Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Breast Cancer Prevalence by Country

Breast Cancer Prevalence by Country | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Women in wealthy countries are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, but much less likely to die than women in the developing world.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

This is a good series of infographics published in NY Times that shows information about breast cancer prevalence and outcome by country. Take a look at the article.

Here are some of the highlights:

While women in highly developed countries have higher diagnosis rates of breast cancer, women in the developing world who have breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease.

Many of the poorest countries are in Africa, where a high percentage of breast cancer cases result in death. Poverty and misinformation keep women from seeking medical help. Even those who receive a diagnosis earlier can face delays in treatment because of scarce resources and dysfunctional health systems.

Among women in moderately developed countries, incidence is relatively low but mortality is high. An exception is China, where incidence and mortality have been lower.

Among more highly developed nations, Arab countries tend to have lower incidence but higher mortality. By comparison, the ratio of deaths to new cases is lower in Latin America.

Incidence is high but mortality is low in the United States and many Western and Northern European countries, in part because of a history of widespread screening and access to treatment.

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Ignorance About Vitamins and Cancer

Ignorance About Vitamins and Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Researchers conclude that vitamin supplements are probably useless for heart disease and cancer prevention, but how true is that?
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

It seems that NBC News has demonstrated their investigative journalistic incompetence in reporting that ‘vitamins don’t prevent heart disease or cancer’. As Dr. Andrew Saul, editor of the Orthomolecular Medicine News Service, points out “NBC's supplement-bashing headline article... displays an ignorance of clinical nutrition that is difficult to ignore, and, thanks to its media prominence, can't be.”

Dr, Saul brings to attention the following studies that clearly show that vitamin supplements do have positive effects:
- JAMA 2012: Multivitamin supplements were found to reduce cancer risk by 8%.
- International Journal of Cancer 2011: A mere 10 ng/ml increase in serum vitamin D levels was associated with a 15% reduction in colorectal cancer incidence and 11% reduction in breast cancer incidence.
- International Journal of Cancer 2011:10 While the NBC declared that “Vitamin E does no good at all in preventing cancer or heart disease,” this study found that gamma-tocotrienol, a cofactor found in natural vitamin E preparations, decreases prostate tumor formation by a respectable 75%.
- International Journal of Cancer 2008: Here, 300 IUs of vitamin E per day reduced lung cancer risk by 61%.

There are a growing number of studies showing that vitamin D has tremendous protective effect against cancer. A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that a serum 25(OH)D level of more than 33 ng/mL was associated with a 50% lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that after four years of follow up, cancer-free survival was 77% higher in women who received 1,100 IU vitamin D and 1,450 mg calcium per day, compared to those who received either a placebo or calcium by itself. Theories linking vitamin D deficiency to cancer have been tested and confirmed in more than 200 epidemiological studies, and understanding of its physiological basis stems from more than 2,500 laboratory studies.

Research has shown that optimizing your vitamin D levels can reduce your risk for as many as 16 different types of cancer, including pancreatic, lung, ovarian, breast, prostate, and skin cancers.

A recent report on vitamins produced by the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation, titled: “Smart Prevention—Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements”concluded that, based on the scientific evidence of benefit, supplementation at preventive intake levels could save the American healthcare system more than $11 BILLION each year.

So there is absolutely no doubt about the positive effects of vitamin supplementation. Anybody concerned about cancer should be aware of the benefit of supplementing with Vitamin D.

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New Technology Targets Precise Personalized Lung Cancer Therapy

New Technology Targets Precise Personalized Lung Cancer Therapy | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
New tools for analyzing genes are allowing doctors to personalize treatment for some lung cancer patients.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Lung cancer remains the number one cause of cancer death in the United States, and in the world, among both men and women. The majority of people with lung cancer are either smokers or have a history of smoking, but 15-20% of people affected by the disease in the United States have never smoked. Half the people diagnosed each year with lung cancer have metastatic disease at diagnosis, which is generally considered incurable.

To help with lung cancer diagnosis and treatment a new technology, known as next generation “multiplex” gene sequencing, is now available and in use. It is a small computer chip which analyses small samples of the patient’s DNA from lung biopsies and tests them for 50 different genetic mutations. The results of the test help doctors quickly decide which medicines will be most effective for which patients by targeting the unique genetic features present in the patient’s cancer cells.

