Cancer Blog: From Medicineworld.org
Do you read all of the blogs published by medicineworld.org? Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.
Cancer blog: I manage the cancer blog with lots of help and support form other bloggers. Through this cancer blog my friends and I try to bring stories of hope for patients with cancer. The cancer blog often republishes important blog posts from other cancer related blogs at Medicineworld.org. If you are searching for a blog that covers wide variety of cancer topics, this may be the one for you.
Breast cancer blog: Breast cancer blog is run by Emily and other bloggers and they bring you the latest stories, news and events that are related to breast cancer. Increasing awareness about breast cancer among women and in the general population is the main goal of this breast cancer blog.
Lung cancer blog: Lung cancer blog is managed by Scott with the help of other bloggers. Through this blog Scott and his friends constantly remind the readers about the dangers of smoking. It's a never-ending struggle against this miserable disease with which a social stigma of smoking is associated.
Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and other bloggers. Sue brings a personal touch to the colon cancer blog since her mother died of colon cancer few years ago. She writes about stories, research news and advances in treatment related to colon cancer.
Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer.
Medicineworld.org publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.
Researchers from Switzerland recently reported that women with early breast cancer in the lower inner quadrant (the lower part of the breast, closer to the center of the body) are twice as likely to die of their cancer as women with cancer diagnosed in other parts of the breast. Researchers speculate this could be due to undetected spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes of the internal mammary chain (lymph nodes near the center of the chest). These lymph nodes are difficult to be evaluated for the presence of cancer.
These researchers analyzed information about 1411 women with stage I breast cancer diagnosed between 1986 and 2002. In addition to tumor location, researchers collected information about patient age, tumor size, and whether or not the woman received chemotherapy.
By 10 years after diagnosis, 93% of the women were still alive. Women whose tumors were located in the lower inner quadrant of the breast had twice the mortality rate (11%) of women whose tumors were located in other parts of the breast. The risk of death among women with tumors in the lower inner quadrant of the breast remained significantly higher, even among those who underwent chemotherapy.
The researchers suggest that the higher risk of death among women with tumors in the lower inner quadrant of the breast may be due to mistaken lower staging (underestimation of the extent of the cancer), leading to under-treatment. They recommend that women with tumors in the lower inner quadrant of the breast undergo sampling of the lymph nodes of the internal mammary chain.
In some people, the body's immune system mounts an effective defense against the tumor and against the tumor's attempt to spread to other sites in the body. In these patients the immune system creates, what is called "effector memory T cells" to fight the growing cancer cells.
"Effector memory T cells have the capacity to recognize and kill tumor cells. These cells, located in the tumor, have a long-lasting anti-tumor activity, persist within the body and destroy distant tumor cells," said one of the study's authors, Jerome Galon, a research scientist at the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research in Paris.
These research findings appear in the latest issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
Galon and his colleagues analyzed the immune response to colorectal cancer tumor samples from 959 people. On average, those who were able to mount an effective immune response lived 35 months, compared to 16.3 months for those with no effective immune response.
"Effector memory T cells have a major impact on colorectal cancer evolution. These cells prevent tumor dissemination within the body and distant metastasis, and improve survival of the patients," said Galon. Galon said these T cells kill tumor cells that attempt to migrate from the original tumor.
'This study adds a history of the comparatively favorable non-melanoma skin cancer to the list of known risk factors for melanoma in both sun lovers and shade dwellers alike,' says lead author Dr. Carol Rosenberg, and assistant professor medicine at Northwestern`s Feinberg School of Medicine.
The study found postmenopausal, non-Hispanic white women aged 50 to 79 years with a history of non-melanoma skin cancers, such as basal cell or squamous cell skin cancer, but no other malignancies, were more than twice as likely to develop melanoma over a period of 6.5 years compared with women who had no history of non-melanoma skin cancer, no matter how much sun exposure or other lifestyle variables they had experienced.
'Our study further defines melanoma risk in post-menopausal women and, it is hoped, will sensitize the medical community to this risk....' said Rosenberg. 'This skin surveillance imperative may serve to be lifesaving in predisposed women.'
But because non-melanoma skin cancers frequently have good prognosis, patients are not likely to be questioned distinctively about a history during the course of a routine general physical examination.
Melanoma is frequently a deadly disease because it is not easy to treat once it has spread beyond its initial site. Although melanoma accounts for only 4 percent of all skin cancers, someone dies every hour from melanoma in the United States.
As per the early chest x-rays of 77,465 people in the screening section of the test, 5,991 -- nearly 9 percent -- had results that were considered "suspicious for lung cancer."
