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Causes of colorectal cancer: obesity may play a role

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It’s one of the mysteries that has puzzled cancer epidemiologists: Why are younger and younger people becoming sick with colorectal cancer?

The latest national cancer statistics from the American Cancer Society show adults under the age of 55 have seen their colorectal cancer rate increase 2 percent per year since the mid-1990s. Overall, those born in 1990 have double the risk of developing colon cancer and four times the risk of getting rectal cancer compared to those born around 1950. That’s why, in response to the alarming trend, the ACS in 2018 lowered the recommended age for routine colorectal cancer screening to 45 from 50.

“It’s not like the problem is bad and has stabilized,” said Thomas Weber, the director of surgical oncology at New York’s Northwell Health, who organizes an annual summit for researchers trying to solve the mystery. “The problem has continued to worsen.”

A new study, published on May 17 in Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, suggests the trend may be global. Looking at long-term data on colon and rectal cancer incidence, the authors found increases in people younger than 50 in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, and the UK.

Researchers have a couple of potential explanations for what’s going on: the rising rates of obesity and factors that shape the microbiome in early childhood. Since 1980, the obesity prevalence has doubled in more than 70 countries around the world. Thirty-nine percent of US adults, are now obese, along with 19 percent of children and adolescents.

A recent JAMA study looked at 85,000 women and found a link between a higher body weight, particularly obesity, and a greater risk of colorectal cancer.

But not so fast: One of the study’s authors, Washington University School of Medicine cancer epidemiologist Yin Cao, warned this study isn’t the final answer: “I think we are getting closer but this is not the final answer for [the mystery].” Here’s why.

The link between obesity and colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, with a lifetime risk of 4 to 5 percent in men and women. While it used to be a disease that mainly surfaced after middle age, the shift to younger and younger ages has alarmed researchers. And not only are people in their 20s and 30s increasingly being diagnosed with the disease; they’re also dying from it.

The main reason obesity is thought of as a potential driver of early-onset colorectal cancer is because it’s associated with inflammation in the body.

You can think about inflammation in two ways. There’s helpful inflammation, as with your body’s immune response to an attack by a foreign invader — your skin reddens and heats up to fight off bacteria in a cut.

There’s also harmful, or chronic, inflammation: when your body’s inflammatory response goes into overdrive, hampering its ability to fight off viruses and disease. One measure of it is a blood marker called C-reactive protein (CRP). Researchers have found associations between higher levels of CRP and various chronic illnesses, including cancer, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. People who are inactive or obese or who eat an unhealthy diet seem to have higher levels of CRP in their systems too.

The JAMA study looked at 85,000 women aged 25 to 42 who were followed from 1989 to 2011 as part of the ongoing Nurses’ Health Study II. The researchers mapped early-onset colorectal cancers against body mass index (BMI) — both current and at age 18 — to figure out whether having a higher BMI at any point in a person’s life was associated with greatest colorectal cancer risk before age 50. And they found strong associations.

The 114 women who developed colorectal cancer in the study tended to have a higher BMIs. Their risk also increased the higher their body weights climbed. So people with obesity (a BMI of 30) had nearly double the risk of early-onset colorectal cancer compared with women in the normal BMI range (18.5 to 22.9). In other words, it looked like as obesity rates climb, so too does colorectal cancer risk.

Why this mystery is hard to solve

But the impact of obesity on cancer risk is pretty hard to untangle from other behaviors or attributes people with obesity may have, like their diet. Scientists have found strong associations between Western-style, pro-inflammatory diets — heavy in processed meat, red meat, organ meat, sugary beverages, and refined grains — and a higher risk of colorectal cancer. And it’s possible the heavier people in the study followed a diet that was more inflammation-promoting.

What’s more, the study only looked at a subset of cases. “There were 114 cases under the age of 50 [in the study], and there are some 16,000 cases a year of colorectal cancer of people under the age of 50 in the US,” Weber said.

So while obesity may play a role in driving this alarming trend, it’s probably not the entire explanation. Weber added: “Many, many providers are struck by how fit and active many of their young colorectal cancer patients are. And this includes the fact the vast majority of these cases have nothing to do with hereditary syndromes.”

Other researchers are looking at whether colorectal cancer in young people may be the result of exposures to certain things in early childhood.

