Tobacco smoking has become a major single cause of cancer mortality [death] around the world.
According to a report by WHO, the tobacco epidemic is one of the biggest public health threats the world has ever faced, which kills nearly six million people a year. More than five million of those deaths are the result of direct tobacco use while more than 600,000 are the result of non-smokers being exposed to second-hand smoke.
Approximately one person dies every six seconds due to tobacco, accounting for one in 10 adult deaths. Up to half of current users will eventually die of a tobacco-related disease.
The report says, “Tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century. If current trends continue, it may cause one billion deaths in the 21st century.”
Unchecked, tobacco-related deaths will increase to more than eight million per year by 2030. More than 80% of those deaths will be in low-and middle-income countries, the report suggests.
However, despite the menace caused by tobacco consumption, only four countries, representing just over a third of the world’s population, monitor tobacco use by repeating nationally representative youth and adult surveys at least once every five years.
As per the report, studies show that few people understand the specific health risks of tobacco use. For example, a 2009 survey in China revealed that only 38% of smokers knew that smoking causes coronary heart disease and only 27% knew that it causes stroke.
Among smokers who are aware of the dangers of tobacco, most want to quit. Counseling and medication can more than double the chance that a smoker who tries to quit will succeed.
National comprehensive cessation services with full or partial cost-coverage are available to assist tobacco users to quit in only 21 countries, representing 15% of the world’s population.
White House, November 6, 2017 : A man opened fire with an assault weapon at a church near San Antonio, Texas, Sunday morning, killing 26 worshippers and wounding at least 20.
The victims range from five to 72 years old.
The gunman is also dead and there is no clue so far as to his motive.
Federal investigators from the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms have joined local law enforcement officers in tiny Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 50 kilometers from San Antonio.
On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said the mass shooting “isn’t a guns situation” but is instead “a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.” He said the shooter was “a very deranged individual.” The president is monitoring the situation from Japan, the first stop on his five-nation Asian trip.
Earlier, Trump called the shootings “an act of evil” and appealed for prayers. He ordered U.S. flags on federal buildings to be flown at half-staff through Thursday.
“We cannot put into words, the pain and grief we all feel and we cannot begin to imagine the suffering of those who lost the ones they so dearly loved. Our hearts are broken,” the president said.
Texas Governor Gregg Abbott says this is worst mass shooting in Texas history. He said there are “many pieces of a complex puzzle” to put together.
What is known, according to Texas public safety official Freeman Martin, is that the gunman, later identified as Devin P. Kelley, was described as a young white male dressed in black and wearing a bullet-proof vest. He first opened fire with an assault rifle outside the First Baptist Church and continued shooting after going inside.
Freeman said a local resident with his own rifle confronted the shooter, causing the gunman to drop his weapon and flee in his car. The citizen pursued the gunman, joined shortly by police. Freeman said the suspect crashed the car just over the county line and was found dead in the vehicle from a gunshot wound. It is unclear if he killed himself or was shot by the citizen.
Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt says police found multiple weapons in the suspect’s car.
U.S. Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told VOA late Sunday that records show Kelley was discharged from the Air Force about three years ago: “Records checks confirm Devin P. Kelley was previously a USAF member, who served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman AFB, NM, from 2010 until his discharge in 2014. Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of Article 128 UCMJ ((EDS: Uniform code of Military Justice)) — assault on his spouse and assault on their child. Kelley received a Bad Conduct Discharge, confinement for twelve months and a reduction to the grade of E-1.”
Two of the victims were killed outside the church. The rest were shot inside.
An eyewitness to the shootings, who is a Vietnam War vet, told VOA’s Mehtap Colak Yilmaz that he had not seen anything like the church massacre “since Vietnam.”
Marie Ann Montgomery, the church’s Sunday school director, told VOA’s Yilmaz that people in the congregation knew Kelley and some of the suspect’s family members were among the victims. Montgomery stopped short, however, of saying the suspect deliberately targeted his family.
