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Archive for 'CANCER'

Battling CANCER

A Guide to Colon Cancer – Know Different Aspects of It

Categories: CANCER | February 15th, 2017 | by Terry Godier | one comments

Cancer, the six letter word, induces common fear amongst all of us. Every one of us would hate to be a victim of cancer of kind. Recent studies show that almost 60 percent Americans suffer from this malicious disease and in most of the cases, the cancer type is colon cancer. What is colon cancer? Colon cancer or colorectal cancer is a type of cancer that occurs at the colon area of our body. It is indeed a disease that can cost a precious life. The reason behind colon cancer has been found to plenty and the interesting fact is that each of the reasons is different as well as quite prominent. This article will guide the readers on several aspects of colon cancer; hence keep your eyes on this.

Reasons behind Colon Cancer

Reasons of colon cancer can be divided in three aspects. Though, there are more than 10,000 reasons for which colon cancer may happen but for the ease of reading, three broader reasons will be discussed here.

• Hereditary Reasons – Yes, colon cancer can be a disease, which is getting carried by your gene. If someone in your family had colon cancer, then you are simply another suspected victim of it. However, there is nothing to be panicked as through regular screening tests, you can surpass the chances of genetic colon cancer quite conveniently.

• Malnutrition – Malnutrition is also a reason behind colon cancer. It is not that most of the Americans suffer from malnutrition, but of course they do not opt for proper diets. Lack of balanced foods or lack of nutritious substances makes our colon unhappy! If your colon’s health gets affected, you are nothing but getting prone to colon cancer or colorectal cancer.

• Colon Tumor – Some people acquires polyps or tumors in their colon area. Such tumors may become malignant, which causes cancer. However, yet anothertime, regular checkups can keep you stay out of the harm’s way.

Colon Cancer Treatments

Like all other kinds of cancer, colon cancer is also treated by two methods, and they are: surgical method and chemotherapy. Treatment of colon cancer actually depends a lot on the nature of the cancer and on the stage of cancer. Colon cancer has been broadly divided in five stages and as the stages get higher, intensity of the cancer increases. Another determining factor for treatment mode is age of the patient. Younger patients can easily undergo surgery or high dosages of chemotherapy. But this is quite not obvious for the older ones. Thus, the more age of the patient is, the more difficult the treatment is!

Prevention of Colon Cancer

To prevent colon cancer, the best possible idea is keeping the colon area healthy. For that, following tips can be suggested:

• Eat lot of natural fibers in your daily meal in order to cleanse your colon naturally.

• Drink a lot of water every day, as water is the most vital element of our colon area.

• Keep your immunity level stronger in order to protect your body from cancer.

Finally, one thing should be kept in mind and that is routine cancer checkup. Periodic checkup will not only save your life but save you from a lot of sufferings.

Author Bio:

Terry Godier is a veteran health advisor, having specialization in colon cancer research as well as treatments. He shares information, facts and treatment possibilities on colon cancer and author choice.

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6 Tips to Reduce Skin Cancer Risk

Categories: CANCER, HEALTHCARE | July 12th, 2014 | by brendonbuthello | no comments

Exposure to ultra violet ray of sunlight is most often regarded as the biggest threat for skin cancer. But other factors like overweight syndrome or obesity, malnutrition or developing skin moles or other lifestyle factors can also play significant contributory role in causing skin cancer. Anybody can become victim to skin cancer considering the wide array of risk factors that the disease involves. Skin cancer though can be treated conclusively if diagnosed in the early stage, but it is life threatening as any other type of cancer if it grows deeper enough to spread internally. Considering the huge amount of risk factors of this type of cancer you cannot help but can take a few precautionary measures. Here we provide 7 tips to reduce skin cancer risk.

1.    Avoid artificial tanning and tanning booths

For a nice brownish skin tan if you are considering artificial tanning in tanning booth as safer than direct exposure to sunlight, then you are terribly wrong and vulnerable enough to this disease. This type of artificial tanning procedure involves more dangerous radiation than normal sunlight. UV radiation in artificial tanning is 2 to 5 times greater than sunlight and thus undergoing such procedure you are more susceptible to get cancer. UV radiation causes sunburn, skin blemishes, skin aging and can fast lead to skin cancer.

