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US-HEALTH Summary

Jun 29, 2011, 5:05 p.m.

FDA panel rejects Avastin for breast cancer use

SILVER SPRING, Maryland (Reuters) - U.S. health advisers unanimously rejected use of the drug Avastin for breast cancer, dealing a blow to its manufacturer and patients who insisted that the medicine saved their lives. Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration agreed that the Roche Holding AG drug was not safe or clinically beneficial, based on several years of follow-up trials.

Analysis: Life saving lung cancer test to set off cost debate

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A landmark study showing that routine lung screening of heavy smokers and former smokers using low dose CT scans could save thousands of lives is sure to set off a fierce debate about the cost of such testing on an overburdened healthcare system. The U.S. National Cancer Institute studied more than 53,000 people between the ages of 55 and 74 deemed at high risk of developing lung cancer. It found that screening with the three-dimensional X-rays cut deaths by 20 percent.

Study finds Americans are eating more - and more often

RALEIGH, North Carolina (Reuters) - Americans may be cutting back on super-sized meals, but waistlines continue to expand from more frequent eating, according to a study released on Wednesday. The number of daily meals and snacks consumed by U.S. adults rose to 4.8 in 2006 from 3.8 in 1977, according to University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers who examined surveys of daily eating habits over a 30-year period.

Study finds text messages help smokers quit

LONDON (Reuters) - Smokers are twice as likely to quit when they get text messages urging them to stick to their goal of being smoke free compared with those who receive texts with no motivational messages, a British study has found. Experts say the "txt2stop" trial, which is the first such study to verify quit rates using biochemical testing, may offer a cheap and easy way to improve levels of health by increasing the number of people who give up smoking.

Abortions may cease in Kansas on Friday due to new rules

KANSAS CITY, Kan (Reuters) - Kansas could become the only U.S. state without a clinic offering abortions on Friday if rules imposing stricter operating regulations on clinics go into effect. Existing clinics have "failed to meet minimum health and safety standards" contained in a new state law regulating abortion services, Robert Moser, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, said in a statement.

Obama wins first appeals court healthcare ruling

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday upheld President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, handing a victory to the White House by ruling Congress had the power to require that Americans buy insurance. The healthcare ruling was the first by an appeals court, and legal experts have said they expect the issue to ultimately be addressed by the Supreme Court later this year or next year, a critical time for Obama as he seeks re-election in 2012.

Harlem barbershops, salons double as health clinics

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