Thursday, December 23, 2010

The sun, my cancer source

Let not the blessing become a curse...

SYDNEY - Australia's sun-worshipping culture means the country's 22 million people are 13 times more likely to develop skin cancer than the global average, according to a new study released on Thursday.

The "Cancer in Australia 2010" report compiled by a government agency revealed that the sun-drenched and beach-loving nation has the globe's highest rate of deadly melanoma and one of the highest overall rates of cancer.

Melanoma - the most virulent form of skin cancer - is caused by harmful ultraviolet light from the sun.

Australia's proximity to Antarctica, where there is a hole in the ozone layer that filters out UV rays, also increases the risk.

However, higher rates of detection and tracking also explain the number of cases of cancer diagnosed each year, according to lead researcher Christine Sturrock from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

"The fact we are very good at tracking cancers goes some way to explaining this, as most other countries are not as good," Sturrock told AFP. "But we have the highest rate of skin cancer in the world."

The overall number of Australians being diagnosed with cancer increased by 27 percent between 1982 and 2007, even taking population growth into account, due in part to the country's ageing population.

However, death rates from the disease have fallen by 16 percent in the same period, which Sturrock said was the one of the most pleasing findings from the report, which analysed cancer data from across the country.

"One of the most positive findings to emerge was the dramatic decrease in deaths from cancers," she said.

The report also identified an increased incidence of lymphoid cancers, prostate cancer and breast cancer among people living in higher socio-economic areas. However, Sturrock said the reasons for this remained unclear.

- AFP/al

Taken from; source article is below:
Australians have world's highest rate of skin cancer: study

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HIV cure found: a false positive?

3 years. Isn't that too short a time to know if the cure is going to work - more importantly, without introducing other issues - worse than what it is trying to combat?

Let's wait and see.

WASHINGTON: An American man is still HIV-free more than three years after receiving a stem cell transplant, suggesting the first-ever cure of the virus that causes AIDS, German doctors said Wednesday.

But while the highly risky technique used on the man known as the "Berlin Patient" would not work for most of the 33 million people with HIV worldwide, scientists say the research shows important progress toward a universal cure.

"Our results strongly suggest that cure of HIV has been achieved in this patient," said the study in the peer-reviewed journal Blood, a publication of the American Society of Hematology.

The process began in 2006 when a US man in his 40s, who had been HIV positive for more than a decade, sought treatment for acute myeloid leukemia, a lethal blood cancer.

After a first round of chemotherapy failed, his German doctor, Gero Hutter, thought he would see if he could perform a bone marrow transplant using a donor with a rare genetic mutation that is naturally resistant to HIV.

About one in 100 Caucasian people, or one per cent of the population, have the mutation, known as Delta 32, inherited from both parents which prevents the protein CCR5 from appearing on the cell surface.

Since HIV enters the cell through CCR5 molecules, when they are absent HIV cannot penetrate.

The process was not easy, but after rejecting dozens of potential donors Hutter finally found a match and performed the bone marrow transplant using stem cells from the HIV-resistant donor in February 2007.

Hutter's first study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009, showed no sign that HIV had re-emerged even though the patient had ceased anti-retroviral therapy to suppress HIV.

The latest findings show that the patient, 44-year-old Timothy Ray Brown, continues to show no trace of either the AIDS-causing virus or leukemia.

But because Brown's ordeal left him temporarily unable to walk or talk and statistics showing around 30 per cent of patients do not survive bone marrow transplants, AIDS experts sounded a note of caution.

"I think we need a lot more research to try to replicate this without putting a patient's life in danger," said Karen Tashima, director of the HIV Clinical Trials Programme at The Miriam Hospital in Rhode Island.

"Since we have good anti-retroviral therapy that can control the virus, it would be unethical to give somebody such an extreme treatment."

Lead study author Kristina Allers acknowledged that the process would not work for most people.

"Nevertheless, as the study tells us that (an) HIV cure is in principle possible, it gives new hope for scientists in HIV cure research," Allers said.

"So the next challenge is to translate our findings into a strategy that can be applied without being life-threatening."

Indeed, US researchers are already working on ways to replicate the same process in the cells without going the same risky route.

"I am very excited about it," said David Baltimore, a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1975.

Baltimore is the founder of a biotech company that is working on developing its own stem-cell HIV/AIDS therapy that works functionally the same as the German team's, and is in the process of organising clinical trials, he said.

"What we are trying to do is treat a patient's own cells so there is no immunological problem," he said.

"The fact that the one patient who was treated then was effectively cured is I think a very strong argument that you want to continue this kind of approach to the HIV (issue)."

