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Appendicitis without surgery may be safe option for some kids

By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Children with simple cases of appendicitis may be safely treated with antibiotics instead of surgery, suggests a new study. Forgoing surgery to remove the appendix may not be an option for all kids, researchers say, but just three of 30 children who tried the antibiotics-only route ended up needing surgery.

FDA looks to accelerate development of medical implants for deadly diseases, rare conditions

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration unveiled a proposal Tuesday designed to speed up development and approval of medical devices that treat life-threatening diseases and debilitating conditions. Under the Expedited Access Program, companies developing devices for critical and unmet medical needs would get earlier access to FDA staff to discuss their products. The agency says the earlier contact with regulators should result in "earlier access to safe and effective medical devices."

Novartis sees GSK's cancer drugs as potential blockbusters

ZURICH (Reuters) - Novartis believes GlaxoSmithKline's cancer drugs Votrient, Tafinlar and Mekinist could have more than $1 billion in sales each, the head of the Swiss company's pharmaceutical unit said on Tuesday. "We believe Votrient, Tafinlar, Mekinist - assuming the (combination) trial is positive for overall survival - all three of these products could become blockbusters in our hands," David Epstein told an investor call.

U.S. court postpones injunction against Medtronic heart valve

(Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Monday postponed an injunction that would have stopped Medtronic Inc from selling its CoreValve heart valve implant in competition with Edwards Lifesciences Corp's Sapien valve product. The injunction, issued by a U.S. District Court in Delaware last week, would have taken effect on April 23. Earlier court decisions found Medtronic's product infringed on the Edwards valve.

False-positive mammograms have limited effect on anxiety

By Andrew M. Seaman NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women whose mammograms suggest possible breast cancer that is eventually ruled out experience slightly increased anxiety, but that doesn't necessarily affect their overall health, according to a new study. What's more, the increased anxiety appears to dissipate within a year, write the researchers in JAMA Internal Medicine.

FDA approves Eli Lilly drug for stomach cancer

(Reuters) - U.S. health regulators on Monday approved an Eli Lilly and Co drug to treat advanced stomach cancer and a form of cancer in the area where the esophagus joins the stomach. The Food and Drug Administration said it has approved ramucirumab for use in patients whose cancer cannot be surgically removed or has spread following chemotherapy treatment. It will be sold by Lilly under the brand name Cyramza.

Mother's low vitamin D linked to toddler's risk of cavities

By Will Boggs MD NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Women's low vitamin D levels during pregnancy are linked to a higher risk of cavities in the teeth of their toddlers, according to a new study done in Canada. Previous studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency among mothers can lead to defects in the enamel of their toddlers' teeth - which have already begun to develop in the womb - and that these defects can increase the risk of tooth decay.

Anti-prohibition pot protesters hit Parliament Hill as 4-20 goes after policy

OTTAWA - Frisbees, hula hoops, reggae and the slightly skunky aroma of burning bud masked a serious policy dispute Sunday afternoon on Parliament Hill. The annual day of celebrating cannabis culture has ramped up into mainstream political activism as the pot-smoking 4-20 movement took on marijuana prohibition with rallies across Canada.

West Africa's Ebola outbreak prompts changes in I.Coast cuisine

West Africa's first outbreak of Ebola fever is bad news for gourmets in Ivory Coast, but brings respite from the hunter to species sought out for tasty meat but feared to carry the disease. Late in March, Health Minister Raymonde Goudou Coffie called for her compatriots to stop eating porcupines and agoutis, which look like large river-rats, "until we can be sure there are no risks".

Passengers on Vancouver-to-Edmonton flight warned to watch out for measles

EDMONTON - Health officials in Edmonton are warning passengers who arrived in the city on a flight from Vancouver this month that they may have been exposed to measles. The warning further extends to anyone who was in Edmonton International Airport during the hours immediately after the Air Canada plane landed on April 9. Alberta Health Services issued a news release Saturday stating that passengers and crew on Air Canada Flight 248, which departed Vancouver at 8:30 p.m. and arrived in Edmonton at 9:35 p.m. may have been exposed.
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