Cancer News Network

Cancer Awareness , Developments in Cancer Research and News on Cancer

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

‘The Bay Drug’ – Is it the solution to metastatic kidney cancer?

A drug, which was originally developed for colon cancer, is found to be very effective in managing metastatic kidney cancer. This drug, called ‘The Bay Drug’, has the ability to contain the tumor growth in metastatic kidney cancer patients to a large extent.

This news clip tells more about this drug and its effects on metastatic kidney cancer patients.

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Common myths about colon cancer

Here are some of the common myths and misapprehensions about colon cancer and cancer experts’ responses to these myths.

Myth 1: Colon cancer is a white man's disease.
Truth: Colon cancer affects both men and women equally, and it affects people of all races. In 2007, the American Cancer Society estimates, 55,290 men and 57,050 women will be diagnosed with colon cancer. About equal numbers will die from the disease: 52,000 Americans altogether. The No. 1 risk factor for colon cancer is age.

Myth 2: I don't have any symptoms, so I must not have colon cancer.
Truth: "One of the most common misconceptions is that symptoms will be evident if a person has colorectal cancer. In fact, the most common symptom is no symptoms at all," says Emina Huang, M.D., assistant professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. More than half of people diagnosed with colon cancer have no symptoms. Symptoms such as a change in stool, rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss can all signal colon cancer. But once these symptoms begin to develop, it may be a sign of more advanced disease. Half of people diagnosed after symptoms develop will die from colon cancer.

Myth 3: Colonoscopy is difficult to prepare for.
Truth: Preparing for a colonoscopy involves cleaning the colon with the help of prescription and over-the-counter medications. Typically these are liquid drinks that must be consumed a day or two before the procedure. "People shouldn't be afraid of it because they don't want to drink the laxative. There are many more options so you can find something that is tolerable," Turgeon says. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about your options.

Myth 4: Colonoscopy is unpleasant and uncomfortable.
Truth: It's not as bad as you think. Most people agree the prep is the worst part (see Myth 3). During the actual procedure, patients are sedated to eliminate discomfort. The procedure itself takes 15-30 minutes and you can resume normal activities the next day.

Myth 5: I saw Katie Couric get a colonoscopy on the Today Show, so I should get one too.
Truth: Colonoscopy screening is recommended for men and women beginning at age 50, unless other risk factors exist. If you're 50 or older, talk to your doctor about screening. If you are younger than 50 but have other risk factors such as family history, obesity, smoking, ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease talk to your doctor about your screening needs. But remember, age is the most significant risk factor for colon cancer.

Myth 6: Colonoscopy is the only way to screen for colon cancer.
Truth: There are several screening options for colorectal cancer, including flexible sigmoidoscopy, fecal occult blood test and double-contrast barium enema. But colonoscopy is considered the gold standard. It detects more cancers, examines the entire colon, and can be used for screening, diagnosis and removing polyps in one visit.

Myth 7: A polyp means I have cancer.
Polyps are benign growths that, if left unchecked, have the potential to develop into cancer. Polyps can be easily removed during colonoscopy. Not all polyps are pre-cancerous.
Myth 8: Colonoscopy is just a screening technique.
Truth: Colonoscopy is an all-in-one tool. It can find and remove polyps and small cancers all during one procedure. If your colonoscopy reveals a polyp, your doctor will remove it immediately. By removing the polyp at this stage, it prevents it from becoming cancerous. If colonoscopy reveals cancerous lesions, further treatments may be necessary.

Myth 9: If I have colon cancer, it means I am dying.
Truth: When colon cancer is caught early, it has a 95 percent survival rate. That's why screening is so important. Once colon cancer has spread to the liver, it's usually deadly, with only a 9 percent survival rate. But even then, treatments are improving. Radiation oncologists at U-M have developed a method to shrink tumors that spread to the liver, in some cases allowing them to be removed with surgery. This has led to higher survival rates even in the most advanced cases.

