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Is YOUR brain flagging? Expert reveals her 7 top ways to perk yourself up – including eating chocolate! Read more:

We’ve all had those late nights in the office when simple tasks start taking longer and it feels as though our brain power has deserted us.
So what exactly can we do to give our brains a boost when it feels like it’s running out of juice?
Dr Jenny Brockis, author of ‘Future Brain: The 12 Keys to Create Your High-Performance Brain’ believes it’s all about unlocking the full potential of your brain.
She claims there are a number of tricks that can boost your brain’s performance almost immediately Healthista reports.
From a quick-fix solution to give your brain a little shove for a few hours, or a long term brain training technique that strengthens the mind’s power over time, Dr Brockis reveals her seven top tips…
Diet, exercise and even playing games can give us a boost in brain power, according to Dr Jenny Brockis
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Diet, exercise and even playing games can give us a boost in brain power, according to Dr Jenny Brockis
FEED YOUR BRAIN WITH COLOUR
In her book Future Brain, Dr Brockis says that eating the right foods can increase our mental stamina, help us focus, aid memory, and even benefit our problem solving ability.
‘It’s all about the right fuel for the right vehicle,’ she explains.
In February 2016, a study led by Dr Ian Macdonald, professor of metabolic physiology at the University of Nottingham, found consumption of a cocoa drink rich in flavanols (a key ingredient of dark chocolate) boosts blood flow to key areas of the brain for two to three hours.
Dr Brockis has also linked dark chocolate with the brain’s ability to focus.
Rich, leafy greens such as kale and spinach can give your brain an extra burst of power, experts say

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Rich, leafy greens such as kale and spinach can give your brain an extra burst of power, experts say

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She believes colourful foods are the key to brain function, and highlights some of the the foods that have been shown in nutritional studies to assist focus are:
Rich leafy greens – kale, spinach, and Chinese broccoli.
Deeply pigmented red and blue berries – blueberries, cherries, plums, strawberries, and raspberries.
Dark chocolate – minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids, preferably the best you can find, because here it’s quality, not quantity, that matters.
Eggs – choline boosts focus and helps to reduce cortisol, one of our stress hormones.
Tip: If you feel too busy to stop and eat, remember that if you take the time to replenish your brain’s fuel stores it will increase efficiency and help you get your work done better and faster.

 

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TAKE A 20 MINUTE NAP BEFORE 3PM
Sleep provides us with greater physical and mental wellbeing. It allows for neuronal repair and maintenance, it also brings mood regulation.
Dr Brockis says that naps can be highly beneficial to brain function, especially if those brains have been working hard over an extended period of time.
In 2010, research conducted by the University of California Berkeley found that an hours nap can dramatically boost and restore your brain power.
Naps can be highly beneficial to brain function, especially if those brains have been working hard over an extended period of time, says Dr Brockis

Naps can be highly beneficial to brain function, especially if those brains have been working hard over an extended period of time, says Dr Brockis
Their findings suggest that a biphasic sleep schedule (the practice of sleeping multiple times within a 24 hour period), not only refreshes the mind, but can also make you smarter.
Dr Brice Faraut, of the University Paris Descartes, reports in a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, that a 20-minute nap can increase cognitive performance by up to 40 per cent, with the benefit lasting two to three hours.
Dr Brockis advises that keeping the nap to 20 minutes avoids sleep inertia, which is that groggy feeling we experience if woken up from a deeper level of sleep.
Keep power naps to the afternoon between lunchtime, and no later than 3pm to avoid disrupting night sleep patterns.
Tip: Whenever possible keep to a regular 40-minute pre-bed routine to prepare your brain for sleep.
WHY IT’S GOOD TO BE CURIOUS

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Explore your curious side by signing up to learn a musical instrument, learning to dance, or taking painting classes.
Make curiosity a daily habit by doing cryptic crossword puzzles, learning three new words and their meanings everyday, or reading a book in a different genre from your common preference.
Keeping the brain active with puzzles or a reading can help keep memory
Keeping the brain active with puzzles or a reading can help keep memory
Researched published in 2014 in the Cell Press Journal, suggests the more curious we are about a topic, the easier it is to learn information about it.
Lead author Dr Matthias Gruber, of the University of California Davis, says that the findings ‘reveal insights into how a form of intrinsic motivation – curiosity – affects memory.’
Dr Brockis explains our pursuit of new information rewards our brain with the release of dopamine that drives us to continue in our quest to investigate.

