Category "Health"

20Sep

Handwashing vs. hand sanitizer: Which one is better at killing flu virus? – National

by BBG Hub

Health workers who use hand sanitizer between patients may be more likely to spread flu germs than those who take the time to wash their hands, a recent experiment suggests.

That’s because fresh mucus from infected patients interferes with the ability of the alcohol in hand sanitizer to reach the concentrations needed to deactivate the flu virus, researchers report in the journal mSphere.

Previously, it was recognized that rubbing hands with sanitizer and handwashing with an antiseptic cleanser have similar disinfection effects against flu viruses, said Dr. Ryohei Hirose, an infectious disease researcher at Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine in Japan who led the study.

WATCH: Back to school immune system boost





“However, in this study, we show that the physical properties … of mucus protect influenza A virus from inactivation by ethanol-based disinfectants,” Hirose said by email. “This increases the risk of (active influenza virus) transmission and hinders the eradication of health-care-acquired infections.”

Researchers did a series of lab tests and computer simulations to examine how much active influenza A virus remained after exposure both to an ethanol-based disinfectant sanitizer and handwashing with an antiseptic cleanser. Influenza A is the most common form of seasonal flu.

Flu virus in wet mucus from infected patients wasn’t destroyed after two minutes of exposure to sanitizer — it took about four minutes for the virus to be completely deactivated. That compares to just 30 seconds with handwashing.

READ MORE: Influenza vaccines might arrive after flu season starts in Ottawa, officials say

To see how mucus might make it harder to fight the flu, researchers dabbed volunteers’ fingers with either mucus or a saline solution containing the flu. Then they tested how long it took to deactivate the virus so it would no longer be contagious.

The ethanol-based hand sanitizer could destroy flu virus in saline solution within 30 seconds. Sanitizer could also deactivate flu virus in dried mucus in a little under eight seconds. But in moist mucus it took almost three minutes.

The key to effectiveness was reaching an alcohol concentration of just over 30 per cent, which happened more slowly in the gel-like consistency of fresh mucus.

WATCH: Can you beat the flu with pre-infected tissues?





These results suggest that until infectious mucus has completely dried, active flu virus can remain on the hands and fingers even after using hand sanitizer, the study team concludes.

Mucus containing the flu virus can take more than a half-hour to dry, the experiments also found.

Handwashing, however, could effectively destroy the flu virus in both wet and dry mucus quickly, the tests showed.

READ MORE: Ontario could face ‘very difficult’ flu season, health minister warns

One drawback is that the experiments don’t reflect what would happen outside a laboratory setting when clinicians cleaned their hands between patients.

Still, handwashing is the best approach when hands have mucus on them because alcohol-based sanitizer can’t physically remove organic material, said Elaine Larson, a researcher at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in New York City.

“Handwashing is the method of choice for physically removing anything from the hands by mechanically washing them down the drain rather than killing germs,” Larson, who wasn’t involved in the study, said by email.

“Alcohols are preferable, better and faster, for actually killing germs but not removing dirt, residue or organic material,” Larson added. “It is, however, clearly the best option whenever a sink and clean materials (soap, towels) are not available.”




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15Sep

28 per cent of men believe they could lose their job if they discuss mental health at work: study – National

by BBG Hub

Suicide remains the biggest cause of death for Canadian men under the age of 44, but new research by the Movember Foundation found that men still struggle to talk about mental health — especially in the workplace.

Researchers at Ipsos MORI surveyed 1,000 Canadian men between the ages of 18 and 75, and the results are astounding.

Twenty-eight per cent of Canadian men said they believed their job could be at risk if they discuss mental health issues at work, and more than 33 per cent of men worry they could be overlooked for a promotion if they mention a problem.

READ MORE: ‘Depression meals’: How diets connect to mental health

As well, 42 per cent of men surveyed said they are also worried about colleagues making negative comments behind their backs.

For men like Peter, these results are completely unsurprising. (Global News has agreed to use a pseudonym to protect his identity.)

The 29-year-old marketing manager struggles with anxiety and panic attacks. “I’ve dealt with anxiety and panic my entire life, but I only began to acknowledge and treat it when I was 26,” he told Global News.

WATCH (Sept. 5, 2019): Prioritizing mental health as students head back to school





Earlier this year, Peter started a new job — a change that made his anxiety difficult to control.

“Starting a new job is one of the most stressful things you can do… What was supposed to be a career-shifting move turned into a never-ending episode of panic, stress, worry and fear,” he said.

Peter lived with this intense anxiety about his career and his job for three months, and the whole time, he felt like he was “walking on eggshells.”

READ MORE: Becoming a father can negatively impact men’s mental health: survey

The workplace culture didn’t help. According to Peter, it was “fear-based with top-down leadership.”

“The primary motivator was fear of losing your job. Because this leadership style came from the top down, it wasn’t a collaborative environment. It was every person for themselves,” he said.

Peter felt like he was stuck in a vicious cycle with no one to talk to about his mental health.

WATCH (Sept. 9, 2019): Suicide kills one person every 40 seconds, says World Health Organization





“(I felt that) if I said the wrong thing, I would lose my job and never be able to find a new one, and not be able to pay rent, and never be able to afford a down-payment on a house and I would spend the rest of my life on my parents’ couch,” he said.

“I’m a very healthy individual. I run marathons, eat vegan and meditate daily… but when employers are the cause of stress, anxiety, fear and uncertainty, short of leaving your job, I don’t think there’s much you can do.”

Ultimately, a particularly bad week forced Peter to confront his illness and see a doctor. At that point, he thought it would be appropriate to make his employer aware of his mental health — and ask for some leniency as he underwent treatment.

READ MORE: Doctor-prescribed addiction: How these Canadians got hooked on opioids

“All I needed was their support, understanding and patience,” Peter said, but that’s not what he was given.

“Things went on as normal. In fact, it was reiterated to me that I was in a performance-driven position and no accommodations could be made,” he said. “If I had broken my foot, accommodations would’ve been made. If I had pneumonia, accommodations would’ve been made.”

Four weeks later, Peter was terminated. His employer cited “performance issues,” and during his exit interview, he was made to feel ashamed about his illness. “They alluded to me lying about the illness to (explain my) poor performance,” Peter said.

