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March 24, 2006, 0:18 AM CT

Why Older People Quit Smoking?

Why Older People Quit Smoking?
Research reported in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that elderly women are more likely to quit smoking than elderly men, while results are just the opposite for studies among younger populations.

"Smoking cessation was also observed more frequently among elders who had recently been diagnosed with cancer. In addition, the rate of recidivism (resuming smoking) was only 16 percent among the elderly smokers who quit, whereas prior studies report relapse rates of 35-45 percent, says head researcher Dr. Heather E. Whitson of Duke University Center for Aging." These findings indicate that older smokers may quit smoking for different reasons than younger smokers.

The study did not directly assess the smokers' reasons for quitting, but the authors postulate that factors such as lack of transportation, poor financial situation and dementia might contribute to smoking cessation in older smokers. Regardless of reason, the cessation of smoking may lower the risk of death, even when it occurs at an advanced age. The seven-year death rate among non-quitters in the study was 51.6% compared to only 44% among the quitters (eventhough the difference was not statistically significant).

The Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (AARP) conducted a survey of its members to find that only 39 percent of smokers had been advised by their physicians in the past year to stop smoking. Physicians may assume that older smokers are unlikely to give up one their few remaining pleasures. However, the Duke data suggests that further research is needed to understand the unique motivations and potential benefits of smoking cessation in the elderly.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


March 23, 2006, 9:13 PM CT

Which Esophageal Cancer Patient Will Respond To Treatment

Which Esophageal Cancer Patient Will Respond To Treatment
New research at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center shows that Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is more accurate than conventional imaging in identifying patients who have good responses to chemotherapy and radiation therapy -- a finding that could one day help some patients avoid surgery.

The results, from a study of 64 patients with esophageal cancer, are reported in the recent issue of Annals of Surgery. PET, a technology that produces images of the metabolic function of tissue, was used to test patients for cancer after therapy with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation (chemoradiation).

"While additional multi-center studies are needed, the research clearly shows that PET is a useful tool for identifying patients who respond well to chemoradiation," said Edward A. Levine, M.D., lead investigator. "Being able to identify these responders may alter the need to take some patients to surgery."

Over the past two decades, the most common therapy for esophageal cancer has been chemoradiation followed by surgery. Even with these therapys, the prognosis is poor for most patients, with long-term control rates of 25 to 35 percent. Some patients, however, respond well to chemoradiation and have improved long-term survival.

Identifying which patients will respond to chemoradiation alone -- and perhaps avoid surgery to remove part of the esophagus -- has been difficult. Conventional imaging, including both computed tomography (CT) and endoscopic ultrasound (EUS), are poor predictors of response to chemoradiation.........

Posted by: Sue      Permalink         Source


March 23, 2006, 7:24 AM CT

Avastin And Taxol For Breast Cancer

Avastin And Taxol For Breast Cancer
Avastin, and anti-angiogenesis drug is now showing promise in the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. A new research led by Dr Robin Zon, of Michiana Hematology-Oncology, PC in South Bend, Indiana has shown that combining Avastin with Taxol improves outcome in patients with metastatic breast cancer. The study has shown that a combination of Avastin and Taxol is more effective in prevention of progression of breast cancer compared to using Taxol alone.

Avastin is an anti-angiogenesis drug that works by blocking the formation of new blood vessels by the growing cancer cells. Some claim that the combination of chemotherapy and Avastin works better by facilitating chemotherapy delivery to the cancer cells.

This new research studied effectiveness of Avastin in combination with Taxol. The study enrolled in total of 722 patients with advanced breast cancer. The study found that combination of Avastin and Taxol was capable of keeping the cancer stable for a period of 11.4 months in women who received the drug combo compared to 6.11 months in patients who had only been given Taxol.