Myth 10: Surgery will be disfiguring and recovery painful.
Truth: New surgical advances allow for minimally invasive procedures that leave only a small scar. Patients undergoing laparoscopic surgery may have an easier recovery than patients who have open surgery. Some evidence suggests cancer control is better with a minimally invasive approach.

Myth 11: If I have colon surgery, I'll need a colostomy bag.
Truth: A colostomy, in which surgeons create an artificial, external method to collect excrement, is rarely done anymore. Surgical techniques have improved so that the cancer can be effectively removed while sparing the rectum. In the past, cancers within 4 inches of the anus routinely required removing the anus for effective surgical control. Now, 80 percent of these cancers may be effectively removed while sparing the anus.

Myth 12: Few research advances focus on colon cancer.
Truth: Much exciting research is occurring in colon cancer. At U-M, research has focused on improving radiation techniques, including using radiation to shrink tumors that have spread to the liver. Researchers are also working with colon cancer stem cells, the small number of cells within a tumor that fuel its growth. It's believed that identifying the cancer stem cells will allow more effective drugs to be developed. Other research is looking at multiple genes involved in colon cancer and at improving screening techniques so more cancers can be detected early. This includes searching for markers in blood, stool or urine that might provide an easier screening tool to early signs of colon cancer. In the area of prevention, researchers are looking at the effects of curcumin (found in curry), resveratrol (found in red wine), ginger and the Mediterranean diet on the growth and development of colon cancer.

Labels: ,

Friday, February 23, 2007

How poisonous is cigarette smoke?

Watch this interesting television commercial from Cancer Research UK, which talks about the toxicity of cigarette smoke.

Labels: , ,

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Laryngeal Cancer

Laryngeal Cancer develops when the normal cells lining the larynx are replaced with abnormal cells (dysplasia) that become malignant and reproduce to form tumors. The development of dysplasia is strongly linked to life-long habits of smoking and heavy use of alcohol. The more a person smokes, the greater the risk of developing laryngeal cancer. It is unusual for someone who does not smoke or drink to develop cancer of the larynx. Occasionally, however, people who inhale asbestos particles, wood dust, paint or industrial chemical fumes over a long period of time develop the disease.

The symptoms of laryngeal cancer depend on the location of the tumor. Tumors on the vocal cords are rarely painful, but cause hoarseness. Anyone who is continually hoarse for more than two weeks or who has a cough that does not go away should be checked by a doctor.

Tumors in the supraglottal region above the vocal cords often cause more, but less distinct symptoms. These include:
  • persistent sore throat
  • pain when swallowing
  • difficulty swallowing or frequent choking on food
  • bad breath
  • lumps in the neck
  • persistent ear pain (called referred pain; the source of the pain is not the ear)
  • change in voice quality

Tumors that begin below the vocal cords are rare, but may cause noisy or difficult breathing. All the symptoms above can also be caused other cancers as well as by less serious illnesses. However, if these symptoms persist, it is important to see a doctor and find their cause, because the earlier cancer treatment begins, the more successful it is.


Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

‘Cone beam CT’ technology to revolutionize cancer treatment

A new tumor imaging technology – cone beam CT- could revolutionize cancer treatment in the years to come. This new technology creates three-dimensional axial CT slices of a patient’s tumor, enabling therapists and doctors to compare these images with initial treatment planning images to determine how precisely focused the radiation set-up is. They can then make position adjustments if necessary to deliver a more targeted therapy to the patient. The hope is that this technology will lead to more highly customized radiation treatments, where higher doses are directed at the tumor while sparing the patient’s normal body structures.

This video explains more about this new technology and how cancer patients could benefit from it.

Labels: , , ,

Monday, February 19, 2007

American Cancer Society launches an educational campaign for cutting cancer risk

The American Cancer Society has rolled out its new Great American Health Challenge, a campaign to educate Americans about cutting their cancer risk.

