New Cancer Breakthroughs Offer Significant Promise

Recent scientific advancement in the fight against cancer is nothing less than breathtaking; it seems that cracking the human genome (and the subsequent genome of many of today’s most deadly cancer types) has lead to newer and less toxic treatments and therapies, such as immunotherapy, wherein physicians use the body’s own immune system to attack cancer cells and/or stop their means of successful reproduction.

However, cancer itself is governed by strength in overall cell numbers. The greater its spread, the more of a challenge it presents when trying to eliminate it. Advancements aside, early detection remains your greatest advantage when it comes to surviving cancer.

Generally speaking, cancer is as elegant as it is tricky. It can spread slowly or rapidly and by multiple means, often times remaining elusive in parts of the body that typical scans do not penetrate.

Some cancer cells behave in one way, others in another. It seems the more physicians and scientists learn about cancer, the more there is to uncover.

Stress and Obesity Link Increases Chronic Disease

Nearly everyone understands that too much stress in the mind can contribute to, or even be the cause of, poor health outcomes. Yet how much stress is too much? And how can stressful situations be better mitigated by those at risk?

Life is very demanding at times. Trouble brews in our workplaces and/or at home, relatives need assistance or the financial outlook is grim and people inevitably spread themselves too thin. But there are ways of identifying your risk and improving how your body copes with the rising tide of stress in our competitive, 24/7-minded society. According to the Medical Psychological Association, more than one-third of Americans live daily with “extreme stress”.

How Hazardous Is Your Hair Dye?

With the recent emphasis on avoiding any and all carcinogens, you might wonder why some people, especially women, dye their hair so frequently with chemically-laden hair dye. I did too, especially after my scalp burned so feverishly during a recent at-home exposure. What I learned is troubling — the list of harmful and potentially carcinogenic ingredients in your typical hair dye is both long and dangerous and includes arylamines, ammonia, parabens, aromatic amines, and resorcinol, among others.

Arylamines have been proven to cause cancer in laboratory animals; scant amounts of the chemicals are known to be absorbed through the skin during every hair dyeing session, toxins that move through your system via urine and pass through the bladder.

New Method Helps Diagnose Sports-Related Brain Damage

Repeated brain injuries in athletes due to heavy contact during both professional and amateur play has physicians concerned about cumulative brain trauma. Especially worrisome are the types of serious head injuries that can come from participating in heavy contact sports, such as football, ice hockey, soccer, wrestling, and/or boxing. Even skiing and horse riding are high on the list for head trauma despite less contact with other competitors.

An estimated 3.8 million sports-related injuries occur in the United States each year according to the U.S. government; the American Journal of Sports Medicine calculates sports injuries as second only to automobile crashes as the leading cause of concussions among young people between the ages of 15 to 24. Even those athletes who practice and play contact sports regularly — but do not get removed from the game or season because of an injury — should be concerned.

Antibiotics Destroy Gut Health

In his new book, Missing Microbes, Dr. Martin J. Blaser, director of the Microbiome Project and chair of medicine at New York University, makes a compelling argument. The basis for the book, and the thesis that has driven his 30-year career as a biologist, is that our overuse of antibiotics is helping bacteria evolve to become increasingly resistant — and increasingly deadly.

While people often think that the rise of antibiotic-resistant disease is a problem that can wait to be solved, Blaser, like the prevailing physicians of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), know that the future is now.

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