Can Drinking Coffee Help Fight Skin Cancer?

drinking coffee

Can coffee help fight skin cancer?  The Journal of the National Cancer Institute recently took a look at the effects of caffeine intake. What they found is that people who drink coffee on a regular basis, four or more cups a day, had a 20% lower risk for developing the deadliest form of skin cancer, malignant melanoma, than those who drank less coffee.  The same did not hold true for decaffeinated coffee drinkers.  Malignant melanoma is the 5th most common cancer in the United States and the leading cause of skin cancer deaths.  Coffee has been the subject of medical research quite a bit. In the past, researchers have found associations between coffee and protection against Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, depression, and diabetes.

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Fruits, Vegetables and Cancer

fruits and vegetables

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables doesn’t help women with breast cancer and it doesn’t necessarily reduce the risk of the disease returning.  The same can be said for prostate cancer and other forms of the disease.  But a recent study found, in colorectal cancer, that a diet that relied more on these foods plus whole grains fish and chicken did reduce the recurrence.  Here’s our take on it.  We will definitely find that a diet like this helps in all cases, but it is difficult to get a clear association or correlation because diet has so many components and effects.  It also depends on the individual’s genetics.  Nevertheless, it shows how we are looking more and more at diet and its role with cancer and other conditions.  That’s the point we need to take home.  Diet plays a key role and a crucial role in how we evaluate cancer and other health issues. 

 

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Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Risk

X-Ray Mammogram

Boosting levels of vitamin D and calcium in post-menopausal women did not help them reduce their breast cancer risk.  This is the first real test on whether vitamin D actually causes poor health as opposed to just being a marker for poor health, and it failed.  So far, we have a few good studies to show that people with low vitamin D levels are more prone to illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, but there is no evidence yet that giving people vitamin D supplements will reduce their disease risk.  In a study of more than 36,000 post-menopausal women, those taking vitamin D and calcium supplements for seven years did not have any lower risk for breast cancer than those taking a placebo.  However, the door isn’t closed on vitamin D and breast cancer just yet.  It is possible women need to take the supplements when they’re younger to get benefits, or perhaps they’ll even need higher doses. 

 

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Worrying Too Much

worrying

Many people spend far too much of their time worrying.  We worry about our families, our money, our futures.  We even worry about how much we worry.  The health effects of all this worry can be devastating.  The stress of worry can increase our blood pressure, the risk of heart disease, even cancer.  According to the Trust for America’s Health, we could be hurting our health by worrying about our health.  Now here are their statistics, statistics that are being looked at looked at very seriously by the American Medical Association.  Thirty-seven percent of people worry about cancer as their top health concern, 14% heart disease, 13% obesity, and 11% chemical terrorism.  Worry is appropriate in small doses.  It can help us anticipate problems down the line.  But let’s face it, you don’t want to overdo it. 

 

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Health Benefits of Green Tea

Green_Tea_1888972

Water is the number one consumed fluid in the world.  But you already knew that.  What do you think the second most popular drink in the world is?  The answer might surprise you.  It’s tea.  One of the reasons so many people drink tea may be due to the health benefits.  Tea, in particular, green tea, has many health advantages.  Chemicals called the polyphenols found in green tea are potent antioxidants.  They’re helpful in fighting heart disease and inflammatory problems.  Green tea has been touted as a cancer fighter, but studies do not support this claim.  Overall, green tea might not be cure-all and it probably gets a great deal more press than it deserves as a treatment for all sorts of problems, but it is a healthy choice when you’re thinking about a relaxing drink.  Clearly, we know this much.  Tea does have a calming effect. 

 

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Ovarian Cancer Statistics

Ovarian Cancer Statistics

It isn’t talked about as much as other forms of cancer, but ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers. One in 57 women develop ovarian cancer and there have been several studies which have shown it runs in families. The major problem with ovarian cancer is it is usually found in the advanced stages. By that point, the disease is very difficult to treat and the chance of five-year survival is about 20%. Sadly, 75% of women are diagnosed at this advanced stage. When ovarian cancer is detected early, before it is spread beyond the ovaries, more than 90% of women will survive longer than 5 years. Unfortunately, the symptoms of ovarian cancer are very vague. Feeling bloated, a sensation of being full even after eating just a small amount of food, low back pain, and fatigue are all signs, but obviously, they can mean other things as well.

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Terminal Illness and Discussing Death

Terminal Illness and Discussing Death

Terminally ill patients may be better off discussing death with their doctors. A study of 322 terminally ill cancer patients finds those who had discussions with their doctors about their impending deaths received less aggressive medical care and had a better quality of life in their remaining days. Discussing their deaths with their doctors did not cause patients to be more psychologically distressed. It did result in lower rates of resuscitation and intensive care visits. Patients who talked with their doctors about their deaths entered hospice sooner and had a better overall quality of life.

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