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A gene important in skin tanning has been linked to higher risk for testicular cancer in white men, according to a study led by scientists from the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the University of Oxford in England. Nearly 80 percent of white men carry a variant form of this gene, which increased risk of testicular cancer up to threefold in the study.

NIH-funded research tests much-touted vitamin in people with prediabetes.  Researchers have begun the first definitive, large-scale clinical trial to investigate if a vitamin D supplement helps prevent or delay type 2 diabetes in adults who have prediabetes, who are at high risk for developing type 2. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, the study is taking place at about 20 study sites across the United States.

NIH scientists find unusual method that may alter tumor growth.  Scientists have identified two unlikely partners in a type of immune cell called a macrophage that work together in response to cancer drugs to increase inflammation in a way that may alter tumor growth. Researchers from the National Institutes of Health published the study in the journal Cancer Research.

Smoking causes inflammation in the small airways and tissues of your lungs. This can make your chest feel tight or cause you to wheeze or feel short of breath. Continued inflammation builds up scar tissue, which leads to physical changes to your lungs and airways that can make breathing hard. Years of lung irritation can give you a chronic cough with mucus.

Smoking destroys the tiny air sacs, or alveoli, in the lungs that allow oxygen exchange. When you smoke, you are damaging some of those air sacs. Alveoli don’t grow back, so when you destroy them, you have permanently destroyed part of your lungs. When enough alveoli are destroyed, the disease emphysema develops. Emphysema causes severe shortness of breath and can lead to death.

Breast cancer affects 1 in 8 women. Although it’s one of the deadliest cancers in the United States, breast cancer is often treatable when detected early.  Mammograms, which are low-dose x-rays of the breast, continue to be vital in the early detection of breast cancer.

There are a number of scams currently circulating that target members of the military and veterans, such as fake military charities, identity theft targeting active service members, and veteran pension scams.

In general, all of these scams try to take advantage of military members by offering to provide a service and then taking your money, while you get nothing in return.

You can learn more about specific scams by visiting the Scams Targeting Service Members or Veterans section of StopFraud.gov.

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Smoking increases the amount of cholesterol and unhealthy fats circulating in the bloods, leading to unhealthy fatty deposits. Over time, cholesterol, fats, and other debris build up on the walls of your arteries. This buildup narrows the arteries and blocks normal blood flow to the heart, brain, and legs. Blocked blood flow to the heart or brain can cause a heart attack or stroke. Blockage in the blood vessels of your legs could result in the amputation of your toes or feet.

Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) occurs when tiny sensory hair cells in our inner ears are damaged by noises that are too loud and that last for too long.

The max volume of music in headphones is about 105 decibels. That’s 100 times louder than the noise level (85 decibels) at which workers are required to start using hearing protection.  Listening to very loud music in headphones for even a few minutes puts you at an increased risk for hearing loss.

Your ears can be your warning system for potentially dangerous noises around you. The noise is too loud when:

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Smoking makes your blood thick and sticky. The stickier the blood, the harder your heart must work to move it around your body. Sticky blood is also more likely to form blood clots that block blood flow to your heart, brain, and legs. Over time, thick, sticky blood damages the delicate lining of your blood vessels. This damage can increase your risk for a heart attack or stroke.

From the U.S. Department of Interior:

An amazing sunset viewed from Cape Royal on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Smoking raises your blood pressure and puts stress on your heart. Over time, stress on the heart can weaken it, making it less able to pump blood to other parts of your body. Carbon monoxide from inhaled cigarette smoke also contributes to a lack of oxygen, making the heart work even harder. This increases the risk of heart disease, including heart attacks.

An experimental vaccine to protect against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a leading cause of illness and hospitalization among very young children, elicited high levels of RSV-specific antibodies when tested in animals, according to a report in the journal Science.

Smoking can cause your skin to be dry and lose elasticity, leading to wrinkles and stretch marks. Your skin tone may become dull and grayish. By your early 30s, wrinkles can begin to appear around your mouth and eyes, adding years to your face.

For many people, buying lottery tickets, betting on horses, playing cards for money or feeding slot machines are nothing more than a fun pastime.

But for some people, gambling games can become an uncontrollable and necessary part of life. In these cases, the need to gamble can turn into an addiction known clinically as pathological gambling. The key to overcoming gambling addiction is to identify the problem and find help.

Recognize the symptoms

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Smoking can cause dental decay.  Smoking takes a toll on your mouth. Smokers have more oral health problems than non-smokers, like mouth sores, ulcers and gum disease. You are more likely to have cavities and lose your teeth at a younger age. You are also more likely to get cancers of the mouth and throat.

Smoking can cause blindness and night vision. Smoking causes physical changes in the eyes that can threaten your eyesight. Nicotine from cigarettes restricts the production of a chemical necessary for you to be able to see at night. Also, smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration (both can lead to blindness).

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