Personal Health and Well-being

Candy Sagon writes about health topics for AARP. She previously was a reporter with the Washington Post and has written numerous articles on food, health and nutrition for national magazines.

Good and Bad News About Ovarian Cancer

Two new studies this week have upended some basic assumptions about ovarian cancer, questioning both the survival rate of this dangerous disease and the best type of chemotherapy to improve those survival odds. First, a new study, led by researchers at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Boston, found that a potentially lifesaving treatment for those with advanced ovarian cancer is being used on less than half of patients. And second, researchers at the University of California, Davis say that …

Some Like It Hot: Spicy Food Linked to Longer Life

Your tongue is tingling, your face is flushed, your nose is dripping, your eyes are tearing — ah, the joys of eating hot, spicy food. And now a new study suggests those fiery meals may be good for your health. A large Chinese health study of more than 487,000 subjects, ages 30 to 79, found that regularly eating spicy food is associated with a lower risk of death. Compared with those who ate spicy food less than once a week, …

New Cholesterol Drug Is Effective — And $14,600 a Year

The first in a “revolutionary” new class of injected, cholesterol-lowering drugs has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but its price tag is likely to add to the growing debate over escalating medication costs. The drug, called Praluent, will cost about $14,600 a year — much higher than the $7,000 to $12,000 that some health-plan executives and Wall Street analysts had been expecting, according to the New York Times. It joins a number of new specialty drugs, …

New Painkiller Warning: What Does It Mean For You?

Ten years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that the widely used nonaspirin painkillers ibuprofen and naproxen — including over-the-counter brands such as Advil, Motrin and Aleve — may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. But new evidence has convinced the agency that the warning on these nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) needs to be tougher. The FDA is now strengthening the wording to say that NSAIDs increase the chance of a heart attack or stroke, even …

10,000 Reveal the 5 Secrets to Maintaining Weight Loss

Congratulations! You stuck with a healthy diet and have lost weight. Now comes what may be the hardest part: Keeping it off. That’s what many weight loss groups tell Brown University psychologist and weight loss expert Kathryn Marie Ross with the university’s Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center in Providence, RI. Ross helps these groups find simple strategies for losing weight as well as keeping it off. The weight loss plan, for example, starts with cutting 500 calories a day, …

We Dislike Flossing So Much, We Lie About It

Tell the truth now: Are you really flossing your teeth every day? Or are you just lying about it to your dentist? If it’s the latter, you have company. A new survey finds that 27 percent of us lie through our teeth about flossing daily — and that figure is probably low, dental experts told NPR. For some reason, we just don’t relish yanking a thick thread between our tightly packed molars, digging out slimy, bad-smelling bits of food and making …