New study finds a high blood platelet count is ‘strong predictor’ of cancer

LONDON, May 24 — A new UK study has revealed the first new strong indicator of cancer in 30 years, finding that having a high blood platelet count can predict who will go on to be diagnosed with cancer, and the researchers urge that it should be used by doctors in order to try to catch the disease early.

Known as thrombocytosis, up to half a million people (two per cent) of those over the age of 40 in the UK have a raised blood platelet count, with around 1 per cent of the general population developing cancer each year.

Led by the University of Exeter Medical School, the large-scale study is the first to thoroughly investigate the association between thrombocytosis and cancer, looking at 40,000 patient records in the UK.

The team found that 11per cent of men and 6per cent of women over the age of 40 with thrombocytosis went on to be diagnosed with cancer within a year.

This number rose to 18per cent of men and 10per cent of women being diagnosed with cancer if a second raised platelet count was found within six months.

The most commonly diagnosed cancers after a thrombocytosis diagnosis were lung and colourectal cancer, and one third of these patients had no other symptoms that would indicate to their GP that they had cancer — except for thrombocytosis.

The team are now urging GPs to consider that those with unexpected thrombocytosis may go on to also be diagnosed with cancer, in order to try to catch the disease early on.

“We know that early diagnosis is absolutely key in whether people survive cancer. Our research suggests that substantial numbers of people could have their cancer diagnosed up to three months earlier if thrombocytosis prompted investigation for cancer.

This time could make a vital difference in achieving earlier diagnosis,” commented lead author Dr Sarah Bailey, of the University of Exeter Medical School.

Professor Willie Hamilton, of the University of Exeter Medical School, also added that, “The UK lags well behind other developed countries on early cancer diagnosis. In 2014, 163,000 people died of cancer in this country.

“Our findings on thrombocytosis show a strong association with cancer, particularly in men — far stronger than that of a breast lump for breast cancer in women. It is now crucial that we roll out cancer investigation of thrombocytosis. It could save hundreds of lives each year.”

The paper can be found online published in the British Journal of General Practice— AFP-Relaxnews

 Note: At CA Care we have been using your Platelets Count as a monitor for cancer since the past twenty years!

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/features/article/new-study-finds-a-high-blood-platelet-count-is-strong-predictor-of-cancer#sthash.I1bcR7Ob.dpuf

J&J loses US$110 million verdict over talc cancer-link claim

DETROIT — Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a St Louis jury to pay more than US$110 million (S$154 million) to a Virginia woman who blamed her ovarian cancer on the company’s talcum products.

Imerys Talc America, which provided the talc to J&J, was ordered by the jury to pay about US$100,000. Imerys Talc is a unit of Paris-based Imerys SA.

There are more than 3,000 lawsuits accusing the world’s largest health-care company of ignoring studies linking its baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products to ovarian cancer and failing to warn customers about the risk.

Ms Carol Goodrich, a spokeswoman for J&J, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the verdict. Mr Orlando Richmond, an attorney for the company, declined to comment.

J&J lost jury verdicts of US$72 million, US$55 million and US$70 million last year, while winning the first trial in 2017. J&J, based in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is appealing the trial losses. A New Jersey state court judge last year threw out two talc cases set for trial, finding inadequate scientific support for the claims. That decision is also on appeal.

In St Louis, Ms Lois Slemp, 62, said she used J&J’s baby powder and Shower to Shower talc products for more than 40 years before her diagnosis with ovarian cancer in 2012. J&J sold its Shower to Shower brand in 2012.

ASBESTOS CLAIM

Ms Slemp, whose cancer has since spread to her liver, also claims J&J talc was contaminated with asbestos, a rare allegation in these cases. A company lawyer told jurors that J&J’s products didn’t cause Ms Slemp’s cancer and don’t contain asbestos.

The lawsuit is among more than 1,000 filed in St Louis by women across the US, taking advantage of a Missouri law that allows suits to be brought there by people with no connection to the state.

The company faces trial in another talc claim in St Louis city court next month, brought by the family of a former competitive figure skater who died of ovarian cancer. The trial after that is set for July in Los Angeles.

J&J didn’t warn women of studies linking talc to ovarian cancer to protect the company’s image, Mr Allen Smith, Ms Slemp’s attorney, told jurors.

“What is the corporate image of Johnson & Johnson?” Mr Smith asked. “It’s a mother and baby.’’

Ms Slemp, a retired nurse’s assistant, is undergoing chemotherapy and was too ill to attend the trial.

