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"When you know better, you do better." – Maya Angelou

ceoMoms want to know what's going on. It's one of the ways we can improve ourselves and expand our minds. We encourage you to read the news, pick up the book you've been putting off or learn about the world in general. Then pass on your thirst for knowledge to your children. Go mom!

Acupuncture beats drugs to treat hot flashes

WASHINGTON - Acupuncture works as well as a drug commonly used to combat hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms that can accompany breast cancer treatment, and its benefits last longer, without bad side effects, researchers said on Monday.

They tested acupuncture, which began in China more than 2,000 years ago and involves inserting needles into the body, against the Wyeth antidepressant Effexor, for hot flashes in breast cancer patients.

Acupuncture was just as effective as Effexor, also called venlafaxine, in managing symptoms including hot flashes and night sweats, according to researchers led by Dr. Eleanor Walker of Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Read more

Better to know? Debating gene tests for kids

Women are going for breast cancer gene testing in record numbers, forcing more parents to face a tough question: Should we test the kids?

About 100,000 tests for breast cancer gene mutations were done last year, double the number in 2005. The trend may grow even more because of widening insurance coverage and a new law banning genetic discrimination.

Medical experts advise against such testing before age 25, saying that little can be done to prevent or screen for breast or ovarian cancer until then, so the knowledge would only cause needless worry. Read more

Tylenol may raise asthma risk in kids

HONG KONG - Infants who have been given the common pain reliever paracetamol, also known as acetaminophen, may have a higher risk of developing asthma and eczema by the time they are 6 or 7, a large study covering children in 31 countries has found.

The findings were published in the journal Lancet together with two other studies, which found that runny noses and wheezing early on in life may be strong predictors of asthma.

In the first study, researchers pored through data provided by parents of more than 205,000 children and found acetaminophen use in the first year of life was associated with a 46 percent higher risk of asthma by the time the children were 6 or 7 compared to those never exposed to the drug. Read more

How to care for common injuries — and when to call 911

As a 30-year-old engineer living in a Philadelphia suburb, Joe Cammarata's combat experience amounts to playing Street Fighter II on his computer.

Yet his medical history makes it sound like characters leaped from the screen to rough him up: a torn rotator cuff and torn Achilles tendon, both from playing baseball; third-degree burns on both legs after a drunken sprint through a frat-party bonfire; a sprained ankle from playing soccer; and, after a memorable roll in the hay, a missing front tooth.

"My reaction has always been to run around screaming," says Cammarata of his stock response to injury, one mimicked by other men.

And there's no shortage of screamers: The National Center for Health Statistics says injuries sent nearly 18 million American men to the E.R. in 2005. Most of those scrapes, burns, and cuts occurred at home or on the field or court.

But here's the thing: People like Joe would recover more quickly if they knew what to do before a paramedic or doctor took over. And armed with some simple yet effective DIY techniques, your only E.R. experience might come as you're sitting on the sofa.

If you're cut:
First things first: Grab a clean napkin or towel or some sterile gauze, Read more

What we are giving up to make ends meet

(CNN) -- Catherine Konradt wrote "Goodbye" on an post as she was packing to move from California to Arizona to live with her mother. "Both my husband and myself have master's degrees and can't find a job to save our lives."
iReporter Kathleen has a long list of things she is giving up because of financial struggles.

Konradt was laid off in July and said potential employers have been turning her down for months because of the "high volume of résumés."

"I have just about hit the end of the line financially," she says. "Even in a two-income family, we are hard-pressed. Something has got to give soon!" Read more

Diet high in trans fats linked to miscarriage

Trans fatty acids, the much maligned 'solid' fats implicated as artery-clogging contributors to cardiovascular disease, may also increase the risk of fetal death during pregnancy, study findings suggest.

Dr. Charles J. Glueck, of Jewish Hospital Cholesterol Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, and colleagues found a higher percentage of fetal loss among women who consumed higher levels of trans fatty acids.

Trans fatty acids, also known as trans fats, are common in processed foods that list partially hydrogenated oils as an ingredient. Read more

Mom's flu shot in pregnancy protects newborn

BOSTON - Flu shots given to pregnant women a month or more before delivery will prevent most cases of influenza during the first six months of their babies' lives, researchers said.

"Immunize the mother and you protect the infant," Dr. Mark Steinhoff, a pediatrician with the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a telephone interview.

The shots are not licensed for children younger than six months old — who are in turn more likely to be hospitalized for influenza than any other group. Read more

No such thing as a safe tan, scientists say

They said in their review of published studies that tans and skin cancer both begin with DNA damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet light but many people, especially the young, ignore or are unaware of this danger in a quest for a bronzed body.

"The signals in the cells that induce sun tanning appear to be DNA damage," said Dorothy Bennett, a cell biologist at St. George's, University of London, who wrote one of the papers. Read more

FDA defends plastic linked with health risks

CHICAGO - With scientists at odds over the safety of a chemical found in plastic baby bottles, metal cans and other food packaging, consumers got minimal guidance Tuesday about how to protect themselves.

At a scientific hearing, the Food and Drug Administration defended its assessment that bisphenol A— or BPA—is safe, even as the first major study of health effects in people linked it with possible risks for heart disease and diabetes. The debate could drag on for years.

“Right now, our tentative conclusion is that it’s safe, so we’re not recommending any change in habits,” said Laura Tarantino, head of the FDA’s office of food additive safety. But she acknowledged, “there are a number of things people can do to lower their exposure.” Read more

Heated car seat may be too hot for men

NEW YORK - Heated seats are a luxury in some cars, but they may be a little too hot for men, a preliminary study suggests.

Researchers found that 90 minutes on a heated car seat created a significant increase in men's scrotal temperature. Because heat stress on the testicles has been shown to impair sperm quality, the findings raise the possibility that over time, heated car seats could affect a man's fertility.

However, the study looked only at short-term changes in scrotal temperature, and not the effects on sperm, stressed lead researcher Dr. Andreas Jung, of Justus Liebig University Giessen in Germany. Read more

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