Health Buzz: 9/11 WTC Health Program Now Covers 50 Types of Cancer

U.S. officials launch new strategy to prevent suicide; facts and myths: fueling up before your workout

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50 Types of Cancer Now Covered by 9/11 WTC Health Program

People who developed cancer after breathing toxic dust during the World Trade Center attack, which occurred 11 years ago today, may now be eligible for more health coverage. The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health announced yesterday that 50 types of cancer will be added to the list of September 11-related illnesses covered by the federal WTC Health Program. Until yesterday, the program mostly covered less serious conditions, such as asthma and acid reflux disease, and did not include cancer because there was little scientific research showing that World Trade Center dust really did cause the disease. But some health experts were concerned with the carcinogens in the ash and soot, and an advisory committee of doctors, union officials, and community advocates said it was plausible that those with heavy exposures to such might get cancer, reports the Associated Press. "We have urged from the very beginning that the decision whether or not to include cancer be based on science," Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York told the Associated Press. "[NIOSH director] Dr. Howard's decision, made after thorough consideration of the latest available research and data, will continue to ensure that those who have become ill due to the heinous attacks on 9/11 get the medical care they need and deserve."

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  • U.S. Officials Launch New Strategy to Prevent Suicide

    Today, at least one person will die by suicide every 15 minutes. It's the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 33,000 American lives annually. Over the past year, more than 8 million adults reported having serious suicidal thoughts, 2.5 million made a suicide plan, and 1.1 million reported a suicide attempt. The problem is pervasive—and it knows no boundaries, U.S. officials said Monday while launching a new nationwide plan to prevent suicide.

    "This issue touches virtually every family, and certainly every neighborhood and community in this great nation," said former senator Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters. Exactly nine years and two days ago, he lost his own son to suicide, and described the aftermath as "an overwhelming sense of grief and flow of tears." "It's an issue that registers as human, and not Democrat or Republican," he said. "And it is something we can do something about."

    The 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention outlines community-based approaches to curbing the incidence of suicide, with the goal of saving 20,000 lives over the next five years. It targets all Americans, with a special focus on military veterans and the younger set, and taps Facebook as a tool for reporting someone at risk. The plan comes with $55 million in federal grants to state, tribal, and community prevention efforts. It's built around the premise that making suicide prevention a part of routine healthcare, and getting people talking about suicide in homes, schools, and workplaces, will go a long way. [Read more: U.S. Officials Launch New Strategy to Prevent Suicide]

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    • Facts and Myths About Fueling Up Before Your Workout

      As a sports nutritionist, I work with people whose workout regimens span a range of activity, from strength training and dance classes to racing in 5Ks and 50 milers, writes U.S. News blogger Rebecca Scritchfield.

      While there's no question that my clients need tailored recommendations for fueling their activity, it amazes me how many of them don't eat properly before a workout. Even more concerning is the misguided idea among some that avoiding food before workouts is somehow better because it "helps the body burn more fat." False. In this post, I'll shed some light on fueling up for your best workout.

      1. Fact: Your body needs energy to perform. "If you can't fuel it, you can't do it." My colleague, fellow registered dietitian Leslie Schilling, once mentioned this phrase to me, and it's become my no-nonsense philosophy on fueling all exercise. It's this simple. Cars don't go far without adequate gas. Planes don't fly without jet fuel. Why would our body "machine" operate without food fuel?