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Aspirin Might Guard User against Deadly Melanoma Aspirin Might Guard User against Deadly Melanoma

March 12, 2013 - A new study says the famous drug for fighting against pain, Aspirin, might also be able to protect the user against melanoma, skin cancer’s deadliest form. The recently published study used close to 60,000 women who were post-menopausal and found that those who took aspirin on a regular basis were 21% less apt to receive a diagnosis of melanoma. Those who took aspirin for five or more years were linked to a reduction of 30% in the risk of developing melanoma.

The findings, said the author of the study Dr. Jean Tang from Stanford University, suggest that aspirin might have a chemo-preventive effect that prevents the melanoma from developing. However, Dr. Tang said more clinical investigation was necessary.

The study makes no conclusion that aspirin is what caused the cancer risk to drop, only that a use of twice per week was tied to a risk decrease among Caucasian females aged from their 50s through their 70s. The study also used self-reporting of aspirin usage and did not control for any prior family history with melanoma or hair color. It is know that redheads are at a higher risk for developing skin cancer.

Aspirin is a painkiller that dates as far back as 400 BC, when salicin-containing bark from a willow tree was used to treat inflammation and pain. The drug also lowers the blood-clotting thromboxanes, which has led many people to take a dosage daily to lower their risk of a stroke or heart attack.

This new study adds evidence that aspirin might help prevent cancer of the liver, breasts, colon, skin and lungs. A study concluded in May of 2012 found that both men and women taking NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like aspirin had a 15% less chance of developing squamous cell carcinoma, which is non-melanoma as well as being 13% less apt to develop melanoma that was malignant.

Study: Niacin Not Helpful to Heart, Could be Harmful Study: Niacin Not Helpful to Heart, Could be Harmful

March 10, 2013- Niacin, which is a B vitamin, that has for many years been a mainstay for heart treatments, provided zero benefit in a new major study. The study’s results even showed that it could cause harm to the heart.

Niacin has been used for some time to help lower the LDL or “bad” cholesterol and increase the HDL or the “good” cholesterol. The recent study used 25,000 participants who used statin drugs, which are for cholesterol reducing. Doctors assigned at random for people to be either given a placebo or niacin and another medication to lower flushing, which is a common side effect found in niacin.

The niacin produced no benefit, as there was not reduction in the quantity of heart problems like stroke, heart attacks and death. However, patients receiving the niacin were at a higher risk of infections, bleeding, onset of diabetes and diabetic complications. This information came from the study that was presented this week in San Francisco at the College of Cardiology.

The results of the study are just the latest bad about niacin. A study in 2011 found that niacin did not reduce the amount of heart attacks, even though good cholesterol was boosted. Alarmingly, that study’s researchers found niacin produced a slightly high risk for having a stroke.

The recent poor performance of niacin in trials that have been rigorously controlled has been a disappointment for those involved. Americans spend over $800 million each year on extended release brand name niacin.

These negative results caused doctors to not prescribe the vitamin as much.

Venom from Bees Could Prevent HIV from Spreading Venom from Bees Could Prevent HIV from Spreading

March 10, 2013- Doctors have made a sensational claim that chemicals found in stings from bees could help to stop the spread of HIV. Toxins found in the venom of the insects can destroy HIV and leave the cells surrounding it unharmed, said doctors.

Scientists are very excited over the new development and believe it is an important step in developing a special gel that would stave off the spread of the deadly disease, which causes AIDS.

Melittin is the chemical produced by the bees that destroys HIV by puncturing the out layers that protects it. The toxin was inserted by scientists into nanoparticles, which were fitted with a special set of bumpers, so they would bounce off the normal cells.

However, when the HIV virus cells, which are smaller in size, come in contact with them, it falls in between the bumpers and then is attacked by the toxins. Lead expert in the study, Dr. Joshua Hood from the University of Washington School of Medicine said the bee toxin could be included in a vaginal gel so it would prevent the spreading of HIV.

He added the hope we have is that in places in the world where HIV is very high, people could apply the gel as a measure of protection and preventions to stop an initial infection.

The majority of drugs only slows the viruses’ growth, but bee venom attacks and then kills it to stop an initial infection from taking place. The doctor said that since the venom attacks the physical property of the HIV, theoretically the virus has no way of adapting to it.

Doctors are also hopeful that nanoparticles could be made to develop ways to eliminate tumors.

