The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 17, 2001 · Page 13
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 13

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Tuesday, April 17, 2001
Page 13
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TUESDAY APRIL 17, 2001 THE SALIN/V JOURNAL Health ORGAN DONATIONS / C2 CLASSIFIED / C3 ALMANAC / C8 t COLON CANCER ThepiU protects colon Researchers find women cut cancer risk witli birth control By The Associated Press LONDON — New research bolsters the theory the female hormone estrogen might protect women from colorectal cancer Italian scientists have found women had about a 20 percent lower chance of developing the disease if they used oral contraceptives. "For a while now we have suspected that estrogen in the pill could protect against bowel cancer, and our research has gone some way to confirm this," said Dr Carlo La Vecchia, who led the study "In the future, it may be possible to develop new treatments that take advantage of the anticancer qualities of the pill." The findings, published Monday in the British Journal of Cancer, are similar to those of a recent study that suggested hormone replacement therapy, or HRT, could protect women from colorectal cancer to the same degree. Over the past 20 years, death rates from bowel cancer have dropped more in women than in men. Some scientists believe this .could be partly due to estrogen found in oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy That theory deserves more attention, said Dr. Michael Thun, head of epidemiology at the American Cancer Society "How relevant these findings are to today's pill use is unclear because they relate mostly to older formulations," said Thun, who was not involved in the research. "But this does support the hypothesis that estrogen plays a role in suppressing colorectal cancer." Analyzing studies The study by researchers from the Institute of Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy, pulled together the evidence from 19 international investigations into a possible link between birth control pills and cancer of the colon and bowel. It is the first comprehensive analysis of the topic. Nearly 1 million people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer worldwide last year, the World Health Organization estimates. The American Cancer Society projects more than 135,000 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease this year Studies have shown there appear to be other anticancer benefits to the pill, but it may also promote some types of cancer. Research suggests it may ward off ovarian and uterine cancer but increase the risk of breast cancer "Women need to look at the balance of all the benefits and risks," said Dr Anne Szarew- ski, a gynecological cancer expert at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund -in London. "It'll depend on the individual profile. For someone with a family history of breast cancer,- any additional risk will turn them off." Regular screening after age 50, regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight are considered the best ways to reduce the chances of developing colorectal cancer, Thun said. The study was funded by the Italian Association for Cancer Research. T CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB FITNESS TO BURN Baby boomers turn to exercise to extend quality of later years By AMY BALDWIN The Associated Press Kenny Ray Jogs in his neighborhood at 5:30 every morning to stay in shape. "1 have never had my kids want me to do something at 5:30 In the morning," Ray said. Donna Burl(e poses with the treadmill she bought after her 40th birthday, when she realized she weighed more than she ever had. Photos by The Associated Press NEW YORK — Donna Burke's 40th birthday brought her many new highs but unfortunately one was on her bathroom scale. After years of calorie- laden business lunches. Burke, like many baby boomers, had put on unwanted pounds. Determined to avoid the middle-age spread, the human resources executive made some changes. She packed apples on business trips to avoid the temptation of the hotel minibar and fatty airport snacks. Most importantly, the Winchester, Mass., woman also made time to exercise, power walking on the $2,000, gym-quality treadmill she installed in her house. She also sees a personal trainer at her gym. The big impetus at 40 was that I was at the height of my weight chart. There was nowhere to go but up, and I said, 'No way' " said Burke, 42 who runs a consulting fu m from her home. Burke is like many boomers who want to be fit but struggle to find the time to exercise. For this group — those born between 1946 and 1964 —- it's a money issue, too. After years of throwing away big bucks on never-used aerobic videos aiid exercise bikes that have become clothes hangers, boomers want, to burn fat, not cash. Finding the right routine is key, said insurance agent Kenny Ray, Lexington, Ky. His solution is running, which he likes because it's so simple — all he does is lace up his $75 shoes and take off, Running is nice, because ifs just you. You can just take your shoes with you, and wherever you go, you can run. - Kenny Ray insurance agent even when he's traveling. "Running is nice, because it's just you," said Ray 49. "You can just take your shoes with you, and wherever you go, you can run. Ray deals with the time issue by taking his daily six- mile runs very early "I have never had my