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Gut Bacteria May Affect Cancer Treatment

The bacteria that live in your gut could have a major say in how effective cancer treatments like chemotherapy are on your body. In two papers published today in Science, researchers say that gut...
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

By far, the largest part of the genetic information inside our body is contained in the microbes and bacteria of our microbiome rather than in the human genome itself. The microbiome is the ecological community, or inner terrain, of microorganisms that literally share our body space. The human body contains over 10 times more of these microbial cells than human cells.

There are many researchers today who believe that the microbiome exerts at least as much influence, and possibly more, on our health than the genes we inherit from our parents. Research has implicated the microbiome as a contributor to many disease conditions.

Research just published this week now highlights that the bacteria that live in the microbiome of your gut could have a major say in how effective cancer treatments like chemotherapy are on your body.

This could mean that treatments which have an unintended and unrealized affect on the microbiome could have a direct impact (positive or negative) on the state and progression of the targeted disease condition.

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Research Identifies Prostate Cancer Patients Likely to Experience Faster Recurrence

Research Identifies Prostate Cancer Patients Likely to Experience Faster Recurrence | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A medical team, including a researcher at the University of Alberta, has identified a biomarker able to predict which prostate cancer patients are more likely to have serious, quicker recurrences of the disease.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

John Lewis, a cancer researcher in the faculty of medicine at the U of Alberta, said he and a team from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., have discovered an antibody that, when added to a biopsy sample taken from a man with prostate cancer, sticks only to certain proteins that metastasize or spread the cancer through the body.

The men who carry the mutating CD151 protein — the biomarker of more aggressive prostate cancer — are likely to have a recurrence of the cancer in four years, rather than the usual 15 to 20 years, since most prostate cancer grows slowly, Lewis said.

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Diet Reduces Prostate Cancer

Diet Reduces Prostate Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Men with prostate cancer who followed a low-fat diet and had a regular intake of fish oil supplements showed changes in cancer tissue that could indicate reduced cancer aggression.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Research published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research reveals that fish oil supplements and a low-fat diet reduces prostate cancer aggression.

It is known that low-fat diet and omega-3 affects cell biology. Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in plant and marine life oils. Omega-3 is known to reduce inflammation and has been linked to many health benefits, including the prevention of oral and skin cancers. The typical western diet includes high levels of omega-6 fatty acids but low levels of omega-3.

 

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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, November 21, 2013 2:35 PM

There are many circumstances in life that can feel out of our control.  Lifestyle choices, what we choose every day to put into our bodies, how we choose to keep our bodies active, ways we learn to reduce and eliminate stress...we have a say in all of these.  Start with one simple change.  For just a couple of weeks, eliminate sugar, choose two weeks without fried foods, get moving - choose some healthy lifestyle you aren't currently implementing...then re-evaluate.  How do you feel?  What do you notice?  More mental clarity?  More energy?  Change what you can with actions you take - that is something you can do for yourself, your family and your community.

 

Need support to make those changes?  Too stressed to even fathom adding in exercise or giving up that soda?  Find out how coaching can support your vision for more and better health.  Email me for more information tleighn@iPECcoaching.com

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Britain's Cancer Survival Rates 'Unacceptable'

Britain's Cancer Survival Rates 'Unacceptable' | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Cancer charities say Britain's poor showing in a table of European survival rates is "simply unacceptable".
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Britain's cancer survival rates are lagging behind the rest of Europe and other major economies. A recent OECD report compared key health records from its 34 member countries as well as the so-called BRIC countries and other nations.

The report found that women with breast cancer were more likely to reach the five-year survival point in almost all countries other than Britain, with only the Czech Republic, Poland and Ireland trailing behind. Only the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark had worse rates for surviving bowel cancer than Britain while cervical cancer rates were worse in only Ireland and Poland.

If Britain met the average of the rest of the European league tables it could save 10,000 lives a year from cancer. The UK also has higher rates of infant death than most other countries.

Clearly the health system in the UK needs to be reviewing their procedures, priorities and approach to cancer to at least try not to be at the bottom sector of the league tables.