The misconception that men aren’t affected by mental illness

Peter firmly believes that there is a lasting stigma around men who have a mental illness.

“We’ve come a long way with the stigma around mental health, but we clearly have so much further to go,” he said.

Movember spokesperson Alexandra Wise lost her father to suicide just three weeks after her mother died from ovarian cancer. In her opinion, stigma played a huge role in his battle with mental illness.

WATCH (Aug. 28, 2019): Back to school⁠ — UBC president’s personal mental health struggle





“He struggled with his mental health for most of my childhood, and as I got older, his mental health seemed to decline and things got worse,” she said.

“It was something that my family and I really didn’t understand. We didn’t understand the extent of what he was dealing with, and we weren’t really sure how to help him.”

Wise said her father lost his job when she was just a baby, and that the loss really affected him.

“He didn’t have any social connections and spent a lot of time inside the house, alone. He isolated himself more and more,” she said.

READ MORE: ‘I couldn’t believe it’ — why disability claims for mental health are often a struggle

At first, Wise struggled to understand why he would do such a thing. “It was really difficult to understand why he would do that,” she said. “My mom had no choice. My dad seemingly had the choice to live, or that’s what I thought.”

Since then, Wise has made an effort to learn more about mental health. Now she knows that her father didn’t feel like he had a choice.

“I think, really, in his mind, he felt like that was the only solution to end his pain and his suffering,” she said.

Employers need to do more

The workplace is commonly regarded as a space crucial to forming one’s identity. “It creates purpose,” said Dr. Ashley Bender, occupational psychiatrist and professor at the University of Toronto.

“Anything that is a potential threat to the loss of work or… their work status is something that could contribute to (someone) not coming forward with mental health issues.”

According to Bender, silence is seen as “the safe route” even though it puts people at risk by leaving their illness untreated.

WATCH (July 25, 2019): Doctor who termed “selfie dysmorphia” explains condition





This pressure could be compounded by the stereotype that men should always be working and that they shouldn’t talk about their feelings.

“Traditionally, a man’s role has been centered around employment and being productive and having work as a core source of their life and purpose,” said Bender.

To better support men with mental illness, Bender has three recommendations for workplaces.

“One of the ways is to launch anti-stigma campaigns… to impart knowledge and change attitudes about mental health,” he said. “This is really quite impactful, but it’s work that has to be done continuously.”

Manager training is also a big component so that “when it’s time to have those critical conversations, the individual who’s coming forward doesn’t feel stigmatized,” said Bender.

Finally, confidentiality is key. “Is there a workplace culture that respects confidentiality, particularly around (mental health issues)?” Bender said.

Ultimately, actions need to follow words.

“Attempts to change attitudes by creating awareness but then providing inadequate resources (like low coverage for psychological treatments) says, ‘we’re acknowledging that we have a problem, but we don’t care.’ That drives people into silence, because what’s the point?”

[email protected]

 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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10Sep

‘Depression meals’: How diets connect to mental health – National

by BBG Hub

Catherine was formally diagnosed with depression at 13 years old and anxiety at 17. Both have severely impacted her relationship with food.

“When I’m in a depressive episode, I tend towards disordered eating,” she told Global News. “Maybe I’ll have one meal instead of three. [I often] eat too much or too little.”

Catherine, whose last name has been withheld to protect her identity, also works as a line cook.

“I spend all day cooking for other people [and] I find it really hard to take care of myself in the same way,” she said.

READ MORE: Suicide kills one person every 40 seconds, WHO says

When she feels depressed, she tends to opt for things like a handful of crackers or ordering a pizza — “something that requires little to no food prep.”

“My ‘depression meal’ a lot of the time is ordering food out, but because that’s expensive, I also eat a lot of cereal.”

Catherine believes the food she eats when she’s depressed, which typically lacks any real nutrition, reinforces her symptoms, furthering her depression and contributing to poor health overall.

WATCH BELOW: The physical symptoms of being depressed





“I feel noticeably better when I eat something good and healthy, but it’s really tough to find the spoons to do that sometimes,” she said. “The junk food makes me feel worse.”

It’s more common for people with depression to experience a decrease in appetite, but research also shows that as many as 35 per cent of people may experience an increase, said Dr. Simon Sherry, a registered psychologist at CRUX Psychology in Halifax.

“Changes in appetite may very well be part of how depression is expressed within a given individual, and we cannot assume uniformity in response,” Sherry said.

Eating while depressed

Global News asked Twitter users to share their go-to “depression meals,” and the response was overwhelming.

The answers varied. A lot of people reach for junk food (“usually a tub of icing or peanut butter,” said Natalie Preddie), while others find it hard to even think about eating.

“My depression meal is no meal. I just can’t find the energy to make a meal and I lose all appetite and feel repulsed by the thought of eating,” Aqsa Hussain said.

However, most responses had two things in common: when people feel depressed, they often go for foods that are easy to procure and provide them with comfort.

For example, Emmie Harrison-West said she always goes for a treat her late grandfather used to buy her when she was a child.

“Whenever I’m depressed, I genuinely go to the nearest shop and buy a pork pie to eat on my way home,” she said. “Even though I shouldn’t eat pastry (hello gall stones at 14), it makes me feel a strange sort of comfort.”

WATCH BELOW: Advice for parents as students balance school pressure, anxiety and mental health issues





It’s common to use food as a coping mechanism for depression, according to Sherry.

“Depression can have appetite-promoting effects… and [these people will] describe something like an eating-to-cope pattern. This is sometimes known as emotional eating,” he said.

“They’re eating to try and regulate the often difficult emotions that go along with depression.”

Sherry also says eating can satisfy an “escape motive” for some people.

Food can be “escape from the intense self-criticism [and] the negative self-view that often characterizes depression,” Sherry said. “The experience of eating may help wipe out a higher order of negative thoughts of self.”

WATCH BELOW: How to reduce the risk of food allergies for babies





Depression is also a problem of “low motivation and low energy,” which can muddle a person’s desire to cook or make healthy dietary choices. Sherry says this could explain why some people crave junk food or takeout during depressive episodes.

“[Depression] often involves a massive challenge of self-regulation,” said Sherry. “It becomes hard to establish a routine, and absent a routine, regular sleeping, healthy eating and proper exercise become extremely difficult.”

