Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pair of studies show missed mammograms increase risk of late-stage diagnosis

Mammogram showing
suspicious lesions
A pair of studies of mammography utilization show that women who missed mammograms tended to be diagnosed at a later stage. 

In a single institution study in the Nov. 2013 American Journal of Roentgenology researchers found that, regardless of age, women who underwent mammography were more likely to have early-stage breast cancer at diagnosis than were those who did not undergo mammography. 

In an earlier study analyzing treatment failure among 7,301 breast cancer patients in the Sept. 9, 2013 Cancer, Harvard researchers found that among the 609 breast cancer deaths, 65 percent had never had a mammogram.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Vitamins with minerals may lower risk of breast cancer death

NEW YORK, NY -- Oct. 10, 2013 -- Another analysis of the Women’s Health Initiative shows that multivitamins that include minerals were linked to a 30 percent lower chance of dying of breast cancer in women who were already taking them at the time of their breast cancer diagnosis.

The Women’s Health Initiative began in 1993 and enrolled more than 161,000 women ages 50 to 79 in a mix of clinical trials and observational studies.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Aspirin may prevent colon cancer from spreading

AMSTERDAM -- The mighty aspirin has long been shown to increase survival in people with colorectal cancer, but how it provides that protection has baffled scientists, who want to understand how these things works so they might develop new and possibly better drugs.

In a Dutch study presented at the European Cancer Congress this week, researchers examined data from 999 colon cancer patients whose medical records showed they had been regular users of aspirin and had survived colon cancer. Specifically they were looking at differences in three proteins among tissue samples taken from the patients. The proteins were HLA-1, COX-2 and PIK3CA.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Six things to look for in a CT lung cancer screening provider

If you are a smoker, or quit within the last 15 years, you are about to start receiving information about CT screening for lung cancer. The reason, the US Preventive Services Task Force recently concluded that low-dose CT screening can reduce lung cancer deaths by 20 percent. That's right, we finally have a screening test for early stage lung cancer that can actually make significant difference.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Plaque-causing bacteria may cause colorectal cancer

Fusobacterium nucleatum.
Courtesy of the University of Adelaide
CancerDigest – If you still need a reason to floss, how about this? The bacteria that causes plaque 
has recently been linked to colorectal cancer. 

And now new research shows a possible mechanism for how the microbe changes cells in the intestines to stimulate cancer growth.

The microbe is Fusobacterium nucleatum, which is linked to several diseases of the mouth, head and neck and more recently colorectal cancer. But it was unclear how it might alter the genes in colon cells to cause cancer.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Tumor cell pattern may predict lung cancer recurrence

A study reported this week by Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) may offer an additional glimmers of hope for people with certain types of lung cancer.

In a study to be published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute a group of chest surgeons and pathologists at MSKCC in New York, found that a specific pattern of cell characteristics in the removed tumor were good predictors of recurrence. The study is to be published in the Aug. 20 issue.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Chinese herbal remedy linked to urinary cancers

VOA – Aug. 8, 2013 – If it is natural, is it safe to put in your body? To listen to many natural and organic food and medicine advocates that’s what you’d think, but you’d be wrong.

A natural herb called birthwart commonly used in Asia to treat arthritis, gout, inflammation and even used for weight-loss has been found to be powerful cancer-causing substance. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Would you choose a tattoo instead of reconstructive surgery?

Some women are choosing elaborate tattoos instead of surgery following a mastectomy. Is it a growing trend, or a choice limited to a niche group of survivors?

by Katherine Locke,

THE GUARDIAN – Aug. 7, 2013 – More women are actively choosing not to reconstruct. There is a small but growing trend in the US (slowly filtering though to the UK) to refuse reconstruction and tattoo over the scar tissue instead. For many women, the battle with breast cancer is the most intense fight of their lives and they are seeking a way to acknowledge this, rather than disguise it.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Taking blood pressure medicines long-term may boost cancer risk

BLOOMBERG – Aug. 5, 2013 – Women who took blood pressure drugs called calcium-channel blockers, like Pfizer Inc. (PFE)’s Norvasc, for 10 years or more had a 2.5 times higher risk of developing breast cancer than those who never took the medicine or who used other blood pressure treatments, according to research published in JAMA Internal Medicine.  More ...

Diabetes drug may lower risk of prostate cancer death

WEBMD – Aug. 5, 2013 – A study of nearly 4,000 diabetic men found that those taking metformin when diagnosed with prostate cancer were less likely to die of the cancer or other causes compared to men using other diabetes drugs. But whether metformin can prevent prostate cancer progression in people without diabetes remains to be seen, experts say.

In the new study, published online Aug. 5 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Margel looked at more than 3,800 diabetic men aged 67 or older who lived in Ontario. During roughly four years of follow-up, Margel found those who took metformin had a 24 percent reduction in risk from prostate cancer death for every additional six months of use after their cancer diagnosis.  More ...

Monday, July 29, 2013

Federal task force gives thumbs up for CT screens for lung cancer

ROCKVILLE, MD – Smokers got a double boost today in heading off their risk of dying from lung cancer. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), a panel of experts who examine the value of a variety of screening methods and the guidelines for using them, gave a thumbs up to using a yearly CT scan to screen for lung cancers.

The guidelines the task force approved are for adults ages 55-79 who have 30 pack years of smoking or who have quit within the last 15 years. A pack year is smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for one year. So if you smoke two packs a day for 15 years, you would have a 30-pack-year smoking history.