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Mom Forced by Medical System to Accept Chemotherapy for Son

Mom Forced by Medical System to Accept Chemotherapy for Son | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
She said she wouldn't do it, but now a Colorado Springs mother treating her young son's cancer with marijuana has put him back on chemotherapy.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

I post this so that everyone can be aware of the power of the medical system to be able to force by law its own standard of care chemotherapy treatment on a child with cancer, even thought that child’s parents may disagree.

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Researchers Discover Antitumor T-Cells

Researchers Discover Antitumor T-Cells | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
In a paper recently published, investigators demonstrated for the first time that a T cell activation molecule can be used as a biomarker to identify rare antitumor T cells in human cancers.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Patients with tumors that contain increased numbers of T lymphocytes generally survive longer than those with tumors without T-cell involvement. This suggests that T cells with potent antitumor function naturally exist in cancer and control tumor progression.

In a paper recently published in Clinical Cancer Research, investigators in the lab of Daniel Powell, PhD, at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, demonstrated for the first time that a T cell activation molecule can be used as a biomarker to identify rare antitumor T cells in human cancers. The molecule, CD137, is a protein that is not normally found on the surface of resting T cells but its expression is induced when the T cell is activated.

The next step is to determine how CD137 cells control tumor growth.

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Mushrooms with Proven Cancer-Fighting Properties

Mushrooms with Proven Cancer-Fighting Properties | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Three edible mushrooms with proven cancer-fighting properties
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Mushrooms are well known for their anti-cancer benefits. However some are more efficient at tackling cancer than others. Here are three mushrooms which, according to ongoing research, are unusually effective at inhibiting cancerous growths.

1. Shiitake
Regarded as a symbol of longevity in Japan, it is rich in trace nutrients such as copper, magnesium, B-vitamins, and antioxidants like selenium. According to the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, shiitake contain lentinan, a beta glucan that stimulates the immune system, thus activating certain proteins and cells (such as macrophanges and T-cells) that fight cancer.

2. Maitake
According to ongoing research with human cancer patients, a part of the maitake known as the "MD-fraction" has the ability to suppress tumor growths. One Japanese report on the MD-fraction entitled "Can Maitake MD-Fraction Aid Cancer Patients?" found that patients suffering from liver, breast and lung cancer experienced between 58.3%-68.8% improvements in their conditions after being fed maitake extracts over an extended trial period, while stomach and brain cancer patients experienced between 10%-20% improvements.

3. Reishi
Used in Chinese medicine for over 2,000 years, reishi mushrooms are one of the oldest mushrooms cultivated for medicinal usage, and their anti-cancer abilities are legendary. Dried reishi powder was used as a popular cancer chemotherapy agent as far back as ancient China, and contemporary pharmaceutical companies continue to add reishi extracts to certain anti-tumor drugs such as MC-S.
Studies show that long-term consumption of reishi prevents tumor proliferation and growth by increasing the level of antioxidants in an individual's blood plasma while boosting the immunity of those suffering from advanced stage cancer.

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Cannabis – A Promising Cancer Therapy

Cannabis – A Promising Cancer Therapy | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
New study suggests that several cannabinoids slow or kill malignant cells
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

In a paper published in October's Anticancer Research, Wai Liu, a senior research fellow at St. George's University of London, reports that he found six cannabinoids - active components of the cannabis plant - that can slow or outright kill cancer cells.

According to Wai Liu some cannabinoids are better at killing cancer cells and others are better at slowing their growth, so combining certain cannabinoids has a heightened effect.

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Prostate Cancer Test

Prostate Cancer Test | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Researchers presented data at the National Cancer Research Institute conference suggesting that a genetic test can tell apart aggressive and slow-growing tumors.

One of the researchers, Prof Dan Berney, from Queen Mary University of London believes "We need a better test as we are over-treating many men; most will die with, not of, prostate cancer.”

The commercial test, developed by Myriad Genetics but independently assessed by Queen Mary University of London, looks at the activity level of genes inside a sample of the tumor.

Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "Developing an effective test to distinguish aggressive from non-aggressive prostate cancer could be a game-changer for those affected by the condition. We urgently need to reach a point where we can focus resources on saving more of the 10,000 men who lose their lives to this disease every year, whilst sparing the many others who needn't have concerns.”

