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Do You Read All Of Our Cancer Blogs?

Do You Read All Of Blogs?
This page you have reached is an archive page of cancer blog. If you wish to read current posting of this blog, please go to cancer blog main page. If you wish to read the archived blog postings, simply scroll down to the lower part of the page.

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.

Janet      

Feb 6, 2006

Uterine Cancer On The Rise

Uterine Cancer On The Rise
Scientists say that it is a sharp increase in the incidence of uterus cancer despite the fact that uterus cancer is becoming increasingly curable. According to the scientists cases of uterine cancer, in women aged 60-79 in Britain has risen by 30 percent in less than a decade. Other European countries are no exception"There are good improvements in survival but there is quite a sharp increase in incidence in the age group most affected by the cancer," said Lucy Boyd, an epidemiologist at the charity Cancer Research UK in London, and the author of the report.

Scientists say that here are various reasons for the increase of uterine cancer in older women. These include increased body weight, early puberty, late menopause and estrogen-only hormone replacement treatment (HRT) can increase the risk of developing the illness.

The patients are taking tamoxifen as therapy of breast cancer, which has an increased risk of causing uterus cancer.

Detecting cancer of the uterus early when it is most treatable has pushed five-year survival rates to 77 percent in Britain, a rise of 16 percent in the past 30 years.

Hysterectomy, or removal of the womb, is the standard therapy. Chemotherapy may also be included depending on the stage of the illness.

Janet      Permalink


Feb 6, 2006

Proteins That Work With Estrogen To Promote Breast Cancer

Proteins That Work With Estrogen To Promote Breast Cancer
Some new proteins may work in partnership with estrogen to promote breast cancer. Researchers have identified a group of proteins that may work in partnership with estrogen to increase the risk of breast cancer. One such protein known as c-MYC is known to be associated with increased risk of cancer. However this is the first time a protein is the shown to interact with estrogen to increase the risk of breast cancer.

The study was conducted by researchers from Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. They are trying to answer the puzzling question of how estrogen can turn on some genes and turn off others during cancer progression.

Researchers, Ramana V. Davuluri and colleagues have found that estrogen may interact with seven different partner proteins to increase the risk of breast cancer. These new findings could lead to development of potential new drug targets and may now open the doors for new tests to identify breast-cancer patients with tumors that are likely to become resistant to hormonal therapies such as tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors.

This new research is published in the recent issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

This study stands out of the crowd, because of the fact that the study used microarray technology and mathematical modeling to predict which cell proteins work with estrogen to contribute to breast cancer development, and then used more traditional experimental biology to verify one of the predictions.

Sherin      Permalink


Feb 2, 2006

Magnesium May Protect Against Colon Cancer

Magnesium May Protect Against Colon Cancer
Previous studies have shown that higher intake of minerals may decrease the risk of colon. Findings from new research now suggest that a diet rich in magnesium may actually decrease the risk of colon cancer supporting the previous findings.

This new research comes from School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota. Researchers Aaron Folsom and colleagues have found that diets rich in magnesium reduced the risk of colon cancer. Surprisingly, rectal cancer, which is often grouped with colon caner, did not derive any benefit from magnesium containing diet.

Researchers draw our attention to a previous study from Sweden which has showed that women with the highest magnesium intake had a 40 per cent lower risk of developing colon cancer compared to those with the lowest intake of the mineral.

These researchers say that these findings are of utmost importance since many dietary surveys had shown that a large portion of adults do not meet the RDA for the minerals, which is commonly found naturally in green, leafy vegetables, meats, starches, grains and nuts, and milk.

These findings are published in the latest issue of American Journal of Epidemiology. Researchers conclude that foods high in magnesium, such as vegetables, grains, and fruit, are useful for reducing the risk of colorectal cancer.

Sue      Permalink


Feb 2, 2006

Milk Lovers May Face Risk Of Ovarian Cancer

Milk Lovers May Face Risk Of Ovarian Cancer
Previous studies on experimental animals, and previous ecological studies have shown that diary food including milk may have a connection with the development of ovarian cancer. Now some Swedish researchers are bringing some evidence suggesting that there may some relationship between diary consumption and ovarian cancer. Dr. Susanna C. Larsson and colleagues at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, and her colleagues report their findings in the latest issue of International Journal of Cancer.

These results are from a meta-analysis, which actually is pooling and analysis of different studies related to one topic. They analyzed data from three large studies involving more than 180,000 people and found a positive association between ovarian cancer and a high consumption of milk products.

In conclusion Larsson states that there is some evidence to support the notion that increased consumption of diary products may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. However they admit that this is not the final word on this topic and suggests that further studies are needed to clarify the issue.

Janet      Permalink


Feb 2, 2006

Corn Oil May Promote Prostate Cancer

Corn Oil May Promote Prostate Cancer
Were you consuming a lot of corn oil lately? Then you should read the rest. Researchers have found that a common form of fat found in corn oil may promote the growth of prostate cancer cells.

This group, known as Omega-6 fatty acids may stimulate growth of prostate cancer cells and the tumor may grow twice as much in the presence of this fatty acid.

Researchers believe that one member of the omega-6 fatty acid family known as arachidonic acid has the capability of turning on a gene that leads directly to tumor growth. This research comes from San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center and is published in the latest issue of Cancer Research.

Researchers say that Omega-6 fatty acid by itself doesn't cause cancer directly, but instead acts as a catalyst, for a dormant tumor and promote its growth to full cancer.

These studies were conducted in the laboratory or prostate cancer cell lines and found that cells that are exposed to omega-6 fatty acid grew twice as fast as similar cells not exposed to omega-6.

