Newsbeast: Health

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CANCER SCARE

Survey Says Gays at Higher Risk

Gay men are almost twice as likely as straight men to have had cancer, according to a new and fearsome survey from the California Institute of Health. Why? Health professionals pointed to an array of options: gay men are more likely to be HIV-positive, putting them at a higher risk for some cancers. Gay men are also more likely to smoke, with 37 percent smoking, as compared to 24 percent of straight men, according to one survey. Another theory holds that gay men have less access to health care because they often don't have access to a partner's insurance plan. Still another suggests the survey is deceptive: that gay men are just likelier to survive cancer than their straight counterparts, and therefore live to tell the tale. Published in Cancer

SNEEZEFEST

How Bad Is This Allergy Season?

Allergists have reported seeing double the usual number of patients this year. Typically, allergies account for 3.5 million lost workdays.

The pollen count in some regions has soared to 5,000 grains per cubic meter--three times the level at which people start reporting allergies.

About 40 million Americans suffer from seasonal allergies. This year has been especially bad because of warm temperatures and low rainfall in some areas.

BIRTH MIRTH

In Labor? Try Some Laughing Gas.

A growing movement among health-care professionals advocates giving women nitrous oxide while they give birth. …