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It can result in providing us with the means to be more focused, more insightful, and more adaptive.
So in other words, curiosity didn’t kill the cat, it made her smarter.
Tip: Set out to learn about things you’re interested in, and the key learnings from them will flow – and feel easy and effortless.
PLAY VIDEO GAMES
Playing a fast paced action-packed video game for an hour or so several nights a week is great for building attention.
Dr Daphne Bavelier, a neuroscientist professor of brain and cognitive sciences at the University of Rochester, says that video games make our brain smarter, better, faster and stronger.
In 2009, research showed how video games that involve high levels of action, such as first-person-shooter games, increase a player’s real-world vision.
According to Dr. Bavelier, a gamers ‘ability to perceive changes in shades of grey improves up to 58 per cent.’
Games boost our attentional networks and can help us to develop sharper visual acuity, which can help them pick out a stranger in a crowd and observe small details

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Games boost our attentional networks and can help us to develop sharper visual acuity, which can help them pick out a stranger in a crowd and observe small details
The average gamer is in their 30s, so these games are clearly not just for the kids.
While it is recognised that overplaying certain video games can lead to problems with addictive behaviour, for the vast majority, playing games can stimulate the brain.
Dr Brockis says gamers develop sharper visual acuity, which can help them pick out a stranger in a crowd and observe small details.
They are also better at tracking more objects simultaneously.
Games boost our attentional networks (alerting, orienting and executive), driving plasticity.
Gamers are also better at task switching with less cognitive cost compared with non-gamers.
Training on action games can help people improve their performance in different mental tasks, and this improvement persists for months after the training has finished.
MEDITATE AT WORK
Since Chade-Meng Tan, chief happiness officer at Google, introduced his Search Inside Yourself program in 2007, many other companies have introduced mindfulness programs, including Aetna,The Huffington Post, and Apple.
Companies are funding these programs for their staff and setting up meditation rooms.
They have found that offering meditation classes to employees as part of a workplace wellness program can increase productivity, reduce stress-related illness, reduce the incidence of mistakes and errors, and improve recall and memory.
Many companies have introduced mindfulness programs increase productivity, reduce stress-related illness and reduce the incidence of mistakes

Many companies have introduced mindfulness programs increase productivity, reduce stress-related illness and reduce the incidence of mistakes
In 2012, research conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, found that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification (‘folding’ of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate, and they also found that meditationstrengthens the connections between brain cells.
Dr Brockis believes that if you practice daily meditation anywhere between five to 50 minutes a day, like how you would practice a musical instrument everyday, it could result in two to three hours of efficient, high-quality work.
FIND YOUR TRIBE AND STICK WITH THEM
Humans are social creatures that excel when it comes to making connections with each other. Our brain relies on our ability to build relationships.
Typically, the people we like best are those we see as similar to ourselves, and therefore we’re more likely to connect with them.
Dr Brockis says that maintaining exceptional social skills is important because relationships are a key tool for better brain performance.
Good relationships are a key tool for better brain performance so being accepted by co-workers is vital for being able to do your job, says Dr Brockis

Good relationships are a key tool for better brain performance so being accepted by co-workers is vital for being able to do your job, says Dr Brockis
She explains that ‘at work, when we don’t feel part of a tribe, our lack of relatedness manifests in poorer performance, lower engagement and higher staff turnover.’
If you don’t feel accepted by your co-workers, then you’re more likely to leave the job.
Social exclusion, whether intentional or through apathy, causes social pain, which lowers self-esteem, confidence and mood.
So working to develop a better relationship with your colleagues will make you feel like part of the tribe, and therefore improve your brain’s performance.
Brain Awareness Week (BWA), the global campaign to increase public awareness of the pro

 

