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How regular Aspirin could reduce liver cancer risk

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Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have found that regular aspirin use can reduce the risk of developing liver cancer.
The findings — which appear in JAMA Oncology— support the results of prior studies on the same topic.Data from this report show that taking aspirin on a regular basis can lower the risk of developing liver cancer, or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). IMG-20180912-WA0030The scientists defined “a regular basis” as taking two or more 325-milligram tablets per week for 5 years or more.

The study’s results are promising. “Regular use of aspirin led to significantly lower risk of developing HCC, compared to infrequent or no aspirin use, and we also found that the risk declined progressively with increasing aspirin dose and duration of use,” says lead author Dr. Tracey Simon, who is a research fellow from the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Gastroenterology in Boston.

Reopening the data

The researchers looked over data, including health information on more than 170,000 people, that were collected for over 3 decades.

One part of the questionnaire these patients filled out was whether they took aspirin, how often they took it, and for how long. Another part of the data included liver cancer diagnosis.

When the scientists had analyzed the numbers, they revealed that people who took two (or more) 325-milligram doses of aspirin each week had a 49 percent reduction in their risk of developing liver cancer.

For those who took aspirin for 5 years (or more), that risk was reduced by 59 percent.

 Also, the team saw that the risk reduction decreased if the participant stopped taking aspirin and disappeared entirely 8 years after they stopped taking aspirin. There was no decrease in risk of liver cancer when participants took acetaminophen or ibuprofen.



The facts on liver cancer

Liver cancer is not a particularly common type of cancer, but it has been on the rise over the past few decades. Someone’s risk of developing liver cancer is elevated if they already have liver disease, such as hepatitis B or hepatitis C.

If somebody has cirrhosis of the liver — which is when scar tissue replaces normal liver cells and prevents the liver from working as it should — their risk of liver cancer is also elevated.

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Liver cancer is now the third leading cause of cancer deaths around the world. Some signs and symptoms include:

  • a hard lump just below the rib cage on the right side
  • discomfort in that same area
  • a swollen abdomen
  • pain in the right shoulder blade or back
  • jaundice (a yellow discoloration of the skin and whites of the eyes)
  • bruising or bleeding more easily
 If a person experiences unintentional weight loss, nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, and unusual tiredness or weakness, they should contact their doctor.
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Health & Lifestyle

Cote d’Ivoire: Destroying the Killer Rice

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Authorities in Cote d’Ivoire have destroyed 18,000 tonnes of rice declared to be unfit for human consumption.

This follows tests carried out by the country’s consumer association which had demanded the government to do so after the cargo from Myanmar had been refused entry in Togo, Guinea and Ghana over quality issues.

The national and international quality control tests revealed the unfit nature of the rice.

It should be noted that most African countries depend on imports because local farmers are unable to meet the ever rising demands.

Source: Africanews

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Health & Lifestyle

Mali: Donkeys deliver vaccines as diseases spike with violence

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Reuters DAKAR –

With spiraling ethnic violence exposing more children in Mali to fatal diseases, health workers are using donkeys and boats to deliver life-saving vaccines, charities said on Wednesday.

In the central Mopti region – where 157 people died in one attack last month – suspected measles cases rose five-fold in one year to 98 in 2018, U.N. children’s agency UNICEF said, due to a four-fold jump in unvaccinated children to 70,000.

Motorcycles, which health workers used to reach remote villages, have been banned to reduce militant activity, forcing them to use traditional means like horses, it said.

“The problem of vaccination is directly linked to the current conflict,” said Patrick Irenge, medical coordinator for the charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), which is using cars and boats as mobile clinics to reach cut off communities.

“If there is a lull in the violence, a small window that opens, we organize a vaccination campaign.”

Last month’s massacre was the deadliest to date in a conflict between Dogon hunters and Fulani herders which has displaced tens of thousands of civilians in the West African country since it escalated last year.

Pneumonia is one of the top killers of children in Mali and it can be prevented with vaccines – as can measles – but it is too dangerous for many parents to venture out with children.

“Transport is difficult because we don’t have the means to rent a vehicle or a horse cart,” said Aissata Barry, a 34-year-old mother in the village of Kankelena, about 4 km (2.5 miles) from the nearest health center in the town of Sofara.

“There are rapists on the road. That’s what we’re afraid of,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone, adding that one of her neighbors was raped two weeks ago.

Mamadou Kasse, a local health worker who vaccinated Barry’s children, said the number of children he can reach each day has fallen since he swapped his motorbike for an eight-hour ride in a donkey cart with a cooler full of vaccines.

Reporting by Nellie Peyton; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women’s and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit news.trust.org

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