Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Single Blood Test Screens for Eight Cancer Types


This news is great!

Single Blood Test Screens for Eight Cancer Types

Provides unique new framework for early detection of the most common cancers

Article ID: 688112
Released: 18-Jan-2018 2:00 PM EST
Source Newsroom: Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Credit: Credit: Elizabeth Cook and Kaitlin Lindsay

Newswise — Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.
The test, called CancerSEEK, is a unique noninvasive, multianalyte test that simultaneously evaluates levels of eight cancer proteins and the presence of cancer gene mutations from circulating DNA in the blood. The test is aimed at screening for eight common cancer types that account for more than 60 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S. Five of the cancers covered by the test currently have no screening test.
“The use of a combination of selected biomarkers for early detection has the potential to change the way we screen for cancer, and it is based on the same rationale for using combinations of drugs to treat cancers,” says Nickolas Papadopoulos, Ph.D., senior author and professor of oncology and pathology.
The findings were published online by Science on Jan. 18, 2018.
“Circulating tumor DNA mutations can be highly specific markers for cancer. To capitalize on this inherent specificity, we sought to develop a small yet robust panel that could detect at least one mutation in the vast majority of cancers,” says Joshua Cohen, an M.D.-Ph.D. student at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the paper’s first author. “In fact, keeping the mutation panel small is essential to minimize false-positive results and keep such screening tests affordable.”
The investigators initially explored several hundred genes and 40 protein markers, whittling the number down to segments of 16 genes and eight proteins. They point out that this molecular test is solely aimed at cancer screening and, therefore, is different from other molecular tests, which rely on analyzing large numbers of cancer-driving genes to identify therapeutically actionable targets.
In this study, the test had greater than 99 percent specificity for cancer. “Very high specificity was essential because false-positive results can subject patients to unnecessary invasive follow-up tests and procedures to confirm the presence of cancer,” says Kenneth Kinzler, Ph.D., professor of oncology and co-director of the Ludwig Center. The test was used on 812 healthy controls and produced only seven false-positive results.
The test was evaluated on 1,005 patients with nonmetastatic, stages I to III cancers of the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, esophagus, colorectum, lung or breast. The median overall sensitivity, or the ability to find cancer, was 70 percent and ranged from a high of 98 percent for ovarian cancer to a low of 33 percent for breast cancer. For the five cancers that have no screening tests—ovarian, liver, stomach, pancreatic and esophageal cancers—sensitivity ranged from 69 percent to 98 percent.
“A novelty of our classification method is that it combines the probability of observing various DNA mutations together with the levels of several proteins in order to make the final call,” says Cristian Tomasetti, Ph.D., associate professor of oncology and biostatistics, who developed the algorithm. “Another new aspect of our approach is that it uses machine learning to enable the test to accurately determine the location of a tumor down to a small number of anatomic sites in 83 percent of patients.”
Although the current test does not pick up every cancer, it identifies many cancers that would likely otherwise go undetected. “Many of the most promising cancer treatments we have today only benefit a small minority of cancer patients, and we consider them major breakthroughs. If we are going to make progress in early cancer detection, we have to begin looking at it in a more realistic way, recognizing that no test will detect all cancers,” says Bert Vogelstein, M.D., co-director of the Ludwig Center, Clayton Professor of Oncology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
To zero in on the analytes they included in their CancerSEEK test, the research team pulled data from more than three decades of cancer genetics research generated at their Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins, where the first genetic blueprints for cancer were created, as well as data from many other institutions.
To precisely determine the optimal number of DNA bases to assess in the CancerSEEK test, the researchers used a method based on diminishing returns. “The more DNA bases you assay, the more mutations you are capable of finding, but eventually you reach a point of diminishing returns,” explains Cohen. “We designed our test to reflect this point of diminishing returns, including the DNA markers that were useful to detecting the cancers and eliminating those that did not add benefit.” The result was a relatively small panel of highly selective DNA markers.
“This test represents the next step in changing the focus of cancer research from late-stage disease to early disease, which I believe will be critical to reducing cancer deaths in the long term,” says Vogelstein.
CancerSEEK is noninvasive and can, in principle, be administered by primary care providers at the time of other routine blood work. “This has the potential to substantially impact patients. Earlier detection provides many ways to improve outcomes for patients. Optimally, cancers would be detected early enough that they could be cured by surgery alone, but even cancers that are not curable by surgery alone will respond better to systemic therapies when there is less advanced disease,” says Anne Marie Lennon, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine, surgery and radiology, clinical director of gastroenterology and director of the Multidisciplinary Pancreatic Cyst Program.
The investigators feel that a test that will be used routinely for cancer screening must have a cost in line with or less than other currently available screening tests for single cancers, such as colonoscopy. They envision that the CancerSEEK test will eventually cost less than $500.
Larger studies of the test are currently under way.

Monday, 22 January 2018

Self-Guided Course Helps Women During Menopause

Help For Women During Menopause

 Great to think that women can get guidance to manage menopause symptoms at work.

Self-guided course helps women manage menopause symptoms at work

(Reuters Health) - A self-help cognitive behavioral therapy program combined with relaxation techniques can ease working women’s menopausal symptoms, according to a British study.
An operator of Swiss air traffic control firm Skyguide monitors airplanes at the Skyguide monitoring centre in Duebendorf, near Zurich, April 3, 2013. Skyguide held its annual news conference today. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer (SWITZERLAND - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS)
The program helps users learn strategies to control their thoughts and feelings. Working women who used it were able to significantly reduce the frequency and interference of hot flushes and night sweats, and improve their overall quality of life, researchers found.

Menopause symptoms can be more difficult to deal with in the workplace than in other settings due to an inability to control the temperature, embarrassment, stress and other factors, coauthor Myra S. Hunter, emeritus professor of clinical health psychology, Kings College London, told Reuters Health by email.

She said that while hormone replacement therapy is an effective treatment for menopausal symptoms, not all women want to take it.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been used since the 1960s to treat a variety of medical problems, including anxiety, depression and sleep problems.

“This study offers women who have problematic symptoms at work a brief, non-medical solution. The brief, self-help CBT helped women to manage symptoms, and also had broader impacts on sleep and wellbeing,” Hunter said.

The therapy also improved their work experience because they slept better, experienced less physical discomfort, social embarrassment, and memory and concentration problems

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Fake Honey - How To Detect It

How To Detect Fake Honey

 A useful post to ensure that you buy the real honey!

How to Detect Fake Honey (It’s Everywhere), Use This Simple Trick!

by DailyHealthPost
It’s been called liquid gold! Honey is one of nature’s sweetest gifts—literally.
It is also one of nature’s purest foods. Nutritionists call it a “functional food,” meaning it is all natural and has numerous health benefits. In fact, raw (unpasteurised, or never heated beyond the temperature of the beehive) honey contains a whopping 22 amino acids, 27 minerals including calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and even selenium. It is full of vitamins as well like vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin.
And if you are looking for some nutritional live digestive enzymes, honey has many including diastase, invertase, catalase, glucose oxidase, acid phosphatase and inulase. (1) Honey is also high in antioxidants. (2)

Saturday, 20 January 2018

8 Signs You Are Eating Too Much Sugar

Too Much Sugar?

 Helpful facts about sugar intake

8 Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar

by DailyHealthPost
too much sugarWhether you have a sweet tooth or not so much, sugar in some form is added to almost every packaged food you buy. You are probably getting more sugar—even too much sugar—without even knowing it. The question is: how much sugar is too much?
Refined sugar (and its substitutes) is the bane of human existence, causing all sorts of illness, disease, and general malaise. A packaged food may not say “sugar” in the list of ingredients but it may be called by something else, like:

With all these sources of sugar, how do you know how much sugar is too much? If you experience the symptoms below, it’s high time you cut out sweets from your diet.

1. Cravings for Sugar/Carbs

Sugar is addictive. It’s as addictive as cocaine and its effects are similar. Sugar stimulates the production of dopamine, a pleasure hormone. Without even thinking about it, we may crave sweets and simple carbohydrates to give ourselves a “fix”. And, like other addictions, the body builds up a tolerance for sugar so the more you eat, the more you want—even if you’re not hungry. (1)

“The theory is formulated that intermittent, excessive intake of sugar can have dopaminergic, cholinergic and opioid effects that are similar to psychostimulants and opiates, albeit smaller in magnitude. The overall effect of these neurochemical adaptations is mild, but well-defined, dependency,” writes a study published in Neuroscience Biobehavioral Reviews. (2)
See also: Reversing diabetes Type-2
Watch the short video below for an interview with Dr. Mark Hyman discussing a groundbreaking study that explains the physiology behind sugar addiction.

2. Lack of Energy and Tiredness

Orexins are a type of neuropeptide (an amino acid chain that forms protein in the brain). These neurotransmitters in the hypothalamus are responsible for the sleep/wake cycle, among other things. They are sensitive to sugars and respond to glucose levels in the body. (3) Even small increases in blood glucose inhibit orexins’ transmission of neural signals, thereby inducing a sleep state. (4) So while you experience a sugar “high” shortly after eating/drinking, the “crash” that follows is how you experience the shut-down of neurotransmitters: you feel tired.
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Friday, 19 January 2018

Full Coverage Foundation For Dry Skin

Full Coverage Foundations

 News from Bloglovin

Full coverage foundations for dry skin

Full Coverage Foundations for dry skin

I used to be a fan of full coverage foundation but as the years have gone by, I sometimes think that the combination of full coverage and dry skin can be very ageing.  Also, my taste has changed and I generally prefer a dewy/glowy look to my skin with light to medium coverage. That being said, foundations have also come a long way and full coverage doesn't have to equal flat, mask-like bases and I have three that I want to recommend to you that I reach for if I'm having a bad skin day or for a party/occasion when I want my base to last for hours on end without the need for any touch ups.