Mark      Permalink


Feb 2, 2006

Curable Skin Cancer May Lead To Melanoma

Curable Skin Cancer May Lead To Melanoma
Those women who have the highly curable forms of skin cancers like basal cell skin cancer or squamous skin cancer may face an increased risk of developing melanoma as per findings from new research. These researchers who have studied more than 67,000 Caucasian women found that those with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer were 70 percent more likely than other women to develop melanoma.
Dr. Carol A. Rosenberg, director of preventive health initiatives at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Illinois say that the increased risk for these women are after adjustment of other factors like age, family history of cancer and past sun exposure, so truly representing increased risk due to the previous history of skin cancers.

There may be genetic variations between those are vulnerable to both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers, and those who develop neither of these. That was after factors such as age, family history of cancer and past sun exposure were taken into account.

Rosenberg and her colleagues have published their findings in the recent issue of the journal Cancer.

Rosenberg, urges women with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer to have thorough skin examinations at frequent intervals to detect any new skin spots.


Sherin      Permalink


Feb 1, 2006

How Breast Cancer Affects Your Job

How Breast Cancer Affects Your Job
Did your employer make reasonable accommodation for your breast cancer, while you were ongoing the treatment? If your answer is yes then you are in the majority. There is now information on this issue thanks to the research efforts of Dr. Reynard R. Bouknight and colleagues from Michigan State University in East Lansing. His study has shown that most women who are diagnosed with breast cancer return to work after completion of treatment of breast cancer. Dr. Bouknight says that it always helps to have an understanding and accommodating employer.

The study has found that 80 percent of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer return to the same job she was having prior to the diagnosis. This indicates that these women are enjoying excellent health after completion of their treatment.

The study included 416 employed women, who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. These women were interviewed 12 and 18 months after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

Bouknight and colleagues found that Employer workplace accommodation was the most important factor that determined the return of the woman to the same job.

As per the perception of women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, 87 percent of employers were willing to accommodate their treatment needs. Those women, who thought that their employers were not supportive, were less likely to return to work.

If you are interested in reading the whole study, you can find it the latest issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Sherin      Permalink


Jan 31, 2006

Lipitor May Help Bladder Cancer

Lipitor May Help Bladder Cancer
Lipitor (Atorvastatin) is a commonly used cholesterol-lowering drug. This drug may have activity in bladder cancer as per research findings published in the journal Urology.

This activity of Lipitor was found in the laboratory, and clinical trials are still needed to confirm these results in patients.


To further investigate the effects of atorvastatin (Lipitor), the researchers examined the activity of this cholesterol-lowering drug on two types of cultured human bladder cancer cells. At concentrations comparable to those achievable with oral administration, atorvastatin inhibited cell growth and DNA synthesis in both bladder cancer cell types.

This led to significant cell toxicity, which was demonstrated by DNA fragmentation and induction of cell death. Destruction of up to 70 percent of bladder cancer cells was observed.

Since these drugs are widely used for lowering cholesterol, the safety of this drug has already been established. Based on these new observations, studies may be designed to see if atrovastatin is cancer prevention or cancer treatment capabilities.

JoAnn      Permalink


Jan 31, 2006

Cancer Care Varies From Place To Place

Cancer Care Varies From Place To Place

American health system provides good care for the cancer patients, however the type of care varies from place to place as per a new study. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the researchers say that, breast and colorectal cancer patients were given nearly all of the therapies recommended by experts.

This study, which was sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, examined the care of nearly 1,800 patients in Atlanta, Cleveland, Houston, Kansas City, Kan., and Los Angeles.

This study examined a broad range of therapies in two of the most common malignancies: 36 for breast cancer and 25 for colorectal cancer. Researchers found that doctors followed some guidelines more closely than others. Researchers have found that, among newly diagnosed breast cancer patients, 99% had their lymph nodes tested. But only 6% of patients who had higher risk of breast caner recurrence actually saw a radiation oncologist.

Researchers also noted wide variations from one hospital to another. For patients who have surgery for rectal cancer, experts say doctors should record whether tumor cells have spread to the lymph vessels or blood vessels. Within a single city, however, the percentage of patients whose doctors took this step was 13% to 99%, according to the study. The report's authors did not identify the city.

Janet      Permalink


Jan 31, 2006

How Red Meat Increases Colon Cancer Risk

How Red Meat Increases Colon Cancer Risk
Researchers claim that they have found the link between red meat and cancer. It was well known to the scientific community that eating lots of red meat increases the risk of many types of cancers including colorectal cancers.

This new research finding highlighting the connection between eating red meat was done by researchers from Dunn Human Nutrition Unit and is published in the journal Cancer Research.

Previous research results published by Dunn team showed that the chance of developing the disease was a third higher for people who regularly ate more than two portions per day of red meat compared with those who ate less than one portion per week. In this recent study Dunn team examined cells from the lining of the colon taken from healthy volunteers eating different diets.

Researchers have found higher levels of DNA damage in the cells taken from people eating red meat. The reason for this damage could be the presence of substances called N-nitrosocompounds, which form in the large bowel after eating red meat.

These compounds could alter the structure of DNA, which in turn may become susceptible to harmful mutations that increase the likelihood of cancer

Professor David Shuker, head of the Open University team, said: "These combined discoveries have allowed us to link red meat consumption to an increased risk of bowel cancer and may give us some clues about developing a screening test for very early changes related to the disease."


