Connect with us


US cancer death rate sees largest-ever single-year drop, report says – CNN



From 2016 to 2017, the United States saw its largest-ever single-year drop in overall cancer deaths, a 2.2% plunge spurred in part by a sharp decline in lung cancer deaths, according to the report, published Wednesday in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.
More people are surviving lung cancer in the US, report finds
“What is really driving that is the acceleration in the decline of mortality for lung cancer, and the reason that is encouraging is because lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, causing more deaths in the US than breast, colorectal cancer and prostate cancers combined,” said Rebecca Siegel, first author of the report and scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta.
“That’s really important and reflects improvements in the treatment of lung cancer across the continuum from improvements in staging to advances in surgical techniques, improvements in radiotherapy, all of these things coming together,” she said. “We were very encouraged to see that not only is the decline continuing for cancer mortality but we saw the biggest single-year drop ever from 2016 to 2017.”

Reductions in smoking, improvements in treatment

The report included data on cancer incidence, mortality and survival in the United States from sources including the National Center for Health Statistics, National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program, the National Program of Cancer Registries and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries. Some of the information dates back to 1930 and the most recent data is from 2017. Using that data, the report also projects estimated numbers of new cases and deaths that could emerge in the United States in 2020.
US cancer death rate hits 25 years of decline, study saysUS cancer death rate hits 25 years of decline, study says
An analysis of the data showed that, since its peak of about 215 cancer deaths for every 100,000 people in 1991, the cancer death rate in the United States has continued to fall.
The report found an overall drop of 29% as of 2017, which translates into an estimated 2.9 million fewer cancer deaths than what would have occurred if death rates had remained at their peak, according to the report.
“We’ve had this continuous decline in the cancer death rate for the past 26 years,” Siegel said.
“The biggest driver is the reductions in smoking, but also contributing are improvements in treatment as well as early detection for some cancers, like breast and colorectal cancer,” she said. “It was exciting that we’re seeing that decline continue because for other leading causes of death like heart disease and cerebrovascular disease progress is really slowing and in fact death rates have stabilized for cerebrovascular disease,” or stroke.
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States, and cancer ranks as the second leading cause of death in the United States.
Cancer death rates drop, heart disease deaths on the rise for US adultsCancer death rates drop, heart disease deaths on the rise for US adults
The report noted that declines in death due to four major cancers — lung, breast, prostate and colorectal — reflect the progress that has been made against the disease.
As of 2017, the death rate for lung cancer dropped by 51% among men since its peak in 1990 and by 26% among women since its peak in 2002, the report found.
The report also found that, as of 2017, the death rate for female breast cancer fell 40% since its peak in 1989. The death rate for prostate cancer fell by 52% since 1993, the death rate for colorectal cancer among men fell by 53% since 1980 and the death rate for colorectal cancer among women fell by 57% since 1969.

The cancers with the highest and lowest survival rates

The report projects there will be about 1.8 million cancer cases diagnosed in the United States this year, which is equivalent to about 4,950 new cases each day, according to the report.
The lifetime probability of being diagnosed with invasive cancer is 40.1% for men and 38.7% for women, the report estimated.
The report projected that an estimated 606,520 people in the United States will die from cancer this year, which corresponds to more than 1,600 deaths per day.
Surgery tied to 44% increased survival in women with advanced breast cancerSurgery tied to 44% increased survival in women with advanced breast cancer
The data showed that cancer survival has improved since the mid-1970s for all of the most common cancers except uterine cervix and uterine corpus cancers.
The report found that the five-year relative survival rate for cancers diagnosed during 2009 through 2015, was highest for prostate cancer at 98%, melanoma of the skin at 92% and female breast cancer at 90%, but lowest for cancers of the pancreas at 9%, liver at 18%, lung at 19% and esophagus at 20%.
The report also found racial disparities in cancer survival, including that the relative risk of death after a cancer diagnosis was 33% higher in black patients then in white patients.
The cost of cancer: 25% of survivors face financial hardship, report findsThe cost of cancer: 25% of survivors face financial hardship, report finds
Overall, the rate of cancer incidence among men declined rapidly from 2007 to 2014 but then stabilized through 2016, according to the new report. Whereas, the overall cancer incidence rate among women remained generally stable in the past few decades.
The report had some limitations, including that the projections made for 2020 were based on data from three to four years ago, and should be interpreted with caution.

