Sun protection should be used year-long to help prevent rise in skin cancer

For the third consecutive decade, skin cancer is on the rise with the highest mortality rates amongst those with darker skin tones. Even though the summer season is over, we are still at risk.

A surprising 80% of sun damage comes from everyday exposure[1]. Consequently, there is still a great amount of education needed regarding the importance of proper daily sun protection. To help educate the public and turn these frightening statistics around, the acting Surgeon General recently issued a call to action to bring awareness to the dangers of UV radiation and the importance of daily sunscreen use[2].

Save our Skin.

The sun safe crusaders at La Roche-Posay have been advocating this message for the last five years with the SOS – Save Our Skin program, providing over 10,000 free skin cancer screenings throughout various events across the country and handing out more than 500,000 free sunscreen samples. However, despite these efforts, a new study reveals sunscreen use has declined significantly among young people over a 10 year period[3].

In addition, nearly five million Americans are treated for skin cancer each year[4] and the number of people with skin cancer has grown higher than all other cancers combined[5]. Even those with darker skin tones are at risk as skin cancer does not discriminate. These stats are scary, but luckily skin cancer is preventable; and when detected early, it is in most cases curable with a full recovery.

With skin cancer risks increasing within the ethnic communities, La Roche-Posay joined forces with the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS) to help educate the public and enforce a change in sunscreen habits for the skin of color population through a nationwide program. Throughout 2014, the WDS in partnership with La Roche-Posay were present at key events targeting the ethnic skin audience where free skin cancer screenings and sunscreen samples were offered. A total of 763 people were screened with suspicious lesions detected in nearly a third of the checks. As part of this outreach, a survey was also given to over 200 attendees with skin of color to learn more about their sun safety habits, and a number of alarming findings were discovered, including:

— Nearly 60% of attendees had never received a skin check
— Only 50% apply sunscreen during outdoor activities
— Almost 25% never reapply
— More than 50% agree that sunscreen is NOT necessary when it’s cloudy

The good news is that the partnership is clearly making a difference and starting to get the sun safe message across to those who are willing to listen. After learning about the risks of sun exposure, an astounding 80% of attendees will now wear sunscreen on a daily basis and 97% agree that the event’s skin cancer screening has made them more aware of practicing sun safety[6]!

“In keeping with our mission of providing everyday sun safety education for all, the WDS joined forces with La Roche-Posay to engage all demographics, from students to adults, men and women of all races,” said Dr. Valerie Callender, President of the Women’s Dermatologic Society. “While we are thrilled that this message has gotten the attention of many participants, there is still so much more education to do regarding sun safe behavior. We will continue to dedicate our efforts to raise awareness not only during sun season, but year-round!”

To continue to spread this daily sun safety message throughout various communities, La Roche-Posay set up a Facebook campaign to reward charitable organizations who are actively helping to educate about the risks of sun exposure. Fans nominated their favorite charities, and two organizations, Mollie’s Fund and SunSafe San Diego, received the most nominations for their commitment to educating young people on the importance of sun safety. Both organizations target young adults and teenagers, making them aware of the risks at a young age through sun safety awareness events within their communities and beyond. The goal is to combat the harsh reality that there continues to be indifference regarding the use of daily sunscreen and tanning device dangers among adolescents and young people.

In an effort to further increase sun safety year-round, La Roche-Posay will be offering 40% off of their Anthelios 40 Sunscreen through November 15(th) by using the PROMO code SOS40 at checkout. Visit


Recommended by more than 25,000 dermatologists worldwide, La Roche-Posay offers a unique range of daily skincare developed with dermatologists to meet their standards in efficacy, tolerance and elegant textures for increased compliance. The products, which are developed using a strict formulation charter, include a minimal number of ingredients to reduce side effects and reactivity and are formulated with active ingredients at optimal concentrations for increased efficacy. Additionally, La Roche-Posay products undergo stringent clinical testing to guarantee efficacy and safety, even on sensitive skin.

A leader in advanced UVA formulation research and innovation for over 15 years, La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios sunscreen range is trusted and recognized by dermatologists all over the world for providing effective UVA and UVB protection. The range features advanced patented sunscreen technologies, including 100% mineral-based UV protection formulas, as well as those developed with Mexoryl(TM)SX, a unique, key ingredient that acts as a short wave UVA filter, and most recently, CELL-OX SHIELD(TM) XL, a powerful, synergistic combination of filters that provides UVA/UVB and antioxidant protection using 21% fewer ingredients. All Anthelios sunscreens are known for their effective, broad-spectrum protection as well as their fast-absorbing, lightweight and cosmetically elegant texture.

About SOS – Save Our Skin

Now in its fifth year, La Roche-Posay continues its SOS – Save Our Skin to not only inform Americans about the dangers of UV rays and the importance of sun safety, but to also encourage true behavioral change, such as incorporating sun protection in their daily routines and visiting their dermatologists for regular skin checks. In partnership with the Women’s Dermatologic Society (WDS), the SOS – Save Our Skin campaign lives through a series of initiatives, including skin checks at sporting events, local hospitals and drug stores as well as free skin checks offered to all L’Oreal corporate employees. To learn how to do a self-check and choose the right protection, visit
About the WDS

The Women’s Dermatologic Society, founded in 1973, is dedicated to helping dermatologists fulfill their greatest potential and assisting them in making a contribution to the specialty and society. To achieve this goal, the Society relies on the active participation of its members, who represent a diverse cross-section of professional subspecialties. The mission of the Women’s Dermatologic Society is to support dermatologists by striving to: promote leadership and the development of relationships through mentoring and networking; demonstrate a commitment to service through community outreach and volunteerism; provide a forum for communications and research relevant to women’s and family issues; advocate excellence in patient care and education, and promote the highest ethical standards. and



[3] Dermatology Times, Oct. 2014, p. 56

[4] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer. Washington, DC: U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon General; 2014: page 1.

[5] American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2014. Accessed June 2, 2014.

[6] La Roche-Posay. Data on file.

Stub out unsightly yellow teeth in Stoptober

The most recognisable sign of a smoker is yellow stained teeth from the build-up of toxic chemicals from tobacco onto the surface.

If your teeth have been discoloured by the effects of smoking (or coffee or wine), erase stains and turn back the clock to a more healthier-looking you this Stoptober no-smoking month, by restoring your smile with a new at home products Luster and iWhite. All are available to buy

iWhite Whitening Toothpaste attacks surface and deep tooth staining with an active whitening formula for daily use. iWhite Instant toothpaste also strengthens and remineralises teeth, for an intensely shining smile that is strong as iron. iWhite Whitening Toothpaste 75ml, ÂŁ9.95.


Buy at


iWhite Whitening Mouthwash gives an immediate instant whitening effect with ONE USE and DEEP teeth brightening with DAILY USE thanks to triple-action whitening technology. iWhite Whitening Mouthwash 500ml, ÂŁ8.95.



Buy at

Luster Premium White Pro Light Whitening System is the UK’s first complete DIY teeth whitening kit to use the same paint-on whitening gel and Dual-Action ‘blue light’ technology used by dentist, to quickly and safely achieve a smile that makes you feel new. And best of all, you can do it right at home – on your schedule. Luster Premium White Pro Light Whitening System ÂŁ49.99.


Luster Prolight Kit

Buy at

Should insurance companies ever be allowed to pay doctors to prescribe specific drugs?

In the UK direct advertising for prescription drugs (with the recent exception of the  over-the-counter anti-obesity drug Alli and the statin Zocor) is banned.

This is because no-one is allowed to interfere or influence the doctor-patient relationship that allows the ethical treatment and prescribing of drugs that are optimal for treating the patient/illness. Pharmaceutical companies are also not allowed to send out promotional press releases about their drugs unless its about the outcome of a clinical trial for the same reason.

