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Researchers find a new diagnostic method for liver cancer

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BEIJING: Chinese researchers have identified gut microbiota as a new biomarker of liver cancer.
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer and the third leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. There are about 460,000 new cases reported annually in China.
Due to the absence of specific symptoms in the early stages and the lack of diagnostic markers, most patients with HCC are often diagnosed at an advanced stage. Therefore, finding diagnostic markers for early HCC is necessary to treat the disease before it is too late.
Researchers from the School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, and the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University have focused on the different gut microbial diversity in healthy people and patients.
Human gut microbiota has been considered the most important micro-ecosystem living with the body, containing tens of trillions of microorganisms, including at least 1,000 species of bacteria with more than 3 million genes. Gut microbiota can help the body digest certain foods that the stomach and small intestine have not been able to digest.
Researchers collected 486 fecal samples from across the country. They found microbial diversity in patients with cirrhosis was significantly lower than that in healthy people, but it was increased when cirrhosis developed into cancer.
About 12 bacteria genera decreased and six increased in patients with early cancer compared with healthy people.
The research provides a new solution for the early diagnosis of liver cancer and was recently published in the medical journal Gut.
According to researchers, more data and further studies are needed to confirm the validity and reliability of the model.

 

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5-Day anti-polio drive from Sep 24

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polio eradication campaign

RAWALPINDI: A five-day anti-polio drive would commence in the entire district from September 24.
During the campaign,2181 polio teams would go door-to-door and administer polio drops to 840,000 children less than five years of age, Chief Executive Officer (CEO- Health) Dr. Khalid Mehmood told the Media. He said staff deployed for the campaign has been issued special instructions and informed that no negligence in this regard would be tolerated.
Dr. Khalid said that 287 fixed centers and 287 transit points have been designated for the purpose. Moreover, he added that 217 Union council Supervisors and 448 area in charges have also been deployed for it. Sufficient quantity of vaccine is available, and no stone will be left unturned in our efforts to make the campaign a success.
The CEO
said Polio is a National issue and it is the responsibility of all to play an effective role to make the country Polio free
The CEO urged the citizens, particularly the parents, to come forward and play their role in the elimination of the crippling disease from society. “The parents should cooperate with the special teams so that the set target could be achieved.” He said continuous efforts were being made to control polio. Special teams have also been formed to cover areas from where complaints about unattended children are registered, he said, adding that special arrangements have also been made to cover Cantonment Board areas of Rawalpindi.

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Common painkiller tied to increased risk of heart problems

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ISLAMABAD: The commonly used painkiller diclofenac may be linked with an increased risk of heart problems, a large Danish study suggests.
Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that are often used to treat arthritis and other painful joint conditions. In many countries, it is available without a prescription, a private news channel reported.
Researchers found that the rate of first-time cardiovascular events was 20 to 30 percent higher among people who started taking diclofenac than among people who started taking ibuprofen or naproxen, which are also NSAIDs, or paracetamol (acetaminophen). These events included heart attacks, development of an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, or death from heart problems.
The rate of new heart problems was 50 percent higher for diclofenac users than for people who weren’t taking any painkillers.
The researchers analyzed data from the Danish national patient registry. Altogether, they had information on nearly 1.4 million diclofenac users, 3.9 million ibuprofen users, 292,000 naproxen users, 765,00 paracetamol users, and 1.3 million people not on any of these painkillers.
“It is important to note that the absolute risk for the individual patient is low,” Morten Schmidt, lead author of the study, told Reuters Health in an email.

 

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Anti-polio campaign to start in Karachi from today

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KARACHI: Mass immunization campaigns, known as National Immunization Days (NIDs), would be started from today to administer anti-polio drops along with the supplement of Vitamin A to over 2.3 million children up to five years of age in all 188 union councils in the metropolis during seven days.
More than 9000 polio teams will perform their duties in the campaign, it was decided in a meeting chaired by Commissioner Karachi Muhammad Sualeh Farooqui, at his office, said a statement on Sunday. Briefing about security arrangements it was told the meeting that foolproof security arrangements have been made to ensure the security of polio teams. The meeting was attended among others by Municipal Commissioner KMC Dr. Saifur Rehman, all Deputy commissioners, all district and town health officers, officials of Police, Pakistan Rangers, Health
Department, Emergency Operation Centres (EOC). The Commissioner stressed the need to work with the focus based strategies addressing issues specifically in all areas.  He said that there is a great need to work for the improvement of micro plan and communication strategy. He asked the Deputy Commissioners to make all-out efforts to make the campaign result oriented. He urged the parents to cooperate with the polio teams to ensure their children are safe as a vaccine, given to them multiple times, can protect them for life. The Commissioner also stressed the need that efforts should also be made to administer polio drops to school going children of up to five years of age.
It was informed to the meeting that the Education department’s private school secretariat has instructed the concerned private schools to help the administration and cooperate with the polio teams in carrying out their duties for providing children the protection from the crippling decease. It was decided in a meeting that awareness campaign of teachers, as well as parents, would be initiated with the support of school administrations in coordination with the Directorate of the Private Schools. He said that polio eradication was a national cause and it would be the top priority of city administration to carry out its efforts for the elimination of poliovirus.

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