Monday, February 28, 2011

Common Garden Weed Can Cure Skin Cancer

A new study conducted by scientists in Australia has revealed that a common weed can cure skin cancers.

The sap from a plant known as petty spurge or milkweed - found by roadsides and in woodland - can ''kill'' certain types of cancer cells when applied to the skin, reports the Daily Mail.

It works on non-melanoma skin cancers, which are triggered by sun damage. And, although not usually fatal, can be disfiguring without treatment.

The plant has been used for centuries as a traditional folk medicine to treat conditions such as warts, asthma and several types of cancer.

This is the first time the scientists team has carried out a clinical study of sap from Euphorbia peplus.

The study of 36 patients with a total of 48 non-melanoma lesions included basal cell carcinomas (BCC), squamous cell carcinomas (SCC) and intra-epidermal carcinomas (IEC), a growth of cancerous cells confined to the outer layer of the skin.

Patients had failed to respond to conventional treatment including surgery, or they refused or were unsuitable for surgery because of their age.

The patients were treated once a day for three consecutive days by an oncologist using a cotton bud to apply enough of the E.peplus sap to cover the surface of each lesion.

After only one month 41 of the 48 cancers had completely gone.

Patients who had some of the lesions remaining were offered a second course of treatment.

After an average of 15 months following treatment, two thirds of the 48 skin cancer lesions were still showing a complete response.

Of the three types of skin cancer tested, the final outcome was a 75 per cent complete response for IEC lesions, 57 per cent for BCC and 50 per cent for SCC lesions.

Side-effects were low, with 43 per cent of patients in no pain as a result of the treatment and only 14 per cent reporting moderate pain, and only one patient encountered severe short-term pain.

The findings will be released this week in the British Journal of Dermatology.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Men's Parking Skills Impress Women

How male drivers park their cars in tight spaces impress women, a new survey has revealed.

Car accessories retailer Halfords carried the survey on the driving habits of the opposite sex.

Almost one in two women confessed the thing they most loved about male drivers was that they knew what to do if there was a flat tire or if the car broke down.

The second best thing about men behind the wheel was, ''how they park in tight spaces'', (41 per cent ) closely followed by their skill at maneuvering and reversing (39 per cent).

Meanwhile 46 per cent of men admitted what they loved about women drivers was their knack of always packing food and drink for a journey and organizing lunch and coffee stops.

The second most admired thing by more than one in four of those questioned, was their willingness to ask for directions when lost.

Halfords carried out the survey of 2,000 motorists to see if stereotypes still existed between men and men drivers especially as women are increasingly taking control of the family cars.

Over four out of ten (43 per cent) online transactions on are now made by women while 35 per cent of customers using Halfords Wi-Fit service to replace the likes of bulbs, batteries and wiper blades are women.

The study, also highlighted some of the rather less than attractive habits male and female drivers saw in each other.

Tailgating, where vehicles drive too close to the rear bumper of the car in front, was identified by two thirds of women (66 per cent as the thing they most hated about men drivers.

A close second was driving too fast, (5 per cent) while using a mobile phone behind the wheel and road rage, were not far behind in third and fourth place.

More than a third of women found men drivers refusal to ask for directions when lost a major bug bear (33 per cent) while just under a third claimed male drivers ''picking their noses while stopped at traffic lights or junctions'' was the thing they hated most.

There were also plenty of things men objected to about women drivers.

First was the time women take to maneuver in or out of a parking space, which was cited by four in ten men as the most annoying thing about female motorists.

Almost as many complained about women drivers ''putting on make-up and doing their hair'' at stop lights and junctions.

More than a third of men added that they hated the length of time women took to drive off from traffic lights and junctions.

"We have seen an increase in women coming into our stores for car parts so we were a little surprised at how many stereotypes still abound in the driving world," the Daily Mail quoted Paul McClenaghan, Halfords Commercial Director as saying.

"However, it was encouraging to note that despite a fair few annoying habits noted by both men and women behind the wheel, there were many things both sexes admired about the opposite gender's driving.

Both sides mentioned willingness or unwillingness to ask for directions as cause for praise and criticism so it is probably no coincidence that Sat Navs are one of our biggest sellers in the run up to Christmas," McClenaghan added.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

At 35, Women Suffer Fertility Problems

Doctors have warned couples not to leave it too late to try for a baby as it can lead to fertility problems in women.

With more and more women pursuing careers, they and their partners are leaving parenthood to at least their late thirties.

But women aged 35 are six times more likely to have problems conceiving compared to those ten years younger, according to a major study from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

The report said older parents are making it harder for themselves to have children – and increasing the likelihood of serious medical complications for both mother and baby.

By the age of 40, a woman is more likely to have a miscarriage than give birth.

Men's fertility also declines rapidly from the age of 25 and the doctors estimate that the average 40-year-old takes two years to get his partner pregnant – even if she is in her twenties.

Up to 30 per cent of 35-year-old take longer than a year to get pregnant, compared to only 5 per cent of 25-year-old, according to the figures in the report by the Royal College.

Expectant mothers in their late thirties and forties are far more likely to suffer complications such as pre-eclampsia, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or stillbirth and they are also more likely to need a Caesarean.

Babies born to them are more likely to be premature, smaller or have Down's Syndrome and other genetic disorders.

"Clear facts on fertility need to be made available to women of all ages to remind them that the most secure age for childbearing remains 20-35," the Daily Mail quoted David Utting, specialty registrar in obstetrics and gynecology at Kingston Hospital NHS Trust and co-author of the review, as saying.

The study has been published in the medical journal Obstetrician and Gynecologist.
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