TAKE A DAILY 30 MINUTE WALK OR RUN
Dr Brockis says exercise enhances blood flow to the brain, leading to reduced brain shrinkage and increased neurogenesis (the growth and development of nervous tissue), and plasticity (brain flexibility), so your work performance is maintained.
Last month researchers at the University of Jyväskylä found that aerobic exercise, such as running, has positive effects on the brain’s function when it comes to learning.
According to Dr Brockis, a 30 minute exercise session can improve cognition, learning and memory.
Exercise enhances blood flow to the brain, leading to reduced brain shrinkage and greater plasticity
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Exercise enhances blood flow to the brain, leading to reduced brain shrinkage and greater plasticity
It also improves mood and self-esteem, reduces stress, and reduces the risk of anxiety and depression.
Exercise can also decrease the risk of cognitive impairment, and lower risk of cognitive decline, and neurodegenerative disease (a term for a range of conditions which primarily affect the neurons in the human brain).
Dr Brockis explains it’s important to choose something you think you will enjoy, for example, walking, swimming, cycling, or tennis, and do it on a regular basis.
She advises that start slow, and gradually increase the number of sessions each week and their duration.
Once you get started, you will begin to experience the natural endorphin rush that makes you feel good, and motivates you to want to do it again.
Tip: Sitting for long periods of time reduces the blood flow to the brain. Whenever you feel mentally tired, try taking a brain break by getting up to stretch and move for 10 to 15 minutes.
gress and benefits of brain research, takes place between the 14th March to 20th March.
This article originally appeared on and is re-published here with the permission of Healthista.

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Women-appear-20-years-younger-avoid-rays.

Stay out of the sun to look young, ladies: Women found to appear up to 20 years younger if they avoid the rays
Study found sleeping well and exercising failed to hold back hands of time
Only keeping out of the sun and wearing sunscreen made a difference
Findings presented at the American Academy of Dermatology conference
By FIONA MACRAE, SCIENCE EDITOR FOR THE DAILY MAIL

Forget glugging countless glasses of water or getting your beauty sleep. The secret of looking young is simply to stay out of the sun.
A study of hundreds of women has revealed that those who avoided the sun’s rays looked up to 20 years younger than they actually are.
However, other supposed rules for a youthful complexion, from drinking lots of water to sleeping well and exercising regularly, failed to hold back the hands of time.
Only keeping out of the sun, and wearing sunscreen when this wasn’t possible, made a difference, the American Academy of Dermatology’s annual conference will hear today.
Forget glugging countless glasses of water or getting your beauty sleep. The secret of looking young is simply to stay out of the sun

Forget glugging countless glasses of water or getting your beauty sleep. The secret of looking young is simply to stay out of the sun
The intriguing finding comes from a study of 231 women of all ages who were quizzed about their lives, including whether they were sun-worshippers.
When researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital in the US – commissioned by skincare firm Olay – guessed how old the women were, they found those who took care in the sun tended to have aged more slowly.
A lucky four had so few wrinkles and age spots, and such a glowing complexion, that they appeared to be a full two decades younger than they really were.

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Lady sun bathing
Researcher Dr Alexa Kimball, a professor of dermatology, said the popular perception that we drink lots of water to stay healthy is a myth and the body is ‘pretty good’ at judging how much we need.
Previous research by the British Nutrition Foundation reached a similar conclusion.
Experts there said: ‘Just drinking water for the sake of drinking water really has no effect on improving the appearance of skin.’
It isn’t clear why the women who slept well didn’t have younger-looking skin. But it may be that the question they were asked was too narrow and didn’t take into account their long-term sleep patterns.
A second study, also by Olay, suggested that low-level day to day exposure to the sun is more ageing that occasional, intense blasts.
Finally, DNA examination of tiny samples of the women’s skin gave some insight into the damage done by the sun.
A gene called CDKN2A was more active in facial skin that is exposed to the elements than on samples taken from the buttocks.
This gene was also more active in women who said they loved the sun – and in those who looked older.
Dr Kimball said CDKN2A activity is a sign that a cell is ‘tired out’ and urged women should protect their skin year round and not just when on a beach holiday.
She added: ‘It’s not just what you are born with, it’s also what you do with it.’
Dr Frauke Neuser, principal scientist at Olay, which has used the research to develop its latest face creams, said: ‘This research gives us a detailed picture of the effect of sun exposure on skin ageing and illustrate the importance of protection on a daily basis.’
Matthew Gass, of the British Association of Dermatologists, said: ‘When it comes to skin ageing prevention is more important than a cure, as once damage has occurred it is very hard to hide or reverse it.’
He said that while UV light is a ‘major culprit’, smoking is also very damaging.