“There is persuasive evidence that features of early life contribute to risks for a number of adverse health effects that occur in later childhood, teen ages, and even in young adults,” writes Franklin Berger, research and outreach director at the University of South Carolina, in a recent Conversation article. This can include things like antibiotic treatments, whether a baby was born vaginally or through a C-section, stress, and again, diet and nutrition.

The idea is these factors may alter the microbiome — the ecology of diverse bacteria lining the intestines and colon. The trillions of microbes “undergo many changes during the period between birth and ages 3 to 4, and are highly susceptible to perturbation by the kinds of exposures listed above,” Berger writes. Again, the science here is still in its early stages — but it’s an area to watch.

For now, patients — including young adults — should be aware of this emerging trend, and the signs and symptoms of colorectal cancer.

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Digital Trends Live – 7.10.19 – Nintendo Switch Lite Confirmed + India May Ban Cryptocurrencies

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On today’s episode: Nintendo officially announced the much rumored Switch Lite; WarnerMedia makes HBO Max official, launching with Friends in 2020; India to ban cryptocurrencies – could impact Facebook’s Libra; team sets out to topple the land speed record; Overtock.com President joins to talk about their new A.R. feature; The best CPUs and GPUs on the market; Passwords vulnerability discussion with Keeper Security CEO; If you make a ton of PPT decks, you likely need a CMS – Shufflrr has you covered; Gaming Editor Felicia Miranda takes the cover off the Switch Lite and the best Prime Day deals to watch out for.

View at DailyMotion

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25 Users Showed How Different Instagram Is From Reality, and It Can Make You Way More Confident

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According to the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), Instagram is the most harmful social media for psychological health. Every day, we are disappointed when we start comparing our lives to the photos online without even thinking about how these perfect pictures were created. Fortunately, there are users who are ready to reveal what their lives look like without photoshop and filters.

Bright Side is happy to show the photos that will not only give you confidence, but will also improve your mood.

Before and after taken about 30 seconds apart

Nobody looks good in the morning.

Everything depends on the angle.

Trash looks bad no matter where it is.

“I love taking photos on the beach.”

It’s not just bodies and faces that get tune-ups on Instagram. The locals would be amazed to see the photo on the left.

Each successful photo actually means there were hundreds of failed attempts.

The photos I share vs The photos I’m tagged in

A black eye given by a unicorn

It appears that the rainbow is fake.

This is what’s behind a perfect life.

It’s always like this.

If people posted their real photos from the gym

10 minutes after cleaning and 10 hours later

Mud baths are attractive.

Behind the stage of perfect photo

Just imagine what the process looked like.

On hot days, you really need water-resistant makeup.

Before the party / after the party

When you are too hungry to arrange the food in a beautiful way:

This is the same girl.

There is something wrong with this photo.

Some people look like aliens in their photos.

It should be prohibited to tag people in photos.

Instagram vs Real-life motherhood

Do you prefer to post real or idealized photos?

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10 Powerful Sculptures That Tell a Story Better Than Any Novel Could

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We often take sculptures that surround us for granted, thinking that their only message is the one in plain sight. But it turns out that many of them have a deeper meaning like an angel that is made of weapons given up by those who never want to commit crimes again or a group of ginormous figures that tell us how a new life is born. Sculptures have a whole lot of good stories to share if you’re willing to listen.

Come with Bright Side on a little journey around the globe to see 10 eloquent monuments and sculptures and learn the stories behind them.

1. Knife Angel by Alfie Bradley has persuaded hundreds of people to give up violence.

Alfie Bradley created this breathtaking 27-foot-high angel made of more than 100,000 knives. These weapons were surrendered to knife bins around the UK and were collected by the UK police, knife crime charities, action groups and other people who were affected by knife crimes in one way or another. The Knife Angel travels around the UK to educate people on how important the problem of knife crime is and how dangerous these weapons are. You can learn more about The Knife Angel, the process of its creation, and its current locations here.

2. The Passer-Through-Walls by Jean Marais illustrates the final scene from a famous French novel.

Le Passe-Muraille is a French novel by Marcel Aymé that tells the story of a modest office worker who one day discovers that he has a superpower — he can walk through walls! The hero uses his gift to the fullest to solve problems and becomes a burglar, gets into prison, and escapes until one day he loses his power right on his way through a wall and gets stuck in it. This monument is also quite interactive — the man’s hands are polished by thousands of people who try to help him get out of the wall.

