Health Buzz: Dense Breasts a Risk Factor for Breast Cancer Recurrence and Other Health News

Your health insurance plan after reform; determining the best way to prevent sudden death in athletes.

Video: What Is Breast Cancer?
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Study Finds Breast Cancer Recurs More Often in Denser Breasts

A new study suggests that women with dense breast tissue are at greater risk of cancer recurrence, BBC News reports. Canadian researchers studied 335 patients who had surgery to remove invasive tumors from their breasts. Over a decade, women with denser breasts had a 21 percent chance of their cancer returning compared with 5 percent in women with less dense breasts, according to the BBC. Women with dense breast tissue benefit significantly from radiation therapy following surgery, the researchers concluded. They found that those with denser breast tissue who did not receive the treatment had a 40 percent chance of recurrence. The study is published in the journal Cancer.

[Read: Density Danger: Why Women With Dense Breasts Have a Greater Likelihood of Cancer and Surgery for Breast Cancer: Complex Options, Difficult Decisions.]

Health Insurance: Your Health Plan After Reform

This may feel like just another open enrollment season, one more anxious check of the coverage offered by your employer to see by how much benefits have been scaled back and the financial pain heightened. But before long, at least the worry that vital coverage will be lopped off could end, U.S. News's Sarah Baldauf writes. After health reform, a few years from now, nearly all Americans would be required to have coverage—at a minimum, a "qualified" health plan, designed to Uncle Sam's specifications and providing a core of comprehensive protection.

Most likely, you'd get hospitalization, emergency services, rehabilitation, prescriptions, mental-health and substance-abuse services, maternity care, and well-child services. Preventive care recommended under medical practice guidelines, such as vaccinations, abdominal aortic aneurysm screening in men ages 65 to 75 with a history of smoking, and mammograms every one to two years for women starting at age 40, would be covered. Baldauf runs down other key elements, distilled from the legislation in play in early November, that are likely to appear in health plans of the future.

One component of health reform policy would make individual plan premiums primarily age based. Older people would pay no more than two to four times the premiums charged to younger people—for the former, a welcome lid on a significant expense, but a sudden jump for many at the other end of the age scale, Baldauf writes. Geography and family size also would remain as price-setting factors. Read more.

[Read: House Healthcare Bill Rewards Activism on Women's Issues and To Cut Healthcare Costs, Let's Start With the Secret Prices.]

Determining the Best Way to Prevent Sudden Death in Athletes

It has been a bad autumn for deaths during U.S. running races—at least six during half marathons and one during a marathon. Although the specific causes of death aren't known in all cases, heart ailments are at the top of the list of possible explanations whenever someone dies suddenly during an athletic event. As rare as these events are when compared with deaths from car accidents, homicide, or even the flu, doctors are debating whether lives could be saved by more carefully scrutinizing athletes before they compete, U.S. News's Katherine Hobson writes.

Why are these problems an issue in sporting events or strenuous exertion? While exercise can dramatically cut the chance of heart disease, during the minutes you actually are exercising, your risk of a heart attack or sudden death temporarily rises, says one expert. Read more.

[Read: Testing Young Athletes for Heart Defects May Save Lives and Are You at Low Risk for Heart Disease? Probably Not.] [Slide Show: 6 Reasons Most Americans Are at Risk for Heart Disease.]

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