How depression can change your diet

To understand how depression can affect one’s appetite, one needs to understand how depression may influence mood.

“When your brain is depressed, it may be that the reward circuitry within your brain is hyperactive,” said Sherry. “That could influence how your brain responds to food.”

For people who experience decreases in appetite, their brains may respond to food cues differently.

“In their case, you may not see the hyperactivity but the hypoactivity of the insular regions in the brain, and these insular regions within the brain are responsible for regulating your body’s physiological state,” he said.

READ MORE: Why aren’t Canadians cooking anymore?

An expert in eating disorders, Sherry often sees mental health disorders like depression co-existing with disordered eating.

A high percentage of women with an eating disorder have an accompanying mood disorder, “usually some sort of serious diagnosable form of depression,” he said.

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, 32 to 39 per cent of people with anorexia nervosa, 36 to 50 per cent of people with bulimia nervosa and 33 per cent of people with binge eating disorder are also diagnosed with major depressive disorder.

WATCH BELOW: How cooking helps ease symptoms of anxiety and depression





“You’ll see depression and unhealthy eating involved in a vicious cycle,” Sherry said, although researchers have yet to determine which typically comes first.

“Some people have argued that… depression and unhealthy eating may have a reciprocal influence on one another, where they can lead to each other over time.”

Things you should remember

During a depressive episode, just finding your appetite can be difficult. For registered dietitian Abby Langer, simply eating is a step in the right direction.

“I would rather you eat [a box of macaroni and cheese] than nothing at all. That’s called harm reduction,” she said.

“The worst harm is not eating at all. The second worst is eating a bag of chips or [a box of macaroni and cheese]… They may not be the best thing for you, but they’re better than the alternative.”

READ MORE: Stop obsessing over weight loss — focus on these 4 goals instead

If depression suppresses your appetite, Langer says to focus on choosing “what feels good or looks good to you in the moment.”

However, there are some things you can keep in your kitchen at all times so you’re prepared for the next time a depressive episode hits. First, she suggests protein bars.

“They’re quick, they’re easy, they don’t need preparation and they’ll give you a boost without giving you too much sugar,” she said.

“We want things like whole grains, fruits and vegetables, but even unsweetened dried fruit is fine.”

WATCH BELOW: New trend sees Canadians switch from meat to plant-based diets





Langer also recommends whole-grain cereals that are either unsweetened or sweetened very lightly, oatmeal with a tablespoon of peanut butter in it or popcorn with peanut butter on it.

Registered dietitian Andrea Falcone also suggests keeping your pantry stocked with things like cans of tuna or oatmeal “to support a balanced intake.”

“Peanut butter or another type of nut or seed butter is a great item to also have, enjoyed on whole-grain crackers, a slice of whole-grain toast or with fruit,” she said.

“Simple is best… The key is to aim for a balanced meal including a protein, complex carbohydrate and healthy fat.”

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionDepression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

[email protected]

 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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10Sep

Suicide kills one person every 40 seconds: WHO – National

by BBG Hub

WARNING: This article contains explicit information related to suicide and mental health that may not be suitable for all audience members. Discretion is advised.

One person dies by suicide every 40 seconds, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The report, released Monday, also revealed that more people die by suicide than in war every year. Hanging, poisoning and shooting are the most common methods.

The WHO urged governments to adopt suicide prevention plans to help people cope with stress and to reduce access to suicide means.

“Suicide is a global public health issue. All ages, sexes and regions of the world are affected (and) each loss is one too many,” the report said.

READ MORE: Amazon to promote helplines for customers who search about suicide

Suicide was the second leading cause of death among young people aged between 15 and 29, second only to road injury.

Among girls aged 15 to 19, it was the second biggest killer after maternal conditions. In teenage boys, suicide ranked third behind road injury and interpersonal violence.

Overall, close to 800,000 people die by suicide every year around the world — more than those killed by malaria, breast cancer or homicide, the WHO said.

Global rates have fallen in recent years — there was a 9.8 per cent decrease between 2010 and 2016 — but declines were patchy. In the WHO’s Americas region, for example, rates rose by six per cent between 2010 and 2016.

WATCH BELOW: What is a suicide watch?





The report also found that nearly three times as many men as women die by suicide in wealthy countries, in contrast to low- and middle-income countries, where the rates are more equal.

“Suicides are preventable,” said the WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We call on all countries to incorporate proven suicide prevention strategies into national health and education programs.”

Reducing numbers worldwide

The WHO said restricting access to pesticides was one of the most effective ways of reducing suicide numbers swiftly.

READ MORE: Restless leg syndrome linked to higher risk of self-harm, suicide, study says

Pesticides are commonly used and usually result in death because they are so toxic, have no antidotes and are often used in remote areas where there is no nearby medical help.

The WHO pointed to studies in Sri Lanka, where bans on pesticides have led to a 70 per cent drop in suicides and an estimated 93,000 lives saved between 1995 and 2015.

Organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) want to encourage people struggling with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues to speak up.

WATCH BELOW: Alberta girl’s death raises awareness about mental health





“It’s far too often we are tragically impacted by suicide,” Marion Cooper of the CMHA previously told Global News. “The importance of talking about suicide and lifting up the shame and secrecy related to suicide is critically important.

“Every day needs to be about creating space that feels safe for everybody to talk openly and honestly about how they’re feeling.”

Here are four simple steps the CMHA is spreading as a guide to use when in doubt, for neighbours, workmates, friends or family to help prevent suicide.

  • A- Ask: ask how they’re doing
  • L- Listen: listen to what they say
  • E- Encourage: encourage support and action
  • C- Check in: keep in touch with where they’re at

Cooper encourages anyone struggling with their mental health, or who knows someone who may be at risk, to look at resources that can make a difference. The CMHA’s Canadian Centre for Excellence called the Centre for Suicide Prevention is a place people can go online to learn more about suicide.

If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.

The Canadian Association for Suicide PreventionDepression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.

— With files from Kate Kelland, Reuters and Global News

[email protected]

 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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9Sep

Vegans, vegetarians may have higher risk of stroke — but experts argue balance is key – National

by BBG Hub


People who have plant-based diets may be more likely to suffer from a stroke.

A recent study published in the British Medical Journey, however, found vegan and vegetarians still had a lower risk of heart disease overall.

