LIFE-STYLE AND CANCER
Cancer is overwhelmingly caused by where you are, what you do, and what happens to you in life, rather than by what you are, a study of almost 90,000 twins has shown,” reports London’s newspaper The Guardian. Dr. Paul Lichtenstein of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute led the research team for his study. He says: “Environmental factors are more important than gene factors.” Scientists believe that smoking causes about 35 percent of cancers, while another 30 percent appears to be related to diet. Genetic factors play a part in prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer, but Dr. Tim Key of the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in Oxford, England, advises: “Even if you have….. a family history [of cancer] what you do with your life is much more important. You should not smoke; you should care of your diet. Those things do make a difference.
USE YOUR BRAIN
The brain’s vitality can remain intact throughout our lives, as long as we keep exercising it,” states the Vancouver Sun newspaper. “Read, read, read,” says Dr. Amir Soas of Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Ohio, U.S.A. To retain brainpower as you age, choose mentally challenging hobbies, study a new language, and learn to play a musical instrument, or engage in stimulating conversations. “Anything that stimulates the brain to think,” says Dr. Soas. He also encourages cutting back TV. “When you watch television, your brain goes into neutral,” he says. The Sun adds that a healthy brain also needs oxygen pumped through healthy arteries. Thus, exercise and proper diet, the same things that help to prevent heart disease and diabetes, also help the brain.
GERMS IN THE OFFICE
University of Arizona microbiologists measured bacteria in offices in a number of U.S. cities. They found that the five most-contaminated spots were [in order] phones, desktops, water fountain handles, microwave door handles and keyboards, says the Globe and Mail newspaper. According to the report, the average desktop is home to 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more than the average toilet seat.
One in every 8 lung cancer deaths IS among nonsmokers. Scientists based their finding on a study of 52,000 people who died from lung cancer. Additionally, long-standing research shows that toxic carbon monoxide and carcinogens are more prevalent in secondary smoke than smoke directly inhaled by smokers. In 1999 a government study in Japan involving 14,000 people found that 35 percent of those at work or at school was exposed to secondary smoke. Smoking should be aware they are harming non-smokers to such an extent a conscious effort should be made to separate the two group handles, microwave door handles and keyboards, says the Globe and Mail newspaper. According to the report, the average desktop is home to 100 times more bacteria than a kitchen table and 400 times more than the average toilet seat.
IN RECENT months, five people died in Peru as a direct result of drinking water from jungle sources that were contaminated by cocoa cultivation and cocaine processing. Among other toxic chemicals, kerosene, sulfuric acid, and ammonia are used to produce cocaine. These deaths were caused by the consumption of water from springs or streams into which the drug traffickers throw their highly toxic chemical wastes.
Even antinarcotics police who confiscate and destroy the hidden drug laboratories have been adversely affected by contact with poisonous residues. Many other jungle residents are also undergoing irreversible organic damage as a result of consuming the polluted water. The sad thing is that a large part of these settlers are unaware of the danger many of them are in. no doubt they are even people who have nothing to do with cocoa cultivation or processing.
CHAGAS’ DISEASE SPREADING
CHAGAS’ disease comes from a parasitic transmitted through the feces of a blood sucking insect commonly called the kissing bug. The disease is endemic in rural areas from Mexico to Argentina. An estimated one and a half two million Mexicans are affected with parasite. However, Chagas’ disease is spreading to other part of the world. One way is through blood transfusions. Mexicans biologist Bert Kohlmann explains: we have already got reports from Australia, Europe, the United States of America and Canada of infections through blood transfusions. Migrants from the Americas who are usually healthy give blood and nobody in those other places even thinks about screening for chagas. The world health organization estimates that in the western hemisphere, 16 to 18 million people are infected with the disease and 100 million more are at risk. At present, there is no cure for the disease [chagas], which is often fatal.
SOFT DRINKS IN THE MEXICAN DIET
Mexico is the second-largest consumer of bottled soft drinks in the world after the United States, and soft drinks are among the ten most common products in the Mexican diet, consumed by 60 percent of families. This concerns health experts who would like to see families’ spending money on milk, fruit, vegetable, and other foods that are essential to the growth and development of children. Instead, too much of the family budget goes toward a product that does not provide any nutrient to the body but does have a large amount of carbohydrates, which in the long run contribute to the development of obesity. Other harmful effects of the high consumption of soft drinks, particularly colas, include tooth decay and osteoporosis
SOME physicians in Japan say there is an increase in the number of babies who neither cry nor smile. Pediatrician Satoshi Yanagisawa calls them silent babies. Why do the babies stop expressing their emotions? Some doctors believe that the condition arises because babies are deprived of parental contact. The condition is called enforced helplessness. One theory suggests that when needs for communications are constantly ignored or misinterpreted, the infants eventually give up trying.
If a baby is not given proper stimulations at the right time, the part of his brain that makes him emphatic may not develop, suggests Dr. Bruce Perry, chief of psychiatry at Texas Children’s Hospital. In cases of profound emotional neglect, capacity to feel empathy may be irretrievably lost. Dr. Perry believes that in some case substance abuse and adolescent violence can be linked to such early life experiences.