The 30,000 member American Society of Clinical Oncology is the world’s leading group of cancer physicians. ASCO is dedicated to curing cancer, supporting research, quality care, reducing treatment disparities and a heightened national focus on value. This month they released their annual Report on Progress Against Cancer, which highlights research, drug development and cancer care innovations. This hundred-page document is important reading for anyone who wants to be up-to-date regarding cancer care.
Cancer related deaths in the United States are dropping, but still totaled 577,000 in 2012. While world cancer research funding is rising, in the USA it continues to decrease, with the purchasing power of the largest funding source, the National Cancer Institute, having fallen 20% in the last decade, and a further 8% cut slated for January 1, 2013. Development is dependent on government and private funding, as well as the willingness of more than 25,000 patients a year who volunteer to be involved in cancer trials. All these critical supports are threatened. The Federal Clinical Trials Cooperative of the National Cancer Institute (FCLC, NCI) supports research at 3100 institutions in the USA.
The report discusses the many types of cancer which continue to be naturally resistant to cancer treatment, particularly chemotherapy. In some cases, drugs do not penetrate a part of the body, such as the brain, in other cases even when they reach the tumor, they are not effective. ..
- Cancer Screening Rates Have Fallen In US (medicalnewstoday.com)
- A Look At Childhood Cancer And African Americans (sys-con.com)
Researchers may soon be able to add yet another item to the list of exercise’s well-documented health benefits: A preliminary study suggests that when cancer survivors exercise for several weeks after they finish chemotherapy, their immune systems remodel themselves to become more effective, potentially fending off future incidents of cancer. The finding may help explain why exercise can significantly reduce the chances of secondary cancers in survivors or reduce the chances of cancer altogether in people who have never had the disease…
“What we’re suggesting is that with exercise, you might be getting rid of T cells that aren’t helpful and making room for T cells that might be helpful,” Bilek says.
She adds that this finding highlights the importance of exercise for all, including those with cancer and cancer survivors. These two populations might benefit especially from the heightened “cancer surveillance” — the ability of the immune system to seek out and destroy budding cancers — that this study suggests exercise brings, Bilek explains.
“There’s a litany of positive benefits from exercise,” Bilek says. “If exercise indeed strengthens the immune system and potentially improves cancer surveillance, it’s one more thing we should educate patients about as a reason they should schedule regular activity throughout their day and make it a priority in their lives.”
- Exercise Helps Immune System Protect Against Future Cancers (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Small Pilot Study Suggests That T Cells Become More Responsive In Exercising Cancer Survivors Weeks After Chemo Ends (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Exercise Helps Immune System Protect Against Future Cancers – Medical News Today (drugstoresource.wordpress.com)
- How the Immune System Attacks Cancer (restoreimmunehealthdotcom2.wordpress.com)
From the article at The World of Phytochemicals | FOOD, FACTS and FADS
Posted on September 7, 2012
Phytochemicals serve a wide variety of functions in plants to provide flavor, color but also to protect the plant from insects and microbes. More than 2000 of these chemicals have been identified. It has been known for 30 years that diets rich in fruits and vegetables are protective against some cancers and heart disease and for years vitamins and minerals were given the credit; now we know that more than likely it was the presence of the phytochemicals. Now there is evidence that these compounds may protect against macular degeneration, cataracts, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and hypertension.
Most phytonutrients work together, so it is nearly impossible to put them together in a pill; therefore, it is obviously recommended that foods rather than supplements provide them.
How do phytochemicals work? In general, they:
- Act as hormone-inhibiting substances that prevent the initiation of cancer.
- Serve as antioxidants that prevent and repair damage to cells due to oxidation.
- Block or neutralize enzymes that promote the development of cancer and other diseases.
- Decreases plague formation and formation of blood clots.
So what are some of them and where are they found?
- Indoles, isothiocyanates: Contain sulfur and may be protective against breast cancer. Found in broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower.
- Terpenes: Limonene is from the same family of compounds as taxmoxifen (an anti- breast cancer drug). Found in oranges, lemons, grapefruit.
- Flavonoids (Include tannins, phenols): There are over 4000 of these. Gives red wines and dark teas their bitter taste. Found in apples, strawberries, grapes, green and black teas, red wine, purple grape juice, dark chololate.
