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Do You Read All Of Our Blogs?

Do You Read All Of Blogs?
This page you have reached is an archive of old blog posting. Just follow the links below to go to the main blog pages to read the latest blog posting.

Do you read all of the blogs published by medicineworld.org? Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.

Cancer blog: I manage the cancer blog with lots of help and support form other bloggers. Through this cancer blog my friends and I try to bring stories of hope for patients with cancer. The cancer blog often republishes important blog posts from other cancer related blogs at Medicineworld.org. If you are searching for a blog that covers wide variety of cancer topics, this may be the one for you.

Breast cancer blog: Breast cancer blog is run by Emily and other bloggers and they bring you the latest stories, news and events that are related to breast cancer. Increasing awareness about breast cancer among women and in the general population is the main goal of this breast cancer blog.

Lung cancer blog: Lung cancer blog is managed by Scott with the help of other bloggers. Through this blog Scott and his friends constantly remind the readers about the dangers of smoking. It's a never-ending struggle against this miserable disease with which a social stigma of smoking is associated.

Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and other bloggers. Sue brings a personal touch to the colon cancer blog since her mother died of colon cancer few years ago. She writes about stories, research news and advances in treatment related to colon cancer.

Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer.

Medicineworld.org publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.

Heart watch blog: About 13 million Americans suffer from coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease is the leading cause of death in American men and women amounting a staggering 20 percent of all causes of death. The tremendous responsibility of running a heart blog is entrusted to Daniel. He is creating blog posts with the help and support of other bloggers.

Janet      

Nov 16, 2005

Higher Placental Weight Associated With Increased Breast Cancer Risk

Higher Placental Weight Associated With Increased Breast Cancer Risk
Weight of the placenta in two consecutive pregnancies may be directly associated with the risk of breast cancer as per a new study published in the Journal Of American Medical Association (JAMA). Women with higher placental weight in prior pregnancies are at increased risk of developing breast cancer, as per this study.

"Our finding of a positive association between placental weight and breast cancer risk may reflect that exposures to elevated levels of hormones influence the risk of breast cancer," Dr. Sven Cnattingius, from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and colleagues note in the report.

Hormonal factors play an important role in the development of breast cancer, the authors explain. "The role of estrogens in breast carcinogenesis is well established, and serum estrogen levels are at least 10 times higher during pregnancy compared with other times of life," they add.

The study included 314,019 women who delivered a single infant between 1982 and 1989 and were followed until 2001 or until breast cancer developed or death occurred. During follow up, 2,216 women (0.7 percent) developed breast cancer, of whom 2,100 (95 percent) were diagnosed before age 50 years.

The investigators found that the risk of breast cancer was significantly greater in women with placentas weighing between 500 and 699 grams in their first pregnancy and at least 700 grams in their second pregnancy compared with those who had two consecutive pregnancies with placentas weighing less than 500 grams.

The risk of breast cancer was doubled among women whose placentas weighed at least 700 grams in both pregnancies.

Janet      Permalink

Nov 14, 2005

All About Hitting The Right Target

All About Hitting The Right Target
Choosing the best cancer treatments is often akin to throwing darts at a massive corkboard. You may hit it right or miss it, but as we all know a lot depends upon these uncertainties. How can we improve the odds of hitting correctly?

Researchers have now developed a novel method for selecting the most effective anti-cancer drugs based on the patient's unique tumor activity.

The new approach scans the tumor for evidence of widespread genetic changes that drive the tumor's growth and survival. Rather than simply identifying defective genes, the researchers identified altered "pathways", multiple genes and their proteins that consistently escape normal regulation in tumors.

Cell signaling pathways are a complex hierarchy of genes, and the proteins they produce, that act upon one another in a tag-team relay to ultimately drive a cell's malignant activity, said the researchers from the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy and the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

"Targeting drugs to deregulated pathways provides a means to avoid giving ineffective drugs to the majority of patients," Joseph Nevins, Ph.D., the senior author of a recent study, published in the recent edition of the journal Nature.