Upon advanced testing, 126 persons were detected with lung cancer, say the investigators, 44 percent of the tumors were early stage I cancers.
Prominently, 44 percent of the cancers were in the disease's initial stage, noted lead researcher Dr. Martin Oken of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey Cancer Center.
He pointed out that screening is beneficial on the supposition that it can lead to detection of dangerous lung cancers at an earlier, more localized phase when it is more likely to be curable. In the present study, nearly 50 percent of screening-detected lung cancers were localized."
Lung cancer may not produce any symptoms at the initial period of growth. When a patient starts to experience symptoms, such as a cough that doesn't go away, the cancer is often highly developed and cure is rarely possible.
Many scientists are betting that tests like, spiral CT scan, would prove a better screening tool. A separate government study is under way comparing X-rays with spiral CTs. This $300 test is already is in high demand, as many smokers and former smokers aren't waiting for the evidence from clinical trials.
"The ATBC research provides some support for vitamin E, but it's not conclusive," notes Dr. Harvey Simon, editor in chief of Harvard Men's Health Watch. "Although it was a well-conducted clinical trial, its primary goal was to evaluate lung cancer. More important, all the subjects were smokers." A few other studies looked into this matter and found that vitamin E was not consistently beneficial in reducing the risk of prostate cancer in smokers and nonsmokers.
The relationship between vitamin E and prostate cancer has yet another complexity. Vitamin E consists of a family of chemicals known as tocopherols. Alpha-tocopherol, the form usually found in supplements, is most common. But another tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, which is found in foods but not normally in supplements, may have an impact on prostate cancer. Studies disagree, however, on which form has the greatest effect.
Should you use antioxidants to reduce your risk of prostate cancer? The Harvard Men's Health Watch reports that despite the encouraging ATBC results, there is not enough evidence at present to warrant widespread use of any form of vitamin E for prostate cancer risk reduction. But while supplementation does not seem wise, there's plenty of support for getting lots of antioxidants from foods.
This preventive link between vitamin D and colon cancer is know for over two decades as per UCSD professor Edward Gorham, but scientists did not know the specific amount of the vitamin needed to have a clear impact.
Their study "establishes the target level of vitamin D that could reduce the incidence of colorectal cancer by half," Gorham said.
"Preventing approximately half of colorectal cancer incidence by a program that would ensure vitamin D adequacy could save an estimated 20 billion dollars per year," he said.
"Annual supplementation of all Americans with 1,000 international units per day of vitamin D would cost about $5 billion."
Such a program could prevent possibly 28,000 deaths each year, according to the study's results.
The study, which has just been published in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, was based on a review of 18 scientific papers dealing with vitamin D and colon cancer.
FDA has approved sorafenib tosylate (Nexavar) as an oral treatment for advanced kidney cancer today. This is the first kidney cancer drug to receive FDA approval in over one decade.
In clinical trials, patients who were treated with this new oral drug called Nexavar sorafenib tosylate) had doubling of survival compared to those who were receiving placebo. "Rarely do we see a 100 percent improvement" in a new cancer treatment, said Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Oncology section.
"We believe this represents, from a medical point of view, truly a major advance," Dr. Richard Pazdur, director of the Food and Drug Administration's Office of Oncology Drug Products, said in a conference call with reporters.
The approval is for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma. Nexavar, taken orally twice a day, works by targeting a tumor's blood supply and growth, the developers said in a statement.
A month's supply of the drug will have a wholesale price of about $4,300, according to a Bayer spokeswoman. It will be available almost immediately. The drug is being studied to see if it inhibits other kinds of cancer.
The drug may have serious side effects. About 2.9 percent of the people taking the drug developed heart problems - about seven times that of people taking the placebo. Dr. Susan Kelley, vice president of oncology product development at Bayer, said some of the heart problems included heart attacks.
The companies said people on the treatment should have their blood pressure monitored for at least six weeks, and that high blood pressure was a possible side effect.
About 40 percent of the patients on Nexavar had diarrhea and other gastrointestinal side effects, but FDA officials said those were generally manageable and that the drug had fewer toxic side effects than other cancer treatments.
Other side effects include rash and blisters on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet.
Brind'article is published in the recent issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Because Brind believes that "reporting bias" makes retroactive data untrustworthy, he focuses his attention here on prospective studies, that is research results that queried woman about their reproductive history prior to any diagnosis of breast cancer. But even in these studies, Brind finds much to skew outcomes. In several studies Brind notes a "cohort effect," the result of comparing "two essentially different populations: the younger one which has experienced most of the abortions, and the older one which has developed most of the breast cancers."
