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More Than 11 Moles On The Arm Could Predict Future Cancer Risk

Having more than 11 moles on your right arm could raise the risk of getting skin cancer in the future, research has suggested. Researchers said they have found a new way for GP’s to quickly assess whether somebody may be at risk of developing melanoma by counting moles on a “proxy” body area such as the arm or the leg, according to experts from King’s College London.

Around 20% to 40% of melanoma is thought to arise from pre-existing moles. Having more than 100 moles on the body is a “strong predictor” of developing melanoma. The study, which was funded by the Wellcome Trust, examined data from 3,594 female twins. Specially trained nurses from St Thomas’ hospital in London performed a mole count on 17 areas on each person’s body. Skin type, hair and eye colour and freckles were also recorded in the research.

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The results were checked against a further study involving men and women. Scientists found that the count of moles on the right arm was most predictive of how many moles were on the entire body. Those people with more than seven moles on their right arm had nine times the risk of having over 50 on the whole body, while those with more than 11 were more likely to have more than 100.

The experts found that the area above the right elbow was particularly predictive of the total body count of moles. The legs were also strongly linked with the total count, while men’s backs also highlighted as an increased risk. The researchers concluded: “We demonstrated that arm mole count of more than 11 is associated with a significant risk of having more than 100 moles, that is in itself a strong predictor of risk for melanoma.”

Lead author Simone Ribero, of the department of twin research and genetic epidemiology at King’s, said: “The findings could have a significant impact for primary care, allowing GPs to more accurately estimate the total number of moles in a patient extremely quickly via an easily accessible body part. This would mean that more patients at risk of melanoma can be identified and monitored.”

Dr Claire Knight, health information manager at Cancer Research UK, said the finding could be useful because lots of moles makes it a higher risk for melanoma in the future. Other risk factors for melanoma include having red or fair hair, fair skin, light-coloured eyes or having been sunburnt in the past. “But less than half of melanomas develop from existing moles. So it’s important to know what’s normal for your skin and to tell your doctor about any change in the size, shape, colour or feel of a mole or a normal patch of skin. And don’t just look at your arms – melanoma can develop anywhere on the body, and is most common on the trunk in men and the legs in women.”

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Sitting Too Long Won’t Kill You – Just Exercise Everyday

At first, it was said that sitting was just as smoking a cigarette. We then found out that sitting is affecting our muscle movement and brain activity, making our behinds larger, and leaving our DNA open to ageing. To fight against this you were probably thinking about investing in one of those stand up desks. Then, you found out that standing desks weren’t as good as everyone said. Thankfully, a new study has found that our general beliefs about sitting for prolonged periods might not be as dangerous as once said before.

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Contrary to studies that showed even exercise time can’t reverse the effects of long sitting periods, researchers from the University of Exton and the University College London found that if you are otherwise physically active, sitting for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean you are on your way to an early death.

The researchers had 5,000 civil servants in London collect data on when they sat at work and at home over the course of 16 years. 3,720 men and 1,412 women were involved in the study, and age, race, gender, socio-economic status, general health, smoking, alcohol consumption, and diet were taken into account, as well as the amount of walking and exercise the person did.

What they found, however, was that many of the civil servants spent twice as much time walking a day than other London residents, even though the participants used London public transportation.

“Our findings suggest that reducing sitting time might not be quite as important for mortality risk as previously publicized and that encouraging people to be more active should still be a public health priority,” said lead author Richard Pulsford, a researcher in the sport and health sciences department at the University of Exeter.

Though the researchers agree that the study could use more research in determining if sitting can lead to complications such as diabetes, or if a person’s physical posture or lack of motion is the real reason that sitting is considered to be harmful, they concluded their study by stating, “policy makers and clinicians should be cautious about placing emphasis on sitting behaviour as a risk factor for mortality that is distinct from the effect of physical activity.”

It might seem as if every day a new study comes out saying sitting is bad or sitting is not so bad, but either way the message remains the same: Make sure you get at least some exercise every single day.

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Nobel Prize For Medicine Split For Anti-Parasitic Drug Discoveries

The Nobel prize for physiology and medicine were announced today and it has been split two ways for ground breaking work on parasitic diseases. Satoshi Omura and William C Campbell found a new way of tackling infections cause by roundworm parasites. They share the prize with Youyou Tu for her discovery of a therapy against malaria.

The Nobel committee said the work had changed the lives of millions of people affected by these diseases which are caused by parasites. Malaria, the mosquito borne disease, kills over 450,000 people eacmalaria_2695307bh year around the world with billions more at risk of catching the deadly infection.

Parasitic worms such as roundworm affect a third of the world’s population and cause a number of illnesses including lymphatic filariasis andriver blindness.

There were decades of limited progress fighting these diseases, there was a discover of two new drugs; ivermectin for lymphatic filariasis and river blindness and artemisinin for malaria was an absolute game changer.

Tackling malaria was failing, older drugs were losing their potency and the disease was on the rise. Prof Youyou Tu looked to herbal medicine to tackle the disease. She took an extract from the plant known as Artemisia annua, otherwise known as sweet wormwood, and began tasting it on malaria parasites. The extract was effective and had a high success rate of killing the parasites.

It is currently being used around the world in combination with other malaria medicines. In Africa alone it is saving more than 100,000 lives a year.

She is sharing the award with two men who found a treatment for roundworm. Their research led to a drug called ivermectin which is so successful that roundworm is on the brink of eradication.

Satoshi Ōmura, a Japanese microbiologist, focused on studying microbes in soil samples. He selected a number of promising candidates that he though might work as a weapon against diseases.

Irish-born William C Campbell, an expert in parasite biology working in the US, then explored these further and found one was remarkably efficient against parasites.

The active ingredient, avermectin, went on to become a drug known as ivermectin which is now used to treat river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.

River blindness is an eye and skin disease that ultimately leads to blindness. Lymphatic filariasis, also known as elephantiasis, causes painful swelling of the limbs. Both affect people living in some of the poorest countries in the world.