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Over 40% of Cancers Due to Lifestyle

 

By Michelle RobertsHealth reporter, BBC News

Pint of beer and cigarette stub
Booze, cigarettes and inactivity are collectively bad

Nearly half of cancers diagnosed in the UK each year – over 130,000 in total – are caused by avoidable life choices including smoking, drinking and eating the wrong things, a review reveals.

Tobacco is the biggest culprit, causing 23% of cases in men and 15.6% in women, says the Cancer Research UK report.

Next comes a lack of fresh fruit and vegetables in men’s diets, while for women it is being overweight.

The report is published in the British Journal of Cancer.

Its authors claim it is the most comprehensive analysis to date on the subject.

Lead author Prof Max Parkin said: “Many people believe cancer is down to fate or ‘in the genes’ and that it is the luck of the draw whether they get it.

“Looking at all the evidence, it’s clear that around 40% of all cancers are caused by things we mostly have the power to change.”

Weighty matters

“We didn’t expect to find that eating fruit and vegetables would prove to be so important in protecting men against cancer”

Prof Max Parkin

For men, the best advice appears to be: stop smoking, eat more fruit and veg and cut down on how much alcohol you drink.

For women, again, the reviews says the best advice is to stop smoking, but also watch your weight.

Prof Parkin said: “We didn’t expect to find that eating fruit and vegetables would prove to be so important in protecting men against cancer. And among women we didn’t expect being overweight to be more of a risk factor than alcohol.”

In total, 14 lifestyle and environmental factors, such as where you live and the job you do, combine to cause 134,000 cancers in the UK each year.

Former cancer patient Jackie Gledhill: “My lifestyle had really gone downhill – I did go out for walks but it wasn’t enough”

 

About 100,000 (34%) of the cancers are linked to smoking, diet, alcohol and excess weight.

One in 25 of cancers is linked to a person’s job, such as being exposed to chemicals or asbestos.

Some risk factors are well established, such as smoking’s link with lung cancer.

But others are less recognised.

For example, for breast cancer, nearly a 10th of the risk comes from being overweight or obese, far outweighing the impact of whether or not the woman breastfeeds or drinks alcohol.

And for oesophageal or gullet cancer, half of the risk comes from eating too little fruit and veg, while only a fifth of the risk is from alcohol, the report shows.

For stomach cancer, a fifth of the risk comes from having too much salt in the diet, data suggests.

Some cancers, like mouth and throat cancer, are caused almost entirely by lifestyle choices.

Cancer causes

But others, like gall bladder cancer, are largely unrelated to lifestyle.

The researchers base their calculations on predicted numbers of cases for 18 different types of cancer in 2010, using UK incidence figures for the 15-year period from 1993 to 2007.

Continue reading the main story

“By making small changes we can cut our risk of serious health problems ”

Public Health Minister Anne Milton

In men, 6.1% (9,600) of cancer cases were linked to a lack of fruit and vegetables, 4.9% (7,800) to occupation, 4.6% (7,300) to alcohol, 4.1% (6,500) to overweight and obesity and 3.5% (5,500) to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds.

In women, 6.9% (10,800) were linked to overweight and obesity, 3.7% (5,800) to infections such as HPV (which causes most cases of cervical cancer), 3.6% (5,600) to excessive sun exposure and sunbeds, 3.4% (5,300) to lack of fruit and vegetables and 3.3% (5,100) to alcohol.

Dr Rachel Thompson, of the World Cancer Research Fund, said the report added to the “now overwhelmingly strong evidence that our cancer risk is affected by our lifestyles”.

Dr Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK, said leading a healthy lifestyle did not guarantee a person would not get cancer but the study showed “we can significantly stack the odds in our favour”.

“If there are things we can do to reduce our risk of cancer we should do as much as we possibly can,” he said.

Glyn Berwick, of Penny Brohn Cancer Care, which specialises in offering nutrition and exercise advice, agreed.