Of course there is the debacle over the UK government’s, National Institute for Clinical Excellence, which approves drugs for use within the NHS. It has been dubbed “a rationing body” by the media over decisions not to give drugs that could extend life at the earliest intervention in killer diseases such as Alzheimer’s and prostate cancer. The debate over this goes on.

Life Extension magazine October

But I learn of a new threat to our right to claim the best treatment when we need it.  And it comes from the US where insurance companies are beginning to dictate what drugs should be given to patients by their consultants.

In particular, one insurance company is offering onocologists – a doctor who specialises in the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of those with cancer  – $350 a month for each patient that is put on their recommended regime, including drugs.

What this means is that the newer, more expensive and more effective drugs such as Cimetidine, Interleukin-2 and off-label (drugs not licensed for the treatment of cancer) will be off limits to patients whose doctors agree to this “backhander”.

According to the Life Extension organisation “these cookbook protocols” will result in cancer patients dying sooner and using up fewer resources in the process and doctors will be able to squeeze more patients in.  If a doctor has 400 active patients and 100 are on the insurer’s “approved’ chemo drug programme that amounts to $35,000 a year and $420,000 a year.

Yet another reason, if one was needed, to fight for our National Health Service.

Killer skin cancer zapped in new BMI treatment

Dermatologists are seeing an upsurge in skin cancer amongst older people as a result of sunbathing at an earlier age.  In this case study, 66-year-old David discovered he had a dangerous face cancer.

As a lover of ‘the great outdoors’ David has long been aware of the dangers of too much sun and has been plastering on sun cream for years.

Unfortunately,  in David’s case, the damage was done long before Factor 50 became fashionable and now, after just having a dangerous cancer removed from his face, he is warning others in his age group to keep a close eye on their skin.

Sixty-six-year-old David was treated at BMI Manor Hospital in Biddenham by consultant dermatologist Anton Alexandroff in a procedure that took less than 90 minutes.


David after the operation

But things could have been much different if he hadn’t acted quickly when the growth appeared on his cheek just below his eye. It turned out to be a squamous cell carcinoma which, if left untreated, can spread around body, initially in nearby glands, and can be a killer.

David, who lives in of Tempsford, Bedfordshire, with wife Juliet, had already left the growth a couple of weeks, thinking it was just a bite or a scratch that had gone septic.

But he finally arranged to see Dr Alexandroff through his BUPA health insurance, and found that immediate action was necessary.

anton alexandroff.JPG

Dr Anton Alexandroff

“Because this cancer is so dangerous I removed it on the very same day. It was over 4mm thick and I considered it high risk,” said Dr Alexandroff.

David explained: “I was going on holiday the following day so I asked if I could be booked in after that. However Dr Alexandroff simply said ‘let’s do it now’ and 90 minutes later I was on my way home minus a skin cancer! It really was that easy.”

“I have to admit that at first I was a bit surprised because, as a typical fair-skinned Scotsman, I have always had sensitive skin so I have always been careful about using creams and keeping covered up in the sun.

“However, it seems the damage was one when I was just a boy – long before high factor sun creams were in use. In those days if you got burned you used calamine lotion to ease the pain rather than creams to prevent the burning in the first place!

“If it happened to me then it will have happened to many others in my age group and I am warning people that no matter how careful they are now they need to be on the lookout for moles or blemishes that could be cancerous.

“My case showed just how quickly they can be treated if they are spotted early enough.”

dp 1.JPG

David back in his garden at home

Dr Alexandroff added: “The rate of skin cancers is on the increase and unfortunately every year we see more and more skin tumours – not only in older people but also in middle age group and even in younger patients.

It is extremely important to be careful with sun protection from an early age onwards, because sun-damage accumulates with time and increases the risk of skin cancers later in life.

“In particular it is a good idea to keep kids well covered – a broad-brimmed hat, long sleeves, long trousers or a long skirt are always good and choose a sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher and re-apply it every two hours.”

About BMI Manor Hospital

1.     BMI The Manor Hospital has 23 beds with all rooms offering the privacy and comfort of en-suite facilities, satellite TV and telephone.

2.     The hospital has a theatre, endoscopy room and a minor procedures room.

3.     These facilities, combined with state-of-the-art technology and on-site support services, enable our consultants to undertake a wide range of procedures from routine investigations to complex surgery.

4.     This specialist expertise is supported by caring and professional medical staff, with dedicated nursing teams and Resident Medical Officers on duty 24 hours a day, providi
ng care within a friendly and comfortable environment.

About BMI Healthcare

1.     BMI Healthcare is the UK’s largest independent provider of private healthcare with 69 hospitals and healthcare facilities throughout the country

2.     More than 6,000 consultants choose to practice at BMI hospitals, which collectively handle over 1.25 million patient visits each year

3.     BMI Healthcare focuses on clinical excellence, quality of service and efficiency, and have a deserved reputation in the independent healthcare sector for consistent achievement of these values

4.     For more information about BMI Healthcare hospitals, please visit




Enhanced by Zemanta

Why Vitamin D is vital, explains leading expert

The winter is finally here! The weather is colder and the sun sets before most of us even leave the office. How do you know if you are getting enough vitamin D and how much should you consume?


Vitamin D.jpeg

Dr John Cuomo, Executive Director of Research and Development at USANA Health Sciences answers important questions on why this vitamin is so important to the optimum functioning of the human body:


What are the main functions of vitamin D in the body?


Vitamin D appears to have many functions in the body.  Every cell, regardless of where it is located has a vitamin D receptor.  This would indicate that vitamin D has multiple functions and the scientific evidence backs this up.  The best documentation of the importance of vitamin D is in bone health. Absorption and utilization of calcium appears to be a vitamin D controlled process. Other minerals including magnesium, boron and silicon may also depend on vitamin D to be absorbed and deposited into the bone matrix.  The RDA data for vitamin D is based solely on the function for uptake and utilization of minerals for bone health.  So while bone health, and prevention of osteoporosis is an extremely important function of vitamin D, it is part of what makes vitamin D important to your health.  There are numerous studies showing that Vitamin D is also essential for overall immune system function and for muscle strength.  Epidemiological studies also show links to glucose metabolism, cell proliferation, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, impaired muscle function, infection, autoimmune disorders, diabetes, some cancers and CVD.


What are the best natural sources?


One of the best ways to get vitamin D is to expose your skin to sunlight.  15  to 30 minutes of sun exposure between the peak hours of 10am-2pm will make thousands of IU of vitamin D. Just be careful not to burn.  Dietary sources are lower.  Some product such as milk and orange juice are fortified with vitamin D, but the dose is usually low and the form is different than from sun exposure.  Some fish also have vitamin D but the amounts vary significantly.


-Is the vitamin D in milk etc a chemically made version and, if so, does it differ (like vitamin e) from the natural source? 


The story here is a little different than for vitamin E.  The form of vitamin D produced in skin naturally from sunlight is cholecalciferol or vitamin D3.  This is also the form used in most nutritiona
l supplements like USANA Vitamin D tablets.  Milk is fortified with vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol.  While it is naturally derived, it is not the same as the D3 that we produce naturally from sun exposure.  In addition there are several clinical studies on supplementation with D2 vs. D3, and it looks like D3 is more bioavailable, and a better choice.


What are the best ways to take vitamin D to ensure you’ve taken enough?


Dietary sources are not sufficient.  Even though milk, orange juice and fish do contain vitamin D, all of the data we have seen indicates that the vast majority of Americans are vitamin D deficient.  The two best ways to get the vitamin D you need are to get adequate sun exposure to exposed skin (without sun block) or to take a good vitamin D supplement.  In addition, the only good way to tell if you have adequate stores of vitamin D is to have a blood test run.  If your doctor asks for this test, be sure they measure the amount of 25-hydroxy vitamin D in plasma, and the amount should be 40 – 60 ng/mL.


Does sunscreen stop us absorbing vitamin D?


