HealthWise at 5 From 1.2 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/2/02

HealthWise at 5 From 1.2

  • Potassium Iodide

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is reconsidering production of Potassium Iodide in pill form to fight terrorism. Apparently, researchers have known since the Three Mile Island disaster that Potassium Iodide could help offset the affects of radiation exposure. The government had promised after that melt-down to start producing the small pill to protect the public from a similar incident and it never did. By now, after September 11th, the Health and Human Services Department says every state should begin a public discussion on whether to ask the NRC for funds to create local supplies of Potassium Iodide to protect against the potential of radiation exposure. The World Health Organization recommends every country with nuclear weapons stockpile Potassium Iodide.

  • New Drug for Cancer

A drug that eases the pain of Arthritis is proving to be an effective treatment for cancer patients. It's called Etanercept and it's sold under the name Embrel. It's intended to ease inflammation in Arthritis patients, but researchers at James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University say it may also help improve the quality of life for patients with advanced cancer, not by attacking the cancer but by easing the side effects from toxic treatments. It works by controlling the level of a chemical called Tumor Necrosis factor or TNF."You want enough of it to be able to help you mount that immune response to ward off infection but often in chronic diseases such as cancer your immune system can go out of whack, if you will," says Dr. Denis Guttridge.

Dr. Guttridge says cancer patients may get too much TNF causing tissue loss and fatigue, but that Embrel seems to offset that effect and give patients an energy boost and even help with their appetite. If you'd like more information log onto the James web site by (clicking here ) or call the James-Line at 1-800-293-5066.

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