“We know from years of experience the positive impact that changing lifetsyles can have.”

The president of the Royal College of Physicians, Sir Richard Thompson, said the findings were a wake-up call to the government to take stronger action on public health.

“The rising incidence of preventable cancers shows that the ‘carrot’ approach of voluntary agreements with industry is not enough to prompt healthy behaviours, and needs to be replaced by the ‘stick’ approach of legislative solutions,” he said

The government said it was intending to begin a consultation on plain packaging by the end of this year.

Diane Abbott, Shadow Public Health Minister, said: “The government is failing on all the main public health issues.

“And the message from Labour, the Tory-led Public Health Committee, campaigners like Jamie Oliver and even some the government’s own policy panels is clear: the government’s approach to tackling lifestyle-related health problems is completely inadequate.”

Public Health Minister Anne Milton said: “We all know that around 23,000 cases of lung cancer could be stopped each year in England if people didn’t smoke.

“By making small changes we can cut our risk of serious health problems – give up smoking, watch what you drink, get more exercise and keep an eye on your weight.”

Graphic showing causes of cancer

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16031149

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What Are My Chances of Getting Heart Disease?

What Are My Chances of Getting Heart Disease Infographic

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/What-Are-My-Chances-of-Getting-Heart-Disease-Infographic_UCM_443749_SubHomePage.jsp

Yolks, Like Smokes, a Big Risk For Heart Attacks

Yolks, like smokes, a big risk

WESTERN STUDY: Egg’s golden heart almost tobacco’s equal for heart attack and stroke risk

By JOHN MINER, THE LONDON FREE PRESS

Last Updated: August 14, 2012

"We have decades of clinical, scientific research that demonstrates no link between egg consumption and an increased risk for heart disease." -- Karen Harvey, nutrition officer, Egg Farmers of Canada(Egg Farmers of Ontario)

Yolk or smoke — the first is almost as bad for you as the second, London researchers have found.

When it comes to raising your risk of heart attacks and strokes, eating egg yolks is nearly as bad as smoking, the Western University researchers found.

“If you are at risk of heart attack and stroke, you shouldn’t eat egg yolks,” said Dr. David Spence, a Robarts Research Institute scientist.

“The problem is, if you expect to live a long time you are going to be at risk of heart attacks and strokes,” said Spence, who’s also director of the Stroke Prevention and Atherosclerosis Research Centre in London.

“Why would you want to be eating something that makes the plaque in your arteries build up faster and make your heart attack and stroke come on sooner?”

Western researchers studied 1,231 patients, using ultrasound to measure plaque buildup on the inside wall of their arteries.

Most heart attacks and strokes are caused when built-up plaque ruptures.

Patients in the study filled out questionnaires about lifestyle and medications, including consumption of egg yolks and cigarettes.

While the buildup of plaque was a straight-line increase for people after age 40, it rose exponentially for smokers and regular egg yolk eaters.

Researchers also found people eating three or more egg yolks a week had significantly more plaque on their artery walls than those eating two or fewer yolks a week.

Eating yolks triggered plaque build-up at two-thirds the rate for people who are smokers.

“In the long haul, eggs are not OK for most Canadians,” Spence said.

The research was published online Monday in the international journal Atherosclerosis.

Monday, Egg Farmers of Canada rejected the study findings.

Karen Harvey, a nutrition officer and registered dietician with the national group, said it’s unfair to compare egg yolks with smoking.

“It goes without saying that smoking is considered one of the most harmful activities when it comes to your personal health and wellness. We have decades of clinical, scientific research that demonstrates no link between egg consumption and an increased risk for heart disease,” Harvey said.

Eggs are one of the most nutritious foods and the yolk a major source of an egg’s vitamins and minerals, she said.

The problem with egg yolks, Spence said, is the recommended daily intake of cholesterol for people at risk of heart attack and strokes is less than 200 milligrams a day. But one jumbo egg yolk contains 237 mg of cholesterol.

