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Friday, November 18, 2005

One third of cancer deaths avoidable

By Patricia Reaney

If people avoided major risk factors for cancer, more than a third of the 7 million annual deaths from the disease could be prevented, scientists said on Friday.

In a report in The Lancet medical journal, the researchers estimated how many deaths from 12 types of cancer were caused by exposure to nine risk factors.

They calculated that smoking, alcohol, obesity, poor diet, unsafe sex, lack of exercise and other factors contributed to 2.43 million cancer deaths worldwide in 2001.

"A third of cancer deaths could have been avoided had those risks been reduced," said Dr Majid Ezzati of the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States.

"Prevention is probably still our best bet for reducing cancer deaths. It is by far larger than what we may be able to achieve using medical technology."

Smoking, which is linked to lung, mouth, stomach, pancreatic and bladder cancers, is the biggest avoidable risk factor, followed by alcohol and not eating enough fruits and vegetables.

"Of the 2.43 million deaths, 37 percent of them are from lung cancer," said Ezzati. "The total lung cancer deaths in the world are 1.23 million and of those 900,000 of them are caused by these risk factors."

Smoking has increased in developing countries in the past few decades so the number of avoidable deaths could grow, he added.

Obesity also plays a role in colorectal and breast cancer in high income countries, according to the research.

Infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV) through unsafe sex is a contributing cause of cervical cancer in women in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia, mainly because of a lack of screening and clinical services.

Urban air pollution is a risk factor for cancer in eastern and southern Asia, while indoor smoke from burning coal is a particular problem in China.

Ezzati said hepatitis infection, which is linked to liver cancer, is sometimes spread by the use of contaminated syringes in health centers in poor countries.

More than 100 scientists around the world contributed data for the study and reviewed medical evidence.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Missing protein may hold lung cancer key

A single protein may hold the key to turning the tide on lung cancer -- still the world's biggest cancer killer -- research published on Tuesday showed.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville found that type 2 receptors for Transforming Growth Factor-b -- a family of proteins that controls key functions such as cell growth and death -- were missing in non-small cell lung cancer victims.

A check on mice injected with lung cancer cells confirmed the findings, with much smaller and less aggressive tumors developing in those carrying the type 2 TGF-b receptors.

"We've established for the first time that these important molecules are either missing or that their action is reduced in three-quarters of all cases of lung cancer," said lead researcher Professor Pran Datta.

"When we restored the molecules in lung cancer cells in mice, they reduced the ability of the cells to grow as tumors," he wrote in the British Journal of Cancer.

Having established the link, researchers must now find out how or why the key receptor molecules go missing as the disease develops, in order to find a way of treating it.

Some 80 percent of lung cancers are non-small cell cancers, and the overwhelming cause of lung cancer is smoking -- either active or passive.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Fresh Soymilk - protein, B-vitamins and iron

My wife finds a place to buy fresh soy bean to make soymilk. It is $0.60 per pound if buying 50 pounds bag.

Also she just ordered a soymilk maker from

Soymilk is the rich creamy milk of whole soybeans. With its unique nutty flavor and rich nutrition, soymilk can be used in a variety of ways.

Plain soymilk is an excellent source of high-quality protein, B-vitamins and iron. Soymilk is free of the milk sugar lactose and is a good choice for people who are lactose intolerant. Also, it is a good alternative for those who are allergic to cow's milk. Children can enjoy homemade or commercially prepared soymilk after the age of 1 year.

Nutrients in 8 ounces of plain soymilk:

Regular Soymilk Lite Soymilk (reduced fat)
Calories (gm) 140 100
Protein (gm) 10.0 4.0
Fat (gm) 4.0 2.0
Carbohydrate (gm) 14.0 16.0
Sodium (mg) 120.0 100.0
Iron (mg) 1.8 0.6
Riboflavin (mg) 0.1 11.0
Calcium (mg) 80.0 80.0