Health Highlights: March 6, 2008

"In most cases we don't even get a chance to cure it; at the time of presentation and the clinical manifestation of the symptoms, the cat's already out of the bag," noted Andrew Warshaw, surgeon-in-chief at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston. "For 80-plus percent, maybe even 90 percent of people at the time diagnosis is first made, there is nothing beyond palliative care to help them," he told ABC News.


2 More Colorectal Cancer Tests Endorsed

Two tests not previously endorsed to prevent or detect colorectal cancer are now being recommended by the American Cancer Society and other groups, The New York Times reported.

The groups said there's evidence that these two tests -- virtual colonoscopy and a DNA test -- are effective enough to recommend for all adults 50 and older and for some younger people with symptoms or risk factors for colorectal cancer. They're now among several testing options available for patients. Experts hope that offering more choices will boost the number of people who get screened for colorectal cancer.

Virtual colonoscopy uses a CT scan to search for abnormal growths. Unlike standard colonoscopy, it doesn't require insertion of a camera-tipped tube into the rectum. The second newly recommended test looks for abnormal DNA associated with cancer. It requires an entire bowel movement to be collected from a patient and sent to a laboratory, the Times reported.

In 2008, it's expected there will be 148,810 new colorectal cancer cases and 49,960 deaths in the United States. It's the second leading cause of cancer death in the country.


U.S. Men Doing More Housework, Which May Lead to More Sex

While American men still don't do their fair share of household chores, they are getting better, says a report released Thursday by the Council on Contemporary Families. And one expert suggested that men who do help out around the house get more sex.

The authors of the report analyzed several recent studies on family dynamics in the United States. One study said there was a tripling of the amount of time men spent on child care over the past four decades, while another study concluded that the amount of housework done by men doubled over the same period, the Associated Press reported.

"More couples are sharing family tasks than ever before, and the movement toward sharing has been especially significant for full-time, dual-earner couples," the report said. "Men and women may not be fully equal yet, but the rules of the game have been profoundly and irreversibly changed."

Equitable division of household chores can make for a happier marriage and boost a couple's sex life, said Joshua Coleman, a San Francisco-area psychologist affiliated with the Council on Contemporary Families.

"If a guy does housework, it looks to the woman like he really cares about her -- he's not treating her like a servant," Coleman told the AP. "And if a woman feels stressed out because the house is a mess and the guy's sitting on the couch while she's vacuuming, that's not going to put her in the mood."


Thursday Is World Glaucoma Day

Thursday is the first World Glaucoma Day and experts are urging all people over age 40 and those with other risk factors for the disease to take steps to recognize and understand the potentially devastating consequences of the disease.

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