Monday, September 13, 2010

The WCRF is at it again: An extra inch on the waist is a cancer risk!

When they "review" research, they ignore all the bits that don't suit them -- like the fact that fat women get LESS breast cancer. The WCRF make their money out of scary pronouncements: For "more research"

Every extra inch on your waistline raises the odds of bowel cancer even if the rest of your body is trim, doctors have warned. The dangers of a pot belly or 'muffin top' were highlighted by a large-scale review of studies into Britain's second biggest cancer killer. Crucially for the millions battling to contain middle-age spread, it found that you don't need to be overweight for a generous waistline to cause problems.

Professor Martin Wiseman, medical and scientific adviser for the World Cancer Research Fund, which funded the review, said: 'This latest study adds to the already strong evidence that carrying excess body fat increases your risk of cancer. 'In fact, scientists now say that, after not smoking, maintaining a healthy weight is the most important thing you can do for cancer prevention.

'We estimate that more than 2,700 cases of bowel cancer a year in the UK could be prevented through people maintaining a healthy weight. 'But this study has also strengthened the evidence that where we carry the fat is important.'

A healthy waist measurement is defined as less than 31.5in (80cm) for women, less than 37in (94cm) for white and black men and less than 35in (89cm) for Asian men. The differences are down to variations in the average height of ethnic groups, and therefore variations in body mass index measurements.

For every extra inch on the waist above these levels, the risk of bowel cancer goes up 3 per cent, the Imperial College London review of seven pieces of research found.

Dr Teresa Norat, who led the review, told a cancer conference: 'This indicates that people should pay attention to abdominal fatness even if they are in the normal range of weight, and it confirms that being overweight increases the risk of this type of cancer. More research is needed to understand how abdominal fatness can be prevented in both normal and overweight individuals.'

It is unclear why abdominal fat is especially dangerous but some scientists believe it may be because it disrupts the balance of hormones that help fuel bowel cancer.

More than 38,000 cases of bowel cancer are diagnosed a year in the UK, and it claims more than 16,000 lives. Only lung cancer kills more.

The World Cancer Research Fund has repeatedly warned that eating processed meats – including bacon, ham, pastrami, salami and hot dogs – significantly raises the chances of bowel cancer. [Which is complete rubbish and another example of their highly selective vision]


Those pesky genes again: The gene that causes short-sight found

All those carrots you ate probably didn't help

A gene that causes shortsightedness has been pinpointed by British scientists, paving the way for eye drops that could make glasses history. Within just ten years, a drug that prevents short-sightedness or stops it in its tracks could be in widespread use. lions would be spared the inconvenience and expense of contact lenses, spectacles and laser surgery.

Given in childhood, the eye drops could also spare school pupils anxieties about having to wear glasses.

Short- sightedness, or trouble in focussing on distant objects, affects more than one in three Britons and is becoming more common as we spend more time indoors and in front of computer screens.

Caused by overgrowth of the eyeball, it usually starts developing in childhood. In some cases vision can rapidly deteriorate. There is no way of halting its progress and, in severe cases, it leads to blindness.

The latest research, by an international team led by experts at King's College London and published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics, offers hope to millions.

To find the gene, the first to be linked to short-sightedness, or myopia, the researchers compared the DNA of more than 4,000 British twins. Twins are often used in such studies because it is easier distinguish the different effects of nature and nurture. They then confirmed their results by studying the genetics of another 13,000 British, Dutch and Australian individuals.

Some 45 per cent of Britons have the rogue gene and those who have two copies of it are almost twice as likely to be short-sighted as those who are free of it.

KCL researcher Dr Pirro Hysi, the study's lead author, said: 'We have known for many years that the most important risk factor for being short-sighted is having parents who are shortsighted and for the first time we are identifying genes that may be involved in passing on this susceptibility.'

The gene, known as RASGRF1, is thought to play a key role in the development of the eye and the passing of visual signals to the brain for processing. When it is faulty, the eyeball may overgrow, making distant objects seem fuzzy or blurred.

Dr Chris Hammond, also of KCL, said: 'Myopia, or shortsightedness, is the most common eye problem, affecting over a third of adults in the UK. 'People who are extremely short-sighted carry significant risks of future vision loss. The retina can peel away from the back of the eye like wallpaper off a wall.

'While we believe that environmental risk factors such as a lot of close work and lack of outdoor activity are implicated, we have not previously understood how people become short-sighted. 'We hope that by understanding the mechanisms we can stop children from becoming shortsighted and stop short-sighted children from becoming more short-sighted.'

A second study, by Dutch researchers, identified a second short- sightedness gene. Ultimately, there could be dozens behind the condition.

Drugs that counter their effect and stop the eyeball from overgrowing could be available in just a decade, said Dr Hammond. Other options include gene therapy - injecting 'healthy' genes into the eye.

But Dr Hammond said: 'Gene therapy is a major intervention. I think we are going to be looking at developing some kind of eye drop or tablet that interferes with the biological pathway that leads to short-sightedness.' Although the eye drops would not help adults who are already short-sighted, they could be of huge benefit to their children.

However, today's youngsters can take some simple steps to try to discourage shortsightedness. Terri Young, of Duke University in North Carolina in the U.S., said: 'People need to go outside and look at the horizon. 'Today's near work forces our eyes to be constantly in tension to focus on reading papers and watching monitors.'

Professor Pete Coffey, director of the London Project to Cure Blindness, cautioned that any drug would have to be shown to be extremely safe before it was given to children.


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