‘Certainly there’s a long way to go’

The findings in the new report were “very exciting” for Dr. Mark Awad, clinical director of the Lowe Center for Thoracic Oncology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.
“For many years and through today, lung cancer remains the number one cause of cancer death both in men and women in the United States, as well as globally, and so any progress that we make in terms of reducing lung cancer mortality will certainly have an impact on overall cancer death rates,” said Awad, also an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, who was not involved in the new report.
He added that, while the report shows improvements in cancer death rates, even more can be done to improve cancer screening rates, especially when it comes to lung cancer.
The US Preventive Services Task Force recommends yearly lung cancer screening for current or former smokers with a smoking history of 30 or more pack-years, which is equivalent to, for example, smoking one pack a day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years. Those recommendations are for adults, ages 55 to 80, who either currently smoke or quit within the past 15 years.
“Screening for lung cancer among patients who are current or former smokers has been demonstrated in now numerous studies to reduce lung cancer mortality, but of the patients who meet all the eligibility criteria for screening, less than 5% of patients in the US actually get screened for lung cancer appropriately. So that’s a huge shortfall of where we need to be,” Awad said.
“I think we’ve made really important headway and progress,” he said. “But certainly there’s a long way to go.”
Can your own immune system kill cancer? Can your own immune system kill cancer?
The new report highlights both the significant progress made in reducing cancer deaths and the areas where some more work needs to be done, said Dr. Charles Fuchs, director of the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut, who was not involved in the report.
While improvements in cancer treatments, such as immunotherapies, have played a role in reducing cancer deaths in the United States, Fuchs said there is still much to learn about how to advance new and emerging treatment options even further. Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps the immune system fight the disease.
“Those treatments work for some cancers, but not all. So I think we have to better understand how can we further leverage that success to understand how to activate the immune system to attack the other major cancers,” Fuchs said.
He also said that improvements could be made in reducing racial and socioeconomic disparities, increasing cancer screening rates, such as for colon cancer, and reducing the prevalence of certain risk factors for cancer, such as overweight and obesity. It has been estimated that about 20% of all cancers are tied to excess weight.
“The bottom line is that this report is great news,” Fuchs said.
“I don’t want to overlook that fact, nor do I want to minimize that fact,” he said. “This report demonstrates extraordinary progress in our battle against cancer in terms of detection, improving treatment, improving mortality, improving screening technologies — and given that tremendous success, I’m excited about the opportunity to work toward even more improvements.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


Flavanols are linked to better memory and heart health – here’s what foods you can eat to get these benefits – Yahoo Canada Sports



<img class="caas-img has-preview" alt="Two-and-a-half cups of green tea contain the recommended daily amount of flavanols. granata68/ Shutterstock” src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTYzOQ–/″ data-src=”–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTk2MDtoPTYzOQ–/″>

There are plenty of good reasons to make sure you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables each day. Not only do fruit and vegetables contain many of the important vitamins and minerals our body needs to function at its best, they also keep our gut healthy and may even help maintain a healthy weight.

But some plant foods may be more beneficial for health than others, thanks to a group of compounds called flavanols.

For instance, a recent study I helped conduct showed that people who eat a diet high in flavanol-rich foods may have better memory compared to those who have a low intake. A previous study also found that people with a low intake of flavanols were at higher risk of heart disease. Overall, there’s convincing evidence that consuming enough flavanols has health benefits.


But while research shows that flavanols have many health benefits, it’s important for consumers to know that not all flavanol-rich foods contain the same amount of flavanols – meaning some may be more beneficial to health than others.

Plant compounds

Flavanols are a group of compounds that are found in many plants – including apples, berries, plums and even beverages such as tea.

There are two main groups of flavanols, with many different subgroups. Each plant will contain different combinations of flavanols, as well. These compounds each have different structures and different effects on the body. That means that not all flavanols are created equal.

For example, a portion of blueberries and a cup of tea may contain the same amount of total flavanols – but they are made up of completely different types of flavanols, which may have completely different health effects.

So in order to investigate the health effects of flavanols, it’s therefore important to use a source which includes a wide range of different types. This is why flavanols extracted from cocoa are an ideal model, as they contain the two main types of flavanols. It also allows researchers to calculate which other foods are likely to have benefits based on how similar the compounds they contain are to cocoa flavanols.

Since foods such as cocoa, berries and tea contain a combination of many types of flavanols, it’s currently not clear which individual compounds generate health benefits. But some research has linked the specific flavanol epicatechin with better vascular function. Cocoa and tea both contain epicatechin.

Many different types

Another thing to know is that even if a food contains flavanols, it may contain lower amounts compared to others.

To better understand how flavanol intake affects health, a few years ago we developed a test that uses urine to measure flavanol intake. The test is based on the way the human body processes flavanols and tells us whether someone has eaten large amounts, small amounts or no flavanols at all.

Using this test, we were able to show that people with high flavanol intake had lower blood pressure and better memory than those with lower intake.

When we developed the urine test, we also investigated how it is affected by different types of flavanols and foods. This allowed us to estimate what amount of different flavanol-rich foods a person needs to consume to achieve approximately 500mg of flavanols per day – similar to the amount used in studies, which has been shown to have clinical benefit.

A table showing the number of servings of certain foods which are needed to get 500mg of flavanols a day.

Number of servings needed from different flavanol-containing foods to obtain 500 mg per day. Gunter Kuhnle, Author provided

According to our research, only two-and-a-half cups of green tea are needed daily to get the recommended 500mg of flavanols. Just under a cup of millet (sorghum grain) can also provide you with the recommended daily amount.

But if you were to try and get your flavanols from one type of fruit and vegetable, our research shows you’d need to consume large amounts of each to achieve the recommended amount. For example, you’d need to consume nearly 15 cups of raspberries alone to get 500mg of flavanols.

