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October 23, 2019

Prostate cancer symptoms

Prostate cancer occurs in the prostate — a small walnut-shaped gland in men. Symptoms of prostate cancer do not usually appear until the prostate is large enough to put pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis. This can lead to a number of symptoms related to the bladder. One warning sign in particular can disrupt a person’s sleeping pattern.
According to the NHS, getting up more frequently to urinate during the night may signal the deadly disease. This is medically known as nocturia.
Other bladder-related symptoms include:

Needing to rush to the toilet
Difficulty in starting to urinate (hesitancy)
Straining or taking a long time while peeing
Weak flow
Feeling that a person’s bladder has not fully emptied
Blood in urine or blood in semen
According to Cancer Research UK, the above symptoms are much more likely to be the result of an enlarged prostate gland than cancer.

As men get older their prostate gland enlarges. It isn’t normally cancer but instead a condition called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), notes the charity. Benign prostatic hyperplasia is the medical term for an enlarged prostate.

The symptoms are similar because BPH is also caused by increased pressure on the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis.

However, if a person recognises any of the symptoms that could be caused by prostate cancer, a person should visit their GP, advised the NHS.

Who is at risk?

It is not clear what causes prostate cancer but certain factors may raise a person’s risk of developing the disease. According to Cancer Research UK, age is a significant risk factor. The disease is most common in men aged 75 to 79 years.

Other risk factors include:

Ethnic group – prostate cancer is more common among men of African-Caribbean and African descent than in Asian men
Family history – having a brother or father who developed prostate cancer before age 60 seems to increase a person’s risk of developing it; research also shows that having a close female relative who developed breast cancer may also increase a person’s risk of developing prostate cancer
Obesity – recent research suggests there may be a link between obesity and prostate cancer and a balanced diet and regular exercise may lower a person’s risk of developing prostate cancer
Diet – research is ongoing into the links between diet and prostate cancer and there is some evidence that a diet high in calcium is linked to an increased risk of developing prostate cancer
Interestingly, height may also raise a person’s risk. As Cancer Research UK explains, taller men have a higher risk than shorter men of getting a faster growing (high grade) prostate cancer or prostate cancer that has spread.

Eating a certain food may reduce a person’s risk of developing the disease.

How to test for prostate cancer

According to the NHS, there’s no single, definitive test for prostate cancer. “Your GP will discuss the pros and cons of the various tests with you to try to avoid unnecessary anxiety,” the health body explained.

A person’s GP is likely to:

Ask for a urine sample to check for infection
Take a blood sample to test your level of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) – called PSA testing
Examine a person’s prostate by inserting a gloved finger into their bottom – called digital rectal examination

October 11, 2019

Eating mushrooms can reduce men's risk of prostate cancer, study reveals

Eating mushrooms can reduce men's risk of prostate cancer, study reveals

Researchers from Tohoku University suggest that consuming mushrooms on a regular basis reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men - especially those aged 50 or older

It’s a love or hate ingredient, but a new study has revealed a link between eating mushrooms and lower risk of prostate cancer.

Researchers from Tohoku University suggest that consuming mushrooms on a regular basis reduces the risk of prostate cancer in men - especially those aged 50 or older.

Dr Shu Zhang, who led the study, said: "Test-tube studies and studies conducted on living organisms have shown that mushrooms have the potential to prevent prostate cancer.

"However, the relationship between mushroom consumption and incident prostate cancer in humans has never been investigated before.

Scientists find 'cure' for cervical cancer in mice - and it could be tested in humans by 2024

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first cohort study indicating the prostate cancer-preventive potential of mushrooms at a population level.”

In the study, the researchers surveyed 36,499 men about their lifestyle choices including food consumption, psychical activity and smoking and drinking habits, and analysed their medical records.

The results revealed that overall, 3.3% of the participants developed prostate cancer during a follow-up period.

However, participants who ate mushrooms once or twice a week had an 8% lower risk of developing the disease, compared to those who ate mushrooms less than once a week.

October 08, 2019

Caribbean for all of us (The Best Beaches)

Image courtesy of Phil Thebault at
The Best Beaches
Good beaches with soul-warming sun, crystal-clear waters, and fragrant sea air can be found on virtually every island of the Caribbean, with the possible exceptions of Saba (which has rocky shores) and Dominica (where the few beaches have dramatically black sands that absorb the hot sun).

