Health Highlights: Sept. 6, 2017

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

Medicine’s Highest Awards Go to Planned Parenthood, HPV Researchers

Planned Parenthood and two U.S. National Cancer Institute researchers are among the recipients of one of the most prestigious awards in medicine.

The Lasker Awards are given for major advances in the prevention and treatment of disease and are sometimes referred to as “America’s Nobels,” according to the Washington Post.

This year’s recipients include two National Cancer Institute scientists whose research led to the development of vaccines that prevent cervical cancer. Another recipient is Planned Parenthood for providing “essential health services and reproductive care” to millions of women, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced Wednesday.

President Donald Trump and top congressional Republicans want to end all federal funding to Planned Parenthood, which is the nation’s largest abortion provider. The group is already forbidden from using federal dollars for abortions, the Post reported.

Another recipient this year is a scientist at the University of Basel in Switzerland who uncovered the role of certain proteins in controlling cell growth. The research “broadened our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms that underlie growth, development and aging,” according to the foundation.


Health Concerns Over Smoke From Western U.S. Wildfires

Smoke from dozens of wildfires in the western United States is triggering health concerns.

Eighty large fires were burning on 2,200 square miles in nine Western states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, which coordinates wildfire-fighting, CBS News/Associated Press reported.

Cities from Seattle to Denver have been affected by smoke from the wildfires, leading to health warnings and cancellations of children’s outdoor activities by many school districts.

Doctors warned residents, especially those with lung or heart problems, to avoid going outdoors until the air clears, CBS Denver reported.

On Tuesday, the air quality in Spokane, Washington was rated as hazardous and residents of the city and surrounding region were advised to remain indoors. Air quality alerts were also issued for parts of Idaho, CBS News/AP reported.

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