Health Highlights: June 25, 2012

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Low Testosterone Not Part of Normal Aging: Study

Factors other than aging are likely responsible for the drop in testosterone some older men experience, a new study finds.

Researchers in Australia tracked the testosterone levels of more than 1,500 men, ages 35 to 80, who had their testosterone levels sampled at clinic visits spaced five years apart, UPI reported.

The study found that testosterone levels didn't undergo a steep decline -- instead they only fell less than 1 percent per year. And certain health or lifestyle factors seemed linked to those slight declines.

"Men who had declines in testosterone were more likely to be those who became obese, had stopped smoking or were depressed at either clinic visit," lead author Dr. Gary Wittert, professor of medicine at the University of Adelaide in Adelaide, said in a statement. "While stopping smoking may be a cause of a slight decrease in testosterone, the benefit of quitting smoking is huge."

Wittert and his team believe, therefore, that a drop in testosterone is not an inevitable part of the aging process in men.

The study was presented at the Endocrine Society's 94th annual meeting in Houston.


Tumor Removed From Fetus in Groundbreaking Surgery

Twenty-month-old Leyna Gonzalez is healthy and happy today because doctors were able to remove a potentially fatal tennis ball-sized tumor from her mouth while she was still in the womb.

The rare congenital tumor, called an oral teratoma, was removed in May 2010 by surgeons at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, CBS News reported.

"The concern with these tumors is that they can grow very rapidly. And they can cause bleeding from the fetus -- from the baby -- into the tumor," fetal surgeon Dr. Ruben Quintero said Thursday during a press conference at the hospital. "That bleeding can cause the death of the baby."

He and his team used an endoscope guided by ultrasound to perform the first-of-a-kind surgery when Leyna was a 17-week-old fetus. She was born Oct. 1, 2010 at a healthy 8 pounds, 1 ounce, CBS News reported.


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