Cantaloupes and concussions


 Hard to believe just a year ago we thought mammograms were good for us, cantaloupes could not be bad and concussions were just the human cost of doing business in hockey. Change is the name of the game in health: Cellphones are bad, then they’re not, then they are. While health debates continue on a number of fronts, here are my picks of the top stories of 2011.
*Mammography: More harm than good. Canadian guidelines released a few months ago from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care suggest against routine mammography for women of average risk who are aged 40 to 49 and extending time between screens for older women. The reason? Potential harm from over-diagnosis and unnecessary treatment. A British study suggested the same, while in the U.S., radiologists backed routine mammograms. A few weeks ago, a Dutch study weighed in noting mammograms cut the risk of breast cancer death by half. The debate, while tops in health news, is confusing and unhelpful.
*Tainted cantaloupes. Until this summer, cantaloupes were a favourite healthy food. But the tainted ones from a U.S. grower set a record as the deadliest food outbreak in over a decade with 30 deaths. Traffic on consumer websites was heavy as we ramped up our awareness of listeria and other food-borne illnesses. Recently, an alert about the dangers of E. coli in raw cookie dough -- a study published in the Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases found 94% of participants who consumed it got sick.
*Cellphones and brain cancer. The World Health Organization has opened the “yes they do/no they don’t” debate once more with its announcement in May that cellphone radiation may cause cancer. While a series of Swedish studies showed a connection, the WHO announcement was based on a review by 31 scientists from 14 countries. Risk is highest in children and adolescents. Teach your kids to text!


Source  - Macleans