Shoal Bay (Anguilla): This luscious stretch of silvery sand helped put Anguilla on the world-tourism map. Snorkelers are drawn to the schools of iridescent fish that dart among the coral gardens offshore. You can take the trail walk from Old Ta to little-known Katouche Beach, which offers perfect snorkeling and is also a prime site for a beach picnic under shade trees.

The Beaches of Antigua: Legend has it that there is a beach here for every day of the year, though we haven't bothered to confirm that by counting. Antiguans claim, with justifiable pride, that their two best beaches are Dickenson Bay, in the northwest corner of the island, and Half Moon Bay, which stretches for a white-sandy mile along the eastern coast. Most major hotels open directly onto a good beach, so chances are good yours will be built on or near a strip of white sand.

Palm Beach (Aruba): This superb white-sand beach put Aruba on the tourist map. Several publications, including Condé Nast Traveler, have hailed it as 1 of the 12 best beaches in the world. It's likely to be crowded in winter, but for swimming, sailing, or fishing, it's idyllic.

The Gold Coast (Barbados): Some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean lie along the so-called Gold Coast of Barbados, site of some of the swankiest deluxe hotels in the Northern Hemisphere. Our favorites include Paynes Bay, Brandon's Beach, Paradise Beach, and Brighton Beach, all open to the public.

Cane Garden Bay (Tortola, British Virgin Islands): One of the Caribbean's most spectacular stretches, Cane Garden Bay has 2km (1 1/4 miles) of white sand and is a jogger's favorite. It's a much better choice than more obvious (and more crowded) Magens Bay beach on neighboring St. Thomas.

Seven Mile Beach (Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands): It's really about 9km (5 1/2 miles) long, but who's counting? Lined with condos and plush resorts, this beach is known for its array of watersports and its translucent aquamarine waters. Australian pines dot the background, and the average winter temperature of the water is a perfect 80°F (27°C).

The Beaches of the Dominican Republic: There are two great options here: the beaches of resort-riddled Punta Cana at the easternmost tip of the island, or those at Playa Dorada along the northern coast, which fronts the Atlantic. Punta Cana is a 32km (20-mile) strip of oyster-white sands set against a backdrop of palm trees, and Playa Dorada is filled with beaches of white or beige sands.

Grand Anse Beach (Grenada): This 3km (2-mile) beach is reason enough to go to Grenada. Although the island has some 45 beaches, most with white sand, this is the fabled one, and rightly so. There's enough space and so few visitors that you'll probably find a spot just for yourself. The sugary sands of Grand Anse extend into deep waters far offshore. Most of the island's best hotels are within walking distance of this beach strip.

Seven Mile Beach (Negril, Jamaica): In the northwestern section of the island, this beach stretches for 11km (6 3/4 miles) along the sea, and is backed by some of the most hedonistic resorts in the Caribbean. Not for the conservative, the beach also contains some nudist sections along with bare-all Booby Cay offshore.

Diamond Beach (Martinique): This bright, white-sandy beach stretches for about 10km (6 1/4 miles), much of it developed. It faces a rocky offshore island, Diamond Rock, which has uninhabited shores.

Luquillo Beach (Puerto Rico): This crescent-shaped public beach, 30 miles east of San Juan, is the local favorite. Much photographed because of its white sands and coconut palms, it also has tent sites and picnic facilities. The often-fierce waters of the Atlantic are subdued by the coral reefs protecting the crystal-clear lagoon.

St-Jean Beach (St. Barthélemy): A somewhat narrow, golden sandy beach, St-Jean is the gem of the island, reminiscent of the French Riviera (though you're supposed to keep your top on). Reefs protect the beach, making it ideal for swimming.

The Beaches of St. Maarten/St. Martin: Take your pick. This island, divided about equally between France and the Netherlands, has 39 white-sandy beaches. Our favorites include Dawn Beach, Mullet Bay Beach, Maho Bay Beach, and Great Bay Beach on the Dutch side. Orient Beach is another standout -- not because of its sands but because of the nudists.

Canouan (The Grenadines): Most of the other beaches recommended in this section have been discovered and may be crowded in winter. But if you're looking for an idyllic, secluded stretch of perfect white sand, head for the remote and tiny island of Canouan, one of the pearls of The Grenadines, a string of islands lying south of its parent, St. Vincent. You'll have the beaches and the crystal-clear waters to yourself, even in winter.