2.    Check your moles as soon as you spot them

Moles or discolored spots on our skin often look harmless but in many cases they pose the potential threat or significant first symptom of a lurking cancer on skin. Moles that are there on your skin for years without changing color or shape or causing any symptom may have nothing to do with skin cancer. But if you see a mole that appears very recently and seems to change in color or size or appearance, it should be checked medically as soon as you observe it. A red and bumpy spot on skin that bleeds often or gives you an itchy sensation can be a potential risk factor. Any type of skin sores, discolored spots on skin or rashes that appear suddenly should be medically examined without delay.

3.    Cover your body with protective clothing

Protection from the torching heat of sun or direct exposure of sunlight is the first precaution one should take to prevent skin cancer. Ultra violet rays in sunlight can even penetrate through cloud, moisture or any type of climatic condition, but they are particular strong in the day sun. Wearing protective clothing that prevents the body skin from getting direct exposure to sunlight is the best preventative measure against the risk of skin cancer. Wearing garments of lighter shades is recommended especially in summer season as they absorb sunlight less than the darker shades. When roaming out in a sunny day cover your head and wear a pair of sunglasses.

4.    Apply sunscreen before going out in sun

Still if you want to bath your body in sunlight, apply sunscreen lotion generously on the bare portions of your body. Sunscreen lotion prevents the ultra violet rays of the sun from penetrating the skin and thus protects skin from harmful effects including the risk of skin cancer.

So if you prefer to roam bareback on a sunny beach do not forget to apply plenty of sunscreen all over your body. When buying sunscreen look out for SPF level of 15 or more, because sunscreen with higher SPF only protects skin both from UVA (ultra violet ray long wave) and UVB (ultra violet ray short wave). It is recommended that you apply sunscreen at least 15 to 30 minutes prior to going out in the sun and do not forget to reply in every 2 hours or more, especially if you are involved in swimming, playing or any other physical activity.

5.    Get your daily need of Vitamin D Safely

Getting too much exposure to sunlight is risky enough to get skin cancer as we already know. But getting too little of sunlight got its own demerits too. Ultra violet ray in sunlight is also the source of natural Vitamin D that is crucial for several health reasons. Vitamin D regulates calcium in blood and in effect crucial for our bones, teeth and muscles. Getting exposed to sunlight in a safe and controlled manner is the best solution to avoid either sides of health risk. In summer months early morning or late afternoon exposure to sunlight can provide you required level of UV. In winter months you can enjoy a better share of soft sunlight in a sunny day.

6.    Prevent weight gain

It has been observed that the lifestyle factors that are responsible for overweight or obesity syndromes in most cases are also frequently linked with developing cancer and skin cancer is no exception from this. Derogatory lifestyle factors like consuming junk foods, less physical exercise, hectic and frantic lifestyle, lack of rest or sleep, etc. are not only responsible for weight gain but they make us more vulnerable to cancer.

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Battling CANCER

Importance of Detecting Prostate Cancer Early

Categories: CANCER | December 3rd, 2012 | by Mary Loise | no comments


Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer that affects men. It develops in the prostate gland, where it either grows slowly or spreads to other parts of the body quickly. This disease occurs when there are abnormal cells in the prostate, although the underlying cause of this isn’t known. It’s important to recognize the signs of this disease since early detection is associated with a higher chance of successfully treating it.

Risk Factors

Prostate cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in men who are over 75 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health. NIH This disease rarely occurs in men who are younger than 40; it’s more common in men who are older than 60. Risk factors associated with this disease include being African-American and having a family history of prostate cancer. Other risk factors include eating foods that are high in fat and drinking too much alcohol.

Signs of Prostate Cancer

Prostate cancer typically causes symptoms when it’s more advanced. Common symptoms of this disease include difficulty urinating, pelvic pain, weak stream of urine, blood in urine or semen and leg swelling. Bone pain in the lower back or pelvic region can also occur in some cases. Men who experience any signs of this disease should schedule an appointment with their doctor as soon as possible.


