National Digest: Cancer treatment’s affect on heart; La. fire continues

March 13, 2013
health
Study: Radiation may increase heart risk

Women treated with radiation for breast cancer are more likely to develop heart problems later, even with the lower doses used today, troubling new research suggests. The risk comes from any amount of radiation, starts five years after treatment and lasts for decades, doctors found.

Patients shouldn’t panic — radiation has improved cancer survival, and that is the top priority, doctors say. The chance of suffering a radiation-induced heart problem is fairly small.

The study comes amid greater awareness of overtreatment — that many women are being treated for cancers that would never prove fatal, leading to trouble down the road such as heart disease.

Some chemotherapy drugs are known to harm the heart muscle, but the new study shows radiation can hurt arteries, making them prone to harden and clog and cause a heart attack.

The study is published in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine. British government agencies and private foundations paid for the research.

— Associated Press

LOUISIANA
Fire after pipeline is struck continues

A fire raging in a coastal Louisiana bayou where a tugboat struck a gas pipeline appeared to have diminished Wednesday night but is far from extinguished, the Coast Guard said.

Smoke was still visible 30 miles north in New Orleans, and officials said they didn’t expect the fire sparked by Tuesday night’s crash to be out until Thursday or later.

It started when a tug pushing an oil barge struck a liquefied natural gas pipeline in shallow Bayou Perot, where Lafourche and Jefferson parishes meet. Four people were injured, one critically. No oil spill has been spotted, the Coast Guard said.

— Associated Press

ohio
Football players’ trial in rape case begins

Two Ohio high school football players in August sexually assaulted a teen girl in a humiliating and degrading way when she was too drunk to protest, a prosecutor said in an opening statement at a trial of the players Wednesday.

Steubenville high school quarterback Trent Mays and wide receiver Ma’lik Richmond, both 16 at the time of the incident, are accused of raping a classmate at a house after a night of drinking Aug. 11.

The rape case in the Ohio steel town of Steubenville has drawn national attention after apparent accounts of the party, including crude banter on Twitter and pictures, went viral on social media.

Computer hacking group Anonymous organized protests accusing the town of covering up the involvement of more players.

— Reuters

new york
Jury indicts man in fatal hit-and-run

A New York man was indicted Wednesday on charges of leaving the scene of a hit-and-run that killed a rabbinical student, his pregnant wife and their baby, who was delivered prematurely by cesarean section after the crash.

The Brooklyn grand jury indicted Julio Acevedo, 44, on the top charge brought by prosecutors and was held without bail. The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office said that the investigation was continuing and that Acevedo may be indicted on more charges.

Acevedo was arrested in Bethlehem, Pa., a week ago after a friend brokered his surrender.

— Associated Press

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