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Most cancers are caused by DNA replication errors, landmark study reveals

Friday, March 24th, 2017

Halfway through her HSC, Rachel Woolley suffered exhaustion and a stiff neck.

“All my friends were tired, but it got to the point where I couldn’t get up the stairs,” Ms Woolley said.

Rachel Woolley at home in Sydney. She is a candidate for a bachelor of music at UNSW and is recovering from Hodgkin lymphoma image www.newcures.info

Rachel was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

“It was just completely random,” Ms Woolley said.

“You certainly go through a ‘why me?’ phase. What had I done?” she said.

Now 19, Ms Woolley is studying for her bachelor of music at the University of NSW. Despite the cancer then coming back last year, she was given the all-clear again in January.

What triggered Ms Woolley’s cancer is not known, but a landmark study published on Friday shows that about two-thirds of all cancers are caused by random errors made during normal cell division.

“Our research has broken the paradigm that most cancers are environmental or inherited,” said Assistant Professor Cristian Tomasetti of the Johns Hopkins University school of medicine.

His study with Bert Vogelstein, published in Science, evaluated cancer occurrence in 69 countries, including Australia, covering 4.8 billion people.

Professor Vogelstein said: “Most of the time random mutations during cell division don’t do any harm. That’s good luck.

“Occasionally they occur in a cancer-driver gene. That’s bad luck.”

The study reviewed 32 types of cancer and found that about 66 per cent of cancer mutations result from random DNA copying errors, 29 per cent can be attributed to lifestyle or environmental factors and the remaining 5 per cent are inherited.

Comparative rates of cancer by heredity, random and environmental causes. Most cancers are caused by random errors in DNA replication during cell division. ScienceTomasetti image www.newcures.info

Comparative rates of cancer by heredity, random and environmental causes. Most cancers are caused by random errors in DNA replication during cell division. Photo: Science/Tomasetti

“Detecting cancers earlier can save lives regardless of what caused the mutation,” Assistant Professor Tomasetti and Professor Vogelstein said in a statement. “More research to find better ways to detect cancers earlier is urgently needed.”

The researchers are at pains to say that a cancer is very rarely caused by a single error in cell division, but is often a cumulative process, which is why cancers are more common in older people.

Professor David Thomas is head of the Garvan Institute’s cancer division and director of the Kinghorn Cancer Centre.

“The first Vogelstein study in 2015 was important and heretical. Here they have got a much larger data set that expands to the entire globe.

“I’m not surprised at the ratios of random errors to environmentally-induced mutations and hereditary causes. They seem about right.”

However, Professor Thomas said that in his view some of the assumptions made in the modelling “are very rubbery”, and there will be strong debate about the paper.

Despite his reservations, Professor Thomas said the paper is important: “I do think the broad balance is accurate.”

The overall balance also matches the expectations of Professor Sanchia Aranda, chief executive of the Cancer Council.

“We already know that about one-third of cancers are preventable,” she said. “Very few cancers are truly inherited.”

Professor Thomas said just because most cancers are caused by random mutation, it doesn’t mean environmental factors don’t play a role.

“Even if the bulk of mutations are random, a cell needs to get to the final step to become malignant. Environment and heredity play a role here,” he said.

Assistant Professor Tomasetti said: “Cancer rates vary widely by organ. If you look at lung cancer the concentration is in the environmental component.

“However, with brain cancers, bone cancers or childhood cancers the concentration is in the random component.

“That means virtually all the cancerous mutations are caused by simple mistakes caused by every cell when it divides.”

Is this any comfort to Ms Woolley?

“One perspective is ‘At least I didn’t do anything wrong’,” she said. “But you still feel ‘Why me?'”

Professor Thomas said that while the study was important it won’t change clinical practice.

“The fundamental advice we give as clinicians about how to manage and look out for cancer are not affected by this study.

“People should still try to minimise and manage their exposure to environmental or inherited risk factors.”

While the study won’t immediately impact clinical practice it could assist in the management of the psychological impacts of cancer.

