New evidence suggests that being physically active could help slash prostate cancer risk.

Researchers using a new method of assessing risk factors for prostate cancer have found an intriguing link between a lack of physical activity and an increased risk of this condition.

According to data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), by the end of 2019, there will have been an estimated 174,650 new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S. alone.

Despite the number of people that this cancer affects every year, specialists still have insufficient knowledge about the risk factors that may play a role in its development.

The NCI cite a mix of modifiable and nonmodifiable factors, including age, a family history of prostate cancer, and the levels of vitamin E, folic acid, and calcium in the body.

Yet there may be other lifestyle-related factors at play, and investigators are hard at work to uncover them.

Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Bristol and Imperial College London in the United Kingdom — alongside colleagues from other academic institutions across the globe — have used a different approach to try to find out more about prostate cancer risk factors.

In their new study, the findings of which now appear in the International Journal of Epidemiology, the investigators used a method called “Mendelian randomization.”

Mendelian randomization

allows researchers to look at genetic variations to assess causal relationships between various potential risk factors and the development of certain outcomes — in this case, prostate cancer.

Physical activity may more than halve risk

In their study, the researchers identified potential risk factors for prostate cancer through the World Cancer Research Fund’s (WCRF) 2018 systematic review of the evidence.

They also had access to the medical information of 79,148 participants with prostate cancer, as well as 61,106 participants without cancer who acted as the controls.

The analysis revealed that individuals with a genetic variation that increased their likelihood of being physically active had a 51% lower risk of prostate cancer than people who did not have this genetic variation.

Moreover, the researchers explain that “physical activity,” in this case, refers to all forms of activity, not just exercise.

Following on from this, the study authors conclude that interventions encouraging males to ramp up their levels of physical activity may have a protective effect against this widespread form of cancer.

“This study is the largest-ever of its kind, which uses a relatively new method that complements current observational research to discover what causes prostate cancer,” notes study co-author Sarah Lewis, Ph.D.

“It suggests that there could be a larger effect of physical activity on prostate cancer than previously thought, so will hopefully encourage men to be more active.”

Sarah Lewis, Ph.D.

Anna Diaz Font, who is head of research funding at WCRF — which, alongside Cancer Research U.K., funded this study — emphasizes the importance of the current findings.

“Up till now, there has only been limited evidence of an effect of physical activity on prostate cancer. This new study looked at the effect of 22 risk factors on prostate cancer, but the results for physical activity were the most striking,” she says.

The study’s findings, Diaz Font believes, “will pave the way for even more research, where similar methods could be applied to other lifestyle factors, to help identify ways men can reduce their risk of prostate cancer.”

What is the difference between cold and flu?


Both flu (influenza) and cold are caused by viruses, and they can have similar symptoms. So how do we know if a person has the flu or a bad cold? In this article, we explain the differences.

Cold and influenza are the most common illnesses in humans.

. Every year, 5-20 percent of the population of America develop flu symptoms.

The main difference between cold and flu is that, generally, symptoms of the flu are usually a lot more severe.

Each year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized because of flu complications; flu is responsible for around 23,600 deaths every year.

Fast facts on colds vs. flu:

  • Colds and flu share many of the same symptoms; the major difference being flu is often worse, and accompanied by a high fever.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average adult will have 2-3 colds every year.
  • The rhinovirus is the most common cause of cold.

The difference between cold and flu

Cold and flu are caused by different viruses, and, in general, the symptoms of flu are worse. Also, there are less likely to be serious complications from cold, such as pneumonia and bacterial infections.

The main difference between cold and flu symptoms is that flu more commonly includes fever; the fever can be 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and last for 3-5 days.

The extreme fatigue associated with flu can persist for weeks. Cold symptoms are generally milder and last about 1 week.

Also, runny nose or nasal congestion is more common with cold than flu.

Vomiting is another key difference; vomiting is not normally associated with the common cold but can be present in flu.

Although the differences above are generally true, without conducting special tests, it is impossible to know for sure whether it is flu or cold. For instance, it is possible to have flu without fever.

What is a cold?

Almost everybody is familiar with the sensation of having a cold. Colds affect both warm and cool climates equally, and the average person will have had many colds from infancy all the way until later life.

Symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, coughing and sneezing, watery eyes, a headache, and body aches. There is no cure, except for resting and drinking plenty of fluids, but the cold should pass within 7-10 days.

There is normally no need to visit a doctor, but a person with a weakened immune system is more prone to developing pneumonia as a complication

To avoid catching or spreading a cold, people should wash their hands regularly and make sure they sneeze into a tissue or handkerchief, or into their elbow. This is the most hygienic as it stops the spread of germs, which cannot live on clothing or surfaces like they can on skin.

What is flu?

There are three types of flu virus, influenza A, influenza B, and influenza C. Types A and B are the ones that cause seasonal epidemics. One of the key symptoms of flu is feeling feverish or having a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above. However, not everyone with the flu will have a fever.

Other symptoms include:

  • headaches or body aches
  • vomiting, nausea, and possibly diarrhea, especially in children
  • a sore throat and a cough
  • fatigue
  • chills and shivering
  • a congested or runny nose

A common cold is less likely to cause a high fever. With a cold, symptoms such as a runny nose or throat irritation will normally improve within a few days.

How to treat flu

The CDC note that the majority of people who have the flu do not need medical attention. Most can remain at home and avoid contact with other people to prevent the disease from spreading. However, the following treatments are available:

  • Over-the-counter medications – these can reduce fever. Tylenol can help people with flu feel more comfortable while they recover. Tylenol is also available to purchase online.
  • Prescription antiviral flu drugs – these are also available from a physician. They are for people who are at high risk of serious complications and are not normally necessary for effective treatment. They can only be given within a certain amount of time from symptom onset.
  • Home remedies – to alleviate symptoms, home remedies such as steam inhalation, nourishing foods like chicken soup, keeping warm, and other comfort measures can be used.

A physician will be able to decide if antivirals are needed. People who tend to be at greater risk include infants under the age of 2, people aged 65 years and older, and pregnant women.

Emergency warning signs for flu

Patients should seek medical help if they notice any of the emergency warning signs.

Warning signs in infants include difficulty breathing, having no appetite, and not producing tears when they cry, or having fewer wet diapers than usual.

Severe symptoms in older children include:

  • breathing problems
  • bluish skin color
  • not drinking enough fluids
  • not waking up or interacting
  • being so irritable that they do not want to be held
  • fever with a rash

If flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and a worse cough, the parent should consult a physician.

Anti-flu vaccines and other types of protection

The best way to protect against the flu is by having an annual vaccination, as this helps the body to build up the immune system so that it can fight off the virus more quickly.

The flu vaccine is recommended during pregnancy as it has been proven safe. If flu occurs during pregnancy, it can have serious complications for the unborn child and the mother.