Do you know what your teen or twenty something year old is doing in college? They might be smoking tobacco with a waterpipe (aka bong or hooka).
Recently the University of Buffalo published an alarming paper about Students in schools and universities in the U.S. and around the world using waterpipes to smoke tobacco at “alarmingly high” rates.
Smoking in this manner absorbs more nicotine and other caustic chemicals. It achieves a quicker high as well as has greater negative effects.
Published in Biomedical Health Central Public Health, the paper is the first systematic review of the prevalence of waterpipe smoking across countries, age groups and genders. Systematic reviews are conducted through an exhaustive and systematic search for, assessment, and analysis of, all relevant, peer-reviewed research ever published on a particular subject.
“Waterpipe smoking is a real epidemic in the world and it’s picking up in the U.S. too,” says Elie Akl, MD, PhD, lead author and associate professor of medicine, family medicine and social and preventive medicine at the University at Buffalo’s School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and School of Public Health and Health Professions.
To learn more about the study, go to http://www.buffalo.edu/news/12509.
This is an article from medical news today.
Drinking alcohol, especially above the recommended upper limits, boosts the risk of several cancers, according to a new European study published in the British Medical Journal this week.
The study followed hundreds of thousands of people in eight European countries (Italy, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Greece, Germany, Denmark and the United Kingdom), and concluded that nearly one in ten (9.6%) cancers in men and one in 33 (3%) cancers in women can be tied to alcohol consumption.
The authors, led by led by Madlen Schütze an epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam- Rehbruecke, said that a substantial proportion of the cancers occurred in men and women who drank more than the recommended upper limits of two standard drinks a day for men and one per day for women.
A standard drink has 12g of alcohol, and is equivalent to about one 125 ml glass of wine, or half a pint of beer.
The researchers said their results support the current political efforts to encourage people to reduce their intake of alcohol, or even stop drinking it altogether, to reduce the incidence of cancer.
“Our data show that many cancer cases could have been avoided if alcohol consumption is limited to two alcoholic drinks per day in men and one alcoholic drink per day in women, which are the recommendations of many health organisations,” Schütze told the press.
“And even more cancer cases would be prevented if people reduced their alcohol intake to below recommended guidelines or stopped drinking alcohol at all,” she added.
When alcohol is broken down in the body it turns into acetaldehyde, a compound that damages DNA, which increases the risk of cells becoming cancerous.
For their prospective cohort study, Schütze and colleagues used risk estimates from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC) Study and representative alcohol consumption data compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
EPIC includes data on 363,988 men and women who were followed for cancer since the 1990s. They were mostly aged between 37 and 70 years when they enrolled and completed a detailed questionnaire about their diet and lifestyle. This included specific questions on the amount, frequency and type of any alcoholic drinks they consumed, both around the time of recruitment and in the past.
The results showed that by 2008, current and former alcohol consumption caused about 21,500 cases of cancer in women in the eight countries, and over 80% of these cases (33,000) were due to drinking more than two alcoholic drinks of beer, wine or spirits per day. The cancers caused in women were of the upper digestive tract, liver, colorectum (bowel), and breast.
For men, the results showed that by 2008, current and former alcohol consumption caused about 57,600 cases of cancer of the upper digestive tract, colorectum and liver in Denmark, Greece, Germany, Italy, Spain, and Great Britain, and that more than half of these (33,000) cancers were due to drinking more than two alcoholic drinks per day.
The harmful rays of the sun, ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB), injure the skin by damaging cells and degrading collagen. Over time, this causes cosmetically undesirable skin changes called “photo-aging,” which include brown spots, uneven skin tone, dryness, and reduced skin elasticity and thickness. Since skin changes in response to sun damage are cumulative and determine the onset and extent of photo-aging, the effects typically appear 20 to 30 years after sun damage first occurs. It is therefore common in your 40s to see signs of early to moderate photo-aging (brown spots, dryness, wrinkles) even if you have used sun protection lotion in recent years.
One look at children on a beach today (wearing hats, sunscreen and sun shirts) demonstrates how increased awareness of the sun’s harmful effects has prioritized sun protection early in life. But those of us who missed this opportunity need not despair — it is never too late to protect our skin from the sun, and sunscreens really do work when used correctly. Studies show that daily application of sunscreen significantly reduces pigmentation and thinning of the skin caused by sun damage. When combined with topical medications, such as antioxidants, alpha-hydroxy acids, and retinoids, sun protection improves skin texture and maintains youthful “dewiness.” Moreover, since our skin’s ability to resist skin sun damage decreases with age, using sunscreen later in life is essential for not only cosmetic benefit, but also skin cancer prevention. Routine, correct use of sunscreen reduces the signs of photo-aging and improves the health of our skin. The true “beauty” of sun protection is that it protects against skin cancer as well as brown spots and wrinkles.
