World Bulletin / News Desk
People who smoke or drink heavily may develop pancreatic cancer at an earlier age than those who avoid those habits, according to a U.S. study, but quitting both appears to help.
It's long been known that smoking is a risk factor for developing pancreatic cancer, a disease that is rarely caught early and has a grim prognosis. Only about five of every 100 people diagnosed with the cancer remain alive five years later.
The evidence on heavy drinking has been more mixed, but some studies have suggested it's also a risk factor. The new results, which appeared in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, show the disease may strike smokers and drinkers earlier in life.
"If you do have these habits, and you're going to develop pancreatic cancer, the age of presentation may be younger," said lead researcher Michelle Anderson, at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.
Her team also found that the effect disappeared for former smokers and drinkers if they had quit 10 years or more before being diagnosed.
On average, the risk of developing pancreatic cancer is about one in 71, and the average age at diagnosis is 72, according to the American Cancer Society.
But in this study, current smokers and heavy drinkers were diagnosed a decade earlier than that.
The findings are based on 811 patients in a pancreatic cancer registry.
Those who were current smokers were typically diagnosed at around age 62, versus age 70 among non-smokers. Heavy drinkers, meanwhile, were typically diagnosed at age 61, almost a decade earlier than non-drinkers.
The findings do not prove that smoking or drinking led to the earlier cancers, but Anderson's team did account for a number of other factors, such as body weight and family history of pancreatic cancer. Smoking and heavy drinking were still linked to earlier diagnoses.
The new measures announced by the government came as Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone struggle to contain the worst outbreak yet of the virus.
Angry crowds gathered outside the country's main Ebola hospital in Kenema where dozens are receiving treatment for the virus, and threatened to burn it down and remove the patients.
Asia’s largest copper mine in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is causing serious damage to the environment.
The victim has been identified as Patrick Sawyer, a 40-year-old Liberian who arrived in Lagos on Sunday.
An MSF report found that malaria cases in Bossangoa had more than tripled to 6,507 in May with almost two-thirds of those children under the age of five.
If confirmed, the case would be the first on record of one of the world's deadliest diseases in Nigeria, Africa's biggest economy and, with 170 million people, its most populous country.
Researchers said the findings challenge the universal endorsement of paracetamol as the first choice painkiller for lower back pain.
The 39-year-old Sheik Umar Khan, hailed as a "national hero" by the health ministry, was leading the fight to control an outbreak that has killed 206 people in the West African country
Shanghai food watchdog said it sealed more than 1,000 tonnes of suspected meat products from OSI in China, and a further 100 tonnes of products from a range of its customers.
Children in Syria are at greatest risk as routine immunisation has been disrupted and many health centres are severely damaged after more than three years of conflict
151 people who came into direct contact with the victim were also placed in quarantine.
Viruses that spread through air - such as flu viruses for example - are far more likely to spread swiftly and widely in human populations
TV report that showed workers picking up meat from a factory floor, as well as mixing meat beyond its expiration date with fresh meat
Religious leaders to preach in their churches and mosques for a change of attitude towards the disease
The three people in the latest reported cases had "mild symptoms" and have fully recovered after being treated with antibiotics, the department said, adding that they are no longer contagious.
A state landmark, Mount Rainier last erupted in the 19th century. It is widely expected to erupt again, according to the U.S. National Park Service.