China vows better environmental monitoring to improve health

Devices for collecting samples of Beijing's air are installed on the rooftop of the air quality forecast and warning center in BeijingChina aims to create a comprehensive environmental monitoring system by 2030 in its efforts to boost citizens' health and raise life expectancy, the government has said. Pollution has been identified as one of the biggest threats to public health in China, with smog in the northern region blamed for higher rates of cancer, respiratory disease and premature death. Widespread soil and water contamination have also caused health hazards.

Exclusive: WHO cancer agency asked experts to withhold weedkiller documents

File photo of Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller atomizers displayed for sale at a garden shop at Bonneuil-Sur-Marne near ParisIn a letter and an email seen by Reuters, officials from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) cautioned scientists who worked on a review in 2015 of the weedkiller glyphosate against releasing requested material. The review, published in March 2015, concluded glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic," putting IARC at odds with regulators around the world. Critics say they want the documents to find out more about how IARC reached its conclusion.

Merck wins early U.S. approval for Keytruda in untreated lung cancer
Merck & Co has won U.S. approval to market its immunotherapy Keytruda for use in previously untreated lung cancer patients two months ahead of schedule, making it the only such drug cleared for first-line treatment. The green light from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), announced by the U.S. drugmaker late on Monday, confirms Merck's leading position in the hot area of medicines that fight tumors by harnessing the body's immune system. Keytruda's latest approval is for treating first-line metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in patients with high-levels of a protein called PD-L1, which makes them more receptive to immunotherapy.

John Oliver tackles America’s opioid problem on ‘Last Week Tonight’
One of the reasons why HBO's Last Week Tonight is so compelling is because it has a unique knack for taking a topic that most people don't know much about and subsequently doing a great job of informing while also keeping the laughs coming. During the most recent episode of Last Week Tonight , John Oliver and his writers set their sights on America's opioid problem. From heroin overdoses to an increase in prescription pain killer related deaths, America's ongoing struggle with opioids is a serious topic that doesn't typically attract the level of attention it deserves. Thankfully, Oliver was in top form this weekend as he provided viewers with no shortage of interesting data about this growing epidemic. DON'T MISS:  Report claims iPhone 8 will feature a revolutionary new design that no one saw coming "As of 2015," Oliver said towards the beginning of the segment, "an estimated 2.6 million Americans were addicted to [opioids] and they're now involved in almost 30,000 overdose deaths a year in the U.S." Another interesting data point tis that approximately 75% of all heroin users started off with prescription painkillers like OcyContin and Vicodin. Getting to one of the root causes of the problem, Oliver explains: And look, a nuanced discussion between the medical community about the complexities of pain treatment is clearly important. The problem is that discussion became dominated by the pharmaceutical industry who started amplifying the message that opioids should not just be used for acute pain like that from cancer or surgery, but for all sorts of pain like arthritis and backaches. Which makes sense as a motive coming from the pharma industry. The full video is embedded below, and per usual, it's as educational as it is laugh out loud funny.

Changes in depression symptoms tied to lung cancer survival

A man smokes a cigarette as he sits in a hutong, Chinese for small alley, in central Beijing(In paragraph 6, clarifies that 14 percent of 745 people not depressed at baseline, 105 people, became depressed.) By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Worsening depression symptoms are associated with shorter survival for lung cancer patients, particularly those in the early stages of disease, according to a new U.S. study. Conversely, when depression symptoms lift, survival tends to improve, researchers found. “Surprisingly, depression remission was associated with a mortality benefit as they had the same mortality as never-depressed patients,” said lead author Donald R. Sullivan of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

Burden of cancer deaths from smoking heaviest in U.S. south
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) - Of all cancer deaths in the U.S., the share that’s related to smoking varies considerably by region, with southern states bearing the heaviest burden, according to a new study. With up to 40 percent of cancer deaths attributable to smoking in some areas and just 8 percent in others, the disparities may come down largely to how aggressively states pursue tobacco control, researchers write in JAMA Internal Medicine, October 24th. “Declines in smoking prevalence have accelerated over the past seven to eight years,” lead author Joannie Lortet-Tieulent of Surveillance and Health Services Research at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, told Reuters Health by email.

One-fourth of US cancer deaths linked with 1 thing: smoking

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 21, 2015 file photo, a patron smokes a cigarette inside a bar in New Orleans hours before a smoking ban takes effect in bars, gambling halls and many other public places such as hotels, workplaces, private clubs and stores. A study released by the American Cancer society on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016 shows cigarettes contribute to more than one in four cancer deaths nationwide and the rate is highest _ nearly 40 percent _ among men in southern states where smoking and relatively lax tobacco control policies are more common. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)CHICAGO (AP) — Cigarettes contribute to more than 1 in 4 cancer deaths in the U.S. The rate is highest among men in Southern states where smoking is more common and the rules against it are not as strict.

Embryo Fish Face, Cow Dung & Beetle Feet Win Small World Photo Contest

Embryo Fish Face, Cow Dung & Beetle Feet Win Small World Photo ContestIn your face! A 4-day-old zebrafish embryo's dour mug nabbed the top prize in the annual Nikon Small World photo competition, which showcases often-unseen wonders of the natural world that can be viewed only through a microscope. Nikon Small World revealed the first-place photo today (Oct. 19) on Instagram — a first for the contest — at @NikonInstruments. Captured by senior research scientist Oscar Ruiz, at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the image reveals incredible detail in the embryo's face.

Washington State's smartphone spectrometer detects cancer with 99 percent accuracy

Washington State's smartphone spectrometer detects cancer with 99 percent accuracyLed by assistant professor Lei Li, a research team from Washington State University developed a smartphone spectrometer that can measure up to eight samples at once. This looks to drastically improve cancer detection.

Genetic Tests That Make a Difference After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis
Breast cancer was once thought to be one disease. Genetic testing can provide this valuable information. For women diagnosed with breast cancer, two types of genetic tests that can be especially important are genetic testing of the person for BRCA 1/2 mutations and genomic testing of the cancer, such as the Oncotype DX test.

Swimming - Horton on way back after cancer scare

Swimming - Horton on way back after cancer scare- Olympic gold medallist Mack Horton has had a suspect mole removed from his chest after being alerted to the potential skin cancer by a fan who saw it on television and emailed the Australian team swim doctor. Horton, who won the men's 400 metres freestyle at the Rio Olympics, posted a picture of himself on social media Friday with a bandage covering the area of his chest where he had the mole cut out, thanking the anonymous fan for their "very good call". The swimmer, who became the target of online trolls this year after calling Chinese swimmer Sun Yang a "drug cheat", said he had 10 stitches but planned to be back training on Tuesday.

Mack Horton on way back to swimming pool after cancer scare

Australia's Mack Horton won the 400m freestyle swimming event at the 2016 Rio OlympicsOlympic gold medallist Mack Horton expects to be back in the pool training this week after having a suspect mole removed from his chest. Horton, who won the men's 400 metres freestyle at the Rio Olympics, was alerted to the potential skin cancer by a fan who saw it on television and emailed the Australian team swim doctor. The swimmer, who became the target of online trolls this year after calling Chinese swimmer Sun Yang a "drug cheat", said he had 10 stitches but planned to be back training on Tuesday.

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