"Instead of prescribing a drug that inhibits the SRC pathway at a tumor that has no SRC deregulation, we can select the right drug for that tumor type." SRC is one of five pathways often deregulated in cancer cells.

Janet      Permalink

Nov 13, 2005

Dana Reeve Fighting Lung Cancer Very Bravely

Dana Reeve Fighting Lung Cancer Very Bravely
Dana Reeves, the 45 year old widow of late Christopher Reeve, needs praise for her courage as she is battling lung cancer, just a year after her superman star husband died. Dana Reeves supported her paralyzed husband over a decade until his tragic death in October last year. Now she is fighting her own lung cancer and she is doing it bravely.


Her father Charles Morosini says, "She had to have enormous pluck and courage to stick by her husband for nine-and-a-half years, and she's the same tough kid, you can't get her down.

"She's responding as well as one could expect to the treatment, better than average. It's going very, very well [and] she takes it very gracefully."

"Now, more than ever, I feel Chris with me as I face this challenge," Dana Reeve, said in a statement at the time of her diagnosis. "I look to him as the ultimate example of defying the odds with strength, courage and hope in the face of life's adversities."

Dana Reeves sets an example for ultimate courage, determination and sacrifice.


Janet      Permalink

Nov 13, 2005

Not Enough Proof For Anti-cancer Effects of Tomato

Not Enough Proof For Anti-cancer Effects of Tomato
There is not enough proof that consumption of tomato or tomato products would lead to decreased incidence of cancer as per the US FDA. Subsequently producers of tomatoes, tomato sauce and dietary supplements containing lycopene, the substance that makes tomatoes red, will not be allowed to advertise claims to the effect that tomato and tomato products would reduce the risk of cancer. However the companies may suggest limited link between tomatoes and a lowered risk of prostate cancer, as per the agency. FDA also rejected proposals to advertise lycopene alone which is available in supplements, as having cancer-related benefits.

FDA made these rulings in response to petitions from American Longevity, which makes supplements and other health products, and the Lycopene Health Claim Coalition, a group that includes ketchup manufacturer H.J. Heinz Co.

American Longevity says that lycopene in tomatoes reduces the risk of a number of cancers, including prostate, colon and breast cancer. The company offered a number of published studies in support of their arguments.

Heinz, meanwhile, only sought a connection between tomatoes and prostate cancer, company officials said. The FDA authorized the following for use on product labels: "Very limited and preliminary scientific research suggests that eating one-half to one cup of tomatoes and/or tomato sauce a week may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting the claim."

American Longevity contends it has a free-speech right to make the statements, which are governed under two-year-old regulations allowing qualified health claims on some products where the science is less than universally accepted.

"The FDA decision greatly misleads the American consumer," said Steve Wallach, general manager of American Longevity, in a statement. "The American public is entitled to the whole truth and we will do all we can to prevent FDA from keeping this scientific information from the American people.

Janet      Permalink

Nov 11, 2005

Just A Blood Test To Detect Breast Cancer Return

Just A Blood Test To Detect Breast Cancer Return
Image courtesy of Washington University in St. Louis
A new blood test to detect early recurrence of breast cancer is there in the horizon thank to researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. This test would be very sensitive and specific for breast cancer recurrence and uses mammaglobin, a protein secreted by breast tumor cells. Mammaglobin can readily be detected in the blood serum of patients with metastatic breast cancer using an inexpensive, reliable clinical test.

A test for mammaglobin holds significant promise for catching metastatic tumors early," says study co-author Timothy P. Fleming, Ph.D., research associate professor of surgery at the School of Medicine and a researcher with the Siteman Cancer Center. "Compared to the few other known biomarkers linked to breast cancer, mammaglobin is the best. The protein is found in breast tissue and is secreted by most breast tumors."