The year-long program encourages people to take the following actions in order to lower their cancer risk or to detect cancer at an early stage, when it's most treatable:
Check. Talk to your doctor about cancer screening tests, which can prevent cancer or detect it at its earliest stage.
Move. Try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise five or more days a week.
Nourish. Strive for a healthy weight and eat a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Limit your consumption of red meats, especially high fat and processed meats.
Quit. Stop smoking or take part in the fight against tobacco by becoming an advocate of smoke-free communities.

To get started in the Great American Health Challenge, take the Great American Health Check on the cancer society's Web site. The health check can assess your cancer risk factors and provide a customized action plan to reduce your cancer risk.

Other components of the Great American Health Challenge will be offered later this year. In August, the Great American Eat Right Challenge will provide advice about healthy eating habits and regular exercise. In November, the Great American Smokeout will once again seek to inspire and help smokers kick the habit.

It's estimated that 50 percent of cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented through healthy lifestyle habits, according to the American Cancer Society. Reducing cancer deaths by 50 percent would save about 280,000 lives every year in the United States.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

How To Prevent Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer is one of the most preventable types of cancer. Because of the Pap smear test, the number of cervical cancer cases has dropped over the past twenty years. However, many women still develop cervical cancer. In fact, over 9,000 women in the U.S. develop cervical cancer every year.

While some cases of cervical cancer cannot be prevented, there are many things a woman can do to reduce her risk of developing cervical cancer.

Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Cervical Cancer

Get a regular Pap smear: The Pap smear can be the greatest defenses for cervical cancer. The Pap smear can detect cervical changes early before they turn into cancer. Check cervical cancer screening guidelines to find out how often you should have a Pap smear, or check with your doctor.

Limit the amount of sexual partners you have: Studies have shown women who have many sexual partners increase their risk for cervical cancer. They also are increasing their risk of developing HPV, a known cause for cervical cancer.

Quit smoking or avoid secondhand smoke: Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of developing many cancers, including cervical cancer. Smoking combined with an HPV infection can actually accelerate cervical dysplasia. Your best bet is to kick the habit.

If you are sexually active, use a condom: Having unprotected sex puts you at risk for HIV and other STD's which can increase your risk factor for developing cervical cancer.

Follow up on abnormal Pap smears: If you have had an abnormal Pap smear, it is important to follow up with regular Pap smears or colposcopies, whatever your doctor has decided for you. If you have been treated for cervical dysplasia, you still need to follow up with Pap smears or colposcopies. Dysplasia can return and when undetected, can turn into cervical cancer.

Get the HPV vaccine: If you are under 27, you may be eligible to receive the HPV vaccine, which prevents high risk strains of HPV in women. The HPV vaccine, Gardasil, was approved by the FDA to give to young girls as young as 9. The vaccine is most effective when given to young women before they become sexually active.


Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tulsi inhibits the progression of breast cancer It is in America's medical establishment - especially in the many outstanding cancer research centers - that traditional Indian medicine is confronting western science and proving that it has something worthwhile to offer. No wonder the power of Tulsi and of turmeric, so common to Desis everywhere, is now beginning to amaze Americans.

And in many instances the work is being done by Indian-American scientists or in collaboration with scientists in India.

Take ongoing research on the holy Tulsi plant (Ocimum sanctum) at Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, or the common spice Turmeric (Curcuma Longa) at MD Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston.

In the case of Tulsi or India’s holy basil, Ayurvedic practice recommends Tulsi in several formulations to enhance immunity and metabolic functions as well as in the management of respiratory problems. Recent pharmacological studies have established the anabolic, hypoglycemic, smooth muscle relaxant, cardiac depressant, antifertility, adaptogenic and immunomodulator properties of this plant.

Surprisingly enough, in 2006, research scientists at
Karmanos Cancer Institute announced findings of their study titled Inhibition of breast cancer progression by the medicinal herb Ocimum Sanctum at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference in Washington, D.C.