Jay Levy, an AIDS and cancer researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, described the latest research as evidence of a "functional cure."

"I mean, one person is not sufficient. It is an encouraging first step but you really need to show it again," he said.

"I always look on this as a direction for future approaches, recognise what the problems are and then see if we can do better, and I have faith in my scientific colleagues to come up with something better."

Levy and his team are also looking at ways to manipulate a patient's own stem cells so that they do not express the receptors that allow HIV infection, much like the CCR5 mutation.

"Three years is not enough... We will know that in 10 years," said Levy regarding the study's assertion that a cure has been found.

"It is too early to say you've cured, but my Lord, they have done a nice job."


Taken from; source article is below:
Doctors may have found HIV cure

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another one on smoking: third-hand smoking

Now, as I have pointed out a week or two ago, I see every week a news, at least one, on the evil of smoking. here is another one, taken from Huffington Post.

The drastic solution that I am proposing: stop it from the roots! Stop tobacco production!


Not a Cough in a Carload: The Tobacco Industry's Campaign to Hide the Hazards of SmokingWhat is third-hand smoke? It is that film that remains behind after a smoker has vacated a residence or hotel room. For those who are chemically sensitive, you can often smell it, or you will react to it by wheezing and sneezing. For others, it can be a hidden cause of underlying irritation and health problems.

Is Your Indoor Air Quality Safe?

"Pollutants from cigarette smoke may linker long after a smoker has moved out of a home...after the smokers homes had been vacant for two months, nicotine levels in the air were 35 to 95 times as high as in a nonsmoker...Pollutants can coat all the surfaces of a dwelling and seep into every crevice", said Professor Georg E. Matt, San Diego State University. (MSNBC, 12/16/2010 by Linda Carroll)

So many people have become ill with respiratory issues, lung cancer and asthma - and all too often a question that is neglected during examinations is: is there a smoker or has there been a smoker in your home?

No Smoking Sign - Danger SignNicotine Residue on Fingertips and in Lab Samples

However, the study conducted by Professor Matt indicates that after studying the nicotine on the fingertips of the residents of 150 homes and a breakdown of cotinine in the urine samples of children. According to the studies, "...there is a presence nicotine on or in the bodies of nonsmokers who had moved into dwellings formerly occupied by smokers. Nicotine levels were seven to eight times higher on the fingertips of nonsmokers who'd moved into a smoker's home compared to nonsmokers who had always lived in a nonsmoking home. Children who'd moved into a home formerly occupied by a smoker had three to five times as much cotinine as those who lived in a nonsmoking home."

What's in Your Hotel Room or Apartment?
Woman Tries Lady's Cigar in Club After Release of Surgeon General's Report on Smoking Hazards Artists Photographic Poster Print by Ralph Morse, 18x24
Imagine moving into an apartment, a newly purchased home or checking into a hotel room. A few nights or months later your lungs feel constricted when you enter certain rooms, or when you sleep at night.

You might initially attribute this to dust in the air, allergies stress or a seasonal change. But be sure to ask yourself if the issue could be due to third-hand smoke - because you and your family could be impacted. In the meantime, do an extra cleaning with soap/water/bleach in areas where a child might touch a surface and then place fingers in their mouth. Over the long-term remember that indoor air quality can be 10 times worse than outdoor air quality and try to air out your space as often as possible.

Full article taken from below source:
Third-Hand Smoke Affects Family Health

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Unhealthy health clubs?

Redmon Fun and Fitness Exercise Equipment for Kids - Air WalkerFitting Fitness into a Busy Schedule: Get In Shape, Stay Active, And Live A Healthy Life! This ebook has table of contents that are clickable.Elmo's World - Food, Water & ExerciseG2 Fit Self-Guiding Eco-Friendly Ab Fit Exercise ProgramI have taken the liberty of re-posting this article (source is indicated at the end) at my blog, as the information is quite vital and timely - at all times.

Personally, I used to think that it is in the very early morning hours to exercise best, jog around, walk about - until I saw in my children's books that it is during noon that the oxygen in the air is at its peak - the ideal situation we are after; it is low during the morning hours or at twilight.

In this light, many who are members of health clubs think also along the same line, that the best place to exercise or work out is in health clubs.

Well, now, read this, and think again.

Joining a health club can make it easier and more fun to exercise. But gyms can also present safety problems. Bacteria in poorly maintained pools can spread disease. Antibiotic-resistant staph infections can be picked up in crowded locker rooms and from heavily used exercise equipment. You can be injured or even suffer an exercise-related heart problem. Here's how to minimize those risks.