In this study, which is published in Clinical Cancer Research, 56 women without breast cancer and 26 women with metastatic breast cancer were tested using mammaglobin detection. The women without breast cancer were found to have a steady, low level of mammaglobin in their blood. In contrast, the women with metastatic breast cancer had on average much higher readings of mammaglobin than the baseline level, providing the potential to distinguish cancer-free patients from those with recurrent breast tumors.

In addition, about 80 percent of all breast cancers examined, regardless of the type of tumor or stage of development, tested strongly for mammaglobin while normal breast tissue had significantly less mammaglobin. Prostate, colon, lung and ovarian cancer tissues did not test positive for mammaglobin.

Mammaglobin levels in blood serum can be readily obtained with a test called ELISA, an inexpensive clinical test often used to measure protein levels in fluids. The test detected even very low concentrations of mammaglobin in blood serum and maintained accuracy over a 1,000-fold increase of mammaglobin concentration.

"When we studied it further, we saw that the gene is predominantly active only in breast tissues and realized it would be an important marker for breast oncology research" says study co-author Watson, associate professor of pathology and immunology and director of the Multiplexed Gene Analysis Core and Tissue Procurement Core at Siteman.

Janet      Permalink

Nov 10, 2005

Zyflamend-Herbal Extract To Treat Prostate Cancer

Zyflamend-Herbal Extract To Treat Prostate Cancer
A Columbia University study has reportedly demonstrated Zyflamend, an proprietary herbal extract preparation, suppresses prostate cancer cell growth.

The study also found Zyflamend induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct via a process called apoptosis.

Columbia researchers said their study suggests Zyflamend has the ability, in vitro, to reduce prostate cancer cell proliferation by as much as 78 percent and confirms Zyflamend has COX-1 and COX-2 anti-inflammatory effects, although its anti-cancer affects against prostate cancer were independent of COX-2 inhibition. That, said the scientists, supports the postulation that some prostate cancer cells are not affected by COX-2 inflammation.

These results were particularly surprising and show great promise in the fight against prostate cancer, said researcher Dr. Debra Bemis of the Columbia University Department of Urology. We hope that the magnitude of benefits shown in this research will be confirmed in the larger scale trial already in progress.

On the strength of the laboratory research, Columbia's department of urology has commenced a Phase 1 human clinical trial testing Zyflamend's ability to prevent prostate cancer in patients with prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia -- a clinical precursor for prostate cancer.

The study is detailed in the journal Nutrition and Cancer

Janet      Permalink

Nov 10, 2005

November Is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November Is Lung Cancer Awareness Month
November is lung cancer awareness month. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in American men and women. It is estimated that more than173, 000 new cases of lung cancer are diagnosed each year in the United States alone and about 160,440 deaths occur in an year due to lung cancer in the United States.

There are two basic types of lung cancer. Small cell lung cancer (previously known as oat cell lung cancer) comprises of about 20% of all cases of lung cancer. All other lung cancer types are collectively called non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer consists of a heterogeneous group of lung cancer with mainly three sub types: adeno carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and large cell carcinoma. Even though the non-small cell comprises of different cell types, they usually show a similar behavior and are mostly treated in a similar way. Following is a break up of sub-types of lung cancer. You may find detailed general information on lung cancer below.

Recent death of Peter Jennings and diagnosis of Dana Reeve are startling reminders to us about the disease and the risk of smoking. Perhaps most alarming is that 60 percent of new lung cancer cases are diagnosed in people who never smoked or who quit smoking even decades ago. Dr. Karen Kelly, from the University of Colorado.

"Lung cancer has generally been associated with the stigma of smoking, which has caused many patients to feel ostracized and potentially has contributed to the public's lack of awareness about this devastating disease."