Sue      Permalink


Jan 31, 2006

Naturopath Stands Trial For Cancer Patient's Death

Naturopath Stands Trial For Cancer Patient's Death
Brian O'Connell, 37, would like to call himself as a naturopath, is now in deep trouble as he is about to stand trial for the death of one of his patients. O'Connell was charged with manslaughter after he unsuccessfully treated Sean Flanagan, a 19-year-old who suffered from Ewing's sarcoma, a form of cancer.

The parents have put their last hope in O'Connell, who has treated the boy with herbal medicine, nutrition and physiotherapy. He assured the parents that he would be able to save their son.

During the course of treatment O'Connell administered ultraviolet blood irradiation, in which he removed blood from Flanagan's system, passed it under ultraviolet light and injected it back into his body. O'Connell said that this would stimulate the immune system by increasing oxygen in the blood. However, Sean Flanagan was admitted to a hospital two days later with lung infection.

When he was discharged from the hospital, the UV light treatment was administered at home, which caused his oxygen saturation levels to drop. Subsequently O'Connell allegedly treated Sean Flanagan by injecting his blood with hydrogen peroxide. Flanagan's cause of death was listed as probable complications from the hydrogen peroxide treatment.

The case highlights the dangers of unproven alternative therapies, which many consider to be a safer alternative to scientifically proven modern medicine.

Janet      Permalink


Jan 30, 2006

No More Than Two Drinks Per Day

No More Than Two Drinks Per Day
Drinking alcohol may be associated with more cancer risk than it is generally thought. Scientists say that along with smoking alcohol should be considered as a major cancer-inducing factor.

It's true that moderate drinking has been linked to decreased risk of developing heart attacks. But excessive drinking raises the risk of cancer of the mouth, larynx, oesophagus, liver, colon and breast. Alcohol may also be linked with cancer of the pancreas and lung.

Dr Paolo Boffetta of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France and colleagues reviewed research into the link between alcohol and cancer, found the more alcohol consumed, the higher the risk of developing cancer.

But they advised people to drink moderately, rather than give up alcohol completely, because of its protective benefits against cardiovascular disease. Researchers said that men and women should limit how much alcohol they drink to reap the benefits but avoid the dangers. The most recent version of the European code against cancer recommends keeping daily consumption to two drinks for men and one for women, Boffetta says.

Janet      Permalink


Jan 30, 2006

Fda Approves Sutent Sunitinib For Kidney Cancer

Fda Approves Sutent Sunitinib For Kidney Cancer Anatomy of kidney
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Sutent (sunitinib) for treatment of kidney cancer. FDA also approved this drug for the treatment of a rare form of gastrointestinal tumor known as gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST).

This is the first time FDA is approving one drug for two separate indications. Sutent (sunitinib) received a priority review and a speedy approval for these indications. This drug belongs to the group of tyrosine kinase inhibitor and works through multiple targets to deprive the tumor cells of the blood and nutrients needed to grow.

Currently Gleevec, which is another tyrosine kinase inhibitor, is the drug of first choice for patients with GIST. Sutent was approved for the treatment of patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) whose disease has progressed while receiving Gleevec. The drug may be indicated in those patients who can't tolerate Gleevec.

FDA's approval of sunitinib (Sutent) in the treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma is based on the drug's ability to delay the growth of the tumor. Usage of this drug in clinical trials has resulted in tumor size reduction in 26-37 percent of patients with renal cell cancer.

The most commonly reported Sutent-related side effects included diarrhea, skin discoloration, mouth irritation, weakness, and altered taste. Patients treated with Sutent also experienced, fatigue, high blood pressure, bleeding, swelling, and taste disturbance. Hypothyroidism was also observed.

Janet      Permalink


Jan 30, 2006

Cancer Mortality And High White Cell Count

Cancer Mortality And High White Cell Count
What's the link between high white cell (WBC) count and increased mortality? A new study suggests that individuals with high white blood cell counts have a higher risk of death from all types of cancer. These results are from a recent , large multi-center study that is published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Anoop Shankar of the National University of Singapore and colleagues conducted a study of 3,189 subjects in the Blue Mountains region, west of Sydney, Australia. The subjects were between 49 and 84 years old and free of cancer at study enrollment between January 1992 and December 1994. Vital status was assessed for all subjects as of December 31, 2001.

"Higher WBC count was found to be associated with all cancer mortality," the investigators report. Subjects with the highest WBC counts had a 73% higher risk of cancer death compared with those with the lowest counts. An increase in WBCs can indicate a variety of problems including infection, an allergic reaction or leukemia.

The association between high WBC count and cancer was lower among aspirin users, suggesting a possible protective effect.

Janet      Permalink


Jan 28, 2006

Passive Smoking, Breast Cancer Link

Passive Smoking, Breast Cancer Link
We have discussed the link between passive smoking and risk of breast cancer in this blog earlier. Now there is legal backing for this argument.

Regulators in California have recently ruled that secondhand smoke increases the risk for breast cancer in younger women. This is an unprecedented finding that could lead to tougher anti-smoking measures.

This ruling was approved by the state's Air Resources Board, which is well known nationally for its tough stance on limiting auto and diesel pollution. The board has unanimously approved a 1,200-page report from California Environmental Protection Agency scientists report citing that secondhand smoke increases the risk of breast cancer in younger women. The agency's findings challenged conventional scientific community which until recently considered the link between female smoking and breast cancer is based on scanty evidence.

"I think that if we don't embrace these new conclusions, we're doing a disservice to younger women," says Andrew Hyland, a research scientist at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo. "My prediction is that in the months to come, people will see the evidence and change their opinion."

By accepting the environmental protection agencies finding, the Air Resources Board officially lists secondhand smoke as a "toxic air contaminant" under state law. That begins a process that could lead to new restrictions in the state that already has the nation's toughest anti-smoking rules. Those could include reducing exposure in vehicles carrying children or in rental buildings where smoke drifts from apartments with smokers to non-smokers' units.


