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December 13, 2010, 7:26 AM CT

Breast cancer in pregnant women

Breast cancer in pregnant women
Do not delay therapy of breast cancer just because a woman is pregnant, said lead researcher Sibylle Loibl, Dr. med, of the German Breast Group.

This suggestion is based on study results detailing the effects of different therapy options on the infant. Loibl presented this data at the 33rd Annual CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec. 8-12, 2010.

"At the time we started the study in 2003, there was hardly any information on breast cancer treatment during pregnancy, but we felt there was a medical need for it," she said.

Eventhough the occurence rate of pregnancy among patients with breast cancer is small (about 2 to 3 percent), women are delaying childbirth until later in age, which may increase the instances of cancer cases among pregnant women, as per Loibl.

The scientists collected data from women diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant to see how the infants fared.

From April 2003 until June 2010, they collected data from 313 women, aged 23 to 47 years old. The women had various subtypes of breast cancer, and the cancer was in various stages when diagnosed. All of the women were pregnant when they were diagnosed with cancer: 23 percent were in the first trimester, 42 percent were in the second and 36 percent were in the third trimester. Some women received various therapy regimens while the rest received chemotherapy.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 13, 2010, 6:57 AM CT

Pomegranate juice components to fight cancer

Pomegranate juice components to fight cancer
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have identified components in pomegranate juice that both inhibit the movement of cancer cells and weaken their attraction to a chemical signal that promotes the metastasis of prostate cancer to the bone. The research could lead to new therapies for preventing cancer metastasis.

Performed in the lab of Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology, the research was presented today (Dec. 12, 2010) at the 50th annual meeting of the American Society for Cell Biology taking place in Philadelphia.

Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men in the United States. To date, there is no cure for it. If prostate cancer recurs after therapys of surgery and/or radiation, commonly the next therapy is the suppression of the male hormone testosterone, which inhibits the growth of the cancer cells because they need this hormone to grow. But over time, the cancer develops ways to resist hormone suppression therapies, becomes very aggressive, and metastasizes to the bone marrow, lungs, and lymph nodes, commonly resulting in the patient's death.

The Martins-Green lab applied pomegranate juice on laboratory-cultured prostate cancer cells that were resistant to testosterone (the more resistant a cancer cell is to testosterone, the more prone it is to metastasizing).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 13, 2010, 6:49 AM CT

Biological diversity of ovarian cancer

Biological diversity of ovarian cancer
Cancer prevention experts have long been frustrated by the lack of a meaningful way to screen women for ovary cancer. It is a relatively rare disease that often progresses with few symptoms until it is too late for potentially curative therapys, and elevated values of the most usually used biomarker used in screening, CA125, are also correlation to other disorders.

Now, researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute say that incorporating the latest information about the biological diversity of ovary cancer appears to lessen the potential value of screening even further.

"I feel that what this and other studies are telling us is that we will have to do a whole lot more than screening to protect women from this terrible disease," said Laura Havrilesky, MD, an associate professor of gynecologic oncology at Duke and the main author of the study appearing in the journal CANCER "We need to work harder to find better approaches to screening and also consider the potential value of preventive strategies." .

Until recently, ovary cancer has been regarded as a single disease. But studies at Duke and elsewhere have shown that it has at least two distinct subtypes, a slow-growing, indolent form, which takes months to years to move into an advanced stage, and a more aggressive variety driven by key gene mutations that gallops through stages I and II in about half that time.........

Posted by: Emily      Read more         Source


December 10, 2010, 10:58 PM CT

Cataracts: Prevention and Treatment

Cataracts: Prevention and Treatment
For many people, cataracts are a common, inevitable consequence of aging. A cataract is a blurring and impairment of vision as the eye's natural lens becomes cloudy. In addition to this blurriness, individuals with cataracts may have difficulty seeing at night, decreased experience of colors, and heightened sensitivity to bright conditions; they may often find themselves getting new prescriptions from their eye doctors. Cataracts can begin to develop when a person is 40 or 50, but most individuals do not experience serious, detrimental vision consequences as a result of cataracts before their 60s.

Can cataracts be prevented?

