Today’s Headlines: Cancer, Salmonella, and Childhood Obesity

Taking aspirin may be able to positively assist in cancer treatments. A new and exciting approach to cancer treatment is immunotherapy—letting the immune system fight off cancer with assisting drugs. Recent studies have shown that aspirin may be just the drug to take to help supplement the treatments. “The team showed that skin, breast and bowel cancer cells were producing high levels of a chemical, called prostaglandin E2, that could dampen down the immune response – effectively letting a tumour hide. However, drugs like aspirin are able to change the chemical pathways inside the cancer cells that lead to prostaglandin E2 being produced.” Aspirin could therefore make the tumors visible to the immune system in order to fight them off. While the hypothesis has not yet been tested on human cancer patients, the leads of the study are hoping to move forward with clinical trials on humans. (BBC)

Salmonella warning issued for cucumbers. California distribution company Andrew & Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego has recalled its cucumbers shipped to the U.S. from Mexico. There have been 285 cases of salmonella in 27 different states, including one death reportedly linked to the consumption of these cucumbers. “The cucumbers were distributed in Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Florida; Idaho; Illinois; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Minnesota; Mississippi; Montana; Nevada; New Jersey; New Mexico; Oklahoma; Oregon; South Carolina; Texas; and Utah. The company said it is working with health officials to determine if its products are the source of the outbreak, and it undertook the voluntary recall out of caution.” If you live in any of these states where the cucumbers were distributed, you may want to take extra precautions next time you’re shopping for produce. (Fox)

A New York City petition for healthier fast food hopes to decrease the statistics for childhood obesity. This new bill, appropriately named the Healthy Happy Meal bill is trying to get passed in order to supply healthier fast food options for children and families at large. “The ‘Healthy Happy Meals’ bill would require that these offerings provide no more than 500 calories; that less than 35 percent of those calories come from fat and less than 10 percent from saturated fat; that they be low in sugar and sodium and include a serving of fruit, vegetable or whole grains.” According to research, if this bill was passed kids would get a significantly less amount of unhealthy calories into their diet—giving parents the convenience of the drive-thru without the threat of obesity and health problems for their children later in life. (NBC)