Alcohol may improve breast cancer survival

Although drinking alcohol is known to be a risk factor for developing breast cancer, a new study suggests that alcohol may not have any effect on whether you survive the disease.  In fact, researchers found that being a moderate drinker may actually improve your chances of survival.

“The results of the study showed there was no adverse relationship between drinking patterns before diagnosis and breast cancer survival,” said Polly Newcomb, director of the cancer prevention program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and the lead author of the study.

“We actually found that relative to non-drinkers there were modestly improved survival rates for moderate alcohol intake.”

The researchers followed close to 25,000 breast cancer patients for an average of 11 years, and found that women who drank moderately – three to six drinks per week – before developing breast cancer were 15% less likely to die from the disease.

Full story of alcohol and breast cancer at CNN Health

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Menopause: Relaxation Good Therapy for Hot Flushes

Relaxation for MenopauseWomen who have undergone group therapy and learned to relax have reduced their menopausal troubles by half, according to results of a study at Linköping University and Linköping University Hospital in Sweden.

Seven out of every ten women undergoing menopause have at some point experienced problems with hot flushes and sweating. For one in ten women, the problems lasted five years or longer, primarily causing discomfort in social situations and insomnia.

The background to this is not known. What is known is that the decreasing amounts of the female hormone estrogen — which occurs after menopause — affects the brain’s heat regulation centre in the hypothalamus.

Medication with estrogen has proven to have a good effect. At the end of the 1990s, Swedish doctors prescribed hormone tablets to around 40% of women with moderate to severe symptoms. But since new observations have shown that the treatment increased the risk of breast cancer and cardiovascular disease, their use has decreased drastically. Today, the number of women with menopausal problems receiving estrogen is down to 10%.

Full story of menopause relaxation at Science Daily

Photos courtesy of and copyright PhotoPin, http://photopin.com/

Finally, a treatment for that buzzing in your ears

Treatment For Buzzing EarsImagine the incessant, grating sound of buzzing in your ears – or constant beeping, whistling, dripping, or clicking.  Imagine the chatter of crickets or birds resonating in your head all day long.

Then realize that there are no actual birds or crickets. No dripping faucet. No clicking or whistling happening in the vicinity.

That is a small glimpse of life with tinnitus:  The perception of sound, that doesn’t exist, manufactured by the brain. 

"I hear tree frogs and crickets and bugs, and really loud noise on top of that," said Ginny Morrell, 60, who has suffered with tinnitus for two years. "It started one day and never went away. It never wavers, 24 hours a day."
Morrell says she fills her life with sound – a radio during the day, a television droning in the background while she sleeps – as a way to drown out the din.  It’s a distraction that sometimes works.

"It’s not going to kill me, it’s not cancer," said Morrell.  "But it might drive me crazy."

But according to a new study, the most effective treatment for Morrell’s tinnitus may involve just the opposite of what she’s currently doing: Rather than ignoring the sound, focus on it.

Full story of ear buzzing at CNN Health

Photos courtesy of and copyright stock.xchng, http://www.sxc.hu/

TLC brings new life to newspapers

By Bettie Marlowe

Art TherapyThere is a purpose to the Cleveland Daily Banner getting squashed, soaked, plastered, painted and decorated at the Teen Learning Center.

Art Therapist Blythe Mayfield is behind this “Animal Persona” project, which, she explains, “is an alternative method for externalizing feelings and conveying messages without having to rely on words alone.”

The art therapy program is part of the grant-funded TREK — Teaching Responsibility and Educating Kids — a program to meet the needs of the alternative school population and provide the knowledge and skills for students to become responsible, productive individuals.

This is the second year for the TREK (Teaching Responsibility and Educating Kids) program in the Cleveland and Bradley County schools. Blair Deacon is the creator and program director of TREK and serves as a counselor at TLC.

Full story at Cleveland Banner

Antidepressants can treat hot flushes: research

By Rebecca Smith

Antidepressants Treat Hot FlashesNew research has uncovered that women with hot flushes have differences in the way their blood vessels react to hormones.

Around a quarter of women going through the menopause will suffer so severely with hot flushes that they seek medical help.

After Hormone Replacement Therapy was linked with a small increased risk of breast cancer many women have refused to use it even though this is considered the best treatment for hot flushes.

Prof Mary Ann Lumsden, of Glasgow University, found that antidepressants which affect how the body uses serotonin, the so-called feel-good hormone, also influences how the blood vessels contract and expand in women who suffer with hot flushes.

She said: “The thing about flushing is that no one really knows why it happens.

“I see women all the time who have had flushes for a long time and their life is compromised. It is embarrassing, difficult and uncomfortable for them. It causes huge misery.”

Full story at The Telegraph