Janet      Permalink

Nov 8, 2005

FDA Approves New Drug Combination For Pancreatic Cancer

FDA Approves New Drug Combination For Pancreatic Cancer
FDA has approved a new drug combination for the treatment of advanced pancreatic cancer. This new combination of the drug Tarceva (erlotinib) and Gemzar (gemcitabine) has previously shown to improve survival in pancreatic cancer.

The new drug combination is approved for the first-line treatment of patients with locally advanced, surgically unresectable or metastatic pancreas cancer. Currently Gemzar alone is the most usually used treatment for patients with pancreatic cancer.

Tarceva is currently FDA approved for the treatment of lung cancer. It is the first drug to be approved in almost a decade for advanced pancreas cancer. The treatment with Tarceva and Gemzar was shown to improve survival in previous clinical trials.

In the trial that led to the approval of the combination, researchers from the National Cancer Institute of Canada gave 569 patients with advanced pancreas cancer either the combination therapy or Gemzar alone. At the end of a year, 24% of the patients receiving both Gemzar and Tarceva were alive, compared to 17% of the group receiving Gemzar alone.

The most common side effects of Tarceva are rash and diarrhea, but the drug has also been linked to infrequent cases of a serious lung disorder.


Janet      Permalink

Nov 8, 2005

The Missing Link In Lung Cancer?

The Missing Link In Lung Cancer?
Picture of TGF-B-receptor courtesy of Mayo clinic
A single protein may be all that may take for a normal healthy lung to develop into lung cancer as per the latest research form Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Researchers at Vanderbilt University found that type 2 receptors for Transforming Growth Factor-b (TGF-b), which is a family of proteins that controls key functions such as cell growth and death, were missing in non-small cell lung cancer victims. Further studies were carried out in mouse with injection of lung cancer cells and this showed that only smaller and less aggressive tumors were developing in those mice carrying the type 2 TGF-b receptors.

"We've established for the first time that these important molecules are either missing or that their action is reduced in three-quarters of all cases of lung cancer," said lead researcher Professor Pran Datta. "When we restored the molecules in lung cancer cells in mice, they reduced the ability of the cells to grow as tumors," he wrote in the British Journal of Cancer.

Now that link between type 2 TGF-b receptors and lung cancer the task would be to find out how or why the key receptor molecules go missing as the disease develops, in order to find a way of treating it..

Most mammalian cells express three abundant high affinity receptors which can bind and be cross-linked to TGF-b: the type 1), type 2 , and the type 3 receptors. While TGF-b1 binds with high affinity to the type I, II and III receptors at the cell surface, TGF-b2 binds with high affinity only to the type III receptor while binding poorly to the majority of the type I and type II receptors.



Janet      Permalink



Nov 7, 2005

Racial Differences In Lung Cancer

Racial Differences In Lung Cancer
Race may play a role in whether a patient accepts surgical treatment for lung cancer. African Americans with lung cancer may decline surgery at a higher rate than whites, leading researchers to believe that blacks may be misinformed about the effects of lung cancer surgery.

These findings are from a new published in the latest issue of CHEST, the peer-reviewed journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

"Surgery for early stage non-small cell lung cancer is standard treatment and is likely curative. Yet, fewer blacks than whites undergo surgery for the disease, leading to a higher mortality rate among blacks with lung cancer," said Bruno DiGiovine MD, FCCP, Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI. "Identifying and addressing the underlying reason for this discrepancy in surgical rates may, ultimately, lead to greater rates of surgical acceptance and decreased mortality rates among blacks with lung cancer."

"Knowing blacks decline surgery at a higher rate than whites is the first step to decreasing lung cancer mortality among this population. We must now identify why so many blacks decline lung cancer surgery," said Dr. DiGiovine. "Prior research has shown that blacks may be misinformed about the risks of surgery, as they are more likely than whites to believe that lung cancer will spread if exposed to air during operation. This misinformation may contribute to the low rate of lung cancer surgery acceptance among blacks, however, more research is needed in this area."


