Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Blood Test to Detect Pancreatic Cancer

Blood Test to Detect Pancreatic Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Reporting on a small preliminary study, researchers say a simple blood test based on detection of tiny epigenetic alterations may reveal the earliest signs of pancreatic cancer, a disease that is nearly always fatal because it isn't usually...
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Johns Hopkins researchers have found that a simple blood test based on detection of tiny epigenetic alterations may reveal the earliest signs of pancreatic cancer.


Researchers were able to identify two genes, BNC1 and ADAMTS1, which together were detectable in 81% of blood samples from 42 people with early-stage pancreatic cancer, but not in patients without the disease or in patients with a history of pancreatitis, a risk factor for pancreatic cancer.

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Breast Cancer Prevention Naturally

Breast Cancer Prevention Naturally | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Optimizing your vitamin D levels has been shown to cut breast cancer incidence by 77 percent in four years.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

In this article the message from Dr. Christine Horner (past spokesperson of American Cancer Society on breast cancer issues) is that you do have considerable power in lowering your risk for breast cancer by doing some simple things. As a doctor she was trained to communicate to her patients that the medical system doesn’t know what causes breast cancer and doesn’t have any known cure, and that the best things women can do are mammograms and breast exams in the hope of catching it early to save lives.

Unfortunately that approach didn’t work for Dr. Horner’s mother. So she began studying the research to try to find if there was anything that women could do to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. She found thousands of studies that show why there is an apparent cancer epidemic and what could be done to reduce the risks. Most of these researched remedies were centered on lifestyle and diet rather than medication. She mentions that in her eleven years of medical training she learned nothing about nutrition and nothing about health. Instead she learned how to suppress symptoms with pharmaceutical medications or surgery.

In terms of mammograms she claims that they detect cancer and do not prevent cancer. In addition they can cause and spread cancer. She believes instead that using thermography, for women of all ages, is much more effective for risk assessment, early detection, all breast types. Thermography measures the infrared heat emitted by your body and translates this information into thermal images. It is harmless, does not require mechanical compression or ionizing radiation, and can detect signs of physiological changes due to inflammation and/or increased tumor related blood flow approximately 8-10 years before mammography or a physical exam can detect a mass.

If the thermogram shows areas of high inflammation, it doesn’t mean you have cancer. Rather it lets you know you need to address that inflammation to avoid deterioration, and in some cases that the area needs further evaluation.

Dr. Horner’s discovery that diet, lifestyle and emotions were the real secrets to health led to her decision to be trained in natural health and medicine, and preventative therapies. She found that most of the lifestyle strategies that have been scientifically tested have the ability to cut your risk of cancer by about 50% and sometimes more. And yet virtually no one in conventional medicine talks about and shares such findings with their patients.

Dr. Horner realized that there are a number of healthy habits we've stopped doing in our modern culture that are highly protective against cancer. We've dramatically altered our diets—shunning our native, whole-foods cuisine for highly processed fare—and engage in very little physical activity, for example. We’ve also been told to fear the sun and slather our children in toxic sunscreens instead of reaping the tremendously protective benefits of vitamin D production that appropriate sun exposure brings. Fortunately, these factors are entirely within your personal control.

If this subject is of interest to you I encourage looking at the further details at this website (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/20/breast-cancer-prevention.aspx ) and learning more by listening to an informative interview with Dr. Horner.

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Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements May Protect Against Breast Cancer

Multivitamin/Mineral Supplements May Protect Against Breast Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Findings from a study involving thousands of postmenopausal women suggest that women who develop invasive breast cancer may benefit from taking supplements containing both multivitamins and minerals.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Research, published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, found that the risk of dying from invasive breast cancer in postmenopausal women was 30% lower among multivitamin/mineral users compared with nonusers.

"Our study offers tentative but intriguing evidence that multivitamin/mineral supplements may help older women who develop invasive breast cancer survive their disease," said Sylvia Wassertheil-Smoller, Ph.D., lead author of the study and distinguished university professor emerita of epidemiology and population health at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

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Overuse of Radiation for Prostate Cancer Patients?

Overuse of Radiation for Prostate Cancer Patients? | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Just one session is needed for effective pain relief, but many men get 10, according to researcher
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

In some cancers, such as prostate, lung and breast cancer, the cancer may spread to the bones. Once cancer advances to invade the bones, radiation therapy is usually used to ease the pain it causes. Studies have shown that a single-session radiation treatment is enough for most patients.

