Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hormone Therapy might create Lung Cancer More Likely

Taking a combination form of hormone replacement therapy, which includes both estrogen and progestin, increases a woman's risk for dying from lung cancer, a new study has found.

The finding stems from an analysis of data from the Women's Health Initiative trial on 16,608 postmenopausal women; aged 50 to 79, in the United States who had been randomly assigned to take either a once-daily tablet of 0.625 milligrams conjugated equine estrogen plus 2.5 mg medroxyprogesterone acetate or a placebo.

After eight years, 73 women taking the hormone therapy and 40 women in the placebo group had died of lung cancer. That meant, according to the researchers, that women who took the drug were 71 percent more likely to die from the disease.The study also found that women taking the hormone therapy were 28 percent more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer, although the study noted that the finding was not statistically significant.

"Treatment with estrogen plus progestin in postmenopausal women ... increased the number of deaths from lung cancer, in particular deaths from non-small-cell lung cancer," concluded Rowan Chlebowski, of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbour-UCLA Medical Center, and his colleagues.

The researchers urged that the findings "be incorporated into risk-benefit discussions with women considering combined hormone therapy, especially those with a high risk of lung cancer ... such as current smokers or long-term past smokers."

Dr. Apar Kishor Ganti, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, wrote in an accompanying editorial that "because the optimum safe duration of hormone-replacement therapy in terms of lung cancer survival is unclear, such therapy should probably be avoided in women at a high risk of developing lung cancer, especially those with a history of smoking."
In fact, Ganti questioned whether hormone therapy should be used at all.

"These results, along with the findings showing no protection against coronary heart disease, seriously question whether hormone-replacement therapy has any role in medicine today," he wrote. "It is difficult to presume that the benefits of routine use of such therapy for menopausal symptoms outweigh the increased risks of mortality, especially in the absence of improvement in the quality of life."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Smoking and Breast cancer are linked in women

The current study provides new evidence that "a woman smoker can reduce her risk of breast cancer by stopping smoking as soon as possible," Croghan commented to Reuters Health via email.
Croghan's group compared smoking history and other breast cancer risk factors among 1,225 women who developed breast cancer and 6,872 who did not during the first year after their initial visit to the Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic.

Surveys completed during this visit indicated just over 10 percent were current smokers, almost 9 percent were former smokers, and 81 percent had never smoked, Croghan, with the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Research Program in Rochester, Minnesota, and associates report.

In addition to the link with smoking, women who had used oral contraceptives for 11 years or longer had a whopping 200 percent increase in the odds of developing breast cancer. Women who used postmenopausal hormone therapy showed 81 percent increased odds, while aging raised the odds of developing breast cancer by 2 percent per year.

On the flip side, Croghan and colleagues report that having a hysterectomy decreased women's odds by 35 percent. Also, they did not see a compounding increase in risk for breast cancer among women with more than one risk factor.

Croghan noted that prior investigations with contradictory results regarding smoking and breast cancer risk did not consistently define smoking as current, former or never. The current study defines anyone who ever smoked more than 100 cigarettes at any time as having a history of smoking. Those who smoked less were considered never-smokers.

Croghan's group suggests further investigations using similar smoking definitions to assess how pre- and post-menopausal duration of smoking, amount smoked, and exposures to second-hand smoke might alter a woman's odds of developing breast cancer.
Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Yoga can help you by reducing Back Pain

Practicing yoga can help ease chronic lower back pain, a new study shows.
Researchers divided 90 people, aged 23 to 66, who had mild to moderate functional disability as a result of back pain into two groups.

One group did 90-minute sessions of Iyengar yoga twice a week for six months. The other group continued whatever medical therapy or treatments they'd been doing.

At the three-month and six-month marks, a greater proportion of those who'd done yoga reported improvements in their pain and functioning as measured by questionnaires that asked about pain levels, difficulty performing physical tasks and pain medications being taken. Yoga participants also reported fewer symptoms of depression.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

10 Largest Oil Spills in history

Amoco Cadiz
The Amoco Cadiz encountered stormy weather and ran aground off the coast of Brittany, France on March 16, 1978. Its entire cargo of 68.7 million gallons of oil spilled into the sea, polluting about 200 miles of Brittany's coastline.

Arabian Gulf Spills
Beginning in late January of the 1991 Gulf War, the Iraqi Army destroyed tankers, oil terminals, and oil wells in Kuwait, causing the release of about 900,000,000 barrels of oil. This was the largest oil spill in history.

Argo Merchant
On December 15, 1976, the Argo Merchant ran aground on Fishing Rip (Nantucket Shoals), 29 nautical miles southeast of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts in high winds and ten foot seas. Six days later, the vessel broke apart and spilled its entire cargo of 7.7 million gallons of No. 6 fuel oil.

