• Sponges and dish towels.
• Pet bowls.
• Toothbrush holders.
Researchers say more study is needed to understand how and why many California homes are subject to leaks of cancer-causing benzene.
That conclusion came from a study that found benzene was leaking in many homes equipped with gas stoves, according to an Associated Press story this week by Drew Costley.
The study, published in Environmental Science and Technology, also estimated that more than four tons of benzene — the equivalent to the benzene emissions from nearly 60,000 vehicles — are also leaking each year "into the atmosphere from outdoor pipes that deliver gas to buildings" around the state.
Measurements, which came from gas samples from 159 homes in different regions of the state, detailed "what types of gases were being emitted into homes when stoves were off."
Also found were other hazardous air pollutants, like toluene and xylene, which can have "adverse health effects in humans with chronic exposure or acute exposure in larger amounts."
Benzene was of most concern because it's "a known carcinogen that can lead to leukemia and other cancers and blood disorders, according to the National Cancer Institute," the story reports.
California has the second highest level of residential natural gas use in the United States.
The Greater Los Angeles, North San Fernando Valley, and San Clarita areas, according to the study, had the highest benzene in gas levels.
More information on cancer-causing agents can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.
Can frequent use of hair straighteners pose a small risk for uterine cancer?
According to a story by Roni Caryn Rabin in today's editions of The New York Times, the answer is yes.
Rabin's article says the risk is higher than for women who have never used the products.
The study, which was published yesterday in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute, followed nearly 34,000 U.S. women for more than a decade.
Hair straightener use has previously been tied in studies to a higher risk of ovarian and breast cancer.
"While the increased risk [for uterine cancer] was found among women from all racial and ethnic backgrounds," the story continues, "Black women might be disproportionately affected: Sixty percent of participants who reported using hair straighteners self-identified as Black women, according to the study."
A March report from an expert panel indicated that over all Black women die of uterine cancer at twice the rate that White women do.
Frequent use is defined as more than four times in the previous year, and includes "any personal use, whether women applied products themselves or had the straighteners applied by others."
|Alexandra White, PhD
Researchers have cautioned that the study's findings need to be confirmed by other studies.
The uterine cancer study, Rabin's piece says, shows that some chemicals found in straighteners — such as parabens, bisphenol A, metals, and formaldehyde — could week "play a role in the increased" risk.
Uterine cancer, the story maintains, "is increasing rapidly. The number of cases diagnosed each year has rises to 65,950 this year from 39,000 just 15 years ago."
When detected early, overall survival rates are high.
More information about risk factors, including those for minority groups, can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.
Physicians have begun to feel optimistic about developing immunizations against pancreatic, colon, and breast cancers.
According to an article by Gina Kolata in today's editions of The New York Times, that report comes from early research with animals despite many doctors having given up a decade ago on the notion of finding cancer vaccines.
|Dr. Sachet Shukla
Dr. Susan Domchek, principal investigator of a breast cancer vaccine study at the University of Pennsylvania, foresees "a time when anyone with a pre-cancerous condition or a genetic predisposition to cancer could be vaccinated and protected," the piece continues.
"People would have said this is insane," she's quoted as saying. Now, "it's super-aspirational, but you've got to think big."
Kolata's story asserts that "the search for cancer vaccines started with Olivera Finn, PhD, a distinguished professor in the departments of immunology and surgery at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine" in 1993. She began with a trial of 63 patients with Stage 4 cancer. It quickly became clear, however, "that the cancers were too far advanced for immunizations to work."
|Olivera Finn, PhD
After all, Finn notes, with the exception of rabies, no one vaccinates against an infectious disease in people who are already infected."
Now, she and a colleague at Pittsburgh, Dr. Robert Schoen, a gastroenterologist, are trying to prevent pre-cancerous colon polyps with a vaccine that worked in mice.
More information about research on diseases can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.
Joe Marciniak, master artist who designed cover and inside illustrations for "Grampy and His Fairyzona Playmates,” has followed up with an incredibly lighthearted front cover for “The Roving I.”