Researchers analyze cancer in the movies
There are too few Hollywood endings when it comes to the depiction of cancer in movies, doctors say.
Last fall, Italian researchers analyzed 82 cancer-themed movies, including Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Gran Torino. They found that rarer cancers are most often featured and that characters were more likely to die than real-life patients.
“Very often the ill person doesn’t get over the disease, and his death is somehow useful to the plot’s outcome,” Dr. Luciano De Fiore said in a statement.
In the movies analyzed, 40 characters with cancer were women, and 35 were men, although more men develop cancer. Death occurred in 63 percent of the movies, but the American Cancer Society reports that the five-year survival rate for all cancers is 68 percent.
The researchers noted that common cancers, including breast cancer, are hardly represented, while relatively rare leukemia, lymphomas and brain tumors predominate.
Dr. Robert A. Clark, a Florida radiologist who conducted a similar film review published in 2001, said lung, breast and colon cancers are largely avoided in part because fictional patients are usually young and attractive.
He believes lung cancer is ignored because filmmakers are enamored with smoking, and as for breast cancer, “If you’re in the film business, part of which is selling sex, it’s hard to walk that line between breasts for titillation and breasts for disease.”
— Courtney Perkes
The Orange County Register
Hints from Heloise:
Vinegar-water solution helps clean hairbrush To clean a hairbrush, grab a chopstick or pen and slide it between the bristles, pulling up to loosen the hair. Or use scissors to cut the hair, then pull it out. Use an old toothbrush to remove any remaining hair or lint around the bristles.
Get that hairbrush (not wood) clean by filling your sink with warm water and white vinegar (about a 50/50 mix). Use the toothbrush to scrub the bristles, and rinse the brush in tap water. Lay the brush bristles down to dry. Once your hairbrush is clean, use a sponge to wipe the sink, counter and faucet with the vinegar/water solution.
— King Features Syndicate
Mediterranean diet beats low-fat diet for health
A Mediterranean diet, even drenched in olive oil and studded with nuts, substantially beats a low-fat diet in preventing strokes and heart attacks in healthy older people at high risk of cardiovascular disease, according to research released last week.
This contradicts the notion that high-fat olive oil and tree nuts — walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts — are a no-no. Spanish researchers concluded that the consumption of extra-virgin olive oil and nuts “were probably responsible for most of the observed benefits” attained by those in the two study groups on a Mediterranean diet.
The findings were released by the New England Journal of Medicine.
A Mediterranean diet is rich in fatty fish, fruits, vegetables and fatty acids, and almost entirely without red meat. Although many studies have suggested its benefits, this trial is the first to meet the “gold standard” of biomedical research, with large numbers of people randomly assigned to distinct groups and followed for several years.
— Melissa Healy
Los Angeles Times