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Continuing Challenges in Changing Behaviors Raise Cancer Risks

Posted May 04 2013 10:08pm
Posted on May 3, 2013, 6 a.m. in Healthcare and Public Policy Cancer

An annual report from the American Cancer Society finds continuing challenges in changing behaviors and risk factors in order to reduce suffering and death from cancer. The report, “Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures (CPED) 2013,” outlines the current prevalence of tobacco use, obesity, physical inactivity, and the use of established screening tests, and emphasizes that social, economic, and legislative factors profoundly influence the individual health behaviors that contribute to cancer risk. “Our report is a striking reminder that we need to do a better job reducing behavioral risk factors that increase cancer risk,” commented lead author Vilma Cokkinides, from the American Cancer Society. “We could eliminate much of the suffering and death from cancer with better, more systematic efforts to reduce tobacco use, improve nutrition and opportunities for physical activity, and expand the use of those screening tests that are proven effective.”

American Cancer Society.  “Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Facts & Figures 2013.” April 2013.

  
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Tip #156 - Social Ties May Slow Memory Decline
Staying connected with family and friends can beneficially impact memory as we age. Harvard School of Public Health (Massachusetts, USA) researchers studied 16,638 men and women, ages 50 and over, to assess the impact of social integration on changes in memory during a six-year period. The team found that the study participants with high social integration at the start of the study encountered slower rates of memory decline over time, as compared to the less socially integrated subjects. Memory among the least socially integrated declined at twice the rate as that of the most socially integrated.

Among men, social activity in midlife may slash the risk of dementia. Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (Maryland, USA) studied 147 male twin pairs for 28 years. Among the twins, those who participated in social activities at home, visited with family and friends, and engaged in club activities and hobbies were less apt to develop dementia.

Be sure to stay in-touch with loved ones on a regular basis. Your network of family and friends not only provides moral support and encouragement, it might also help delay a declining memory.

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