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November 6, 2008, 6:13 PM CT

Quality Of Life After Breast Cancer Treatment

Quality Of Life After Breast Cancer Treatment
Opting for less damaging therapys, staying active and learning about the warning signs of lymphedema: that's how women with breast cancer can avoid developing chronic lymphedema, as per the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG). Women can learn more about how to protect themselves from this common and distressing adverse effect of therapy as well as handle the condition at the Institute's website, www.informedhealthonline.org.

Protecting women's lymph systems

Breast cancer therapy is becoming more effective, with a survival rate of more than 80% for this disease in Gera number of. As the survival rate goes up, quality of life for survivors assumes even more importance, as per the German Institute. Lymphedema is an adverse effect of breast cancer therapy caused by damage to the lymph system. When the lymph system cannot properly remove fluids from around the breast and arm, the fluid gathers and the arm swells. This causes pain and restricts movement. It could become a chronic problem that is hard to treat.

The more aggressive breast cancer therapy is, the higher the risk of lymphedema. Scientists estimate around 400,000 women in Gera number of alone have lymphoedema caused by breast cancer therapy.

"Even with a number of women having less aggressive breast cancer therapys, around 10 to 20% will develop lymphedema," as per Professor Peter Sawicki, the Institute's Director. "We doctors still underestimate the impact on patients' quality of life of therapy adverse effects like lymphedema. The first step to prevention is using therapies that limit the damage to the woman's lymph system".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 31, 2008, 5:39 AM CT

Study of breast cancer in black women

Study of breast cancer in black women
A new study seeking to improve scientists' understanding of breast cancer, including why the disease's fatality rate is higher in African-American women, is getting underway in 44 counties in North Carolina.

The project, named after the late Jeanne Hopkins Lucas, a North Carolina state senator who died of breast cancer last year, is being run by the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The research is an extension of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, one of the largest breast cancer databases in the United States.

Potential participants will be identified from among women living in the 44 North Carolina counties, as participating hospitals report newly diagnosed breast cancer cases to the North Carolina Central Cancer Registry. Using a scientifically selected study sample, UNC scientists will contact the doctor of record previous to contacting the patient about the study.

Robert Millikan, D.V.M., Ph.D., Barbara Sorensen Hulka Distinguished Professor of Epidemiology in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health, is the study's principal investigator. Mary Beth Bell, project manager of the Carolina Breast Cancer Study, is coordinating the project team, which includes nurse interviewers, recruitment specialists, outreach coordinators and others. The study is supported by the University Cancer Research Fund.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 29, 2008, 8:52 PM CT

New pancreas tumor registry

New pancreas tumor registry
Charles J. Yeo, M.D., Samuel D. Gross Professor and Chair, Department of Surgery at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, announces the establishment of the new Jefferson Pancreas Tumor Registry (JPTR).

"The purpose of the registry is to further study whether pancreas cancer occurs more frequently in families with a history of the disease," said Dr. Yeo, who is the principal investigator of JPTR. "It will also be used to determine the environmental and occupational risk factors to which pancreas cancer patients have been exposed."

The JPTR modeled after the National Familial Pancreas Tumor Registry is a longitudinal study in which participants may engage in long-term follow-up and receive information regarding scientific and epidemiological breakthroughs in pancreas cancer.

Participants are asked to complete a detailed questionnaire and may be asked to submit a blood sample and/or cheek swab. The questionnaires are designed to elicit the family health history of a patient with pancreas cancer or a non-affected family member, and to document exposure to occupational and environmental factors, such as residential radon, asbestos and second-hand tobacco smoke.

Research has shown that certain rare genetic conditions are linked to an increased risk of pancreas cancer, including familial breast-ovary cancer, familial melanoma, familial colon cancer, hereditary pancreatitis and Peutz-Jegher's syndrome (a rare hereditary condition that results in gastrointestinal polyps). "While we have not identified a causative gene yet to allow predictive testing for pancreas cancer, we can offer risk assessments and surveillance via imaging, blood tests and endoscopic ultrasound for patients with a strong family history of pancreas cancer," added Dr. Yeo.........

Posted by: Sue      Read more         Source


October 29, 2008, 8:50 PM CT

The upside to allergies: cancer prevention

The upside to allergies: cancer prevention
A new article in the recent issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology provides good evidence that allergies are much more than just an annoying immune malfunction. They may protect against certain types of cancer.