As our understanding of sun damage has increased, so has the array of sunscreens to choose from. The most popular reference used when selecting a product is the Sun Protection Factor (SPF). SPF measures a sunscreen’s ability to delay (not prevent) sunburn, which indicates sun-induced cellular injury. SPF 30 means that it takes 30 times longer to burn with sunscreen than without it. Since higher SPFs offer superior protection to lower SPFs, Sunscreens with SPF 30 or higher are best for daily use, and SPF 50 or higher for more intense sun exposure. Although SPF is based mainly on UVB exposure, both UVA and UVB cause solar damage, and the best sunscreens protect against both. Therefore, in addition to high SPF, choose a sunscreen with “UVA/UVB” protection.
Whether a spray, gel, cream, or lotion, find sunscreen you like to use. Physical sunscreens, such as zinc or titanium dioxide, stay on the skin surface to block and reflect UV. They are well tolerated by sensitive skin but can sometimes appear chalky or clog pores. Chemical sunscreens absorb UV when applied to the skin, they typically feel “lighter” but can be more irritating than physical sunscreens. Antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, reduce sun damage by neutralizing UV-induced free radicals that cause cellular injury. They are useful adjuvants — agents that combine with or add to — but do not replace sunscreens.
“Tanning” is the result of UV radiation exposure triggering the skin to make excessive pigment; it is only modestly protective against it — comparable to SPF 3! It is not recommended because the skin thereby incurs further damage. Sunless tanners (suntan in a bottle), moderately increase sun protection if used with sunscreens, but are ineffective protectants alone.
If you are tanning or burning, chances are you are not applying your sunscreen effectively. The standard amount of sunscreen used to determine SPF is greater than most people commonly apply. Consequently, the true SPF on one’s skin is frequently lower than the SPF on the bottle. Insufficient application is the primary reason why a sunscreen “doesn’t work,” and may even increase sun damage by causing an overestimate of protection and lead to prolonged sun exposure. Apply sunscreen generously to the face, neck, chest and any exposed skin surfaces preferably 20 minutes before sun exposure and re-apply frequently throughout the day. In high sun exposure and humidity, re-apply sunscreen every few hours, and always immediately after water contact or sweating.
There is a great technique called, “layering” sunscreens, combining a topical antioxidant with a physical or chemical sunscreen then adding a physical block in your makeup, which allows convenient reapplication. Finally, correct use of sunscreen means combining it with sun protection clothing and sun avoidance; all three are necessary for effective sun protection.
Here’s a crucial message for teens: Oral sex increases the risk of oral cancer and carries many of the same risks as sexual intercourse, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of oral cancers in America in people under age 50.
“Adolescents don’t think oral sex is something to worry about,” said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. “They view it as a way to have intimacy without having ‘sex.’”
While tobacco was the prime cause of oral cancer in the past, recent studies have attributed the steady increase of the disease to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV are common viruses that cause warts. There are approximately 130 versions of HPV but only nine cause cancers, and the HPV16 version causes almost half of the oral cancers in the U.S.
Tobacco is no longer the only bad guy, HPV16 is increasing in incidence as the causative etiology, and if it continues on this trend line, it will replace tobacco as the primary cause of oral cancers.
The latest data suggest that 64% of oropharynx cancers – growing in the middle part of the throat – in the United States are caused by HPV, which is more than tobacco causes, said Maura Gillison of Ohio State University. And as the number of partners on whom you have performed oral sex goes up, the risk of oropharnyx cancer goes up.
About 37,000 people per year receive a diagnosis of oral cancer, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.
The media heavily influences the way kids act, feel and respond to sexually related issues. The messages communicated by the media are that sex outside of marriage is okay (and expected!), oral sex is not as big a deal as intercourse, and exploring multiple sexual partners and experiences should be encouraged. And these messages are becoming more common and explicit in relation to oral sex.
Another factor is the varied perceptions that teens have about oral sex. A study in Seventeen magazine revealed that half of all teens ages 15-17 do not believe that oral sex is ‘sex.’ And why should we expect anything different? Teens are bombarded with the message that it’s okay, yet where are the voices telling them otherwise?
Parents should have honest conversations with their teenagers about oral sex. Tell them that the consequences of HPV may not happen right away, and while the risks may not be huge, they are significant. Potential long-term outcomes of cancer are quite concerning.
Dentists are usually the first to notice subtle signs and symptoms of oral cancer in a simple three to five minute visual and tactile exam. It is extremely important that the dental community continues to be involved in oral cancer screenings.
Of the 37,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year in the U.S., 25% of those people will die of the disease. Only 57% of all diagnosed oral cancer patients will be alive five years after their diagnosis. Approximately 100 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with oral cancer every day, and one person will die every hour from it. In short, oral sex increases the risk of oral cancer.
Our bodies are changing all the time as we age, going from infant and toddler to active senior still in the game. So changes to various body parts are routine. We may see a new mole, but not recognize it as a potential danger sign of a simple skin cancer. Men may visit the bathroom 30 times a day due to an enlarged prostate gland and either choose to live with it or simply accept frequent urination as part of the aging process. Living with changes, or ignoring change, is especially true of oral cancers – cancer of tongue, lips, checks, esophagus, larynx and other body bits around your mouth. As with all cancers, the earlier a cancer is detected and treatment undertaken, the better the outcomes. This is especially true of tongue cancer and other oral cancers, yet how often do we examine ourselves for early signs of oral cancer?