“Vegetarian and vegan diets have become increasingly popular in recent years, partly due to perceived health benefits, as well as concerns about the environment and animal welfare,” authors wrote in the study.

READ MORE: Is a plant-based patty always better for you than beef?

“Evidence suggests that vegetarians might have different disease risks compared with non-vegetarians but data from large scale prospective studies are limited, because few studies have recruited sufficient numbers of vegetarian participants.”

The study looked at data from more than 48,000 people in the U.K. over an 18-year period. And while they tracked participant’s eating habits, they could not directly link their diets with their heart disease or stroke risks, the BBC added.

Participants were asked about their diets, medical history, smoking habits and how much they exercised.

READ MORE: Alicia Silverstone says a vegan diet prevents illness, but is she right?

“Future work should include further measurements of circulating levels of cholesterol subfractions, vitamin B12, amino acids, and fatty acids in the cohort to identify which factors might mediate the observed associations,” authors concluded.

Shahzadi Devje, a registered dietitian and creator of The Desi~licious Den: Dietitian on Demand, told Global News these findings don’t surprise her. But we shouldn’t jump to conclusions so soon.

“Let’s not forget, the science of nutrition can be messy and we must learn to dig for the facts — beyond the headlines,” she said. “Just because one observational study suggests that those on plant-based diets have a risk of stroke, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the case.”

Eating a balanced-meal

But Devje says when it comes to changing your diet (or adjusting your current vegan and vegetarian one), it all comes down to balance.

“For newbie vegans, there’s certainly some learning that needs to take place,” she explained. “After all, it’s the strictest form of vegetarianism.”

Devje says, in general, more people are considering plant-based diets. Young people are concerned about the planet, and with more vegan-friendly options on the market, it’s easier for people to access meals and ingredients. But the popularity and arguable trendiness of the diet also means people don’t have access to the best information.

For example, vegan-based recipe accounts on social media are often run by influencers or people without the credentials.

READ MORE: Is access to vegan food a human rights issue? Experts weigh in

“Like with any other diet, there are drawbacks,” Devje said. “It’s important to actively plan your meals, otherwise there’s a chance you’ll lack variety, and increase the risk of nutritional deficiencies. Not to mention, lack of planning can lead to a greater chance of boredom.”

Vegans and vegetarians need to make sure there is a balance of protein, vitamins and minerals, as well as carbs.

READ MORE: Vegetarian and vegan ‘meats’ are more popular than ever, but are they good for you?

“If you’re following a vegan diet, you may want to be a bit more careful to ensure you don’t miss out on sufficient iron, zinc, vitamin D, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids,” she continued.

“Vegans are at high risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia and nervous system damage. B12 is naturally found in animal foods, and the only reliable sources of B12 for vegans are foods fortified with B12 (for example some plant milks, and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements.”

Starting a new plant-based diet

Below, she shares some tips for people interested in trying a plant-based diet.

Ease into it: A healthy diet is a sustainable diet. “There’s no need to overhaul your diet overnight. Be kind to yourself, and take it slow. That way, it feels enjoyable and not burdensome. Simple steps, such as embracing meatless Mondays or swapping out meat for a vegetarian meal in your week will go a long way in setting you up for success.”

Do the work: To achieve a healthy balanced diet, that’s sustainable requires work. “Take the time to meal plan, explore different foods and build your cooking skills.”

READ MORE: Is it healthy to put children on a vegan or gluten-free diet?

Veganism doesn’t equate to the healthiest diet: “Don’t forget, a plant-based diet is typically rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. But that’s not always the case. If you’re fueling up on mostly refined carbs full of sugar, saturated fat and salt, you’re not doing your health any favours.”

Mix it up: No one food provides all of the nutrients you need to be healthy. “Eat different types of plant foods (beans, lentils, tofu, nuts and seeds, wholegrain, fruits and vegetables) daily to ensure you don’t miss out on any important nutrients.”

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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8Sep

How to know if your chest pain is something serious – National

by BBG Hub

Chest pain is common, but not all of cases of it are life-threatening.

Dr. Mansoor Husain, a cardiologist and professor at the University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine, told Global News the causes of chest pain can vary depending on several factors.

The number of different sources of chest pain in a young person are different than they are in an old person,” he said. “A child having chest pain is not the same as a middle-aged obese smoker having chest pain.”

He added the causes of chest pain are a long list, and the way doctors approach chest pain is by looking at risk factors associated with the patient.

Heart-related chest pain

One type of chest pain is coronary chest pain. “That’s caused by your heart not getting enough blood supply [and] oxygen because you’ve got coronary artery disease,” he explained, adding it’s one of the causes of chest pain that can be dangerous.

“Coronary chest pain can present in many different ways… we call them typical or atypical.”

A typical case can include a central heavy, pressured chest pain that’s brought on by exertion, he said, but once the artery is closed, exertion is no longer required.

“You could be having pain just sitting at rest,” he said, “and that’s a real red flag.”

Then there are associated symptoms in addition to chest pain including shortness of breath, sweating or nausea.

READ MORE: New rule could take 1 in 3 chest pain patients out of hospital beds

“If I hear any of those buzzwords, in addition to chest pain [like] I feel shortness of breath or a sense of doom… that to me is a heart attack until proven otherwise.”

However, again, factors like age matter. If he heard similar symptoms from an 18-year-old, Husain says it’s unlikely they have coronary disease.

Then there are people who have coronary chest pain, but it’s not typical.

“It’s well known women often don’t present the same way men do,” Husain explained, adding women can still feel pressure or tightness in their chest.

“Women have far higher incidences of atypical chest pain… their pain may not be as severe or typically characteristics of exertion.”

He says women may think they are feeling anxious — but in reality, they are having coronary chest pain.

“They are more likely to present with atypical symptoms rather than typical symptoms, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t present typical symptoms.”

WATCH: The subtle signs that a woman may be having a heart attack





Other groups that present atypical symptoms can include the elderly and diabetics. “Diabetics have two to three times the risk of coronary disease.”

They, like the elderly, could complain about fatigue or tiredness, he added.

Then there are life-threatening causes of chest pain. These can include clots in the lung (pulmonary embolism), he said, which can cause sharp chest pain or shortness of breath.

“It can also be positional, so [patients] only feel it in one position and not in the another,” Husain said.

