Health Briefs: Harvard Detects Cancer, Ireland’s Obesity Problem and Warning on Diet Pills

Lung cancer as seen on X-ray

Harvard Researchers Find Way to Detect Cancer 15 Years Earlier

Cancer can now be detected 15 years before it can actually occur, scientists at Harvard University and Northwestern Medicine said. The detection can be done through a simple blood test. This test based on telomeres will be able to detect cancer many years before it actually occurs in a person. Telomeres are nothing but the protective end caps of the human DNA strands.

Lung cancer as seen on X-ray
Lung cancer as seen on X-ray

Cancer drug spending Up by USD25 Billion in Five Years

The IMS Insitute for Healthcare Informatics has published a report saying the cost of cancer medicines has already ready USD100 billion in 2014, a USD25 billion increase from the USD75 billion spending posted five years earlier. The IMS added that targeted therapies, which point towards specific drivers of cancer, now account for approximately half of the total spending.

Ireland’s Worst Weight Problem

The World Health Organization (WHO) said Ireland stands to have Europe’s worst weight problem by 2030, with 89 percent of men and 85 percent of women in the country poised to become overeight or obese within the next 15 years. The WHO based its findings on a study that compared 53 countries. The study conducted by WHO researchers also found out that Europe as a whole is facing future obesitty crisis that is enormous in proportion.

South Korea Has Obesity Problem Too

The Seoul Metropolitan Government said one in 5 sixth grader in the South Korean capital Seoul was found to be overweight or obese. The study showed that 20.4 percent of male and 19.5 percent of female students in sixth grade were either overweight or obese as of 2013. The average weight of boys was 45.5 kilograms with an average height of 150.5 centimeters. Girls recorded 43.7 kilograms with a height of 151.2 centimeters, it said.

Warning on Diet Pills

The International Police (Interpol) has issued a global alert over diet pills following the death of a young British woman. The alert refers to 2.4-dinitrophenol (DNP), used as a dieting and body-building aid, also follows the testing by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) of a sample of the drug seized in Australia. Eloise Parry, 22, died in April after taking the tablets she bout online. DNP was used to boost metabolism and encourage weight loss in the 1930s but was taken out of circulation due to the number of DNP-related deaths. –