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May 10, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- CRYOSURGERY FOR BREAST CANCER

Research points to the potential for treating breast cancer with cryosurgery that requires a cut as small as a pinprick. In a process called cryoablation, surgeons freeze the tumors to kill the cells. The technique, already used as a non-surgical treatment for benign breast disease, is described in the Annals of Surgical Oncology as an effective means to kill cancerous cells in small tumors. Although still an experimental treatment for breast cancer, the findings move it closer to clinical application for early stage disease, University of Michigan researchers say.


A national survey shows parents of children younger than 15 think TV and movies can help teach their youngsters lessons of good hygiene. In the survey, funded by The Soap and Detergent Association, 41 percent of parents said the two media are good sources of information on cleanliness for their children, and 37 percent said the media influenced them when they were young. Nearly all the parents -- 93 percent -- said the home is the best place to learn lessons of cleanliness. Able to select more than one choice, 70 percent also listed the classroom as a good place to get hygiene information, 54 percent named the doctor's office, and 42 percent cited books, newspapers or magazines as helpful tools for training youngsters to wash properly. "Children's programming can play a critical role in educating youth about cleanliness, which is directly linked to today's societal health issues, such as asthma and disease prevention," said Nancy Bock, vice president of education at the soap association.


Researchers say surgical removal of the prostate can extend the lives of men with prostate cancer. Five studies, presented at the annual meeting of the Urological Association in San Francisco, showed the benefits of the surgery, called radical prostatectomy. Scientists from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center studied 1,716 patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer who had undergone the surgery in the past 21 years. They found the disease did not progress in 75 percent of the patients 15 years after surgery. Of the study patients, only 7 percent died of the disease in the 15 years. The authors say this is the first report to show such long-term disease-control rates following surgery in such a large group of patients.


A study suggests a link between many sexual partners and a history of gonorrhea and increased risks of developing prostate cancer. The study authors from the University of Michigan Health System say men with more than 25 lifetime sexual partners are 2.5 times more likely to get prostate cancer than those with five or fewer sexual partners. The conclusions, presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association in San Francisco, are part of the Flint Men's Health Study of black men ages 40 to 79 living in Flint, Mich. The study aimed to determine why black men are twice as likely as white men to develop prostate cancer and twice as likely to die from the disease. "Our results suggest gonorrhea may play a role in the development of prostate cancer in African-American men," said lead study author Aruna Sarma, assistant research scientist in urology at the University of Michigan Medical School.

(Editors: For more information about CRYOSURGERY, Nicole Fawcett at (734) 764-2220 or For TV, Brian Sansoni at (202) 662-2517 or For PROSTATE, Esther Carver at (212) 639-3573. For GONORRHEA, Nicole Fawcett (734) 764-2220 or

Copyright 2004 by United Press International.

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