(Press-News.org) A new analysis has found that certain cancers are more concentrated in areas with high poverty, while other cancers arise more often in wealthy regions. Also, areas with higher poverty had lower cancer incidence and higher mortality than areas with lower poverty. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study's findings demonstrate the importance of including measures of socioeconomic status in national cancer surveillance efforts.
Overall, socioeconomic status is not related to cancer risk—cancer strikes the rich and poor alike. However, socioeconomic status does seem to influence the type of cancer a person may develop. To look closely at the issue, Francis Boscoe, PhD, of the New York State Cancer Registry and his colleagues compared people living in areas with the highest poverty with those living in areas with the lowest poverty. The investigators assigned nearly three million tumors diagnosed between 2005 and 2009 from 16 states plus Los Angeles (an area covering 42 percent of the US population) into one of four groupings based on the poverty rate of the residential census tract at time of diagnosis.
For all cancer types combined, there was a negligible association between cancer incidence and poverty; however, 32 of 39 cancer types showed a significant association with poverty (14 positively associated and 18 negatively associated). Certain cancers—Kaposi sarcoma and cancers of the larynx, cervix, penis, and liver—were more likely in the poorest neighborhoods, while other cancers—melanoma, thyroid, other non-epithelial skin, and testis—were more likely in the wealthiest neighborhoods. "At first glance, the effects seem to cancel one another out. But the cancers more associated with poverty have lower incidence and higher mortality, and those associated with wealth have higher incidence and lower mortality," explained Dr. Boscoe. "When it comes to cancer, the poor are more likely to die of the disease while the affluent are more likely to die with the disease."
Dr. Boscoe noted that recent gains in technology have made it much easier to link patient addresses with neighborhood characteristics, therefore making it possible to incorporate socioeconomic status into cancer surveillance. "Our hope is that our paper will illustrate the value and necessity of doing this routinely in the future," he said.
An area's level of poverty or wealth may affect the distribution of cancer types
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
E-cigarettes: Not a healthy alternative to smoking
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (May 27, 2014) – Caveat emptor – or "buyer beware" holds true when it comes to the unknown health effects of e-cigarettes. An article in the June issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), examines risks, including the ongoing dependence on nicotine and the dual use of e-cigarettes and regular cigarettes. The article examines the idea that one of the initial "health benefits" proposed by e-cigarettes makers was that it would help those who smoke cigarettes ...
Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for May 27, 2014
1. Task Force: Screen high-risk individuals for hepatitis B The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends hepatitis B virus (HBV) screening for nonpregnant high-risk adolescents and adults, according to a recommendation statement being published in Annals of Internal Medicine. Up to 2.2 million people in the United States have chronic HBV, and 15 to 25 percent of those infected will die from liver disease or liver cancer. Screening for HBV could identify those who may benefit from treatment. Most people born in the United States have been vaccinated for ...
Inhaling hypertonic saline decreases hospital admissions in children with bronchiolitis
A team of researchers, led by physicians from Children's Hospital Los Angeles, have found that infants with bronchiolitis who were treated with inhaled hypertonic saline in the emergency department (ED) were less likely to require admission to the hospital compared to infants treated with normal saline. The study, conducted at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland, will be published in JAMA Pediatrics on May 26. Bronchiolitis is a respiratory infection common in infants and young children that results in approximately 150,000 ...
Hot flashes/night sweats solutions: Estrogen therapy vs. Venlafaxine
BOSTON, MA – A new research study from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) that compares low-dose oral estrogen and low-dose non-hormonal venlafaxine hydrochloride extended release (XR) to placebo were both found effective in reducing the number of hot flashes and night sweats reported by menopausal women. The study is the first clinical trial to simultaneously evaluate estrogen therapy (ET), known as the "gold standard" treatment for hot flashes and night sweats, and a non-hormonal treatment, venlafaxine, a first-line treatment in women who are unwilling or unable to ...
Conflicting conclusions in 2 bronchiolitis studies; editorial explains why
Less Improvement in Infants with Bronchiolitis After Nebulized Hypertonic Saline Treatment Bottom Line: Children with bronchiolitis (a common respiratory tract infection that can result in hospitalization) who were treated in the emergency department showed less clinical improvement after receiving nebulized 3 percent hypertonic saline (HS) than infants who received normal saline (NS). Author: Todd A. Florin, M.D., M.S.C.E., of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital, and colleagues. Background: Nebulized HS has been shown to increase mucociliary clearance (the clearing ...
Ebola vaccine success highlights dilemma of testing on captive chimps to save wild apes
The first conservation-specific vaccine trial on captive chimpanzees has proved a vaccine against Ebola virus is both safe and capable of producing a robust immune response in chimpanzees. This unprecedented study, published in the journal PNAS, shows that 'orphan' vaccines - which never complete the expensive licensing process for human use - can be co-opted for use on wildlife and might be a godsend for highly endangered species such as gorillas and chimpanzees, say researchers. They suggest that, by ending captive research in an effort to pay back an "ethical ...
From chaos to order: How ants optimize food search
Ants are capable of complex problem-solving strategies that could be widely applied as optimization techniques. An individual ant searching for food walks in random ways, biologists found. Yet the collective foraging behaviour of ants goes well beyond that, as a mathematical study to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals: The animal movements at a certain point change from chaos to order. This happens in a surprisingly efficient self-organized way. Understanding the ants could help analyze similar phenomena - for instance how humans ...
Relaxation helps pack DNA into a virus
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have found that DNA packs more easily into the tight confines of a virus when given a chance to relax, they report in a pair of papers to be published in in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of May 26 and the May 30 issue of Physical Review Letters. DNA is a long, unwieldy molecule that tends to repel itself because it is negatively charged, yet it can spool tightly. Within the heads of viruses, DNA can be packed to near crystalline densities, crammed in by a molecular ...
Breakthrough shows how DNA is 'edited' to correct genetic diseases
An international team of scientists has made a major step forward in our understanding of how enzymes 'edit' genes, paving the way for correcting genetic diseases in patients. Researchers at the Universities of Bristol, Münster and the Lithuanian Institute of Biotechnology have observed the process by which a class of enzymes called CRISPR – pronounced 'crisper' – bind and alter the structure of DNA. The results, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) today, provide a vital piece of the puzzle if these genome editing tools are ultimately ...
Sex-specific changes in cerebral blood flow begin at puberty, Penn study finds
PHILADELPHIA – Puberty is the defining process of adolescent development, beginning a cascade of changes throughout the body, including the brain. Penn Medicine researchers have discovered that cerebral blood flow (CBF) levels decreased similarly in males and females before puberty, but saw them diverge sharply in puberty, with levels increasing in females while decreasing further in males, which could give hints as to developing differences in behavior in men and women and sex-specific pre-dispositions to certain psychiatric disorders. Their findings are available in Proceedings ...