Researchers say that this presents yet another option for patients with advanced breast cancer. "These results are good news for people with breast cancer," said Zon who presented the results of the trial sponsored by the U.S. National Cancer Institute at the 5th European Breast Cancer Conference in Nice, France.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink


March 22, 2006, 11:26 PM CT

Emotional Benefits From Online Support Groups

Emotional Benefits From Online Support Groups
Women with breast cancer who participate in computer support groups can obtain emotional benefits when they openly express themselves in ways that help them make sense of their cancer experience, as per a new study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center of Excellence in Cancer Communications Research (CECCR).

"Even though there are a number of women with breast cancer participating in online support groups, this is among the first research studies to demonstrate measurable benefits from participation in such groups," says Bret Shaw, lead author of the study, funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The analysis was conducted on message transcripts from 66 breast cancer patients participating in an online support group member that was integrated with the "Living with Breast Cancer" program, a computer-based health education and support system. The patients were recruited from Madison, Chicago and Indianapolis.

Text messages within the computer-mediated support groups were analyzed using a text analysis program, which measured the percentage of words that were suggestive of learning or understanding (e.g., aware, feels, know, realize, see, think and understand). A higher percentage of these insightful words were associated with improved emotional well-being and reduced negative mood in follow-up surveys.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


March 22, 2006, 7:21 AM CT

Follow-up Of Breast Cancer Survivors

Follow-up Of Breast Cancer Survivors
What is the best way of follow-up breast cancers survivors that would help an early detection of breast cancer recurrence? Research indicates that breast cancer survivors receive better care if they get follow-ups by two physicians, their own family doctor and an oncologist. This is better than seeing just one physician.

Prior studies have indicated that up to one third of women who survive breast cancer do not get follow-up mammograms. Breast cancer survivors would have a better chance of getting mammograms and early detection of breast cancer recurrence if two physicians handle the care.

Scientists found that the best approach for delivering care for breast cancer survivors remains unclear. They tracked mammography use among survivors followed by primary-care physicians, cancer specialists or both. The study lasted for three years and involved more than 3,800 women, age 66 or older, who'd been treated for breast cancer.

One third of these women received shared oncologist/generalist doctor care. The study found that, that group who had two physicians overlooking the care experienced higher mammography (84 percent) than breast cancer survivors cared for by a specialist or generalist alone (76 percent).........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink


March 21, 2006, 10:02 PM CT

One Step Closer To Cancer Vaccine

One Step Closer To Cancer Vaccine
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have helped to identify a molecule that can be used as a vaccination agent against growing cancer tumours. Eventhough the results are so far based on animal experiments, they point to new methods of treating metastases.

The results are presented in the online edition of the prestigious scientific journal Nature Medicine, and represent the collaborative efforts of scientists at KI and Leiden University Medical Centre in Holland.

The study analysed an immunological cell, a T cell, which recognises other cells with defects common to metastasing ones. These defects (which are found in MHC class 1 molecules) allow the tumour cell to evade the "conventional" T cell-mediated immune defence.

The scientists have identified a short peptide molecule that the T cell in the study recognises. Using this peptide, the scientists can vaccinate and protect against the spread of tumours from different tissues, including melanoma, colon cancer, lymphoma, and fibrosarcoma.

"So far we've only conducted research on mice, so it's too early to get out hopes up too much," says research scientist Elisabeth Wolpert at the Microbiology and Tumour Biology Centre. "However, the study does point towards new possible ways of developing a therapy for advanced tumour diseases".........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source


March 21, 2006, 8:51 PM CT

Changes To In Utero And Cancer

Changes To In Utero And Cancer
Manipulating the in utero environment may alter the onset of cancers that appear later in the lives of mammals, as per a new University of Toronto study reported in the journal Carcinogenesis.

"We know that cancer-causing agents can travel across the placenta and harm the developing embryo or fetus," says Professor Peter Wells of the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy. "This study provides the first direct evidence that changing the uterus's molecular environment - in this case, by increasing the presence of antioxidants by adding vitamin E to the mice's diet - alters the carcinogenic process in adult life".