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Amish Girl Forced into Experimental Chemotherapy Recovers with Natural Treatment

Amish Girl Forced into Experimental Chemotherapy Recovers with Natural Treatment | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
By David Michael/ Investigative Reporter Just in (Monday 0917 est)-- Father said 10-year-old Sarah would physically fight if the hospital tried to force her to be hooked up to the chemotherapy. She...
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

You may recall the recent case of the 10 year-old Amish girl, Sarah Hershberger, in the U.S. whose parents chose to discontinue her chemotherapy treatment for leukemia as they believed the treatment itself was killing her.

Early in October 2013, the Ohio hospital, who told the family and the news media Sarah would die in a few months without their treatments, sought custody of the child in an attempt to force the child to continue in their treatment protocol.

It took four hearings and four judges to appoint the guardianship, and the court ruled that a hospital-affiliated, attorney-nurse, Maria Schimer, be made the medical guardian to make sure Sarah would continue to get her chemotherapy treatments.

While the various hearings and court proceedings were taking place, Sarah’s parents commenced natural treatments without the use of chemotherapy and it turned out that Sarah’s cancer is now completely recovered. Three doctors that treated her with a natural, biochemical protocol using nutrition, supplements and plant extracts have declared Sarah cancer free based on cat scans and blood tests.

This is wonderful news for Sarah and her family, but not so good news for the medical system. What has since been learned about Sarah’s original chemotherapy treatment at the Ohio hospital is quite astonishing. Sarah’s treatment was in fact a two-year unproven experimental chemotherapy study by Akron Children’s Hospital. According to Sarah’s parents they were apparently never told their child was being used in a research study, and this did not come out in the public media when the entire nation heard about Sarah’s case. So it appears that the hospital simply wanted to keep Sarah in the treatment study.

It seems that of the hundreds of stories and broadcasts, the local and national media failed to investigate the full story and uncover all the relevant facts. In addition the Hershberger family claims the hospital did not get their signature for the second phase of different chemicals and only Sarah was asked to “put her name on the line.” They claim they were not told of the serious side effects. They said Sarah’s confidential medical information was given to the news media violating federal privacy laws.

This whole case raises some important issues that we all should be aware of. Taking a child away from their parents to be forced to continue a particular treatment protocol logically should require that the planned treatment protocol is viable. We should never assume it is viable simply because ‘the system’ says it is. There needs to be valid and supportable criteria, and certainly a clinical trial does not meet those criteria. It is also clear that the hospital went to great lengths to have Sarah in their trial by their actions of not obtaining signatures, not informing the parents, releasing medical records, and intimidating the parents.

The article makes it clear that one of the influencing factors behind this whole process seems to be the pursuit of money. As the article states:
“What does the court decision mean for any person bringing a family member into a hospital who does not agree with the treatment decided on by their panels of experts? Do they risk legal actions for having a different opinion even if based on another medical opinion? Do they risk losing custody of their child?”

Does this not also add to the evidence that natural treatments for ‘curing’ cancer do have a place in our society and should receive significant funding for further research?

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Graham Player Ph.D.'s comment, November 1, 2013 4:07 AM
I try to be objective in bringing you what is being reported. I have noticed in Sarah Hershberger's case that some reporters are suggesting that Sarah's parents are making these claims of cure so that Sarah can continue without chemotherapy. I will leave it to you to make your own assessment.
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Potential Cause Found for Deadly Breast Cancer Relapse

Potential Cause Found for Deadly Breast Cancer Relapse | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Researchers have found that the protein Engrailed 1 is overexpressed in basal-like carcinomas, and designed a chain of amino acids to shut down the protein and kill basal-like tumors in the lab.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine, working with cell lines in a lab, have discovered why some of the most aggressive and fatal breast cancer cells are resistant to chemotherapy, and UNC scientists are developing ways to overcome such resistance.

"Patients with basal-like breast cancer tend to initially respond well to chemotherapy, but it's common for patients to relapse even more aggressively," said Adriana S. Beltran, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of pharmacology. "We believe that relapse is caused by a small number of cancer cells that have stem cell properties that allow them to survive chemotherapy. In these cells we've identified the over expression of [the protein] Engrailed 1." There is no known function of Engrailed 1 within breast tissue.

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Sugary Drinks Linked to Endometrial Cancer Risk After Menopause

Sugary Drinks Linked to Endometrial Cancer Risk After Menopause | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Women who regularly consume sugary soft drinks have a higher risk of endometrial cancer after the menopause, a new study has found.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A study carried out at the University of Minnesota and published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention reports a link between high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages and endometrial cancer risk.