Prostate cancer treatment has a higher success rate when the cancer is found early and hasn’t spread outside the prostate gland. The other factor that affects the prognosis of this disease is how abnormal the cancerous cells are. If the cancer has just started to spread to other areas of the body, treatment can still be successful in some cases.


Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) tests and digital rectal exams can help detect prostate cancer in the early stages. Men who have a high risk of having this disease should ask their doctor how often they need to be tested. Some organizations recommend that all men between the ages of 40 and 75 years old should have these tests done once a year, while other organizations suggest talking it over with a doctor to weigh the pros and cons first. Mayo Clinic It’s important to keep in mind that elevated PSA levels don’t necessarily indicate the presence of cancerous cells. It’s also possible to have cancer without having elevated PSA levels.


Men can lower their risk of having prostate cancer by reducing their fat intake, especially in foods that contain a lot of animal fat. Adding more fruits and vegetables can help prevent prostate cancer. Tomatoes are one of the best foods to add since they contain lycopene, which has been associated with prostate cancer prevention. Exercising on a regular basis might also help reduce the risk of this disease. Lower rates of prostate cancer have been found in men who exercise frequently. Certain medications might also help prevent prostate cancer, although some have also been linked to a higher risk of developing high-grade prostate cancer. Those who are interested in taking one of these medications should talk to their doctor about the risks involved.

When PSA levels are high or the prostate is enlarged, doctors will usually perform a biopsy to check for cancer. If prostate cancer is found, other tests are done to see if it has spread. The treatment methods following a cancer diagnosis depend on how advanced the disease is. These methods range from surgery to hormone therapy and chemotherapy. Men who are successfully treated for prostate cancer will need to visit their doctor often for testing. This is done to make sure that the cancer is gone or hasn’t spread outside the prostate gland.

About the Author:

*** author and link removed *** … // but, test your prostate levels for prevention of prostate cancer.

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Battling cancer, video of hope

Categories: CANCER, VIDEO | March 11th, 2012 | by HART 1-800-HART | one comments

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Battling And Beating Cancer – Leukemia and Leukemia Research With Dr Le Beau

Categories: CANCER, VIDEO | February 11th, 2012 | by HART 1-800-HART | 2 comments

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Battling Beating Cancer – Lymphoma Signs, Symptoms Treatments With Dr. Leo Gordon

Categories: CANCER, VIDEO | February 9th, 2012 | by HART 1-800-HART | no comments

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Categories: CANCER, VIDEO | January 14th, 2012 | by HART 1-800-HART | one comments

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Help Little Sophie In Her Battle Against Stage 4 Bone Cancer

Categories: CANCER, VIDEO | January 12th, 2012 | by HART 1-800-HART | no comments

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Three new drug to battle monster diseases approved by FDA

Categories: CANCER, HEART AND STROKE | April 13th, 2011 | by Raquel | no comments

FDA approves new treatment for large brain aneurysms

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the cPAX Aneurysm Treatment System for surgery on brain aneurysms that are difficult to manage because of their size and shape.

FDA approves new drug for advanced melanoma

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of ipilimumab for the treatment of previously treated metastatic melanoma. It is the first drug approved for metastatic, or advanced, melanoma in more than a decade.

FDA approves new treatment for rare form of thyroid cancer

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved vandetanib to treat adult patients with late-stage (metastatic) medullary thyroid cancer who are ineligible for surgery and who have disease that is growing or causing symptoms.

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Battling CANCER

Choosing jogging over blogging: an update

Categories: CANCER | April 6th, 2011 | by Raquel | no comments

I am happy where I am right now but life has just been so hectic since I started this new job. Though I miss blogging a lot (guess why I keep coming back here), I am proud to tell you that I have managed to keep to squeeze in 3 jogging runs a week, augmented by lunch break and weekend walks.

Another aspect of life that changed since I went back to work is the meals. I make sure I have breakfast but lunch is usually a quick affair (a sandwich on the desk for example) and a big evening meal. To avoid junk snacks in between, I take to work apple slices and peeled carrots. The latter are especially filling.