There’s no problem consuming egg whites, which are an excellent source of protein, he said.

Spence expects a backlash from the egg industry, a lobby he likened to the tobacco industry that for decades denied any health problems from smoking.

Last time he released a study in 2010, linking eggs to health problems, Spence’s home was egged and a major donor pulled its funding from the university.

E-mail john.miner@sunmedia.ca, or follow JohnatLFPress on Twitter.

http://www.lfpress.com/news/london/2012/08/13/20098651.html#/news/london/2012/08/13/pf-20098646.html

Physical Inactivity Kills! … As Much as Smoking Men’s Fitness

Premature deaths and obesity in the world are due, in part, to sedentary lifestyles.

Almost half of the people in the U.S. are lazy slobs, but they’re no longer alone. Other countries are catching up, adopting a sedentary American lifestyle that’s responsible for premature deaths around the world.

It’s not easy being a couch potato, but it’s clearly dangerous to your health. A series of new studies and commentaries published in The Lancet, though, show that physical inactivity is a problem that knows no borders.

If you work out regularly, you may think being sedentary means sitting down to drink water between sets, but most government guidelines say that physical inactivity is anything less than:

Adults: 150 minutes of walking or moderate physical activity per week Teens: one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day

Based upon these, the U.S. is a leader in sloth, with 43.3 percent of Americans failing to meet even those modest goals for physical activity. The rest of the world is catching up, though—with 24.8 percent of people sedentary in Europe, 30 percent in Russia and the Middle East, and 27 percent in Africa.

Globally, 31.1 percent of the world’s population moves too little to stay healthy, amounting to 1.5 billion people. Teenagers (13 to 15 years old) fare even worse. Over 80 percent of the up-and-coming generation moves about as much as a snail.

Researchers linked this pandemic of physical inactivity to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast and colon cancer. In all, sedentary lifestyles lead to an estimated 5.3 million premature deaths a year worldwide, right up there with smoking.

Researchers propose several ways to tackle obesity in the world by encouraging people to get moving, from more parks and bike lanes to paying people to exercise. Personal responsibility, though, along with admitting that the couch can be deadly, may be the best way to save the world from physical inactivity.

http://m.mensfitness.com/leisure/physical-inactivity-kills-%E2%80%A6-as-much-as-smoking?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pulsenews

Top 10 Myths About Cardiovascular Disease American Heart Association

Top 10 Myths About Cardiovascular Disease

How much do you really know about your heart’s health? It’s easy to be fooled by misconceptions. After all, heart disease only happens to your elderly neighbor or to your fried food-loving uncle, right? Or do you know the real truth – that heart disease can affect people of any age, even those who eat right?

Relying on false assumptions can be dangerous to your heart. Cardiovascular disease kills more Americans each year than any other disease. But you can boost your heart smarts by separating fact from fiction. Let’s set the record straight on some common myths.