In the study, the researchers categorized sugary drinks consumption patterns of the women into quintiles, ranging from zero (the lowest quintile) to 60.5 servings per week (the highest quintile). Of the 23,039 women in the study, 506 developed type I and 89 type II endometrial cancers.

The team also assessed whether the consumption of sugar-free soft drinks, sweets and baked goods, and starch might be associated with endometrial cancer risk. No link was identified.

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Deanna Moore's curator insight, November 25, 2013 6:26 PM

I think that people are so quick to judge and point fingers as the products were consuming. As consumers, we know the risks of eating and drinking sugary foods and liquids. The fact is, an abundancy of alot  of products can indeed hurt someone if injested enough.

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Dental Amalgam Fillings and Cancer

Dental Amalgam Fillings and Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Dentist speaks out about the dangers of mercury
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Dental interventions, including amalgam fillings, root-canals, and cavitations have been implicated in cancer for many years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the United States, there are approximately 87,000 dentists and, tragically, most of them never learn about the dangers of amalgams (mercury-based filling). Nearly half of these dentists still place highly-toxic mercury fillings in the mouth of unsuspecting people. Boyd Haley PhD, Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at University of Kentucky, has called mercury a 'biochemical train wreck in your body'. Mercury fillings can cause brain damage; neurological disorders plus many other serious health problems.” Mercury is bio-accumulative within the body, which means that the longer you live with mercury - the more toxic you become.

This article asserts that the average mercury filling releases about 34 micrograms of mercury daily. This toxic vapor permeates every cell of our body - eventually breaking down the immune system. It further warns that if your dentist is willing to take out your mercury fillings (quickly) without regard to proper safety precautions - for you and the dentist - it's time to find another dentist. We know that exposure to mercury causes brain damage and if your dentist doesn't protect you, during the extraction process, then that dentist is not thinking clearly. Naturally, before the actual procedure, it would be a great idea to follow a healthy diet - loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C - for weeks (if not months) - depending upon your individual health status.

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Unusual High Occurrence of Lung Cancer Death Rates in Canadian Women

Unusual High Occurrence of Lung Cancer Death Rates in Canadian Women | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Lung cancer death rates in Canada are among the highest in the world, especially among women, a new report shows.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) compared the performance of Canada's health system with what it calls its "peers" - Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, the United States and the United Kingdom.

It found that lung cancer mortality in Canada (at 58 deaths per 100,000 population) is higher than the OECD average of 43 per 100,000. All other peer countries had fewer lung cancer deaths than Canada, except for The Netherlands which had the same rate.

Dr. Natasha Leighl, a medical oncologist at Toronto's Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, said she's seeing a rising proportion of people who've never smoked that are diagnosed with lung cancer. "We know that non-smoking women are at twice the risk of developing lung cancer as non-smoking men and we really just don't understand why that is," Leighl said.

Patient safety is also an area where Canada performed poorly. Most peer countries except New Zealand and Australia outperformed Canada on leaving behind foreign bodies, like sponges, after surgery.

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Nanoparticles in Tattoo Ink May Cause Cancer

Nanoparticles in Tattoo Ink May Cause Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Nanoparticles are widely found in tattoo ink, but did you know that there may be health risks associated with these particles?
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

University of Bradford researchers have found evidence that suggests nanoparticles from tattoo ink are leaving the surface of the skin and traveling elsewhere in the body, where they could potentially enter organs and other tissues. This is a concern because tattoo inks are largely unregulated and known to contain cancer-causing compounds.

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Nuts Lower Cancer Death Risk

Nuts Lower Cancer Death Risk | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A daily handful of nuts cut death rates from any cause by a fifth, reduced those related to heart disease by nearly 30 per cent and lowered the chances of dying of cancer by 11 per cent.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Eating nuts significantly reduces chances of dying of heart disease or cancer, according to researchers. The findings used data on almost 120,000 US men and women. The study found nut-eaters were leaner, less likely to smoke, and more likely to exercise, take vitamin supplements, and consume fruits and vegetables, than average.

Nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients which lower cholesterol and inflammation and reduce other problems.

