Grilling safety, holiday health and cancer news

July 1, 2011 1:55:42 PM PDT
There is some news for cancer patients - Medicare says it will pay for two controversial cancer treatments. However, keep in mind that Medicare is funded by your tax money, and both of these drugs come with one heck of a price tag.

For prostate cancer patients, Medicare announced it will cover the cost of Provenge - a treatment that trains the body's immune system to fight the cancer. Studies show that Provenge may extend survival by about 4 months. The cost? $93,000 per patient.

Also, for breast cancer patients, Medicare will continue to cover Avastin - at least for now. The drug would otherwise cost patients $8,000 a month. Earlier this week, a federal advisory panel recommended that the Food and Drug Administration revoke the approval of Avastin for breast cancer. A final ruling is still pending.


As we head into the holiday weekend, it is a time to celebrate! But if you are planning to drink, here is another reason to use a little restraint - turns out the emergency room is one of the most popular spots for young men to spend their July 4th.

A new study finds that the number of underage males who go to the ER for alcohol-related reasons more than doubles over the fourth. The number of visits by women under 21 goes up also, but not nearly as much.


Also, as you fire up the grill here are 3 quick reminders on how to keep your meal fun and safe.

  • Keep the meat and seafood cold right up until the moment you put it on the grill. If you are at home, leave it in the fridge. If you're elsewhere, keep items in a cooler. A safe temperature is 40 degrees or below.
  • Keep your meats and produce separate. Do not use the same cutting boards or utensils for meat as you do for your veggies.
  • When you think the meat is cooked, use a meat thermometer to check for the proper internal temperature. Grilled meat and poultry often brown quickly on the outside, but may not be fully cooked on the inside.

    And for after the barbecue is over, if it has been sitting out - throw it out. It is worth it to be a little wasteful and annoyingly cautious to avoid the misery of food poisoning.