Yes. To make vitamin D in the skin, UV light must hit the skin directly.  Sunscreen effectively blocks this, and almost no vitamin D will be produced if you apply sunscreen.


-How often should vitamin D be taken?


A daily supplement of 200 to 500

IU of vitamin D.


Why is vitamin D important?


It supports healthy bones, immune function, muscle strength, glucose control, and may help prevent auto immune disease and heart disease.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Plea from health professionals on behalf of post-menopausal women

Health professional?Within the last week, a group of health professionals sent an open letter to their fellow specialists about the plight of those post-menopausal women reporting bleeding.

Post-menopausal bleeding indicates a gynaecological abnormality, usually a cancer growth within the womb.

The letter (BMJ 2010; 341:c7407) contains details about how many women reporting bleeding actually get referred for secondary care. Referral rates for patients with postmenopausal bleeding ranged from 66.4% in 55-64 year old patients to 40.1% in those over 85.

Last year the Eve Appeal highlighted the low profile from which gynaecological cancers suffer. Their campaign (with contributions from cancer sufferers and oncology nurses and specialists) focused on the low number of post menopausal women reporting bleeding to their GPs.

Gynaecological cancers are the world’s fourth largest cancer killer of women, with over 1 million women worldwide being diagnosed with a gynaecological cancer every year. Of the gynaecological cancers, womb cancer is now the UK’s most common, with 7,500 cases diagnosed nationwide.

The Eve Appeal, in conjunction with the National Forum for Gynecological Oncology Nurses (NFGON), are focused on improving the chances of women everywhere in beating these killers, by work in improving prediction, diagnosis and timely treatment.

The latest plea by health professionals highlights how much work has to be done – not only in getting more women to see their GPs in such circumstances but also in making sure those women are getting the treatment they need to beat gynaecological cancer.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley recently promised an improvement to the care framework within the NHS, which, if implemented properly, would improve detection and survival rates for womb cancer sufferers. It remains to be seen whether the financial pressure on the NHS, as with other public organisations, will be conducive to improving even the most vital of services.

To get more information about any of the gynaecological cancers, please visit the Eve Appeal at


What’s good for the planet is good for us….

burger.jpgA low carbon lifestyle means better health for all of us. Eating less meat could save 45,000 lives in the UK each year.

Experts have banded together to point out the connection between climate change and our bad health.  They believe our meat-heavy diets and obsession with cars is leading us to a sticky end.

An article published simultaneously in the BMJ, the Lancet and the Finnish Medical Journal today, warns that the links between climate policy and health policy must not be overlooked.

The environmental organisation, Friends of the Earth, agree; they told us that 45,000 UK deaths could be prevented each year with lower meat diets, saving the NHS ÂŁ1.2 billion. Celebrities such as Paul McCartney and Helen Baxendale have also given their support to campaigns aiming to reduce meat consumption. For more meat facts see the end of this article.

Written by Robin Stott and Ian Roberts on behalf of the Climate and Health Council, it is a call to action for health professionals across the world to help tackle the health effects of climate change.

Failure to agree radical reductions in emissions spells a global health catastrophe, they say.

Later this month, representatives from countries around the world will meet at the 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Mexico.

Stott and Roberts stated that “The planet is getting hotter, its people are getting fatter, and the use of fossil fuel energy is the cause of both.”

They argue that moving to a low carbon economy “could be the next great public health advance.” For example, a low carbon economy will mean less pollution and a need for more physical activity. A low carbon diet (especially eating less meat) and taking more exercise will mean less cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and even depression.

A reduction in car use and meat consumption would also cut world food prices, they add.

They believe that health professionals everywhere have a responsibility to put health at the heart of climate change negotiations. “Responding to climate change could be the most important challenge that health professionals face,” they say.

Meat facts from Friends of the Earth

18 per cent of climate changing emissions occur as a result of the meat and dairy industry[i]

An area twice the size of Greater London deforested in Brazil to grow meat and animal feed for export to the UK in 2009[ii]

45,000 UK deaths could be prevented each year with lower meat diets, saving the NHS ÂŁ1.2 billion[iii]

80 kg of meat eaten each year by the average Brit – equivalent to 4 sausages each day[iv]

2.7 times as much fat in the average supermarket chicken as 40 years ago – and 30 per cent less protein[v]

4 times as much meat produced around the world now as 50 years ago[vi]
It takes around 3.5 x times more land to produce a low-meat diet than a high-meat diet [vii]

Meat and dairy production uses 70 per cent of the world’s available agricultural land.[viii]

ÂŁ700 million public money spent on factory farming in the UK each year[ix]

3 – optimum number of times to eat meat each week, according to Friends of the Earth’s ‘Healthy planet eating’ report.[x]


[i] UN’s Livestock’s Long Shadow 2006
[ii] Friends of the Earth’s Forest to Fork research, October 2010
[iii] Friends of the Earth’s Healthy Planet Eating research October 2010
[iv] Friends of the Earth’s Healthy Planet Eating research October 2010
[v] Simopoulos AP, Omega-6/omega-3 essential fatty acid ratio and chronic diseases, Food Rev Intl, 2004; 20(1): 77-90.
[vi] Friends of the Earth’s Healthy Planet Eating research October 2010
[vii] Cornell University, October 2007
[viii] UN’s Livestock’s Long Shadow 2006
[ix] Friends of the Earth’s Feeding the Beast research, April 2009
[x] Friends of the Earth’s Healthy Planet Eating research October 2010


Raise awareness of Ovarian cancer by eating cake

Lorraine [320x200].jpgMarch 2011 is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and The Eve Appeal charity, which funds groundbreaking research into gynaecological cancers, is asking women get involved with their ‘Make Time for Tea’ campaign. All you have to do is bake some lovely cakes and invite your friends round!

Lorraine Kelly has been involved in raising awareness of ovarian cancer for six years now and anyone taking part in the ‘Make time for tea’ fundraising campaign can win the chance to have a brew with her at a top london hotel next summer.

Over the last six years, this campaign has raised ÂŁ350,000 to fund necessary research into ovarian cancer.

In the UK, ovarian cancer is diagnosed in 6,600 women every year and 4,400 women die. Despite huge advances in many areas of cancer research, the death rates for ovarian cancer have improved very little in over 20 years. And yet, funding and
awareness of the diseases remains low.

Says CEO of The Eve Appeal Jane Lyons “Lorraine’s support for the campaign has been invaluable over the years….”

“We are very grateful to her for hosting this afternoon tea – we know it will be a very popular prize and the icing on the cake for our lovely band of loyal supporters who hold tea parties for us.”

You can win your place at the table for you and a friend in three different ways – by raising the most money, by holding the most creative tea party or most beautiful baking.

“So” says Lorraine, “- put the kettle on, Make Time for Tea, and invite a few friends round! It’s so easy …so easy that I’ll be doing it myself.”

For more information about hosting your own Make Time for Tea party and winning afternoon tea with Lorraine visit; email or call
0207 299 4434.


Dental X-rays increase risk of thyroid cancer, says expert


London: Multiple exposures to dental x-rays may be associated with increased risk of developing thyroid cancer, according to new research.

A collaborative study by scientists from Brighton, Cambridge, and Kuwait showed that the risk of thyroid cancer increased with increasing number of dental x-rays taken.

About 1900 new cases of thyroid cancer are diagnosed each year in Great Britain and the incidence rates more than doubled from 1.4 to 2.9 per 100,000 persons between 1975 and 2006. Increasing use of sensitive diagnostic techniques is not considered to account for all this increase and the researchers believe other causes need investigation.

The research team was led by Dr Anjum Memon (pictured), senior lecturer and consultant in public health medicine at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, a partnership between Brighton and Sussex universities, and NHS Brighton and Hove.

