This Week in Health: Finances play a role in breast cancer diagnosis

Financial difficulties may lead some women away from the doctor. Credit: Metro File
Financial difficulties may lead some women away from the doctor.
Credit: Metro File

Financial status may lead to breast cancer diagnosis delays

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 585 women aged 40 and under recently diagnosed with breast cancer

Results: Women with poorer financial status were more likely to experience a delay between detecting an breast abnormality and visiting a health care provider, according to a study published in the American Cancer Society’s journal, Cancer.

Significance: “It appears that economic disparity may be an important consideration in future development of interventions to reduce delays,” say researchers Drs. Kathryn J. Ruddy and Ann H. Partridge, who led this multicenter study at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston.

 

Don’t kill broccoli’s cancer-fighting ingredients

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: Lab study

Results: A study comparing boiling, microwaving and steaming broccoli found that boiling or microwaving the vegetable for one minute or less destroys most of the vegetable’s cancer-fighting enzyme, according to a new study presented at the American Institute for Cancer Research’s annual conference. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables are a good source of sulforaphane, a naturally occurring compound with cancer-preventive actions in the body, and the enzyme myrosinase, which is needed for sulforaphane to form. The study found that boiling and microwaving destroyed the majority of the enzyme, but that steaming broccoli for up to five minutes didn’t destroy it.

Significance: “Past food processing has tended to focus on improving taste, visuals and microbiological safety,” says Elizabeth Jeffery, a researcher at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Now our task is to go further. Processing can ensure that the bioactives — the cancer-protective compounds — arrive in your digestive system in a form the body can use.”

 

Take care of your body to take care of your looks

Location of study: Netherlands

Study subjects: 670 men and women over age 89

Results: Researchers have perhaps discovered new links between youthful appearance and long life, according to a new study led by scientists from Unilever and Leiden University Medical Center. The Leiden Longevity Study found that men and women who look younger than their years tend to have lower blood pressure and therefore less risk of heart disease and stroke. Blood pressure rates were particularly linked to facial skin sagging.


Significance: People more motivated by good looks than good health may now have incentive to reach for that apple. “It is hoped the results of the study will encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle,” says Dr. Diana Van-Heemst from Leiden University Medical Center, “and to regularly monitor important health parameters.”

 

Buffet dish placement prompts healthier choices

Location of study: U.S.

Study subjects: 124 people

Results: The order in which food is presented on buffet tables affects diners choices, says a new Cornell University behavioral study. Using two breakfast buffets on which diners saw healthy food like fruit, low-fat yogurt and low-fat granola first and then, on the other, more high-calorie dishes like cheesy eggs, fried potatoes and bacon, researchers found that 86 percent of diners took fruit when it was offered first, but only 54 percent took fruit when it was offered last. About 75 percent of diners took cheesy eggs when they were offered first, compared with only 29 percent who were offered them last. Also, people who chose the cheesy eggs first then automatically paired them with potatoes and bacon.

Significance: “The first three food items a person encountered in the buffet comprised 66 percent of their total plate, regardless of whether the items were high- or low-calorie foods,” says study co-author professor Brian Wansink. “There’s an easy takeaway here for us: Always start at the healthier end of the buffet. Two-thirds of your plate will be the good stuff.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Hillary Clinton headed to Boston for women's leadership…

Former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is set to visit Massachusetts Wednesday amid continuing speculation about making another bid for the presidency in 2016.

Local

Boston Marathon: Marathoners ready to run, honor victims

Scores of runners will cross the Boston Marathon starting line in Hopkinton Monday and embark on a 26.2-mile journey to Boston in honor of the victims.

Local

MIT student, Rhodes scholar, dies

Eliana Hechter, a student at MIT and Harvard, died, her family said. The announcement was posted on MIT's website.

Local

Video: Car crashes into Cambridge store, man arrested…

A Cambridge man was arrested on gun and drug charges after crashing his car into a Massachusetts Avenue storefront early Saturday morning.

Television

Discovery cancels 'Everest Jump Live' special in wake…

The Discovery Channel has indicated it will not be moving forward with "Everest Jump Live," a planned special about mountain climber Joby Ogwyn's effort to…

The Word

'X-Men' director Bryan Singer drama continues

  News broke late last week that "X-Men" and "The Usual Suspects" director Bryan Singer is being sued by a man who said Singer molested…

The Word

Miley Cyrus cancels more dates, tweeting from hospital

Miley Cyrus is reportedly so sick that she's had to postpone more tour dates. We know this because she has been sitting in a hospital…

Music

Loop are, er, um, back in the loop

Experimental noise rock band Loop's three mid-1980s to early-1990s albums, “Heavens End,” “Fade Out” and “A Gilded Eternity,” were mercifully reissued.

NHL

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings…

NHL video highlights: Bruins smack down Red Wings in Game 2

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

Travel

Packing: The one thing you need in your…

A new survey that looks at the travel habits of 50,000 people around the world has revealed that Western and Asian globetrotters have different priorities…

Home

Is your chair making it hard to talk?

Ever wished there was an office chair that could make impromptu meetings and discussions more private? The Cristiana Wing Chair is an asymmetrical armchair which…

Travel

Live large at these luxury hotels

From Thai boxing lessons and macabre Dracula tours to the Australian Outback, the Four Seasons hotel chain launched a series of new travel packages this…

Parenting

4 things that every summer camp should have

Alan Saltz, director of the 92nd street Y program lists things that every summer camp should have.