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Drinking alcohol daily may raise skin cancer risk: Study

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New York, Aug 2: Individuals who are heavy alcohol consumers may be at an increased risk of developing non-melanoma skin cancer, an analysis has shown.

The findings, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, revealed that for every 10 gram increase in alcohol intake per day, the risk of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) increased by 7 per cent and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) by 11 per cent.

These are the two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer.

While ultraviolet radiation is directly linked to BCC and cSCC risk, the relationship between alcohol and these cancers is not exactly defined, the study said.

For the study, the team conducted meta-analysis and reviewed findings from 13 case-control/cohort studies, which comprised 91,942 BCC cases and 3299 cSCC cases, to determine any link between alcohol intake and non-melanoma skin cancer incidence.

“This meta-analysis found evidence that alcohol drinking is positively associated with both BCC and cSCC risk in a dose-dependent manner,” said H.Yen from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

However, “these results should be interpreted with caution due to potential residual confounding”, Yen added.

Because alcohol drinking is a prevalent and modifiable behaviour, it could serve as an important public health target to reduce the global health burden of non-melanoma skin cancers, the researchers said.

IANS

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Why mothers’ response to baby’s babbling is important

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New York, Jan 21: Do not stop your little ones when they are babbling. According to new research, babies tend to listen to mothers’ verbal languages that further helps them in learning language skills.

Babies organise mothers’ verbal responses, which promotes more effective language instruction and infant babbling is the key, the research said.

Published in the journal Developmental Science, the study maintained that babies modify their sounds to become more speech-like in response to feedback from their caregivers and that they learn things have names by caregivers naming objects.

Researchers recorded and recombined the vocalisations of 40 nine-month-olds and their mothers, using a “playback paradigm”, to assess how specific forms of sounds and actions by infants influenced parental behaviour.

“We expected that mothers would respond more often when babbling was more mature and they did. The increased rate of response meant more language-learning opportunities for the baby,” said Michael Goldstein, Associate Professor of Psychology at Cornell University.

“The mothers’ speech was also more likely to contain simplified, learnable information about linguistic structure and the objects around the baby. Thus, by varying the form and context of their vocalisations, infants influence maternal behaviour and create social interactions that facilitate learning,” Goldstein said.

The researchers also found that mothers responded more often and more informatively to vocalisations directed at objects than those that were undirected.

“We suspected this would be the case because the object the baby is looking at creates an opportunity for the mother to label it, so she’s more likely to respond with specific information than when a baby is babbling at nothing,” said Rachel Albert, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Lebanon Valley College.

“These results contribute to a growing understanding of the role of social feedback in infant vocal learning, which stands in contrast to the historical view of prelinguistic vocalisations in which babbling was assumed to be motor practice, with no function in the development of communication and language,” Albert added.

IANS

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Medical tourism in India on rise

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India Tourism has been seeing a year on year growth; there has been an increase in domestic travellers as well as foreigners travelling to India. India also attracts patients from several countries for Medical treatments.

Medical tourism or health and wellness tourism refers to the industry where people from across the world travel to other countries to get medical, dental or surgical care and at the same time visit local attractions of that country.

Out of the total Medical tourism across globe approximately 63% is shared between Singapore, Thailand and India with Singapore and Thailand being the leaders in the field.

India has seen a regular growth in Medical tourism traveller’s and from 2013 -2016, the medical visas issued annually has grown from 1.22 lacs to 1.78 lacs.

Following are some of the reasons why people choose India for their treatment:

– World Class facilities and services available in India
– Good qualified doctors
– Cost (Some of the major surgeries in India cost 10-20% of the cost incurred in Western Countries)
– No waiting period for treatments

Some challenges which need to be addressed for patients choosing India as preferred Medical tourism hub

– Improve perception on hygiene and service across the globe
– Ensure quality and service
– Step down facilities for Post Surgical care for recovery. India lacks in centers that can take care of recovery needs post treatments and the patient has to spend more days at a hospital.
– Medical Visa – Procedure to obtain medical visa needs simplification as it can get quite cumbersome as per current regulations

Based on statistics released by the government, Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are the top destinations for visitors travelling for Medical tourism. Chennai, Mumbai and Delhi have the large number of quality hospitals and take the maximum share of the pie as of today. These cities have a several hospitals to choose from and offer good connectivity across the globe.

Medical tourism or health and wellness tourism can be divided in to 2 different types:

Curative: This is where the traveller’s come in for specific treatments, a few of the preferred treatments are listed below:

Cardiac Surgeries including bypass surgeries

Knee / Hip Replacement surgeries

Orthopedic surgeries

Cosmetic surgeries

Ophthalmology

Rejuvenation: Traveller’s want to explore the ancient treatments and traditional medicines offered in India and hence they come to India, a few are listed below

Ayurveda
Yoga
Siddha
Yunani
Naturopathy

Considering that we can excel in various parameters catering to medical tourism, our country has tremendous potential to increase our share in the Medical Tourism segment.

Jay Kantawala, Founder of WIYO Travel says, “Medical tourism in India has been seeing a year on year growth in the past decade and is expected to grow 2 ½ times in the coming 8-10 years and become a US$ 1.6 Billion market in coming decade. This industry will get a boost if Visa process is simplified and simple cross border payments. In addition to this we are seeing Health care institutions opting for certifications for NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) and JCI (Joint Commission International) accreditations, which help in building trust amongst travelers”.

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New blood test may help early detection of 8 cancers

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Blood Test Cancer

Sydney, Jan 19: A new blood test that can help in the early diagnoses of eight common cancers before they spread and risk patients’ chances of survival has been developed by Australian researchers.

The new test would help early detection of cancers affecting the ovary, liver, stomach, pancreas, oesophagus, bowel, lung and breast, Xinhua quotes a statement from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia.

The test “has the potential to be a one-stop, safe screening test for multiple tumour types that should have high community acceptance,” Jeanne Tie, Associate Professor at the institute was quoted as saying.

“For the first time, we have the promise of a screening test that will lead to earlier diagnosis and improved survival outcomes for many tumor types that are major contributors to cancer deaths in our community,” Tie added.

Cancer survival rates are directly linked to how advanced the disease is in a patient during diagnosis, which means that blood tests that can accurately detect the illness well before the symptoms are present is urgently needed.

There are still no effective screening tests for many major tumor types and available tests can each only screen for one cancer at a time, the report said.

The new blood test, reported in the journal Science, screens for key proteins and gene mutations that indicate the presence of the cancers.

It was able to detect tumours in patients in the early stages of the condition in about 70 per cent of the cases.

IANS

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