Standing Desks Are No Replacement For a Workout

Planting your behind in a seat for hours at a time has been squarely linked to an increase in health problems, from shorter lifespans to a slew of diseases, including cancer. Concerned office workers have leapt to standing desks as healthier alternatives. But prolonged sitting may be getting a bum rap, a new study suggests.

Source: Standing desks are no replacement for a workout

The moral of the story is still this: go out and get some exercise.

No gym membership needed. Go out and run. Or walk at first if you can’t run. Or try cycling. Or try rowing. Or swimming. Can’t swim? Even better- you’ll go on a great journey just learning how to swim crawl correctly.

What – winters are bad where you live? Cross country skiing.   Endurance exercise has the power to change your life.

Pinkwashing Hurts Male Breast Cancer Victims, Too

…Bogler is a cancer biologist who regularly works with cancer cells, as senior vice president of academic affairs at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Even so, he figured the lump was a benign swelling of breast tissue.

He had good reason to think so. Breast cancer is rare among men. Only 1 percent of all breast cancer cases are in men. Still, that means about 2,600 men receive a diagnosis of breast cancer every year.

Source: When Men Get Breast Cancer, They Enter A World Of Pink

At this point, the most cost-effective and ethical cancer donation thing you can do is probably go to your local research university and buying the grad students a nice a sandwich platter.

There are an incredible amount of illnesses that affect both sexes but have their detection and reactions skewed towards one side of the spectrum more than the other. Just as breast cancer detection is skewed towards women (as if men do not also have breast tissue?).  Heart attack detection signs are skewed towards men, largely due to a lack of reporting/dismissal of symptoms by women.

Study: Breast Implants Linked with Suicide

Loren Lipworth of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee and colleagues followed up on 3,527 Swedish women who had cosmetic breast implant surgery between 1965 and 1993. They looked at death certificates to analyze causes of death among women with breast implants.

Only 24 of the women had committed suicide after an average of 19 years, but this worked out to triple the risk compared to the average population, they reported. Doctors who perform cosmetic breast surgery may want to monitor patients closely or screen them for suicide risk, Lipworth said.

Women with breast implants also had a tripled risk of death from alcohol and drug use.

Source: Breast implants linked with suicide in study

Considering how sensational the headline is, I really wanted to point out the details of the study.  The end of the article mentions that cosmetic breast implant surgery was the second most common cosmetic procedure (behind liposuction) in 2006.  But it doesn’t mention how common the procedure was within the timespan that was looked at, which would provide some insight into acceptance within our culture.  I don’t remember people discussing fake vs natural until the late 80s or early 90s, and it was the silicone ban that really brought the surgery into the public view.  Then there’s the fact that the statistic is based on 24 out of 3,547 women committing suicide…

These days, some girls are getting face and/or breast augmentation surgery for graduation presents.  And it’s not a North American thing either – South Korea in particular, it’s widely accepted that cosmetic surgery is in a girls future.  The rest of us get by on tricks and better bras.

I had to explain once to a co-worker why cosmetic surgery was better than a TV.  He did not comprehend that cosmetic surgery was an investment in yourself, and while cosmetic surgery isn’t common for guys now – it likely will be in the future.  I wonder when we’re going to stop telling our kids that we should not “judge a book by its cover” when we have so much evidence to support that attractive people are treated better.

Is Your Makeup Giving You Cancer?

Bindler told me that she’s always been very conscious about what she puts in her body. But it was in 2012, that she became aware of what she put on her body. Why the change? Well, she was pregnant and the swell of her baby and the heightened awareness of her body made her rethink her approach to her skin.

Source: Is Your Makeup Giving You Cancer?

Sourcing from the Environmental Working Group?  Good, then we can immediately discount 95% of what she’s claiming if she’s referring to those anti-science folks. For example, their tirades against GMOs are hilarious.

Even the author admits that the link is quite tenuous, but there’s merit that there’s lots of vectors that could be the reason for cancer.

If Genetic Screening Helps Those at Risk, Why Not Screen Everyone?

Trish is just one of about 1,500 patients at risk of hereditary cancer that are seen each year in Ireland. Most of these cases are related to breast cancer, says Prof. Andrew Green, director of Ireland’s National Centre for Medical Genetics. “The way people are identified is either because they themselves have had cancer at a young age or they have relatives at young age with breast or ovarian cancer.”

Source: If genetic screening helps those at risk, why not screen everyone?

Sushi Parasite Inspires Worm Test for Cancer

Dogs do it. Rats do it. Even some people seem to be able to sniff out cancer and other diseases. Now we can add the humble roundworm to the list of super-smellers.

Japanese researchers have discovered that Caenorhabditis elegans worms can detect cancer in people’s urine. They are working with technology companies Hitachi and Johnan to turn the finding into a diagnostic test that can be used to catch the disease in its early stages.