However for older U.S. men with prostate cancer, researchers report in the Oct. 9 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association that single-session treatments were done in only about 3% of men receiving radiation for prostate cancer that had spread to the bones, and more than 50% of the patients went through more than 10 radiation treatments.

The low rate of single treatment is surprising, said Dr. Colleen Lawton, a radiation oncologist who chairs the board of directors for the American Society for Radiation Oncology. Lawton said there are some cases where patients might need 10 or more treatments -- such as when the cancer has spread not only to the bones but also to the nearby soft tissue. But that would be only about 10% of patients. That would not explain the 50% in this study.

So one wonders, if the single-session treatment is the standard of care, then why does this seem not to be the case in practice. Of course doctors do get paid per treatment.

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Weighing the Risks of Preventive Surgery For Women with BRCA Gene Mutations

Weighing the Risks of Preventive Surgery For Women with BRCA Gene Mutations | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
For women with the BRCA gene mutation considering risk-reducing surgery to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes, it is a struggle to balance conflicting information about whether to include a hysterectomy.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

How much does having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation increase a woman’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer? The National Cancer Institute (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/BRCA ) answers this question as follows:

“A woman’s lifetime risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer is greatly increased if she inherits a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2.”

“Breast cancer: About 12 percent of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives. By contrast, according to the most recent estimates, 55 to 65 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and around 45 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop breast cancer by age 70 years.”

“Ovarian cancer: About 1.4 percent of women in the general population will develop ovarian cancer sometime during their lives. By contrast, according to the most recent estimates, 39 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA1 mutation and 11 to 17 percent of women who inherit a harmful BRCA2 mutation will develop ovarian cancer by age 70 years.”

So women with BRCA gene mutations may face a difficult decision in terms of whether or not to opt for preventive surgery. Even amongst gynecologists and oncologists there are often strong opinions for or against preventive surgery.

This article may provide some clarification of the present level of understanding.

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Being Active Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer

Being Active Reduces Risk of Breast Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Walking an hour a day may reduce the risk of breast cancer, finds a new study. Exercise more vigorously, and your risk goes down further.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A study from the American Cancer Society published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention followed over 73,000 women starting in 1992-1993, when they were 50-74 years old, monitoring their risk for developing breast cancer though 2009. Over that time 4,760 of the women developed breast cancer.

Results showed that women who engaged only in walking but did so for seven hours a week, had a 14% reduced risk of developing breast cancer over the years, compared to women who only got in three hours or less. Women who engaged in seven hours or more of vigorous physical activity had an even greater reduction in breast cancer risk – up to 25% lower – compared to women who got less than seven. The results were true even after variables like body mass index (BMI) and use of postmenopausal hormones were accounted for.

“Results clearly support an association between physical activity and postmenopausal breast cancer, with more vigorous activity having a stronger effect,” said study author Alpa Patel.

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Brain Cancer Risk Increases With Mobile Phone Usage

Brain Cancer Risk Increases With Mobile Phone Usage | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Brain Cancer Risk Increases with the Amount of Wireless Phone Use: Study.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A study in Sweden, published in the International Journal of Oncology, reports an association between mobile phone use and increased risk of malignant and non-malignant brain tumors.

The research found that people who used wireless phones for more than a year were at 70% greater risk of brain cancer as compared to those who used wireless phones for a year or less. Those who used wireless phones for more than 25 years were at greatest risk—300% greater risk of brain cancer than those who used wireless phones for a year or less.

The total number of hours of wireless phone use was as important as the number of years of use. A similar analysis reported in the 13-nation Interphone study funded partly by the World Health Organization found a 180% greater risk of brain cancer among those who used cell phones for 1,640 or more hours in their lifetime.

Brain cancer risk was found to be greater in the part of the brain where the exposure to wireless phone radiation was highest—in the temporal or overlapping lobes of the brain on the side of the head were people predominantly used their phones.

Further reading - http://www.spandidos-publications.com/10.3892/ijo.2013.2111

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New Method to Detect Circulating Tumor Cells

New Method to Detect Circulating Tumor Cells | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Cancerous tumors can shed cells that travel through the blood stream and create new cancerous growths.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A new method of detecting circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is being devised by Stanford scientists. A team of engineers, scientists and doctors from Stanford is developing a mini-microscope that might be able to non-invasively detect the CTCs earlier than ever, allowing for earlier interventions.