The first is Natasha Denona Foundation X. This foundation is very lightweight - it really doesn't feel like there is anything on the skin, however it packs a punch in terms of coverage whilst giving a radiant finish - not dewy, not glowy - if I had to categorize it, I would say demi-matte. It doesn't settle into fine lines or highlight pores, it doesn't cake around the nose or break down after a few hours. It's an all round winner in my eyes. I find that it is best applied with a damp beauty blender - I have used brushes and they work well but the beauty blender really ensures that it meshes into the skin. It's long-lasting too - I would say the longest I've worn it for is probably around 9 hours and it was still looking fresh. I was so disappointed when Beauty Bay stopped stocking Natasha Denona products so on this side of the Atlantic, the only option available to us is to order from either Sephora or Beautylish. If ordering from Sephora, you can use MyMallBox, which is my preference.
The next is Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation, which is much thicker and creamier in texture than the Natasha Denona foundation so a dense brush is definitely required to buff this into the skin. I have tried it with a beauty blender but it just doesn't work as well, however I will always finish with my beauty blender. This certainly lives up to the 'flawless' in its name - any blemishes, areas of dullness, redness, dark circles etc are all gone with this foundation, which creates a smooth, even base. It isn't exactly heavy on the skin, however it definitely couldn't be described as lightweight - that being said, I don't get the feeling of "I cannot wait to take my makeup off" - it doesn't suffocate the skin and it lasts a good 10 hours without budging. I highly recommend pairing it with the Huda Complexion Perfection Primer if you have very dry skin, a sample of which is enclosed with the foundation.
The final one is Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Wear Hydrating Foundation, which offers medium to full coverage. Like the Natasha Denona foundation, it has a light texture and what I really love about this foundation is that it blurs my pores, making them less visible. It also doesn't sink into fine lines, cake or separate and it gives a radiant finish - not matte and not exactly satin. I haven't worn it for a full 15 hours but it is long-lasting and doesn't require touch ups during the day. Although it's oil-free, it is't drying in the slightest, even when built up from medium to full coverage.
What kind of coverage do you like? Have you tried any of these foundations? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, 18 January 2018

The Search For AHA Moments

AHA Moments

Worth watching!

 In 1988, Matt Goldman and a few friends created Blue Man Group, an off-Broadway production that became a sensation known for its humor, blue body paint and wild stunts. The show works on the premise that certain conditions can create "aha moments" -- moments of surprise, learning and exuberance -- frequent and intentional rather than random and occasional. Now Goldman is working to apply the lessons learned from Blue Man Group to education, creating Blue School, a school that balances academic mastery, creative thinking and self and social intelligence. "We need to cultivate safe and conducive conditions for new and innovative ideas to evolve and thrive," Goldman says.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

How To Hone Your Style

Practice Your Style

Everyone can develop their own style!

You Aren't Born With Great Style—You Have to Practice It

In our January content series, How to Get Dressed Again, Who What Wear UK discusses the idea that 2018 isn't about a "brand new you," but rather a "best you, full stop." Emerging from winter hibernation and back into reality, we're looking at the methods, ideas, tricks and inspiration to guide you into the New Year. Forget fads and racing to the finish line—this is all about one clever step at a time and setting yourself up for an entirely stylish year. 
Introducing Alyson Walsh: She's the over-40 blogger of That's Not My Age and author of Know Your Style. Here she talks us through the myths surrounding personal style. Trust us—you're going to love what she has to say.
What does "know your style" even mean? Is it akin to knowing yourself or knowing your onions—or perhaps a bit of both? Over my 30-year career in fashion—from magazine reader makeovers to meeting women at various events and online or simply chatting with friends (even the ones who seem confident, comfortable and chic)—I have regularly been asked questions about style. And this often comes down to establishing what piece goes with what—which accessories complement a favourite outfit, what colours coordinate well or make the perfect mismatch or what to wear for a special occasion without spending loads of money.
Knowing what goes with what does feature an element of gut instinct, but I do think style is something that can be learned. You can practice it—which is part of the first myth I aim to debunk here. Keep reading to find out how to develop a great sense of style by ignoring all of the rules you've been taught.
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