 

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Green tea may cut heart disease risk

Green tea may cut heart disease risk: Drink is high in antioxidants which helps regulate blood pressure and body fat
Just one cup of green tea a day could lower the risk of premature death
Japanese researchers studied of more than 90,000 people aged 40 to 69
Found that the more green tea they drank, the less likely they were to die

Green tea
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Just one cup of green tea a day could lower the risk of heart disease and premature death, according to Japanese researchers.
Their study of more than 90,000 people aged 40 to 69 over four years found that the more green tea they drank, the less likely they were to die from heart disease, stroke and respiratory disease.
Women who drank just one cup a day had a 10 per cent lower risk of dying early, but this rose to 17 per cent if they drank five or more cups daily. A similar trend was seen in men, reports Annals of Epidemiology.
Women who drank five or more cups daily had a 17 per cent lower risk of dying early if they drank

Women who drank five or more cups daily had a 17 per cent lower risk of dying early if they drank
One theory is that green tea is high in antioxidants called polyphenols, including EGCG, which helps regulate blood pressure and body fat.
Freezing therapy targets back pain
A hand-held device that freezes nerves and blocks unwanted pain signals in 90 seconds is being used to tackle back pain.
It relies on radiowaves to target nerves that transport pain signals to the brain.
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In a trial at Northwestern University in the U.S., 40 patients will be treated with the device or conventional heat therapy to block signals in a similar way.
Researchers will be blocking signals from the nerves of the lumbar facet joint, which is found at the bottom of the spine and is implicated in the most common type of back pain.
The specific nerves sending pain signals will be identified with scans beforehand during a bout of pain.
Participants in the study will receive a single 15-minute session and then have monthly check-ups to monitor pain symptoms.
A hand-held device that freezes nerves and blocks unwanted pain signals in 90 seconds is being used

 

 

Back Pain
A hand-held device that freezes nerves and blocks unwanted pain signals in 90 seconds is being used
Ulcer bug linked to brain disease
Treating a common stomach bug could help to improve the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori, more commonly associated with stomach problems, has been found in higher levels in patients with the movement disorder, and is also thought to interfere with the effectiveness of medications.
In a trial, 100 people with Parkinson’s will take a drug to eradicate the infection, or will be given a placebo, twice a day.
Their condition will be monitored for three months, including the way they walk.
The researchers, at the University of Malaya in Malaysia, say that getting rid of the bacteria may improve the effectiveness of common drugs and, therefore, the movement problems of Parkinson’s patients.

 

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What’s the key to tackling obesity?

What’s the key to tackling obesity? FINE fat people if they don’t exercise, say experts
People are more likely to work out if they risk losing money, study found
Nearly 50% of US adults don’t get enough exercise, scientists say
However, the fear of losing a reward or money is a powerful motivator
Fearing getting fined makes people 50% more likely to exercise – study
By LISA RYAN FOR DAILYMAIL.CO
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With obesity levels reaching epidemic proportions global experts in the field are focused on one goal – reversing the trend.
Key to the battle is encouraging people who are overweight or obese to exercise more.
For some, all the motivation that is needed is the promise of living a healthier lifestyle.
But for others, unless there is a tangible incentive in sight, they’d much rather skip the gym.
However, a new study has suggested a new way to help overweight and obese people shift the pounds – fine them if they don’t exercise.
Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discovered people are more likely to get active if they risk losing money by skipping a workout.
Senior study author Dr Kevin Volpp, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, said: ‘Our findings demonstrate that the potential of losing a reward is a more powerful motivator.’
People are more likely to exercise if there is a risk that they might lose money by skipping a work out, scientists revealed. The fear of losing money is a more powerful motivator than the promise of gaining money by going to the gym, according to a new study