Dr Pandora Patterson is general manager of research at CanTeen, the charity that supports young people living with cancer.

“People digest information in different ways, so it could be helpful to know ‘This is not my fault, it’s just random’,” she said.

Ms Woolley is a member of CanTeen. “By talking to people who have been through all this you can learn stuff that the doctors don’t tell you,” she said.

“It’s such a relief not feeling you’re on your own. You can just sit around with people talking about life – people just get you.”

Her message is that while going through treatment is “very shitty”, things can get better. “It’s really important to stay positive and look forward to the future.”

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Henry Sapiecha

MEMORY LOSS AS YOU AGE IS LESSENED IF KEPT MENTALLY BUSY & ACTIVE STUDY SHOWS.

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

 THE BRAIN WHEN ACTIVE DELAYS MEMORY LOSS STUDY SHOWS

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NEW YORK | Wed Jul 3, 2013 4:06pm EDT

 

(Reuters Health) – People who spend a lot of time reading, writing and otherwise seeking and processing new information lose their thinking and memory skills more slowly as they age, a new study suggests.

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Researchers found being “cognitively active” both early and later in life was tied to better performance on memory tests among people in their 80s.

 

That was still the case once they autopsied participants’ brains after they died and accounted for changes that signal cognitive problems, such as early Alzheimer’s disease.

 

“There’s been a real controversy about why a cognitively active lifestyle is associated with (a lower risk of) cognitive decline,” said Robert Wilson, who led the study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago

 

“One theory has been that cognitive inactivity is simply a consequence of the underlying disease, rather than a true risk factor,” he told Reuters Health.

 

But the new study, Wilson said, suggests the link is not explained by people who have more diseased brains being less active in old age.

 

He and his colleagues asked more than 1,600 older adults starting in 1997 about how often they went to the library, wrote letters and sought information as a child and young adult and more recently. Then they gave participants a thinking and memory test every year and tracked their progress.

 

The new study included 294 of those participants who died at an average age of 89 and underwent a brain autopsy to look for cognition-related changes.

 

They had each taken an average of six annual cognitive tests during the study, which showed that 102 developed dementia and 51 developed mild cognitive impairment.

 

On a scale of 1 to 5 measuring how often a person engaged in cognitively stimulating activities, with 1 being the least frequent, the average participant scored a 3.2 for late-life cognitive activity and a 3.1 for early-life activity.

 

Compared to people with average late-life cognitive activity, thinking and memory skills declined 48 percent faster among those with infrequent activity and 32 percent slower among those who were the most cognitively active.

 

Likewise, the study team found cognition declined 42 percent faster for participants who rarely read and wrote early in life than for the average person, and 32 percent slower for the very cognitively active.

 

“This confirms that the effect of cognitive activity is over and above anything having to do with pathology,” said Charles Hall, who has studied the effects of mental activity at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York.

 

“We’ve been thinking for a long time that there’s not going to be any harm from cognitive activity and there might be some good, and this is more confirmation of that,” Hall, who wasn’t involved in the new research, told Reuters Health.

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The study, published Wednesday in Neurology, doesn’t prove that being mentally active wards off cognitive decline. But Wilson said he thinks it “moves us closer to that.”

 

“We do think a cognitively active lifestyle is good for your cognitive health and brain health in old age,” he said.

 

But keeping mentally busy shouldn’t be a chore, he added. Wilson said photography, quilting and book clubs may all keep people’s minds working.

 

He recommended that people choose something stimulating and challenging that they enjoy and can keep doing as they age.

 

Prashanthi Vemuri of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who co-wrote an editorial accompanying the new study, also told Reuters Health the type of mental activity doesn’t seem to matter as much as just being active in general. And it’s never too late to start, she noted.

 

“Just keeping mentally stimulated is very important,” Vemuri said.

 

SOURCE: bit.ly/lUcacJ Neurology, online July 3, 2013.