- Carotenoids (alpha, beta carotenes, lutein, zeathanin, lycopene). There are more than 600 types that act as pigments in plants. Fat intake increases absorption. Found in dark green vegetables, orange, yellow and red vegetables and fruits.
- Capsasin: Affects blood clotting and clots; found in hot peppers.
- Curcumin: May inhibit enzymes that activate carcinogens. Found in turmeric, a yellow-colored spice.
- Resveratrol: Offsets artery-damage due to inflammation. Found in red wine, peanuts.
- Organosulfur compounds: May speed production of carcinogen-destroying enzymes or slow proliferation of carcinogen-activating enzymes. Found in chives, leeks, garlic, and onion.
- Protease inhibitors: May suppress enzyme production in cancer cells, slowing tumor growth; inhibit hormone binding; inhibit malignant changes in cells. Found in broccoli sprouts, potatoes, soybeans and other legumes.
- Tannins: May inhibit carcinogen activation and cancer promotion; act as antioxidants. Found in black-eyed peas, grapes, lentils, red and white wine, tea.
BOTTOM LINE: Until more research is done, eat real whole fruits and vegetables, NOT supplementary pills or extracts. By the way, taking antioxidant supplements have not been shown to be very effective if at all in disease prevention. These phytochemicals work together to protect us from disease, so taking one alone will probably have no effect on health or longevity.
- How to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Daily (debbiestrauch.wordpress.com)
- Anti-Cancer Superfruits (atcbeefarm.wordpress.com)
- The “Avengers” of the Plant World, at Your Service (livewellfromtheinsideout.wordpress.com)
When I got my phone call with the diagnosis of mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), my instinct, like so many of us, was to Google. Today, 3 years later, I have learned about what to look for, what to avoid, and how to manage my natural wish to know as much as possible.
The following are suggestions to help others faced with a cancer diagnosis.
Google wisely. Google (and Wikipedia) are a reflex. Don’t fight it. However, when looking at suggested links, go for more reliable sources. Any national cancer (e.g. American Cancer Society, Canadian Cancer Society) or health agency (e.g., National Cancer Institute), major cancer centre (e.g., MD Anderson and others), and any specific cancer organization (in my case, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and LLS Canada).
Be forewarned, for more aggressive cancers, this will be frightening reading.
Ask your medical team. I didn’t at first but learned better. When I saw my first hematologist, he warned me that web information was out of date and, breezily (almost too much so!), reassured me that better treatments were available. But I didn’t press him on which site he would recommend. Another time with a family member undergoing thankfully what proved to be a false cancer scare, I did – and was referred to the kind of sites referred to earlier.
Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) – there are no miracles. Invariably, you will find sites that promise alternative cancer treatments. Don’t get sucked into false hopes at best, or be preyed upon for money in the worst.
While I believe in complementary approaches to conventional treatments, these are the tried and true advice for everyone: avoid tobacco, eat well (including reducing meat consumption – other nutrition advice here), and exercise.
Prayer, meditation, walking, being with family and friends are also sound elements of a holistic approach.
Explore, within limits, community forums. There is a risk of losing yourself in these forums. However, they are incredibly powerful in connecting you with people who have gone through the same treatment.
While I started late – because in some cases, it was depressing – I now ask about side effects that I am not sure about, and give back to people who are at earlier stages by sharing my experience. Start with a forum that deals with your type of cancer first, as it is likely to have the largest number of others in your situation (for Canadians, the US forums are larger than in Canada so I tend to go with those).
There is also the emergence of some private cancer forums, which have some good logging tools. However, on privacy grounds, I am more comfortable with charitable organizations.
Get efficient with Google Reader. I started off checking individual sites, forums and blogs. Very inefficient. Set up Google Reader (part of your Google account) and set up search terms to capture news stories, blogs and forum updates automatically. You can then scan them quickly and read those of interest.
Lastly, a note of humility. No matter how much one reads, and how well informed, one will never have the knowledge and experience of your medical team. Set your objectives:
- understand your cancer and treatment better
- be prepared to ask good questions
- develop a comfort level in assessing different treatment options
- be able to “challenge” your medical team if appropriate (e.g., whether I needed to have more or less scans, colonoscopy etc. – small stuff in the bigger scheme but nevertheless made my journey more bearable)
- Cancer (MedlinePlus) - links to overviews, basic information, health check tools, videos, tutorials, research, directories, organizations, patient handouts, and more
- US National Cancer Institute “… conducts and supports research, training, health information dissemination, and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer, rehabilitation from cancer, and the continuing care of cancer patients and the families of cancer patients.”