 

tackling obesity
People are more likely to exercise if there is a risk that they might lose money by skipping a work out, scientists revealed. The fear of losing money is a more powerful motivator than the promise of gaining money by going to the gym, according to a new study
The study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, tested the efficacy of three methods of financial incentives to boost physical activity among overweight and obese adults.
Lead study author Dr Mitesh Patel said: ‘Although most people know that exercise is good for their health, more than 50 per cent of adults in the United States don’t get enough of it.’
There are currently countless workplace wellness programs in place geared towards increasing physical acti

However, scientists found that there is a lack of understanding about how to design incentives within those programs.
Dr Patel said: ‘Our findings suggest that these programs could result in better outcomes if they designed financial incentives based on principles from behavioral economics such as loss aversion.’
The study included 281 participants who were given the goal of reaching 7,000 steps per day for 26 weeks.
Although most people know that exercise is good for their health, more than 50 per cent of adults in the United States don’t get enough of it
Dr Mitesh Patel, of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
The average daily step count among US adults is 5,000 – so the 7,000 figure reflects a 40 per cent increase.
During the first 13 weeks, the participants were assigned to four groups.
One control group had no financial incentive, while the gain group received $1.40 for every day the goal was achieved – or $42 per month.
There was also a lottery group – where people were entered into a daily lottery with a prize that averaged $1.40 each day.
Lastly, there was also a loss incentive group, where the participants start with $42 each month, and the scientists took away $1.40 for each day the goal wasn’t achieved.
For the final 13 weeks of the study, participants received feedback on their performance – but weren’t offered any financial incentives.
The team set out to determine which program design was the most effective at motivating participants to increase their physical activity.
Scientists also found that using smartphones to track exercise progression was effective – and that smartphone apps could be used to incentive fitness strategies

Scientists also found that using smartphones to track exercise progression was effective – and that smartphone apps could be used to incentive fitness strategies
Participants’ progress was tracked through a mobile app on their smartphones.
Results from the first half of the study showed that offering a daily reward or lottery was no more effective than offering no reward at all.
Participants in those groups only achieved the goal approximately 30 to 35 per cent of the time.
Our findings reveal how wearable devices and apps can play a role in motivating people to increase physical activity
Dr David Asch, of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
But, those who risked losing the reward they’d already been given achieved the goal nearly 45 per cent of the time.
That amounts to an almost 50 per cent increase over the control group.
Thus, the scientists determined that the way financial incentives are framed is important.
Dr Volpp said: ‘Most workplace wellness programs typically offer the reward after the goal is achieved.’
Additionally, because 96 per cent of the participants were still enrolled in the study even after the incentives stopped three months in, the scientists also found that smartphones should be used to deploy such programs on a broader scale.
Co-author Dr David Asch said: ‘Our findings reveal how wearable devices and apps can play a role in motivating people to increase physical activity, but what really makes the difference is how you design the incentive strategy around those apps.’
Future research should compare the effectiveness of such incentives when combined with other motivators, such as peer support and accountability, the authors noted

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Anal cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the very end of the large bowel.

96353602_rectal-bleeding_183x90Anal cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the very end of the large bowel.
Less than 1,200 people are diagnosed with cancer of the anus each year in the UK.
Symptoms of anal cancer
The symptoms of anal cancer are often similar to more common and less serious conditions affecting the anus, such as piles (haemorrhoids) and anal fissures (small tears or sores).
Symptoms of anal cancer can include:
bleeding from the bottom (rectal bleeding)
itching and pain around the anus
small lumps around the anus
a discharge of mucus from the anus
loss of bowel control (bowel incontinence)
However, some people with anal cancer don’t have any symptoms.
See your GP if you develop any of the above symptoms. While they’re unlikely to be caused by anal cancer, it’s best to get them checked out.