The thyroid gland is situated in the neck, and will be exposed to radiation from many dental x-rays. It is known to be highly sensitive to ionising radiation, particularly in children, and dental radiography, a source of low-dose diagnostic radiation, is often overlooked as a potential hazard to the gland.

The researchers studied 313 thyroid cancer patients in Kuwait where dental treatment is free and where the incidence of thyroid cancer is relatively high compared to Britain. They said the results of their study, although the largest case-control study on the subject, should be treated with caution because the data were necessarily based on self-reporting by the participants. Comprehensive historical dental x-ray records were not available from the clinics.

They said the results provide good evidence to warrant more research in settings where historical dental x-ray records are available and where doses of radiation can be estimated.

Dr Memon said the findings were consistent with previous reports of increased risk of thyroid cancer in dentists, dental assistants, and x-ray workers which suggest that multiple low-dose exposures in adults may also be important. He said dental x-rays have also been associated with an increased risk of brain and salivary gland tumours.

He said: “The public health and clinical implications of these findings are particularly relevant in the light of increases in the incidence of thyroid cancer in many countries over the past 30 years.

“It is important that our study is repeated with information from dental records including frequency of x-rays, age and dose at exposure. If the results are confirmed then the use of x-rays as a necessary part of evaluation for new patients, and routine periodic dental radiography (at 6–12 months interval), particularly for children and adolescents, will need to be reconsidered, as will a greater use of lead collar protection.”

He added: “Our study highlights the concern that like chest (or other upper-body) x-rays, dental x-rays should be prescribed when the patient has a specific clinical need, and not as part of routine check-up or when registering with a dentist.”

He concluded: “The notion that low-dose radiation exposure through dental radiography is absolutely safe needs to be investigated further, as although the individual risk, particularly with modern equipment is likely to be very low, the proportion of the population exposed is high.”

The research team, whose findings have been published in Acta Oncologica, 2010; 49:447-453, called for further studies using dental X-ray records.

The research was funded by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) and was administered by the Kuwait University Research Grant Administration.
Lead researcher was Anjum Memon with Sara Godward, Dillwyn Williams, Iqbal Siddique and Khalid Al-Saleh.

About Brighton and Sussex Medical School

Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS) is partnership between the University of Brighton, University of Sussex and the local NHS health community. At BSMS, we identify research areas in medicine where we believe we can make a rapid and real difference. Our focus is on the continuous improvement of population health and medical treatment to deliver more personalised healthcare for patients, by applying basic science to answer fundamental clinical questions. BSMS brings together the combined expertise of the universities of Brighton and Sussex and the local NHS health economy, to deliver research which is directly translated into health gains for the population.
Thyroid cancer statistics from Cancer Research UK.

Hollywood legend Nick Nolte finally bins his tobacco habit


Hollywood actor Nick Nolte has binned his bad smoking habit with the help of an “electronic” cigarette.

NN.jpgNick who has had more than his fair share of negative publicity over the years.
Who can forget his mad haired police mug-shot below following his 2002 arrest on suspicion of drink driving?
When blood tests revealed the presence of the date rape drug GHB, Nolte, who starred alongside Eddie Murphy in 48 Hours back in 1982, allegedly said, “I’ve been taking it for four years and I’ve never been raped yet.”

Now though it seems the 69 year old has put his well publicised battles with drink and drugs firmly behind him – and he’s even managed to kick tobacco into touch after taking up a SmokeStik.

Nolte, voted the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ by People magazine in 1992, was given a SmokeStik, the world’s leading brand of electronic cigarette, six months ago and yesterday admitted it had helped him to quit the cigs.

In a statement Nolte said: “Using Smokestik is a real good way to get off the cigarette. If you have a relapse with regular cigarettes, immediately pick up the Smokestik.”

SmokeStikÂ’s are battery operated devices which give smokers a nicotine hit without the need for harmful tobacco. TheyÂ’ve been eagerly adopted by big name celebrities such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton.

A spokesman said: “We are thrilled that Nick Nolte has become the latest celebrity to quit smoking thanks to SmokeStik.”

SmokeStiks release only an odourless vapour and are believed to be relatively healthy compared to traditional tobacco based cigarettes.

They are not restricted by the ban on smoking in public places and can be enjoyed in bars and restaurants – a factor which has led to many US smokers ditching tobacco in their favour.

The spokesman confirmed the product was selling well since its launch last year.

For more information please visit

Sun is No1 cause of skin ageing, say cosmetic doctors


London: As the nation prepares for summer, think twice before soaking up the sun or jumping on a sun bed to accelerate your tan as you could be one of the many people having to seek help from a cosmetic practitioner for their sun damaged skin. Despite the growing awareness of the dangers of sun exposure the message is still not getting through.

According to a new survey carried by Cosmetic News magazine at the launch the first Cosmetic News Expo conference and exhibition, 55% of cosmetic doctors cite sun damage as the most significant cause of ageing in the patients they see and a staggering 84% believe that sun beds should be banned. And while prevention is better than cure, 88% of women and 61% of men are having non-surgical injectable treatments to fill in lines and wrinkles, lift the face and hold back the years, but the frozen look is out with the majority of doctors predicting that the biggest trend for 2010 is a more natural look.

Survey Highlights:

· The most popular cosmetic treatment for women is botulinum toxin injections such as BotoxÒ/VistabelÒ and DysportÒ/AzzalureÒ (47%) followed by dermal fillers (31%) and Sculptra (10%). Botulinum toxin was also the most popular treatment for men (47%) followed by dermal fillers (14%) and laser hair removal (9%). Significantly 89% of doctors would not use permanent fillers because they deem them too risky and 39% did not think that mesotherapy works.

· 76% of cosmetic doctors were opposed to remote prescribing to nurses or beauty therapists stating that the practice was too risky with unexamined patients being treated.

· 71% think that newly launched IHAS Shared Regulation scheme will work.

· 29% of doctors surveyed stated that improved dermal fillers to treat the face were the biggest innovation in aesthetic medicine over the last five years and Sculptra (26%) and Juvederm Ultra (17%) were selected as the two treatments that had revolutionised cosmetic practices

· 84% believed sun beds should be banned and 55% cited sun damage as the most significant cause of ageing, followed by smoking (33%) and genetics (9%)

· The biggest trend in aesthetics for 2010 was predicted to be the natural look with treatments that stimulate natural collagen production.

· The age group having the most non-surgical cosmetic treatments was 40-50 years olds with botulinum toxin injections being the most popular procedure for mum’s post pregnancy followed by weight reducing treatments such as radio frequency and VASER Lipo (15%)

· 50% of doctors currently use non-surgical radio-frequency treatments for body contouring with 7% using VASER Lipo. 29% believed that VASER was the biggest innovation in medical aesthetics in the last five years.

· Laser hair removal was the most popular laser treatment for patients (50%)

· 86% of cosmetic doctors have their own private clinics but 59% are still working within the NHS.

Dr Patrick Bowler, Co Founder and Fellow of the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors says:

“Non surgical treatments are the most popular and fastest growing area in aesthetics. This survey shows no real surprises but it is pleasing to note the trend for natural looks rather than the overdone, overcooked appearances of the last decade. Subtle use of botulinum toxins and the latest fillers is the way forward. However I was rather disturbed that 24% of doctors thought it OK to remote prescribe to nurses and beauticians. There seem to be a significant number of doctors treading a dangerous path in the pursuit of commercialism.”

The survey was carried out in association with the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (BACD) and Cosmetic News readers.

Aspirin cuts breast cancer risks


New York: Women who have completed treatment for early-stage breast cancer and who take aspirin have a nearly 50% reduced risk of breast cancer death and a similar reduction in the risk of metastasis. The findings are based on an analysis of data from the Nurse’s Health Study, a large, ongoing, prospective observational study.

