Two recently released studies suggest that taking a daily aspirin may help reduce the risk of developing cancer and also prevent the spread of already developed tumors. In a study from the University of Oxford, the risk of developing cancer was 25 percent lower in people who took aspirin daily compared to those who took no aspirin. The research found a 37 percent reduction in the risk of cancer after five years of daily aspirin. Another study found aspirin reduced the risk of metastatic cancer by 36 percent and the risk of adenocarcinomas by 46 percent. Despite the encouraging news, experts warn that there are dangers associated with taking aspirin, including increased risk of gastrointestinal bleeding, and individuals should consult with their doctor before beginning to take daily aspirin. More here.
According to a new study published in The Journal Of Pain, listening to music may help reduce pain, especially in people with anxiety. The researchers examined the responses of 143 people who received a painful shock to their fingertip while listening to music. The results found that as participants became more involved in following the melodies and identifying unusual tones their pain lessened. Music was particularly effective in reducing pain in the people who were the most anxious about receiving the shock. David H. Bradshaw, PhD, from the University of Utah, said engaging in activities like listening to music may reduce pain in high-anxiety persons who can easily become absorbed in activities. More here.
Worry, anxiety, and stress can have a negative impact on your overall physical health. But, according to a recent study from researchers in the Netherlands, scheduling a time to worry can help reduce the associated stress and anxiety that comes with excessive worry. When using a four-step process, participants in the study significantly reduced their anxiety symptoms compared to people using standard treatments. The steps include recognizing when you are worrying, setting aside time to think about those particular worries, focusing on another task, then using the scheduled time to think of solutions to your problem. Tom Borkovec, a professor emeritus of psychology at Penn State University, said it doesn’t help to tell someone to stop worrying but postponing it for a while can actually be done. More here.
Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England analyzed seven studies involving more than 10,000 people with and without heart disease and found those who ate the most chocolate had lower incidents of heart disease. According to the researchers, the highest levels of chocolate consumption were associated with a 37 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease and a 20 percent reduction in stroke compared with the lowest levels. The research adds to a growing list of studies showing the positive effects of eating chocolate on health. Though the study didn’t differentiate between types of chocolate, the researchers said darker, and less processed, chocolates tend to have higher levels of the antioxidants thought to benefit health. More here.
Recent analysis of previous published research found playing an instrument or simply listening to music may lessen anxiety and pain in cancer patients. Researchers reviewed 30 studies, 17 of which involved people listening to recorded music and 13 where patients participated in sessions with music therapists. Generally, music was found to reduce anxiety levels and improve quality of life more than standard treatments. In some cases, music therapy was found to lessen pain and improve mood, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates. Music has been found to have beneficial effects for numerous chronic, painful, and emotionally distressing diseases. More here.