They asked the question, can this herb curb breast cancer growth? Ocimum Sanctum or Tulsi or Holy basil is part of the mint family that has been used in Indian homes for hundreds of years. The researchers were interested in studying the effects of the herb, which appear to have anti-oxidant, chemically induced cancer-inhibiting and anti-inflammatory properties, on human breast cancer using a mouse model system.

Continue to read…

Labels: , , ,

Monday, February 12, 2007

Long hours of driving put drivers at risk to skin cancer

Ivanhoe Newswire: According to new research, American drivers who spend a considerable amount of time in their cars are at an increased risk for developing skin cancer.

Researchers from Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, studied 898 skin cancer patients and found a correlation between the number of hours driving and cancer on the left side of the body. The skin cancers most commonly reported were cancers that develop gradually over time, like basal cell carcinoma and lentigo maligna.

Areas of skin exposed to sunlight while driving, like the head, neck, arms, and hands, are most at risk for skin cancer, according the researchers. They also report patients who drove with a window down had an even higher incidence of left-sided skin cancer.

Car windows do offer some protection from the sun's burning rays, but drivers are not completely shielded. Study authors suggest tinting or using UV filters on windows in automobiles, applying SPF 15 or higher sunscreen every day, and wearing protective clothing, like long sleeved shirts.

More than 1 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year. In 2007, an estimated 10,850 people will die of skin cancer. The majority of skin cancers have a 95 percent or better survival rate if detected and treated early.

Source: Ivanhoe’s Medical Breakthroughs

Labels: ,

Friday, February 09, 2007

Stop smoking or you would …..?

A great way of saying that cigarettes are harmful to us. Creativity at its best!

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Developments in the fight against cancer

In this video, Dr. Ang Peng Taim, Medical Director of Parkway Cancer Centre, explains about the recent developments in the field of cancer research. A must-watch for cancer patients and their families, since this video sends out a clear message that cancer is curable, irrespective of the stage of the disease.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

An accidental discovery may lead to the development of a new cancer drug Katherine Schaefer, Lawrence Saubermann and researchers believe they have discovered by chance a new way to fight colorectal cancer, and potentially cancers of the esophagus, liver and skin.

Early work shows that a group of compounds called Peroxisome_proliferator-activated_receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) inhibitors may have an unexpected cancer-fighting effect, according to research published in the journal International Cancer Research. Furthermore, the new studies suggest that PPAR-gamma inhibitors act through some of the same mechanisms as the blockbuster chemotherapy Taxol, but with key differences.

While studying whether compounds known to affect PPAR-gamma could play a role in inflammatory bowel diseases, a team at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that medium-to-high doses of PPAR-gamma inhibitor killed colorectal cancer cell lines. Despite the compound's class name, the anti-cancer effect has nothing to do with the ability of the compounds to inhibit PPAR-gamma function. Researchers believe that PPAR-gamma inhibitors instead attack the "skeletons" of cancer cells that enable them to reproduce, grow and spread. Better solutions are needed because, according to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer remains the no. 2 cause of cancer de ath for men, and the no. 3 cause of cancer death for women.

"This is the first observation of a small molecule dramatically reducing levels of the proteins called tubulins, the building blocks of cancer cell skeletons," said Katherine L. Schaefer, Ph.D., a research assistant professor within the Department of Medicine, Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division, at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and first author of the paper.