…The team are now investigating whether different cancer types release different odours, and whether this has an effect on the worms. They hope to have a commercial product ready by 2019. The idea would be that users send a urine sample to the company and get the results back the next day, says Hirotsu.

Source: Sushi parasite inspires worm test for cancer

It was only recently that dogs were trained to sniff out cancer, though dogs have been trained companions for detecting low blood sugar for diabetics in the past.  Much as I like dogs, the worms are a much better idea for a diagnostic test.  Being smaller means less space needed, and likely less resources to keep.  Don’t have to walk the worms 😉

Here’s to a cost-effective, non-invasive, diagnostic test that posted a 96% success rate.  No word about what stage the respective cancer was at, but the ability to test and test often is still pretty good.

I’m interested to see how the commercial aspect turns out for worms that have been used in research since 1963.  I shudder at the thought of repeating the breast cancer testing fiasco, and hope they see that the volume of commercialized test sales could offset upscale pricing.

Dogs Can Sniff Out Thyroid Cancer in Your Urine

Now we know why they smell our crotch!

Researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) presented findings at the Endocrine Society’s ENDO 2015 conference March 6 in San Diego showing nearly 90 percent accuracy using scent-trained dogs to detect thyroid cancer.

“Detecting and diagnosing thyroid cancer can be difficult, because it’s often looking for a very small number of occurrences in a very large background of benign nodules. It is also difficult to say with certainty that a patient is cancer-free after surgery,” said Donald Bodenner, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of geriatrics at UAMS and director of the Thyroid Center and chief of endocrine oncology.

“Having a technique with which to do these things with a higher degree of certainty would be a tremendous advance in thyroid cancer,” he said.

the researchers believe the training could potentially be used in diagnosis of other cancers such as ovarian, breast, kidney, bladder and prostate.

Source: UAMS Researchers Use Scent-Trained Dogs to Detect Thyroid Cancer

Non-invasive, just shy of 90% accuracy… But I have to wonder about costs to train, house, and exercise the dogs for their life (10 years on average).  Still, it’d be one of the more fun lab jobs I can think of.

Patent Litigation over Human Gene Breast Cancer Testing is Ending

The molecular diagnostics company that had won patents of two human genes that were invalidated by a landmark Supreme Court ruling has decided to abandon separate patent litigation surrounding how scientists study those genes.

…The court’s decision opened the door to other companies offering cheaper tests. Myriad sued them, however, claiming that they were infringing on other Myriad patents that the Supreme Court did not invalidate.

But after some unfavorable court rulings, Utah-based Myriad has agreed to withdraw from the litigation. Settlements have included companies like Invitae, LabCorp and Pathway Genomics. More are to follow.

Source: Patent litigation over human gene breast cancer testing is ending

This is patently good news.

The original research was all publicly funded, and Myriad jumped off of that in a race to sequence the gene first to get the patent (doing relatively standard methods). The patent probably chilled a lot of research in the area due to threat of litigation.  But who will want to spend money or invest money in genetic research if there is no chance of any monetary return or worse who will be prepared to release any research papers if the only chance of making money is by keeping the discovery a secret and to be used only for personal gain?

Arsenic in Drinking Water Linked to 50% Drop in Breast Cancer Deaths

One typically does not hear talk of the health benefits of arsenic, but a new study by researchers from UC Berkeley and the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile has linked arsenic to a 50 percent drop in breast cancer deaths.

The study, published this month in the open-access journal EBioMedicine, presents results of breast cancer mortality data from a region in Chile where residents were inadvertently exposed to high levels of arsenic, a naturally occurring element found in many minerals. Instead of an increase in mortality, as with many other cancer sites, the study found that breast cancer deaths were cut in half during the period that coincided with high arsenic exposure. The effect was more pronounced among women under age 60, with mortality in these women reduced by 70 percent.

So should arsenic now be used to treat breast cancer?

“Not yet,” said Smith. “We do not know if the treatment will work, but carefully designed clinical trials should take place as soon as possible based on this new evidence.”

Source: Arsenic in drinking water linked to 50 percent drop in breast cancer deaths

I have to wonder if the drop was due to how death was reported.  I’ve heard of some countries choosing how they classified cause of death to make statistics look like the country had a better quality of life.  IE: Classifying “cancer” as “old age”.

Remember When People Used To Eat Arsenic As A Health Supplement?

Probably not, unless you’re well over 100 years old. In the 1800s, arsenic began being marketed as a health supplement, even though it had been a known poison for thousands of years. So why were people suddenly eating it on purpose?

…Today, people are no longer impressed with the health benefits of arsenic, inside Austria or outside of it. Not only does it cause cell death, but even low doses of it increase a person’s risk of cancer. Whenever natural arsenic has leaked into the drinking water of communities, cancer rates have sky-rocketed.