“This is the first study to find that aspirin can significantly reduce the risk of cancer spread and death for women who have been treated for early-stage breast cancer,” said lead author Michelle Holmes, MD, DrPH, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

“If these findings are confirmed in other clinical trials, taking aspirin may become another simple, low-cost, and relatively safe tool to help women with breast cancer live longer, healthier lives.”

Investigators report it is not yet clear how aspirin affects cancer cells, but they speculate it decreases the risk of cancer metastasis by reducing inflammation, which is closely associated with cancer development. Prior studies have also suggested that aspirin inhibits cancer spread: One study found that people with colon cancer who took aspirin lived longer than those who did not, and laboratory studies have also shown that aspirin inhibited the growth and invasiveness of breast cancer cells.

In this analysis, which was published online in an issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers evaluated data from the Nurses’ Health Study, which included 4,164 female nurses in the United States (aged 30-55 years in 1976) who were diagnosed with stage I, II, or III breast cancer between 1976 and 2002 and were followed through June 2006.

They examined patients’ use of aspirin for 1 or more years after a breast cancer diagnosis (when patients would have completed treatment such as surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy) and the frequency of metastasis and breast cancer death.

The authors emphasised that patients undergoing active treatment should not take aspirin due to potential interactions that can increase certain side effects.

A total of 400 women experienced metastasis, and 341 of these died of breast cancer. Women who took aspirin 2 to 5 days per week had a 60% reduced risk of metastasis and a 71% lower risk of breast cancer death. Those who took aspirin 6 or 7 days a week had a 43% reduced risk of metastasis and a 64% lower risk of breast cancer death. The risk of breast cancer metastasis and mortality did not differ between women who did not take aspirin and those who took aspirin once a week.

Researchers also found that women who took non-aspirin non-steroidal inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 6 or 7 days a week also had a reduced risk of breast cancer death (a 48% reduction), but women who took NSAIDS less frequently and those who used acetaminophen did not experience such a benefit.

“Several studies have suggested that aspirin may have beneficial effects against cancer because of its anti-inflammatory effects. But aspirin can cause stomach bleeding and is not for everyone. These are promising findings, and if they are confirmed in additional clinical trials, physicians may be able to regularly recommend aspirin to their breast cancer patients to reduce risk of cancer spread and mortality,” said breast cancer expert Lori Pierce, MD, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

While the investigators did not collect data on aspirin dose, they noted that women who took aspirin regularly most likely took it for heart disease prevention; the typical dose for that purpose is 81 mg/day.

SOURCE: Journal of Clinical Oncology

Stop smoking – get tips from experts in online TV chat


London: Smoking kills. That is a fact. It also stinks, ruins your teeth and pollutes the air for your friends and children – potentially making them ill too. If you want to stop – you can get free help from experts.

Log on to our live and interactive webTV show tomorrow, Friday, October 16 at 3pm by clicking on this link Stop Smoking WebTV Show.

Before the show you can get involved by submit your own top tips (click on the link above to leave your questions and tips) – if they worked for you, chances are they might also work for someone else

Featuring on the show for is Professor Gerard Hastings (pictured), the Director of the Institute for Social Marketing and the Cancer Research UK Centre for Tobacco Control Research. HeÂ’ll be joined by Alison Walsh (pictured) the Director of Health and Equality for QUIT, an independent charity whose aim is to save lives by helping smokers to stop.

Pretending to smoke a pencil instead of a cigarette, using a toothpick to keep hands occupied or substituting your fag fix for fun in the bedroomÂ… Silly as they might sound, these are just some of the tried-and-tested methods that have proved successful for real-life quitters.

In England alone, over 80,000 deaths per year are due to smoking, a significant portion of the nation’s 8.5 million smokers. Over the past few month people across Europe have been sharing their real-life quit tips online for the European Union’s “HELP” campaign, and now our live and interactive Web TV show will be revealing the best tips. So if you’re one of the 69% of smokers trying to give up the habit, or know a close friend or family member who is trying to quit, make sure you tune in.


Speak to Gerard Hastings and Alison Walsh jlive online at Quit Smoking TV chat on Friday 16th October at 3.00pm to discuss the top tips to quitting smoking

For more information visit

Vitamin C protects skin from cancer


London: A joint study by scientists in the UK & Portugal has discovered a new role played by Vitamin C in protecting the skin from cancer and sun damage.

Researchers at the University of Leicester and Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal studied new protective properties of vitamin C in cells from the human skin, which could lead to better skin regeneration.

The work, by Tiago Duarte, Marcus S. Cooke and G. Don Jones, found that a form of Vitamin C helped to promote wound healing and also helped protect the DNA damage of skin cells. Their findings have been published in the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

This report is the latest in a long line of publications from these researchers, at the University of Leicester, concerning vitamin C. Previously, the group has published evidence that DNA repair is upregulated in people consuming vitamin C supplements. The researchers have now provided some mechanistic evidence for this, in cell culture, using techniques such as Affymetrix microarray, for looking at gene expression, and the ‘Comet’ assay to study DNA damage and repair.

Tiago Duarte, formerly of the University of Leicester, and now at the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology in Portugal, said: “The exposure to solar ultraviolet radiation increases in summer, often resulting in a higher incidence of skin lesions. Ultraviolet radiation is also a genotoxic agent responsible for skin cancer, through the formation of free radicals and DNA damage.

“Our study analysed the effect of sustained exposure to a vitamin C derivative, ascorbic acid 2-phosphate (AA2P), in human dermal fibroblasts. We investigated which genes are activated by vitamin C in these cells, which are responsible for skin regeneration.

“The results demonstrated that vitamin C may improve wound healing by stimulating quiescent fibroblasts to divide and by promoting their migration into the wounded area. Vitamin C could also protect the skin by increasing the capacity of fibroblasts to repair potentially mutagenic DNA lesions.”

Even though vitamin C was discovered over 70 years ago as the agent that prevents scurvy, its properties are still under much debate in the scientific community. In fact, the annual meeting of the International Society for Free Radical Biology and Medicine, which will be held this year in San Francisco (USA), will feature a session dedicated to vitamin C, entitled “New discoveries for an old vitamin”.

Dr Marcus S. Cooke from the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine and Department of Genetics, at the University of Leicester, added: “The study indicates a mechanism by which vitamin C could contribute to the maintenance of a healthy skin by promoting wound healing and by protecting cellular DNA against damage caused by oxidation”. “These findings are particular importance to our photobiology interests, and we will certainly be looking into this further”.

These results will be of great relevance to the cosmetics industry. Free radicals are associated with premature skin aging, and antioxidants, such as vitamin C, are known to counter these highly damaging compounds. This new evidence suggest that, in addition to ‘mopping up’ free radicals, vitamin C can help remove the DNA damage they form, if they get past the cell’s defences.

The study has the potential to lead to advances in the prevention and treatment of skin lesions specifically, as well as contributing to the fight against cancer.

Smoking – causes bad breath and worse – mouth cancer!


Smoking causes fatal diseases as well as creating a carcinogenic soup in your mouth that could lead to oral cancer….find out more here…

Q How can smoking affect my oral health?

A Most people are now aware that smoking is bad for our health. It can cause many different medical problems and, in some cases, fatal diseases. However, many people donÂ’t realise the damage that smoking does to their mouth, gums and teeth.

Smoking can lead to tooth staining, gum disease, tooth loss and in more severe cases mouth cancer.

Q Why are my teeth stained?

A One of the effects of smoking is staining on the teeth due to the nicotine and tar content. It can make the teeth yellow in a very short time, and heavy smokers often complain that their teeth are almost brown after years of smoking.

Q How will smoking affect my gums and teeth?

A Smoking can also lead to gum disease. Patients who smoke are more likely to produce bacterial plaque, which leads to gum disease. The gums are affected because smoking causes a lack of oxygen in the bloodstream, so the infected gums fail to heal. Smoking causes people to have more dental plaque and for gum disease to progress more rapidly than in non-smokers. Gum disease still remains the most common cause of tooth loss in adults.