Read more of this story…

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Common myths about cancer

Myths about the causes and prevention of cancer have been floating around for years. While some have been tame, there have been some cancer myths that are downright outlandish and ridiculous. Check out the craziest cancer myths in the following list.
Myth: Fellatio Greatly Reduces a Woman's Risk Factor for Breast Cancer
Truth: An email circulated with a link to what appeared to be a bonafide CNN news story claiming that a study found that women who performed fellatio reduced their risk of breast cancer. The truth is that there is no evidence that performing fellatio will reduce your risk of cancer.
Myth: Designer Lipsticks Contain Lead that Cause Cancer.
Truth: The FDA regulates all cosmetics manufacturing. It is logical to think that if a lipstick contained an ingredient that is sure to cause cancer, it would be pulled from the shelves immediately. This email hoax is still popping up in inboxes and striking fear in women. It is a hoax and there is no brand of lipstick that can cause cancer.
Read more about lipstick and cancer...
Myth: Wearing Deodorant Can Cause Breast Cancer.
Truth:There is so significant data that shows that wearing deodorant causes cancer, yet people are still buying into it. The suggestion is that a chemical is absorbed through the skin through a shaving nick or cut, and causes breast cancer. Again, there has been no significant study to support this claim.
Myth: Piercing Your Nipples May Causes Breast Cancer in Men and Women
Truth: An injury to the breast or nipple cannot lead to cancer development. The only real medical risk factor for piercing the nipple is infection. Read more about pierced nipple and cancer...
Myth: Men Don't Get Breast Cancer.
Truth: Just ask Richard Rountree, the star of Shaft if men get breast cancer. Male breast cancer may be less common than breast cancer in females, but it does happen.
Myth: There is a Cure for Cancer, but Drug Companies Wouldn't Make Money.
Truth: If this was true, how come the family members of these drug company employees are still suffering from cancer? The likelihood of there being a general cure for all cancers is not realistic because they are caused by different factors. It is estimated that almost 30% of Americans believe this myth.
Myth: Forwarding Emails to Friends Will Donate Money to Cancer Charities.
Truth: Aol, The American Cancer Society, or any other major corporation does not rely on the use of email forwarding to make charitable contributions. The email sent usually contains the story of a child with cancer, perhaps with a photo, claiming that for every person your forward the email to the child will receive $.03 for treatment costs. Don't waste your time forwarding, folks. This is a cancer hoax and myth.


Labels: , ,

Friday, February 02, 2007

Discovery of stem cells in pancreatic tumors opens a new approach for treating this disease

The Boston Globe: Researchers have discovered a small population of stem cells in pancreatic cancer that appear to drive tumor growth, opening the door for a potential new approach for treating this particularly deadly disease.

Writing in the journal
Cancer Research yesterday, University of Michigan scientists said finding cancer stem cells in pancreatic tumors could lead to the development of drugs intended to target and kill these cells.

Scientists have toiled with little success to find better ways to treat cancer of the pancreas, which has the lowest survival rate of any major form of cancer.

It kills 97 percent of people diagnosed with it within five years -- half within six months of diagnosis. Pancreatic cancer spreads quickly and is rarely detected at an early stage. In the United States alone, it kills 33,000 people a year.

The pancreas is a gland located behind the stomach that secretes a digestive fluid and the hormone insulin.

"The clinical implications of this work are significant," Dr. Diane Simeone, director of the Gastrointestinal Oncology Program at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center and lead author of the study, said in an interview.

Read more of this story…

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Secondhand smoke at workplace doubles the risk of cancer

eitb24: Writing in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers said that for nonsmokers who were highly exposed to secondhand smoke at work, there was approximately a 100 percent increase in lung cancer risk.

High levels of secondhand smoke on the job can double nonsmokers' risk of developing lung cancer, and those who inhale it at work long-term face a 50 percent higher risk, researchers said on Wednesday. Scientists led by epidemiologist Leslie Stayner of the University of Illinois at Chicago combined the results of 22 studies on secondhand smoke conducted in the United States, Canada, Europe, India, Japan and China.

Writing in the American Journal of Public Health, they said that for nonsmokers who were highly exposed to secondhand smoke at work, there was approximately a 100 percent increase in lung cancer risk.

The researchers adopted the previous studies' definitions of high exposure, based on factors like the numbers of smokers present in the workplace and actual amounts of smoke exposure. Lung cancer risk for nonsmokers exposed for 30 years to secondhand smoke on the job jumped by 50 percent. Nonsmokers exposed to any secondhand smoke in the workplace experienced a 24 percent increased risk that rose based on level and duration of exposure, they said.

Labels: , , ,