The Beaches of Tobago: For your Robinson Crusoe holiday in the southern Caribbean, head to the little island of Tobago. Even Trinidadians fly over here on weekends to enjoy the beach life. It doesn't get any better than a long coral beach called Pigeon Point on the northwestern coast. Other good beaches on Tobago include Back Bay (site of an old coconut plantation) and Man-O-War Bay, known for its beautiful natural harbor and long stretch of sand.

Grace Bay Beach (Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands): These 19km (12 miles) of pale sands are the pride of Provo; Condé Nast Traveler has called this one of the world's best beaches. It's such a spectacular setting that increasing numbers of resorts, including Club Med, have sprung up along the shore. A couple of miles out from the northern shore, the beach is fringed by a reef with fabulous snorkeling. Back on land, there are plenty of places where you can rent watersports equipment.

Trunk Bay (St. John): Protected by the U.S. National Park Service, this beach is one of the Caribbean's most popular. A favorite with cruise-ship passengers, it's known for its underwater snorkeling trail, where markers guide you along the reef just off the white sands; you're sure to see a gorgeous rainbow of tropical fish.

July 29, 2019

Glaucoma treatment trends

High incidence of glaucoma worldwide has propelled the manufacturers to focus on the development and commercialization of minimal invasive devices for the treatment of glaucoma. For instance, development of micro-invasive surgical devices such as iStent, and gel micro stent (XEN) has catered to the high growth of minimal invasive glaucoma surgery devices. Increasing government initiatives to increase awareness about prevention of blindness contributes to the glaucoma surgery devices market growth in Asia-Pacific.

Glaucoma is caused by the damage to the optic nerve, and if not treated accurately can eventually lead to loss of vision. It is commonly prevalent in the geriatric population, and the most commonly occurring type of glaucoma is the open-angle glaucoma. In addition to the conventional approaches such as laser surgeries, development of novel drainage devices and stents has propelled the market growth.

Increase in incidence of glaucoma and growth in geriatric population drives the market growth. In addition, the rise in focus of manufacturers on developing micro-invasive glaucoma drainage implants supplements the market growth. However, dearth of skilled professionals and risk of post-operative complications associated with glaucoma surgeries hamper this growth. Moreover, surge in investment by manufacturers in the emerging economies, and rise in initiatives to reduce the burden of glaucoma globally offer profitable opportunities for market expansion.

The glaucoma drainage devices segment is expected to witness a growth rate of 29.6% from 2017 to 2023, and is anticipated to grow significantly owing to rapid development of advanced drainage devices. The high growth is attributed to increase in preference of drainage devices such as Ahmed valves or aqueous shunts over conventional glaucoma surgeries. The conventional glaucoma surgeries accounted for three-fifths share in 2016, and is set to continue its dominance throughout the forecast period. The conventional glaucoma surgeries are associated with fewer complications, making them the first choice of the surgeons for the treatment of certain types of glaucoma.

Among end user, eye hospitals generated the highest revenue in 2016, accounting for four-ninths of the total market share and is set to continue its dominance throughout the forecast period. Moreover, outpatient surgical centers segment is expected to witness a high growth rate of 29.5%, attributable to the increase in number of glaucoma laser surgeries being carried out in outpatient surgical facilities and large-scale utilization of glaucoma drainage devices such as tube shunts in these facilities.

July 19, 2019

Diastolic numbers are as important as systolic are, find why

Blood pressure measurements are given as a "top" and "bottom" number. The first reflects systolic blood pressure, the amount of pressure in the arteries as the heart contracts. The second reflects diastolic blood pressure, the pressure in the arteries between heart muscle contractions.

For years, systolic blood pressure has been seen as the one that really matters. That's based on studies -- including the famous Framingham Heart Study -- showing that high systolic blood pressure is a stronger predictor of heart disease and stroke.

At the same time, though, doctors measure both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and treatment guidelines are based on both. So just how important is that diastolic number?

"The idea behind this new study was to address the confusion," said lead researcher Dr. Alexander Flint, an investigator with Kaiser Permanente Northern California's division of research.

Using medical records from 1.3 million patients, his team confirmed that, yes, high systolic blood pressure was a stronger risk factor for heart attack and stroke. But those risks also climbed in tandem with diastolic pressure; and people with normal systolic readings were still at risk if their diastolic pressure was high.

"There's been a common belief that systolic blood pressure is the only one that matters," Flint said. "But diastolic definitely matters."