CTCs travel the body and can take root nearly anywhere; growing into a new cancer threat even after the initial cancer is treated. The principle of the device is that a patient would be injected with a dye that will cause the CTCs to fluoresce. A pen-size microscope would then focus a low-power laser light on a blood vessel just below the patient's skin. This involves simply touching the microscope on the skin allowing penetration of the low-power laser light. As the dyed cancer cells pass through the laser, the light excites them and causes them to stand out from normal cells. The CTCs can then be counted and assessed.

Proof-of-principle testing is expected to begin soon.

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Higher Breast Cancer Rates Found in Mexican Women Who Breastfeed

Higher Breast Cancer Rates Found in Mexican Women Who Breastfeed | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Scientific data suggest that a woman reduces her risk of breast cancer by breastfeeding, having multiple children and giving birth at a younger age.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A study that assessed the association between reproductive factors and tumors subtypes in 1,041 Mexican and Mexican-American female cancer patients suggest that women of Mexican descent with more children and those who breastfeed are more likely to be diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer.

This conclusion is unusual as other studies show a reduced risk of breast cancer by breastfeeding, having multiple children and giving birth at a younger age.

The average age when women in the study gave birth to a first child was 23 years old. These women had an average of two to three children and were likely to breastfeed for long periods of time. Based on existing research, primarily based on non-Hispanic white women, this reproductive pattern would be classified as low risk. Yet all of the women in the study developed breast cancer.

While this is an interesting conclusion, this observational study may not necessarily prove any direct cause and effect relationship.

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Capturing Cancer Cells

Capturing Cancer Cells | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

(Phys.org) —A microfluidic chip developed at the University of Michigan is among the best at capturing elusive circulating tumor cells from blood—and it can support the cells' growth for further analysis.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A microfluidic chip has been developed at the University of Michigan to capture circulating tumor cells inside the patients body in real-time for analysis. Circulating tumor cells carry information about the primary tumor and are valuable biomarkers for disease diagnosis and progression.

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Prostate Cancer Risk Reduction

Prostate Cancer Risk Reduction | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A set of six healthy habits, including eating more tomatoes and less processed red meat, helped men reduce their risk of dying from prostate cancer, a study found.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Information gathered from almost 46,000 men for 25 years indicates that those who adopted the following habits jointly had a 39% lower risk of developing prostate cancer:
- eating more tomatoes
- eating less processed red meat
- not smoking
- exercising
- eating fatty fish
- having a body-mass index of less than 30

Each of the above habits has been linked with lowering prostate cancer risk, but their joint effect has not been studied before.

Another study found that a test commonly used to detect prostate cancer does more harm than good. For every 1,000 men who have a prostate-specific antigen test, or PSA, one death is prevented and 12 additional cases of impotence and three cases of incontinence are caused by unnecessary surgery. The American Urological Association in May dropped its recommendation that men over the age of 40 consider getting a PSA test.

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Peanut Butter Consumption Linked to Reduced Breast Cancer Risk

Peanut Butter Consumption Linked to Reduced Breast Cancer Risk | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Girls who regularly ate peanut butter, nuts had lower rates of benign breast disease, condition which increases breast cancer risk
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Researchers studied 9,039 U.S. girls who were involved in the Growing Up Today Study that kicked off in 1996. They followed up with the girls when they were 18 to 30 years-old old to see if they had been diagnosed with benign breast disease that had been confirmed through a biopsy.

A new study published in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment shows that girls who ate peanut butter or nuts regularly from the ages of 9 to 15 were less likely to develop benign or non-cancerous breast disease by the time they were 30 years old. Benign breast disease increases the risk of breast cancer. Girls who ate peanut butter or nuts twice a week were 39% less likely to have the non-cancerous breast disease than those who never ate peanut butter or nuts. The link remained even if the girl had a family history of breast cancer.

This observational study is interesting but does not establish a cause and effect relationship.

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Mapping the DNA of Tumors

Mapping the DNA of Tumors | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A CANCER, put simply, is a gang of rogue cells multiplying out of control. But each gang is different, so “cancer” is actually a term that embraces hundreds of...
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

There are at least 200 forms of cancer, and many more subtypes, each caused by errors in DNA that cause cells to grow uncontrolled. Identifying the changes in each cancer’s complete set of DNA – its genome – and understanding how such changes interact to drive the disease is important for improving cancer prevention, early detection and treatment.

The Cancer Genome Atlas, a project launched by America’s National Institutes of Health in 2006, has assembled genetic data on thousands of tumors and made them available to anyone who wants to analyze them, enabling researchers anywhere around the world to make and validate important discoveries.

