Articles on risk

I Am a Working Woman, Does That Mean My Risks of Cancer Are Higher?

Ms. Samara Mahindra, Dietitian/Nutritionist
The chance of a person getting cancer depends upon a lot of factors. Amongst these are factors like one’s age, work, location, sex, lifestyle habits and occupation. There is constant research done regarding the groups which face a higher risk of getting cancer. Such as, groups of people working in industries which deal with chemicals like benzene on a daily bases can be at a higher risk of getting cancer.Moreover, researchers have found that working women who have occupations that require a high level of skill (e.g. engineer, lawyer, scientist) can be at a higher risk of getting cancer as well. Consequently, women who have jobs that don’t require a high level of skill (e.g. housemaid, cleaner) are not at a higher risk.Research like this is incredibly helpful in preventing new cancer cases and delving deeper into causative factors of getting cancer in the first place. India has a very large number of women professionals in skilled occupations which is growing steadily and might be the reason to a growing number of breast cancer cases as well, however it is not a definite conclusion. An opposing argument can very well be that the growing mass of working women in India is leading to regular screenings and employee health check-ups that are initiated by corporate organizations and therefore a higher detection of cases.It is also said that women who consume alcohol have a higher risk of getting cancer and key to prevention lies in following a diet that reduces your chances of cancer. Some have speculated that the reason women who have jobs that require a high level of skill are at greater risk maybe due to the fact their occupation may expose them to higher levels of stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition and lifestyle.Therefore controlling your chances is very much in your hands.Such as:• Regular screenings – Such as a self-breast examination once a month / Pap smear once in three years / mammograms once a year for women 45 years and above.• Lifestyle – One can further minimise their chances by leading an active lifestyle, balanced diet, rest-full sleep and engaging in stress relieving techniques such as meditation.• Knowledge – Knowledge is power when it comes to cancer and we cannot stress on this any further. Enriching your knowledge on how to live healthier and knowing your environment and surroundings can be lifesaving.

Worried About Cancer: Life Style Modification to Reduce the Risk

Dr. Sunny Jain, Oncologist
You can save yourself from cancer. I am sure you are eager to know how you can actually do that.The rampant increase in the number of cancer cases is an outcome of the faulty modern lifestyle, eating habits, addictions and the worsening environmental changes. Yes, genes and hormones play an important role, but the other factors deserve equal blame.Inculcating good habits like quitting smoking, alcohol abstinence, practising regular yoga, eating natural and antioxidant rich fruits and vegetables and maintaining healthy body weight can help keep cancer at bay. Importantly, incorporating regular exercise in your daily schedule can go a long way in protecting yourself from cancer. It significantly reduces the cancer cases. A study reveals as much as 25% reduction in breast cancer rate among women who exercise regularly compared to those who do not.For all those who are curious to know how exercise helps abate cancer, let me tell you enough research has been done to understand the role of regular physical activity in killing cancer cells. Have a look at what such researches have concluded:Particularly in women, physical activity lowers the level of a female hormone oestrogen. High levels of oestrogen are associated with higher risk of breast and uterine cancer. Regular exercise is highly recommended in post menopausal women to reduce the risk of these cancers.In cancer, cells of the body multiply uncontrollably. Insulin is the hormone that can turn on the multiplication of cells. Exercise helps to lower the insulin levels in the body and prevent multiplication of cells that occurs during cancer.Physical activity also prevents colon cancer. As we exercise, it promotes the bowel movement. Faster transit of the harmful chemicals from processed meat and other processed food items prevents the damage to the lining of the bowels. Exercise curbs the inflammation that happens due to such damage. Repeated inflammation and replacement of dead cells by new cells can trigger abnormal growth of cells, which leads to cancer. Thus, exercising helps against colon cancer.Exercise reduces stress and fatigue, makes you feel fresh and boosts immunity to prevent cancer. Physical activity keeps a check on your weight and eventually checks out cancer.How much to exercise:A daily 30 minute moderate exercise like walking, slow swimming, playing an outdoor sport like tennis is recommended.A 20 minute vigorous exercise 3-4 times a week like jogging, running, cycling or swimming is ideal.Complement these with muscle strengthening exercises for upper and lower body like push ups,weights etc twice a week.Say good bye to a sedentary life style, to embrace a healthier, cancer- free life.

Are You at Risk?