He and his colleagues reported the findings in the July 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

The definition of high blood pressure has gotten a revamp in recent years. Guidelines issued in 2017 by the American College of Cardiology (ACC) and other heart groups lowered the threshold for diagnosing the condition -- from the traditional 140/90 mm Hg to 130/80.

The fact that treatment guidelines include a diastolic pressure threshold implies that it's important. And indeed it is, said Dr. Karol Watson, a member of the ACC's prevention section and leadership council.

In fact, she said, doctors once thought that diastolic blood pressure was the more important one -- based on research at the time. Then came the studies showing that systolic pressure was generally a better predictor of people's risk of heart disease and stroke.

In addition, Watson said, high systolic blood pressure is more prevalent, because of natural changes in blood pressure as people age.

"As we get older, systolic blood pressure keeps marching up," she explained. Diastolic blood pressure, on the other hand, generally peaks when people are in their 40s to 60s -- and then it declines.

But it's clear, Watson said, that while systolic and diastolic blood pressure are different, they both deserve attention.

In the latest study, cardiovascular risks rose with each "unit increase" in systolic pressure above 140, by about 18% on average. Meanwhile, each increase in diastolic blood pressure above 90 was tied to a 6% increase in heart disease and stroke risk.

The researchers saw a similar pattern when they looked at blood pressure increases above the 130/80 threshold. That, Flint said, supports the 2017 guideline shift.

The findings are based on over 1.3 million patients in the Kaiser Permanente health system who had roughly 36.8 million blood pressure readings taken from 2007 through 2016. Over eight years, more than 44,000 patients had a heart attack or stroke.

According to Flint, it's the largest study of its kind to date.

The bottom line for patients, Watson said, is that they should care about both blood pressure numbers. In her experience, she noted, patients often point to the number that's in the normal range and say, "But look how good this is."

Flint agreed, saying that no one should "ignore" the diastolic number. "It's important not only in blood pressure treatment, but on the side of diagnosis, too," he said.

June 11, 2019

Just three things could save 94 million people from heart disease

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at
These three things could save 94 million people from heart disease.
In a new study, researchers found that three public health interventions could save 94 million people from premature death caused by heart disease.
The three interventions are lowering blood pressure, cutting sodium intake, and reducing trans fat from the daily diet.
They suggest that the three interventions can have a huge health impact on heart health through 2040.
The research was led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
In the study, the team used global data from multiple studies and estimates from the World Health Organization to make their calculations.
They estimated that scaling up treatment of high blood pressure to 70% of the world’s population could extend the lives of 39.4 million people.
In addition, cutting sodium intake by 30% could stave off another 40 million deaths and could also help reduce high blood pressure, which a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Eliminating trans fat could prevent 14.8 million early deaths.
The team also found that more than 50% of all delayed deaths, and 66% of deaths delayed before age 70, will be among men.
They suggest that many programs and policies would be necessary to reduce premature deaths from heart disease.
For example, one important strategy would be to increase the use of blood pressure drugs that are safe and affordable.
The team admits that scaling up the three health interventions would be a “huge challenge,” but they added that previous analyses have shown that the interventions are achievable and affordable.
They believe that these are realistic goals that have been shown to be attainable on a smaller population.
Now people need the commitment to scale up the programs to achieve them globally.
The lead author of the study is Goodarz Danaei, associate professor of global health at Harvard Chan School.
The study is published in Circulation.