As such, the best way to get enough flavanols daily is by consuming a combination of different fruits and vegetables. For example two apples, a portion of pecan nuts and a large portion of strawberries can achieve the 500mg target – or a salad made with millet and fava beans.

It’s also important to note that while the flavanols used in many studies were extracted from cocoa, unfortunately chocolate (even dark chocolate) is a very poor source of flavanols – despite what some headlines might claim. This is because these flavanols are lost during processing.

Although there’s still much we don’t know about flavanols – such as why they have the effect they do on so many aspects of our health – it’s clear from the research we do have that they are very likely beneficial to both memory and heart health.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The ConversationThe Conversation

The Conversation

Gunter Kuhnle has received research funding from Mars, Inc., a company engaged in flavanol research and flavanol-related commercial activities.

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


'Social deprivation' speeds up aging, and death: McMaster study – Hamilton Spectator



We are dying every day, wrote Seneca, a stoic philosopher in ancient Rome.

And if you struggle living alone or have weak familial bonds, you risk speeding up death by as much as one year, according to findings published by McMaster University on Monday.

The new study shows that biological clocks tick faster for those dwelling in an environment of social deprivation (a dearth of family or community network resources) or material poverty, such as lacking access to quality housing, healthy food and recreation.


McMaster’s Divya Joshi, the study’s first author, said the findings indicate that living in a “deprived urban neighbourhood” marked by either form of deprivation is associated with “premature biological aging.”

Joshi is a research associate in the university’s Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact.

“If your (biological) systems are aging faster than your chronological age, then you will have more poor health outcomes, or quicker health outcomes, than someone who is aging slower biologically,” she told The Spectator.

The study analyzed DNA from the blood samples of 1,445 participants across Canada, who are part of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging that is following 50,000 people between age 45 to 85.

“Epigenetic clocks” studied in the samples — also called “DNA methylation-based estimators” — indicated aging at the cellular level, she said.

“To be able to see that living in a socially or materially deprived neighbourhood impacts your healthy aging; that it increases your risk of epigenetic age acceleration by almost a year, beyond your individual health status — I think that is just remarkable,” she said.

When your biological age outpaces your calendar age, she said you have a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, respiratory conditions and neurological disorders that present a “greater risk of premature mortality.”

The findings fit their research hypothesis, she said, but what didn’t fit was the assumption that depression in the test subjects would further “amplify” the rapid aging effect.

In fact, while depression symptoms also contributed to epigenetic aging, environmental factors impacted aging acceleration regardless of depression symptoms.

The findings were published June 5 in “The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences.”

McMaster professor Parminder Raina led the research team, which included investigators from the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland, according to a news release.

While the presentation of the findings focused on the connection to disadvantaged neighbourhoods, Joshi agreed that an individual will age more rapidly when deprived of familial or social bonds, regardless of where they live.

“That is true, there is evidence that those people who have poor social networks or broken family units have a greater risk of higher epigenetic age acceleration … It is aging you, and that is so relevant coming out of the pandemic, and the isolation many people experienced, especially the toll it had on our older populations.”


Conversations are opinions of our readers and are subject to the Code of Conduct. Metroland
does not endorse these opinions.

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading


Sudbury health unit offers advice about West Nile Virus –



The Sudbury health unit is warning area residents to be wary of the possibility of being infected with West Nile Virus.

“Whether you are spending time in your backyard, exploring local trails, or vacationing in Ontario, getting bitten by mosquitos puts you at risk of being infected with West Nile virus,” said the release from Public Health Sudbury and Districts. 

The release also said the risk is low, but it is still possible.


“Although the overall risk of becoming infected with West Nile virus is low, everyone is at risk and preventing bites is important to protect yourself and your family,” said Ashley DeRocchis, an environmental support officer with Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

Citizens are advised to use an insect repellent approved by Health Canada and follow the application recommendations on the package.

Also, during the times of day when mosquitoes are most active — during dusk and dawn — people might choose to stay indoors if possible.  

The health unit also advised that people can wear light-coloured clothing, including long sleeves, long pants, socks, and a hat whenever they are outdoors. Consider the use of mesh “bug jackets” or “bug hats,” the news release said.

At home, people can check their window and door screens to ensure that there are no tears or holes for mosquitoes to get through. Also, don’t give the bugs a place to lay eggs.  

Mosquitoes need only a small amount of calm, standing water to lay their eggs and for larvae to hatch, said PHSD. 

Reduce mosquito breeding areas by changing or removing standing water at least once a week from areas such as bird baths. old tires, containers, barrels, flower pot saucers, swimming pool covers, wading pools, clogged gutters and eavestroughs, clogged drainage ditches, small containers like cans or bottle tops and unused children’s toys, said the release.

The health unit said symptoms of West Nile virus can range from mild to severe, from flu-like symptoms to severe nausea and even loss of consciousness.

Public Health Sudbury & Districts will be trapping and testing mosquitoes again this year starting in mid-June and continuing into the fall of 2023, said the release. For more information on West Nile virus, visit the website at or call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705-522-9200, ext. 464 (toll-free 1-866-522-9200).

Adblock test (Why?)


Source link

Continue Reading