Medical Watch for Sept 11

Risk for breast cancer

Women who were treated for cancer as a child face an increased risk for breast cancer.

Certain types of chemotherapy drugs increased the threat for a secondary cancer according to results from a large scale international study of childhood cancer survivors.

The results, published in the Journal Nature Medicine point to the need for earlier breast cancer screening for cancer survivors.

Women treated with anthracycline chemotherapy including doxorubicin had a six times greater likelihood for breast cancer younger than 40.

When the childhood cancer treatment also included radiation, women had the greatest chance for a breast cancer diagnosis.

Anthracyclines are important for childhood cancer survival but doctors and patients need to know the potential future threat.

Antidepressants & memory

Antidepressants do more than boost mood, they may enhance memory.

While prescribing antidepressants to people suffering from depression helps quiet negative memories, the drugs also magnify good life memories.

Rice University researchers say their study shows antidepressants have a unique power to improve overall memory.

Doctors say they don’t know exactly how antidepressants work and they often need to experiment with various medications to get dosing right for each patient.

But once they do, they say it helps in other ways including memory enhancement.

Get a hobby and boost your mood.

Hobbies halt depression according to a new study by University College London researchers.

People older than 65 who adopted hobbies had fewer depressive symptoms, reported higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction.

The research, including 100,000 people, spanned 16 countries on three continents for nearly two decades.

Hobbies positively impacted mood for people regardless of whether they had a partner or lived alone.

Study authors say it shows hobbies can protect people from age related decline in mental health and wellbeing.

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