Diagnosing anal cancer
Your GP will usually ask about your symptoms and carry out some examinations.
They may feel your tummy and carry out a rectal examination. This involves your doctor inserting a gloved finger into your bottom so they can feel any abnormalities. Your GP will refer you to hospital if they think further tests are necessary.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends in its 2015 guidelines that GPs should consider referring someone with an unexplained anal lump or anal ulcer. The person should receive an appointment within two weeks.
If you’re referred to hospital, a number of different tests may be carried out to check for anal cancer and rule out other conditions.
Some of the tests you may have include a:
sigmoidoscopy – where a thin, flexible tube with a small camera and light is inserted into your bottom to check for any abnormalities
proctoscopy – where the inside of your rectum is examined using a hollow tube-like instrument (proctoscope) with a light on the end
biopsy – where a small tissue sample is removed from your anus during a sigmoidoscopy or proctoscopy so it can be examined in a laboratory under a microscope
If these tests suggest you have anal cancer, you may have some scans to check whether the cancer has spread. Once these are complete, your doctors will be able to “stage” the cancer. This means giving it a score to describe how large it is and how far it has spread.
You can read more about the stages of anal cancer on the Cancer Research UK website.
How anal cancer is treated
If you’re diagnosed with anal cancer, you’ll be cared for by a multidisciplinary team. This is a team of different specialists who work together to provide the best treatment and care.
The main treatments used for anal cancer are:
chemoradiation – a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy
surgery – to remove a tumour or a larger section of bowel
In cases where the cancer has spread and can’t be cured, chemotherapy alone may be considered to help relieve symptoms. This is known as palliative care.
The main treatments are described in more detail below.
Chemoradiation
Chemoradiation is a treatment that combines chemotherapy (cancer-killing medication) and radiotherapy (where radiation is used to kill cancer cells). It’s currently the most effective treatment for anal cancer. You don’t usually need to stay in hospital when you’re having chemoradiation.

96353602_rectal-bleeding_183x90

Chemotherapy for anal cancer is usually given in two cycles, each lasting four to five days, with a four-week gap between the cycles. In many cases, part of the chemotherapy is delivered through a small tube called a peripherally inserted central catheter (PICC) in your arm, which can stay in place until your treatment has finished.
The tube means you don’t need to stay in hospital during each of the cycles of chemotherapy. However, you’ll be attached to a small plastic pump, which you take home with you.
A few hospitals now offer tablet chemotherapy for anal cancer, which avoids the need for the pump and PICC.
Read more about how chemotherapy is carried out.

Radiotherapy is usually given in short sessions, once a day from Monday to Friday, with a break at weekends. This is usually carried out for five to six weeks. To prepare for radiotherapy, additional scans will be required.
Read more about how radiotherapy is carried out.
Both chemotherapy and radiotherapy often cause significant side effects, including:
tiredness
sore skin around the anus
sore skin around the penis and scrotum in men or vulva in women
hair loss – limited hair loss from the head, but total loss from the pubic area
feeling sick
diarrhoea

These side effects are usually temporary, but there’s also a risk of longer-term problems, such as infertility. If you’re concerned about the potential side effects of treatment, you should discuss this with your care team before treatment begins.
Other possible long-term side effects can include:
bowel control problems
long-term (chronic) diarrhoea
erectile dysfunction
vaginal pain when having sex
dry and itchy skin around the groin and anus
bleeding from the anus, rectum, vagina or bladder
Tell your doctor if you develop any of these symptoms so they can be investigated and treated.
Surgery
Surgery is a less common treatment option for anal cancer. It’s usually only considered if the tumour is small and can be easily removed, or if chemoradiation hasn’t worked.
If the tumour is very small and clearly defined, it may be cut out during a procedure called a local excision. This is a relatively simple procedure, carried out under general anaesthetic, that usually only requires a stay in hospital of a few days.
If chemoradiation has been unsuccessful or the cancer has returned after treatment, a more complex operation called an abdominoperineal resection may be recommended. As with a local excision, this operation is carried out under general anaesthetic.