kids want me to do something at 5:30 in the morning, and I never have had an appointment at 5:30 in the morning," he said. Meanwhile, elementary teacher Linda Dunn, 51, combines family and workout time at the Jewish Community Center in New Orleans. "My whole family comes. On the weekends, we have a big workout," Dunn said. By taking advantage of an $80-a-month family package, Dunn, her husband and their two teen-age sons also work out during the week after work and school. See FIT, Page C2 Diet determines your weight, not parents By CAROLYN SUSMAN Cox News Service WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — If you've been screaming — "No matter what I do, I can't lose weight!" —- get over it. You're not a prisoner of your genes, no matter how comforting that thought might be. The latest research by Cornell's Dr. David Levitsky shows it's environment, not heredity, that makes us who we are, weight-wise. That debunks a view that we should blame our parents for that extra pork we're carrying. "The current theory is that we have weight that is determined primarily by our genes, and you're not gonna move from it. And the corollary is that your mouth is controlled by your body and not by you, and its function (how much you eat) is to control your weight. That's the traditional dietetic wisdom," said Levitsky, a professor of nutritional sciences and psychology If you believe that, he said, it means dieters are doomed when they try to re­ balance the scales. The body would be constantly striving to reach a predeter­ mined set point. Balderdash. Weight loss is really a function of free will and willpower, he said. "The set-point theory is depressing. It says that we are slaves of our bodies. I like to think that I am the con- troUer," he said. And you are. If you skip meals, even breakfast, or cut back on snacks, you may feel hungrier, but you won't overeat at your next regular meal, his research shows. "We don't have the biological mechanisms to maintain this set-point theory You are how much you eat. How much you eat is environmen­ tally controlled." This is all based on studies Levitsky and his colleagues have conducted. They instructed students to skip everything from a daily snack to a whole day's eating and found they didn't eat more than expected the next time they had the opportunity The students' eating was monitored by weighing their portions. "You will feel hungrier (when you skip meals or snacks), but you'll eat your normal portions (next time), and you'll get just as filled," he said. We get heavier because we don't exercise, eat lots of fat and dine more at restaurants, where we often get larger portions than we can eat. "We and others have data showing the more I put on your plate, the more you're gonna eat. We have to get the courage to take half home with us," Levitsky said. "If you decide not to eat snacks, you won't eat more at lunch. You know that if you skip that snack, your caloric intake will be less. If you can be determined and avoid it, (the total calories) will be lower" Cause of brain-wasting disease remains a mystery Oklahoma woman fades quickly with original form of mad cow disease By JENNIFER L. BROWN The Associated Press WESTVILLE, Okla. — Harold Blossom strokes his wife's arm. She doesn't stop convulsing or moaning, she just lies there as always. Naoma Blossom, 52, is dying of a rare brain-wasting iUness called Creutzfeldt-Jakob. The cause isn't known. Another form of the disease, called variant Creutzfeldt- Jakob, has stricken people in Europe and comes from eating meat tainted by mad cow disease. Harold Blossom, 58, works a graveyard shift and spends his days at the Westville Nursing Home, watching his wife's decline and taking naps on a bed near hers. As he peers into her face, she opens one eye. "You awake, honey?" he asks in a gentle voice. "Sometimes I think she knows I'm here. Sometimes she's looking at the door when I walk in, waiting for me to come." But Naoma has no idea her hus­ band is in her room, her doctor says. Opening an eye involuntarily is a common symptom of brain injury, said Dr Sarkis Nazarian, chief of neurological services of Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System. "It's really tough on families because it gives them false hope," Nazarian says. The part of Naoma's brain that allowed her to walk and talk is already gone. One of these days, the part that tells her to breathe or the part that keeps her heart beat­ ing will stop. "It's been a long, rough, hard road," Harold says, standing next to her bed. People don't believe him when he says his wife has an illness similar to mad cow disease. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta report 3,000 people have died in the United States during the past 30 years from the classic form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob. At least 80 people in Europe since the mid-1990s have died of a variant of the disease linked to eating meat from cattle infected with bovine spongiform en­ cephalopathy, commonly called mad cow disease. Mad cow disease affects animals much the same way as Creutzfeldt-Jakob affects people, causing uncontrolled body movement as it destroys brain tissue. Mad cow disease was first diagnosed in Britain, where about 177,000 cattle were infected. See DISEASE, Page 02 SUGGESTIONS? CALL BRET WALLACE, ASSISTANT EDITOR, AT 823-6363 OR 1-800-827-6363 OR E-MAIL AT

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