There is no foolproof way to prevent cataracts, but certain steps may slow the progression of cataracts. Some evidence suggests that smoking can facilitate cataract development so stopping or reducing the habit could help. Other studies advocate moderation in the consumption of alcohol (three or fewer drinks on a daily basis). Because UV rays can damage tissue, consistently wearing sunglasses can decrease your risk as well. Other active steps that you can take include eating a healthful diet that includes fruits and vegetables, and scheduling eye exams regularly. In addition to looking for cataracts, your doctor will be more likely to catch a number of other potential eye diseases in their early stages if you are going in for routine appointments. Importantly, if you have diabetes, be pro-active in managing the symptoms because high blood sugar can contribute to damage of the proteins that constitute the eye’s natural, crystalline lens thereby leading to cataracts or other vision problems. By extension, maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of diabetes. Finally, ask your doctor whether any of your medications put you at an elevated risk for cataracts; some corticosteroids, tranquilizers, and steroidal eye drops may do so.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


December 9, 2010, 7:48 AM CT

Autism breakthrough

Autism breakthrough
Eastern Virginia Medical School scientists have identified a potential novel therapy strategy for the social impairment of people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), an aspect of the condition that has a profound impact on quality of life.

"Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorders are either disinterested in social interactions or find them unpleasant. They often don't understand what other people are thinking or feeling and misinterpret social cues," said Stephen I. Deutsch, MD, PhD, the Ann Robinson Chair and professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. "Sadly, persons with autism spectrum disorders are often painfully aware of their limited sociability, which can lead to profound feelings of sadness and frustration".

As part of their research, EVMS researchers verified that a specific mouse strain, known as the BALB/c mouse, is a valid animal model of the limited sociability seen in persons with ASD. In the presence of another mouse, BALB/c mice move as far away as possible and do not interact as normal mice do just like people with autism often avoid making social contact with other people.

This finding gave scientists a way to test whether an existing medicine can alter the function of certain receptors in the brain known to affect sociability and help the animals be more at ease around others. The medicine used, D-Cycloserine, originally was developed to treat tuberculosis, but prior studies showed, by chance, that it might change social behavior. In preliminary studies at EVMS, the medicine appeared to resolve the Balb/c mouse's deficits of sociability; it behaved as a normal mouse would when placed near another.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 9, 2010, 7:35 AM CT

Cranberry Juice Not Effective Against Urinary Tract Infections

Cranberry Juice Not Effective Against Urinary Tract Infections
Drinking cranberry juice has been recommended to decrease the occurence rate of urinary tract infections, based on findings based on observation and a few small clinical trials. However, a newly released study reported in the January 1 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, and now available online, suggests otherwise.

College-aged women who tested positive for having a urinary tract infection were assigned to drink eight ounces of cranberry juice or a placebo twice a day for either six months or until a recurrence of a urinary tract infection, whichever happened first. Of the participants who suffered a second urinary tract infection, the cranberry juice drinkers had a recurrence rate of almost 20 percent, while those who drank the placebo suffered only a 14 percent recurrence.

"We assumed that we would observe a 30 percent recurrence rate among the placebo group. It is possible that the placebo juice inadvertently contained the active ingredients that reduce urinary tract infection risk, since both juices contained Vitamin C," explained study author Betsy Foxman, PhD, of the University of Michigan School of Public Health in Ann Arbor. She added, "Another possibility is that the study protocol kept participants better hydrated, leading them to urinate more frequently, therefore decreasing bacterial growth and reducing urinary tract infection symptoms".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 9, 2010, 7:02 AM CT

Embryonic stem cell research

Embryonic stem cell research
States, not the federal government, now fund the majority of human embryonic stem cell research conducted in the United States, as per a recent study in the journal Nature Biotechnology In addition, states varied substantially in the extent to which they prioritized human embryonic stem cell research, and much of the research performed in the states could likely have been funded by the National Institutes of Health under federal guidelines established by President Bush in 2001.

"While the federal government still contributes more to stem cell research overall, each year since 2007 these six states have funded more human embryonic stem cell research than the federal government," said Aaron Levine, assistant professor at Georgia Tech.

