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Posts Tagged ‘cancer’

Cancer Top Killer in China

Posted by feww on April 21, 2014


Estimated 3.5 million new cancer cases kill 2.5 million Chinese each year

About 3.5 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed annually, leading to at least 2.5 million deaths from the disease, said the deputy director of the National Cancer Registration Center, Xinhua reported.

“Although Chinese people’s livelihood has improved, cancer incidence and mortality have also been on the rise,” he said.

Unsurprisingly, cancer has taken just a few decades to become the top killer in China.

“In 1964, cancer ranked the fourth-biggest cause of death, while from 1970 to 1989, it ranked second, and data from 2007 showed that it had become the top killer for Chinese,” said a former senior  official at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cancer in Beijing

Meanwhile, cancer was identified as the No.1 cause of death in Beijing for the seventh consecutive year (2007 to 2013), in a report released by the municipal commission of health and family planning this week, Xinhua said.

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7 Million People Killed by Air Pollution in 2012

Posted by feww on March 25, 2014


Air pollution the world’s worst environmental hazard: WHO

Based on its environmental models, FIRE-EARTH team believes the estimate by World Health Organization (WHO) is grossly underestimated.

“[About] 1 in 8 of total global deaths – as a result of air pollution exposure. This finding more than doubles previous estimates and confirms that air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk,” said WHO.

The latest data reveal a more robust link between air pollution and cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and ischaemic heart disease, “in addition to air pollution’s role in the development of respiratory diseases, including acute respiratory infections and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases,” as well as between air pollution and cancer, said WHO.

Unsustainable Policies

“Excessive air pollution is often a by-product of unsustainable policies in sectors such as transport, energy, waste management and industry,” said a WHO public health expert.

“In most cases, healthier strategies will also be more economical in the long term due to healthcare cost savings as well as climate gains.”

Outdoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 40% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 40% – stroke;
  • 11% – chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
  • 6% – lung cancer; and
  • 3% – acute lower respiratory infections in children.

Indoor air pollution-caused deaths – breakdown by disease:

  • 34% – stroke;
  • 26% – ischaemic heart disease;
  • 22% – COPD;
  • 12% – acute lower respiratory infections in children; and
  • 6% – lung cancer.

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14 Million Cancer Cases Reported Globally

Posted by feww on December 13, 2013

Cancer cases jump by more than 10 percent since 2008: WHO

Total number of victims being diagnosed with cancer globally each year has jumped from 12.7 million in 2008 to more than 14 million last year, said the World Health Organization (WHO).

The number of deaths has also risen during that period, from 7.6 million to 8.2 million.

Lung cancer is identified as the most common cancer, about 13% of the total, with more than 1.8 million cases reported globally, followed by stomach, liver, colorectal, breast and cervical cancer.

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Chest x-ray of lung cancer, the leading cause of death among cancer victims.

Since 2008, a sharp increase in cases of breast cancer, both the incidence and mortality,   has made the disease the most common cancer in women across 140 countries, said WHO.

“Breast cancer is also a leading cause of cancer death in the less developed countries of the world,” said a spokesman for WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer.

“This is partly because a shift in lifestyles is causing an increase in incidence, and partly because clinical advances to combat the disease are not reaching women living in these regions.”

Key facts (WHO, 2008)

  • Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 7.6 million deaths (around 13% of all deaths) in 2008.
  • Lung, stomach, liver, colon and breast cancer cause the most cancer deaths each year.
  • The most frequent types of cancer differ between men and women.
  • About 30% of cancer deaths are due to the five leading behavioral and dietary risks: high body mass index, low fruit and vegetable intake, lack of physical activity, tobacco use, alcohol use.
  • Tobacco use is the most important risk factor for cancer causing 22% of global cancer deaths and 71% of global lung cancer deaths.
  • Cancer causing viral infections such as HBV/HCV and HPV are responsible for up to 20% of cancer deaths in low- and middle-income countries.
  • About 70% of all cancer deaths in 2008 occurred in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Deaths from cancer worldwide are projected to continue rising.
  • More than 30% of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors, including:
    • tobacco use
    • being overweight or obese
    • unhealthy diet with low fruit and vegetable intake
    • lack of physical activity
    • alcohol use
    • sexually transmitted HPV-infection
    • urban air pollution
    • indoor smoke from household use of solid fuels.

Causes of Cancer (WHO Fact Sheet 2008)

Cancer arises from one single cell. The transformation from a normal cell into a tumour cell is a multistage process, typically a progression from a pre-cancerous lesion to malignant tumours. These changes are the result of the interaction between a person’s genetic factors and three categories of external agents, including

  • Physical carcinogens: Ultraviolet and ionizing radiation.
  • Chemical carcinogens: Asbestos, components of tobacco smoke, aflatoxin (a food contaminant) and arsenic (a drinking water contaminant).
  • Biological carcinogens:  Infections from certain viruses, bacteria or parasites.

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Penguins DDT Contamination Levels Still High

Posted by feww on May 10, 2008

Just when you thought penguins fared better than polar bears!

Just when you thought the Antarctic marine life had only a few minor problems like the climate change and ozone hole to worry about, but were otherwise safe from other harms like ingesting plastic trash, or growing a “skin” rash from pesticide contamination, it has been revealed that the deadly pesticide DDT, banned in most countries more than 35 years ago, stills show up in penguins in Antarctica.

A researcher has blamed the DDT contamination on the chemical’s accumulation of the poison in melting glaciers.

“DDT, along with a lot of other of these organic contaminants, actually travel through the atmosphere … toward the polar regions by a process of evaporation and then condensation in cooler climates,” according to Heidi Geisz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

The DDT contamination in the Adelie penguins was first discovered in 1964. The contamination level rose in the 1970s and has stayed stable since then, Geisz said.

Mating Adelie penguins at Cape Adare in Ross Sea, Antarctica January of 2001. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike license versions 2.5, 2.0, and 1.0 (Credit: Mila Zinkova)

In 1962, Silent Spring by American biologist Rachel Carson was published. The book cataloged the environmental impacts of the indiscriminate spraying of DDT in the US and questioned the logic of releasing large amounts of chemicals into the environment without fully understanding their effects on ecology or human health. The book suggested that DDT and other pesticides may cause cancer and that their agricultural use was a threat to wildlife, particularly birds. Its publication was one of the signature events in the birth of the environmental movement. Silent Spring resulted in a large public outcry that eventually led to most uses of DDT being banned in the US in 1972. DDT was subsequently banned for agricultural use worldwide, but its limited use in disease vector control continues to this day in certain parts of the world and remains controversial. (source)

Is it possible that New Zealand is still using DDT in large quantities?

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