Sherin      Permalink


Jan 26, 2006

Comments About Intra-abdominal Chemotherapy

Comments About Intra-abdominal Chemotherapy
Gregory D. Pawelski has sent the following comment regarding the recent blog posting related to intra abdominal chemotherapy of ovarian cancer. You can read this post here.


Dear Editor

In reply to your January 6th article "Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy Improves Survival In Ovarian Cancer," it could be an indication of the "Right Therapy" but the "Wrong Drugs."

The hallmark of cancer is heterogeneity. Not just many types of cancer, but many subtypes of cancer within a given type. The biologies are very different and the response to given drugs is very different.

The hallmark of cancer treatment is heterogeneity. There are currently over 100 FDA approved cancer drugs, with hundreds more in the pipeline. All of these drugs tend to be partially effective, and even then, in only a minority of cases, and often for only a short duration of time.

The single most neglected area of cancer research has been the development of methods and technologies to be "matchmakers" between individual cancer with individual cancer treatment.

The single most neglected area of cancer treatment has been the unwillingness to utilize the matchmaker technologies which have already been developed and available. These technologies involve studies of cancer cell responses to drug exposure in cell culture systems, "outside" of the patient's body, before they are put "into" the patient's body.

With only 42% of the women being able to finish the rather arduous trial, perhaps abdominal chemo is the right therapy, but they were using the wrong drugs? Test the tumor first!

Gregory D. Pawelski
gdpawel@attglobal.net

Janet      Permalink


Jan 26, 2006

Doctor Apologizes For Mammogram Mistakes

Doctor Apologizes For Mammogram Mistakes
Ar. Amjad Khan, who consultant radiologist is in deep trouble after missing diagnosis of breast cancer in 22 women for whom he was reading the mammograms. He was working at Trafford General Hospital, UK, when this incidence occurred. These 22 women were told much later that they had breast cancer in their mammograms that were taken previously.

An investigation was quickly enforced and experts combed through nearly 2,500 mammograms handled by the consultant at the two hospitals. They found that reading by this radiologist contained significant errors. About 176 patients were recalled to have repeat mammogram and among 28 were found to have some form of breast cancer. Twenty-one had been diagnosed with breast caner and one had treatable tumor. Dr Husien was suspended from working in the Trafford, Greater Manchester, after staff questioned his work.

In a statement released by Greater Manchester Strategic Health Authority on Thursday, Dr Husien said: "I deeply regret any distress or suffering experienced by patients and their relatives arising from this review.

Health managers have admitted some of the women could die because of mistakes made from April 2003.

Women undergo mammogram in an effort to find breast cancer early, and mistakes like this which defeats the purpose of mammogram can't be tolerated. The pain and misery caused to these 22 women who had significant delays in their breast cancer diagnosis can't be amply compensated by any action by the authorities.

Sherin      Permalink


Jan 26, 2006

Cancer Treatment Without Surgery

Cancer Treatment Without Surgery
Imagine taking care of cancer without ever having to undergo a surgery. Cancer therapy involving no surgery that destroys tumors but leaves healthy surrounding tissue unaffected could be available at every hospital, the attempts of some of the researches become successful.

This effort is undertaken by the Los Alamos National Laboratory Trident laser team, in collaboration with researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno and elsewhere, has succeeded in concentrating the intensity of a laser-driven carbon ion beam into a narrow range.

Actually this work is an extension of past research led by the University of Nevada that discovered much higher quality laser proton beams from laser acceleration as opposed to conventional particle acceleration.

When researchers were able to produce carbon ion beams and limit their spread this technology removes the major impediment to improving such applications as tumor irradiation therapy.

Still the researchers have to over come many technological hurdles before they can develop a compact particle generator that could be used in a hospital setting. No clinical trials are imminent.

This research may also open up new avenues for advances in nuclear fusion applications.

Sherin      Permalink


Jan 26, 2006

Why Blacks Are More Prone To Lung Cancer?

Why Blacks Are More Prone To Lung Cancer?
Given the same amount of exposure to cigarette smoke, the risk of developing lung cancer is much more in blacks compared to the white population. Recent data suggest that this difference in vulnerability for development of lung cancer may be in the genes rather than in the environment.

These results are from a study which is said to be the largest ever done on this subject. This study also found that Hispanic and Asian smokers were less likely than black smokers to develop lung cancer. This racial difference in risk of development of lung cancer was apparent only among light smokers. Once they smoke heavily the high risk caused by heavy smoking buffers the genetic difference between races. These racial differences disappear in those who smoke, more than a pack and a half per day.

Doctors have long known that blacks are substantially more likely than whites to develop lung cancer and more likely to die from it. But the reasons for the disparity are unclear.

Some say the difference is a matter of genetics, while others contend smoking habits may play a role. For example, researchers say blacks tend to puff more deeply than whites, which may expose them to more carcinogens. Smoking rates are also slightly higher among blacks, but whites tend to smoke more cigarettes a day.

In this study that was published in the latest issue of New England Journal of Medicine, researchers compared the lung cancer risk among ethnic groups who smoked the same amount. Researchers say that findings suggest genes may be one of the important factors that explain the racial difference in susceptibility to lung cancer.

This study involved more than 180,000 people, more than half of them belonged to minority ethnic groups.

Scott      Permalink


Jan 25, 2006

Radiation Increases Survival Uterine Cancer

Radiation Increases Survival Uterine Cancer
Findings from a new research have showed that women with early endometrial cancer may live longer if radiation therapy is added to their treatment algorithm. This radiation is given after surgery is done after removal of uterus in stage 1 endometrial cancer (uterine cancer).

