Health Buzz: New Transplant Method Heals 9 of 10 Sickle Cell Anemia Sufferers and Other Health News

Soy is apparently safe for breast cancer patients; Sanjay Gupta's new book, Cheating Death

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Transplant Heals 9 of 10 With Sickle Cell Anemia

U.S. researchers have modified the process of transplanting bone marrow in order to treat adults with sickle cell anemia, a blood disease that is known to cause stroke and severe pain, HealthDay reports. Conventional methods require patients to receive chemotherapy and radiation in high doses before the transplant to rid the body of the abnormal red blood cells that are the disease's hallmark. The procedure is used in children but has been deemed unsafe for adults with sickle cell anemia, who are typically more sick. But a newly developed routine gives patients lower doses of radiation, combined with drugs, to suppress the immune system before a transplant. After more than two years, 9 of 10 study participants were free of disease, according to HealthDay. Results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

[Read Swine Flu Can Batter Kids With Sickle Cell.] [Slide Show: 6 Reasons Most Americans Are at Risk for Heart Disease]

Yes, It's Safe to Eat Soy if You Have Breast Cancer

Any woman who's been diagnosed with breast cancer asks her doctor what she can do to avoid a recurrence. Sometimes the answer is nothing, since aggressive cancers can quickly spread throughout the body regardless of what a woman does.

She can, though, lower her chances of having a relapse by taking steps to reduce levels of estrogen, thought to trigger the growth of the most common breast tumors, U.S. News's Deborah Kotz writes. This can be achieved by minimizing alcohol, adding exercise, and shedding excess body fat. But one recommendation—to avoid soy foods—can probably be stricken from this list, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

High in plant estrogens, soy-rich foods like soybeans, tofu, soy milk, and tempeh have been considered by some experts to be no-no's for breast cancer patients because they were thought to encourage the growth of tumor cells and possibly negate the effects of antiestrogen drugs like tamoxifen. But the new research, which involved more than 5,000 Chinese breast cancer survivors, found that those who had the highest intake of soy foods (more than 15 grams of soy protein a day) had about a 30 percent lower death rate and nearly a 30 percent lower rate of recurrence than those who ate the least amount of soy (5 grams or less per day). Read more.

[Photo Gallery: 6 Ways to Incorporate Soy in Your Diet] [Read Breast Cancer: 3 Ways to Lower the Risk of Recurrence.]

Sanjay Gupta Discusses His New Book: Cheating Death

Sanjay Gupta operates on Mondays and sees patients on Wednesdays. The rest of the week, he leads CNN's medical coverage. Gupta has to be the first (one hopes the last) news reporter to perform brain surgery while on the job in a war zone. He enjoys his weekly responsibilities so much that he turned down President Obama's offer of the surgeon general's position, U.S. News contributor and physician Ford Vox writes.

Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles That Are Saving Lives Against All Odds, Gupta's second book, takes a fresh, hard look at assumptions that doctors have accepted for decades: CPR works. You're dead when your heart stops. If your brain looks like mush and the top doctors at a top medical center say you're brain dead, there's no possibility of coming back.

Vox asked Gupta how the compelling stories he presents should change our ideas about modern medicine and what they might mean for healthcare reform. Read more.

[Read Deal or No Deal Host Howie Mandel and His OCD and The PSA Test: 7 Reasons It Still Matters.]

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