Women on birth control and people who have taken long flights or drives can be more at risk of developing clots.

Another severe cause of chest pain is aortic dissection.

“This life-threatening condition involves the main artery leading from your heart (aorta)… If the inner layers of this blood vessel separate, blood is forced between the layers and can cause the aorta to rupture,” experts at the Mayo Clinic noted.

Gastrointestinal-related chest pain

Some people can feel chest pain if they are having gallbladder issues like gallstones, even though the gallbladder is not located anywhere near the chest.

More common causes include acid reflux, where heartburn is a common symptom. The Mayo Clinic added this burning sensation happens when stomach acid moves up your stomach into the esophagus.

Other causes of chest pain can include esophageal spasms, which can feel like a heart attack for some.

READ MORE: This ‘4-in-1’ pill cut heart disease risk by a third — should we all take it?

“These are lower down on the list, not [because they are] necessarily less common, but because they’re not as immediately urgent,” Husain explained.

Sometimes, the type of pain can also be different for GI-related chest pain compared to heart-related issues. Some feel more of a burning sensation, for example, but often, when people feel this type of chest pain for the first time, Husain said many people don’t know how to react.

Other causes of chest pain can include muscle strains or a rib-related issue like costochondritis (inflammation of the cartilage in the rib cage).

Panic attacks

For anyone who has experienced a panic attack or anxiety attack, chest pain is often a symptom. For some, it can even feel like a heart attack.

One 2002 study found chest pain was a common symptom of panic attacks.

“Persons with panic disorders (PD) often present to acute care settings or to cardiologists for evaluation of their chest pain,” authors noted.

“Given the high incidence of PD and the existence of effective treatments, it is imperative that physicians recognize and treat PD in patients presenting with chest pain.”

READ MORE: Here’s how to tell if your illness or injury requires a trip to the ER

Husain says when a person is anxious, they feel shortness of breath, sweaty and their pulses racing.

It is the incredible ability of our bodies and our flight and fright response to go into overdrive,” he said, which causes some people to feel chest pain and experience thoughts of passing out. Talking to your doctor about your history with anxiety, depression or even panic attacks can help rule out heart-related issues.

And while chest pain can be both a rare event or common occurrence, Husain explains some people just ignore it.

“I think people will often ignore symptoms… but people know themselves better than doctors know them.” He says when you are feeling unlike yourself, you should see a doctor as soon as you can.

And if you have someone in your life who ignores their chest pain (and doesn’t want to see a doctor), encourage them to make a visit or go with them.

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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8Sep

Varicose veins: Why they form and how to treat the pain – National

by BBG Hub

Varicose veins can be unsightly and painful, and, unfortunately, roughly 20 per cent of Canadian adults will struggle with them.

The swollen, twisted veins typically appear as a bulge on the surface of lower limbs, and they occur when vein valves are damaged or don’t work well.

“Usually, veins carry blood from the extremities of the body back to the heart,” said Dr. Nikita Patel of the Women’s College Hospital Family Practice Health Centre.

READ MORE: Rooster kills woman by pecking varicose vein in ‘rare’ event, report says

“Veins have thin valves inside of them to keep blood moving in one direction — towards the heart.”

When those valves don’t do their job, blood can pool in the legs — especially if you sit or stand for a long time without walking. This is known as chronic venous insufficiency.

“Generally, walking helps milk that blood back up from the lower leg and up to the heart,” she said.

What causes varicose veins?

There are many reasons varicose veins develop.

The most common factor is genetic predisposition, according to Dr. Alexander Matz, the founder of Canada Vein Clinics.

He also lists “stationary jobs, being overweight and multiple pregnancies” as factors that can increase your risk of developing varicose veins.

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Patel adds that “getting older” can also contribute to their development.

“Generally, any process that increases pressure in the veins of the legs can widen the vein and result in damage to the valves within the vein,” she said.

“It starts a vicious cycle that leads to even higher pressure, further worsening vein function… which can eventually lead to chronic venous diseases.”

Signs and symptoms

It’s very common for varicose veins to develop without any symptoms.

“Up to 50 per cent of individuals, even those with really large varicose veins, are actually asymptomatic,” said Patel.

However, when symptoms are present, varicose veins typically cause pain and a feeling of fatigue or heaviness in the legs — especially at the end of the day.

READ MORE: Health Canada warns vaping carries risk of pulmonary illness

“The actual swollen visible veins on the lower legs… usually have a dark purple or bluish colour, [and] they can appear to look like worms or bulging under the surface of the skin,” she said.

They can also cause swelling, usually around the ankles.

“This usually appears at the end of the day, when you’ve been upright [for a long time] and gravity is pooling blood and fluid in the lower legs,” said Patel.

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“You can also get a reddish-brown discolouration around the ankles from venous blood just sitting there.”

Sometimes, the swelling can also cause itching in the lower legs.

If your varicose veins cause any discomfort, you can seek treatment by a medical professional.

Are they dangerous?

Typically, these veins don’t present any major threat to your health.

“They’re usually superficial veins, as opposed to deep veins,” said Patel.

READ MORE: Even with exercise, watching too much TV increases risk of blood clots, study says

“We have two networks of veins in the legs: superficial veins and deep veins… superficial veins run just underneath the skin.”

This means that developing a varicose vein won’t affect any major blood flow to your heart or other extremities. However, in some cases, they can lead to serious complications if left untreated.

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“You have a 30 per cent higher risk of getting a blood clot,” said Matz.

“You may (also) develop more serious conditions, such as leg ulcers, spontaneous bleeding, superficial vein thrombosis (inflammation and clotting) or phlebitis (inflammation).”

In these cases, you should seek immediate medical attention.

Treatment options

There are two types of treatment for varicose veins, according to Patel. She calls them “conservative treatment” and “procedural treatment.”

“(With) conservative treatment, you’re thinking about how to prevent yourself from getting more or worsening the (varicose veins) you currently have,” she said.

In this category, Patel puts walking regularly and avoiding prolonged sitting and standing.

READ MORE: Canadians fill 7 times more opioid prescriptions after minor surgery than Swedes, study says

She also suggests raising your legs higher than your heart three to four times a day for 30 minutes at a time, and pointing and flexing the feet to help get the blood moving.

