Do hair dyes increase cancer risk?

January 22, 2021 Adiantku 0

Personal use of hair dyes is very common, with estimates that 50% or more of women and 10% of men over age 40 color their hair. However, with social distancing guidelines in place amidst the ongoing pandemic, many people have foregone their regular hair salon appointments. As natural hair colors get rooted out, let’s cut to a layered question: do permanent hair dyes increase cancer risk?

Decades of research, conflicting results

Hair dyes come in three major varieties: oxidative (permanent), direct (semi-permanent or temporary), and natural dyes. Most hair dyes used in the US and Europe — both do-it-yourself dyes and those used in salons — are permanent dyes. They undergo chemical reactions to create pigment that deposits on hair shafts and may pose the greatest cancer risk.

People are exposed to chemicals in hair dyes through direct skin contact or by inhaling fumes during the coloring process. Occupational exposure … Read the rest

More intensive treatment of DCIS reduces the risk of invasive breast cancer

January 21, 2021 Adiantku 0

Breast cancer screening with mammography or other tools (such as MRI) has increased the rates of diagnosis of very early breast cancers knowns as DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ). As opposed to invasive breast cancers, DCIS cancers are confined to the local area and have not spread to deeper tissues or elsewhere in the body. With increased rates of diagnosis, there has been considerable controversy about the true risks of DCIS and the best treatments, with some suggesting that women are being overtreated for a condition that does not substantially increase the long-term risk of death, and others advocating more intensive preventive treatment among women with DCIS.

Long-term outcomes for women with and without DCIS have been limited, until now

A recent study published in The BMJ offers the best data so far on the risks associated with DCIS and the impact of different treatments. In the study, more than … Read the rest

Exercise matters to health and well-being, regardless of your size

January 17, 2021 Adiantku 0

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc in our daily lives. Regardless of who you are, your life has been impacted in some way. Stress is mounting, and you may need to find a way to decompress while social distancing. Enter stage left my favorite pastime: exercise!

All right, I know what you are thinking: She’s one of those exercise fanatics who is going to tell me that I need to exercise several hours every day. Well, no. What I am going to tell you is that you can make exercise work for you. It is imperative to find your “soulmate workout” or simple activities you can do. You might think that you need to be a certain size or already in shape to engage in exercise. This is simply not true, nor is it helpful for your health and well-being, since exercise — even small amounts — helps … Read the rest

Alcohol harms the brain in teen years –– before and after that, too

January 16, 2021 Adiantku 0

If we only paid attention to ads, it might seem as though alcohol — a beer or glass of wine, a shot of fiery liquor or sophisticated cocktail — merely served as a way to bring people together and make them happy. Drink responsibly, the ads wink, without ever explaining the toll that frequent or excessive alcohol use exacts, particularly at certain stages in life. Because alcohol doesn’t just get us drunk, impair our judgment, and hurt our liver: it can have many other bad effects on our bodies — including effects on the brain.

In a recent editorial in The BMJ, a trio of scientists pointed out that there are three periods in life when the brain goes through major changes and is particularly vulnerable to the effects of alcohol. Two of those periods are at the beginning and end of life. When pregnant women drink alcohol, it … Read the rest

3 simple steps to jump-start your heart health this year

January 15, 2021 Adiantku 0

In 2020, the terrible toll of the COVID-19 pandemic largely overshadowed the affliction that remains the leading cause of death in this country: heart disease. In the United States last year, at least twice as many people died from cardiovascular causes as those who died from complications from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus.

While the challenges from the virus are new, experts have been studying heart disease for decades — and everyone can benefit from that knowledge. “The lifestyle habits that keep your heart healthy may also leave you less vulnerable to serious complications from infections such as COVID-19 and influenza,” says cardiologist Dr. Deepak L. Bhatt, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter.

So what exactly are those heart-healthy habits? The American Heart Association refers to them as “Life’s Simple 7.” Put simply, they are:

1) Stop smoking

2) Eat … Read the rest

Healthcare Now – What’s Next

January 14, 2021 Adiantku 0

As we begin the new year, we are optimistic about our global fight against the coronavirus pandemic. With vaccines starting to be deployed around the world and our healthcare workers seeing critical relief on the horizon, we are hopeful for what the future has in store. 

