Tag Archives: Skin cancer

Plectranthus purpuratus

Botanical Name: Plectranthus purpuratus
Family: Lamiaceae
Subfamily: Nepetoideae
Tribes: Ocimeae
Subtribes: Plectranthinae
Genus: Plectranthus
Subgenus: P. subg. Plectranthus
Sectio: P. sect. Plectranthus
Species: Plectranthus purpuratus

Common Name: Purple Spurflower, Vick’s Plant

Habitat : Plectranthus purpuratus is native to Eastern S Africa. It is grown on a cultivated bed.

Description:
Plectranthus purpuratus is a perennial   plant. It grows to a height of 1′  to 3′ and spreads tp 1′ to 3′. It can be grown under full sun to partly shed with midium moisture containt. It’s foilages are Colorful/Burgundy and showy and full of fragarance. It has various species.

Stems 12–14 in. high, branching, succulent and brittle, thinly puberulous or nearly glabrous; leaves 3/4 in. long, nearly as broad as long, in spreading subdistant decussate pairs, ovate or suborbicular, obtusely or obsoletely crenate, glabrous or nearly so, purple beneath; petioles 3–4 lin. long; inflorescence of paniculately arranged racemes; verticils laxly 6-flowered, not pedunculate; bracts 1 1/4 lin. long, 1/2 lin. broad, ovate-lanceolate, acute; pedicels 2 lin. long; fruiting calyx 3 lin. long; flowering calyx 1 1/4 lin. long, campanulate; upper tooth broadly ovate, acute; other 4 teeth lanceolate, 2 lower the longest; corolla white (Wood); tube 2 1/2 lin. long, nearly straight; upper lip 1 lin. long, 4-lobed and with crenate margins, 2 terminal lobes obovate, lateral lobes oblong rounded; lower lip as long as the upper; nutlets 3/4 lin. long and broad, subglobose, dark brown, almost black. null

Its spreading habit and richly colored leaves suit it for the outdoor garden in frost-free climates or a container in almost any climate.It has dark-green elongated, oval. sharp tipped leaves with serrated edges. When new, the leaves have a distinctive purple cast in certain seasons. The plant is vigorous with a prostrate habit, spreading or dangling gracefully. Being a tender plant, it must come indoors for the winter or be killed by even the mildest frost.

Though Purple Spurflower is grown as a foliage plant, it blooms off an on throughout the year with small pale purple flowers. If they interfere with the foliage effect they can be cut off at bud stage. This plant demands very well drained, light, humus rich soil with even moisture. Typical potting soil is ideally formulated, provided the container offers good drainage. Regular light fertilization keeps the foliage fresh and well colored. While this ground ivy takes full sun when grown in the diffused light and cooler temperatures of coastal regions, it will demand far more protection and bright shade in dry inland locales. Few plants cascade down large pots as nicely as this, offering vigorous foliage beauty for elegant compositions over a long season.
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Medicinal Uses:
The leaves can be steeped in boiling water to vaporize the characteristic oils which are then inhaled, helping to clear nasal and respiratory passages. The leaves can also be applied as a poultice, or prepared in petroleum jelly-based ointments. Vasoline petroleum jelly works well.
Other Uses: This plant is suitable for ground cover, bed & boder design. It is mosquito replant.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Plectranthus_purpuratus
http://www.learn2grow.com/plants/plectranthus-purpuratus/
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_UZ.htm

http://plants.jstor.org/compilation/plectranthus.purpuratus

Older People ‘Miss Skin Cancer Signs’

Older people are less likely to get skin changes checked by a doctor, leading to a steep rise in cancer deaths, say researchers.

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The East of England Cancer Registry reports that deaths from melanoma among the over 65s have tripled in the past 30 years.

The elderly are more likely to be diagnosed when the cancer has spread.

Cancer Research UK says pensioners should keep a close eye on moles and report suspicious changes to GPs.

Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and is linked to cumulative sun exposure over a lifetime.

This means that the over-65s are more likely to develop the disease in the first place.

Overlooked
However, unlike younger people, the registry data reveals that the classic signs of a cancerous mole are being overlooked among a host of other changes to older skin.

This means that by the time the mole cannot be ignored, the cancer is likely to be at a more advanced stage, making it far harder to treat.

Dr Jem Rashbass, the director of the East of England Cancer Registry, which collates data on cancer to identify trends among the population, said: “Although there have been some improvements in the number of over 65s being diagnosed with melanoma at a late stage, the figures suggest that more needs to be done to raise awareness about skin cancer among this generally retired population.”

The registry data revealed that, for every year since 1997, significantly more elderly people have been diagnosed with late-stage melanoma compared with under-65s.

While the death rate among older people rose from four deaths per 100,000 people in 1979 to 11.4 per 100,000 in 2008, the death rate for people aged between 15 and 64 has remained stable.

Sara Hiom, from Cancer Research UK, said: “Melanoma is a largely preventable disease. Summer may be over, but the damage to skin cells shown by sunburn can remain long after the redness fades.”