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Henry Sapiecha

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BLOOD BORNE PATHOGENS.STUDY COURSE & EXAM HERE

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

I. Introduction
Blood can be dangerous. Blood can be contaminated with
blood borne pathogens. Exposure to a blood borne pathogen
can cause blood borne disease.
II. General Reference Source

The general reference source is the Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) standard and is found at 29
CFR 1910.1030. This part of the Code of Federal Regulations
applies to all occupational exposure to blood or other potentially
infectious materials.
The reference was primarily adopted for workers such as
nurses, EMS, paramedics, medical technologists etc. whose
exposure to blood and sharp materials was often present.
III. Bloodborne Pathogens
Working in the wastewater industry may expose a worker to
blood borne pathogens.
The blood borne pathogens include, but are not limited
to, the following:
• Hepatitis B (HBV)
• Hepatitis C
• Hepatitis D, Hepatitis G
• Syphilis
• Malaria
• Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
IV. Other Potentially Infectious Material
In addition to blood borne pathogens, other potentially infectious
materials may present a risk of harm in the wastewater
workplace.
In this contact hour course, both blood and other infectious
materials will be referred to as “PIM” (potentially infectious
materials).
Although PIM could present a risk of harm in the wastewater
workplace, with some exceptions, it is not considered
a significant threat. The standard was primarily adopted for
occupations such as doctors, nurses, EMTs, ambulance…

Study the short course and do the exam below

More—http://www.waterworldce.com/coursereview.aspx?url=23%2fPDF%2fbloodborne.pdf&scid=23

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

THE TRUTHS ABOUT BOWEL CANCER EXPLAINED

Monday, May 17th, 2010

How much do YOU know about Bowel Cancer?


TRUE / FALSE

  1. Only men get bowel cancer.
  2. Only people with a family history of bowel cancer need be concerned.
  3. There’s nothing you can do to prevent getting bowel cancer.
  4. If you feel healthy and don’t have any symptoms then you don’t need to be tested

If you answered FALSE to ALL of these then congratulations!  You’re doing well!

If you answered TRUE to any of these then you need to brush up on your bowel facts!

Read on for more information on each of these statements.

  1. Only men get bowel cancer.

Although there is a higher incidence in men, women DO get bowel cancer.  In fact, 1 in 14 women will be diagnosed with bowel cancer before the age of 85. This compares to 1 in 10 for men.

In Queensland in 2006 (the latest statistics available), 2741 people were diagnosed with bowel cancer, 1491 of these were male and 1250 of these were female (Cancer Council Queensland, 2008).

  1. Only people with a family history of bowel cancer need be concerned.

Only around 5% of bowel cancers are attributed to a family history. Age and lifestyle choices are the main contributing factors. However, if you do have a family history of bowel cancer, it is important that you speak with your GP.

  1. There’s nothing you can do to prevent getting bowel cancer.

While you can never completely eliminate your risk of getting bowel cancer, there are a number of steps you can take to reduce the risk.  It is estimated that up to 75% of bowel cancers could be prevented through leading a healthy lifestyle.  Things like maintaining a healthy body weight, eating well, being active, limiting your alcohol intake and not smoking all contribute to reducing your risk of bowel cancer.

  1. If you feel healthy and don’t have any symptoms then you don’t need to be tested.

Bowel cancer often doesn’t show any symptoms until it is further advanced.  ‘Screening’ is about testing people with no symptoms who ‘feel healthy’ to find early signs of disease before it causes harm.  Bowel cancer is actually one of the most treatable cancers if detected early and can be prevented with regular screening.

The Australian Government is currently inviting men and women turning 50, 55 or 65 between 2008 and 2010 to participate in bowel cancer screening. Invitations, which include a simple screening test known as a Faecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT), are being sent directly to people in the mail. People who receive a kit are encouraged to participate.

If you are not yet eligible for the Program and if you have any concerns, speak to your GP about your options.

For more information about bowel cancer or bowel cancer screening phone your local Queensland Bowel Cancer Screening Program team on 1300 766 927 or visit www.health.qld.gov.au/bowelcancer.

Received and published by Henry Sapiecha 17th May 2010