New Blood Test Detects Multiple Cancers

May 13th, 2020

 Vials of bloodFor the first time, a blood test has been shown to help detect many types of cancer in a study of thousands of people with no history of symptoms or disease.

New Blood Test

The new study was the first “real world” test in routine medical care. The test is designed to spot genetic mutations in patient’s blood cells that indicate the presence of cancer.

Using a liquid biopsy, along with standard screening methods, doubled the cancers that were detected in the study. A liquid biopsy looks for DNA and other things that tumors shed in the blood, to try and find cancer at an early stage.

Until now, these tools have been tested on blood samples from people with and without cancer to estimate their accuracy.

Nearly 10,000 women were recruited. They were encouraged to continue their regular screenings and were given a blood test, which was repeated if the findings suggested cancer. If the second test came back suspicious, they were given a whole body PET-CT scan.

Results

After one year, 96 cancers had been diagnosed. The usual screenings found 24 and the blood test helped to find 26 others. The remaining 46 were found because symptoms appeared or the cancer was discovered in other ways.

Of the 26 cancers that were spotted with the test, nine were in the lungs, six were in the ovaries, two were in the uterus, two were in the colon, and two were lymphomas (blood cancer). Of these, 17 were diagnosed at an early stage.

The authors plan to follow the participants for five years.

It was only studied in women 65 to 75 years old and needs to be tried in men, other ages and more diverse groups.

The results were published in the journal “Science” on May 1.

What IAA has to Say

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CDC Adds New COVID-19 Symptoms to Official List

May 6th, 2020

 COVID-19 CellThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added six new symptoms to its official list of COVID-19 symptoms on April 26.

New COVID-19 Symptoms

The symptoms that have been added to the official list are:

  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Sore throat

The previously known symptoms are:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath

According to the CDC, people with COVID-19 have a wide variety of symptoms. Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus.

Keep Safe

In order to stay safe and healthy, everyone should:

  1. Wash your hands often: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  2. Avoid close contact: Put distance between yourself and other people. Stay home as much as possible.
  3. Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth face cover when around others: You could spread COVID-19 even if you do not feel sick. The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes: Immediately wash your hands.
  5. Clean and disinfect: Make sure to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America wants to keep you up-to-date on the world of health. Stay tuned to this blog to learn more. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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Calls to Poison Control Centers on the Rise

April 29th, 2020

Cleaning productsA study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) “Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report” says calls to poison control centers are on the rise.

Numbers Rise

A team of CDC investigators using data from the National Poison Data System (NPDS), The American  Association of Poison Control Centers, and the CDC itself, compared reports of poisonings from disinfectants and cleaning supplies, in the three month window from January through March 2020.

Overall, the poison centers received a total of 45,550 calls during that time period. There was a 20.4 percent increase over the same period in 2019 and a 16.4 percent increase compared to 2018. The breakdown is 28,158 calls related to cleaners and 17,392 linked to disinfectant.

Of all means of ingestion, inhalation of fumes represented the largest increase in exposure routes, jumping 35.3 percent for all forms of cleaners.

This study was reported on April 20.

The CDC did say that the data does not show a definite link between the rise in calls and COVID-19. The agency did say the calls spiked in the beginning of March 2020 when many local health agencies began issuing advisories.

Minimize the Risk

The CDC recommends five steps to minimize the risk of poisoning:

  1. Follow directions on product labels.
  2. Don’t mix chemicals.
  3. Wear protective gear, like gloves.
  4. Use all products in a well-ventilated area.
  5. Store chemicals out of reach of children.

Keeping daily used surfaces and items clean is important, but it is vital to remain safe while doing so.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America knows that the coronavirus has everyone concerned about their health, but it is important to keep everything sanitary in a safe manner. Keep safe and healthy from IAA!

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Bedroom Air Filter may be Good Idea for Asthmatic Children

April 22nd, 2020

LungsNew research shows that a bedroom air filter can significantly improve breathing in kids with asthma.

Asthma Study

The study included 43 children with mild to moderate asthma. The study was conducted during a period of moderately high fine particulate matter (PM2.5) air pollution in Shanghai, China. PM2.5 are about 30 times smaller than the width of a single human hair, and can be inhaled into the deepest areas of the lungs.

For the study, two air filters were tested in the children’s bedrooms. One was a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and the other was a fake filter.

Each filter was used for two weeks with a two-week gap in-between.  Families did not know which filter was which.

Investigators found that on average, there was a 24 percent reduction in total airway resistance; a 43 percent reduction in small airway resistance; a 73 percent increase in airway elasticity; and a 28 percent reduction in exhaled nitric oxide, a marker of lung inflammation.

PM2.5 levels inside the kid’s bedrooms were up to two-thirds lower when the real HEPA filters were used compared to the fake ones.

The breathing benefits only lasted as long as the real air filters were used.    

The findings were published on April 6 in “JAMA Pediatrics.”

Signs and Symptoms of Asthma

Asthma is a condition in which your airways narrow and swell and produce extra mucus. This can make breathing difficult and trigger coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.

Asthma symptoms vary from person to person. Asthma signs and symptoms include:

  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath or wheezing

Asthma affects as many as 10 percent to 12 percent of children in the United States. It is also the leading cause of chronic illness in children.

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FDA Clears Clinical Trial for COVID-19 Stem-Cell Treatment

April 15th, 2020

COVID-19 CellCelularity a New Jersey biotech company announced on April 3 that it received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin a clinical trial of a proposed stem-cell treatment for COVID-19. 

Potential Therapy for COVID-19

The therapy, currently named CYNK-001 uses “natural killer (NK)” cells, a form of white blood cells that wage war against cancer and viral infection. The therapy is derived from placental cells.

The idea behind the therapy is that for patients who are starting to show symptoms or who may be at risk for a more severe form of the disease, can receive an intravenous infusion of NK cells to bolster their immune response to the virus. The additional NK cells can help slow down the virus’s ability to replicate within the body.

Testing will involve use of the treatment in a patient group of up to 86 people.

Initial results from the early trial are expected 30 to 60 days after the first patients receive their first dose.

If the early trial is successful, the company will conduct a placebo-controlled study that would evaluate the drug’s efficacy against COVID-19.

Stay Healthy

Reminder--you can take simple steps to help you and your family stay healthy:

  1. Clean your hands often: Wash your hands often with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  2. Avoid close contact: Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home as much as possible.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a face cloth when around others: You could spread COVID-19 even if you do not feel sick.
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes
  5. Clean and disinfect: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.

These small steps can have a big impact!

What IAA has to Say

Everyday scientists are discovering new methods to help patients. Insurance Administrator of America wants you to be kept up to date with the new discoveries in the world of health and science. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

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