Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stress makes prostate cancer thrive

Credit: Morguefile
Researchers have repeatedly found stress can lead to poor outcomes for cancer patients. A new study finds prostate cancer cells thrive on stress.

The finding, published in the journal of Clinical Investigation, looked at the role of stress and prostate cancer progression in mice, in studies led by George Kulik at Wake Forest University.

The researchers exposed mice to the scent of a predator to induce stress. They found the rodents failed to respond to drugs that treat the disease; compared to mice not subjected to stress.

When the researchers injected mice with adrenaline they discovered the stress hormone blocked cancer cell death.

The study also revealed drugs that block the stress signalling pathway - such as beta blockers that are widely used to treat heart disease and hypertension - reversed the effect.

Researchers say more studies are needed before beta blocker drugs are recommended to boost cancer therapy. The finding isn't the first to suggest the drugs might be good therapy for cancer.

Researchers are exploring whether the beta blockers can help breast cancer patients survive longer, found in small studies.

Other research has suggested the drugs might help slow melanoma growth.

The newest finding adds to past studies that stress leads to physiologic changes that can thwart cancer treatment. Prostate cancer seems to be no exception. Finding ways to block stress that normally occurs for anyone undergoing treatment could lead to better outcomes.

Journal of Clinical Investigation
January 25, 2013


Sunday, January 20, 2013

Migraine headache with aura and blood clot risk for women

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Newer research highlights a health risk found for women who have migraine headache with aura that comes from blood clots. Women were found in a study to have higher risk of stroke and heart attack when migraines are accompanied by flashing lights or other warnings known as aura.

Investigators discovered higher risk of DVT or deep vein thrombosis among women who have migraines and take birth control pills; especially newer hormonal oral contraceptives.

The finding means it's important for women who suffer from migraines to talk to their doctor about auras and tell their health care provider they're using contraceptives.

The study authors say it doesn't mean all women with auras that accompany migraines will have a blood clot.

There are steps to take to minimize the chances of a blood clot that can lead to stroke or heart attack if you suffer migraine with aura. Read the entire story at EmaxHealth.


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pear body shape or apple: Which is healthier?

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For years researchers have been studying body shapes and risk of disease. The common notion that having a pear shaped body instead of an apple shape (with a thicker waistline) is healthier may not be true.

Scientists at UC Davis Health System recently studied fat in the belly and compared it to fat in the hips and thighs, finding a protein in butt and thigh fat that promotes inflammation - just like those found in belly fat.

The proteins lurking in thigh and hip fat were linked to higher levels of inflammation in the bloodstream, meaning higher risk of obesity related complications including heart disease and diabetes.

Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of factors that promote chronic diseases and include high blood pressure, higher than normal waist to hip ratio, abnormal lipid levels and elevated blood sugar.

The finding could mean a new way to gauge a person's health risks by measuring protein levels in fat - regardless of where it's located. A flat belly and higher than normal body mass index may not be as protective as previously thought. A pear shape body could pose the same health risks as an apple shape, contrary to popular beliefs. Read the original story here.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Marriage in midlife tied to a longer life

Image credit: Morguefile
Researchers have uncovered evidence that people who are married in middle age live longer than those who are not, whether from personal choice, divorce or death of a spouse.

The finding comes from researchers at Duke University Medical Center and has implications for understanding more about what causes premature deaths.

According to the study authors, we all expect to live a long life. But researchers wanted to know more about happens that makes people die younger.

Compared to people who were married in midlife, the investigation showed people who were not had twice the risk of dying.

The finding still held true even after researchers took into account other factors like health behavior and personality traits. Read the full story at EmaxHealth and more about how the conclusion that marriage in middle age extends life was reached. ◦