Pain relief that has an amazing
bonus: For patients suffering from a terminal illness, pain relief
improved quality of life of the patient. By using pain relief methods the life
span of lung cancer patients can be increased by 3 months, but it was rejected
under mercy killing. It was also categorized as palliative care.
A life-saving test for lung
cancer: A CT scanof the chest can save lives of heavy smokers due
to lung cancer. This scan timely done can bring down lung cancer cases to bare
minimum. Heavy smokers can cut down their risk of dying by 20%.
Better, effective CPR: Cardiac
pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) has been saving millions of lives worldwide.
Rumor is, it just got better. Earlier, the classic push and breath method was
considered among the best methods, but now, it's the hands only method that is
thought to save more lives. Studies suggest that if your heart were to suddenly
stop when you walked down the road, you'd have a very little chance of getting
a CPR from a bystander. Also, bystanders would be much more willing to help if
they didn't have to worry about the germs passed on from a stranger's mouth. On
the other hand, the hands-on method is easy to learn and implement.
New method to combat skin
cancer: Melanoma, the most feared of all cancers - a skin cancer, which is
known to claim lives within six months, can now be treated by two new
drugs-PLX4032 and Ipilimumbab. These drugs produced jaw-dropping results in
shrinking melanoma tumors and spurred 'pinch-me' moments for researchers.
Ipilimumbab works by boosting the body's immune system so that it can fight
cancer aggressively, doubling the number of surviving patients. PLX4032, on the
other hand, managed to shrink tumors in 81% patients.
Anti-smoke vaccine: This one may
definitely raise eyebrows, but the fact is, that there's a new 'anti-smoke'
vaccine in town, that holds promise for 90% of quitters who relapse. After 6
monthly injections, almost all the patients experienced a less or no
pleasurable feeling after smoking a cigarette. NicVAX - builds up antibodies
against nicotine. When a person smokes and nicotine enters the bloodstream, it
attaches itself to the nicotine molecules, making them too large to reach the
'pleasure center' of the brain. The craving is killed, thus helping chain
smokers who are desperately trying to quit smoking. This vaccine has an added
bonus. Unlike other anti-smoke drugs, this one has fewer side effects.
No drill dental work: Getting to a
cavity in a decaying tooth involves extensive drilling, which may scrape away
the healthy parts of the tooth. ICON, a new breakthrough in dental procedures
introduced a new technique where liquid resin is injected in the tooth. This
reaches the decayed part of the tooth faster than traditional metal or
composite fillings and once it reaches the problem spot, it solidifies and
prevents the cavity from progressing. This technique does not require anesthesia.
Needle-free vaccines: There are
many people who fear injections. Boston University researchers are working on a
new method of inoculation, which is 'needle-free'. The vaccine is deposited
inside nanoparticles that are almost the size of the human pore, which is then
placed on the skin. A mild electrical charge is now applied on the skin which
helps transport the particles through the skin to the cells.
Colonoscopy in a capsule: Colon cancer
is among the most curable cancers, especially when detected early. However, the
thought of an investigative colonoscopy complete with fasting, cleansing
solutions, anesthesia and a day off from work may seem too hard for some. Early
detection becomes even more difficult when the symptoms like lower abdominal
pain and changes in bowel habits are frequently ignored.
But what if you could swallow a
camera-carrying pill that would take images and send them to your doctor's
computer screen? This less-fuss approach is just about to enter your life.
Doctor robot: Physician
operated robots are the wonder of the century. These robots are being
extensively used in procedures, which require a delicate touch. They are
programmed to carry out an entire surgical procedure without assistance by a
physician. The ultrasound system in the robot takes scans and the artificial
intelligence program processes the information and undertakes the task
accordingly. The era of the humanoid is here.
Hope for heart patients: For patients
who are too sick and fragile for heart transplants, Heart Mate II is a savior.
This device is run by a turbine engine almost the size of a D sized
battery. It routes the oxygenated blood
from the heart to other parts of the body through the turbine. It has
dramatically doubled the chances of survival in more than 4000 patients it was
tested on. After clinical trials in Australia, hopefully, will reach India by
the next year.
New weapon again TB: Tuberculosis
is among the major diseases that claim millions of lives each year, and even
though early diagnosis and treatment can help cure this disease, the standard
test, being unreliable, causes a huge number of undiagnosed cases every year.
This can pose a threat in future, considering the fact that the bacteria
causing tuberculosis may develop resistance and become impervious to the
medication. In this developed world when traveling just became easier, there is
a risk of multi drug resistant TB from an immigrant or an infected tourist.
The new test, however, is 99%
effective and shows results within 100 minutes, which is an extraordinary
achievement compared to the standard 3 month wait in the conventional detection
method. The Indian Council of Medical Research is soon going to introduce these
low-cost, rapid TB test kits to help early detection and treatment.
Heart repair with barely a
cut: Till now, there weren't many treatment options for someone who had
his aortic valve (the valve that carries blood from the heart to the rest of
the body) blocked with calcium deposits. Surgeons had to break open through the
sternum to reach the heart, or opt for drugs (less invasive and ineffective
treatment) for old or sick patients. However, now the treatment can be carried
out by a process known as TAVI (Transcatheter aortic valve implantation) which
involves snaking a catheter tube through the groin. Implementing this procedure
will make treatment easier for fragile patients and those looking for minimally
invasive and non-surgical procedures.
A daily pill to prevent
cancer: The pill in your medicine box may help you fight colon cancer;
according to research. Studies have proved that a regular dose of aspirin cuts
down the risk of colon cancer by at least 35%. And it's not just limited to
aspirin. The diabetes drug metformin is said to protect against lung and colon
cancers. It's not a wise idea to start popping these pills every day,
considering that they have serious side effects on long term use. However, if
you have been taking them as your prescription drug, you're doing yourself a