You’re the one most familiar with your body and the changes and phases it goes through. You’re also in the best position to discover changes that may indicate a form of oral cancer is present since you spend more time looking at your mouth than anyone else. So, what to look for? Well, oncologists – medical doctors who specialize in the prevention and treatment of cancer, have some suggestions. These tips for self examination don’t take long, they don’t hurt, you can do them yourself and, in the process, make yourself a strong advocate for your own good health.
Here are seven simple self-examine steps you can take to help identify oral cancers in their earliest stages, so you can get yourself into a treatment program NOW!
The roof of the mouth is easy to examine with your eyes and with your fingers. Tilt your head back as you stand in front of a mirror. Position yourself so you get a good view of the entire upper mouth.
Perform a visual exam for discoloration. Then gently slide your finger over the roof of your mouth feeling for any kind of protrusion. (Pizza blisters don’t count.) If you feel anything out of the ordinary, report to your doctor stat!
Visually inspect your cheeks. Extend them (be gentle) to look for red, white or dark-colored patches. Next, place your forefinger on the interior check and your thumb on the outer cheek. Gently squeeze as you rotate you fingers across the entire cheek. This is the best way to detect lumps, bumps or swelling – through the sense of touch. Cheek cancer can often be felt before there are any visible symptoms.
Stand with your head straight up in front of a mirror. Usually, your face is uniform, i.e., has the same shape on both sides. However, a lump, bump or other protrusion on one side of the face is a definite signal to see your doctor. It may be nothing, it may be something. In either case, it’s worth checking out and a visit to your family doctor is the best place to start when you first detect unevenness within your facial structure.
The lips are highly sensitive to sunlight and lip cancer is one possible (and unfortunate) result. Open your mouth and examine both the outer and inner lip for changes in color or texture. Gently extend you lips to get the best view of the interior lip area. (You may have to do a little twisting to get the view you want. If so, use a hand mirror to get a good look at the interior lip surface.) Discoloration and protrusions are sometimes early signs of lip cancer. However, you accidently bite your lip, the lips are constantly moving as you talk, you moisten your lips with your tongue and so on, so expect to see changes. Even the seasons change the exterior portion of the lip so dried lips in the middle of winter aren’t a sign of cancer, though you may want to get some chap stick to keep lips moist.
This is where the esophagus and larynx are located, but we can’t see that far down our own throats, even if we stand on our heads. (Please don’t try this at home.) However, using a feather-light touch, gently slide you fingers along the sides and front of your neck feeling for any lumps that you discover on one side of your neck but not the other. Use your finger tips to gently glide over the skin of your neck feeling for anything out of the ordinary. Next, apply a small amount of pressure as you slide your fingers over the skin. This time note any tenderness, soreness of swelling. So, first a gentle exam, and then add a little pressure to identify any soreness or swelling.
You can feel it and hear it – a cough that just doesn’t go away. Often, you chalk it up to a cold, but you don’t have any symptoms of a cold. Just that cough. Smokers (28% of Americans still smoke despite all the solid evidence that smoking is bad for just about every part of your body) may experience “smoker’s” cough that comes and goes. This often occurs when the upper portion of the lungs become irritated.
It also occurs when the airway to the lungs becomes irritated and inflamed. Most smokers just live with it, though for many, not as long. Quitting, even for a couple of days, will sometimes clear up a case of smoker’s cough but if you still have a scratchy sore throat even though you’ve given up smoking until your throat feels better, make an appointment to see your doctor.
There are some other things you can do to ensure early detection of mouth cancers beside kicking butt. Ask your dentist to perform an examine each time you’re in for a cleaning. Some dental professionals perform this examine routinely. All will be happy to give your mouth and throat a good look if you ask.
Make examining your mouth part of your oral hygiene regimen each day. Takes less than a minute, you get a better feeling for what’s going on in there (and therefore can more easily identify changes), and you may hit the jackpot and discover a form of oral cancer before it even has the chance to do any damage.
Today’s treatments, using computer-assisted and robotic surgery, deliver better outcomes for those who do find a lump, bump or notice a dark spot on the cheek that wasn’t there six months ago.
Take the time to check for oral cancers. It may give you more time, even though it only takes a minute.
Oral Cancer is not just an older man’s disease.
Early Detection Saves Lives
The Bad News – When Discovered in Late Stages, the 5 year survival rate is only 22%
The Good News - When discovered in early stages, the survival rate leaps to 80%.
Recent research has shown a strong link between oral cancer and the Human papillomavirus (pap-ah-LO-mah-VYE-rus)(HPV) (HPV-16 and HPV-18).
The identafi 3000 ultra is a special light that shines 3 different colors of light into the oral cavity. These lights are safe. The light causes the tissue to flouresce from the surface of the epithelium to the basement membrane (where pre-malignant changes normally start) to the stroma beneath. The allows the clinician to view different flourescent signatures to help differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue.
Abnormal tissue typically appears as as irregular, dark area that stands out against the otherwise normal flourescent pattern of surrounding healthy tissue.