Researchers say that current treatment algorithm varies depending upon where in the United Sates you are living because this disease is treated in a different fashion in various cancer centers.

Dr. David Gaffney at Huntsman Cancer Hospital at the University of Utah Medical Center, Salt Lake City, who is one of the co-authors of the study say that there is lot of difference in opinion regarding use of radiation for stage 1 endometrial cancer, but the benefit is evident with proper selection of patients.

These findings are published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medial Association.

Researchers have been studying adding adjuvant therapies, like radiation therapy or chemotherapy, to early stage endometrial cancer, to see if this would improve survival. However, because these therapies can have serious side effects, doctors need to know there's a clear benefit that outweighs the potential risks. But, the studies done to date have produced inconsistent findings. This study showed beneficial effects of adding radiation therapy to the treatment of early stage uterine cancer.


Janet      Permalink


Jan 25, 2006

Fish Oil Good For Heart, But No Help For Cancer

Fish Oil Good For Heart, But No Help For Cancer
It was widely believed by the scientists and researchers that fish oil may help to prevent some forms of cancer. Fish oil has a known protective effect against heart disease and now it looks like we have to be satisfied with just the heart protective effects of fish oil. This new information on lack of cancer protection of fish oil was released in a review of studies involving more than 700,000 patients.

Researchers combed through the data from 38 different studies that tracked patients for up to 30 years, and came to the conclusion that omega-3 fatty acids that are present in the fish oil has no cancer protective effect. Dr. Catherine MacLean, the lead author and a researcher at the Rand Corp. and Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Healthcare System say that although a few studies found some risk reduction for cancers of the breast, prostate and lung, those studies were relatively small and not definitive.

I Don't think this is going to be the last word on this issue. It has been shown over and over again that plays a key role in causation and prevention of cancer.

These researchers review includes studies that evaluated the effects of fish oil, in both pill form and as food on 11 kinds of cancer, mostly tumors of the breast, colon, lung or prostate. This new study appear in the latest issue of Journal of the American Medical Association

These 38 studies they have evaluated are very different among themselves involving different population groups and different levels of fish oil consumption. This limits the value of this analysis and precludes from making any definite conclusions.

Janet      Permalink


Jan 25, 2006

Breast Cancer Increasingly Found At Early Stage

Breast Cancer Increasingly Found At Early Stage
Diagnosis of early stage breast cancer shows a dramatic increase in UK since last five years. Reports say that incidence of earliest form of breast cancer, known as ductal carcinoma in situ, has increased to 3,800 compared to 2,910 that was found five years ago. Experts suggest that this increase is due to finding of a number of new cases due to mammogram screening and argue that these cases of breast cancer would have been missed, if mammogram screenings were not done.

Release of these numbers has particular significance. The figures were announced at the start of a worldwide study to investigate which of two breast cancer drugs, the old gold standard treatment tamoxifen or the new treatment, anastrozole, is better at preventing the dis-ease from returning in women who have already had DCIS.

This Ibis-2 study aims to recruit 10,000 women, 4,000 of who have been diagnosed with DCIS.

Concern about the rise in cases of DCIS has led some doctors to criticize the mammogram screening program for increasing anxiety and subjecting women to unnecessary treatment without extending their lives.

A study published in the British Medical Journal in 2003 said breast screening was contributing to a rise in the incidence of breast cancer and resulted in mastectomies that may have been unnecessary for the women and expensive for the health service.

Sherin      Permalink


Jan 24, 2006

Prostate Cancer Patients Often Seek Alternative Therapy

Prostate Cancer Patients Often Seek Alternative Therapy
Use of complimentary medicine is a very common in patients who have a diagnosis of prostate cancer. In fact about one third of prostate cancer patients in the United States use some type of complementary or alternative medicine. This finding was revealed in a large national study.

The survey also showed that as many as half of patients who use such alternative therapies don't discuss this issue with their physicians. Since Many alternative forms of therapy can interfere with the modern medicine treatment, it is important that all patients who are using alternative or complimentary forms of treatment convey this information to their physicians.

Past studies have found that prostate cancer patients often begin taking alternative or complementary medicines after receiving their diagnosis. To investigate more specifically, Elkin and his colleagues looked at use of more than 50 different types of complementary or alternative medicines in a group of 2,582 men in a registry of prostate cancer patients.

One third reported using some type of alternative medicine, with 26% using mineral or vitamin supplements, 16% taking herbs, 13% taking antioxidants and 12% taking some type of alternative treatment for "prostate health," such as saw palmetto or lycopene.


Men using alternative medicine tended to have higher incomes, more education, and more advanced cancer at diagnosis. Alternative medicine users also were more likely to have other illnesses. The men who used alternative treatments targeted to prostate health were younger and less likely to be obese.

Mark      Permalink


Jan 23, 2006

Don't Count On Veggie Burgers Or Toufu

Don't Count On Veggie Burgers Or Toufu
Do not count on Veggie burgers and tofu to protect you from heart disease. A recent American Heart Association committee review report examined studies spanning over a decade and came up with doubts regarding the claim that soy-based foods and supplements are effective in significantly lowering cholesterol.

These findings are contrary to popular believes and may lead to label regulations regarding this claim on soy containing food by FDA.

This study panel also found that neither soy nor the soy component isoflavone reduced symptoms of menopause, such as ``hot flashes,'' and that isoflavones do not help prevent breast, uterine or prostate cancer. When examining the effects of soy on bone mineral loss in post-menopausal women, the studies showed mixed results. These findings are published in the recent issue of circulation.