The article, by scientists Paul Sherman, Erica Holland and Janet Shellman Sherman from Cornell University, suggests that allergy symptoms may protect against cancer by expelling foreign particles, some of which may be carcinogenic or carry absorbed carcinogens, from the organs most likely to come in with contact them. In addition, allergies may serve as early warning devices that let people know when there are substances in the air that should be avoided.

Medical scientists have long suspected an association between allergies and cancer, but extensive study on the subject has yielded mixed, and often contradictory, results. A number of studies have observed inverse associations between the two, meaning cancer patients tended to have fewer allergies in their medical history. Other studies have observed positive associations, and still others found no association at all.

In an attempt to explain these contradictions, the Cornell team reexamined nearly 650 prior studies from the past five decades. They observed that inverse allergy-cancer associations are far more common with cancers of organ systems that come in direct contact with matter from the external environmentthe mouth and throat, colon and rectum, skin, cervix, pancreas and glial brain cells. Likewise, only allergies linked to tissues that are directly exposed to environmental assaultseczema, hives, hay fever and animal and food allergieshad inverse relationships to cancers.........

Posted by: JoAnn      Read more         Source


October 27, 2008, 5:41 AM CT

Purple tomatoes: The richness of antioxidants against tumors

Purple tomatoes: The richness of antioxidants against tumors
Scientists from the John Innes Centre in Norwich, Great Britain, in collaboration with other European centres participating to the FLORA project, have obtained genetically modified tomatoes rich in anthocyanins, a category of antioxidants belonging to the class of flavonoids. These tomatoes, added to the diet of cancer-prone mice, showed a significant protective effect by extending the mice lifespan. The research has been reported in the 26 recent issue of Nature Biotechnology

It is a remarkable step ahead in the study on antioxidants, especially flavonoids, widely considered as a useful tool for preventing a large number of diseases, from cardiovascular disease to certain types of can-cer. The diet followed by the majority of people living in the Western world does not appear to be suffi-cient to guarantee an adequate intake of these substances, present in a number of fruits and vegetables such as berries. That is why the FLORA project aims at understanding their mechanisms trying to find new ways to increase their consumption.

Scientists from the John Innes Centre, coordinated by Cathie Martin, tried to step on it by putting on the lab bench a naturally anthocyanins-free product as tomato and engineering it to enhance its flavonoid content. In this way scientists have obtained an ideal model to study the effect of anthocyanins.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 23, 2008, 9:21 PM CT

Study finds that practice makes perfect in lung cancer surgery

Study finds that practice makes perfect in lung cancer surgery
Patients operated on by surgeons who do not routinely remove cancer from the lungs may be at a higher risk for complications, as per a research studyconducted by scientists at Duke University Medical Center.

"Our study observed that hospitals that do higher volumes of these types of surgeries have correspondingly lower mortality rates than those who do fewer of the procedures," said Andrew Shaw, M.D., an anesthesiologist at Duke and lead investigator on the study.

"This has important implications for both patients and doctors: patients should choose a center that does these procedures often, and doctors who are only doing a few of these a year should consider either growing their practices, or focusing their attention on other, less complex, types of surgery".

The results of the study would be reported in the recent issue of the journal Cancer Therapy, but they have already appeared online on the journal's Web site. The study was funded by Duke's department of anesthesiology.

The scientists used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a publicly-available database of hospital admissions dating back 20 years and representing approximately 90 percent of hospitals in the country, to examine death rates following three common types of surgery for lung cancer -- pneumonectomy, in which the whole lung is removed, lobectomy, in which a third to half of the lung is removed, and segmental resection, in which a smaller portion of the lung is removed. Over 130,000 patient data samples were studied.........

Posted by: Scott      Read more         Source


October 21, 2008, 10:11 PM CT

New MRI technique may identify cervical cancer early

New MRI technique may identify cervical cancer early
Using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with a special vaginal coil, a technique to measure the movement of water within tissue, scientists may be able to identify cervical cancer in its early stages, as per a new study being reported in the recent issue of Radiology

The new technique offers better imaging of smaller tumors and may also improve surgical options when fertility-sparing procedures are being considered.

"Small lesions are often difficult to image, but imaging their full extent is important in surgical planning," said study author Nandita deSouza, F.R.C.R., professor and co-director of the Cancer Research UK Clinical Magnetic Resonance Research Group at The Institute of Cancer Research in London, U.K. "By adding this technique to image the diffusion, or movement, of water within tissue, we can improve the accuracy of detecting small tumors".