Dr. Sonia Talreja Dhawan P.T, Physiotherapist
Everything has a lifespan, be it your car or your body. The way you maintain it is a crucial factor to increase or decrease its lifespan. These days’ knees seem to have a much shorter life span with knee replacements coming into trend. So is it our lifestyle and lack of maintenance that is forcing people to give up their original knees? Are you going on the same road?ARE YOU KILLING YOUR KNEES?Follow these simple tips and be nice to your knees. MAINTAIN YOUR WEIGHTIt is recommended by all type of specialists to keep your weight within normal BMI ranges to prevent many obesity related issues. But for knees, every extra pound you carry adds up to 3 pounds of pressure on your knees while walking, 4 pounds while climbing stairs and 10 pounds when you run!! Therefore, ensure to maintain your BMI within the normal levels.      2. EXERCISEAre you thinking of electing going up and down those metro station stairs to be fit and lose those extra pounds?Think again! Did you know if you weigh 68 kgs, you put your knees through a weight of 272 kgs, while climbing stairs.Thought of walking down to metro station for fitness? Well, walking on hard asphalt and concrete surfaces or uneven stony surfaces not only puts more strain on your knees but also increases chances of your tripping over.Next? Gymming? Those squats and lunges wear your knees too if not done correctly.Then what to do?Low impact activities like yoga, biking, swimming, and strength training exercises.A study reveals that a small 20 – 25 % increase in quadriceps strength (which is main muscle for your knee actions) can lead to 20 – 30 % decrease in chance of developing knee arthritis.Walking is also good for knees, but should not be done on hard and uneven surfaces.Make sure you wear right kind of shoes, as shoes that cause body weight to be unevenly distributed, place extra stress on your knees. For those with flat feet or high arched feet need to have customized shoes as per their condition.   3. CORRECT YOUR ALIGNMENTJust as driving a car when the wheels are out of alignment causes the tires to wear irregularly, same principle holds true for your body. If your body is not properly aligned, your muscles, joints and ligaments take more strain than they are able to endure healthfully. A physio can help you assess your biomechanics and teach you proper standing, sitting, walking, running and lifting techniques that can help spare your joints from extra wear and tear.Arthritis of the knee is common, but it is not necessarily an inevitable consequence of ageing. Taking care of your knees now will cost you a lot less time and effort than rehabilitating them down the road. Follow these three simple tips and make your knees proud of you or vice versa ;) Happy healing !

Is Sitting Increasing Your Heart Risk?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
A sedentary lifestyle may increase the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart problems. It is really important to do some moderate to intense physical activity everyday. Physical workout in the form of exercise is very beneficial for all ages. It releases good hormones and helps to reduce stress, which is also responsible for lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart problems and obesity.According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart failure affects over 5 million people in the US, where it contributes to around 1 in 9 deaths and costs the nation an estimated $32 billion a year.According to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation: Heart Failure says –“Sitting for long periods increases heart failure risk in men, even for those who exercise regularly”The question that arises is that how does sitting increase the risk for heart failure. The reason given by Prof. Sara Rosenkranz is that when we sit for a long time, the muscle contraction activity lowers, due to which a molecule called lipoprotein lipase or LPL, shuts down. LPL converts fat into energy, for use by the body. She also explains that "We're basically telling our bodies to shut down the processes that help to stimulate metabolism throughout the day and that is not good. Just by breaking up your sedentary time, we can actually regulate that process in the body."One way to avoid prolonged sitting during the workday is to switch to a standing desk. An easier, no-cost solution is to set your smartphone timer to go off every 30 to 60 minutes during the day. When the alarm rings, “Stretch and move around the office to avoid any prolonged sitting,” Dr. Manson recommends.So, along with exercise, it is really important to also spend some time standing. Also, when we are sitting, we tend to eat more unnecessarily and even binge. Make it a point, whether you are at the workplace or at home, to spare some time in between to get up and walk around or at least do some light stretches.

You Might Be More Prone to Dental Cavities!