However this does not mean that eating soy based food is not good. Often soy-based food is consumed in place of junk food, like burgers and hotdogs and consumption of soy-based food may at least prevent the harmful effects of eating unhealthy food. The only finding that has come out now is that it may not be as beneficial as previously thought especially in terms of cholesterol lowering.

``We don't want to lull people into a false sense of security that by eating soy they can solve the problem'' with cholesterol, said Dr. Michael Crawford, chief of clinical cardiology at University of California-San Francisco Medical Center. He was not on the panel that issued the new statement.

The FDA in 1999 started allowing manufacturers to claim that soy products might cut the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol level after studies showed at least 25 grams of soy protein a day lowered cholesterol. A year later, the Heart Association recommended in favor of soy to classify this as a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol.

In the last few years much more research emerged and the Heart Association decided to re-investigate this issue.

These committee members reviewed 22 studies and found that large amounts of dietary soy protein only reduced LDL, or ``bad'' cholesterol, about 3 percent and had no effect on HDL, or ``good'' cholesterol, or on blood pressure.

They also did analysis of isoflavones separately and found that isoflavones also had no effect on lowering LDL cholesterol or other lipid risk factors.

"Soy proteins and isoflavones don't have any major health benefits other than soy protein products are generally good foods,'' said Dr. Frank Sacks, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston who led the committee.`They're good to replace other foods that are high in cholesterol.''

Sherin      Permalink


Jan 23, 2006

Statins And Prostate Cancer (again?)

Statins And Prostate Cancer (again?)
On January 4th 2006, Janet wrote in this blog about lack of beneficial effects of popular cholesterol lowering group of drugs known as statins. You know that is not the final word and in the medical community, one research many times contradicts the findings of another research.

A new research now shows that men who've been previously diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer and are taking one of these statin drugs like Lipitor or Zocor may have beneficial effects.


The researchers say that statins improve the outcome of prostate cancer treatment with radioactive seed implants (brachytherapy - see January 6th posting to read about seed implants).

This research comes from Wheeling Hospital in West Virginia. Dr. Gregory S. Merrick from and colleagues evaluated the impact of statin therapy on disease progression and long-term survival after in 512 men who had undergone brachytherapy for localized prostate cancer.

At follow-up, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels, percentage of positive biopsies, and tumor stage "were significantly lower in the statin than in the nonstatin users," the investigators report in the medical journal Urology.

Survival without recurrence of the disease at 8 years was 97 percent for patients taking statins and 94percent for patients not taking statins, the results indicate.

Higher PSA levels before treatment and being overweight were associated with lower survival rates, the researchers note.

"Since cardiovascular disease is a primary cause of death in men treated for clinically localized prostate cancer, an agent that could potentially benefit both prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease would be of great utility," Merrick commented to Reuters Health.

I would argue that this is an ongoing controversy and no clear final answer regarding the benefits of statin therapy on prostate cancer is available at this time.

Mark      Permalink


Jan 23, 2006

Safety First: Fire Department And Colon Cancer

Safety First: Fire Department And Colon Cancer
What is the connection between fire department and colon cancer? Interesting question, right? I had no clue until I read this article published by the Green bay Fire department.

Hey say that "While most fires are in fact preventable, it is also a true that many cancers are as well. It is for this reason that this column is devoted to the screening for colorectal cancer and the procedure known as a colonoscopy."

The author of the article go on to say that cancer screening is the biggest reason for the declining of colon cancer incidence. The article continues "For most people older than 50 -- that includes this writer -- it is recommended that a colonoscopy be done and, depending on the results, follow-up testing continue every 5-10 years. This is because nine out of 10 people with colorectal cancer are older than 50."

The author of the article, Larry Wilson, of the Green Bay Fire department the explains his own personal experience with colon cancer screening. "Following the recommendation of my doctor and the fact that several friends and co-workers had already had the procedure done, I reluctantly made the appointment and as the time got nearer began to realize the implications -- that is, that I really could have cancer."

I found this article interesting, and if you wish you can read the full article here.

Sue      Permalink


Jan 23, 2006

Palliative Radiation Therapy Of Lung Cancer May Actually Save Lives

Palliative Radiation Therapy Of Lung Cancer May Actually Save Lives
Palliation therapy is therapy aimed at palliating or reliving symptoms, without addressing the disease causing the symptoms. Palliative radiation therapy is meant to ease symptoms like pain in terminal cancer patients and is not aimed at controlling the disease process or prolonging lives.

Now a group of Australian researchers have a surprising finding. They say that small doses of radiation that is used for palliation may actually save the lives of a few patients. They found that about one in a hundred patients with apparently terminal non-small cell lung cancer survived five or more years after the treatments, and 18 patients were apparently cured, these Australian researchers said.

Dr. Michael Mac Manus, who is a radiation oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center in Melbourne, Australia, led this research. He and his colleagues followed 2,337 apparently incurable lung cancer patients who had received palliative doses of radiation.

Their findings appeared in the recent issue of journal Cancer. It says that about 1.1 percent of the 2,337 patients lived five or more years after treatment.

Scott      Permalink


Jan 22, 2006

New Technology For Lung Cancer Detection

New Technology For Lung Cancer Detection
As you all know, currently lung cancer has a grim prognosis, with only 12-15 percent of patients diagnosed with lung caner living long term. Researchers and physicians all over the world have been trying to device methods to improve lung cancer survival from this bleak looking numbers. Early detection and intervention would improve the outcome in lung cancer as it is in many cancers lung breast cancer. Detecting and treating lung cancer when they are small for example like when they are 3 centimeter or less in size improves the survival to about 75 percent.