Janet      Permalink

Nov 6, 2005

Defective Gene Combo May Increase Cancer Risk

Defective Gene Combo May Increase Cancer Risk
Missing or abnormal genes are responsible for genetic diseases. Sometimes only these defective genes result in disease, but they are usually compounded by environmental factors.

Scientists have found that a faulty gene can greatly increase the risk of breast and prostate cancer in families, suggesting targeted screening may be effective to detect disease early.

Researchers for Cancer Research UK at the London School of Tropical Medicine and the Breakthrough Breast Cancer research center in London examined the incidence of cancers among parents, brothers, sisters and children of 469 women who had cancer in both breasts. Almost one in three patients with a normal gene had a close relative with breast cancer. But six of the seven women who had a faulty gene had at least one relative with breast cancer.

The study's leader, Julian Peto of the London School of Tropical Medicine, said: "Relatives of women with bilateral breast cancer plus a normal CHEK2 gene have their breast cancer risk increased three times. But relatives of women with bilateral breast cancer who carry the faulty version of the gene have an even higher risk.

Alan Ashworth, the director of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer center, said: "We have shown for the first time that genes originally thought to carry a low breast cancer risk can act in combination with other low-risk genes to dramatically increase a woman's chance of developing this disease."

Janet      Permalink

Nov 5, 2005

Mimicking Pregnancy To Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Mimicing Pregnancy To Reduce Breast Cancer Risk
Women who had at least one pregnancy have much less risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who have never been pregnant. Earlier during the course of the reproductive life the woman gets pregnant, higher are her chances of preventing breast cancer. The question is: can you mimic pregnancy to escape developing breast cancer and that is exactly what the researchers are asking.


Now, some researchers who gathered in Baltimore for the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research conference say they may have found a way to mimic nature and reduce the risk f breast cancer for all women.

The caveat however is that they have so far experimented this new technique only in mice. Mice, as you know after all, are not human being and naturally clinical trial have to be conducted in women before this new method cancer can be used in women. These researchers are particularly hopeful that this research will prove to be effective in women.

This is the theory of breast cancer prevention by mimicking pregnancy: when a woman becomes pregnant the fetus produces a protein called alpha feto protein (AFP). This protein is capable of reducing mother's breast cancer risk later in life.

The protective effect of breast cancer is apparent after each time a woman becomes pregnant. The younger she is the first time, the greater the benefit. Having twins or triplets increases the beneficial effect. Women who become pregnant at age of 20 have about half the risk of breast cancer as a woman whose first pregnancy occurs at 26 or later.

Researchers from Albany Medical College have produced a molecule with the same chemical characteristics as AFP and gave it to thousands of mice that had been implanted with breast cancer cells. The research team found that this compound, AFPep, stopped the growth of the cancer cells and reduced the number of tumors in the mice by 23 percent.

When AFPep was combined with tamoxifen - a drug now used to treat breast cancer - it reduced tumors by 77 percent.

"This is a new proposal and a brand new way of looking at breast cancer treatment," said Thomas T. Andersen, a biochemist and cancer researcher at the medical college.

Let's hope this will pan out to be a reliable breast cancer prevention method in human beings.

Janet      Permalink

Nov 4, 2005

Lung Cancer More Lethal In Men

Lung Cancer More Lethal In Men
Women probably has a biological advantage over men, and it is a know fact that women live longer than men. This is true even in patients with lung cancer, women with lung cancer are living longer than men, even when the disease is untreated.

A new study presented at 71st annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), found that in patients receiving treatment for lung cancer, women had significantly better survival rates than men. However, in untreated patients, women also had a 21 percent decreased risk of death as compared with men, leading researchers to believe lung cancer in women has a different biologic behavior and natural history than in men.

