Cholesterol drugs lower cancer risk
Millions of Americans take cholesterol-lowering statins. Studies indicate that drugs such as pravastatin (Pravachol) and simvastatin (Zocor) can reduce the risk for cancer.
Example: A Veterans Administration study showed that people taking statin drugs for more than six months cut their lung cancer risk by 55%.
All statins lower inflammation as well as cholesterol. The anti-inflammatory effects may inhibit cell changes that can lead to cancer. The research is too new to recommend statins solely for cancer prevention, but it’s good news that people who already take these drugs may get an additional benefit.
Earwax predicts cancer
Most people have a dry form of earwax, but some produce a wax that’s unusually moist. There appears to be an association between this wet earwax and the development of breast cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute, women with excessive wet earwax are twice as likely to develop breast cancer as those with the dry form. Wet earwax is more common in Caucasians and African-Americans. It’s less common in Asians and Native Americans.
If your ears frequently get plugged with wax or if you notice large amounts of sticky wax in the ear canal or outer ear, see a doctor. He/she can tell if it’s the dry or wet form – and whether you’ll need more frequent screening.
Most insurance claims result from unhealthy lifestyles
In fact, lifestyle choices – such as smoking and not maintaining a healthy weight – play a role in 74% of health-care claims. Researchers expect that employers may start to put pressure on employees to lead healthier lives in order to keep companies’ health-care costs down.
(Joint study by Indiana-Purdue Universities and BeniComp, Inc.,an insurance company, Fort Wayne)
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