As I have previously written in this blog, spiral CT scan is a technique that is capable of detecting lung tumors early. In this type of CT scan, the physician obtains about 500 separate slice images of the chest with very high resolution. This would enable the physician to find small lung tumors, before it may have spread to other organs, much like a mammogram in breast cancer. The problem with spiral CT scan is that, it takes for ever to study the 500 or so slice that the machine produces for one person. Large-scale screening using this technique becomes practically impossible or at least very difficult because of the enormous amount of work involved.

Computer-aided detection (CAD), can theoretically replace much of manpower with the computer technology. The computer-aided system that is available so far has not been very sensitive to do the job without errors, so a large number of false positive results occur with CAD.

Now there is progress in this field. Researchers from University of Oxford Engineering Science department have developed a new technique incorporating a process called Visual Moving Features (VMF) for detecting pulmonary nodules. VMF detects a predefined structure in a subject by analyzing the image based on a representation of the structure constructed across a number of parallel image planes. The method has been tested on results from 12 clinical cases involving a total of 3875 sectional images and 106 lung nodules. The technology was so accurate that, every nodule recognized by a skilled radiologist was detected by the Oxford method.

May be this the technology of the future for early lung cancer detection.

Scott      Permalink


Jan 22, 2006

Mobile Phone Brain Cancer Link

Mobile Phone Brain Cancer Link
Does use of mobile phone cause cancer? This is an ever-ongoing controversy regarding this since long time. Recently more studies have shown that there is no link between use of cell phone and cancer.

A recently published study has shown that mobile phone does not increase the risk of developing the most common type of brain tumor, according to a new study.

After a four-year survey, scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and three British universities found no link between regular, long-term use of mobile phones and brain cancer. "Overall, we found no raised risk of glioma (brain cancer) associated with regular mobile phone use and no association with time since first use, lifetime years of use, cumulative hours of use, or number of calls," said Professor Patricia McKinney, of the University of Leeds, in a report in the British Medical Journal.

She added that the results were consistent with the findings of most studies done in the United States and Europe.

Anthony Swerdlow, a co-author of the report, from the Institute of Cancer Research, said the survey is larger than any of the other published studies and part of a collaboration involving 13 countries.

During the past two decades, the use of mobile phones has risen rapidly worldwide but there has been no hard evidence to substantiate fears that the technology causes health problems ranging from headaches to brain tumors.

Janet      Permalink


Jan 22, 2006

Female Hormone Levels Don't Predict Breast Cancer

Female Hormone Levels Don't Predict Breast Cancer
Higher blood level of a female hormone, namely estradiol, don't increase risk of developing breast cancer, as per findings from a new study.

Many studies in the past have suggested a positive relationship between higher levels of estradiol and increased risk of developing breast cancer in postmenopausal women. One study had found that raloxifen, which is selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) similar to commonly used tamoxifen may be a better option for postmenopausal women, who has higher levels of estradiol.

Mary S. Beattie, M.D., of the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined the levels of sex hormones estradiol and testosterone, and sex hormone-binding globulin in the blood plasma of 135 postmenopausal women with breast cancer and 275 postmenopausal control women who had been treated with tamoxifen or placebo as part of a breast cancer prevention trial. The authors sought to determine whether sex hormone levels are associated with breast cancer risk, and whether breast cancer risk reduction varied by sex hormone level among women on tamoxifen, which is also a SERM.

Their results showed that levels of sex hormones were not associated with breast cancer risk in these women and cannot be used as a predictor for breast cancer risk or determine who would most benefit from tamoxifen treatment. Tamoxifen had the same effect on breast cancer risk in women with high and low levels of estradiol. The authors suggest that the study should be repeated in other populations with a high risk of developing breast cancer.


Sherin      Permalink


Jan 20, 2006

Stress At Work And Risk Of Heart Disease

Stress At Work And Risk Of Heart Disease
Stress and burnout at work place causes several health related problems

Cardiovascular Disease
Many studies suggest that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Musculoskeletal Disorders
On the basis of research by NIOSH and many other organizations, it is widely believed that job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper- extremity musculoskeletal disorders.

Psychological Disorders
Several studies suggest that differences in rates of mental health problems (such as depression and burnout) for various occupations are due partly to differences in job stress levels. (Economic and lifestyle differences between occupations may also contribute to some of these problems.)

Workplace Injury
Although more study is needed, there is a growing concern that stressful working conditions interfere with safe work practices and set the stage for injuries at work.

Suicide, Cancer, Ulcers, and Impaired Immune Function
Some studies suggest a relationship between stressful working conditions and these health problems. However, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.

Scientists in Britain said on Friday they had found evidence of why stress at work can raise the odds of developing heart disease and diabetes.

Researchers at University College London (UCL) have shown that work stress is a risk factor for metabolic syndrome which includes high blood pressure, raised cholesterol levels, high blood sugar and excess weight.

"We found quite strong evidence that higher exposure to stress at work is associated with increased risk of the metabolic syndrome," said Tarani Chandola of UCL.

Researchers say that the study provides a possible explanation for the link between stress and heart disease.

In the study of more than 10,000 British civil servants published online by the British Medical Journal the scientists said the higher the stress levels reported by the employees the greater the risk of metabolic syndrome.

The scientists studied the stress levels of the civil servants over the past 20 years and compared them with components of metabolic syndrome which were measured between 1997 and 1999.

Men with chronic work stress were nearly twice as likely to develop the syndrome than workers who reported little or no stress, according to the study.

