HealthWise at 5 From 7.8 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/8/02

HealthWise at 5 From 7.8

  • Stubborn Cancer

A new option to cancer patients who are running out of options. The Food and Drug Administration has put on the fast track a new drug called PS-341 that may clean-up any hidden cancer cells that could be missed by chemotherapy. It's an experimental drug that targets two proteins that protect cancer cells. Researchers say that PS-341 is showing promise in treating those stubborn cancer cells that may resist chemo treatments. And the FDA agrees that the drug appears effective, especially when combined with other cancer therapies, so that government agency has moved PS-341 to a fast track status for testing.

  • More Benefits of Cholesterol Drugs

Even if you don't have high cholesterol, you could benefit from cholesterol drugs. A British study of more than 20,000 Heart Disease patients found drugs called Statins do more than just lower cholesterol. Even if the patient had normal of low cholesterol, the study found big benefits. Specifically, the medicine reduced heart attacks and strokes in heart patients who also had Diabetes, artery disease, or had a previous stroke. Statins carry a slight risk of liver damage, though, so patients need blood tests during the first months to make sure that isn't happening as a result of the treatment. There has been concern about safety after the deaths of 31 patients on a Statin called Baycol, but that drug isn't on the market anymore.

  • Nursing Home Hunt

A recent government survey found that nine out of every ten nursing homes in the U.S. don't have enough staff to properly care for patients. So how do you find the best ones? Experts at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center offer these tips.

    • Check out the staff to patient ratio. One staff member for every five or six residents is considered good.
    • See if the facility has an odor. If it does, or the residents appear to be unattended, it shows an overall lack of care.
    • If your loved one has special needs, ask about accommodations for the disabled or for those with Alzheimer's.
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