 

Report: Increase Vaccinations and Fight Marketing of Tobacco to Curb Cancer Report: Increase Vaccinations and Fight Marketing of Tobacco to Curb Cancer

March 07, 2013 - Experts from a conference of cancer organizations around the world have said that smoking and other tobacco forms of use are what drives the growing burden globally of cancer. The conference participants urged governments to place their citizens’ health before the financial gains reaped from tobacco business.

The report for the conference says that the number of diagnoses of cancer is increasing around the world, but clear actions can be taken by every country that would go a long way in reducing the amount of people diagnosed with cancer and the number of people who die from the disease.

Some of those actions include increasing taxes on all tobacco products, making sure that all health workers set a correct example by not using tobacco products, deglamourize tobacco products and protect the poorer countries from an increase in marketing efforts by the tobacco industry.

Each year around the globe, close to 12.7 million people get diagnosed with some form of cancer. Cancer today accounts for over 15% of all deaths annually around the world. The World Health Organization said in 2012 that the amount of people who have cancer would surge by over 75% by the year 2030. The increase will be particularly high in poor countries as they start to adopt the unhealthy lifestyles of the “west.”

It is known that smoking causes lung cancer, which is one of the world’s deadliest forms of cancer. Smoking also increases that chance of developing other forms of cancer including neck and head cancer, kidney and bladder cancer, pancreas, colon and breast cancer as well.

The report in Wednesday said more must be done that ensures greater access to cancer preventing vaccinations such as the HPV vaccine that fights against cervical cancer. Today the number of individuals receiving these types of vaccines is still very low, even in wealthier countries like the U.S., where only 33% of teenage females are vaccinated.

Baby Now Functionally Cured, After Being Born with HIV Baby Now Functionally Cured, After Being Born with HIV

March 04, 2013 - Doctors announced that a girl, who is now 2 years old, has only trace amounts, in her bloodstream of HIV. The girl’s immune system has kept the virus from growing without any medication. Doctors said the next step is trying to duplicate their results.

Doctors have announced for just the first time that a child who was born with HIV and immediately administered a treatment regimen that was unusually aggressive has been deemed functionally cured of the HIV.

The girl, who is from Mississippi, now only had small trace amounts of the infection remaining in her bloodstream. Doctors announced their results on Sunday in Atlanta, during a medical conference.

If the same kind of treatment can be demonstrated by researchers to work in other kids, it could dramatically alter the lives of an estimated 1,000 children born every day with HIV. Most of those children are born in Africa, said doctors.

A pediatrician specializing in infectious diseases said if a trial were able to show that this could be accomplished again, then it would be a huge breakthrough. Dr. Karin Neilsen, who did not take part in the girl’s HIV case, said doctors could treat children intensively and reverse the course of the disease.

Details about this unusual case were not published yet so that others can assess them. It is possible the girl was not infected herself, although she had been at a high risk of contracting HIV from her mother, said skeptics.

Researchers that have extensively examined the girl’s case said they believe the girl was infected with the virus, but succeeded in knocking it back prior to it being able to establish itself in the body’s immune system.

In developed countries, including the U.S., over 98% of the babies born to mothers that have HIV do not get infected with the virus due to preventive treatments started prior to the birth and that last as long as six weeks after the birth.The mother of this child did not know she was infected with HIV until she received a test after she started to go into labor.

BPA Might Cause Asthma Risk Increase in Children BPA Might Cause Asthma Risk Increase in Children

March 03, 2013- BPA or bisphenol A, once again has been tied to increasing the risk of a health problem in humans. Now, the increased risk is for children developing asthma.

New research shows that an excess exposure to the chemical, which interferes with certain hormones being produced in the body, has been linked previously to increased risks of obesity in children and more of a chance of diabetes, kidney disease and heart disease later in life could increase the risk of young children developing asthma. The chemical has been banned from the lining of infant baby formula cans and baby bottles. However, there are other hard plastics and metal can coatings that still contain the chemical.

This new research, just like a dozen previous, measured the levels of BPA in urine and then compared those with rates for a particular illness such as asthma. The study found a 40% increase in the risk of asthma in children from the inner city. The highest levels of BPA were in children 3, 5 and 7 years old. About 25% of the children had asthma.

The heightened risk was only modest but still consistent with other studies done prior linking BPA levels that were high in women who were pregnant with the risk of their baby developing asthma at a later date. The new study did not find that exposure to BPA during prenatal affected the child’s risk of developing asthma later, which was an unexpected finding by researchers.

The study did not prove that being exposed to BPA caused the increased risk in developing asthma. The study included certain factors that are known to affect the risk of developing cancer like being exposed to cigarette smoke, ethnicity and the mother having asthma history, which could also play a part in the risk of developing asthma.

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