Daniel      Permalink


Jan 20, 2006

Growth-factor Gene Linked Prostate Cancer

Growth-factor Gene Linked Prostate Cancer
Two variations in the gene for insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-1) are linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer, as per research performed by researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, and the University of Hawaii.

"Our results suggest that inherited variation in IGF1 may play a role in prostate cancer risk," write the scientists in a paper reported in the January 18, 2006, issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

USC researchers on this research team included: Iona Cheng, who was first author on the paper; Daniel Stram, Ph.D., professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School and the USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center; Malcolm Pike, Ph.D., professor preventive medicine at the Keck School and USC/Norris; and Keck School of Medicine Dean Brian E. Henderson, M.D., who is also a distinguished professor in preventive medicine and neurology and the Kenneth T. Norris Jr. Chair in Cancer Prevention.

Cheng and her colleagues were able to tease out the relevant gene variations using data from the large Multiethnic Cohort study, for which Henderson is co-principal investigator. This population-based cohort study has collected data on more than 215,000 men and women from Los Angeles and Hawaii over the past decade.

From this cohort and information from cancer registries in California and Hawaii, the researchers were able to identify 2320 men who had developed prostate cancer and match them with 2290 men who did not have a prostate cancer diagnosis. This large population, the study's authors noted, provided "substantial [statistical] power to detect modest genetic effects."

Mark      Permalink


Jan 20, 2006

New Test To Detect Colon Cancer

New Test To Detect Colon Cancer
Japanese researchers have found a new method for diagnosing colon cancer by isolating colon cells that are naturally passed with stool.

In developing the technique the researchers have predicted that when cells were exfoliated from the walls of the colon "the cancer cells would likely survive for a long time in feces".

Matsumura, of the National Cancer Center Hospital East, Kashiwa City and his colleagues tested the feasibility of using this notion to assess feces from 116 patients with colorectal cancer and from 83 healthy volunteers.

To isolate the colon cells from fecal samples, the scientists used magnetic beads covered with antibodies that latch on to proteins on the surface of the cells. The specimens are diluted and the beads added, after which a magnet pulls out the bead-attached cells.

When the colon cells were retrieved, atypical cells were detected in 28 percent of the cancer patients and none of the volunteers, the team reports in the medical journal Gastroenterology.

Upon DNA analysis, genetic alterations were seen in cells from 82 of the cancer patients, but from only 10 of the volunteers without cancer.

Given these encouraging findings, Matsumura said that his group is planning to compare their method of colon cancer screening with the well-known fecal occult blood test, to determine its accuracy "in a real screening population and to verify its clinical usefulness and medical economics".

Sue      Permalink


Jan 20, 2006

Smokers Sue Philip Morris

Smokers Sue Philip Morris
A group of longtime Marlboro cigarette smokers sued Philip Morris on Thursday, but not for cash. Instead, they want the tobacco giant to pay for annual high-tech screenings they say would catch lung cancer in its early stages.

Like other tobacco lawsuits, the complaint filed by four plaintiffs in federal court in Brooklyn alleges they were victims of deceptive marketing of a deadly product. It seeks class action status for anyone over the age of 50 who has smoked the equivalent of one pack a day for at least 20 years.

The plaintiffs have demanded yearly spiral Computerized axial tomography scans at the company's expense. The suit claims the procedure _ which can cost up to $500 and is not normally covered by health insurance could save thousands of lives by detecting lung cancer before it becomes deadly.

"Philip Morris is obligated morally, not just legally, to make a health investment to help prevent death and suffering caused by the Marlboro smoke," said the smokers' attorney Jerome H. Block.

Philip Morris USA Inc., the nation's largest cigarette company, had no immediate comment.

Tobacco companies have won two other so-called medical monitoring suits that went to trial. In a 2001 case brought against Philip Morris, a West Virginia jury found that the manufacturer had no obligation to provide cancer screening for the state's healthy and former smokers; a Louisiana jury made a similar finding in 2003.

The new suit describes a Computerized axial tomography scan as a simple procedure that can detect small tumors on the lungs far more effectively than conventional chest X-rays.

Scott      Permalink


Jan 20, 2006

Eczema Cream May Increase Cancer Risk

Eczema Cream May Increase Cancer Risk
Two creams commonly used for the treatment of eczema will now carry strong warnings about the possible risk of skin cancer, lymphoma and other cancers.

These creams used for the treatment of eczema, namely creams, Elidel and Protopic, will come with a strong warning that use of these creams may cause cancer and lymphoma.

Food and Drug Administration officials said while a clear link between the drugs and cancer risk had not been found, there have been enough cancer reports to warrant the change. A total of 78 cases were reported for both products as of October 2005, they said.

"The concern that is being highlighted today is that the long-term safety of these products has not been established," Dr. Julie Beitz, an acting office director within the FDA's office of drug evaluation, said.

The labels also include changes to make clear that both treatments are only supposed to be used after other drugs are tried first. They also say the creams are not recommended for children younger than 2 years old.

Eczema, a rash-like inflammation that causes itchy, red skin, can also be treated with antihistamines, oral and topical steroids and over-the-counter products.

Both companies continued to defend their drugs as safe, but agreed to make the change anyway after months of negotiation with the FDA.

"While Novartis believes this action is not substantiated by scientific or clinical evidence, Novartis has agreed to make the requested changes and will communicate them to physicians and patients so that they can continue to use Elidel as labeled to effectively manage eczema," the company said.

Joyce Rico, an Astellas vice president for research and development, said the data did not show any cancer link.

"I believe that the information that is available continues to show that Protopic is a safe and effective medication when used as prescribed, and that the causal relationship with lymphoma has not been documented," she said.

Janet      Permalink




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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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