Q How is smoking linked with cancer?

A Most people know that smoking can cause lung and throat cancer, but many people are still unaware that it is one of the main causes of mouth cancer too. Every year thousands of people die from mouth cancer brought on by smoking. (See our leaflet ‘Tell Me About Mouth Cancer’)

Q Are there special dental products I can use?

A There are special toothpastes for people who smoke. They are sometimes a little more abrasive than ordinary pastes and should be used with care. Your dentist may recommend that you use these toothpastes alternately with your usual toothpaste. As there are several toothpastes on the market which claim to whiten teeth it is important to look for those accredited by the British Dental Health Foundation. Our logo means that the claims on the packaging are scientifically proven to be correct and the product will be effective at removing staining caused by smoking.

Q What about mouthwashes?

A People who smoke may find they are more likely to have bad breath than non-smokers. Fresh breath products such as mouthwashes may help to disguise the problem in the short term, but will only mask it.

Q How often should I visit my dentist?

A It is important that you visit your dentist regularly both for a normal check up and a full mouth examination so that any other conditions can be spotted early.

You should visit your dentist at least once a year. However, this may be more often if your dentist feels it necessary. People who smoke are more likely to have stained teeth, and therefore may need appointments more often with the dental hygienist.

Q What can my dentist do for me?

A Your dentist will carry out a regular examination to make sure that your teeth and gums and whole mouth are healthy.

Your dentist will also examine your cheeks, tongue and throat for any signs of other conditions that may need more investigation.

They may also be able to put you in touch with organisations and self- help groups who will have the latest information to help you stop smoking.

Q Will I need any extra treatment?

A Your dentist may also refer you to a dental hygienist, for further treatment, thorough cleaning and to keep a closer check on your oral hygiene.

Your dental hygienist will be able to advise you on how often you should visit them, although this should usually be every three to six months.

Don’t sizzle this summer – win a beach bag of sun goodies!


Sun damage it the main cause of skin cancer and wrinkles – so don’t be a silly summer sizzler! Top of skin care list should be sun protection – essential for enjoying safe sun and of course for preventing the embarrassment of red arms and legs which, lets face it is never a good look!!

Elixir has joined with sun skin protection experts The Sun Mouse to offer four lucky readers the chance to win a ÂŁ50 bag of goodies – everything you need to keep your skin safe.

The Sun Mousse ultimate beach bag packed full of everything you could possibly need for a day in the sun, not forgetting of course the sun mousse sun protection factor(SPF) 30 and the after sun mousse. To get your hands on this fantastic prize worth ÂŁ50 just answer this question:

Q.1 What does SPF stand for?

Please send your answer to us at with your name and address and the word “sun” in the email header. The competition closes on 31 July 2009. Please note that no cash equivalent is offered and the Editor’s decision is final.

The Sun Mousse products contain Proderm Technology. Unlike ordinary sunscreens which sit on the surface of the skin, “the sun mousse “is rapidly absorbed into the skinÂ’s epidermal layer where it works with the skin to provide effective and immediate protection from both UVA and UVB radiation. The sun mousse is easy to apply and light in texture, leaving the skin soft and smooth with no greasy or sticky residue.

For find out more about this unique range of sun protection visit


Protecting your family if cancer strikes – video news


London: One in four cancer patients have difficulty keeping up with everyday payments. Learn how to keep your family financially safe in our video below.

We all worry about our health to a certain degree, but when it comes to more serious issues such as cancer it’s still easy to take an ‘out-of-sight, out-of-mind’ approach. While many of us will know a female friend or family member who has been affected by the disease, we may still think it will never happen to us. Yet over 45,000 women across the UK are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, that’s more than 100 British women being diagnosed on a daily basis, and three quarters of women affected are under 70 years of age.*

High profile celebrity cancer patients have helped increase public awareness in women’s cancer. This combined with the positive changes to the way such issues are now talked about in society, and improvements in technology has lead to earlier diagnosis, meaning more women are able to successfully fight the disease. Breast cancer survival rates in particular have improved dramatically over the last 20 years – 8 out of 10* of us would survive if we were diagnosed today.

Yet any one of us could be struck down with cancer at any time – contrary to popular belief, the disease does not just affect those with a family history or poor lifestyle. And it’s not just the health and emotional demands we need to think about, but the financial implications as well.

Many of us are unaware of the financial consequences a cancer diagnosis would have on our lives and family. With having to take time off work, many patients find themselves without enough money to cover the things we take for granted in good health, such as paying for bills or childcare costs.

According to Macmillan Cancer Support, one in four cancer patients admit having difficulty keeping up with payments whilst fighting the disease – with many suffering real financial hardship. It’s a stress we could all do without at a time when we should be concentrating on getting better.

For expert information on the risk and causes of female specific cancers, and how to insure you have the financial help you and your family need should you be diagnosed with cancer, watch the video below.

* Cancer Research UK


For more information visit

How colonic therapy promotes health


For many people today, keeping in shape is a key concern but poor diet, stress, smoking and drinking can all take their toll – not least on a part of the body that is widely recognised as being vital to maintaining good health. That organ is the bowel.

For all too many of us, it’s a case of out of sight out of mind. Add to that the embarrassment many feel when discussing this particular body part and you begin to understand why it can go wrong. In fact, it ‘goes wrong’ for quite a lot of us. For most that probably means a little discomfort, constipation, or irritable bowel syndrome. For approximately 35,000 people each year the effects can be rather more serious, in the form of bowel cancer.

So, what can we do to encourage bowel health? Good diet and plenty of fibre are generally regarded as important in ‘keeping things moving’. Avoiding the accumulation of waste matter in the bowel is helpful and this, in turn, can contribute to wellbeing – and, indeed, just feeling good.

An increasingly popular therapy is colonic hydrotherapy. This involves circulating purified warm water at very low pressure through the colon. The process stimulates the colon to expel faecal matter and tones the colon.

Whilst the therapy has helped many people, it should be stated at once that it is not a treatment for more serious bowel conditions, neither is there specific evidence to suggest it can directly prevent them.

However, colonic hydrotherapy is thought to encourage general bowel health. The main reasons why people choose colon hydrotherapy are to address problems such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, or to assist in detoxing the body. Others are looking for help with conditions, like skin problems, which can sometimes benefit from the cleansing effect of hydrotherapy.

Explains Roger Groos, Chairman of the Association and Register of Colon Hydrotherapists, which sets professional standards and accredits teaching colleges: “It is important to put the treatment in its proper context. It is best thought of as a complement to other actions which may be taken to encourage efficient bowel function. Indeed many of our members offer dietary advice alongside treatments. Hydrotherapy has been in use in the UK for well over 30 years. The best testimony to its effects is, perhaps, that each year thousands of people from many walks of life choose hydrotherapy and find they feel better as a result.”

Colonic hydrotherapy should always be carried out by appropriately trained specialists. Only previously qualified therapists, medical doctors and nurses who have good knowledge of the body and how it works are accepted as ARCH members. The organisation is, in turn, a member of the General Naturopathic Council and participates in the regulation of therapy under government guidelines. Details of members can be found on the organisationÂ’s website at www.colonic-association.orgor by phoning the UK information line on 08702 416567.

Beer raises prostate cancer risk


Sydney: Just one pint of beer daily raises prostate cancer risk, according to Australian researchers.

They found two or more drinks a day increased the likelihood of developing the disease by 20 per cent – well below most healthy drinking guidelines.

Scientists at Curtin University in Australia say their review of 35 studies looking at the relationship between drinking levels and the risk of prostate cancer, was large enough to confirm a link.

At the same time moderate drinking in older men is thought to offer protection from heart disease.

The review, published in the journal of Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, included all studies published in or before 2006.