An abdominoperineal resection involves removing your anus, rectum, part of the colon, some surrounding muscle tissue, and sometimes some of the surrounding lymph nodes (small glands that form part of the immune system) to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. You’ll usually need to stay in hospital for up to 10 days after this type of surgery.
During the operation, a permanent colostomy will also be formed to allow you to pass stools. This is where a section of the large intestine is diverted through an opening made in the abdomen called a stoma. The stoma is attached to a special pouch that will collect your stools after the operation.
Before and after the operation, you’ll see a specialist nurse who can offer support and advice to help you adapt to life with a colostomy. Adjusting to life with a colostomy can be challenging, but most people become accustomed to it over time.
Read more about living with a colostomy.
Follow-up

After your course of treatment ends, you’ll need to have regular follow-up appointments to monitor your recovery and check for any signs of the cancer returning.
To start with, these appointments will be every few weeks or months, but they’ll gradually become less frequent over time.
What causes anal cancer?
The exact cause of anal cancer is unknown, although a number of factors can increase your risk of developing the condition. These include:
infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) – a common and usually harmless group of viruses spread through sexual contact, which can affect the moist membranes lining your body
having anal sex or lots of sexual partners – possibly because this increases your risk of developing HPV
having a history of cervical, vaginal or vulval cancer
smoking
having a weakened immune system – for example, if you have HIV

Your risk of developing anal cancer increases as you get older, with half of all cases diagnosed in people aged 65 or over. The condition is also slightly more common in women than men.
Outlook
The outlook for anal cancer depends on how advanced the condition is when it’s diagnosed. The earlier it’s diagnosed, the better the outlook.
Compared with many other types of cancer, the outlook for anal cancer is generally better because treatment is often very effective. Around 66 out of 100 people (66%) with anal cancer will live at least five years after diagnosis, and many will live much longer than this. There are about 300 deaths from anal cancer each year in the UK.

Further information about anal cancer
Cancer Research UK: anal cancer
Macmillan: anal cancer
Screening for anal cancer
There isn’t a screening programme in England for anal cancer. This is because there isn’t currently enough evidence to show the benefits of offering screening would outweigh the risks.
You can read more about screening for anal cancer on the Cancer Research UK w

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Cancer isn’t all in your genes

Cancer ISN’T all in your genes: Up to 90% of cases ‘could be wiped out by avoiding triggers caused by our unhealthy lifestyles’

  • Study found factors like sunlight and diet play a bigger role than DNA
  • Healthy habits dramatically reduce the chances of getting cancer
  • Scientists are divided over how much cancer is caused by genes/ lifestyle 

Most cases of cancer are down to unhealthy lives, rather than bad genes, doctors said last night.

They said that factors in the world around us, from diet, to sunlight, cigarettes and disease, play a far bigger role in fuelling cancer than dodgy DNA.

Up 90 per cent of cancer cases would be wiped up if all these triggers could be avoided.

Dr Emma Smith, of Cancer Research UK, said: ‘Healthy habits like not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and cutting back on alcohol are not a guarantee against cancer, they do dramatically reduce the risk of developing the disease.’

The new study claims that up to nine in ten cancers could be avoided if triggers linked to lifestyle were avoided

The new study claims that up to nine in ten cancers could be avoided if triggers linked to lifestyle were avoided

While the advice may not seem surprising, scientists are divided about how much cancer is caused by what we do and how much is unavoidable.

The controversy was stoked a year ago by research that claimed that most cases are caused by errors in DNA that are generated at random as the body ages and its cells divide.

The researchers said this meant that most cases of cancer were down to ‘bad luck’, rather than an unhealthy lifestyle.

It said that for or two out of three cancer victims, the cumulative effect of random mistakes in genes is to blame for the disease rather than poor choices about how they lived their lives or ‘chose’ their parents.

The latest study involved four analyses of the causes of cancer and used some of the same data as the first piece of research.

However, it came to the opposite conclusion, suggesting that cancer incidence is far too high to be explained by simple mutations in cell division alone.

They said that, if random mutations were to blame, there would be far fewer cases of cancer than there are.

Dr Yusuf Hannun, of Stony Brook University in the US, said that while luck plays a role, factors in the world around us are much more important.

These include diet, alcohol, cigarettes, sunburn, some viruses, pollution and likely other factors that have yet to be identified.

New study finds most cancers are caused by the way we live

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Getting rid of external risk factors, like smoking and some viruses, would reduce the incidence of all forms of the disease, including breast cancer, depicted

Getting rid of external risk factors, like smoking and some viruses, would reduce the incidence of all forms of the disease, including breast cancer, depicted

Previous studies have shown that people moving from low cancer incidence to countries with high cancer rates develop the same tumour incidences, which also suggests the risks are caused more by environment than genes.