Two papers just published in Nature Genetics have made use of the data from the Cancer Genome Atlas. One looked at cancers with an unusual number of copies of certain sections of their DNA. The other proposed a way of categorizing tumors by the genetic and epigenetic changes in their cells, rather than by anatomy and histology.

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Coffee May Reduce Liver Cancer

Coffee May Reduce Liver Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
The most updated news about cancer news, features, and medical information about medications and treatment.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

An observational study by researchers in Italy showed that coffee drinkers had a lower risk of liver cancer than people who didn’t drink coffee.

The research team was able to conclude the following:
- Coffee consumption of any amount lowered liver cancer risks by 40 percent compared to no coffee consumption.
- For every cup of coffee drunk, liver cancer risks were reduced by 20 percent.
- High coffee consumption of three cups a day reduced liver cancer risks by 56 percent compared to no coffee consumption.
- This relationship was seen regardless of other risk factors, including gender (liver cancer is far more common in men than women), alcohol drinking or history of either hepatitis or liver disease.

While this is an interesting observation it does not prove any causal relationship that may or may not exist.

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Resveratrol From Grapes Found to Benefit Cancer Treatment

Resveratrol From Grapes Found to Benefit Cancer Treatment | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A recent study by a University of Missouri researcher shows that resveratrol, a compound found in grape skins and red wine, can make certain tumor cells more susceptible to radiation treatment.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A study by a University of Missouri researcher shows that resveratrol, a compound found in grape skins and red wine, can make certain tumor cells more susceptible to radiation treatment.

It was found that when the cancer was treated with resveratrol alone, 44% of the tumor cells were killed. When the cancer cells were treated with a combination of both resveratrol and radiation, 65% of the tumor cells died.

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Unusual Increase in Thyroid Cancers

Unusual Increase in Thyroid Cancers | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—Better detection alone doesn't explain the dramatic increase in thyroid cancer cases seen in the United States over the past three decades, a new study says.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

"The incidence of thyroid cancer is on the rise and has nearly tripled in the last 30 years," according to researcher Dr. David Goldenberg, director of head and neck surgery at Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute. The unusual increase was shown not to be due to better detection and improved sensitivity of diagnostic techniques.

There seems to be no explanation of the increase.

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Cancer Drug Nexavar Tied to Pancreas Damage

Cancer Drug Nexavar Tied to Pancreas Damage | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Pancreas shrank by up to one-third in case studies following long-term use
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A drug used to treat liver and kidney cancer (known as sorafenib, or by its trade name Nexavar) can harm the pancreas by interfering with blood flow according to researchers from the University of Paris Descartes. CT scans showed that long-term use may cause a patient's pancreas to shrink by as much as one-third. "We report reproducible evidence of irreversible pancreatic atrophy in two patients after long-term treatment with sorafenib," the French researchers wrote.

These concerns are not likely to cause cancer doctors to rethink their use of the highly effective drug, said Dr. Janice Dutcher, an oncologist at the St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital Cancer Center, in New York City. "When we are treating these cancers, we tend to put up with a lot of toxicity, and so do the patients," she said.

The problem stems from the nature of these medications, which are called "targeted" therapies but often prove to be otherwise, Dutcher said. "They don't just target the blood vessels of the tumor," she said. "They're going to affect other vascular beds, other small-volume blood vessels in other organs -- in this case, the pancreas." The medications also are known to create health risks for the thyroid, heart and kidneys.

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Are We Winning the ‘War Against Cancer’?

Are We Winning the ‘War Against Cancer’? | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
The fight against cancer stands at a place of unprecedented progress, with research yielding new drugs, more knowledge about cancer-causing genes, better prevention and improved public awareness.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Many articles that talk about cancer present a picture indicating that the ‘war against cancer’ is being lost. However this particular article seems to provide a different perspective. I leave it to you, the reader, to make your own assessment about the various points of view.

Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society, estimates that more than 1 million American cancer deaths have been averted over the past 20 years. Today, the risk of death from cancer is 20 percent lower than it was 20 years ago, according to society figures. Certain cancers have seen even greater declines in death rates: There has been a 39 percent decline in colorectal cancer death rates, a 34 percent decline for breast cancer and a 20 percent decline for lung cancer, Brawley said.

Progress has occurred on all fronts, including disease prevention, detection strategies, surgery, radiation therapy and systemic treatments, according to Dr. William Nelson, director of the Baltimore-based Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. “We are curing cancers, even in a very advanced stage, ever more often than we were,” Nelson said. “There’s a huge amount of hope that we finally understand enough about how the immune system works that we’re going to be able to use it to control and eradicate these cancers more effectively.”