3. Building Bridges by Lorenzo Quinn shares a recipe for a better world.

How do we make our world a better place to live in? Friendship, wisdom, help, faith, hope, and love — these are the ingredients to a better world and happier people according to Lorenzo Quinn, a famous Italian artist. These 6 virtues are embodied in the 6 pairs of hands that build a bridge together. This is one of the latest works by Quinn that was built for 2019’s Venice Art Biennale.

4. Corporate Head by Terry Allen tells us about the danger of being focused on profit at all costs.

The impressive life-sized bronze sculpture of a man who has buried his head in the building resides in Los Angeles, California in the US. The sculpture embodies a businessman who has devoted all his life to gaining profit for himself and the company he works for. He is separated from the office building only from his neck down, which means his thoughts have been completely absorbed by the establishment he works for.

The sculpture illustrates the modern pace of life where people have to carry an economic burden and spend their whole lives working in businesses, often missing out on things that are way more important than material wealth.

5. Sphere Within a Sphere by Arnaldo Pomodoro reminds us of how fragile our planet is.

This wonderful statue mesmerizes viewers with a complex structure of fractured spheres — the outer one and the inner one — and numerous intricate gears inside. The artist, Arnaldo Pomodoro, liked to study simple geometrical forms in his work and managed to hide deep meaning behind those simple forms. The Sphere Within a Sphere once again reminds us how everything in the universe is interconnected, how fragile our world is, and how easily it can be broken into pieces.

6. The Man Who Measures the Clouds by Jan Fabre speaks about the struggles of measuring the immeasurable.

This unique artwork with the gold leaf finishing touch is part of 2019’s Venice Art Biennale and it shows viewers a man rising to a height of 29.5 feet (9 meters) and trying to measure the clouds with a ruler. This sculpture can be interpreted as a person’s desperate attempt to make the impossible possible, as our never-ending striving to surpass ourselves as mankind, or as a nod to ancient philosophy that thought that human beings were the measure of all things.

7. Inertia and The Bankers by Jason Decaires Taylor tackle social issues and call for our responsibility.

The Bankers, Inertia and other marvelous underwater sculptures by Jason Decaires Taylor reveal the most acute problems of modern society, like being obsessed with material wealth and being exposed to mass media’s influence. But apart from that, these unbelievable works serve as homes for coral that are on the verge of extinction in many regions of our planet. By placing his masterpieces underwater in Mexico, the Bahamas, and other places, the artist tries to attract more attention to global climate changes and the things we can do to protect the earth.

8. Absorbed by Light by Gali Lucas and Karoline Hinz honestly tell us how obsessed we’ve become with gadgets and technology.

3 people sitting on a bench, absorbed by their smartphones so much so that they don’t even notice each other. What could illustrate our era better? The installation that was part of the Amsterdam Light Festival symbolizes how modern technology connects and disconnects us at the same time. When you walk at night next time, look around and you’ll see the same picture — dozens of people all around with their faces lit up by their mobile phones. We actually are absorbed by these lights, aren’t we?

9. Trains to Life — Trains to Death by Frank Meisler commemorates children whose lives were saved and taken during the Holocaust.

The impressive work by Frank Meisler is located in Berlin, Germany, and it has 2 parts — 5 figures of boys and girls in dark bronze on one side, and a boy and a girl made of light bronze on the other side. The kids in these 2 parts of the monument gaze into different directions and symbolize 2 different outcomes that awaited children during the Holocaust. The group of 5 figures commemorates the 1.6 million Jewish kids that were sent to concentration camps and were killed, while 2 other kids pay tribute to those 10,000 children that were saved and transported to England.

10. The Miraculous Journey by Damien Hirst shows the stages of a baby’s growth in the womb.

This amazing monument located outside the Sidra Medical and Research Centre in Doha, Qatar, consists of 14 large-scale bronze sculptures, each of them showing a stage of an embryo’s growth in the womb from conception to birth. Being extremely explicit and bold, The Miraculous Journey evoked controversial feelings in the eastern audience and was even covered from public view for some time.

Here’s what Damien Hirst, the creator of the monument said about the ideas he addressed in his work: “Ultimately, the journey a baby goes through before birth is bigger than anything it will experience in its human life. I hope the sculpture will instill in the viewer a sense of awe and wonder at this extraordinary human process, which will soon be occurring in the Sidra Medical Center, as well as every second all across the globe.”

Which of these monuments would you like to see with your own eyes? Can you share with us a picture of a sculpture or a monument that impressed you?

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