“Maintaining a healthy weight and BMI can help, (as can) keeping the skin of the lower legs regularly cleaned and moisturized to prevent ulcers,” said Patel.

Compression socks are also an effective conservative option for helping to “direct blood up towards the heart.”

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However, these are more preventative measures.

“(This) doesn’t do a great job if you already have established varicose veins,” she said. “It might decrease them a little bit, but it won’t get rid of them altogether.”

To treat preexisting varicose veins, your doctor will likely recommend a procedural treatment — of which there are several.

READ MORE: Precision medicine helping more people survive blood cancers, report says

Minimally invasive methods are the “first line of treatment,” according to Matz.

“They don’t involve removal of these veins but rather sealing off (or ablation) of the veins. (They) result in less pain, faster recovery, less complications and probably better long-term results.”

There are two groups of minimally invasive procedures: thermal ablations (or sealing off veins using heat) and non-thermal ablations (sealing off veins without the use of heat).

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For the former, “a laser fibre is inserted into the vein and this closes the vein using heat,” said Matz.

There are two non-thermal ablation methods: VenaSeal and ClariVein.

“VenaSeal seals off the veins using a special catheter with medical adhesive. The method causes no trauma to the veins and the affected veins are closed permanently,” said Matz.

“ClariVein is a unique method of administering sclerosant medication while mechanically scraping the vein wall from the inside with a special device, thereby closing the veins off and eliminating the symptoms.

READ MORE: Cancer now the number one killer in wealthy countries, study says

Patel notes that “treatments are generally considered cosmetic treatments, and they’re not (usually) covered by insurance companies.”

Depending on the size and number of your varicose veins, the cost of the treatment can range anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to a number in the thousands.

“It’s important for patients to keep in mind that sometimes they need several treatments, and… if they don’t change their lifestyle, they might be at risk of creating more varicose veins.”

[email protected]

 

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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8Sep

‘Keep coffee out of your rectum, quit steaming your vagina’: Q&A with Dr. Jen Gunter

by BBG Hub

RELATED: Katy Perry does enemas to ‘cleanse’ her body — here’s why you don’t need one

The Winnipeg-born obstetrician and gynecologist is on a crusade to protect women’s health from misconceptions and myths often spread from the gaps in medicine, exploited by the “wellness industry” and endorsed by celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow.

We spoke with Dr. Gunter about some of the most common misconceptions women have about their vaginas and how to spot fake health news.  

Global News: How was The Vagina Bible conceived?

Dr. Gunter: I’ve been debunking myths online for some time and writing for other news outlets, and I was still seeing the same myths in the office, like over and over again.

I had this one day where I had about five women come in, and they all had myths about their bodies or about treatments for medical conditions. And they might have been told it by some dude, by their mom, by their friends, read it in a magazine or even heard it from a doctor.

READ MORE: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop pays $145K over ‘unscientific’ claims about vaginal Jade Eggs

Each patient said, “how did I not know that?” And I thought, “how did they not know that?” And I was looking at all the textbooks on my shelves and I thought, you know what women need? A textbook. They need a goddamn textbook.

So the next time they read some bullsh*t or some dude is trying to tell them something, they can say, “what does Jen Gunter think about that?” and open it up and figure it out.

What is the most prevalent health myth you correct all the time? 

I think one of the most common is that the vagina is dirty and needs to be cleaned and that the uterus has toxins, so those kind of go hand-in-hand.

Hearing that women’s’ bodies are dirty or toxic is the the kind of core tenet of the patriarchy. That’s how women are kept in period poverty, they’re kept from religious services, they’re kept from schools or kept from work.

WATCH: What is vaginal steaming





And even now we see, you know, young women going to sites like Goop, reading about things like that, you know, vagina-steaming or eating pineapple to change the scent of the vagina.

That’s all based on that same destructive myth. It’s just repackaged in a different way.

What is the most common misconception women have about their vagina?

There’s a big misconception that the vagina encompasses everything inside and the outside. Many women don’t realize that the vulva is a different body part. The vulva is where your clothes touch the skin and the vagina is the connection between the uterus and the outside world.

I think another big concern that I hear about is about their labia, which is the vulva.

WATCH: It’s a vagina, not a hoo hoo – the importance of using proper terms when discussing genitals with kids





Many women are concerned that their labia minora are longer and visible than their labia majora, and they think that’s uncool, that it’s unsexy. I’ve heard young girls as young as 12 being told that at sleepovers, that there’s something wrong with their labia.

READ MORE: 5 questions about your vagina that you’re too embarrassed to ask

You know, 50 per cent of women have labia minora that protrude beyond their labia majora. That’s half of women. That’s like how half of us are built. That’s not abnormal, it’s just the way it is.

And your labia have some erectile tissue, they’re very sensory, they have specialized nerve endings and they’re actually part of your sexual response.

No one would ever say to a man, “your penis is too large.” I think that that’s a newer myth that I really hope we can nip in the bud pretty soon.

READ MORE: Women are putting ground-up wasp nests in their vaginas and doctors want them to stop

What’s the weirdest question someone has ever asked you?

There’s a new one, actually, [which is] that you can use colloidal silver in your vagina to treat all kinds of things. Colloidal silver is actually quite harmful and if you ingest it regularly by mouth, it will permanently turn your skin blue. It’s very caustic and it can burn.

When I heard that I was like, what? Colloidal silver where?

WATCH: Gynecologists warn people to stop putting glitter capsules into their vaginas





How and why do people fall for these crazy remedies?

I think that’s really important to press upon people — that women don’t just randomly stick weird sh*t in their vagina.

Somebody who is a trusted authority has led them to believe it’s the right thing to do. They’re not stupid, they’re going online, researching and doing their best. What happened is, instead of meeting the right information, they met a predator, who told them wrong information and it was presented in a science-ish way that made it sound right.

READ MORE: Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop expanding to Canada — and some medical experts aren’t happy

And then also part of the fault has to lie with traditional medicine, evidence-based medicine, that sadly sent that woman there.

A lot of these ideas, like using garlic to treat yeast infections, yogurt to treat yeast infections, colloidal silver in the vagina, boric acid to balance your pH — which it can’t do — these are all things women find from what they feel to be trusted resources.

So I think it’s really important for us to really say where this misinformation is coming from.

What role has the big “wellness” industry had on women’s health?