  1. “I’m too young to worry about heart disease.” How you live now affects your risk for cardiovascular diseases later in life. As early as childhood and adolescence, plaque can start accumulating in the arteries and later lead to clogged arteries. One in three Americans has cardiovascular disease, but not all of them are senior citizens. Even young and middle-aged people can develop heart problems – especially now that obesity, type 2 diabetes and other risk factors are becoming more common at a younger age.
  2. “I’d know if I had high blood pressure because there would be warning signs.” High blood pressure is called the “silent killer” because you don’t usually know you have it. You may never experience symptoms, so don’t wait for your body to alert you that there’s a problem. The  way to know if you have high blood pressure is to check your numbers with a simple blood pressure test. Early treatment of high blood pressure is critical because, if left untreated, it can cause heart attack, stroke, kidney damage and other serious health problems. Learn how high blood pressure is diagnosed.
  3.  “I’ll know when I’m having a heart attack because I’ll have chest pain.” Not necessarily. Although it’s common to have chest pain or discomfort, a heart attack may cause subtle symptoms. These include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling lightheaded, and pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the jaw, neck or back. Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately. Learn you risk of heart attacktoday!
  4. “Diabetes won’t threaten my heart as long as I take my medication.” Treating diabetes can help reduce your risk for or delay the development of cardiovascular diseases. But even when blood sugar levels are under control, you’re still at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. That’s because the risk factors that contribute to diabetes onset also make you more likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Theseoverlapping risk factors include high blood pressure, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity and smoking.
  5. “Heart disease runs in my family, so there’s nothing I can do to prevent it.” Although people with a family history of heart disease are at higher risk, you can take steps to dramatically reduce your risk. Create anaction plan to keep your heart healthy by tackling these to-dos: get active; control cholesterol; eat better; manage blood pressure; maintain a healthy weight; control blood sugar; and stop smoking.
  6. “I don’t need to have my cholesterol checked until I’m middle-aged.” The American Heart Association recommends you start getting your cholesterol checked at age 20. It’s a good idea to start having a cholesterol test even earlier if your family has a history of heart disease. Children in these families can have high cholesterol levels, putting them at increased risk for developing heart disease as adults. You can help yourself and your family by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
  7. “Heart failure means the heart stops beating.” The heart suddenly stops beating during cardiac arrest, not heart failure. With heart failure, the heart keeps working, but it doesn’t pump blood as well as it should. It can cause shortness of breath, swelling in the feet and ankles or persistent coughing and wheezing. During cardiac arrest, a person loses consciousness and stops normal breathing.
  8. “This pain in my legs must be a sign of aging. I’m sure it has nothing to do with my heart.” Leg pain felt in the muscles could be a sign of a condition called peripheral artery disease. PAD results from blocked arteries in the legs caused by plaque buildup. The risk for heart attack or stroke increases five-fold for people with PAD.
  9. “My heart is beating really fast. I must be having a heart attack.” Some variation in your heart rate is normal. Your heart rate speeds up during exercise or when you get excited, and slows down when you’re sleeping. Most of the time, a change in your heartbeat is nothing to worry about. But sometimes, it can be a sign of arrhythmia, an abnormal or irregular heartbeat. Most arrhythmias are harmless, but some can last long enough to impact how well the heart works and require treatment.
  10. “I should avoid exercise after having a heart attack.” No! As soon as possible, get moving with a plan approved for you! Research shows that heart attack survivors who are regularly physically active and make other heart-healthy changes live longer than those who don’t. People with chronic conditions typically find that moderate-intensity activity is safe and beneficial. The American Heart Association recommends at least two and a half hours of moderate intensity physical activity each week. Find the help you need by joining a cardiac rehabilitation program, or consult your healthcare provider for advice on developing a physical activity plan tailored to your needs.

Learn more:

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Top-10-Myths-about-Cardiovascular-Disease_UCM_430164_Article.jsp

Health Plan Costs For Obese And Smokers Could Rise After Supreme Court Ruling

Scotus Obesity

“A little-discussed ramification of Thursday’s landmark Supreme Court health care decision is that it could make things harder for the nation’s heaviest workers.

The decision upholding the Affordable Care Act has cleared the way for a planned increase in the penalties that employers can impose on workers who don’t participate in company wellness programs and, in some cases, who don’t meet certain health targets such as an appropriate body mass index. In other words, the obese may wind up paying penalties for being overweight. Smokers, too, may get hit.”

Read more at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/29/health-plans-obese-smokers-supreme-court_n_1636139.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

It’s Time For Our Country to Accept That Poor Diets Are Just as Bad as Smoking

Great article from diseaseproof.com, Dr. Fuhrman’s daughter, Talia:

http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/cancer-its-time-for-our-country-to-accept-that-poor-diets-are-just-as-bad-as-smoking.html#pings

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