It reveals that heavier drinkers, which is judged at 14 or more drinks weekly, are about 20 per cent more likely to develop prostate cancer.

Stem cells used to repair breast post cancer ops


London: British surgeons are using stem-cell-enriched fat from women’s bodies to repair the damage of surgery following breast cancer operations and radiotherapy.

The procedure, which is being trialled at Leeds General Infirmary, so far appears to restore the softness and suppleness of breast tissues, as well as the painful aftermath of treatments.

Each year around 31,000 British women undergo operations to remove cancerous tissue which normally leaves an unsightly cavity in the breast. Some surgeons have already used fat transfer to repair the damage as well as reducing the size of the other breast to match the damaged one.

Scientists believe that fat enriched with stem cells reduces inflammation and helps maintain a healthy blood supply so that the body’s repair system works more efficiently.

Fears that the stem-cells might encourage more cancer cell proliferation have also proved groundless.

The cancer patient’s own fat cells are harvested and made into a concentrate which is reinjected. More than 90% of the fat survives the process.

Lead investigator and consultant plastic surgeon Eva Weiler-Mithoff says she is impressed with the results so far. “What is striking is the softness and suppleness the technique gives the skin and tissues. When I see these stem-cell-enhanced patients after three months, their skin is significantly softer.”

How diet and exercise cut cancer risk – new statistics

Positive changes to diet, physical activity and body weight can substantially decrease your risk for most types of cancer, according to the latest information from the World Cancer Research Fund.

Commenting on the research the British Nutrition Foundation says:
“This research shows the value of focussing on cancer prevention – over a third of cancers can be prevented by improving diet, physical activity and weight management.

“As so many of us are affected by cancer, we hope that these statistics will motivate people to make changes to their lifestyle to allow them to live free from the burden of cancer. It is notoriously difficult to change peopleÂ’s diets and activity levels, but these figures show that lifestyle really can make a measurable difference, so improving diet and physical activity habits is certainly worth the effort.”
Lisa Miles, Senior Nutrition Scientist

Press release from World Cancer Research Fund:

Landmark report: many cancers could be prevented across the globe

Over 40 per cent of bowel and breast cancer cases in the UK are preventable through healthy patterns of diet, physical activity and weight maintenance, according to estimates in a landmark report that has set out recommendations for policies and actions to reduce the global number of cancer cases.

The report, Policy and Action for Cancer Prevention, published today by World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), has estimated that about 43 per cent of bowel cancer cases and 42 per cent of breast cancer cases in the UK could be prevented in this way.

The overall message of the report is that all sections of society from governments to households should make public health, and cancer prevention in particular, a higher priority. And it includes estimates on the proportion of cancer cases that could be prevented through diet, physical activity and weight that demonstrate how important the issue is.

The estimates for the US are that 45 per cent of bowel cancer cases and 38 per cent of breast cancer cases are preventable by these means. The report has also estimated the preventability of cancer in China and Brazil, which represent low and middle-income countries, respectively.

The overall estimate is that about a third of the most common cancers in high-income countries and a quarter in lower-income countries could be prevented. These figures do not include smoking, which alone accounts for about a third of cancers.

As well as breast and colon cancers, across the world many cases of other cancers, such as those of the kidney and stomach, are preventable (see table below).

As part of the evidence-based report, thought to be the most comprehensive ever published on the subject, two independent teams of scientists systematically looked at the evidence for how policy changes and interventions influence the behaviours that affect cancer risk.

Following this, a panel of 23 world-renowned experts made 48 recommendations spread across different groups in society to follow. These groups are: multinational bodies; civil society organisations; government; industry; media; schools; workplaces and institutions; health and other professionals; and people. The recommendations include:

* Schools should actively encourage physical activity and provide healthy food for children.
* Schools, workplaces and institutions should not have unhealthy foods available in vending machines.
* Governments should require widespread walking and cycling routes to encourage physical activity.
* Governments should incorporate UN recommendations on breastfeeding into law.
* The food and drinks industry should make public health an explicit priority at all stages of production.
* Industry should give a higher priority for goods and services that encourage people to be active, particularly young people.
* Health professionals should take a lead in giving the public information about public health, including cancer prevention.
* People should use independent nutrition guides and food labels to make sure the food they buy for their family is healthy.

Professor Sir Michael Marmot, Chair of the WCRF Panel, said: “This report shows that by making relatively straightforward changes, we could significantly reduce the number of cancer cases around the world.

“When people think of policy reports, they often think they are only relevant to governments. But while governments are important in this, the evidence shows that when it comes to cancer prevention, all groups in society have a role to play. This report is relevant to everyone from heads of government to the people who do the weekly food shopping for their family.

“We have been fairly specific about what different groups need to do. But the Report’s overall message is that everyone needs to make public health in general, and cancer prevention in particular, more of a priority.”

Professor Martin Wiseman, Project Director of the Report, said: “Making estimates on the proportion of cancer cases that are preventable is complex and challenging.

“The figures in this report have been agreed by the most eminent of scientists and they are as accurate as they can be with the available data.

“On a global level every year, there are millions of cancer cases that could have been prevented and this is why we need to act now before the situation gets even worse.

“We are expecting a substantial increase in cancer rates with the ageing population, obesity rates soaring, and with people becoming less active and increasingly consuming highly processed and energy dense foods and drinks. The good news is that this is not inevitable and we still have the chance to avert a crisis before it is too late.”

Professor Mike Richards, National Clinical Director for Cancer, has welcomed the report. He said: “The evidence linking diet, physical activity, obesity and cancer has become stronger over the last decade and this report can play a part in people adopting healthier lifestyles.

“I welcome this report, which has been produced by leading scientists in the field. After not smoking, it is clear that diet, physical activity and weight are the most important things people can do to reduce their cancer risk.”


US UK Brazil China

Mouth, pharynx & larynx 63 67 63 44
Oesophagus 69 75 60 44
Lung 36 33 36 38
Stomach 47 45 41 33
Pancreas 39 41 34 14
Gallbladder 21 16 10 6
Bowel 45 43 37 17
Liver 15 17 6 6
Breast 38 42 28 20
Endometrium (womb) 70 56 52 34
Prostate 11 20 n/a n/a
Kidney 24 19 13 8
12 cancers combined 34 39 30 27

The report is available for download at
More Information

The preventability estimates are about a third of the most common cancers in high-income countries and about a quarter in lower income countries.
Because of the way that different lifestyle factors are inter-linked, it is not possible to simply add the preventability estimates from smoking and other lifestyle factors together to get a total.

The British Nutrition Foundation is a registered charity. It promotes the wellbeing of society through the impartial interpretation and effective dissemination of scientifically based knowledge and advice on the relationship between diet, physical activity and health. Web:

Vitamin D – the hot anti-ageing nutrient for 2009


Vitamin D, one of the cheapest supplements on the market, is effective against most of the diseases of ageing, say experts.

But most men and women, do not have adequate levels to protect their immune system, according to several studies.

Vitamin D is a fat-soluable vitamin, which is sythesized by the skin from sunlight and also from dietary sources including diary foods such as milk, cheese and butter, oily fish and offal.

But 90% of the amount required by humans is synthesized from the sun – so if you live in the Northern Hemisphere you will likely be Vitamin D deficient, especially in winter.

Low levels of Vitamin D cause the serious bone disease rickets, which was prevalent in the 19th century.

According to the UK’s Health Supplements Information Service 71% of men and 78% of women are below the recommended daily average.

Today various studies have shown that men with low levels of Vitamin D suffer 2.42 times more heart attacks. There is good reason to believe that vitamin D protects the arterial system from fat and plaque build up which leads to ablocked arteries and atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).

It also helps preven common forms of cancer – again, according to various studies, vitamin D deficient women have a 253% increased risk of colon cancer; women with the lowest levels were at at 222% increased risk of breast cancer and men with higher levels have a 52% reduced incidence of prostate cancer; low levels of vitamin D are predictive of fatal strokes. It also regulates blood pressure and immune function and cancer.

