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Researchers discover how painful fibroids grow

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Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found different signaling pathways being used by fibroid cells compared to the uterine cells.

“That’s important for identifying therapeutic targets because we want to target the tumour without affecting the surrounding tissue,” said Stacey Schutte, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the institution’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

The study published in the journal F&S Science, says that treating fibroids is often invasive and expensive, costing patients and their insurers billions of dollars each year, according to the National Institutes of Health.

The researchers grew fibroid cells and uterine cells on plates with an elastic bottom. Then they used a device to expose the cells to mechanical strain to mimic the environment that fibroids encounter in the uterus.

“We have a flexible tension device. We grew cells on plates with an elastic bottom. Then we used a vacuum to pull and stretch it,” said said Stacey Schutte, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science.

“It stretches cells in a single direction. We found that fibroid cells were more sensitive to strain,” said study lead author Rachel Warwar, in UC’s College of Medicine.

Warwar said they identified differences in the ways the cells held their shape. Sje works in UC’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

She said the findings highlight the importance of incorporating not just hormones but mechanical strain into the study of fibroid cells.

“The more we are able to mimic the environment of these cells in the uterus, the more we will understand the pathology of these cells and can then work to target anomalous pathways in fibroid cells,” she said.

Nearly 4 in 5 women have fibroids during their lifetimes. Because they are so common, they represent a major health care cost. Common noninvasive treatments target hormones responsible for fibroid growth.

“We are looking for nonhormonal treatments for fibroids,” said study coauthor Andreja Moset Zupan, a research associate in Schutte’s biomedical engineering lab.

“It’s another option we could use to preserve the fertility of women who still want to get pregnant,” she said.

Once researchers understand the cell pathology, they can study fibroids using 3D simulations and modeling, which could help them further understand how fibroids develop and the best ways to treat them.

Health

Five tips to maintain healthy prostate

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The prostate is an important organ for reproduction and urination. Unfortunately, it is also one of the organs susceptible to health threats over time.

With about 50% of men over 60 and 90% by age 80 having an enlarged prostate and 1 in 8 men diagnosed with prostate cancer, maintaining prostate health should be a paramount concern regardless of age.

Even though, there is no guaranteed way to prevent prostate problems; there are tips and habits that can help reduce the risks.

Without further ado, here are practical ways to help promote prostate health.

  • Maintain a healthy diet

Your diet can significantly affect your health, including that of your prostate.

So eating a nutritious diet that would support your prostate health should become a priority.

study has found that a diet rich in healthy plant foods including vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes may protect you against prostate problems, particularly prostate cancer.

Maintaining a diet rich in required nutrients will not only promote your physical health but also your prostate health and reduce your risk of prostate problems.

Remember, eating healthy includes avoiding processed foods and sugar-sweetened drinks.

  • Exercise regularly

In addition to maintaining a healthy diet pattern, stay active.

To keep your prostate and other organs healthy, be sure you move throughout the day and also exercise several times per week.

study has proven that men who were more physically active were less likely to suffer from an enlarged prostate.

So try as much as possible to add physical activity to your routine. Exercising regularly will not only help reduce the risk of prostate problems but also maintain a healthy weight as well as prevent cardiovascular diseases.

  • Limit alcohol intake

Excessive alcohol intake has been linked to an increased risk of prostate problems including prostate cancer and prostate enlargement.

Limit your alcohol consumption to moderate levels, or consider abstaining totally, to support prostate health.

Rather than taking alcohol, take water; stay hydrated.

  • Quit Smoking

Smoking is an act that affects every part of the body, not to mention the prostate.

Even though smoking has not been proven to directly lead to the development of prostate cancer, it can however make it more aggressive or more fatal.

According to a study, smokers have an increased risk of death from prostate cancer.

So quit smoking to reduce this risk and improve overall health. It might be hard but it’s possible, do it for your health.

  • Get screened

Aside from having a healthy lifestyle, getting educated and tested for prostate cancer regularly is important.

According to the American Cancer Society, a man should start PSA screening at age 50. However, men at high risk of developing prostate cancer like family history should start at age 40-45.

While this screening test has not been proven to prevent prostate cancer, regular screenings can help detect prostate cancer early when it is more treatable.

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5 conditions that make your legs swell

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5 conditions that make your legs swell

Leg swelling, also known as edema, is a common condition that can affect absolutely anyone.

While occasional swelling may be harmless, persistent or sudden swelling could indicate underlying health issues.

If you are experiencing leg swelling, here are five conditions that might have caused it.

