Health Buzz: Mammograms and Other Health News

Lead in the air, reasons not to skimp on sleep, Janet Jackson's migraines

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Mammograms Still an Important Ally in Finding Breast Cancer

Today is National Mammography Day, and the American Cancer Society reminds all women over 40 to get their annual mammogram. The society also notes that recent research suggest many are waiting until later to initiate the test, not getting mammograms on an annual basis, or are not getting timely and appropriate follow-up after getting a positive test result. As HealthDay reports, the test detects 80 to 90 percent of breast cancers in asymptomatic women. Women at high risk for breast cancer should get an annual MRI screen in addition to the mammogram, while those at moderate risk should discuss with their doctor the pros and cons of adding a MRI screen, the ACS says.

U.S. News' Deborah Kotz has written on avoiding false positives on your mammogram, the challenges of mammograms for women with dense breasts, and deciding whether or not to get a baseline mammogram.

Environmental Protection Agency Restricts Airborne Lead Allowance

The levels of lead allowed in the nation's air will be trimmed by 90 percent under a new standard set by the Environmental Protection Agency. The toxin mucks with children's brain development and in low levels can cause developmental damage, diminish IQ, and affect memory. It can also lead to cardiovascular damage, kidney problems, and hypertension in adults. Manufacturing plants such as metal smelters and iron and steel foundries are the biggest sources of airborne lead. Yet they're not the only sources of lead danger—U.S. News's Nancy Shute has written about lead and children's toys.

The Health Effects of Skimping on Sleep

It's essential, but too many of us let work and life get in the way of a good night's rest. Others have difficulty actually falling asleep, staying asleep, or reaching truly restful sleep. But the reality of not prioritizing good zzzz's or avoiding getting help with troubled sleep is a list of some very dire health consequences. U.S. News gives you the lowdown with 10 Reasons Not to Skimp on Sleep.

U.S. News's Deborah Kotz gives us three ways to get better sleep, Matthew Shulman tells us why kids need more sleep, and Katherine Hobson explains why sleep is an athlete's secret weapon.

Dealing with a Migraine Like Janet Jackson's

The pop star Janet Jackson suffers from such severe migraines she recently halted a tour for two weeks. The vestibular migraines, which affect balance and involve visual disturbances, can be not only painful but also disabling. U.S. News's January W. Payne writes on how to recognize, treat, and prevent these epic headaches. Payne has written on a hand-held magnetic device that eases migraines and 5 classes of drugs used to treat migraines.

—Sarah Baldauf