I think the wellness industrial complex is very predatory and it’s very patriarchal.

The words they use to sell products — “pure, clean, natural” — those are the same words we weaponize against women when we’re trying to keep them “pure, clean and natural” for like some dude, for your wedding night. “Periods are dirty, vaginas are dirty, you need to be pure, you need to be clean, wear white cotton underwear.” Right?

All of these purity myths have, I think, weighed on women since, you know, we evolved to be women. A woman’s worth has basically been distilled to her hymen and her reproductive capacity. 

RELATED: ‘Herbal womb detox’ has women putting fragrant pearls in their vaginas

Another thing “wellness” does is it generates fear. It makes people scared of things like toxins, but they don’t actually tell you what those actual things are, or what negative effects they have.

Health isn’t trendy. This season it’s turmeric. Next season it’s charcoal, then it’s CBD. And then we move on to something else because they have to keep you buying products.

WATCH: What CBD oil is and how it works





Those things haven’t fixed the problem. So you buy the next one and you buy the next one. But it takes years to know if something’s going to help people.

What are some red flags and clues that people can use to spot fake health news? 

1. If it’s offered as a miracle cure. There are no miracles in medicine; that doesn’t happen.

2. If it can treat everything. If the list of symptoms that it can treat is extensive, then that’s not true.

3. If the word “toxins” is used. Doctors don’t talk about toxins. Studies don’t talk about toxins.

4. If the information is coming from a site that’s selling the product. You can’t get quality information from that kind of bias.

No one would think that they should get their information on depression from a drug company who makes anti-depressants, right? So you shouldn’t get your information on a product, or about the medical condition that product treats, from person selling the product.

I think those would be the four top pieces of advice I’d give — and read the Vagina Bible!

WATCH: How fake news spreads




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7Sep

Children get headaches — here’s what parents can do – National

by BBG Hub

Headaches are common for all age groups, but when a child gets one, it may be hard for them to communicate how they feel.

Dr. Gerald Friedman, pediatrician and headache specialist based in Thornhill, Ont., told Global News headaches occur in children and increase in frequency when they reach adolescence.

“Approximately 50 per cent of children will experience a headache during their childhood,” he said. “Migraine occurs in five to 10 per cent of children.”

Older children with headaches are capable to talk about how they feel.

“For younger children with limited abilities to verbally communicate the parents should pay attention to episodes characterized by crying, appearing pale, vomiting and relief with sleep,” Friedman said.

READ MORE: Boy, 14, dies of rare neurological disease after complaining of a headache

Dr. Daune MacGregor, staff neurologist at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, explains some research indicates one in 11 children have headaches.

“If you look overall and ask a school-aged population if they’ve had headaches, at least 60 per cent of them will tell you at some point in time they get it.”

And while some adults who have headaches never go to their doctors, both experts added if your child is experiencing a headache, especially for the first time, parents and health professionals need to understand what’s going on.

WATCH: How to tell if it’s a headache, migraine or brain aneurysm – and what to do next





“Obviously it depends on the frequency… but if you get a child who has recurrent headaches with periods in between then you’ve got to try to sort out what the origin of the headache is,” she said.

Even if your child is getting a headache maybe once or twice a month but they are not responding to pain medication, she says, they should also be checked out.

“It’s really a matter of sorting out whether or not the headache is what we call a primary headache disorder,” she said. “These are the ones that have genetic origins like migraines, tension-type (headaches) or stress-related headaches.”

Symptoms to pay attention to

Friedman says some headache symptoms are known as red flags and it is important to remember that headaches are symptoms.

“These include headaches which awaken the child from sleep during the night, or begin in the very early hours of the morning (between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m.), especially if associated with vomiting.”

If a child is feeling a headache that extends to the back of their head, this would warrant further evaluation, he noted.

READ MORE: Changing weather conditions cause headaches in children, study finds

“Children who experience any of the red flag symptoms should see their doctor immediately. Children who experience headaches more than once a week should also be evaluated.”

MacGregor notes sometimes the pressure can change in a child bends over, for example, or there are other symptoms along with the headache that include weakness in the limbs.

She says children often describe headaches in specific ways. Sometimes this can include a pounding headache that makes the child feel sick or nauseous. Some children can describe their heads squeezing, aching or feeling pressure — either way, note down exactly how they feel.

Dr. Marissa Lagman-Bartolomoe, an assistant professor in pediatrics at the University of Toronto and a pediatric and young adult headache neurologist at the Hospital for Sick Children and Women’s College Hospital, told Global News other red flags include headaches associated with fever.

She adds rashes, blurry vision, dizziness and spinning sensations are also considered red flags. Age and sex can also matter, she added, for example, a teenage girl who is pregnant may be feeling symptoms of headaches.

“Any headache, even if they have a previous headache and its a sudden change and it is progressively getting worse over days or weeks, that is something they should [go to the doctor for].”

Treatment and prevention

Friedman says before treatment options are considered, a child has to be evaluated.

“(This is to) determine the nature and cause of the headaches,” he said. “The more common causes of childhood headaches include tension-type headaches and migraines, and the treatment options vary depending on the cause of headaches.”

Treatment options can include over-the-counter medicines like Advil or Tylenol, experts said, or prescribed medication. For some, treatment can include cognitive behavioural therapy or other types of relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing.

Lagman-Bartolomoe for most children, taking an over-the-counter medication and getting rest can help. Often, sleeping is a beneficial treatment option.

READ MORE: Canadian children’s hospitals report cases of rare, polio-like illness that can cause paralysis

She adds the causes for migraines, for example, are still unknown and more research has to be done from an adolescent’s point of view. Often, the symptom of a headache can be caused by several things like infection, sinus issues or fevers.

Other more worrisome (but not as common) causes can include infections, inflammation of the brain or bleeding in the brain.

Genetics can also play a factor — if a parent or an older sibling has a history of headaches, chances are a child will get a headache as well, experts said. “Up to 80 per cent of patients coming in with migraines will have a first-degree relative who also has migraines,” she said.

And children who have headaches, often have headaches in adulthood.

What parents can do

Friedman said parents should carefully look at their child’s nutrition, hydration status, and sleep patterns if they are experiencing headaches.

“A diary is often a helpful first tool to help the physician sort out what type of headache the child is experiencing.”

