Artificial sweetener cleared of cancer link

“A huge federal study in people — not rats — takes the fizz out of arguments that the diet soda sweetener aspartame might raise the risk of cancer.

“No increased risk was seen even among people who gulped down many artificially sweetened drinks a day, said researchers who studied the diets of more than half a million older Americans.

“A consumer group praised the study, done by reputable researchers independent of any funding or ties to industry groups.”

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Cervical cancer vaccine holds up

“A vaccine protecting against two types of viruses that cause cervical cancer has demonstrated unusual staying power, new research shows.

“In a follow-up study to a randomized clinical trial, researchers found antibody levels in the study subjects remained steadfast for up to four and a half years. Researchers say the results confirm the success and safety of the vaccine Cervarix, which is designed to guard against two cancer-causing human papillomaviruses, HPV 16 and 18.

“‘This is the most significant advance in cancer prevention in the last 50 years,’ said lead author Diane Harper, director of Gynaecologic Cancer Prevention Research at Dartmouth Medical School. ‘We now have a vaccine that’s 100 percent effective,’ she added.

“She also emphasized the vaccine does not prevent cancer — it prevents the virus that causes cervical cancer, the second most common malignant disease in women worldwide.

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