Levine created an online searchable database (http://www.stemcellstates.net/) that allows users to find detailed information about each grant given out by the six states that adopted programs specifically to fund stem cell research. The database currently covers grants given out by California, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey and New York from December 2005 to December 2009, and will be updated yearly with new information.

"From what I could tell, only a relatively small portion of the stem cell research supported by these states was clearly ineligible for federal funding," said Levine, who is on the faculty of the School of Public Policy in the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


December 8, 2010, 7:15 AM CT

Are depressed people too clean?

Are depressed people too clean?
In an effort to pinpoint potential triggers leading to inflammatory responses that eventually contribute to depression, scientists are taking a close look at the immune system of people living in today's cleaner modern society.

Rates of depression in younger people have steadily grown to outnumber rates of depression in the older populations and scientists think it appears to be because of a loss of healthy bacteria.

In an article reported in the recent issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, Emory neuroscientist Charles Raison, MD, and his colleagues say there is mounting evidence that disruptions in ancient relationships with microorganisms in soil, food and the gut may contribute to the increasing rates of depression.

As per the authors, the modern world has become so clean, we are deprived of the bacteria our immune systems came to rely on over long ages to keep inflammation at bay.

To view a video with Dr. Raison: http://bit.ly/wearetooclean.

"We have known for a long time that people with depression, even those who are not sick, have higher levels of inflammation," explains Raison.

"Since ancient times non-malignant microorganisms, some times referred to as 'old friends,' have taught the immune system how to tolerate other harmless microorganisms, and in the process, reduce inflammatory responses that have been associated with the development of most modern illnesses, from cancer to depression".........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


December 8, 2010, 6:56 AM CT

Eat brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables

Eat brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables
Ground-breaking research from Professor Douglas Kell, reported in the journal Archives of Toxicology, has observed that the majority of debilitating illnesses are in part caused by poorly-bound iron which causes the production of dangerous toxins that can react with the components of living systems.

These toxins, called hydroxyl radicals, cause degenerative diseases of a number of kinds in different parts of the body.

In order to protect the body from these dangerous varieties of poorly-bound iron, it is vital to take on nutrients, known as iron chelators, which can bind the iron tightly.

Brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of chelators, as is green tea, with purple fruits considered to have the best chance of binding the iron effectively.

However, despite conflicting reports, the widely-publicised benefits of red wine seem to work in a different way, and have no similar benefits, Professor Kell's paper noted.

This new paper is the first time the link has been made between so a number of different diseases and the presence of the wrong form of iron, and gives a crucial clue as to how to prevent them or at least slow them down.

Professor Kell argues that the means by which poorly-liganded iron accelerates the onset of debilitating diseases shows up areas in which current, traditional thinking is flawed and can be dangerous.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


December 7, 2010, 7:47 AM CT

Mammogram sensitivity and menstrual cycle

Mammogram sensitivity and menstrual cycle
Try to schedule your screening mammogram during the first week of your menstrual cycle. It might make breast cancer screening more accurate for pre-menopausal women who choose to have regular mammograms. This recommendation comes from an article published online December 3 in Radiology by Diana Miglioretti, PhD, a senior investigator at Group Health Research Institute.

Dr. Miglioretti and her co-authors are working on an issue at the heart of recent controversies about breast cancer screening mammograms. In November 2009, new recommendations-including that women should discuss with their doctors whether to begin having regular screening mammograms at age 40 or wait till age 50-were issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of health care providers who generate medical guidelines based on clinical research.

Some facts correlation to the new recommendations prompted the study by Dr. Miglioretti and his colleagues:
  • Mammography can detect cancer in women in their 40s.
  • But these women are at higher risk than are older women for a false-negative result (missing a cancer that is present) or a false-positive result (recalling a woman for further workup when cancer is not present).
  • False positives lead to unnecessary tests, including biopsies.
  • ........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Did you know?
Studies in monkeys and women suggest that unlike traditional estrogen therapy, a diet high in the natural plant estrogens found in soy does not increase the risk of uterine cancer in postmenopausal women, according to Mark Cline, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of comparative medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

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