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Showing posts with label Harvard School of Public Health. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Harvard School of Public Health. Show all posts

Friday, January 25, 2013

Aspirin helps fight some colorectal cancers: US study

Aspirin, I could say, is the 'drug' of the century: I've known it since I was young and my parents were taking this pill, and now am old, and it is still a current item, appearing now and then in the news, local and abroad...

Posted: 25 October 2012
Aspirin. (AFP/Getty Images/File - Tim Boyle)
WASHINGTON: Aspirin can help prolong the life of patients suffering from colorectal cancer tumours with a specific genetic mutation, according to a new study released Thursday.

The study of 900 patients carried out by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute -- an affiliate of Harvard Medical School -- found that the painkiller produced a "sharp jump in survival" among certain patients.

"For patients whose tumours harboured a mutation in the gene PIK3CA, aspirin use produced a sharp jump in survival," with 97 percent of those who took aspirin still alive after five years, compared with 74 percent who did not take it, researchers said.

The drug had no impact on survival rates among patients without a PIK3CA mutation, they added, in a news release accompanying the publication of the study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"For the first time we have a genetic marker that can help doctors determine which colorectal cancers are likely to respond to a particular therapy," said lead author Shuji Ogino, of the Harvard School of Public Health.

He added that more research must be done before the findings can be considered definitive.

Some 20 percent of colorectal cancer patients have tumours with the mutation, the study said, adding that patients without the mutation can take aspirin, but it can sometimes lead to gastrointestinal ulcers and stomach bleeding.

Colorectal cancer is one of the world's deadliest diseases. The National Cancer Institute expects some 140,000 Americans to be diagnosed with the disease and some 50,000 to die from it this year alone.

- AFP/lp

Taken from; source article is below:
Aspirin helps fight some colorectal cancers: US study

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hairdressers May Help Spot Skin Cancer

Title: Pathology: Patient: Melanoma: Asymmetry...Image via Wikipedia
Study Shows Many Hairdressers Check Scalp and Neck for Signs of Skin Cancer

WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

Oct. 17, 2011 -- Your hairdresser may be a valuable ally in the battle against skin cancer.
A new study shows many hairdressers already check their client's scalp, neck, and face for signs of skin cancer, and more than half have recommended that a client see a health care professional about an abnormal mole.
Melanomas of the scalp and neck account for 6% of all melanomas and about 10% of melanoma deaths in the U.S.
Researchers say the results suggest few hairdressers have received training in skin cancer education and may be an untapped resource in skin cancer screening and prevention.
"This study provides evidence that hair professionals are currently acting as lay health advisors for skin cancer detection and prevention and are willing to become more involved in skin cancer education in the salon," researcher Elizabeth E. Bailey, MD, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues write in the Archives of Dermatology.
"As professionals who have a natural view of difficult-to-see areas and who develop a close rapport with their customers, hair professionals are ideally suited to this role," they write.

Help From Hairdressers

In the study, researchers surveyed 203 hairdressers from 17 salons in a single chain in the Houston area.
The results showed 37% of hairdressers reported looking at more than 50% of their customers' scalps for suspicious lesions in the last month.
About 29% of hairdressers reported looking at more than 50% of their customers' necks and 15% looked at more than 50% of their customers' faces.
More than half (58%) said they had recommended at least once that a client see a health professional about an abnormal mole.
Most hairdressers (72%) had not received formal training on skin cancer. But many expressed an interest in becoming involved in skin cancer education. For example:
  • 69% said they were "somewhat" or "very likely" to give clients a skin cancer information pamphlet during an appointment.
  • Nearly half (49%) said they were "very" or "extremely" interested in participating in a skin cancer education program.
  • 25% say they already share general health information "often" or "always" with their clients.
Researchers say how often hairdressers checked their clients for suspicious lesions was associated with their own self-reported health practices and personal skin protection habits but not with their level of skin cancer education.
"Future research should focus on creating a program that provides hair professionals expert training and effective health communication tools to become confident and skilled lay skin cancer educators," the researchers write.

Taken from; source article is below:
Hairdressers May Help Spot Skin Cancer

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Coffee reduces risk of lethal prostate cancer

There may be good, but there are reasons why coffee (or tea) should be avoided.

Not to cut the thrill of finding out, read on first!

Posted: 18 May 2011

WASHINGTON: More is better when it comes to drinking coffee to ward off the risk of deadly prostate cancer, according to a major US study released on Tuesday by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Men who drank six or more cups per day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the most lethal type of prostate cancer and a 20 percent lower risk of forming any type of prostate cancer compared to men who did not drink coffee, it said.

Even just one to three cups per day was linked to a 30 percent lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer.

"Few studies have specifically studied the association of coffee intake and the risk of lethal prostate cancer, the form of the disease that is the most critical to prevent," said Harvard associate professor and senior author Lorelei Mucci.

"Our study is the largest to date to examine whether coffee could lower the risk of lethal prostate cancer," she said.

The effects were the same whether the coffee was caffeinated or decaffeinated, leading researchers to believe the lower risk could be linked to the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of coffee.

Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in US men, but it is not always deadly.

A blood test can detect it early, and the cancer can be graded on what is known as a Gleason score; the higher the score the more likely the cancer is to spread.

There are 16 million survivors of prostate cancer worldwide, and one in six men in the United States will get prostate cancer during their lifetime.