- KidsHealth - Click on Parents, Teens, or Children. Search either through the search box or selecting topic in left column.
- Webicina- Cancer , information via social media sites
- Evaluating Health Information – links to a few great articles and Web sites (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Patients want to understand the medical literature (with links to resources for patients) (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Pairing ‘angels’ with cancer patients (cnn.com)
- Patients Receive Encouragement From Past Survivors (wibw.com)
The New Science Behind America’s Deadliest Diseases – WSJ.com (16th July 2012)
What do heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer have in common? Scientists have linked each of these to a condition known as chronic inflammation, and they are studying how high-fat foods and excess body weight may increase the risk for fatal disorders.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury and outside irritants. But when the irritants don’t let up, because of a diet of high-fat foods, too much body fat and smoking, for example, the immune system can spiral out of control and increase the risk for disease. Experts say when inflammation becomes chronic it can damage heart valves and brain cells, trigger strokes, and promote resistance to insulin, which leads to diabetes. It also is associated with the development of cancer.
Much of the research on chronic inflammation has focused on fighting it with drugs, such as cholesterol-lowering statins for heart disease. A growing body of research is revealing how abdominal fat and an unhealthy diet can lead to inflammation. Some scientists are investigating how certain components in foods might help. Dietary fiber from whole grains, for instance, may play a protective role against inflammation, a recent study found. And dairy foods may help ease inflammation in patients with a combination of risk factors…
…A substance known as C-reactive protein, measured with a simple blood test, is an indicator of inflammation in the body. A report published in Archives of Internal Medicine in 2007, which analyzed results of 33 separate studies, found that losing weight can lower C-reactive protein levels. For each one kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of weight loss, whether by dieting, exercise or surgery, the mean reduction in C-reactive protein among participants was 0.13 milligram per liter…
..At a meeting in Quebec City last week on abdominal obesity and its health risks, experts in cardiology, endocrinology, nutrition and related specialties presented a wide range of new research linking obesity to inflammation-related diseases…
- What do heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer have in common? (warmsouthernbreeze.wordpress.com)
- A.M. Vitals: Inflammation and Disease (blogs.wsj.com)
- Diet, Deadly Ailments Linked to Inflammation (pochp.wordpress.com)
- The silent killer: Modern lifestyle promotes Leaky Gut and low-level chronic inflammation (theaveragejoenewsblogg.com)
- Inflammation and food (therealfoodchannel.com)
- A.M. Vitals: Anticipation on Alzheimer’s (blogs.wsj.com)
If you’re like most people, chances are you’ll take any opportunity to throw on a pair of shorts and soak up a little vitamin D. Summer is the season for taking advantage of every opportunity you can to be outdoors, and while you’re enjoying the weather, you’re also probably happy to work on achieving a nice golden tan while you’re at it. But through all of the barbecuing, swimming, hiking, and good old fashioned sunbathing, it might just slip your mind to lather on a little SPF 40. When it comes to enjoying the great outdoors, it’s in your best interest to make sure that you do so with the proper protection. Skin cancer rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and while popular culture dictates that a beautifully bronzed body is the ultimate summertime achievement, the obsession with having a great tan is also having some scary health effects. While other cancer rates decline, fatalities from skin cancer continue to rise, and most people don’t realize just how much their risk increases with too much sunshine. While a little dose of golden rays is good for you, most people take that to an extreme, and the impacts of long-term tanning can be more deadly than they realize. The following infographic looks into the causes and effects of the rising skin cancer rates, and it might make you think twice before skipping out on the sunscreen.
- Shining Light on Skin Cancer (mediacaffeine.com)
- Six common sun myths, exposed (cnn.com)
- Skin Cancer Diagnosis on the Rise (everydayhealth.com)
- Staying Active After Skin Cancer (everydayhealth.com)
- Beauty Byte: You Can Inherit Skin Cancer (bellasugar.com)
- Skin Cancer Symptoms & Treating Skin Cancer (cancercenter.com)
- Smoking tied to skin cancer (nation.com.pk)
- Checking For Skin Cancer? There’s An App For That (detroit.cbslocal.com)
One of the biggest risk factors for liver, colon or stomach cancer is chronic inflammation of those organs, often caused by viral or bacterial infections. A new study from MIT offers the most comprehensive look yet at how such infections provoke tissues into becoming cancerous.