Skin infections

Staph infections, including those caused by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, can spread through shared gym equipment, mats and towels. Infections tend to occur near a cut or scrape, and on certain body parts (the armpits, buttocks, groin and neck). They start off looking like a large pimple but can swell, become painful and produce pus. If they spread to your bloodstream, they can be life-threatening. Many clear up on their own, but seek medical attention if a fever develops or if the area becomes enlarged, red, tender or warm.

Prevention: Use the alcohol spray or wipes that most gyms provide to wipe off equipment before and after use. Place a clean towel over mats used for doing sit-ups, stretching or yoga. Don't share towels with others. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer. Shower after working out. If you have a cut or scrape, keep it covered with a clean adhesive bandage and don't use hot tubs or whirlpools.

Dirty pools

Poorly maintained swimming pools are common, allowing bacteria and viruses to cause outbreaks of gastrointestinal illness. Inspections at 3,666 health clubs in 13 states found serious lapses requiring the immediate closing of 10 percent of the pools, according to a May report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Improperly maintained circulation and filtering systems and skimpy disinfection were among the most common problems.

Living Younger Longer (A Healthy Aging Program) [1 VHS Video/1 Audio Cassette]Personal Trainer: WalkingKeep Your Brain Alive: 83 Neurobic Exercises to Help Prevent Memory Loss and Increase Mental FitnessPrevention: To protect others, shower with soap before swimming and wash your hands after using the toilet or changing a baby's diaper. Don't use the pool if the water has a strong chemical smell or appears cloudy. Pool water should have little odor and be clear enough that you can easily see the bottom. Ask employees about chlorine and pH levels, which should be checked at least twice a day, and the pool's latest inspection score. Or use do-it-yourself test strips, available at home-improvement stores. Chlorine should be 1 to 3 parts per million (4 to 6 ppm for hot tubs), and pH should be 7.2 to 7.8.

Strained muscles

Weight-room injuries requiring medical attention have increased by 50 percent since 1990, with the largest increase among people age 45 and older.

Prevention: Warm up with a few minutes of jogging, calisthenics, or light and easy lifts. Use resistance machines or elastic bands rather than free weights. Keep the weight or resistance level light enough that you can do 15 repetitions. Do them slowly, taking about two seconds to lift and four seconds to lower. You should be able to stop the weight at any point in the movement. Don't hold your breath; that can cause fainting or a spike in blood pressure. Exhale during the lifting or pushing phase; inhale when lowering.

Heart attacks

Exercise gradually builds protection against heart disease. But if you're not in good shape, a vigorous workout can temporarily increase the risk of heart attack, especially if you're ill. A 2009 study found that a recent episode of fatigue or flu was associated with an increase in exercise-related cardiac events.

Prevention: Talk with your doctor before starting to work out if you have heart disease or multiple cardiac risk factors, or if you're middle-aged or older and have been sedentary. If you have a cold or the flu or feel fatigued, take a break from exercising or scale back workouts. Make sure your club has at least one automatic external defibrillator, which can save your life if you suffer cardiac arrest. Staff members should be trained in its use and in cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Consider learning CPR, too, so you can help others during emergencies.

Eye injuries

Americans suffer more than 40,000 eye injuries a year during recreational activities. Racquetball, squash, and tennis are leading causes of sports-related eye injuries among people ages 25 to 65. Nearly all could be prevented if people wore adequate eye protection.

Eating Healthy to Fitness Secrets Revealed + Plus BonusFeatures and Management of Compulsive Exercising in Eating Disorders (The Physician and Sportsmedicine)Losing Weight Natures Way - Stop Weight Gain and Lose Inches Fast! A Real Cure for Obesity! No medication! No bogus cures! No Diuretics, Fad Diets, Food Deprivation Or Exercising! Mission-SurfPrevention: People engaged in high-risk activities should wear protective eyewear with 3-millimeter polycarbonate lenses and an impact-resistant sports frame meeting the ASTM F803-01 standard. If you regularly wear glasses, you should get prescription sports glasses that meet those criteria.

(c) Copyright 2010. Consumers Union of United States Inc.

Full article is taken from below source:
Health clubs can be unhealthy

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Garlic's goodies

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - JULY 31:  A worker sorts g...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeFor health's sake, I am reposting this short article, derived from Recipes Cooking Food site.

Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is a wonderful additive to any meal as it is also good for the heart. It helps to promote heart function as well as to make the body work better. The benefits of garlic work to protect the heart from cardiovascular disease by releasing a component called allicin.