Scientists also looked at patterns in the mutations associated with certain cancers and found that mutations during cell division rarely build up to the point of producing cancer, even in tissues with relatively high rates of cell division.

The team found that some exposure to environmental factors would be needed to set off the disease.

The Johns Hopkins University study earlier this year also failed to include common cancers such as prostate, breast, stomach, and cervix, which have been heavily linked to environmental causes.

In 2012, there were almost 339,000 of new cancer cases of cancer recorded and almost 162,000 deaths, according to figures from Cancer Research UK.

The chances of beating cancer in England is improving but still lags behind countries elsewhere in Europe, official figures revealed last month.

Previously experts have estimated that 30-40 per cent of cancer cases would be avoided given a better lifestyle, but there has been no similar calculation about whether the remainder can be prevented.

The new study claims that adopting a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce your chances of cancer

The new study claims that adopting a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce your chances of cancer

Writing in the journal Nature, he said that the genes we inherit from our parents only account for a very small number of cancer cases.

He concluded: ‘These results are important for strategizing cancer prevention, research and public health.’

Other experts said he had built a ‘compelling case’ for his argument.

Professor Kevin McConway, of the Open University, said: ‘The authors’ aim is to calculate what percentage of cancers would not arise, if we could wave a magic wand and get rid of all possible external risk factors.

‘There would still be cancers, because of the way that cells divide in the body. But there would be fewer of them.’

Dr Jian-Min Yuan, of the University of Pittsburgh in the US, said: ‘These results demonstrate that a large proportion of cancer is caused by environmental factors and are preventable if their underlying causes are identified.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3362965/How-cancer-ISN-T-genes-90-cancer-wiped-avoiding-triggers-caused-unhealthy-lifestyles.html#ixzz3uaqQp4w9
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Nutrition-Rich Juices With High Rate of Vitamins

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If you chug a glass of orange juice every time you start sniffling, you may be onto something. Though studies show that consuming vitamin C can’t actually preventcolds, loading up on the nutrient may help slightly shorten the length of time you’re sick and reduce the severity of your symptoms. But despite their reputation for being loaded with vitamin C, the 69.7 mg that a medium orange provides is actually less than many other common fruits and veggies. To pack the ultimate vitamin C punch, fill up on these 12 superfoods.

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Health Benefits of Eating a Bowl of Salad Daily

mixed bean salad

SHARPEN YOUR EYESIGHT

Toss together a salad of spinach, romaine and red leaf lettuce: They all contain loads of the carotenoids vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin—key to seeing better. Vitamin A helps eyes adapt from bright light to darkness. Lutein and zeaxanthin can help filter out high-energy light that may cause eye damage from free radicals.

REV UP YOUR MUSCLES

Recent Swedish research found that inorganic nitrate—abundant in spinach—resulted in muscles using less oxygen. The study, which had healthy participants ride an exercise bike before and after taking a dose of nitrate, found it improved the performance of the mitochondria—which power our cells—in muscles.

FIGHT BREAST CANCER

A small study done at the University of Southampton, U.K., showed that phen-ethyl isothiocyanate in watercress disrupts the signals from tumours that cause normal tissues to grow new blood vessels to feed cancer cells. Participants, who had all been treated for breast cancer, ate a cereal-bowl-size portion of watercress. The study showed a key protein in the signalling process was affected. Although more research is needed, the study states: “Dietary intake of watercress may be sufficient to modulate this potential anti-cancer pathway.”

PROTECT YOUR HEART

Whip up a Caesar salad to benefit from romaine’s high levels of two heart-healthy nutrients: Two cups (500 mL) of shredded romaine contain 40 percent of your daily needs of folate and 10 percent of fibre. A study done at Tulane University in New Orleans showed that the higher the level of folate in a person’s diet, the lower the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease. Soluble fibre has been shown to reduce the level of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) or “bad” cholesterol.

REDUCE RISK OF DIABETES

Chronic magnesium deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and the development of insulin resistance. Two cups (500 mL) of spinach contain 16 percent of your daily magnesium needs; arugula has six percent.