Dr. Ratnika Agarwal, Dentist
You brush daily and don't snack on sugary treats, yet you've had your fair share of cavities. Your friend, on the other hand don't follow dental hygiene and lives on energy drinks and junk food, yet rarely has a cavity. What could be the reason?Cavities, which result from a disease process called dental caries, are areas of decay caused by certain oral bacteria. As the decay progresses, the bacteria can eventually invade the living portion of the tooth (dentin and pulp) and is considered a bacterial infection. At that point professional dental treatment is required to remove the infection, stop the disease process and seal the tooth.This disease process requires certain combinations of conditions in order to progress. So it's likely that you have more of those conditions, or risk factors, than your friend does. Don't beat yourself up; while there are lots of things you can do to minimize risks, there are also factors that aren't so easily controlled.Tooth Decay Risk FactorsLet's take a look at those risk factors:Oral Bacteria — Cavities start with bacteria that build up on tooth surfaces in a sticky film called plaque where they feed on sugars and carbohydrates from the foods/beverages we consume, creating acids in the process. Acids dissolve the mineral bonds in the protective layer of tooth enamel, which makes it easier for bacteria to penetrate what is otherwise the hardest substance in the human body and infect the tooth. Your unique oral "microbiome" make-up could have more or less of the microbe species implicated in dental caries, and some strains of the same bugs are more aggressive than others.Dental hygiene — Brushing and flossing correctly and regularly helps dislodge bacterial plaque and trapped food particles. Regular checkups and professional cleanings are also important to remove plaque that has hardened into "tartar."Diet — Minimizing your intake of sugary foods and carbohydrates reduces the availability of fuel for cavity-causing bacteria. Meanwhile, acidic foods and beverages can erode enamel, and the more frequently they are consumed, the less opportunity saliva has to restore the mouth to its normal pH.Dry mouth — Saliva contains minerals that help neutralize acids and rebuild tooth enamel. Without a healthy flow, your ability to prevent decay is compromised. Certain medications, chemotherapy and some diseases can cause dry mouth. Drinking lots of water and using enamel-fortifying mouth rinses can help counter the effects.Tooth shape — Tooth decay is most likely to develop in back teeth — molars and bicuspids (premolars) — where the tiny fissures on their biting surface tend to trap food and bacteria. Genetics determines how deep your fissures are.Gum recession — Receding gums expose the tooth root, which isn't protected by enamel and therefore more susceptible to decay.Other factors — Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) and vomiting can create highly acidic conditions in the mouth. Retainers, orthodontic appliances and bite or night guards tend to restrict saliva flow over teeth, promoting plaque formation; fixed appliances like braces can make it more difficult to brush and floss effectively.

Dental Cavities Can Be Prevented!

Dr. Smita Salvi, Dentist
Yes, It is true!Everyone is terrified of dentists & dental pain..but yet simple precautions are overlooked, till the dreaded dental pain makes you cry and wince!Cavities in simple language is rotting of your teeth, meaning softening of hard tooth surface due to acid/ toxins produced by micro organisms. These micro organisms (bacteria) harbour on tooth surfaces due to food lodgement/improper cleaning. And as these toxins reach the nerve(pulp) of the tooth, you are already in pain.Simple habits, like rinsing with water after every meal (even after having tea/coffee) has effectively shown 50% reduction in cavities. You might say it doesn't look nice rinsing in office or in party or while travellings. But you don't have to! Just a gulp of drinking water, sqoosh around and drink, it will not look impolite!Second habit would be brushing at night. Yes it's a basic thing. But just think are there times when you miss, or your child throws tantrums? Make it a family thing. The whole family brushing in the night. Including you, your spouse and child. It will be a fun activity!Use of fluoridated toothpastes is recommended, unless your dentist changes your toothpaste. A high use of herbal toothpastes have been seen, due to catchy advertisements and celebrities, but as fluoride is absent in herbal (100% vegetarian) toothpastes, cavities are a high risk. Consult your Dentists for the same.Last, but not the least, make bi-annual visit to your dentist for early detection of cavities and prevention. Hopefully next time you will smile back at your dentist for his hard work too. :)

Myths and Facts About Suicide

Dr. Riddhish K. Maru, Psychiatrist
MYTH 1: A person who talks about committing Suicide, won’t actually do it.FACT 1: About 80% of persons who commit suicide express their intentions to one and often more than one person.MYTH 2: Suicide usually occurs without warning. FACT 2:  A person planning suicide usually gives clues although in some cases, suicidal intent is carefully concealed.MYTH 3: A suicidal person fully intends to die. FACT 3: Most suicidal people feel ambivalent toward death and arrange an attempted suicide in the hope that someone will intervene.MYTH 4: If a person attempts suicide once, he or she remains at constant risk for suicide throughout life. FACT 4:  Suicidal intentions are often limited to a specific period of time, especially if help is sought and received. Person is at highest risk to repeat suicide in the 1st year following the act. Help can be effective. MYTH 5: If a person shows improvement after a suicidal crisis, the risk has passed. FACT 5:  Most suicides occur within three months or so after the onset of improvement, when the person has the energy to act on intentions.MYTH 6: Suicide occurs most often among the very rich and the very poor. FACT 6:  Suicide occurs in equal proportions among persons of all socioeconomic levels. MYTH 7:  Families can pass on a predisposition to suicidal behavior.FACT 7:  Suicide is not an inherited trait, but an individual characteristic resulting from a combination of variables. One of which is positive family history.MYTH 8: All suicidal persons are mentally ill, and only a psychotic person will commit suicide.FACT 8:  Studies indicate that 95% suicidal persons have mental illness.

