Today’s Headlines: Radiation and Heart Disease, Depression, and Microbe Transmission

Radiation Treatments for Breast Cancer Increases Risk of Heart Disease: A new study found that women who have received radiation treatment for breast cancer has a modest, but significant risk of heart disease in the future. However, it is outweighed by the benefit of the treatment, “which can halve the recurrence rate and lower the death rate from breast cancer by about one-sixth.” Cancer oncologists worry that these finding will compel women to avoid radiation therapy and get double mastectomies instead. “There is a wave toward mastectomy in this country,” says Dr. Silvia Formenti, chairwoman of radiation oncology at New York University. (New York Times)

Depression Affects About 1 in 7 New Mothers: In one of the largest studies of it’s kind, researchers assessed depression in new mothers and found that 1 in 7 women have experienced depression either before, during or after pregnancy. They screened 10,000 new mothers in the Pittsburgh regional area over four years. Of the women who developed depression, 40% had postpartum depression. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

New Study Tracks Disease Transmission at the Roller Derby: Researchers swabbed the upper arms of roller derby competitors to study the microbes on their skin and assess transmission of germs from person to person. With this research, the scientists can study how quickly dangerous bacteria and illnesses spread in the general community. They can also study how a normal strain of bacteria, also known as normal flora, spreads from person to person. The researchers are working with a filmmaker to create a documentary of the experience called Talk Derby to Me. (LA Times)