The study, which is in the online edition ofProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of June 11, tracked a variety of genetic and chemical changes in the livers and colons of mice infected with Helicobacter hepaticus, a bacterium similar to Helicobacter pylori, which causes stomach ulcers and cancer in humans.
The findings could help researchers develop ways to predict the health consequences of chronic inflammation, and design drugs to halt such inflammation.
“If you understand the mechanism, then you can design interventions,” says Peter Dedon, an MIT professor of biological engineering. “For example, what if we develop ways to block or interrupt the toxic effects of the chronic inflammation?” …
- How Infection Can Lead to Cancer (sott.net)
- How Chemical And Genetic Changes That Occur As Inflammation Progress To Cancer (medicalnewstoday.com)
- Why Chronic Infections Cause Cancer (futurepundit.com)
- How infection can lead to cancer (eurekalert.org)
- Stomach Cancer Risk Factors (cancercenter.com)
- Chronic Inflammation: The Rich Guy Disease (eveloce.scienceblog.com)
- Key Gene Found Responsible For Chronic Inflammation, Accelerated Aging And Cancer (medicalnewstoday.com)
- how to cure hp bacteria (bonifacecrouch1.typepad.com)
- Are like millions of others experiencing chronic inflammation? (eerb1018.typepad.com)
- Key Gene Found Responsible for Chronic Inflammation, Accelerated Aging and Cancer (nextbigfuture.com)
Visiting your dermatologist every year may be an important step to staying skin cancer-free. So, how do you know if you should schedule that annual appointment?
The answer depends on how likely you are to get skin cancer. Do you fall into one of these groups? Then, it’s time for a skin check-up.
1. Red hair and freckles. If you’ve got red or blond hair, fair skin, freckles and blue or light-colored eyes, you‘re more likely to get skin cancer. But, that doesn’t mean darker-skinned people don’t develop skin cancer too.
2. More than 50 moles. If you’ve got a lot of moles, you need regular skin checks. Doing this will help your doctor stay on top of unusual mole changes….
Seek prompt medical attention if you notice any unusual changes that don’t go away after two weeks.
What are the signs and symptoms of skin cancer?
[From Learn about Cancer , American Cancer Society]
Skin cancer can be found early, and both doctors and patients play important roles in finding skin cancer. If you have any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor.
- Any change on your skin, especially in the size or color of a mole, growth, or spot, or a new growth (even if it has no color)
- Scaliness, oozing, bleeding, or change in the appearance of a bump or nodule
- The spread of pigmentation (color) beyond its border, such as dark coloring that spreads past the edge of a mole or mark
- A change in sensation, such as itchiness, tenderness, or pain
The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has designated the Friday before Memorial Day as “Don’t Fry Day.” The goal? To make sure people stay safe in the sun and protect their skin while enjoying the outdoors—on “Don’t Fry Day” and every day.
Here’s why. Skin cancer is on the rise in the United States; the American Cancer Society estimates that one American dies every hour from skin cancer. In 2012 alone, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be more than 76,250 new cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.
“Don’t Fry Day” offers simple steps that you and your family can take to prevent sun-related skin cancer, such as:
- Slip on a shirt
- Slop on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher
- Slap on a wide-brimmed hat.
- Wrap on sunglasses.
For more information on resources available for “Don’t Fry Day” and skin safety, visitwww.skincancerprevention.org .
- Skin Cancer Prevention Tips: How to Spot the Signs Early (abcnews.go.com)
- American Academy of Dermatology launches new PSAs to address the increased risk of melanoma in older men (gloucestercitynews.net)
- Sunscreen Safety: Ingredients, Labels, and More (webmd.com)
- PA Dermatologists trying to raise awareness about skin cancer (whptv.com)
- Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Is on the Rise (bellasugar.com)
- Skin Cancer Awareness Month begins on Monday (clickorlando.com)
- People Who Really Shouldn’t Tan Are the Most Likely to Do It (bellasugar.com)
WEDNESDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) — One in six cancers worldwide is caused by preventable or treatable infections, a new study finds.