2020 was a year unlike any other. The pandemic served as a catalyst for the transformation of healthcare, supported by the adoption of new, innovative technologies in months vs. years. We are incredibly proud of the opportunity we’ve had to support our customers through this challenging time. While the future is bright, there’s still much work to be done. 

Until we have widespread access and uptake of vaccines, our global community will continue to struggle with the pandemic and suffer terrible losses.  In the meantime, we will continue working with our customers to address the challenges of today while helping to prepare for a brighter … Read the rest

Can I take something to prevent colorectal cancer?

January 14, 2021 Adiantku 0

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. There is compelling evidence that screening to detect CRC early to find and remove precancerous polyps can reduce CRC mortality. However, screening has associated harms, including procedural complications, and inherent limitations. For example, colonoscopy, the most common screening tool in the US, is less effective in preventing cancers of the right, or ascending side, of the colon compared with cancers of the left, or descending, side of the colon.

Moreover, only 60% of US adults recommended for screening actually follow through. Even under the best circumstances, screening is resource-intensive, requiring time, equipment, and a trained doctor to perform the procedure, and cannot be widely implemented in many parts of the world. Thus, alternatives to screening to effectively prevent CRC are a high unmet need.

What are alternatives to screening for prevention of colorectal cancer?

Adherence … Read the rest

CBD and other medications: Proceed with caution

January 13, 2021 Adiantku 0

Products containing cannabidiol (CBD) seem to be all the rage these days, promising relief from a wide range of maladies, from insomnia and hot flashes to chronic pain and seizures. Some of these claims have merit to them, while some of them are just hype. But it won’t hurt to try, right? Well, not so fast. CBD is a biologically active compound, and as such, it may also have unintended consequences. These include known side effects of CBD, but also unintended interactions with supplements, herbal products, and over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications.

Doubling up on side effects

While generally considered safe, CBD may cause drowsiness, lightheadedness, nausea, diarrhea, dry mouth, and, in rare instances, damage to the liver. Taking CBD with other medications that have similar side effects may increase the risk of unwanted symptoms or toxicity. In other words, taking CBD at the same time with OTC … Read the rest

COVID-19 and the heart: What have we learned?

January 12, 2021 Adiantku 0

Early in the pandemic, epidemiologists made a striking observation. Compared to the general population, people with cardiovascular disease (CVD) were more than twice as likely to contract severe forms of COVID-19. In the last six months, death rates from COVID-19 have dropped significantly, but CVD remains a major predictor of poor outcome. What have we learned about heart disease and COVID-19 in that time?

Pre-existing heart conditions and poor metabolic health increase risk of severe COVID-19

As I described in a blog post back in April, some health conditions, like diabetes, increase risk of severe COVID-19 by suppressing the immune system; others, like asthma, increase risk by weakening the lungs. However, in the early months of the pandemic it was not entirely clear how CVD increased the risk of severe COVID-19. We now have two explanations.

The first is that pre-existing heart conditions, such as damaged heart muscle or blocked … Read the rest

Hormonal therapies for advanced prostate cancer linked to a higher risk of falls and fractures

January 11, 2021 Adiantku 0

Falls rank among the top causes of death and injuries among the elderly, and the risk increases significantly in older people being treated for cancer. Now, investigators are reporting that a newer class of drugs for advanced prostate cancer is associated with a significant increase in fall risk.

Called androgen receptor inhibitors, or ARIs, these drugs target testosterone, a hormone that accelerates the growth of prostate tumors. Unlike traditional hormonal treatments that interfere with the body’s ability to make testosterone (known as androgen deprivation therapy, or ADT), ARIs work by preventing testosterone from binding to its receptor on cancer cells. Three ARIs were evaluated in the study — apalutamide, enzalutamide, and darolutamide — and each can limit prostate cancer progression and extend survival. The investigators emphasized that the benefits of using ARIs outweigh the risk of falls and fractures, which are rare even in treated patients.

What the investigators did

Read the rest