"In patients with lung cancer receiving treatment, women have shown a better response to therapy, resulting in better survival rates," said Juan Wisnivesky, MD, MPH, FCCP, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY. "Yet, new data suggest that even in untreated patients, women with lung cancer still live longer than men, despite the presence of other medical conditions or gender differences in life expectancy. This suggests that the progression of lung cancer has a biological basis, with the disease being more aggressive in men than women."

Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine reviewed 18,967 cases of stage I and II non-small cell lung cancer diagnosed between 1991 and 1999. These data comes from the analysis of these large number of patients.

"It is clear that gender plays a role in the survival rate of men and women," said W. Michael Alberts, MD, FCCP, President of the American College of Chest Physicians. "Physicians caring for patients with lung cancer should consider the inherent progression of lung cancer among men and women when deciding on a patient's course of treatment."

Janet      Permalink

Nov 3, 2005

Women More Susceptible To Colorectal Cancer From Tobacco

Women More Susceptible To Colorectal Cancer From Tobacco
A new study of gender and risk factors for colorectal cancer reveals that while both tobacco and alcohol increases risk for colorectal cancer, Women who smoke are at a higher risk. Researcher Anna L. Zisman, M.D. of Evanston Northwestern Health Care presented these findings at the 70th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology. Another study presented at ACG about patients undergoing colonoscopy demonstrated that patients over 75 benefit from colorectal cancer screening in detecting cancer and potentially cancerous lesions and experience no more complications from colonoscopy than younger patients.

According to Dr. Zisman, "Understanding interactions between genetic and environmental factors, such as smoking and alcohol use, is critical for colorectal cancer risk stratification, and will help us design effective screening strategies."

Dr. Zisman and her colleagues looked at women's susceptibility compared to men. They found that while age of onset of colorectal cancer was slightly younger in males than females in the non-smoking/non-drinking group, current smokers had a markedly decreased age of presentation for both men and women.

Similarly, alcohol use was associated with an earlier age of diagnosis in males and females. "While both men and women who use tobacco and alcohol are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at an earlier age, the effect of tobacco is significantly greater in women," said Dr. Zisman.

Janet      Permalink

Nov 3, 2005

Controversy Over Cervical Cancer Vaccine

Controversy Over Cervical Cancer Vaccine
A new vaccine that protects against cervical cancer has set up a clash between health advocates who want to use the shots aggressively to prevent thousands of malignancies and social conservatives who say immunizing teenagers could encourage sexual activity.

Because the vaccine protects against a sexually transmitted virus, many conservatives oppose making it mandatory, citing fears that it could send a subtle message condoning sexual activity before marriage.

In the hopes of heading off a confrontation, officials from the companies developing the shots - Merck and Co. and GlaxoSmithKline - have been meeting with advocacy groups to try to assuage their concerns.

The vaccine appears to be virtually 100 percent effective against two of the most common cancer-causing HPV strains.

Officials of both companies noted that research indicates the best age to vaccinate would be just before puberty to make sure children are protected before they become sexually active.

"It is not our intention in any way, shape or form to promote our vaccine as a substitute for any other prevention approach, be it abstinence or screening," said Mark Feinberg, Merck's vice president of medical affairs and policy. He added there is no evidence to suggest that vaccinating children will promote sexual activity.

"We hope when people understand more about what the disease is and how it can be prevented that their concerns will have been allayed," Feinberg said.

Janet      Permalink



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Cancer
Cancer is a very common disease, approximately one out of every two American men and one out of every three American women will have some type of cancer at some point during the course of their life. Cancer is more common in the elderly and 77 percent of cancers occur in people above age 55 or older. Cancer is also common in children. Cancer incidence is said to have two peaks once during early childhood and then during late years in life. No age period is completely exempted from development of cancers. Some cancers occur predominantly in the elderly, other types occur in children, Cancer occurs in all ethnic races, however the cancer rates and rates of specific cancer types may vary from group to group. Late stages of cancer may be incurable in most cases, but with the advancement of medicine, more and more cancers are becoming curable.

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