Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Health links to ring in a new year

Welcome to 2012!  I raise my tea to toast you and yours. May your new year be full of sleep, exercise and leafy green vegetables. ;-)

Now for the links...
  1. Still waiting for the cure. In this month's Fortune magazine, Clifton Leaf has written on "Why We're Losing the War on Cancer." He says that actual death rates have not changed much in decades for cancers like lung, pancreatic and liver. "If we keep looking at the number of people getting this disease and dying of it, we will see that those numbers keep going up." What? Dr. Ben Neel, director of the Ontario Cancer Institute at Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital, points to the complicated nature of cancer as a disease. But there is hope for cancer-free future. He predicts that there will be continued progressing developing treatments for subsets of the disease, like has been done for HER2-positive breast cancer, rather than a single magic bullet. Both men agree that, while we wait, there are things we can do to fight our own wars on this disease - prevention, he says, can cut cancer rates in half. CBC.
  2. The American Cancer Society does have good news, however. They point to steep declines in fatal cases of both lung and breast cancers as a reason to feel positive about our progress. They do acknowledge, however, that other nasty cancers have been on the rise,  including those of the throat mouth, pancreas, liver, thyroid and kidney, and melanoma. AFP.
  3. The Canadian Cancer Society published its list of the top ten cancer breakthroughs of 2011.  Among them, the clinical trial of Aromasin that suggests it cuts the risk of breast cancer by 65% in high-risk women, the trial that suggests radiation in early-stage breast cancer can significantly improve the chances of survival and decrease the risk of recurrence, and the development of nanoparticles that may be used to target and destroy tumours by converting light produced by lasers into energy to kill cancer cells. CBC.
  4. OK - so now you know you need to eat better and get more exercise as part of your war on cancer. How about some help? Here's a month of tips on eating better and losing weight. Day 1: Keep a food diary for the first week. Day 2: Drink a large glass of water before every meal. Day 3: Increase your fibre intake at breakfast. Today: Eat more slowly.  OK - not the most groundbreaking info, but how well are you doing on your own? :-)  The Globe and Mail.
  5. Get a new iPad or other tablet for Christmas? CBC has summarized the top ten most commonly recommended apps amongst a group of health experts. CBC.

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