Men are more prone to cancer than women, but why? Also, a dog contracts monkeypox, and more health news

Why are men more prone to cancer than women?

Men are known to be more likely to develop cancer than women, and a new study suggests that this is largely due to biologic differences between the sexes.

“After controlling for factors like smoking, alcohol use, diet, physical activity and common medical conditions [that increase cancer risk], the sex bias remained for most cancers,” said study author Sarah Jackson, a research fellow at the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

Exactly which biological differences are driving these disparities isn’t fully understood yet.

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Smoking kills 123,000 Americans each year

Cigarettes are still responsible for far too many cancer deaths every year in the United States, a new study finds.

In 2019, nearly 123,000 U.S. cancer deaths were from cigarette smoking (30% of all U.S. cancer deaths), leading to nearly $21 billion in annual lost earnings. These losses were much higher in states with weaker tobacco control laws, particularly in the South and Midwest, the researchers reported.

“Our study provides further evidence that smoking continues to be a leading cause of cancer-related death and to have a huge impact on the economy across the U.S.,” said researcher Dr. Farhad Islami, senior scientific director of cancer disparity research at the American Cancer Society.

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Bioengineered pig skin is turned into corneas, restoring patients’ sight

Farmyard pigs could be the key to restoring sight in people who have lost their vision due to a damaged cornea, a new study reports.

Collagen drawn from pig’s skin is being used to create an experimental implant that mimics the human cornea, the outermost transparent layer of the eye.

In a pilot study, this implant restored vision to 20 patients with diseased corneas, most of whom were blind prior to the procedure, researchers said.

The human cornea consists mainly of collagen. To create the implant, researchers distilled highly purified collagen from pig skin and then stabilized the loose collagen molecules.

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Dog contracts monkeypox from owners

Adding yet another wrinkle to the monkeypox outbreak, a new case study suggests that people can pass the virus on to their pet dogs.

Therefore, people who are infected with the virus should avoid close contact with their pets, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control now advises in an updated guidance.

The change reflects the first documented cases of a pet getting the virus from its owner, according to CBS News. That case happened in France, according to a new paper published in The Lancet.

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How worried should you be about new reports on polio?

Poliovirus detected in New York City wastewater last week put public health officials on high alert, as it indicates the potentially paralyzing virus is circulating widely in the area.

But infectious disease experts say there’s no need for families of fully vaccinated children to panic.

“The inactivated polio vaccine is part of the standard childhood immunization schedule, so for most families, it really shouldn’t be a concern,” said Dr. Gail Shust, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist at NYU Langone Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital in New York City. “It happens to be an extremely effective vaccine.”

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