Barge Bouchard 155
On August 10, 1993, three ships collided in Tampa Bay, Florida: the barge Bouchard 155, the freighter Balsa 37, and the barge Ocean 255. The Bouchard 155 spilled an estimated 336,000 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil into Tampa Bay.

Barge Cibro Savannah
On March 6, 1990, the Cibro Savannah exploded and caught fire while departing the pier at the Citgo facility in Linden, New Jersey. About 127,000 gallons of oil remained unaccounted for after the incident. No one knows how much oil burned and how much spilled into the environment.

Burmah Agate
On November 1, 1979, the Burmah Agate collided with the freighter Mimosa southeast of Galveston Entrance in the Gulf of Mexico. The collision caused an explosion and a fire on the Burmah Agate that burned until January 8, 1980. An estimated 2.6 million gallons of oil were released into the environment, and another 7.8 million gallons were consumed by the fire.

Exxon Valdez
On March 24, 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska. The tanker was traveling outside the normal shipping lanes in an attempt to avoid ice. It spilled 10.8 million gallons of oil (out of a total cargo of 53 million gallons) into the marine environment, and impacted more than 1,100 miles of non-continuous Alaskan coastline. State and Federal agencies continue to monitor the effects of this spill, which was the largest oil spill in U.S. history.

Ixtoc I
The 2-mile-deep exploratory well, Ixtoc I, blew out on June 3, 1979 in the Bay of Campeche off Ciudad del Carmen, Mexico. By the time the well was brought under control in March, 1980, an estimated 140 million gallons of oil had spilled into the bay. The Ixtoc I spill is currently #2 on the all-time list of largest oil spills of all time.

On September 16, 1990, the tank vessel Jupiter was offloading gasoline at a refinery on the Saginaw River near Bay City, Michigan, when a fire started on board and the vessel exploded.

The Megaborg released 5.1 million gallons of oil as the result of a lightering accident and subsequent fire. The incident occurred 60 nautical miles south-southeast of Galveston, Texas on June 8, 1990.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A new source of renewable energy

Surplus and waste watermelons from farms harvests can be converted into energy now. 2.5 million gallons of clean, renewable ethanol fuel can be got from watermelons that are required for a year destined for your car, truck, or airplane's gas tank.

In United States, every year 360,000 tons of watermelons spoil in fields. Some local growers who are worried about this wondered whether the waste watermelons can be turned into ethanol, the clean-burning fuel derived from plant sugars. In a sequence of new experiments that was published in the journal Biotechnology for Biofuels, Fish and his team showed that they can.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Smog causes serious health problems.

Poor air quality is harmful to health. The primary target is the respiratory system, but air pollution also targets the heart and the immune system. Particle pollution poses particular risks to the cardiac system.

Sources of smog include:
• Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) come almost entirely from man-made sources: combustion of fuels in cars and trucks, coal-fired power plants, industrial boilers and gas-powered engines such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers. This occurs because nitrogen gas -- which accounts for about 80% of air -- also burns (oxidizes) when other fuels are burned.
• Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are vapors that emanate from paint and print shops, gas stations, dry cleaners, lawn chemicals, and from combustion engines, such as those in cars and trucks, boats and diesel locomotives. Trees also release VOCs.
• Particle pollution, or particulate matter (PM), consists of a mixture of extremely small solids and liquid droplets that typically includes aerosols and fine solids, such as dust and soot. Sources include all types of combustion, including vehicle exhaust, power plants, wood burning, construction activity and agriculture.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Causes of tornadoes

Thunderstorms develop in warm, moist air in advance of eastward-moving cold fronts. These thunderstorms often produce large hail, strong winds, and tornadoes. Tornadoes in the winter and early spring are often associated with strong, frontal systems that form in the Central States and move east. Occasionally, large outbreaks of tornadoes occur with this type of weather pattern. Several states may be affected by numerous severe thunderstorms and tornadoes.

During the spring in the Central Plains, thunderstorms frequently develop along a "dryline," which separates very warm, moist air to the east from hot, dry air to the west. Tornado-producing thunderstorms may form as the dryline moves east during the afternoon hours.

Along the front range of the Rocky Mountains, in the Texas panhandle, and in the southern High Plains, thunderstorms frequently form as air near the ground flows "upslope" toward higher terrain. If other favorable conditions exist, these thunderstorms can produce tornadoes.

Tornadoes occasionally accompany tropical storms and hurricanes that move over land. Tornadoes are most common to the right and ahead of the path of the storm center as it comes onshore.