Health Buzz: Lean Cuisine Recall and Other Health News

Finding a doctor when they're scarce; making sense of a family history of breast cancer.

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Some Lean Cuisine Meals Recalled

Nestlé Prepared Foods Co. has recalled 900,000 pounds of Lean Cuisine meals after some people reported finding small chunks of blue plastic in their food, ABCNews.com reports. The meals were sold nationwide. At least one consumer reported having bitten into the plastic, which has been found in three kinds of Lean Cuisine dinners—Dinnertime Selects Chicken Tuscan, Cafe Classics Pesto Chicken with Bow Tie Pasta, and Spa Cuisine Chicken Mediterranean. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service, which has received seven complaints from consumers about this issue, says the plastic is considered a potential health threat.

Last year, U.S. News's Nancy Shute how being a smart shopper can lower your family's risk of food-borne illness. In July, Katherine Hobson explained that a low-carb diet works if it suits your lifestyle. In April, she reported on diets that promote health and described the Mediterranean diet, Asian diet, Latin American diet, and vegetarian diets.

How to Find a Doctor When They're Scarce

Finding a doctor can be tough these days, and it's going to be getting even harder if the new report that half of primary care docs want to cut back or quit practicing altogether is any indication. U.S. News's Shute offers advice gleaned from doctors around the country about how to work the system and find medical care when you need it. Shute's five tips for finding a doctor when they're scarce: Call your local hospitals, check your insurer's list of physicians, check out clinics affiliated with local medical schools, look at online doctor finders, and consider retail clinics for routine care.

Earlier, Shute explained that you're not alone if you can't find a doctor, and she detailed her unsuccessful search for a primary-care doctor. She also listed seven tips for finding a primary-care doctor.

What to Think About If Breast Cancer Runs in Your Family

Breast cancer gene screening is all the rage these days, but women who think they can rest easy if they're told they don't carry one of the two gene mutations—BRCA1 or BRCA2—should think again, Deborah Kotz reports. Family history is important in predicting breast cancer risk even in the absence of these mutations, according to new research presented this week at the American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Washington. In fact, a strong family history can increase your risk of breast cancer by nearly four times, giving you a 30 to 40 percent lifetime risk of breast cancer, compared with the average woman's 12 percent risk.

Kotz lists seven things to consider if breast cancer runs in your family. In August, she reported on how to know when to visit a high-risk breast cancer center. In May, she discussed how much alcohol is healthful for women.

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—January W. Payne