Death rates from all causes were cut by 11% in those who ate nuts once a week, 13% in those who ate them two to four times a week, and 15% when nuts were consumed five to six times a week. Those with a daily nut habit were 20% less likely to die over three decades.

Several previous studies have linked nut consumption with health benefits, such as reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and bowel cancer. But this was the first large scale study of the impact of nut consumption on death rates.

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The Changing Nature of Cancer

The Changing Nature of  Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it

A single tumour can be made up of many separate cancers needing different treatments.

Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

The process by which cancerous cells continue to mutate, become more aggressive, move round the body, and resist drugs is chaotic and results in a "diverse" tumor containing cancerous cells that have mutated in different ways and need different treatments.

A team at the Institute of Cancer Research, London, has developed a new technique for measuring the diversity within cancer. Researcher Professor Mel Greaves comments that "every patient has a completely new tree and doesn't have one cancer, they have multiple cancers. This is really a technical advance to get at this extraordinary complex diversity; it helps explain why we have such difficulty with advanced diseases."

Scientists compare cancer diversity to a tree. The initial mutations - the trunk - will be common to all cancer cells. But then the tumor branches out. Prof Greaves says one implication of the research is that therapies need to be developed which target the trunk of the tumor and that current targeted therapies being researched may not tackle advanced cancers.

The study advances the understanding of how cancers start and evolve, and could point to the fact that future treatments may need to be individually developed for each person to target the initial mutations rather than simply the resulting spread of the disease. It would be particularly beneficial if we were able to consider the next logical step to be a focus on the actual cause.

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Cancer Prevention - A New Way of Life

All of us have cancer cells in our bodies. But not all of us will develop cancer. An interview with David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PHD Helping our natural defen...
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

This is an excellent video for those who are not yet convinced that diet and lifestyle can contribute to both the cause and also the solution to cancer.

Dr Servan-Schreiber, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh, set about learning everything he could to prevent a relapse of his own brain cancer. He received conventional treatment and the cancer went into remission, but returned. After surgery and chemotherapy, his oncologist had no suggestions for him about cancer prevention. So Dr Servan-Schreiber spent nine months of research to begin to understand how he could help his body protect itself against cancer.

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Lung Cancer Also Strikes Nonsmokers

Most people know that smoking causes cancer, but may not realize how many nonsmokers get lung cancer, too.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Lung cancer affects nonsmokers as well as smokers. Every year, about 16,000 to 24,000 Americans die of lung cancer, even though they have never smoked.

Radon Gas - The leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is exposure to radon gas. Radon occurs naturally outdoors in harmless amounts, but sometimes becomes concentrated in homes built on soil with natural uranium deposits. Studies have found that the risk of lung cancer is higher in those who have lived for many years in a radon-contaminated house.

Secondhand Smoke - Each year, an estimated 3,400 nonsmoking adults die of lung cancer as a result of breathing secondhand smoke. Laws that ban smoking in public places have helped to reduce this danger.

Cancer-Causing Agents at Work - For some people, the workplace is a source of exposure to carcinogens like asbestos and diesel exhaust. Work-related exposure to such cancer-causing materials has decreased in recent years, as the government and industry have taken steps to help protect workers. But the dangers are still present, and if you work around these agents, you should be careful to limit your exposure whenever possible.

Air Pollution - It’s long been known that both indoor and outdoor air pollution contribute to lung cancer. The World Health Organization has classified outdoor air pollution as a cancer-causing agent.

Gene Mutations - An article published in Clinical Cancer Research explains that a particular kind of gene mutation is much more common in lung cancer in nonsmokers than smokers. This mutation activates a gene that normally helps cells grow and divide. The mutation causes the gene to be turned on constantly, so the lung cancer cells grow faster.

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Obamacare Reforms May Exclude Needed Care for Cancer Patients

Obamacare Reforms May Exclude Needed Care for Cancer Patients | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
ObamaCare is supposed to be a huge boon for anyone with a pre-existing condition. Count that another promise broken: It’s actually denying care because of pre-existing conditions.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

It seems that millions of Americans with cancer and other chronic illnesses will wind up paying more for lifesaving care.

Most ObamaCare plans don’t include the vast majority of the best cancer doctors and cancer centers. That’s a huge problem for these patients. As Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former Medicare official, writes: “Cancer patients often need the help of specialized doctors and cancer institutions that won’t make it into many of these cheapened networks.”

