This Week in Health: Cancer deaths decline

Cancer's numbers have gone down. Credit: Metro File
New ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer have led to fewer deaths.
Credit: Metro Archive

Fewer cancer deaths, more survivors today

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: Data review

Results: There have been over one million fewer cancer deaths since 1990 and there are more than 13.7 million survivors alive today, according to the American Association for Cancer Research’s Cancer Progress Report 2013. The report cited biomedical research as significant in the lessening of the mortality rate, as well as better ways to prevent, detect, diagnose and treat cancer. As far as potential new cancer treatments, the development of anticancer immunotherapies added to the improvement in cutting the mortality rate. Conversely, obesity and the continued use of tobacco products were cited as problem areas in cancer prevention.

Significance: “One person will die of cancer every minute of every day this year. This is unacceptable,” says Dr. Charles L. Sawyers, president of the AACR and chair of the human oncology and pathogenesis program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “If we are to accelerate the pace of progress toward our goal, we must continue to pursue a comprehensive understanding of the biology of cancer. This will only be possible if we make funding for cancer research and biomedical science a national priority.”

New hope for AIDS patients

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: Monkeys

Results: A possible HIV/AIDS vaccine appears to completely clear an AIDS-causing virus from the body, according to researchers at Oregon Health & Science University. The vaccine was tested on a non-human primate form of HIV that causes AIDS in monkeys. The results were published early online by the journal Nature.

Significance: “To date, HIV infection has only been cured in a very small number of highly publicized but unusual clinical cases in which HIV-infected individuals were treated with anti-viral medicines very early after the onset of infection, or received a stem cell transplant to combat cancer,” says Dr. Louis Picker, associate director of the OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute. “This latest research suggests that certain immune responses elicited by a new vaccine may also have the ability to completely remove HIV from the body.”

More evidence that exercise works for depression

Location of study: U.K.

Study subjects: Meta-analysis of 2,326 people diagnosed with depression

Results: In a review of 35 trials, researchers saw moderate benefits of exercise as aiding treatment of depression and that it is as effective as psychological therapy or taking antidepressants, according to an updated systematic review published in The Cochrane Library. In a previous version, the Cochrane review found only limited evidence of benefit for exercise in depression. However, with more trials stronger evidence has emerged.

Significance: Though researchers weren’t sure how it works, exercise might initiate changing hormone levels that affect mood. Exercise can also provide a distraction from negative thoughts.

Those who can keep a beat might be better at reading and speaking

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: Over 100 teenagers

Results: People with a good sense of rhythm have more consistent brain responses to speech than those who have difficulty in keeping a beat, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience. Previous research has found that keeping to a steady beat requires synchronization between the parts of the brain responsible for hearing and for movement. Researchers of this latest study at Northwestern University think that musical training could help the brain’s response to language.

Significance: “Rhythm is inherently a part of music and language,” says study author professor Nina Kraus. “It may be that musical training, with an emphasis on rhythmic skills, exercises the auditory system, leading to strong sound-to-meaning associations that are so essential in learning to read.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 7,…

Drunk girls and ghost brownies: here’s your weekly ‘Pretty Little Liars’ recap by way of Q&A. Q: do they really not check for feet under…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.