Cell Phones and Cancer: An International Cover Up or an Incitement of Mass Hysteria?

June 10, 2020 by  

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Although the debate regarding cell phones and brain tumors has been raging since the devices became prevalent in the 90s, recent revelations in its proponents’ partiality has done little to convince any believers otherwise.  Back in May, the results of the long awaited, decade long international Interphone study were released, proving to be as inconclusive as we all thought it would be, equivocally stating that “the possible effects of long-term heavy use of mobile phones require further investigation.” It doesn’t help that the study was funded by the Mobile Manufacturers’ Forums (an international association of telecom manufacturers) and the GSM Association (a manufacturer of mobile phones). 

Most of the studies that have found a connection between cell phones and cancer have been too small to be heard over the larger, more heavily funded studies.  Take for instance, Dr. George Carlo, who was hired to head a $28 million research program.  Apparently he didn’t get the memo, since he was fired shortly after he released a statement announcing that there was an evident connection between brain cancer deaths and cell phones.  A group of scientists for the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC, came forward last month with a list of scientists that they accused of being biased by being previously long term employees of Motorala and other cell phone manufacturers.

Regardless of whether you believe there is an international cover up going on, or whether mobile phone companies are simply avoiding any mass hysteria, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Try to avoid sleeping next to your phone, and keep the phone at least one inch away from your ear at all times.  Even if the phone is turned off, the electrical fields dissipate quickly, but the magnetic fields are not only the ones that have been linked to cancer, but take much longer to dissipate.  Using the speaker phone or your blue tooth as much as possible will also help reduce your exposure from the radiation, as well as make it easier to talk while you’re driving without getting a ticket. 

Also, wearing earrings can actually put you more at risk.  The metal can actually retain the magnetic field, prolonging your exposure to the radiation even after you’ve put the phone down.  This holds true for other pieces of jewely as well.  For instance, wearing a metal watch near a satellite dish for your internet will conduct the magnetic fields along your acupuncture meridians, which are actually known to make you more susceptible to cancer.

Although the cell phone companies’ constant pressure on research groups definitely does not look good, it still is not proof there is in fact no causal relationship between cell phones and cancer.  But hey, there must be something to it if they’re spending this much money stopping the truth from getting out, right?


Follicular Lymphoma: On the Road to Cure Part H (Long Term Survivorship and the Road Ahead)

June 10, 2020 by  
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Follicular Lymphoma: On the Road to Cure Part H (Long Term Survivorship and the Road Ahead)
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Causes, Symptoms and Treatments of Mesothelioma

June 10, 2020 by  

Caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma is a type of cancer that breeds tumors in the linings of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. Due to its inexpensive, versatile and flame retardant nature, asbestos was routinely incorporated in ship assembly, vehicle parts and construction materials until the early 1980’s. Those at greatest risk for developing this cancer are Navy veterans, shipyard workers, asbestos miners and manufacturers, construction crews and mechanics.

All forms of mesothelioma have been found to cause unexplained loss of appetite and weight, as well as sub dermal masses of tissue near the affected area. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma, or tumors within the lining of the lungs, include shortness of breath, coughing and chest pain. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the abdomen, may lead to abdominal discomfort and swelling. Pericardial mesothelioma, affecting the outer lining of the heart, may be indicated by chest pain and labored breathing.

Since these symptoms appear with a number of other diseases and illnesses, it is vital to inform the physician if these warning signs appear after having previously been exposed to asbestos. The health care industry has made great strides in the treatment of mesothelioma, increasing the chances of survival following diagnosis.

Currently mesothelioma treatments include surgery, medication, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and combination regimens. The two most common surgical treatments for mesothelioma are pleurectomy decortication and extrapleural pneumonectomy. In pleurectomy decortication, either a portion or the entire affected lining of the lungs is removed, depending on how far the tumors have spread.

During extrapleural pneumonectomy, the cancerous lung and portions of the diaphragm, outer heart lining and the lining of the chest cavity are removed. Both surgeries are considered potentially curative and may increase the chances of surviving mesothelioma. In order to be eligible for either of these surgeries, the patient must be otherwise healthy and the cancer must be within its earliest stages.

With chemotherapy, an intravenous combination of the medications cisplatin or carboplatin and pemetrexed is most often utilized. Though this treatment boasts a high success rate, many patients choose not to undergo chemotherapy due to the associated negative side effects.

Most often used when mesothelioma has surpassed the stages at which surgery would be effective, radiation is used to diminish tumors. This treatment lacks the harsh side effects of chemotherapy but can damage otherwise healthy tissue. Physicians will generally suggest a combination of the aforementioned methods as the most effective treatment.

Research is leading to a number of new and innovative treatments for mesothelioma, such as gene therapy, immunotherapy and photodynamic therapy. Gene therapy employs a modified virus to repair mutated cells. Immunotherapy utilizes the body’s own immune cells to safely destroy cancer cells. With photodynamic therapy, the patient is given a specific medication that causes cancer cells to be susceptible to a specific type of light. Once the medication takes effect, the cancerous cells are exposed to this light via laser, thereby being eradicated.

Due to advances in the treatment of this cancer, for patients mesothelioma life expectancy has increased from less than one year to in excess of ten years. Treatment options and prognoses will vary, depending on the type of mesothelioma the patient has developed, the stage at which it is detected and prior health of the patient, as well as a number of other factors.



Jack is an avid blogger in the medical community. He’s currently an undergraduate, pre-med, and though he’s only just formally learning about cancer, he has studied it extensively on his own. He hopes that more knowledge about mesothelioma could help work for a cure, or at least earlier diagnoses. Check here to learn more about mesothelioma.

TAGS: cancer, mesothelioma, asbestos, treatment, healthcare


A Guide to Colon Cancer – Know Different Aspects of It

February 15, 2017 by  
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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

July 12, 2014 by  

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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.


Importance of Detecting Prostate Cancer Early

December 3, 2012 by  
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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

March 11, 2012 by  
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Battling cancer, video of hope
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Battling And Beating Cancer – Leukemia and Leukemia Research With Dr Le Beau

February 11, 2012 by  
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Battling And Beating Cancer - Leukemia and Leukemia Research With Dr Le Beau
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Battling Beating Cancer – Lymphoma Signs, Symptoms Treatments With Dr. Leo Gordon

February 9, 2012 by  
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Battling Beating Cancer - Lymphoma Signs, Symptoms Treatments With Dr. Leo Gordon
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January 14, 2012 by  
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Help Little Sophie In Her Battle Against Stage 4 Bone Cancer

January 12, 2012 by  
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Help Little Sophie In Her Battle Against Stage 4 Bone Cancer
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Three new drug to battle monster diseases approved by FDA

April 13, 2011 by  

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.

Choosing jogging over blogging: an update

April 6, 2011 by  
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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.

Friends can help prevent cancer…

February 28, 2011 by  

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!!!


Is non-stick cookware carcinogenic?

February 25, 2011 by  
Filed under CANCER

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.

Gear up for Charity Runs This Spring

February 24, 2011 by  

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.

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

February 16, 2011 by  
Filed under CANCER

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!

Cancer prevention in the headlines, 11 February

February 11, 2011 by  
Filed under CANCER

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.”


Thanks for allergies?

February 9, 2011 by  

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!”

NYC: No smoking in parks and beaches

February 7, 2011 by  

“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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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.