Brind also identifies many "misclassifications," typically of women whose abortion were not recorded in the available data. He also argues that follow-up times were too short to measure the long-term impact of abortion on the incidence of breast cancer-which, he notes, continues to increase.
In conclusion, Brind reasserts the conclusion of his 1996 "meta-analysis" of the abortion-breast cancer link. The research correlation holds and "induced abortion is indeed a risk factor for breast cancer, despite the strong and pervasive bias in recent literature," asserting the safety of the procedures that terminate pregnancy.
Researchers from the University of Washington have revealed breast cancer cells can be successfully targeted, using a chemical derived from the wormwood plant called artemisinin. According to Henry Lai, research professor in the Department of Bioengineering, artemisinin is selectively toxic to cancer cells and is effective orally.
Artemisinin helps control malaria as it reacts with the high iron concentrations found in the malaria parasite. This reaction produces charged atoms called free radicals that kill the infected cells by tearing open their protective membranes.
Professor Lai found that the same rule holds good for cancer cells, which need a lot more iron than normal cells for their rapid division.
The reason for artemisinin's apparent preventative effect may be twofold, the researchers said. The substance may kill precancerous cells, which also tend to use more iron than ordinary cells, before those cells develop into a tumor.
Artemisinin also may hinder angiogenesis, or a tumor's ability to grow networks of blood vessels that allow it to enlarge. Because artemisinin is widely used in Asia and Africa as an anti-malarial, it has a track record of being fairly safe and causing no known side effects, Lai said.
Phyllis Gretzky had battled lung cancer since the fall of 2004. Wayne Gretzky took a leave of absence from coaching the Coyotes Saturday night to return home to Brantford, Ontario, to spend time with his ailing mother.
Her husband Walter, who is popular throughout Canada as a goodwill hockey ambassador, survives Phyllis Gretzky.
Her children include first-born Wayne, daughter Kim and other sons Keith, Glen and Brent.
Gretzky, the leading scorer in National Hockey League history, took over as Phoenix's coach in August five years after buying a stake in the team. The Coyotes have a 16-15-2 record this season and are in fourth place in the five-team Pacific Division.
The Coyotes said it's not known when Gretzky would return to the team. He was the eldest of Phyllis Gretzky's five children.
Nonplussed by the rush of headlines proclaiming "Pokemon causes cancer," Pokemon USA threatened legal action against the center to have the name of its popular game and trading card series disassociated from the gene, reports the latest issue of Nature. The center has complied with Pokemon USA's demands, and now refers to the gene by the much less-catchy name Zbtb7, Nature reports.
This is not the first time researchers have dipped into the world of gaming for a research nickname. The Sonic hedgehog gene was named after Sega's speedy mascot in 1993. Sega has never sued over the matter, even though mutations in the developmental gene can lead to a number of brain and facial defects, including cyclopia.
In this study, over 1500 patients underwent baseline colonoscopy to remove existing polyps. They were then given a survey about their diet. After a period of one and then four years later, the group underwent follow-up colonoscopies to determine if any polyps had returned. Those who had consumed diets higher in processed meats showed a greater risk of developing recurrent colorectal adenomas. Those with diets high in certain white meats, like chicken, were less prone to this risk.
"Our results are consistent with prior studies that suggest certain dietary factors may be important in the development of colon polyps and cancer," states Douglas Robertson, lead researcher of the study and Chief of the Section of Gastroenterology at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, Vermont.
Previous studies have explored whether fiber intake effects the growth and development of colorectal adenomas and cancer, however, this study found no significant evidence to suggest an association. The same was determined for dietary intake of fat and red meat.
This study results might explain why female night shift workers have a higher rate of breast cancer. It also offers a promising new explanation for the epidemic rise in breast cancer incidence in industrialized countries like the United States.
This research finding comes from Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, New York and The Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa. The results are published in the recent issue of the scientific journal Cancer Research.
Previous research showed that artificial light suppresses the brain's production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate a person's sleeping and waking cycles. The new study shows that melatonin also plays a key role in the development of cancerous tumors.
The melatonin-rich blood collected from subjects while in total darkness severely slowed the growth of the tumors. In contrast, tests with the melatonin-depleted blood from light-exposed subjects stimulated tumor growth.
According to the researchers, melatonin exerts a strong influence on the body's circadian rhythm, an internal biological clock that regulates sleep-wake cycle, body temperature, endocrine functions, and a number of disease processes including heart attack, stroke and asthma.
