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Health Capsules
July 2007
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Bladder Control Surgeries for Women
Loss of bladder control, or urinary incontinence, is a common condition that affects up to half of American women. Incontinence can sometimes be remedied by taking medicines or doing special exercises. But over the past 2 decades, a growing number of women have been choosing surgery to improve bladder control. Several types of surgery are available, but only a few studies have looked at the pros and cons of the different options.

Now, NIH-funded researchers have completed a large and rigorous study that compares 2 common surgeries for urinary incontinence. The study involved 520 women. Half of them had a type of surgery called fascial sling. The other half underwent a procedure called the Burch colposuspension. After 2 years, overall cure rates were significantly higher for the sling procedure (47%) than for the Burch technique (38%).

Unfortunately, the women in the sling group also had more complications. Their side effects included problems with urination and infections in the urinary tract. However, more women in the sling group said they were satisfied with the results of the surgery.

These findings should help doctors and patients as they think about different surgery options for bladder control.




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Urinary Incontinence
Uncontrolled loss of urine. Incontinence can occur at any age, but it is more common in older people and in women.

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  Protect Against Skin Cancer

With summer here, it’s important to remember that skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the U.S. It affects more than 1 million people each year, many of whom are older men and women.

One of the biggest known risk factors for getting skin cancer is excess exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light. UV light increases the risk of all three kinds of skin cancer: melanoma (the least common but most severe), basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

The older you are, the more likely you are to be diagnosed with skin cancer, particularly after age 50. However, increased sun exposure and sun damage at an early age is a major contributor to skin cancer later in life.

One of the best ways to protect against skin cancer is to simply limit exposure to harmful UV light. Avoid the sun during midday, when its rays are the strongest, wear appropriate clothing—such as hats or long-sleeved shirts—and wear plenty of sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.

UV light can be just as damaging on a cloudy, overcast day as on a bright and sunny day, so use sunscreen and other protective measures daily, however the sky looks.

Definitions iconDefinitions

Ultraviolet (UV) light
A type of light from the sun that can damage DNA and cause skin cancer.

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Tuberculosis (TB) is an old disease, but one that still ranks among the foremost killers of the 21st century. About one-third of the world’s population is infected with the bacterium that causes TB. Learn what TB is, what symptoms it causes, about prevention, treatment and much more.

From NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases..

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