Healing Benefits Of GarlicThis is the thing that makes breath smell in garlic, but also helps to make the heart work better and keeps it functioning at a higher level. The garlic that one will consume should be in the form of whole clove garlic as much as possible. You should not necessarily be eating cloves, but using cloves and not powder and salt as much in your cooking. This is because the allicin is released when the clove is broken and thus it is not nearly as prevalent in the dried forms of the garlic.

Protect your heart and make great food all at the same time with the simple benefits of garlic for life and for flavor. Maker it taste good and good for you.

Taken from below source:
Benefits of Garlic
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

From mother to baby

Mothers (and fathers? may not be aware of this... but then again, here it is!

Teething problem
Mothers can unwittingly pass cavity-inducing bacteria to their kids, causing tooth decay

To cool your toddler's piping hot porridge, you blow at it. Then you slurp a little off the spoon to make sure it is not too hot before you feed your child - with the same spoon.

Between mother and child, this routine exchange of saliva is hardly unusual. However, while doing so, mums may unwittingly pass cavity-inducing bacteria to their babies.

In recent years, research has shown that it is possible for very young children to "catch" cavities from their caregivers via saliva transfer, just like cold and flu viruses.

A 2008 review of 46 studies published in the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry found "strong evidence demonstrated that mothers are a primary source of mutans streptococci colonisation of their children".

Streptococcus mutans is a type of bacteria that causes tooth decay.

Complete Guide to Dental HealthAccording to Dr Choy Keen Meng, clinical director of Toof Doctor, there are more than 100 million bacteria in every millilitre of saliva.

Most oral bacteria are not harmful, unless there are open wounds or cuts inside the mouth. However, some species of bacteria, such as the Streptococcus Mutans (S Mutans), are not as harmless.

"S Mutans are not found occurring naturally in the mouths of babies, but are usually transmitted from a mother with active tooth decay to her child through kissing and sharing of utensils during feeding. This type of bacteria can digest sugars and starches in foods and produce acids that decalcify tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay," said Dr Choy.

In general, the enamel of baby teeth is "softer than adult teeth, and hence very susceptible to harmful oral bacteria", he added.

Waterpik Ultra Water Flosser Don't just blame mum

It is also important to note that dental caries is a multifactorial disease, said Dr Rashid Tahir, specialist paediatric dentist at The Kids Dentist and president of Society for Paediatric Dentistry Singapore

"Having oral bacteria alone may not cause cavities if they are not exposed to sugars, and the person's resistance is good," said Dr Rashid.

Other cavity-causing factors include the child's lifestyle and habits such as poor brushing habits, inadequate floride and frequent snacking on sugary snacks.

Nightly bottle feeds can also increase the child's risk of developing tooth decay.

Basic Dental Health DVD More babies with decaying teeth

Dental experts Today spoke to said they are seeing more cases of tooth decay in toddlers and pre-school Singapore children.

A recent survey by National University of Singapore's (NUS) faculty of dentistry found that 26 per cent of children at the ages of three and four have dental caries.

There are no official stats on those below the ages of three, but Dr Rashid estimated that tooth decay may afflict up to 25 per cent of toddlers between two and three years old.

His youngest patient, at 18 months old, had tooth decay which required treatment.

Even though baby teeth do eventually fall off, experts said parents should still teach their babies and toddlers to maintain good oral hygiene. Tooth decay in babies can affect one's quality of life, said the dentists.

Making the American Mouth: Dentists and Public Health in the Twentieth Century (Critical Issues in Health and Medicine)Said Dr Rashid: "Now imagine if a three-year-old child has a toothache. When a toothache occurs, not only does the child suffer, very often the parents suffer, too, because the child may not eat and sleep well.

"When the child doesn't sleep, the parents also won't get to sleep, and the next person to suffer will be the dentist - trying to treat a young child possibly lacking in cooperation because of age and anxiety who is in pain!"

The other problem with tooth decay, added Dr Rashid, is that it may cause a bad infection that results in facial swellings. Such severe infections can sometimes be fatal.

Start early

Tooth Tissues *** (3) THREE PACKS *** Dental Wipes for Baby and Toddler SmilesGet your little one acquainted with good dental habits, even before he has teeth.

Dr Rashid advised wiping the gum pads of babies twice a day with a wet towel to get them used to twice-daily toothbrushing later.

He added that the first trip to the dentist should also be carried by the age of one year, and not when the child is howling in pain from a toothache.

Taken from; source article is below:
Teething problem

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