Lagman-Bartolomoe recommends parents to be observant of their child’s behaviour. “If the child is asking for the TV to be shut off or the light to be turned off… that’s important in their behaviour.”

If they are feeling nauseous, avoid giving them too much fluid and keep track of their diet.

[email protected]

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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3Sep

Cancer now the number one killer in wealthy countries: study – National

by BBG Hub

A new study found that cancer now kills more people than heart disease in wealthy countries, and is on track to become the world’s biggest killer within just a few decades.

Cardiovascular disease (including heart failure, angina, heart attack and stroke) accounts for 40 per cent of all deaths, remaining the leading cause of mortality among middle-aged adults worldwide, researchers said.

However, this is no longer the case in wealthy countries, where cancer kills roughly twice as many people as heart disease.

READ MORE: New study finds ‘strikingly high’ rates of cancer in some Ontario industrial cities

The research was part of the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiologic (PURE) study, published in The Lancet and presented at the ESC Congress in Paris on Tuesday.

The countries analyzed included Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, India, Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Zimbabwe.

“Our report found cancer to be the second most common cause of death globally in 2017, accounting for 26 per cent of all deaths,” said Gilles Dagenais, one of the study’s lead researchers. “But as [heart disease] rates continue to fall, cancer could likely become the leading cause of death worldwide within just a few decades.”

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Of an estimated 55 million deaths in the world in 2017, around 17.7 million were due to cardiovascular disease.

Around 70 per cent of all cardiovascular cases and deaths are due to modifiable risks such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diet, smoking and other lifestyle factors.

In high-income countries, common treatment with cholesterol-lowering statins and blood-pressure medicines have helped bring rates of heart disease down dramatically in the past few decades.

READ MORE: This ‘4-in-1’ pill cut heart disease risk by a third — should we all take it?

Dagenais’ team said their findings suggest that the higher rates of heart-disease deaths in low-income countries may be mainly due to a lower quality of healthcare.

The research found first hospitalization rates and heart disease medication use were both substantially lower in poorer and middle-income countries than in wealthy ones.

Can you prevent cancer?

About four in 10 cases of cancer can be prevented through lifestyle change, according to a recent Canadian study.

In 2015, the researchers estimated that nearly 70,000 cancer cases across Canada were likely attributable to things like diet choices, exercise, air pollution and other preventable risk factors.

The researchers think there could be 102,000 preventable cases of cancer in Canada by 2042, given current trends in these risk factors combined with an aging population.

READ MORE: Obesity may soon overtake tobacco as the No. 1 cause of preventable cancer

“Many Canadians are not aware that their lifestyle can have such a dramatic impact on their eventual cancer risk and that Canadians can take action to reduce their personal risk of cancer,” Dr. Darren Brenner, co-author of the study, previously told Global News.

Here are the top preventable risk factors for cancer, according to the research:

Smoking

Smoking is responsible for about 72 per cent of lung cancers and 74 per cent of cancers of the larynx, the researchers found. But it’s also responsible for a significant percentage of colorectal, liver, stomach and kidney cancers.

“Tobacco is still by far and away the leading preventable cause of cancer. It accounts for actually almost half of all the preventable cancer cases in our study,” Brenner said.

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One of the most important things you can do to reduce your cancer risk is to live smoke-free, according to Elizabeth Holmes, policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society.

“Smoking rates are decreasing, but it still remains the number 1 preventable cause of cancer and it really speaks to the importance of continued work in tobacco control measures,” she said.

Physical inactivity

Physical inactivity is the second-largest preventable risk factor for cancer. It contributes to lung, colorectal, liver, oral, stomach, kidney, bladder and breast cancers, said researchers.

Sedentary behaviour — spending a lot of time not moving at all — is a little different but also contributes to cancer risk, Brenner said.

READ MORE: Childhood cancer survivors reunite for powerful remission photo

“There is something about being sedentary. There is something about being obese that is associated with an increased risk of cancer but is not necessarily a cause and effect,” said Dr. David Price, a family physician and chair of the department of family medicine at McMaster University.

The Canadian Cancer Society recommends “move more, sit less” as a good way to cut your cancer risk.

Excess weight

Excess weight contributed to 7,200 new cancer cases in 2015, according to the research. The researchers expect this to nearly triple by 2042 and overtake physical inactivity as the second-most common preventable cause of cancer behind smoking.

If more Canadians had a healthy body weight — defined as a body mass index of at most 25 kg/m2 — about 110,600 cancer cases could be prevented by 2042, the researchers said.

“We don’t have recent numbers on how aware people are but, in the last 10 years, we saw that only about a third of people were aware of the link between excess weight and cancer risk,” Holmes said. “So, certainly, this is an opportunity to raise that awareness.”

Diet

Diets low in fruits and vegetables and diets high in processed meats and red meat all contribute to cancer risk, according to the research. They’re associated with lung, liver, colorectal and pancreatic cancers.

That’s why the Canadian Cancer Society recommends “eating well” as a good way to help decrease your cancer risk.

READ MORE: It’s not just fat and salt that’s killing us — it’s also what we aren’t eating

Alcohol is also associated with a large number of cancer cases, including 18 per cent of cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx as well as colorectal, liver, larynx, stomach, pancreatic and breast cancers.

Sun exposure

The sun is associated with skin cancer — which, unfortunately, is the most common kind of cancer.

Practising sun safety by doing things like wearing a hat or long sleeves in the sun and properly using sunscreen could cut your risk of this preventable cancer, according to the Canadian Cancer Society.

Prevention isn’t everything

Cancer isn’t a perfect cause and effect as many cancers aren’t preventable, Holmes said.

“The findings of the study are that about four in 10 cancers can be prevented,” she said. “Which means that about six in 10 cancers cannot be prevented. There are things that we cannot change, like our age, sex, genetics and family history, that influence our cancer risk.”

READ MORE: 7 common cancer myths that still confuse people

By changing your lifestyle through healthy eating, exercise and quitting smoking, you can still cut your risk of cancer, though, Holmes said.

“What these results are not saying (is) that making changes to risk doesn’t mean that you won’t get cancer,” Brenner said. “But it also means that your chance of getting (the) disease is lower.”

— With files from Kate Kelland, Reuters and Leslie Young, Global News

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.




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