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Cannabis Oil Instead of Chemotherapy for Cancer

Cannabis Oil Instead of Chemotherapy for Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
One year ago, 3-year-old Landon Riddle was diagnosed with leukemia. Under doctors' orders, his mother Sierra Riddle began treatment for her young son: aggressive chemotherapy and radiation.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A 3-year-old Leukemia sufferer Landon Riddle began treatment as ordered by his doctor based on aggressive chemotherapy and radiation. According to his mother, as a consequence of the treatment, the boy Landon became violently ill, vomiting multiple times a day, and suffered nerve damage in his legs.

So his mother decided to try medical marijuana. She relocated to Colorado where medical marijuana is legal, to begin the treatment. Within four weeks there was an apparent improvement.

Opting for cannabis therapy rather than chemotherapy has resulted in Landon returning to his old energetic self and his cancer has gone into remission. Yet a Colorado doctor reported Landon’s mother to Human Services for refusing to continue chemotherapy for her son Landon. She regards this as being forced to do something against her will and also being forced to make her child sick.

Choosing medical marijuana treatment for cancer is not that unusual, and patients report that their condition typically improves.

Back in July I wrote more about this approach - http://www.scoop.it/t/cancer-advances-knowledge-integrative-holistic-treatments/p/4005417960/prostate-cancer-cured-with-cannabis-oil

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Study Confirms Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women

Study Confirms Risks of Hormone Replacement Therapy for Women | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Menopause hormone risks, benefits confirmed in longest follow-up of landmark government study
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A study involving more than 27,000 women, analyzed 13 years of data, including up to eight years of information on what happened after women stopped taking replacement hormones - estrogen alone or with progestin.

In addition to increased risks for breast cancer, and heart attacks mostly among older women, results for estrogen-progestin users include:
- Risks for strokes and blood clots found during treatment faded but did not completely disappear.
- Hormone users had fewer cases of uterine cancer, a benefit not seen during the treatment phase.
- Fewer hip fractures occurred among hormone users, though this benefit was less robust than during treatment.

Results for estrogen-only users, compared to dummy pills:
- Fewer breast cancers were found, a result also seen in an earlier follow-up.
- No increased heart attack risks were seen, even among the oldest women.
- Risks for strokes and blood clots disappeared after stopping the pills.
- A reduction in hip fractures seen in the treatment phase faded.

"Risks will still outweigh benefits for women who are at older ages," even if they have persistent hot flashes and other menopause symptoms , said lead author of the study Dr. JoAnn Manson, preventive medicine chief at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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Stress Adversely Affects Spread of Breast Cancer

Stress Adversely Affects Spread of Breast Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
New research has shown a link between stress and the spread of cancerous tumours.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Hormones produced as a result of stress contribute to a change in the environment of our inner terrain, which may encourage the spread of cancer.

Dr Erica Sloan from Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Melbourne points out that “Over the last couple of years clinical studies have shown that women with breast cancer who have hypertension and take beta blockers do much better than other patients,” she says. “People weren’t really sure why, but it suggested that stress response pathways might be involved in cancer progression.”

Dr. Sloan is investigating if drugs (beta blockers) that block these stress pathways could be used to protect women with breast cancer, and results seem to prove this is the case. Her research team is trying to understand which beta blockers work the most effectively without side effects, and eventually get them into clinical trials to help current patients.

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Aspirin Helps Immune System Combat Bowel Cancer

Aspirin Helps Immune System Combat Bowel Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A DAILY dose of aspirin may help beat bowel cancer by delivering a powerful, twin-pronged attack on the killer disease.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Researchers of bowel cancer from the Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands have shown how aspirin acts on blood platelets – cells that aid clotting – by unmasking tumor cells so the immune system can spot and kill them.

Dr Marlies Reimers, who carried out the research, said: “We think that platelets are involved in cancer spreading to other parts of the body by shielding tumor cells in the bloodstream so that they cannot be recognized by the immune system and can finally colonize distant organs. Aspirin could help to ‘unmask’ those tumor cells by attacking platelet formation so that the immune cells can detect and eliminate them.”

The research found that a low, 80mg-a-day dose of aspirin improved the survival chances of bowel cancer patients by 50 per cent.

