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Expert Perspective: Debunking indoor tanning myths

Photo: Whatsername?

If you’ve ever vacationed to a sunny beach spot, you’ve probably considered hitting the tanning salon to get a ‘base tan’ before leaving. In light of National Melanoma Skin Cancer Awareness Month, Health Talk spoke to DeAnn Lazovich, M.P.H., Ph.D., from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota and the School of Public Health, who debunked four common tanning myths.

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5 Health Tips for Women

Photo: David Lee

Carrie Ann Terrell, M.D., is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist, specializing in women’s health at the University of Minnesota. Terrell sees patients at the Fibroid Clinic, Women’s Health Specialists Clinic and Leo Fung Center for Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia (CAH) and Disorders of Sex Development (DSD).

With women’s health week wrapping up, Health Talk wants to remind you that it is never too late to start reaching your health and fitness goals. I’ve compiled 5 tips to help you reach those goals.

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Research Snapshot: Antibiotics and Bacterial Resistance in Food Animals

Photo: Nick Saltmarsh,

Out of concern over the growing number of antibiotic resistant bacteria, federal policymakers will phase out the practice of giving food animals low-doses of antibiotics to promote growth. In an effort to discover whether science backs up the potential policy change, Associate Professor in Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) Tim Johnson, Ph.D., studied the issue.

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Research snapshot: Inhaler ban increases costs for asthma patients

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Over 25 million people in the U.S. rely on respiratory inhalers to relieve wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and additional asthma-related symptoms. In an attempt to reduce their environmental footprint, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) placed a ban on the production of ozone-depleting inhalers.

This 2008 ban changed the type of albuterol inhalers available to asthma patients, and eliminated the use of inhalers with chlorofluorocarbon (CFC). These generic medications were replaced by the more expensive alternative that uses hydrofluoroalkane (HFA), a more environmentally friendly inhaler.

A recent JAMA Internal Medicine study found that this inhaler ban has been more costly, as the average asthma patient is paying twice as much for their medication. Health Talk turned to co-author of the study, Pinar Karaca-Mandic, Ph.D., from the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota to help explain the ban and its costly impacts on asthma patients.

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In The News: UMN Psychiatry, MnDRIVE researchers provide non-invasive brain stimulation for treatment-resistant depression

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For nearly 20-30 percent of people who suffer from depression, antidepressants and psychotherapy will not be effective. The depression can be endless and debilitating. Many patients may try multiple medications and therapies with no symptom improvement. They may turn to electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as a last-resort, which involves inducing seizures to stimulate the brain.

UMN researchers with MnDRIVE are offering a new option which could eliminate the need for ECT for many depression patients, and would provide considerable improvement in their symptoms.

The non-invasive brain therapy is called transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). It uses a magnetic coil within a helmet-like device to stimulate the brain with electric currents.

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A dentist’s role in oral cancer treatment

Photo: US Army Africa, CC,

Open wide!

Each trip to the dentist helps spot and treat cavities, clean teeth, provide preventative treatments like sealants, and seek out signs of gum disease. But many don’t realize it is a cancer screening, too.

“A routine dental exam is vital for maintaining good oral health, and it’s also the best method for detecting oral cancer in its early stages,” says Mark Roettger, D.D.S., Clinic Director of the University of Minnesota Dental Clinic. “Dentists have the primary role in oral cancer detection because we work most closely with the mouth, and inspect it most thoroughly.”

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