Infections cause about 2 million cancer cases a year, and 80 percent of those cases occur in less developed areas of the world, according to the study, which was published online May 8 in The Lancet Oncology. Of the 7.5 million cancer deaths worldwide in 2008, about 1.5 million were due to potentially preventable or treatable infections.
“Infections with certain viruses, bacteria and parasites are one of the biggest and most preventable causes of cancer worldwide,” lead authors Catherine de Martel and Martyn Plummer, from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, said in a journal news release. “Application of existing public-health methods for infection prevention — such as vaccination, safer injection practice or antimicrobial treatments — could have a substantial effect on future burden of cancer worldwide.”…
- Infection Causes 1 in 6 Cancers Worldwide: Study (news.health.com)
- Infection Causes 1 in 6 Cancers Worldwide (health.usnews.com)
- One in Six Cancers Are Caused By Treatable Infections [Medicine] (gizmodo.com)
- One in six cancers worldwide caused by infections that are largely preventable or treatable (medicalxpress.com)
As many of you readers know, I continually advise to learn the facts before using dietary supplements.
They are not regulated by the FDA for efficacy(preventing or curing conditiions], just for safety.
Two recent items…
Excerpt from the blog..
A popular herbal supplement, Aristolochia, commonly sold as birthwort has recently been linked to kidney failure and kidney and bladder cancer. This herb is commonly prescribed in Taiwan as part of traditional medicine and it was recently observed that nearly 12% of that country’s population suffers from chronic kidney disease. Now the herb has been conclusively associated with these diseases through gene analysis.
This herb is not marketed in the U.S. since 1994 following FDA warnings. Since cancer may take years to develop, it still may be a causative substance even since it’s ban. In the case of supplements, manufacturers must ensure safety, efficacy, and proper labeling but this regulation does not appear to be enforced. Due to the passage of a supplement…
Excerpt from the 26 April Medical News Today article
Government regulators and the scientific community should work to ensure that they give clear guidance to the public about dietary supplements and cancer risk, according to a commentary published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Evidence from animal, in vitro and observational studies has suggested that taking dietary supplements may lower cancer risk. However, the small number of randomized controlled studies, the gold standard in evidence-based medicine, has not confirmed this – and some studies have actually shown that supplements may increase cancer risk. Still, the supplement industry is booming, with estimated annual sales at $30 billion in the U.S. …
- Evaluating Health Information (links at Health/Medical News and Resources by yours truly)
- Dietary Supplements Label Database (US National Library of Medicine)
offers information about label ingredients in more than 6,000 selected brands of dietary supplements. It enables users to compare label ingredients in different brands. Information is also provided on the “structure/function” claims made by manufacturers. These claims by manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Companies may not market as dietary supplements any products that are intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent …
- Supplements and cancer prevention: A cautionary tale (eurekalert.org)
- Please Understand That Vitamin Supplements Are Generally Not Good For Anything But Making Money (motherboard.vice.com)
- Over 60 Billion Doses a Year and Not ONE Death, But Still Not Safe? (articles.mercola.com)
- Traditional Chinese Medicines – Some Are Dangerous (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- The “Crazy” World of Diet Supplements (foodworksblog.wordpress.com)
- Unregulated supplements are a tragedy (jflahiff.wordpress.com)
- Beware of Fraudulent Weight-Loss ‘Dietary Supplements’ (dietarysupplementreporter.wordpress.com)
- Balancing the risks and benefits of dietary supplements (bioidenticalhormoneexperts.com)
- Should Chocolate Be Added to the Colon Cancer Prevention Diet? Recent Study Says Yes (berries.com)
- Herbal remedy blamed for high cancer rate in Taiwan study (library2humanities.wordpress.com)
- Herbal remedy used to treat kidney ailments causes kidney ailments (boingboing.net)
- Dangers in herbal medicine (continued) – DNA sequencing to hunt illegal ingredients (somethingaboutscience.wordpress.com)
- Yet more evidence that “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean “safer” (scienceblogs.com)
- Dangers in herbal medicine – the link between Aristolochia plants and urinary tract cancer (somethingaboutscience.wordpress.com)
- Herbal Medicine and Aristolochic Acid Nephropathy (sciencebasedmedicine.org)
- Herbal Remedy Ingredient Tied to Cancer, Kidney Failure (ihafs.org)
- Evidence Mounts That Diet, Exercise Help Survivors Cut Cancer Risk (wnyc.org)