Health Highlights: June 2, 2016

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

First U.S. Penis Transplant Patient Heads Home

The first patient to receive a penis transplant in the United States has been discharged from the hospital three weeks after his 15-hour surgery.

Thomas Manning, 64, left Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston on Wednesday and was traveling back to his hometown of Halifax, Mass., the Associated Press reported.

Manning said he can now urinate after two follow-up procedures were performed, but sexual function is months away from becoming a reality, the wire service said.

After being diagnosed with penile cancer in 2012, Manning’s penis was amputated. He has never married and has no children, according to the AP.

Manning said he hopes to make a full recovery and that his body will accept the transplant. He is the third man in the world to receive a new penis, following transplants in South Africa in 2014 and China in 2005, the AP reported.


Gene Database Gives Insights Into Breast, Ovarian Cancers

A BRCA gene database can help women better understand their genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer, researchers say.

Women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are at increased risk for the cancers. The database collects information on variants of the two genes and can help doctors identify women more likely to develop the cancers and create more personalized prevention and treatment plans, USA Today reported.

Patients’ BRCA data is gathered from public and private labs that join the database. Since the BRCA Share database was launched a year ago, nearly 1,000 scientists from 49 countries have registered to use it for research, USA Today reported.

The database includes more than 6,200 BRCA variants, not all of which have been classified. That includes 375 BRCA gene variants with previously unknown roles.

Scientists say 93 percent of BRCA variants don’t carry a higher risk of cancer, while the remaining 7 percent are highly likely to cause cancer, USA Today reported.

The results from the first year of use of the database were presented Wednesday at 6th International Biennial Meeting of Human Variome Project Consortium (HVP6) at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

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