J&J doesn’t need to warn women about talc because there is no link, Mr Richmond argued. The Food and Drug Administration was asked in 2014 whether a warning label should be put on baby powder, he said.

“They said ‘No.’ The science doesn’t warrant it,” Mr Richmond said. BLOOMBERG

http://www.todayonline.com/world/americas/jj-loses-us110-million-verdict-over-talc-cancer-link-claim

Diet high in saturated fats linked to gut inflammation: Study

Probiotic content in food items such as yoghurt and kimchi help improve gut health

SINGAPORE — Scientists have found more evidence that a diet high in saturated fats is linked to more inflammation in the gut that, in turn, could cause colorectal cancer.

The study by scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) also found that probiotic content in food items such as yoghurt and kimchi help in improving gut health.

In examining what causes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the team led by Associate Professor Andrew Tan Nguan Soon discovered that a lower level of Angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPLT4) — a protein found in the gut — led to more inflammation.

Assoc Prof Tan said: “In our experiments, we observed that when gut microbes processed saturated fats, they will emit certain chemicals that lower the amount of ANGPLT4 produced by the cells, which then leads to more inflammation.”

When inflammation is prolonged, it could lead to IBD and, later, increase the risk of colon tumours.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in Singapore, with more than 9,300 cases diagnosed from 2010 to 2014.

In a press release yesterday, NTU said that the team of NTU scientists led by Assoc Prof Tan discovered this new protein-linked factor that contribute to IBD, and have published their results recently in Scientific Reports, a peer-reviewed journal.

Worldwide, about five million people suffer from IBD, which can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weight loss, blood in stools and fever.

In Singapore, about 2,000 people suffer this yearly, and the numbers are rising sharply, NTU said.

Assoc Prof Tan said that their findings supported the conventional advice of eating wholesome foods with less saturated fats and with more probiotic content, usually found in fermented foods such as yoghurt or kimchi.

“The types of food being processed by the gut will change the microbe community. A high intake of saturated fat could increase the prevalence and replication of harmful pathogens, suppressing ANGPLT4 and causing even more inflammation,” he explained.

In the study, the team also found that dietary probiotics favour beneficial microbes that form a protective barrier along the gut. Retaining a barrier in the gut may be one way the ANGPTL4 protein prevents harmful bacteria from joining the microbe community.

In a related study, Assoc Prof Tan worked with a team from Wageningen University in the Netherlands to discover the effects that trans fat has on gut health. Published last week in the Journal of Lipid Research, the study found that while saturated fat led to massive IBD in mice that are lacking the ANGPTL4 protein, eating trans fat did not contribute to IBD symptoms but may result in the hardening and narrowing of arteries in the long term.

“In short, the public should eat foods that are high in unsaturated fats, like avocado and olive oil, while avoiding foods containing saturated fat, like butter, and trans fat, like margarine,” Assoc Prof Tan said.

“At the same time, foods containing probiotics, such as yoghurt, should also be consumed, as they improve the health of the gut.”

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/diet-high-saturated-fats-linked-gut-inflammation-study

 

 

Ozone therapy treatments now banned in Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry today announced the ban on ozone therapy treatments as it could lead to severe medical complications.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said a health technology assessment carried out by the Malaysian Health Technology Assessment Section (MaHTAS) revealed there was no scientific evidence to support any therapeutic benefits from the therapy.

“Moreover, the therapy exposes the users to risks of bleeding from the usage of heparin (blood thinning medicine), embolism (blockage of blood vessel from air bubbles), and infection from non-sterile instruments.

“It could also lead to permanent disability resulting from impairment of organs such as the kidneys,” he told reporters today.

As such, the ministry views the practice of ozone therapy seriously, he added.

He said the therapy claims to rejuvenate one’s skin and beauty, whiten complexion and slow the ageing process.

Dr Subramaniam also said the usage of the ozone therapy machine has also never been approved.

“Under the Medical Device Act 2012, the machine is defined as a medical device which must be registered with the Medical Device Act (MDA).

“Therefore, any establishment, manufacturer, importer or distributors who import or place the machines in the Malaysian market need to apply for an establishment licence and register the licence under the Act.

https://www.nst.com.my/news/government-public-policy/2017/05/236163/ozone-therapy-treatments-now-banned-malaysia

Italian court rules mobile phone caused brain tumour

ROME: In a potentially landmark case, an Italian court has ruled that excessive, work-related use of a mobile phone caused an executive to develop a benign brain tumour.

