May 31, 2011
By J. Lee Westmaas, PhD
It's no secret that trying to quit smoking is hard. It can trigger irritability, anxiety, depression, and all sorts of other unpleasant emotions and physical feelings. But quitting is one of the most important things you can do for your health, and for the health of others.
Sometimes smokers who want to quit are told that they should get their social network --the people around them -- to help, maybe by announcing to friends and family that they're going to quit, and asking for their support. More...
May 26, 2011
By Vilma Cokkinides, PhD
As summer approaches, we get a lot of reminders to protect our skin from the sun with sunscreen, shade, hats, and long sleeves. What doesn't get mentioned as often is indoor tanning.
Indoor tanning has become popular among young adult women and teenage girls. One chief motivation is that they believe they look more attractive and healthy with a tan. Many teens and their parents think getting a tan indoors is safer than tanning in the sun. But the truth is that tanning booths, lamps, or sunbeds emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation, just as the sun does. And exposure to UV radiation - whether from the sun or from a man-made source -- can raise your risk of skin cancer. More...
May 25, 2011
By Colleen Doyle, MS, RD
I admit it; I'm a java junkie. I LOVE my morning (and mid-morning) cups of coffee. So any study that looks at the potential health benefits of coffee gets my adrenaline pumping, whether I'm revved up on caffeine or not.
A study just published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute looked at whether or not coffee consumption was related to prostate cancer risk. The researchers were particularly interested in whether or not coffee consumption reduced the risk of advanced prostate cancer (by advanced, they mean that the cancer has spread beyond the prostate at the time of diagnosis). As a matter of fact, this study is the first of its kind looking specifically at the relationship between coffee consumption and advanced prostate cancer. While prostate cancer is one cancer I don't need to personally worry about, on behalf of all the men in my life, I took a look. More...
May 17, 2011
By Elizabeth Ward, PhD
Cancer patients may sometimes worry that treatment for their cancer might lead to another cancer down the road. Radiation therapy (radiotherapy) is of particular concern because radiation is known to cause cancer.
A recent study published in the Lancet Oncology journal found that cancer patients who were treated with radiotherapy were more likely to develop second cancers than patients with similar cancers who didn't receive radiotherapy. Experts have known for many years that radiation therapy can increase cancer risk; however, this is the first study to compare the risk of second cancers among radiation-treated patients to a large group of similar patients who did not receive such treatment. The study estimated that about 8% of second cancers among patients who received radiation were due to the radiation, which translates to five excess cancers per 1,000 treated patients. This means that for every 1,000 patients who were treated with radiotherapy, 5 of them would have a second cancer caused by that radiation treatment.
May 10, 2011
By Colleen Doyle, MS, RD
I just heard on the radio the other day that spring is more than halfway over. Before we know it, the year will be halfway over - and at that point, I always like to reflect back on the last six months, think about those resolutions I set at the beginning of the year, and see how I'm doing. It's a time for me to take stock, get real, and get back on track if need be.
At the beginning of the year, I did a little research to see just how popular setting New Year's resolutions is. According to surveys, about 50% of us will make some kind of resolution. And likely, those resolutions will be related to eating better, being more active, and losing weight.
May 03, 2011
By Thomas J. Glynn, PhD
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently announced that it is taking steps to regulate electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) as tobacco products, acting under its authorities in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009.
That's got everybody talking about these rather strange devices, which have become increasingly popular over the past few years.