Risk factors are typically linked to Western high-fat diets, heredity, alcohol and exposure to chemicals.

The study examined 47,911 US men who reported on how much coffee they drank every four years from 1986 to 2008.

Over the course of the study, a total of 5,035 cases of prostate cancer were reported, including 642 fatal, or metastatic, cases.

The lower risk seen in coffee drinkers remained even after researchers allowed for other factors that typically boost risk and were more often seen in coffee drinkers than in abstainers, such as smoking and failure to exercise.

- AFP/de


Taken from; source article is below:
Coffee cuts risk of lethal prostate cancer

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Monday, December 6, 2010

Heavy smoking to crime in offspring

Will this be reason even more that you as the mother would be refraining from smoking? Not for your sake alone, but for your child's? And others?

Think it over - again!

PARIS - Mothers who puff a pack a day or more while pregnant run a 30 per cent higher risk of having kids who become criminal offenders, according to a study published Tuesday.

The link held true even after other factors statistically associated with criminal behaviour - mental illness, family problems, poverty - were ruled out, the study found.

Women were as likely as men to tend toward crime, and both sexes faced a higher risk of frequent arrests when their mothers were especially heavy smokers, it said.

Researchers led by Angela Paradis of the Harvard School of Public Health reviewed the health and criminal records of 4,000 American adults between 33 and 40 years old.

The men and women were part of a long-term health study in Rhode Island designed to track the long-term effects on children of conditions during pregnancy and around birth.

Information was collected about the smoking habits of the mothers, who were enrolled in the study between 1959 and 1966.

Children whose mothers smoked at least 20 cigarettes per day while expectant were 30 per cent likelier to end up with a criminal record, and were also likelier to be repeat offenders.

"While we cannot definitely conclude that maternal smoking during pregnancy - particularly heavy smoking - is a causal risk factor for adult criminal offending, the findings do support a modest causal relationship," the authors concluded.

Previous research has shown a strong correlation between mothers who smoke while pregnant and a range of problems in children, including hyperactivity, poor attention span and aggressiveness in early childhood, and delinquency in adolescence.

Animal studies suggest that these problems may stem in part from the biological effects of nicotine on the developing brain, especially on neurotransmitter receptors.

Chronic criminal offenders are more likely to suffer from neuropsychological disorders.

The research appears in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, published by the British Medical Association (BMA).

- AFP/rl

Taken from; source article is below:
Heavy smoking in pregnancy linked to crime in offspring

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Friday, May 29, 2009

No butts about it, Lebanon's a smoker's paradise

Time is GMT + 8 hours

Posted: 29-May-2009 18:49 hrs

090529-1849hrs A Lebanese woman smokes a narghile, or waterpipe, at a restaurant in downtown Beirut. Want to indulge in a guilt-free tobacco experience? Then head to Lebanon, a smoker's paradise where you can work, dine and have your hair styled in a cloud of smoke.

"You even see them at ski resorts," he added. "Where there are youths, there are tobacco companies."

The area manager for Philip Morris, the largest importer of cigarettes in Lebanon, rejected the accusations.

"We market our products to adult smokers only and we're very strict about that," said Emile Moukarzel.

"We try our best to prevent minors from smoking, not only because it is mandated by the serious health effects of our product but also because it also makes business sense."

Once hooked, you're hooked for life

British American Tobacco, the second largest importer of cigarettes in Lebanon, had no one available to comment for this article.

Health professionals say the number of smokers in Lebanon is among the highest in the region and cancer-related illnesses directly linked to tobacco are rising at a rapid rate.

An estimated 3,500 people die annually from illnesses related to smoking, they said.

"In the last five years we have seen a 17-percent increase in cardio-vascular disease while the United States saw a 17-percent drop for the same period," Saade said.

Ironically, some of the local companies that market cigarettes are also the agents for cancer-fighting drugs.

Most worrisome is a growing trend of narghile, or water pipe, smokers, especially among teenagers who wrongly believe it is less harmful to their health than cigarettes, experts say.

"We are facing every day new evidence about narghile smoking, which is spreading among all age groups but more specifically among youths," said Rima Nakkash, an American University of Beirut professor who is doing research on the issue.

She said according to a 2005 survey carried out by WHO, 60 percent of youths in Lebanon aged between 13 and 15 smoke cigarettes, narghile or cigars, the highest number in the region.

Overall, an estimated 42 percent of males and 30 percent of females smoke in Lebanon, a country of 4.5 million inhabitants, health experts say.

"The tobacco industry has recognized the Middle East as one region of the world which has the least restrictive regulations compared to other countries, even in Asia," Zaatari said.

"So sometimes they use countries like Lebanon as dumping grounds for products they are unable to bring into other countries.

"And they are particularly interested in young people because once you're hooked, you're hooked for life," he added.

Zaatari also noted that although Lebanon signed WHO's Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in 2005 it has failed to ratify the document and has shown little interest in enforcement.

For example a survey conducted at 40 restaurants nationwide in coordination with the Harvard School of Public Health showed that air quality in such establishments was, on average, hazardous by WHO standards.

"The thing with Lebanon is we are behind 20 or 30 years as far as tobacco control but we can learn from the experience of other countries," Nakkash said. "We can learn how they failed and succeeded.

"It's not like we are drawing up a nuclear strategy." — AFP

From, Health; see the source article here.

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