ObamaCare is also limiting access to new medicines just as a revolution is delivering far better treatments. One study found that people are four times more likely to stop using innovative therapies if they have to pay more.

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Ann Marie Rydberg's curator insight, February 12, 2014 5:43 PM

I thought that this article was interesting in that it discussed a major problem in the Obamacare system.  Cancer patients and other patients with serious diseases may find it difficult to gain access  to doctors or medical centers that specialize in treating their disease.  To reduce cost of government funded insurance, many leading health centers like Seattle Children's Hospital and Mayo Clinic are excluded from most insurance plans.  I think that the idea of providing health insurance for all Americans is very good; however, there are some major problems with Obamacare that need addressed.  It is unrealistic to expect the new system to work perfectly right away, but I feel that it is essential that errors like those mentioned in this article are fixed so that all patients have access to the treatment necessary to provide them with the best quality of life available.  This article is related to Gov & Law because it is discussing government provided insurance which is currently a topic of heated political debate.

Haley Abrams's comment, February 16, 2014 12:40 AM
I agree with Ann Marie that this is a huge problem in the system and while this system was not expected to work right away I feel that this is a problem that should be dealt with right away. the increased payments that patients will have to pay is incredibly high just so that they can the same doctor that saved their life. This glitch should come quickly because patients life are on the line here, different diseases require different forms of treatment that require certain doctors that may not fall under this plan. Those patients should be able to have access to those doctors and hospitals so that they may be able to live a full life.
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The “War on Cancer” - Slogan or Solution?

The “War on Cancer” - Slogan or Solution? | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
A Retro Report and a medical writer reflect on the grand hopes and stuttering progress of Richard Nixon’s “war on cancer.”
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

This New York Times report looks at the “war on cancer” since its commencement in 1971, and after $100 million of spending by the U.S. government on research. It is clear that the war has not been won.

Drops in some cancer rates were mostly attributable not to cancer breakthroughs but to preventative strategies such as not smoking cigarettes; menopausal women not undertaking hormone therapy; and early detection testing.

Drugs are emerging that attack various mutated genes in cancer cells. However cancers almost inevitably grow resistant to a drug that attacks a crucial mutation. The new drugs are incredibly expensive, but rarely are cures.

Other drugs focused on immunotherapies, allowing the immune system to stop the cancer, are beginning to show promise and may have an advantage over drugs that attack mutated genes.

It is clear there is still a long way to go towards winning the “war on cancer”. One cannot help wonder why there isn’t much more funding to research things that have been shown anecdotally to cure cancer. Such research may not result in patentable medicines. However it is possible that it may result in an improved cure rate.

I have been researching cancer for the past twenty years, and now on a daily basis I am likely to see everything written about cancer. During that time there have been many people cured from cancer anecdotally without the use of patentable drugs or expensive invasive procedures. Typically when asked about these cases a standard response from medical professionals is that “there has been no research that supports the effectiveness of these apparent cures”. People reading that response will automatically assume that the research has been done. However in most cases there has been no research done at all. It does seem that research money is not available unless the outcome of the research includes something patentable and therefore profit-making.

Meanwhile from what I read there seems to be many people undergoing self-treatment, and practitioners throughout the world who are treating patients for cancer in all its stages and forms using various non-conventional methods, and who seem to have a higher cure rate than the conventional medical approach. I am no expert and do not say it is all valid and correct. But it perhaps needs more focus and research if the right group of people or organization can be found and funded to be sufficiently objective to do so without seeking a financial reward at the end of the rainbow. Maybe the first step is to define and agree what percentage of government funding towards the “war on cancer” should be allocated towards such research. The results after more than 40 years and $100 million would seem to indicate a need for this approach.

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Cervical Cancer: HPV Virus Test Boosts Detection

Cervical Cancer: HPV Virus Test Boosts Detection | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Doctors hail "incredibly exciting" results which suggest detection rates are vastly improved by testing for a particular virus.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

The relationship between human papilloma virus (HPV) and cervical cancer has long been established, with the virus being found in over 99% of cervical cancer cases.

Four research trials in England, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden over six-and-a-half years based on 175,000 women aged 20-64 found that screening women first for HPV protected 60%-70% more women from cancer than the traditional smear test. Increased protection was most noticeable in women aged 30-35 years.

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