While none of the victims have been publicly identified, First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy told U.S. news networks that his 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Renee Pomeroy, is among the deceased.
Pomeroy was in Oklahoma at the time of the shooting. He told ABC News he was on his way back to Sutherland Springs.
He said all of the people killed Sunday were close friends. Pomeroy also said he wants the world to know his daughter “was one very beautiful special child.”
Sheriff Tackitt says the church posts its weekly services on YouTube and that the massacre was likely caught on camera. The FBI says it believes only one gunman was involved.
Sunday’s Texas shooting comes just weeks after October’s mass killing in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock opened fire on a country music show there, killing 58 and wounding about 500. Paddock shot from his 32nd floor hotel room and killed himself as police moved in. Investigators in the Las Vegas shooting are still working to confirm a motive. (VOA)
Do you want to stay fit and longer? Daily push-ups and sit-ups may add a few extra years to your lifespan, reveals new research.
Benefits of doing Strength-based Exercise
The research found that the people who did strength-based exercise had a 23 percent reduction in risk of premature death and a 31 percent reduction in cancer-related death.
“The study shows that strength-based exercise may be just as important for health as aerobic activities like jogging or cycling,” said Emmanuel Stamatakis, Associate Professor at the University of Sydney in Australia.
“And assuming our findings reflect cause and effect relationships, it may be even more vital when it comes to reducing the risk of death from cancer,” Stamatakis added.
The researchers observed 80,306 adults for two years and made some adjustments in order to reduce the influence of certain factors such as age, sex, health status, lifestyle behavior and educational level.
All participants with established cardiovascular disease or cancer at the baseline and those who passed away in the meanwhile were excluded from the study.
The research, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, showed that exercises performed using one’s own body weight without specific equipment were just as effective as gym-based training.
“When people think of strength-based exercise, they instantly think of doing weights in a gym, but that doesn’t have to be the case,” noted Stamatakis.
“Many people are intimidated by gyms, the costs or the culture they promote, so it’s great to know that anyone can do classic exercises like triceps dips, sit-ups, push-ups or lunges in their own home or local park and potentially reap the same health benefits,” the researcher said. (IANS)
New York, October 29, 2017 : A novel iPhone-based portable ultrasound machine that can help detect cancer easily at home has been developed by US researchers.
The device called Butterfly IQ is a scanner of the size of an electric razor that can display black-and-white imagery of the body, when paired with an iPhone.
Developed by Connecticut-based start-up Butterfly Network, the pocket sized device works by shooting sound into the body and capturing the echoes.
Usually, the sound waves are generated by a vibrating crystal. But Butterfly’s machine instead uses 9,000 tiny drums etched onto a semiconductor chip, reported the MIT Technology Review on Friday.
Earlier this year, John Martin, a US-based vascular surgeon and chief medical officer at Butterfly Network, discovered a cancerous mass in his own throat while testing the device.
Martin felt an uncomfortable feeling of thickness on his throat, thus he oozed out some gel and ran the probe along his neck.
On his smartphone, to which the device is connected, black-and gray images quickly appeared.
He found a 3 cm mass that was diagnosed as squamous-cell cancer — a form of skin cancer that develops in the cells of the outer layer of the skin.
Instead of vibrating crystals, Butterfly IQ uses “capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers”, or CMUTs, tiny ultrasonic emitters layered on a semiconductor chip a little larger than a postage stamp.
“The device gives you the ability to do everything at the bedside: you can pull it out of your pocket and scan the whole body,” Martin said.
The company now plans to combine the instrument with artificial-intelligence software that could help a novice position the probe, collect the right images, and interpret them.
By 2018, its software will let users automatically calculate how much blood a heart is pumping, or detect problems like aortic aneurisms, the report said.
The Butterfly IQ is the first solid-state ultrasound machine to reach the market in the US. The company plans to go on sale this year for $1,999-far less than any other model on the market. (IANS)