Having a healthy diet can be especially difficult for a busy professional. My husband gained a lot of weight (not to mention abdominal adiposity) during the years when he worked as a management consultant. Corporate dinners and expense accounts can be detrimental to your health.

The April issue of the MD Anderson Cancer Center newsletter gives some nutritional tips for busy people which include

  • Dinner in a Dash
  • Grocery List
  • Food for Thought
  • Drink a Glass of Health

Very useful tips on how to live a healthy life in a busy world.

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Friends can help prevent cancer…

Categories: CANCER, HEART AND STROKE | February 28th, 2011 | by Raquel | 20 comments

I am not the type to forward chain emails. But this one cuaght my attention and touched my heart. It was sent by one of my very good friends who is fighting cancer – for the second time.

Every month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month…….

Give this heart to everyone you don’t want to
lose in ‘2011 including me if you care.

‘Be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.’

A sharp tongue can cut your own throat.

If you want your dreams to come true, you mustn’t oversleep.

Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important.

The best vitamin for making friends…… B1.

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

the heaviest thing you can carry is a grudge..

One thing you can give and still keep…is your word.

You lie the loudest when you lie to yourself.

If you lack the courage to start, you have already finished.

One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time.

Ideas won’t work unless ‘ You’ do.

Your mind is like a parachute…it functions only when open.

The 10 commandments are not a multiple choice.

The pursuit of happiness is the chase of a lifetime!

It is never too late to become what you might have been.

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.. So love
the people who treat you right.. Forget about the
ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason.
If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If
it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life
would be easy, they just promised it would be
worth it.

Friends are like balloons;
once you let them go, you might not get them
back. Sometimes we get so busy with our own
lives and problems that we may not even notice
that we’ve let them fly away. Sometimes we are so
caught up in who’s right and who’s wrong that we
forget what’s right and wrong.. Sometimes we just
don’t realize what real friendship means until it
is too late. I don’t want to let that happen so
I’m going to tie you to my heart so I never lose

this to all your friends including me and see
how many you get back. Even send it to your
balloons that you think have flown away forever.
You may be surprised to see it return. 


Thank you for being in my life!!!

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Battling CANCER

Is non-stick cookware carcinogenic?

Categories: CANCER | February 25th, 2011 | by Raquel | one comments

We all love our non-stick cooking ware. Who wouldn’t? Such convenience for the cooking housewives! Unfortunately, recent research evidence show that that favorite Teflon pan or pot may actually be toxic!

According to a study commissioned by the watchdog Environmental Working Group (EWG):

“…cookware coated with Teflon and other non-stick surfaces can exceed temperatures at which the coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases linked to hundreds, perhaps thousands, of pet bird deaths and an unknown number of human illnesses each year.

The problem lies in compounds called perfluorochemicals (PFCs) which are used in the manufacture of Teflon and other household products. It seems that these chemicals are released when the non-stick pan becomes overheated.

A Teflon pan reached 721°F in just five minutes… At 680°F Teflon pans release at least six toxic gases, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses. At temperatures that DuPont scientists claim are reached on stovetop drip pans (1000°F), non-stick coatings break down to a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB, and a chemical analog of the WWII nerve gas phosgene.”

Some of the chronic health effects of PFCs are:

Cancer. The PFC perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) which is used in the manufacture of Teflon and other household products was declared in 2006 as a likely human carcinogen by the Science Advisory Board of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA requested manufacturers to reduce the presence of PFOA in these products by 95% in 2010 and eventually phase out the compounds from the manufacturing process. It is not clear whether the target has been net.

Cardiovascular disease. PFCs are found in food packaging and leaches out into the food. PFOA for example leaches out of popcorn bags into the popcorn that we eat. How this food contamination affect our health is not well-understood.

However, there is indication that exposure to PFOA can have an effect on cholesterol levels. Researchers at the West Virginia University report abnormally high levels of high LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the blood samples of more than 12,000 children who were exposed to PFOA after an industrial accident.