One common reason for swollen legs is lack of physical activity. If you have been sitting or standing for a long time without movement, this can contribute to poor circulation and fluid retention, leading to leg swelling.

Aside from being in one position for a long time, fluid retention can also be caused by conditions such as kidney disease, heart failure, and liver disease which all impact the legs leading to swelling.

Venous insufficiency refers to the inability of veins to adequately circulate blood back to the heart. When veins struggle to perform this function, blood may pool in the legs, resulting in swelling.

Varicose veins and deep vein thrombosis are examples of conditions associated with venous insufficiency.

The lymphatic system plays an important role in maintaining fluid balance in the body. Any disruption in the lymphatic system, whether due to infection, surgery, or trauma, can lead to swelling in the legs.

Lymphedema is a specific condition where the lymphatic system is compromised.

Inflammatory conditions such as arthritis can also contribute to leg swelling. In addition, localised infections, such as cellulitis, can cause inflammation, leading to swelling in the affected area.

It is quite common to see pregnant women with swollen legs especially in the later stages of pregnancy. This is commonly attributed to increased pressure on blood vessels and the growing uterus affecting blood flow.

In conclusion, leg swelling is a symptom that should not be ignored, as it may indicate underlying health issues. Identifying the root cause is crucial for proper diagnosis and management. Individuals experiencing persistent or severe leg swelling should seek medical attention to determine the appropriate course of action for their specific condition.

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‘Regular screening, avoid smoking’ — Cardiac Society shares tips to avoid sudden death

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‘Regular screening, avoid smoking’ — Cardiac Society shares tips to avoid sudden death

The Nigerian Cardiac Society has urged Nigerians to pay urgent attention to their cardiovascular health.

About four Nigerians, including Cairo Ojuogboh, a former house of representatives member, lost their lives while watching the football match between Nigeria and the Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Wednesday.

Reacting in a statement by Augustine Odili, NCS president, the society commiserated with the families of the deceased.

“The Nigerian Cardiac Society notes with utmost concern the several reported cases of sudden deaths among Nigerians both at home and abroad directly or indirectly linked with the surge of emotions associated with the Nigeria-South Africa Match during the ongoing African Cup of Nations competition holding in Cote D’Ivoire,” the society said.

Others are aortic aneurysms, status epilepticus, inherited arrhythmogenic channelopathies.

“The risk factors for heart disease are many. The most common, and by far, the important ones are related to lifestyle such as lack of physical exercise, smoking tobacco, consuming alcohol, eating unhealthy diets rich in salt and saturated fats and low in fresh fruits and vegetables,” the society said.

“Other risk factors include high blood pressure (hypertension), high blood lipids/cholesterol (dyslipidaemia), overweight and obesity, and diabetes mellitus.

“Hypertension is the most common risk factor for heart disease and stroke in Nigeria. Sadly, three out of every ten adult Nigerians have high blood pressure, many of whom are unaware of their hypertensive status.

“Effective blood pressure control is a major panacea for reducing the cardiovascular risk of affected people.

“Several reports have documented a very high prevalence of many cardiovascular risk factors including obesity, metabolic syndrome, smoking including passive smoking) drug abuse, alcohol intake, and physical inactivity among Nigerians.”

The society emphasised that many of these cardiovascular risk factors are without symptoms and signs.

“Therefore, screening is the only effective mechanism for early identification and appropriate control and prevention of sudden death among the populace,” the society said.

“The untimely deaths of these Nigerians are a stark reminder that we must be vigilant about our cardiovascular health.

“Sports and other emotional events can trigger arrhythmias, heart attacks, and strokes in those with underlying heart conditions.”

STEPS TO TAKE TO ENSURE CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH

The society urged Nigerians to learn the warning signs of cardiac distress and how to respond in an emergency.

“Know your family history and risk factors and get regular screenings. Take steps to manage conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Avoid smoking, eat healthy, exercise, and manage stress,” the society said.

“For those with heart disease, take medications as prescribed and follow your doctor’s advice. Avoid getting overly excited during games and take breaks as needed.

“Warning symptoms preceding a sudden death may include Chest pain, breathlessness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and fainting attacks. It should be noted that left-sided chest pain should not be taken with levity and should warrant a medical examination.”

The society also called on the federal government to increase the funding for health to encourage early and regular screening for cardiovascular risk factors.

The society also noted the need to institutionalise effective cardiovascular care among Nigerians by providing adequate facilities for the hospitals, encouraging adequate remuneration for health workers and promoting effective lifestyle modification.

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