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Posted - Jul. 13, 2004 at 8:20 a.m.



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Jul 13, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- CANCER PATIENTS ANTICIPATE SYMPTOMS

A University of Rochester study finds patients about to undergo chemotherapy or radiation expect a high number of side effects. However, age, gender, educational background and the type of cancer all influence how many side effects a patient expects. For example, studies have shown patients who expect a side effect, such as nausea, are more likely to develop the symptom. Researchers said it remains unclear, however, whether the same holds true for other symptoms, like fatigue. The study, in the online edition of Cancer, found patients under age 60 expected more side effects than patients over 60, and women expected more symptoms than men. Those who had a college education anticipated more side effects than those who didn't. Patients with leukemia and lung cancer expected the greatest number of side effects, while those with prostate cancer expected the fewest.

MANY GET NO EXERCISE

Almost 40 percent of residents of Los Angeles County say they get no more than 10 minutes of continuous physical activity or exercise each week. The University of California at Los Angeles School of Public Health also found in its 1999-2000 telephone survey of 8,353 Los Angeles County residents that women were almost twice as likely as men to be physically inactive. The study, published in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, finds that sedentary behavior was more prevalent among those who said they were depressed, in poor health and among those who spent three or more hours a day watching television or using a computer during leisure time. The researchers say the workplace could promote more physical activity.

GENITAL PAIN LINKED TO PAIN SENSITIVITY

A University of Michigan Health System study finds that women with pain in the genital area process pain differently. The study, published in the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, finds that women with a condition called vulvodynia are more sensitive to pain at other points in their body. "We found women with vulvodynia were hypersensitive at the vulva, not only in areas that were clinically tender, but in surrounding areas as well, and at areas not thought to be tender at all -- the deltoid, shins and thumb," says study author Dr. Barbara D. Reed. Currently, few doctors are familiar with vulvar pain disorders, and many women with intense pain are misdiagnosed for years with chronic yeast infections or psychological problems, says Reed.

PROLONGED ASPIRIN CAN DAMAGE TEETH

People who chew aspirin over a prolonged period could severely damage their teeth, says a study by the University of Maryland Dental School, Baltimore. "Aspirin can cause severe damage to both the hard and soft tissues of the mouth," the researchers said. "Dentists should counsel and educate patients and other health care practitioners about the dangers to both hard and soft oral tissues from chewing aspirin." The study, in the Journal of the American Dental Association, detailed two cases of people who had damaged tooth enamel from chewing several aspirin tablets daily.

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(EDITORS: For more information on CANCER, contact David Greenberg at (201) 748-6484 or dgreenbe@wiley.com. For EXERCISE, Dan Page (310) 794-2265 or dpage@support.ucla.edu. For PAIN, Barbara Reed at barbr@umich.edu)

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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