Children and babies

PFCs may actually act as endocrine disruptors and cause an imbalance in the body’s hormones, according to Norwegian researchers who observed these in animals. Ewes which were exposed to PFCs passed on the chemical to the unborn fetus and later also via breast milk. In humans, PFCs especially PFOA have been linked to lower birth weights and smaller head circumference in newborn infants whose umbilical blood cord tested positive for high levels of PFCs.

Acute toxicity

Finally, there is direct evidence that severe exposure to Teflon fumes can cause polymer fume fever or Teflon toxicosis. This condition was reported by people who inhaled fumes from overheated non-stick pans and PFC-contaminated cigarettes. People who were exposed reported flu-like symptoms especially respiratory problems. House pets, especially birds have been reported to die from exposure.

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Gear up for Charity Runs This Spring

Categories: CANCER, HEART AND STROKE | February 24th, 2011 | by Raquel | no comments

I am getting kind of impatient with this heart problem of mine. The sooner my heart rhythm is back to normal, the sooner I can train. There are several local charity runs I am interested in but can’t register until I am sure I’d be fit enough to run.

Here are a couple for charity runs in your area you might want to join in.

Fresh Air Fund seeks racers for the NYC Half-Marathon

Here is an appeal from one of my favorite not-for-profit organizations. The Fresh Air Fund still has some spots available for runners on our Fresh Air Fund-Racers team for the NYC Half-Marathon this coming March 20th.

Ready to be a part of one of the world’s best road races? Join The Fresh Air Fund-Racers on March 20th, 2011! The amazing 13.1-mile course takes you through beautiful Central Park, action-packed Times Square and ends with breathtaking finish-line views of the New York City harbor. More than 11,000 runners, of all ages and abilities, finished the NYC Half-Marathon last year, and we are so proud of our very own 2010 Fresh Air Fund-Racers who ran and raised $100,000 for us!

We are calling all runners and Fresh Air Fund supporters to come out and either challenge themselves to run the race or join our cheering squad. The Fresh Air Fund provides runners with guaranteed entry in exchange for fundraising before race day. Entries are limited – please get in touch soon! Please email kbrinkerhoff@freshair.org or call (212) 897-8890.

March for Babies

The March of Dimes is a non-profit organization advocating for pre-term babies and their families. It organizes several charity walks (March for Babies) each year. You can join as an individual, as a team (family, company, group of friends, etc.).

“When you walk in March for Babies, you give hope to the more than half a million babies born too soon each year. The money you raise supports programs in your community that help moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies. And it funds research to find answers to the problems that threaten our babies. We’ve been walking since 1970 and have raised an incredible $2 billion to benefit all babies.”

Here are some for my friends in Britain:

Walk the Walk

The 2011 26.2 Moonwalk for Breast Cancer in London is scheduled for 14 May, followed by another one in Edinburg on 11 June. Then there is the London Sun Walk on 24 July.

Race for Life for Cancer Research

Race for Life is UK’s largest female-only event. You can do 5k or 10k and race money for Cancer Research UK.

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Battling CANCER

Airport scanners are safe but you have the right to say no!

Categories: CANCER | February 16th, 2011 | by Raquel | one comments

While travelling last December – January from the northern to the southern hemisphere, I and my family must have gone through at least 10 different security check points. I don’t think we ever went through the so-called full body scanners but I guess it won’t be long till most airports will be equipped with these machines. So what do we know about these machines?

According to the American College of Radiology (ACR), there are 2 types of systems that are being used in US airports these days

Many people are concerned about the health effects of these systems. After all, these machines give off radiation! During the last few years, there have been concerns about the effects of medical radiation, especially its carcinogenic effects. Well, let’s see what the experts have to say.

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE and opt for a pat down instead!

CBS interviewed Dr. Francis Marre, former director of radiation safety at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who declared that “there is no known risk” from being scanned.

This is because the radiation emitted by these machines are very, very small.

One scan from a typical “backscatter” security scanner might deliver 0.005 to 0.01 millirem – far, far below the 10,000 millirem that is considered the danger threshold.

