Monday August 20, 2018

Lifestyle Habits That Affect Breast Cancer Risk

Changing lifestyle habits, increasing work pressure and stress levels have left modern-day individuals with no time to pay heed to their health and one disease that seems to be emerging because of irregular lifestyle is breast cancer. So make sure you are keeping a check on habits that can lead to this disease.

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Breast Cancer. Pixabay
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Changing lifestyle habits, increasing work pressure and stress levels have left modern-day individuals with no time to pay heed to their health and one disease that seems to be emerging because of irregular lifestyle is breast cancer. So make sure you are keeping a check on habits that can lead to this disease.

Meher Patel, Director at DIVA, Centre for Breast Care (partner with cosmetic brand AVON’s #PayAttention campaign that raises awareness of breast cancer), says:

* Lack of physical activity:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
Yoga is also a good physical exercise. Wikimedia

Don’t be proud of being laid back. One of the main reasons is that excess weight causes the body to produce and circulate more estrogen and insulin, hormones that can stimulate cancer growth. It is crucial to keep your body fit at every stage of life continuously using all body parts to sweat out intoxicants that one consumes in this polluted, fast-paced world.

* Alcohol and smoking:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
Bottles of Alcohol, Wikimedia

The downside of relaxing in this modern world. The more glasses of drinks you down on the weekend, or packets of cigarettes you puff up, the more you are at risk of breast cancer. Also, for the night owls, it is advisable to find the right balance since irregular patterns of work, long hours and late nights are more likely found to be struck by cancer in the later years of life.

* Long night-shifts at work:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
representational image. Pixabay

After conducting a survey with 300 women-some of whom worked at night, some of whom didn’t the survey found that those who had worked nights for 30 or more years were twice as likely to have developed the disease.

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.

* Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and contraceptive pills:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
Pills, representational Image. Pixabay

Medical improvisations you don’t need! Avoid using the viral popular HRT or contraception tablets to abnormally treat menopausal symptoms and unwanted pregnancy.

* Overweight:

Renuka Prasad- Joint Secy (Hon.) at Indian Cancer Society too has problems to share that can lead to this disease.
representational image. pixabay

Start eating healthy and avoid eating out. Putting on weight in adulthood (after the age of 18) with those extra munchies and burgers, or being overweight after menopause can also lead to breast cancer.

Also Read:Effective Treatment to Protect Cancer Patients From Blood Clots

* Other causes:

A few other causes that women tend to overlook is the excess use of deodorants and perfumes, underwired bras, bumping or bruising of breasts, breast implants and abortions that can also be potential threats to breast cancer. (IANS)

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Multi-gene Test May Help to Diagnose The Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes And More

But specialists in heart disease and genetics who weren’t involved with the research called the new findings exciting because of their scope

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Gene test
Stephanie Richurk, a nurse at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, sorts blood samples collected from participants in the "All of Us" research program in Pittsburgh, Aug. 7, 2017. (VOA)

You know your cholesterol, your blood pressure … your heart gene score? Researchers say a new way of analyzing genetic test data may one day help identify people at high risk of a youthful heart attack in time to help.

Today, gene testing mostly focuses on rare mutations in one or a few genes, like those that cause cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease, or the BRCA gene responsible for a small fraction of breast cancer. It is less useful for some of the most common diseases, such as heart disease or diabetes, because they are influenced by vast numbers of genes-gone-wrong working together in complicated ways.

Monday, researchers reported a new way to measure millions of small genetic variations that add up to cause harm, letting them calculate someone’s inherited risk for the most common form of heart disease and four other serious disorders. The potential cardiac impact: They estimated that up to 25 million Americans may have triple the average person’s risk for coronary artery disease even if they haven’t yet developed warning signs like high cholesterol.

“What I foresee is in five years, each person will know this risk number, this ‘polygenic risk score,’ similar to the way each person knows his or her cholesterol,” said Dr. Sekar Kathiresan who led the research team from the Broad Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

If the approach pans out and doctors adopt it, a bad score wouldn’t mean you’d get a disease, just that your genetic makeup increases the chance — one more piece of information in deciding care. For example, when the researchers tested the system using a DNA database from Britain, less than 1 percent of people with the lowest risk scores were diagnosed with coronary artery disease, compared to 11 percent of people with the highest risk score.

heart disease
Multi-gene Test May Find Risk for Heart Disease and More. Pixabay

“There are things you can do to lower the risk,” Kathiresan said — the usual advice about diet, exercise, cholesterol medication and not smoking helps.

On the flip side, a low-risk score “doesn’t give you a free pass,” he added. An unhealthy lifestyle could overwhelm the protection of good genes.

The scoring system also can predict an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, breast cancer and an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation, the team reported in the journal Nature Genetics — noting that next steps include learning what might likewise lower those risks.

It doesn’t require the most sophisticated type of genetic testing. Instead, Kathiresan can calculate risk scores for those five diseases — eventually maybe more — simply by reanalyzing the kind of raw data people receive after sending a cheek swab to companies like 23andMe.

A geneticist who specializes in cardiovascular disease, he hopes to open a website where people can send in such data to learn their heart risk, as part of continuing research. Kathiresan and co-author Dr. Amit Khera, a Mass General cardiologist, are co-inventors on a patent application for the system.

Other scientists and companies have long sought ways to measure risk from multiple, additive gene effects — the “poly” in polygenic — and Myriad Genetics has begun selling a type of polygenic test for breast cancer risk.

But specialists in heart disease and genetics who weren’t involved with the research called the new findings exciting because of their scope.

Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

“The results should be eye-opening for cardiologists,” said Dr. Charles C. Hong, director of cardiovascular research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. “The only disappointment is that this score applies only to those with European ancestry, so I wonder if similar scores are in the works for the large majority of the world population that is not white.”

Hong pointed to a friend who recently died of a massive heart attack despite being a super-fit marathon runner who’d never smoked, the kind of puzzling death that doctors have long hoped that a better understanding of genetics could help to prevent.

“Most of the variation in disease risk comes from an enormous number of very tiny effects” in genes, agreed Stanford University genetics professor Jonathan Pritchard. “This is the first time polygenic scores have really been shown to reach the level of precision where they can have an impact” on patient health.

Also Read- Tdap Vaccinations Do Not Pose a Risk of Autism

First, the Boston-based team combed previous studies that mapped the DNA of large numbers of people, looking for links to the five diseases — not outright mutations but minor misspellings in the genetic code.

Each variation alone would have only a tiny effect on health. They developed a computerized system that analyzed how those effects add up, and tested it using DNA and medical records from 400,000 people stored in Britain’s UK Biobank. Scores more than three times the average person’s risk were deemed high. (VOA)