The American Cancer Society estimates that 11,070 American women will be diagnosed with invasive cervical cancer in 2008. Largely attributable to increased use of the Pap test, cervical cancer death rates declined 74 percent between 1955 and 1992 and continue to decline by nearly 4 percent annually.

"Cervical cancers increasingly are being picked up at an earlier stage," deSouza said. "This procedure causes no more discomfort than a Pap test and the diffusion-weighted imaging itself only takes 84 seconds." The entire procedure takes approximately 15 minutes.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 21, 2008, 9:14 PM CT

Chronic inflammation can help nurture skin cancer

Chronic inflammation can help nurture skin cancer
Inflammation, a frontline defense against infection or disease, can help nurture skin cancer, scientists have found.

IDO, an enzyme that works like a firefighter to keep inflammation under control, can be commandeered to protect early cancerous cells, say Medical College of Georgia scientists studying an animal model of chronic inflammation and skin cancer.

"Inflammation should really help prevent a tumor," says Dr. Andrew Mellor, director of the MCG Immunotherapy Center and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Molecular Immunogenetics. In fact, there is good evidence that inflammation triggers the immune response. "You want a good immune response; this is what protects you from pathogens," he says. "In this case, it's an unfortunate exploitation by cancerous cells".

In a study with Drs. George C. Prendergast and Alexander J. Muller at the Lankenau Institute of Medical Research in Philadelphia, scientists gave mice a single dose of a carcinogen at the same time they began painting a tiny portion of skin with a poison ivy derivative twice weekly for 20 weeks.

IDO quickly became part of the mix, creating a "suppressive" immune response that helped resulting premalignant cells grow into tumors, as per research published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. When they used the same protocol in a mouse in which IDO had been genetically deleted, tumor development dropped off dramatically.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


October 16, 2008, 10:59 PM CT

Prostate cancer gene test provides new early detection

Prostate cancer gene test provides new early detection
Arnhem, 16 October 2008 Prostate cancer (PCa) is one of the most common male cancers in the Western world. Currently, early detection of PCa depends on an abnormal digital rectal examination and an elevated prostate-specific-antigen (PSA) level requiring a prostate biopsy, often linked to anxiety, discomfort, complications, and heavy expenses. The prostate-cancer-gene-3 (PCA3) test is a new PCa gene-based marker carried out with a urine sample. PCA3 is highly specific to PCa and has shown promising early detection results at repeat biopsy. It may allow patients to avoid unnecessary biopsies. The PCA3 gene is dominant in over 95% of cancerous prostate tissue in comparison to non-malignant and normal prostate tissue.

Several studies have been done to evaluate the PCA3 assay. In 2007, Marks et al showed that urine PCA3 levels were more accurate than serum PSA measurements for predicting the results of repeat biopsy (Marks LS, Fradet Y, Deras IL, et al. PCA3 molecular urine assay for prostate cancer in men undergoing repeat biopsy. Urology 2007; 69:532��).

In the October 2008 issue of European Urology (http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eururo), Haese et al took the study by Marks et al even further in their evaluation of the PCA3 assay in a larger population of European men with one or two negative biopsies scheduled for repeat biopsy in order to determine its effectiveness in detecting PCa at repeat biopsy.........

Posted by: Mark      Read more         Source


October 15, 2008, 5:45 PM CT

Genetic analysis predicts whether liver cancer likely to recur

Genetic analysis predicts whether liver cancer likely to recur
Scientists are poised to unlock the genetic secrets stored in hundreds of thousands of cancer biopsy samples locked in long-term storage and previously believed to be useless for modern genetic research. With the aid of a new technique developed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers, researchers can now reconstruct thousands of genes that are "shredded" into tiny pieces when tissue samples are treated with a chemical fixative and stored in wax a protocol that is usually used to preserve the samples.

The researchers tested their new technique on liver tissue samples from 307 patients enrolled in clinical studies in four different countries. Using sophisticated microarray technology, the researchers studied RNA from stored liver tissue samples and identified a tell-tale genetic profile that indicates whether liver cancer will recur. Since the testing was done on tissue samples of patients whose clinical outcome was known, the scientists were able to associate specific "gene expression signatures" with particular outcomes.

The scientists are optimistic that oncologists will be able to use this information to determine which liver cancer patients would likely suffer recurrence and treat them to help prevent it.

"It is now possible to scan the entire genome for gene expression profiles in tissues that have been fixed for a very long timein our study as long as twenty-four years," said Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Todd R. Golub, who led the study. "There are lots of those tissues available compared with frozen ones, and tissue availability has been a real bottleneck in cancer genomic research".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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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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