But if you really do not feel comfortable about going through these scanners for whatever reason, there is something you can do about it. I know of people who have the right to be concerned about the effects of radiation on their health- pregnant women and very young children, for example. What you should know but not well-publicized:

YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE and opt for a pat down instead!

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Battling CANCER

Cancer prevention in the headlines, 11 February

Categories: CANCER | February 11th, 2011 | by Raquel | no comments

February is National Heart Month in the US. What is not well known is that it is also the Cancer Prevention Month. Hence, we are bringing you some news on this topic…

Analysis: New Mammography Guidelines Will Cost Lives

In November 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) released recommendations for breast cancer for women to begin routine screening biennially, beginning at age 50 and ending at age 74 years. Prior to that time, the USPSTF – and other organizations – recommended screening mammography every 1-2 years for women beginning at age 40. The ACS recommends annual screening mammography starting at age 40.

Americna experts belived that the new guidelines raising the age for routine mammograms will cost lives. This is according to an analysis conducted by Edward Hendrick and Mark A. Helvie based on an average of six CISNET (Cancer Intervention and Surveillance Modeling Network) models of benefit. The authors report:

“These analyses also show that the individual harms from the additional screening, including the risks of recall for additional testing, biopsy, and radiation-induced breast cancers, are minimal compared with the life-saving benefit of early detection for women electing screening.”

Actively living

… can help reduce mortality due to prostate cancer. This is according to a study by researcerhs at the Harvard School of Public Health. The study looked at 2700 men with prostate cancer and their lifestyle.

“Only vigorous exercise, such as biking, playing tennis, jogging and running, reduced prostate cancer-specific mortality, and this occurred at levels of 3 or more hours per week.”

Cancer breakthrough to prevent heart failure and increase survival rates

Chemotherapy may stop cancer in its tracks but it can cause damage to the heart that can lead to heart failure. Scientists at Queen’s University Centre for Vision and Vascular Science may have a found a way to prevent heart failure in cancer patients by blocking the enzyme NADPH oxidase. According to the researchers:

“Although we have known about the NADPH oxidase enzyme for many years, until now, we were not aware of its crucial role in causing heart damage associated with chemotherapy. Our research findings hold clear potential for the creation of new drugs to block the action of the enzyme, which could significantly reduce heart damage in cancer patients.
Ultimately, this could allow for the safer use of higher doses of chemotherapy drugs and make the treatment more effective against tumours. Despite improved treatments, cancer is currently responsible for 25 per cent of all mortality in the western world. By reducing the risk of heart failure associated with chemotherapy, patient survival rates could be significantly increased.”

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Thanks for allergies?

Categories: ALLERGIES, CANCER | February 9th, 2011 | by Raquel | one comments

Here is another news item that supports the idea that allergies are “a blessing in disguise.“ It may provide protection against a type of brain tumor.

Glioma is “the most common form of primary brain tumors, which start in the brain or spinal cord.” Gliomas may be high- or low-grade tumors.

Here are some findings of a research study by scientists at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

The more, the better

It seems that the more allergies you have, the better is your protection.

In fact, patients who had more types of allergies — seasonal, medication, pet, food, and other — had even lower odds of glioma, with an 11% reduction for those with allergies in one category and a 64% reduction for those with allergies in four or more categories.”

This is not the first time that research placed allergies in a whole new – and positive –light. Previous studies have indicated the reverse relationship between allergies and cancer risk. Other studies reported that asthma (a form of allergy) may also have some protective properties.

The current research looked at 419 patients with glioma and compared them with 612 control patients without brain tumor. Of those with glioma, 344 were high-grade and 75 low-grade. The presence of allergies was based on allergy diagnosis but also on their actual use of antihistamines which are medications commonly used for allergies.

“After adjustment for age, race, gender, education, and site, patients with both high- and low-grade glioma were less likely to report having any allergy than the controls.”

So why are allergies indicative of low brain rumor incidence and risk? The scientists believe that those with allergies have an immune system with “enhanced surveillance.” The superactive immune system may actually limit abnormal growth of cells that lead to cancer.

