm birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) is a major global public health problem. Every year, 15 million babies are born prematurely and many will suffer from neurodegenerative disorders, including cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, impaired vision, and behavioral problems. Premature birth is the leading global cause of death among children less than five […]

FIND OUT MORE