Her colleague Caroline Cerny, from the charity’s “Sunsmart” campaign, highlighted the classic warning signs of melanoma.

She said: “If a mole is as big as a pencil-top eraser, bleeds, is sore or itchy, uneven in colour or has jagged edges, then people should visit their GP without delay.”

Source : BBC News

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Elderly Skin ‘Raises Cancer Risk’

Older people are more at risk of skin cancer and infection because their skin is unable to mobilise the immune system to defend itself, UK research suggests.

It contradicts previous thinking that defects in a type of immune cell called a T cell were responsible for waning immunity with age.
Elderly skin 'raises cancer risk'
In fact, it is the inability of the skin to attract T cells to where they are needed that seems to be at fault.

The findings are published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Study leader, Professor Arne Akbar from University College London, said reduced immunity in older people is well known, but why and how it happens is not.

“Going in to intervene may have consequences that we don’t realise and that’s where we need to do more research”says Professor Arne Akbar, study leader.

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A number of volunteers – one group of 40-year-olds and one group aged over 70 – were injected with an antigen to stimulate an immune response from T cells.

As expected, the immune response in the older group was much less than that in the younger volunteers.

But when the researchers looked at the T cells there was nothing wrong with them.

What had declined in the older group was the ability of the skin to attract T cells – effectively the signals to direct them to the right place were missing.

Reversible

Further experiments with skin samples in a test tube showed that the skin was still able to send the appropriate signals when pushed, suggesting the problem is reversible.

“At the outset we thought it would be the cells responsible for combating infections that might be at fault, but the surprising thing was the T cells were fine but they couldn’t get into the skin – the signals were missing,” Mr Akbar said.

He said it raised the possibility of ways to boost the immune system in older people to give them a better chance of fighting infection and reducing the risk of skin cancer.

“The question that it raises is what survival advantage there is to this, is there a negative reason for having too much immunity in the skin when you get older?

“Going in to intervene may have consequences that we don’t realise and that’s where we need to do more research.”

He added that the same immune problems may be apparent in other tissues in the body.

Steve Visscher, deputy executive at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which funded the research, said knowing more about the ageing process was vital as people increasingly live longer.

“The more knowledge we have about healthy ageing, the better we get at preventing, managing and treating diseases that are simply a factor of an ageing body.”

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Source: BBC NEWS: Aug.29 2009

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Caffeine in Sunscreen May Cut Skin Cancer Risk

Adding caffeine to sunscreens could boost protection against the most common form of skin cancer, claim scientists.

According to the study, conducted by a team from Harvard Medical School and Pfizer, caffeine has an effect on cells which can go on to cause non-melanoma skin cancers and found that the stimulant encourages the harmful cells to die.

The breakthrough study shows at caffeine helps eliminate human cells damaged by UV light, which can develop into cancer, by causing them to commit suicide, reports The Telegraph.

Writing in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology the authors said: “These data suggest topical application of caffeine…perhaps in a sunscreen or after-sun preparation could be investigated as an approach to minimise or reverse the effects of UV damage in human skin.”

Gavin Greenoak, Managing and Scientific Director of the Australian Photobiology Testing Facility (APTF) at the University of Sydney, Australia, said: “This research show the potential to improve protection from non-melanoma skin cancer by adding caffeine to topical sunscreens or through more specific drug synthesis.”

Sources: The Times Of India

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Tadpoles ‘Could Prevent Skin Cancer’

Tadpoles could hold the key to developing skin cancer drugs, according to scientists.
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A team at the University of East Anglia has identified a compound which blocks the movement of the pigment cells that give the tadpoles their distinctive markings.

It is the uncontrolled movement and growth of pigment cells that causes skin cancer in both humans and frogs.

And by blocking their migration, the development and spread of cancerous tumours can potentially be prevented, the scientists have claimed.

Dr Grant Wheeler, who led the team, was quoted by the British media as saying: “This is an exciting advance with implications in the fight against cancer.

“The next step is to test the compound in other species and, in the longer term, embark on the development of new drugs to fight skin cancer in humans.”

The scientists have based their findings on years of work on tadpoles in the university laboratory- the results of which are published in the latest edition of the Cell Press journal ‘Chemistry and Biology’.

In fact, the team, working in partnership with the John Innes Centre (JIC) and Pfizer, claims that South African clawed frog tadpoles- Latin name Xenopus Laevis-have the same organs, molecules and physiology as humans.

The close comparison means the same mechanisms are involved in causing cancer in both Xenopus tadpoles and humans. Until the 1960s, Xenopus Laevis frogs were used as the main human pregnancy test.

Ed Yong of Cancer Research UK welcomed the findings. But he said: “There is still a lot of work to do before these interesting but preliminary results can be used to benefit people affected by cancer. It shows that studying animals like tadpoles could lead to potential cancer drugs.”

Sources: The Times Of India

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