However, more studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis.

In the meantime, we can cautiously say “Thank God for allergies!”

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NYC: No smoking in parks and beaches

Categories: ASTHMA, CANCER, HEART AND STROKE | February 7th, 2011 | by Raquel | one comments

“My world gets smaller everyday”, an old song goes. I can imagine that smokers are feeling this way these days. Especially in New York City. It all started with smoking bans in restaurants and bars in 2002. In 2011, the smoking bans will include parks and beaches as well. To be exact, the 1700 parks and the miles of beach of New York City, as well as the pedestrian malls and Plazas around Times Square, according to a report in The New York Times.

This means that cigarettes smokers are restricted more and more in terms of places where they can smoke.

The legislation was heavily and heatedly debated in the NY City Council. The pro group are supporting the rights of non-smokers. Here are what the supporters of the ban have to say:

The contras were not necessarily smokers but fear that this ban will “set a dangerous precedent”.

But how bad is the exposure to second-hand smoking to warrant such drastic measures? A New York City health department study in 2009 analyzed levels of cotinine, a nicotine by-product, in blood samples of new Yorkers. The results showed that 56.7% of non-smokers in the city have high levels of cotinine. This is significantly much higher than the national average of 44.9%. Those of Asian ethnicity or ancestry are especially susceptible – with 68.7%.

The study went on to report that smoking incidence in New York is lower that in other parts of the US due to strict indoor smoking bans. New Yorkers, however, though exposed to lower levels of smoke, are exposed more frequently due to the tight spaces typical of an urban setting. Research studies have shown that exposure indoors and outdoors does not significantly differ if the smoker is within 3 feet away.

The grounds for the legislation, therefore is public health. Recent evidence indicates the second hand or passive smoking has strong adverse effects on the health of non-smokers. These effects include increased risk for heart disease and stroke, asthma and cancer.

The legislation will be implemented by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation. Those who break the law will be fined.

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Is this your year to quit?

Categories: ADDICTION, CANCER | February 3rd, 2011 | by Raquel | no comments

So what if it’s already February. That doesn’t mean that I can’t start my New Year’s resolutions now. Or you for that matter. Especially when the resolution is for our health. Besides, the Lunar Year of the Rabbit is just starting.

If your NY’s resolution is to quit smoking, then you are looking at the right direction because quitting as soon as possible will drastically decrease your risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Here are some tips from the MD Anderson Cancer Center:

Set a date

“Picking a quit date, particularly at a time when you know your motivation is high and there will be less stress or distraction, is generally a good idea ,” according to Paul M. Cinciripini, director of MD Anderson’s Tobacco Treatment Program and professor in the Department of Behavioral Science.

Get help and support

Get all the help you can get! Free counseling is available at these “Quit Lines”:

  • Centers for Disease Control Office of Smoking and Health: 1-800-QUIT NOW
  • National Cancer Institute: 1-877-44U-QUIT

Swap habits

Identify the stimuli that trigger smoking, then replacing the smoking habit for less harmful one once the urge arises. As an example, stress is a common smoking trigger. Chewing gum or exercising that help against the stress without the smoke. But remember, do not replace one bad habit for another. “This is one of the areas where a behavioral counselor can really help,” according to Vance Rabius, another expert at MD Anderson’s Department of Behavioral Science.

Find some distraction

Find some distractions to get your mind off from smoking- a book, a video game, a stroll in the park. A friend of mine took up pottery and each time she got the urge, she went to her potter’s wheel. At the end of the year, she was smoke-free and had enough vases for Christmas presents.

Take it one day at a time

Concentrate on the short-term and just get through each day. One successful “quitter” shared her experience:

I told myself every day that I could smoke tomorrow if I wanted to, but today I wasn’t smoking. The idea that I just had to last through the day was really helpful.”

Reward yourself

Now, this is great tip. Treat yourself to something nice for every milestone, a play, a massage, a piece of jewelry, a weekend trip or even little things like going out for dinner or a film. The important thing is – pick a reward/activity that will not trigger the smoking urge.

