An often under-recognized health concern, incidences of skin cancer have been on the rise. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure has been associated with approximately 90% of nonmelanoma skin cancers. Most often addressed in terms of direct exposure, UV radiation also is experienced via indirect sources, such as reflected UVB.
Devices like tablets, smartphones and laptops can reflect ultraviolet light from the sun and may indirectly increase users’ exposure to the cancer-causing wavelengths, according to a new study.
Mary E. Logue, from the University of New Mexico (New Mexico, USA), and colleagues completed a small observational study to assess UV exposure via light reflected from various personal electronic devices. Setting up a mannequin head wearing a UVA/B light meter and facing it toward a standard musician’s sheet stand, the team recorded UV readings for an hour of exposure, from 11 AM to noon, using a magazine, an iPhone5, various iPad models, two MacBook laptops and a Kindle e-reader. In the first trial the devices were 16.5 inches from the UV sensor. For the second, they were secured 12.25 inches away. The devices and the UV sensor were angled to mimic an adult looking down at the handheld device. In the first trial, when the devices were further away from the mannequin, an open magazine increased UV dosage exposure by 46% compared to the sheet stand alone, an iPad2 increased exposure by about 85% and an 11-inch MacBook increased UV exposure by 75%.
Only the second trial, with devices held closer to the mannequin’s “face,” included the iPhone5, which increased UV exposure by 36%. The lead investigator warns that: ““These devices are generally used for communication or entertainment, so it can be easy to overlook their reflective properties unless you happen to catch the glare off a screen.”
The harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays have been well documented, and limiting exposure is the single most effective preventive measure an individual can take. Significant levels of UV exposure, such as those found in this study, increase cumulative lifetime UV dosage.
While the best course of action is to limit smart device usage to the indoors, this is obviously impractical for most people It is recommended to cover shoulders, wear sunglasses and sunscreen, especially on the exposed areas of the neck and face.
The devices themselves could be redesigned to be less reflective, or to include UV sensor technology so their users could track their exposure.
SOURCE: bit.ly/1PLZIEQ Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, September 2015.
Known best as the substance in turmeric that gives the curry spice its characteristic yellow color, curcumin has been found by previous studies to exert antioxidant, anti-inflammation, anticancer, and lipid-lowering effects. Gautam Sethi, from Curtin University, and colleagues completed a review of past clinical trials involving curcumin for cancer. Observing that the compound potentially promotes potent anti-inflammatory effects, the team reports that curcumin is especially effective for multiple myeloma patients and those suffering from pancreatic cancer. Noting that doses up to 12 grams appear to be nontoxic, the investigators point out that curcumin targets the key oncogenic proteins.
The study authors write that: “anti-cancer effects are predominantly mediated through [curcumin’s] negative regulation of various transcription factors, growth factors, inflammatory cytokines, protein kinases, and other oncogenic molecules. It also abrogates proliferation of cancer cells by arresting them at different phases of the cell cycle and/or by inducing their apoptosis.”
Source: Shanmugam MK, Rane G, Kanchi MM, Arfuso F, Chinnathambi A, Zayed ME, Alharbi SA, Tan BK, Kumar AP, Sethi G. “The multifaceted role of curcumin in cancer prevention and treatment.” Molecules. 2015 Feb 5;20(2):2728-69.
An estimated one-third of all cancers may be attributable to excess body fat – including cancers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, reproductive organs, urinary tract, blood, bone, and thyroid. Nour Makarem, from New York University (New York, USA), and colleagues analyzed medical and dietary data collected on 2,983 men and women enrolled in the Framingham Heart Study. To ascertain the relationship between the cancer prevention recommendations and cancer incidence, the researchers created a seven-point score based on the recommendations for body fat, physical activity, foods that promote weight gain, plant foods, animal foods, alcohol consumption, and food preparation and processing. Whereas the overall score did not associate with obesity-related cancer risk, the team did observe that when score components were evaluated separately, two different measures emerged as strong predictors of cancer risk.
Specifically, the adherence to alcohol recommendations – limiting alcoholic drinks to two for men and one for women a day — was protective against obesity-related cancers combined and against breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers.
In addition, among participants who consume starchy vegetables, eating sufficient non-starchy plant foods (fruits, vegetables, and legumes) was associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.
The study authors conclude that: “Lower alcohol consumption and a plant-based diet consistent with the cancer prevention guidelines were associated with reduced risk of obesity-related cancers in this population.”
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Source: Nour Makarem, Yong Lin, Elisa V. Bandera, Paul F. Jacques, Niyati Parekh. “Concordance with World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) guidelines for cancer prevention and obesity-related cancer risk in the Framingham Offspring cohort (1991–2008).” Cancer Causes & Control, 6 Jan. 2015.