May 31, 2019

Bank Draft vs Certified Cheque Head to Head Difference

Difference between Bank Draft vs Certified Cheque
Basis – Bank Draft vs Certified ChequeBank DraftCertified Cheque
Key differenceBank drafts are issued by banks and are guaranteedCheques are issued by customers and are not guaranteed however a certified cheque is similar except that the bank employee verifies if the fund is available to make a payment keeps that amount aside and then signs or certifies that the amount is available
MeaningA bank draft is a payment instrument that is issued by the bank on request of the payerCertified Cheque is a payment instrument that allows business and individuals to settle transactions. This facility is provided by the bank where the drawer’s account is present
IssuerA bank draft is issued by the bank on request from its customers. Bank directly makes transfers to the bank account which may be in the same bank or another bankThe certified cheque is issued by a customer who holds an account in the bank and orders the bank to make a payment to the specified person or to the bearer of the cheque
SignatureBank Draft does not require customers signature. However, there is a certified bank draft which is signed by the bank official which makes it more secureCertified cheque requires customers signature. Also, a bank certifies a cheque by adding the word ‘Certified’ to the signature
Process1. In case of a bank draft, there are banks representatives who act as an intermediary.2. Bank issues draft on your request but processes it only after verifying that the account has sufficient funds to cover the cheque.3. At this point, the bank deducts the amount from your bank account.The process is complete once the recipient deposits or cashes the draft1. In the case of certified cheque, there is also an intermediary involved which is the bank employee2. The bank employee checks if the issuer has sufficient funds in the account3. After it is confirmed the employee processes it. The amount is deducted after the employee certifies it
Stop PaymentThe possible way to stop payment for a bank draft is when it is lost or destroyed. The bank may provide with a replace issue draft insteadA certified cheque guarantees payment will be made this means it is not possible to stop payment after the certified cheque is issued
SecurityBanks charge a lower fee for bank draft in comparison to certified chequeThe certified cheque is guaranteed and banks charge a higher fee to issue it
ParticularsDate, the amount payable, payees nameDate, name, the amount in words and figures, signature

March 24, 2019

8 PCB Grounding Rules to Live Your Engineering Life By

8 PCB Grounding Rules to Live Your Engineering Life By

Grounding isn't all that important, right? It’s just the foundation that we build all of our electronic designs on. But what about those signals! The truth is, grounding is the most important part of your entire design, and we all tend to ignore it until it becomes a huge problem. Without a stable ground, you’ll never pass clean signals from one device to another.
Maybe you've designed a digital device with some variance in your ground and data can still move safely around. However, consider something like a high-reliability medical system. If that device gets zapped with a high-voltage ESD charge, you better hope you properly designed your ground. In sensitive electronic designs such as these, proper grounding can mean the difference between life and death.
Here are 8 PCB grounding rules to live your engineering life by, keep them in your back pocket!

#1 – Leave nothing unattached

Nothing should remain unattached on your PCB layout. If there’s an open space on your board, fill it with copper and vias to connect with your ground plane. This will create a structured path for all of your signals to efficiently get to ground.

#2 – Never slice up your ground layer

Most engineers working on four layer boards will have a dedicated ground layer. This works great as long as you don’t route traces on this layer. Once you do, you've effectively created a ground current loop. Keep your ground layer whole at all times.
This return path has gotten unwieldy with a gapped plane. (Image source)

#3 – Always provide a common ground point

An electronics system, whether that’s a single or a multi-board system, needs a single point for all grounds to come together. This might be the metal frame on a chassis or a dedicated ground layer on your PCB. You’ll commonly hear this referred to this common ground point as star grounding.

#4 – Minimize series vias

Be sure to minimize series vias on your ground paths and instead send component grounds directly to your dedicated ground plane. The more vias you add to your board the more impedance you have to deal with. This is especially important for fast transient currents that can turn an impedance path into a voltage differential.

#5 – Grounding before routing

A poorly designed ground puts your entire device at risk. The same can’t be said for messing up a single signal. Be sure to properly design your ground first before doing any routing. This will serve as the foundation for your entire routing process.

#6 – Know where your currents are going

Many designers only think about where their signal is traveling to, but every signal has a return path to take through ground. Both the sending and return path of your signal will have the same current which can affect power stability and ground bounce. You can use Kirchhoff’s Current Law to understand how current will travel through your circuit.

#7 – Plan for dynamic variance between grounds

Always plan for dynamic variance when sending ground connections between boards in a multi-board system. This is especially true when working on applications that require long-distance cables. For these situations, you can use low voltage differential signals, optical isolators, and common-mode chokes to keep variance under control.

#8 – Mind your mixed-signal floor planning

The analog parts of your board need to be kept separate. This includes analog-to-digital converters and digital-to-analog converters. When designing the “floor plan” of your PCB, be sure to keep these areas isolated. An ADC’s ground can be tied back to a common ground point where digital signals can be passed to other parts of your PCB.

When In Doubt, Ground It Out

Ground is the foundation of your entire electronics house. It’s easy to forget about this with all the focus on signal routing. However, without a clear return path, all that time spent worrying about signals will have gone to waste. Don’t ignore your ground until it becomes a problem, make it your priority! Live by the 8 rules above, and you’ll have a strong foundation to grow on for the rest of your engineering life.

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