One of the most commonly administered drugs for breast cancer, tamoxifen, may not be as effective for women who inherit a common genetic change, according to researchers at Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan. The genetic change affects the levels of a crucial liver enzyme, Cytochrome P4502D6, responsible for tamoxifen metabolism.
Up to 10 percent of Caucasian patients have an inherited genetic change that affects tamoxifen metabolism - and appear to be at higher risk of relapse while receiving tamoxifen.
Researchers tested the most common genetic change responsible for lowering the CYP2D6 enzyme, and found that women with the genetic change were almost twice as likely to experience breast cancer relapse. Their findings are published in the recent issue of The Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"In addition to being at higher risk of relapse, the women with the genetic change also did not develop one of the most common side effects of tamoxifen - hot flashes," says Dr. Goetz. "These findings are important, as doctors commonly co-prescribe drugs such as antidepressants for the treatment of hot flashes, and many of these drugs potently inhibit the metabolism of tamoxifen" states the researchers.
Facts and figurers published today show the full extent of the problem facing Scottish women. The longest delay was at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where a woman referred for urgent care by her GP waited 276 days or nearly 40 weeks before treatment. At three other hospitals, patients waited for four months or more for starting treatment.
Charity Breast cancer organizations are expressing concern regarding this huge delay in starting breast cancer treatment. Lorraine Dallas, head of the charity Breast Cancer Care Scotland, said: "These apparently huge variations in the time that patients with urgent referrals are being forced to wait for treatment in Scotland are simply unacceptable.
The article does not give details to know that these patients had early stage breast cancer or metastatic breast cancer. While a delay of nine months of treatment for metastatic breast cancer could be criminal, a delay of nine months treatment in early stage breast cancer could be nothing less than gross neglect. Early stage breast cancer patients should be started on adjuvant treatment within one to two months of completing surgery.
While socialized medicine has its benefits, but it brings with it long and sometimes unacceptably prolonged waiting for essential medical treatment. The Scotland government has to wake up from slumber and act to lessen the miseries of these unfortunate women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
The UGT1A1 Molecular Assay identifies patients who may be at increased risk for severe adverse reactions to Camptosar by detecting variations in the UGT1A1 gene that have been associated with that risk. A prospective clinical study indicated that patients with one of these variations have a greater than nine-fold risk of experiencing significant side effects from Camptosar than patients without it. Camptosar labeling was recently updated to include dosing recommendations based on a patient's UGT1A1 status.
"The UGT1A1 Molecular Invader Assay is a significant addition to Genzyme's oncology testing menu. We have initiated an education program aimed at physicians because it is critical that they are aware that this test will help them understand their patients' risk of serious side effects. This will help doctors treat their colorectal cancer patients with the appropriate dose of Camptosar," said Mara Aspinall, president of Genzyme Genetics, a business unit of Genzyme Corporation that focuses on the research and development of high quality, complex testing services.
The UGT1A1 test was 100 percent accurate compared to DNA sequencing, the standard for genotype determination.
Most previous investigators used body mass index for estimating the risk of development of prostate cancer, but body mass index includes lean and fat tissue, which may have different influences on the risk of cancer.
In an attempt to settle things, John S. Witte from the University of California, San Francisco, and his colleagues conducted a study of 439 men with prostate cancer and 479 of their siblings without prostate cancer. They examined the effects of weight, height, body mass index, and lean body mass, which they thought might be more relevant than body mass index to the risk of prostate cancer and aggressiveness of the disease.
The researchers found that the higher the lean body mass, the lower the risk of prostate cancer, especially in men with more aggressive disease or who were older when their cancer was diagnosed. They also observed a similar, though weaker, inverse pattern for weight, but found no associations between risk of prostate cancer and body mass index or height.
The investigators suspect that the inverse associations between higher lean body mass and prostate cancer risk may reflect the potentially protective effect of high levels of the male hormone androgen in patients with high lean body mass on the development and progression of prostate cancer.
Cancer is a very common disease, approximately one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some type of cancer at some point during the course of their life. Cancer is more common in the elderly and 77 percent of cancers occur in people above age 55 or older. Cancer is also common in children. Cancer incidence is said to have two peaks once during early childhood and then during late years in life. No age period is completely exempted from development of cancers. Some cancers occur predominantly in the elderly, other types occur in children, Cancer occurs in all ethnic races, however the cancer rates and rates of specific cancer types may vary from group to group. Late stages of cancer may be incurable in most cases, but with the advancement of medicine, more and more cancers are becoming curable.
Cancer Blog: From Medicineworld.org
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