Category Archives: Health News

Ben Stiller Shares Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Last week, 50-year-old actor Ben Stiller shared on “The Howard Stern Show” that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer two years ago according to a story posted on US Magazine Online.

 

On Stern’s Sirius XM radio show, Stiller told the host that the diagnosis was completely unexpected but luckily his doctor was able to detect the cancer early. He was diagnosed using a prostate-specific antigen test (PSA test) which is a blood test used to screen for prostate cancer. Stiller talks about how lucky he was that his doctor decided to give him that PSA test at 48-years-old. The American Cancer Society recommends that the PSA test be done at regular intervals for men starting when they are 50-years-old. He also had no symptoms, or any other reason to suspect that he may have prostate cancer. If he had waited until the baseline age of 50, then it is possible that he would have had a tumor and a much more serious situation than the one he was facing at 48-years-old.

 

After further testing, Stiller had a surgery called a laparoscopic radical prostatectomy to remove any cancerous tissue. Two years later and he is now cancer free. While speaking to Stern, Stiller urges others to seriously consider getting the PSA test saying that the test had saved his life. He urges that the best way to beat cancer is to detect it early.

Air Pollution and Diabetes

A recent study finds that exposure to air pollution is linked to increased glucose intolerance – a diabetes precursor. German researchers pointed out that the effect is particularly strong in prediabetic people due to their abnormal high blood sugar levels.

The study covered 2,944 individuals all over Augsburg, Germany. The participants’ glucose levels, metabolic measures and levels of air pollutants in the area where they live, which include nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, have been tracked and measured.

The study reported that for most of the participants, with 7.9 microgram per cm increase in soot and particulate matter, there is a 15 percent increase in insulin resistance – a Type 2 Diabetes marker. On smoggy days, the level of particulate matter increases to more than 50 microgram per cm. For prediabetics, the risk of developing Diabetes 2 increases to almost 46 percent per unit increase in air pollution. The researchers also took into account other variables, which may include, body mass index, smoking and socioeconomic status.

The underlying reasons are not yet well understood. And though the findings are correlated, drawing out a hard proof for cause and effect is not possible. Nevertheless, researchers believed that air pollution causes increase in body-wide inflammation and high levels of oxidative stress, thus leading to insulin resistance.
Annette Peters, the research senior author and a Harvard professor said that for individuals who already have a bad metabolism, adding the air pollution will only make their condition worst. Hence, they really need to change and adopt a healthy lifestyle not only to improve their health but also to counter the effects of air pollution.