Check out other quitting resources:

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Battling CANCER

Cancer in the headlines, 28 January

Categories: CANCER | January 28th, 2011 | by Raquel | no comments

Some bad news…

Breast Implants: FDA Review Indicates Possible Association With A Rare Cancer
Women who had breast implants have a small but still measurable increased risk for developing anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL), a rare type of blood cancer, according to a recent announcement the US FDA. Women who had implants, even if they have no symptoms, should schedule follow-ups with their doctors. Women who are considering having implants should talk it over with their doctors to weigh the risks and benefits.

According to the Breast Cancer Action group (BCA), it has “long advocated that the FDA stop approving products for the marketplace before we fully understand their potential impact on human health. The fact that the risk was only revealed through postmarketing data, after the implants have been approved and implanted drives home the point of BCA.

Diabetes/Cardiovascular Risk with Prostate Cancer Drugs
The FDA has ordered an update of the labelling of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists, drugs used in the treatment of prostate cancer The new label should warn about “an increased risk of diabetes and certain cardiovascular diseases.”  GnRH agents are available in the market under the following brand and generic names:

  • Lupron (leuprolide acetate)
  • Zoladex (goserelin acetate)
  • Trelstar (triptorelin pamoate)
  • Viadur (leuprolide acetate)
  • Eligard (leuprolide acetate).

Some good news…

New Drug Shows Promise Against Triple-Negative Breast Cancer
Iniparib is an experimental drug currently being tested in a Phase III clinical trial. The drug shows promise in treating triple-negative breast cancer which is an aggressive form of breast cancer. Data from a small Phase II trial showed that iniparib treatment can shrink tumors and prolong life. “Triple-negative breast cancer is difficult to treat because its tumor cells lack certain receptors that some common breast cancer treatments, such as tamoxifen and trastuzumab (Herceptin), target.”

No Increased Cancer Risk Seen in Stem Cell, Marrow Donors
Does donation of stem cell and bone marrow present a risk for the donors? A recent study should reassure people that this is not the case. A study collected data spanning “55,228 observation-years of health data on 12,559 donors of bone-marrow and/or peripheral blood stem cells (PBSC)” and looked especially at the incidence of common as well as rare cancers. The results found no evidence of increased risk associated with donation thereby indicating that bone marrow or PBSC donation are safe for donors.

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Battling CANCER

4-year old Canadian is youngest breast cancer survivor

Categories: CANCER | January 24th, 2011 | by Raquel | one comments

Aleisha Hunter is only 4 years old, barely just out of toddlerhood. Yet she has, in her short life, faced, battled and won over the monster that is breast cancer.

When Aleisha was 2 and a half years old, her mother noticed a small lump on her chest which grew and became painful. The case baffled the doctors at first and misdiagnosed her condition as lymphatic inflammation which is a bacterial infection of the lymph nodes.

Aleisha, who is from Ontartio, suffered from what is now known as juvenile breast carcinoma or secretory carcinoma of the breast, a disease so rare that the number cases can literally be counted on one hand.  Fortunately, this type of cancer is slow-growing and not as aggressive as the more common type of breast cancer diagnosed in adults.

According to Dr. Nancy Down, a surgical oncologist at North York General Hospital who was part of Aleisha’s surgical team:

“Cases like Aleisha’s are so rare you can almost count them on one hand. We’ve looked through the literature & the youngest we’ve found is three.”

Aleisha underwent a radical modified mastectomy that entailed removal the entire breast and the lymph nodes under the arm and is now pain and cancer-free. Like any other 4-year old pre-schooler, she’s happy and playful. However, the scar on her upper torso would always remind her of the ordeal she went through as a toddler. Dr. Down believes that Aleisha’s prognosis is good. When she gets older, she will have the option for reconstructive surgery.

About secretory breast carcinoma:

Secretory breast carcinoma is “a rare type of invasive breast cancer in which the tumour secretes fluid. Because cases of it are so rare, little research has been done on this type of cancer. But what is known is that it’s a relatively non-aggressive form of cancer that doesn’t spread quickly, and most patients recover well with treatment.”

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