In a ruling handed down on Apr 11 but only made public on Thursday (Apr 20), the court in the northern town of Ivrea awarded the plaintiff a state-funded pension.

The ruling is subject to a possible appeal.

Roberto Romeo, 57, had testified that his work duties obliged him to use his mobile for three to four hours of each working day for 15 years.

“For the first time in the world, a court has recognised a causal link between inappropriate use of a mobile phone and a brain tumour,” his lawyers, Stefano Bertone and Renato Ambrosio said in a statement.

Romeo said he did not want to demonise mobiles, “but I believe we have to be more aware about how to use them.

“I had no choice but to use my mobile to talk to colleagues and organise work – for 15 years I was calling all the time, from home, in the car.

“I started to have the feeling of my right ear being blocked all the time and the tumour was diagnosed in 2010. Happily, it was benign but I can no longer hear anything because they had to remove my acoustic nerve.”

A medical expert estimated the damage to Romeo at 23 per cent of his bodily function, prompting the judge to make a compensation award of €500 per month (US$536) to be paid by INAIL, a national insurance scheme covering workplace accidents.

Scientific studies of the potential health risks of mobile phones have mostly concluded that they pose no serious risk to human health at the level of most people’s use.

Heavier use may pose some risk, other studies have found, and many experts say it is too early to do a proper assessment of what is a relatively new technology.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/italian-court-rules-mobile-phone-caused-brain-tumour/3693808.html

 

14-year-old girl unable to straighten her neck after excessive mobile phone usage

Spending too much time on our mobile devices brings a slew of potential health problems, including worsening eyesight or disrupted sleep due to direct and prolonged blue light exposure from phone displays, or ‘text claw’, where users’ fingers feel stiff and cramped after continuously using their phones.

However, a less well-known but no less serious impact of mobile phone usage would be the stress exerted on the neck.

A 14-year-old girl from Shandong, China is no longer able to straighten her neck as the bone alignment in her upper spine has been deformed, reported New Tang Dynasty Television.

Her neck was reported to be like that of a 50-year-old person’s.

http://health.asiaone.com/health/body-mind/14-year-old-girl-unable-straighten-her-neck-after-excessive-mobile-phone-usage

The demon in yellow mee and fish balls

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2017/03/25/the-demon-in-yellow-mee-and-fish-balls/

KUALA LUMPUR: Know how much salt is contained in instant noodles, yellow mee and fish balls?

The three items are enjoyed by many Malaysians on a daily basis, but their excessive consumption doesn’t bode well for the heart and blood pressure due to their high sodium chloride – known commonly as table salt – content, says a dietician.

In an interview with FMT, National Heart Institute (IJN) chief dietician Mary Easaw said processed foods, such as instant noodles and fish balls, contained a lot of salt.

“If you look at noodles, you’ll see that mee hoon and kuey teow contain only 6mg of sodium chloride per every 100gm.”

In the case of instant noodles, every 100gm contains 104mg of sodium chloride, while every 100gm of yellow mee contains 177mg of sodium chloride.

“In the case of fish balls, 10 fish balls contain 800mg of sodium chloride. In comparison, 10 small slices of fish only contain 100mg of salt.”

But Easaw said Malaysians had to be aware of more than just how much salt a food item contained.

“People need to know where salt comes from. It’s more than just table salt. Salt is also contained in large quantities in processed meats, preserved foods and sauces such as soy and oyster sauce, as well as tomato and chilli sauce.

“So, when we eat out or cook at home, sauces would be mixed alongside ingredients which already contain salt. It’s more salt than we need.”

Easaw said awareness of how much salt foods contained, and where they came from, was especially important in Asia as Asians had a greater tendency to consume foods which had a higher salt content compared with Westerners.

“This is down to us Asians having a ‘fifth’ taste sense known as umami, which is sensitive to a type of amino acid known more commonly as glutamate,” she said, adding that ‘umami’ was something which was still being studied by scientists.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that adults consume less than 2,000mg of sodium a day, but according to a 2015 New Straits Times article, Malaysians consume some 2,575mg of salt. This is 25% more than the recommended amount.

Last June, Health Minister Dr S Subramaniam revealed that 6.1 million Malaysians suffered from hypertension and 9.6 million had a high cholesterol level. He said 3.3 million Malaysians were obese.

All three diseases are linked to a high intake of salt.

In 2008, the World Action on Salt and Health (WASH) in the UK launched a global movement to improve the health of populations across the world by a gradual reduction in salt intake.

WASH runs Salt Awareness Week from March 20 to 26 every year to highlight the importance of salt reduction.