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Redefining The Word 'Cancer'

Redefining The Word 'Cancer' | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Whoever controls the definition of 'cancer' wields tremendous power over patients.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

In an attempt to reduce “overdiagnosis” and “overtreatment” of cancer the government is proposing to redefine the term “cancer”.

The National Cancer Institute suggests that the term “cancer” be reserved for lesions with a reasonable likelihood of killing the patient if left untreated. Slower growing tumors would be called a different name such as “indolent lesions of epithelial origin” (IDLE). Their justification was that modern medical technology now allows doctors to detect small, slow-growing tumors that likely wouldn’t be fatal. Yet once patients are told they have a cancer, many become frightened and seek unnecessary further tests, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or surgery.

By redefining the term “cancer,” the National Cancer Institute hopes to reduce patient anxiety and reduce the risks and expenses associated with supposedly unnecessary medical procedures.

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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, October 1, 2013 9:30 AM

This is a slippery slope, in my opinion.  Even WITH the current definition of what determines something to be a cancer, there is a huge population that fails to implement healthy lifestyles choices either as a cost-efficient method of prevention of cancer or prevention of recurrence. 

 

ACS statistics show very high percentages of preventable cancers through nutrition and physical activity.  Apparently fear of cancer or recurrence isn't enough to motivate most people to make these changes, so how then will reducing the scope of what is identified as a cancer support the need for healthy lifestyle behaviors?  Cutting the number of cancer diagnosis by changing the definition will not change the costs associated with chronic illness and unhealthy lifestyle habits.  We can hit a number but it won't mean there isn't eventually a cancer diagnosis later.  Could this not lead, instead then, to higher deaths from cancer if we're less vigilent about prevention?

 

This one is a head scratcher for sure...and not the path I'd be choosing to reduce the number of cancer diagnoses.

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Closer to a Cure for Skin Cancer

Closer to a Cure for Skin Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
The new treatment, which will bring hope to hundreds of thousands of people in Britain with terminal conditions, involves the combination of two different types of drug that 'reboot' the immune system.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A new treatment for skin cancer which combines two drugs that help to ‘reboot’ the immune system is showing positive encouraging effects in seriously ill melanoma patients.

One of the drugs, ipilimumab, was approved by the FDA in March 2011 to treat patients with late-stage melanoma that has spread or cannot be removed by surgery. According to research presented to the European congress in Amsterdam just a few days ago, 17% of patients are cured by this drug alone.

Another class of immunotherapy drugs known as anti- PD1 drugs has been shown to block activity of the programmed death 1 (PD-1) molecule, an immune checkpoint receptor found on T cells. T cells fight infections in our bodies and also facilitate the body’s attack on tumors. The PD-1 molecule on T cells interacts with another molecule, the programmed death 1 ligand (PD-L1) that fits with PD-1 like a lock and key. This interaction helps to modulate the immune response of T cells to various stimuli, including infections. PD-L1 is found on cells throughout the body, but tumor cells can also express PD-L1, resulting in a dampened response of the immune system to the tumor. Anti-PD1 antibodies block the interaction between PD1 and PD-L1 to boost T-cell activity in response to tumors.

Initial trials have shown that combining ipilimumab with anti-PD1 drugs produces ‘spectacular levels of tumor shrinkage’ according to Dr James Larkin, of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. Initial trial results presented earlier this year showed that tumors shrank by more than half in 11% of patients put on ipilimumab, in 41% put on anti-PD1s – but in 53% of those given both.

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New Breast Cancer Imaging Technique – Sodium MRI

New Breast Cancer Imaging Technique – Sodium MRI | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
(Medical Xpress)—A joint BYU-Utah research team is developing a new breast cancer screening technique that has the potential to reduce false positives, and, possibly, minimize the need for invasive biopsies.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A team led by Brigham Young University electrical engineer Neal Bangerter and University of Utah collaborators Rock Hadley and Joshua Kaggie, has created an MRI device that could improve both the process and accuracy of breast cancer screening by scanning for sodium levels in the breast. The device is producing as much as five-times more accurate images than previous efforts with an emerging methodology called sodium MRI.

Currently, there are two clinical imaging methods widely used for screening breast cancer: mammograms and proton MRI scans. Mammograms may lead to biopsies when something suspicious is detected. MRI scans can produce false positives leading to unnecessary interventions.

Sodium MRI has the potential to improve assessment of breast lesions because sodium concentrations are thought to increase in malignant tumors. Bangerter and his team believe that the addition of sodium MRI to a breast cancer screening exam could provide important additional diagnostic information that will cut down on false positives.

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