Wells and doctoral student Connie Chen worked with pregnant mice that had been genetically altered to lack one or both copies of the p53 gene, which results in a high incidence of cancers among their offspring. Previous to and throughout pregnancy, these mice were given either a normal diet or one supplemented with a high dose of vitamin E. The offspring were then observed for DNA damage and the onset of cancer. Two additional control groups, with both copies of the p53 gene intact, were also used in the experiment, one of which was given the vitamin E supplemented diet.

"Increased levels of vitamin E reduced in utero deaths among the offspring from 40 per cent in the control groups to five per cent in the test groups. In contrast, surprisingly, it also increased the onset of cancer in the offspring," Wells says. "Offspring that were exposed to vitamin E and lack one or both copies of the gene developed cancers nine per cent and 21 per cent faster than the equivalent control groups."........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink


March 21, 2006, 7:34 AM CT

Fastest growing cancer in America

Fastest  growing cancer in America
Fastest growing cancer in America.

Esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the United States. Unlike a number of other types of cancers a number of of esophageal cancers could be linked to the irritation caused by the stomach acid on the lower end of esophagus. Chronic irritation in this area may cause changes and damage that may eventually lead to the development of cancer.

An estimated Some 3 million Americans are thought to have a type of esophagus damage from severe acid reflux that puts them at increased risk for the deadly cancer. This is called Barrett's esophagitis. Scientists are trying to explore ways in which the damaged areas can reverted to normal so that cancer can be prevented. This issue becomes important when we recognize that there has been a six-fold increase in esophageal cancer the last two decades in the main sub type of esophageal cancer that is associated with acid reflux.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink


March 21, 2006, 7:11 AM CT

Breast Cancer Outcome Among Ethnic Groups

Breast Cancer Outcome Among Ethnic Groups
As per a new study, African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer and minorities in general do not receive the best therapy for the disease compared to white women.

This study reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, highlights the issues involved with racial and socioeconomic aspects of breast cancer. The study has observed and even after adjusting for socioeconomic differences, African-American are 20 percent more likely than white women to die of breast cancer.

A second study found that women in minority groups, including Hispanics, are half as likely to get complete follow-up therapy for the disease.

"Even after controlling for socioeconomic status and disease stage, African American women were 19 percent more likely to die from breast caner than white women," said Lisa Newman, Director of the Breast Care Center at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor who led the research.

The second study, conducted at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, found that minority women with early-stage breast cancer had double the risk of white women of failing to receive radiation, chemotherapy or hormonal treatment following breast cancer surgery.

The likelihood of not getting proper follow-up therapy among whites was 16 percent, much lower than the 23 percent for Hispanics and 34 percent among blacks.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink


March 20, 2006, 8:31 PM CT

Environmental Chemicals Cause Cancer

Environmental Chemicals Cause Cancer
New research at the University of Liverpool suggests that environmental contaminants, such as pesticides, are more influential in causing cancer than previously thought.

Prior studies in cancer causation have often concluded that exposure to carcinogenic or endocrine-disrupting chemicals, for example, organochlorines (OC) - found in pesticides and plastics - occurs at concentrations that are too low to be considered a major factor in malignant disease. Now new research at the University of Liverpool, reported in the Journal of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine, has found that exposure even to small amounts of these chemicals may result in an increased risk of developing cancer - especially for infants and young adults.

The research consisted of systematic reviewing of recent studies and literature concerning the environment and cancer, and was supported by the Cancer Prevention and Education Society. Professor Vyvyan Howard and John Newby, from the University's Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, also found that genetic variations, which can predispose some people to cancer, may interact with environmental contaminants and produce an enhanced effect.

Professor Howard said: "Organochlorines are persistent organic pollutants (POPs), which disperse over long distances and bioaccumulate in the food chain. For humans the main source of OC exposure is from diet, primarily through meat and dairy products. Children are exposed to dioxin, a by-product of OCs, through food; dioxin and other POPs can also cross the placenta and endanger babies in the womb. Breastfed infants can be exposed to OCs with endocrine disrupting properties that have accumulated in breast milk. Our research looks at involuntary exposure to these chemicals in the air, food and water.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         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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