Safe Long Cut Is Better Than Risky Shortcuts in Diet Exercise Sex Etc Says Dr Vaibhav Lunkad

Dr. Vaibhav Lunkad, Sexologist
Safe Long cut is better than Risky Shortcuts in Diet Exercise Activities Friendship Sex etc says Dr Vaibhav LunkadIt is a normal psychology of "Hurry Worry Curry" in all things from childhood which "Causes Casualties which you have to keep Correcting" whole life. Isn't it true that we have to "repeat revise re-do restrain remind relocate" so many things because of not doing it Fully Unhurtingly Care-fully Knowingly the first time itself.It's so important to create HI-story by understanding that H is honesty and I is integrity which if together in anything they can create a story of HI-STORY.So now that you have readied your mind to create history in Diet Exercise Activities Friendships Sex(D.E.A.F.S.) etc and usually people turn deaf when advised let's change for the better by 180 by taking a SAFE LONG CUT THAN RISKY SHORTCUTS.SAFE LONG CUT means doing a thing steadily with enjoyment and "without getting bored or tired" as the process or journey should be enjoyed and not the end or start.So sex or diet or any activity for that matter like having a cup of tea or sex WHICH should be done slowly steadily enjoying every small bit of the process as that creates satiety and a satisfaction or you are prone to become  A FOODIE OR HAVE AN EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR which is dangerous as they are RISKY SHORTCUTS.RISKY SHORTCUTS can give fun BUT AT A HIGH RISK RISKY SHORTCUTS can give satisfaction BUT AT A HIGH RISK RISKY SHORTCUTS can give friendship BUT AT A HIGH RISK RISKY SHORTCUTS can give "ALL" BUT AT A HIGH RISK After seeing the History of happy successful people it is important to remember that NO RISKY SHORTCUTS but only SAFE LONG-CUTS are the best techniques for being an ACHIEVER in diet exercise activities friendship sex etc.Yet if you differ or even like please respond to me on vaibhavlunkad@yahoo.com 

Don't Believe in These 6 Hyped Cancer Myths!

Dr. Sandeep Nayak, Surgical Oncologist
Try a Google search on ‘cancer’ and you’ll be hit with millions of web pages. And same is the case with YouTube videos. Not only does an online search brings up a wealth of credible information about the disease and its treatment, but also pages spreading common myths and misconceptions. So how do we know what’s accurate when some of these myths can sound perfectly logical?Certain popular notions about how cancer starts and spreads—though scientifically wrong—can seem to make sense, especially when those ideas are rooted in old theories. But wrong ideas about cancer can lead to needless worry and even affect good prevention and treatment decisions. It is always advisable to check the source of the article. Medical professionals writing an article or blog on their specialties would always be more reliable than an unknown source. Here are some common cancer myths and misconceptions:Myth 1: Cancer is a man-made, modern diseaseCancer is not just a ‘modern’, man-made disease of Western society. Cancer has existed as long as humans have. There is evidence of cancer in historical scriptures and archaeologists have found remains of people who died of cancer thousands of years ago. Our lifestyle and longevity might have increased the risk of cancer.Myth 2: Superfoods prevent cancerBlueberries, beetroot, broccoli, garlic, green tea… the list goes on. Despite thousands of websites claiming otherwise, there’s no such thing as a ‘superfood’. It’s a marketing term used to sell products and has no scientific basis. These foods rich antioxidants may reduce the risk, but cannot completelyprevent it.  Myth 3: ‘Acidic’ diets cause cancerThis is biological nonsense. True, cancer cells can’t live in an overly alkaline environment, but neither can any of the other cells in your body. There’s no good evidence to prove that diet can manipulate whole body pH, or that it has an impact on cancer. However, it is true that the acid secreted by stomachhas a role in reducing cancer risk. Myth 4: Cancer is a fungus – and sodium bicarbonate is the cureProponents of this theory say that cancer is caused by infection by the fungus candida, and that tumours are actually the body’s attempt at protecting itself from this infection. As far as we are aware, there have been no published clinical trials of sodium bicarbonate as a treatment for cancer. We do wish it was that simple.Myth 5: There’s a miracle cancer cure…From cannabis to coffee enemas, the internet is awash with videos and personal anecdotes about ‘natural’ ‘miracle’ cures for cancer. Some wild fruits have been portrayed as miracle cure for cancer. Medical science specialises in extracting the chemicals available in naturally occurring in the environment to see the effect on cancer cells and make to available to patients. Many of the treatments available to days have been derived from naturally occurring chemicals. Myth 6: Alternate medicine can cure cancer without side effect…Contrary to popular belief, alternate medicines are not side effect free. Many of the products used in alternative medicine have heavy metals which are poisonous and can affect the function of vital organs. The naturally occurring chemicals in plants that have medicinal property need to be extracted to give best results. When these products are administered without purification, the other chemicals in the product can cause severe side effects.Modern medicine may still be lagging behind in the treatment of some cancers. However, what is provided by modern medicine is tested, researched and documented. It is important that the patients don’t take treatment based in myths and loose valuable time when cancer could be cured.