Dr John Jacob Cannel MD founder of the non-profit Vitamin D Counsel in the US says:”Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune disease, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects and peridontal disease.

“This does not mean that vitamin D deficiency is the only cause of these diseases, or that you will not get them if you take vitamin D. What it does mean is that Vitamin D, and the many ways ia affects a person’s health, can no longer be overlooked by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health.”

Vitamin D seems to reduce the risk of almost every killer disease of ageing. In fact, a recent study shows that humans with low Vitamin D status are twice as likely to die over a seven year period.

Doctors are not trained to recognise vitamin D deficiency until rickets develop in children or osteomalacia (softening of the bones) developes in adults. Clinical vitamin D deficiency is diagnosed when blood levels of a vitamin D metabolite (25-hydroxyvitamin D) drop below

According to the world’s foremost experts, however, optimal levels of vitamin D are between 30 and 50 and higher. Those with blood levels below 30ng/ml are considered to have insufficient vitamin D.


First UK baby embryonically tested to prevent breast cancer born


London: The first baby in the UK to have undergone embryonic genetic screening to lessen the risk of breast cancer has been born.

Doctors at University College London said the girl and her mother were doing well following the birth earlier this week.

The embryo was screened for the altered BRCA1 gene, which would have meant the girl had a 80% chance of developing breast cancer. It was removed before conception – defined as when the embryo is implanted in the womb.

Women in three generations of her husband’s family have been diagnosed with the disease in their 20s.

This little girl will not face the spectre of developing this genetic form of breast cancer or ovarian cancer in her adult life

Paul Serhal, the fertility expert who treated the couple, said

“The parents will have been spared the risk of inflicting this disease on their daughter.

“The lasting legacy is the eradication of the transmission of this form of cancer that has blighted these families for generations.”

Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) involves taking a cell from an embryo at the eight-cell stage of development, when it is around three-days old, and testing it.

Doctors then select an embryo free from rogue genes to continue the pregnancy, and discard any whose genetic profile points to future problems.

Using PGD to ensure a baby does not carry an altered gene which would guarantee a baby would inherit a disease such as cystic fibrosis, is well-established.

But in 2006, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority said doctors could test for so-called susceptibility genes, such as BRCA1.

Everybody carries a version of these genes – in fact a properly functioning BRCA1 protein helps stop cancer before it starts – but some particular variations of the genes greatly increase the risk of cancer.

Carrying the key BRCA1 mutation in this family’s case would have given the increased chance of breast cancer and 50% chance of ovarian cancer later in life.

However, carrying the gene does not make cancer inevitable, and there is also a chance the disease could be cured, if caught early enough.

The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, wanted to eradicate the gene flaw from their family.

The husband’s grandmother, mother, sister and a cousin have been diagnosed with the disease.

If the 27-year-old woman and her husband had had a son, he could have been a carrier and passed it on to any daughters.

King Edward VII Hospital launches low-dose breast cancer scan

London: The King Edward VII hospital has become the first private medical centre to offer patient’s state-of-the-art low dose radiation digital mammography for the detection of breast cancer.

The Swedish-made Sectra scanner allowed the highest resolution breast scan at the lowest dose or radiation, compared to any other system currently in use.

The Sectra Microdose Digital X-ray system uses a digital capturing system which also means very high resolution images (24.96 megapixels) which can detect the smallest micro-calcifications in the breast. The radiation dose which the patient receives during the scan is 20% of that emmited by conventional machines.

The Sectra has already been subjected to a three-year clinical trial within the NHS, at the Coventry Breast Screening Unit at the Coventry and Warwick Hospital

According to doctors the benefits of even a conventional mammogramme outweigh the risks in detection of breast cancer. Women over the age of 50 are advised to have a scan every three years.

In the UK, experts estimate that 1 in every 14,000 women may suffer radiation induced breast cancer – that is approximately eight women each year.

But the low dose Sectra machine means that women can have more frequent scans so that any disease can be caught at an earlier stage.

The hospital’s Imaging Department is also able to give patients a copy of their scan on a CD after their mammogram.

For further information go to www.kingedwardvii and more detailed information on the Sectra at

Why a daily coffee can keep cancer at bay


London: The UK’s leading mouth cancer campaigners have urged the population to wake up to a pot of coffee and boost chances of keeping clear of cancer.

The British Dental Health Foundation has welcomed news of coffee’s potential after Japanese scientists found a cup of coffee a day made drinkers half as likely to develop oral cancer.

Drinking habits could prove a real boost in the fight to curb deaths from mouth cancer – which kills one person every five hours in the UK.

Cutting down on alcohol is another positive lifestyle choice. Alcohol and tobacco are linked to 80 per cent of cases, while people both drinking and smoking are 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer.

Foundation chief executive Dr Nigel Carter said: “Though quitting smoking and alcohol are the two most positive lifestyle resolutions this New Year, research has shown a coffee a day could help against mouth cancer.

“Our Mouth Cancer Action Week campaign each year also points out the need to visit the dentist regularly for oral cancer screenings, and if in doubt, get checked out.”

Around 5,000 people are diagnosed with mouth cancer reach year in the UK.
Regular dental visits are vital as symptoms often occur pain free, so expert check-ups are necessary.

Self-examination for warning signs – including non-healing ulcers, red and white patches in the mouth or unusual lumps or changes in the mouth – is also an effective way of staying safe.

The recent coffee research was carried out by a team at Japan’s Tohoku University School of Medicine, and tracked 40,000 people aged 40-64 over a 13 year period.

Studies showed people drinking at least a coffee a day were 49 per cent less likely to develop cancers of the mouth or oesophagus. In their report, published by the American Journal of Epidemiology, scientists noted an inverse association between drinking coffee and those at most risk of mouth cancer.

For nore information visit the website

Facts and Figures

* In the UK over 4,750 are diagnosed each year
* Around 1,700 people die of mouth cancer every year
* Mouth cancer is more common in men than women, but the gap is closing
* Mouth cancer is more likely to affect people over 40 years of age, though an increasing number of young people are developing the condition
* Tobacco and alcohol are thought to contribute to 80 per cent of mouth cancer cases
* Smoking is the number one cause for mouth cancer. Cigarette smoke converts saliva into a deadly cell-damaging cocktail
* Switching to low-tar cigarettes will not help, as smokers of ‘lights’ tend to inhale more smoke than smokers of ‘regular’ cigarettes
*Although some people believe that chewing tobacco is safer than smoking, the reality is that it is even more dangerous. Chewing tobacco, paan, areca nut and gutkha are habits favoured by some ethnic groups
* Alcohol aids absorption of smoke into the mouth – people who smoke and drink alcohol to excess are 30 times more likely to develop mouth cancer
* Poor diet is linked to a third of all cancer cases. Evidence shows an increase in fruit and vegetables lowers the risk, as can fish and eggs
* It is recommended that people enjoy a healthy, balanced diet, including food from each of the major food groups and including fruit and vegetables of all different colours as each colour contains different vitamins
* Research now suggests the human papilloma virus (HPV) – transmitted by oral sex – could soon rival smoking and drinking as a main cause of mouth cancer.
* Early detection and treatment considerably increases survival chances, allows for simpler treatment and results in a better quality of life for sufferers

About The Charity

The British Dental Health Foundation is the UK’s leading oral health charity, with a 30-year track record of providing public information and influencing government policy. It maintains a free consumer advice service, an impartial and objective product accreditation scheme, publishes and distributes a wide range of literature for the profession and consumers.
National Smile Month runs each May, to promote greater awareness of the benefits of better oral health, with Mouth Cancer Action Week each November.

The Dental Helpline, which offers free impartial dental advice to consumers, can be contacted on 0845 063 1188 between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday or by e- mailing