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New breast cancer therapy developed

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          HEALTH TIPS - Friday, February 2, 2007
               "News That Keeps You Healthy"


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          New breast cancer therapy developed

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., -- U.S. medical scientists say they used 
research initially intended for detecting ballistic mis-
siles to develop a treatment for breast cancer. 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researcher Alan Fenn 
said treating cancer with heat is not a new idea, but 
"researchers were having trouble using it to treat tumors 
deep within the body." Further, he said it's difficult to 
deliver the heat only to cancer cells without overheating 
normal tissue. The microwaves in Fenn's new technique heat 
and kill cells containing high amounts of water and ions, 
or electrically charged atoms. Cancer cells typically have 
a high content of both, while healthy breast tissue con-
tains much less. The outpatient procedure uses a single 
tiny needle probe to sense and measure parameters during 
treatment. The treatment's first clinical study involved 
75 patients with early-stage breast cancer. Of 34 patients 
who received the treatment prior to lumpectomy, none had 
viable cancer cells remaining at the surgical margins. Of 
the 41 patients undergoing a lumpectomy, but not the MIT 
treatment, four had cancer cells at the surgical margins.
The research is documented in Fenn's new book, "Breast 
Cancer Treatment by Focused Microwave Thermotherapy." 

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        Crohn's disease: New diagnostic technology

VIENNA, -- Austrian scientists say they've developed a new 
diagnostic technology for Crohn's disease: computerized 
tomography enteroclysis. CT enteroclysis is reportedly 
superior to conventional enteroclysis -- previously con-
sidered the gold standard as an imaging method for the 
evaluation of the small bowel in patients with Crohn's 
disease. Crohn's disease is an inflammatory disease of the 
intestinal wall. "The big advantage of CT enteroclysis is 
its ability to detect complications which exist outside 
normal parameters of the diagnosis and identification of 
Crohn's disease," said Dr. Johannes Sailer of the Medical 
University of Vienna and lead author of the research. "Our 
recent study proved that CT enteroclysis can detect fistula, 
abscess and conglomeration tumor superior to conventional 
enteroclysis, with no disadvantages in the detection of 
minimal mucosal changes (a sign of early stage Crohn's 
disease). "CT enteroclysis is an excellent technique for 
diagnosis of all small bowel diseases (that) show morpho-
logic changes to the bowel wall," added Sailer, who said 
the technique should replace conventional enteroclysis in 
patients with Crohn's disease. 

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          Scientists explore effects of emotions

NEW YORK, -- Researchers say people who have negative 
emotions without knowing their source often allow the 
emotions to affect decisions on unrelated issues. "When 
we do not know the cause of our negative states -- 
referred to as mood states by psychologists -- we use 
the moods themselves as information about our environment," 
explain Rajagopal Raghunathan of the University of Texas-
Austin, Michel Pham of Columbia University and Kim Corfman 
of New York University. They demonstrated the effect by 
putting subjects into a sad, anxious or neutral mood, then 
having them make choices unrelated to the source of their 
feelings. While both anxiety and sadness exerted a strong 
influence on decision-making, different types of negative 
emotions encouraged different choices. "While anxiety 
triggers a preference for options that are safer and pro-
vide a sense of control, sadness triggers a preference for 
options that are more rewarding and comforting," write the 
authors. Even when subjects identified the cause of the 
emotions, decisions moderately or superficially related to 
that cause were still affected by the emotions. 

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