Trending News Today: Cancer Patients Lack Guidance About Medical Marijuana for Nausea, Pain

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

The CDC recently said that the current influenza season has yet to peak, but has resulted in more pediatric deaths than what would normally be expected, according to The Washington Post. Since the flu season started on October 1, 2017, the CDC said more than 8900 patients have been hospitalized, with 10 children dying during the second week of January. The Post reported that a government shutdown could prevent the CDC from knowing whether cases of the flu are increasing and could also complicate compiling national-level data.

Research suggests that medical marijuana may help treat nausea among patients with cancer, but some may find it difficult to get reliable information about the treatment, according to NPR. Even in states where medical and recreational marijuana are legal, oncologists may not be able to provide advice or recommendations for patients experiencing nausea and pain. This issue may be complicated due to the illicit designation of the drug on the federal level, which may make federally-funded institutions hesitant to prescribe the treatment, according to the article.

A recent study found that oral contraceptives may reduce the risk of endometrial and ovarian cancers, according to Time. The study authors also found that the more time spent taking the treatment corresponded with a lower risk of these cancers. The researchers found that women taking oral contraceptives for more than 10 years had a 40% lower risk of ovarian cancer and a 34% lower risk of endometrial cancer. Interestingly, the study results suggest that women who were obese, smoked, or were sedentary and taking oral contraceptives had the lowest rates or ovarian cancer, according to the article. Although the underlying causes of these findings are unclear, the authors hypothesized that tobacco may interact with the hormones in oral contraceptives.