People who chew sugar-free gum after lunch consume 60 fewer calories during their afternoon snack, one study showed.read more
BY: Shana Aborn
It’s scary stuff: Head and neck cancer is on the rise, particularly among young women.
According to the Cancer Council Australia, about 2078 cases of head and neck cancer are diagnosed each year. As you may expect, men and women who smoke and drink heavily are at special risk for these cancers. But here is the surprising fact: Women without these risk factors are still more likely to develop the disease than men who steer clear of alcohol and tobacco are. Australian women have a 1 in 137 risk of developing one of these cancers by the age of 85.
What makes women so vulnerable? Experts suspect that hormones may be to blame. Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have discovered that adding oestrogen to precancerous oral cells causes the cells to make more of a protein called CYP1B1. The protein prompts tumors to grow and spread. On the other hand, depleting the precancerous cells of CYP1B1 inhibited their growth and movement.
“These results imply that more oestrogen in the body may be responsible for earlier and more aggressive head and neck cancer,” says Ekaterina Shatalova, a lead author of the study. “However, more studies are needed to understand whether what was found in a dish is what happens in the human body, and if menopause will protect against head and neck cancer.”
The researchers are now trying to identify naturally occurring compounds that stop oral cells from producing the harmful protein, including one derived from citrus fruit.
Wondering where all that leaves you? While results are preliminary, they do suggest that oestrogen may play a part in the development of oral cancer. With that in mind, if you take oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of these drugs.
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Osteoporosis can lead to: