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Dec 01, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- CT SCANS FIND TINY CANCERS

Doctors say a 15-minute CT scan can find tiny cancers, stones and other problems in the kidneys, bladders and urinary tracts of high-risk patients. They say the method could potentially curtail the need for many additional tests and avert delayed detection and treatment. The detailed imaging scan can be done using modern computed tomography machines found in many large hospitals, say University of Michigan Health System radiologists. They told the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America the technique is sensitive, accurate and easy to adopt.


A new drug stands to benefit millions of men with enlarged prostate, its developers at University College London say. The drug, called Rho-kinase inhibitor, was shown in preliminary tests to relax the prostate and stop the growth of cells within it. The findings, described in the Journal of Urology, could be of interest to the 85 percent of men over 50 who suffer from the condition, which causes frequent urination and irritation due to the obstruction of urine flow. Current treatments aim to either relax the prostrate or reduce its size as two separate actions. They also have undesired hormonal effects, doctors said.


Americans suffer half the strokes of Europeans, primarily because twice as many U.S. residents have their high blood pressure under control. Surveys show 29 percent of Americans with hypertension have it controlled, compared to less than 11 percent of Europeans, researchers report in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association. The scientists at Loyola University Health System studied hypertension prevalence, treatment and control among the 35-to-64-year-olds in five European countries, Canada and the United States. "Only 5 percent of people in Spain and 10 percent of people in England with (high) blood pressure had it controlled," said study co-author Dr. Richard Cooper, chairman of preventive medicine and epidemiology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.


The holiday party season has started and experts are warning revelers to drink in moderation and never to mix drinking and driving. Every year in the United States, more than 42,000 people are killed in motor vehicle accidents. Alcohol is involved in 41 percent of such crashes. Accidents involving alcohol usually result in more serious injuries than those where the drivers are sober, researchers said. Often-cited reasons include drunk drivers usually drive faster and don't wear seatbelts. University of Michigan researchers have identified another reason for the more severe injuries. "For some reason, alcohol seems to decrease the body's tolerance to the forces one experiences in a crash. Anyone in the car who has been drinking, whether driver or passenger, is therefore at a greater risk for injury," explains Ronald Maio, emergency medicine physician and director of the U-M Injury Research Center. He says as few as one or two drinks can significantly impair your driving ability. If you are going to drink, designate a non-drinking driver before you head out for the evening, he advises. In addition, doctors recommend you decide on a limit for the number of drinks you'll have in an evening and stick to it; have no more than one standard measure drink per hour; if you're pouring alcohol from a pitcher, pour your own, and only after you have emptied your glass; avoid shots and drinking games; and, be prepared to say, "No!"


(Editors: For more information about CT, contact Kara Gavin at (734) 764-2220 or For PROSTATE, contact Alex Brew at (207) 679-9726. For STROKES, Joanne Swanson at (708) 216-2445. For HOLIDAY, Mary Beth Reilly at

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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