Movember – Health and cooking tips to fight cancer: BBQ Grilling Meat

April 11, 2011 by  
Filed under VIDEO

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

Nutritionist Beth Ginsberg shows you how grilling meat can affect your prostate. Grow a moustache in November to raise money for the fight against prostate cancer. For more information on Movember visit

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!

The male infertility-cancer link

March 30, 2010 by  
Filed under CANCER

Talk about hitting a man when he is already down. A recent research studyreports that male infertility in younger years may be an indication for increased likelihood of having aggressive prostate cancer later in life. The study looked at 22,562 male patients checked for infertility from 1967 to 1998. The data, which were include in 15 California infertility clinics were crosslinked to data in the California Cancer Registry.  Statistical analysis of the data showed that those who had been diagnosed to have the male factor infertility have the highest risk for high-grade prostate cancer, with a 2.6 times higher likelihood compared to those without the factor.

The authors concluded:

Men with male factor infertility were found to have an increased risk of subsequently developing high-grade prostate cancer. Male infertility may be an early and identifiable risk factor for the development of clinically significant prostate cancer.

The results were published in the journal Cancer. The study was conducted by American researchers from different research institutes, led by a team at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF).

This is not the first study to link male infertility to male-specific cancer. Previous studies have reported that infertile males have higher risk for testicular cancer than those who have normal fertility. And many experts believe there is a strong genetic factor involve.

According to study author and fertility specialist Dr. Paul Turek, who founded the Turek Clinic in San Francisco:

“Over all, this leads me to think that a common genetic defect, or a defect in an important genetic pathway, may underlie all three and possibly even more conditions in life. The infertility is just the first ’sign’ of the problem. Maybe, infertility is the ‘ultimate’ medical disease of a species and reflects larger issues down the line that are serious enough to have God or Darwin say ‘no more reproduction’ to that individual.”

The infertility-cancer link has some consequences on in vitro fertilization (IVF). Are infertile fathers going through the IVF procedure passing on the infertility and cancer factor to their offsprings? Are there any other health risks related to infertility? Would this line of research eventually lead to the popular use of preimplantation genetic screening?

Cannabis use linked to testicular cancer

February 18, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

The regular use of marijuana or cannabis seems to increase a man’s risk for prostate cancer. This is according to study by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington and whose results were recently published in the journal Cancer.

The study looked at 369 men who had testicular cancer and 979 cancer-free men and interviewed them on marijuana use. Data analysis showed that marijuana use is a strong risk factor in the development of testicular cancer. This is the very first study to find the association between cannabinoid use and this type of cancer.

Previous studies have identified the following risk factors:

  • Genetics/family history
  • Injuries to the testicles
  • A childhood condition of undescended testicles

In recent years, the incidence of testicular cancer has been increasing especiallyin the US and Europe and no one knows the reason why.

According to Cancer Research UK, testicular cancer accounts for 1 to 2% of all cancers in males and occurs between the ages of 20 and 39. In the UK, 2000 cases are being reported each year. In the US, more than 8000 news cases have been reported in 2008, as well as 380 cases of death, according to the US National Cancer Institute (NIC).

There are two main types of testicular cancer (Source: NIC), namely:

Seminomas are cancer cellss that grow slowly and are sensitive to radiation therapy

Nonseminomas are different cell types that grow more quickly than seminomas and are more aggressive.

The current study showed that marijuana use is more associated with nonseminoma which is the more aggressive form of testicular cancer. Furthermore, the risk seems to be higher when cannabis used started at a very young age, e.g. younger than 18 years old.

This is rather disturbing because this is the stage when young men are wont to experiment when substances, including cannabis.

Marijuana is formally known as cannabis and comes from the leaves and flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa. Consumption of cannabis is usually through smoking. It is considered an illegal drug in many countries. The US FDA classifies cannabis under Schedule I substances because it has a very high potential for abuse and addiction.

The consumption of marijuana became popular in the 60s and 70s and this timeframe coincided with the increase in the incidence of testicular cancer. Larger studies are needed to confirm the link between cannabis use and testicular cancer.


Photo credit: stock.xchng

New things in the New Year for Lance Armstrong

January 1, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

Resource Post for January

He is probably one of the most well-known cancer survivors and athletes of our times. What is even astounding is the fact that his name is known in sporting world of North America and Europe, two continents whose traditional sports events seldom come together. And, in a sport almost destroyed with doping scandals, he came out clean.

I am referring to Lance Armstrong, American cyclist and seven times winner (record!) of Tour de France, considered to be the world’s most demanding and rigorous sports competition. The fact that Lance is a survivor of testicular cancer makes his feat all the more incredible.

Lance is also the founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a not for profit organization whose mission statements is “we unite people to fight cancer believing that unity is strength, knowledge is power and attitude is everything.

Lance had an aggressive form of testicular cancer: 60% choriocarcinoma, 40% embryonal and less than 1% teratoma which had spread to his brain and lungs, He underwent cancer treatment from October to December 1996 which included two surgeries and several cycles of chemotherapy. Before knowing he would survive the monster, he declared himself a survivor and set up the foundation.

Recently, the foundation joined forces with other advocacy groups American Cancer Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to pledge their help to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in fighting the rising global incidence of cancer. According to the press release:

The American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation also issued a 6-point call-to-action outlining steps the incoming US administration can take to ease the global cancer burden.

It seems that the New Year brings new things to Lance Armstrong. Two of the most important things on his agenda for 2009 are:

The summer of 2009 will prove to interesting and demanding for Lance Armstrong. We’ll be sure to be rooting for him this summer. I sure will from this side of the Atlantic.

Photo credit: Lance Armstrong Foundation, wikipedia/NIH

Gestational hypertension and testicular cancer: where’s the connection?

November 24, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

You would think these two conditions – gestational hypertension and testicular cancer – can’t have anything to do with each other. After all, they are completely separated by the gender divide (bar in transgenders, of course).

Well, it seems that there is a connection between these two and it started rather early – in the uterus in fact. According to this Swedish study, “women who experience severe gestational hypertension may give birth to boys at lower risk for testicular cancer.”

Gestational hypertension is also sometimes known as pregnancy-induced hypertension or preeclampsia. Medical experts, however, usually make a distinction between these three. All three conditions, however, are characterized by a drastic increase in blood pressure during the second half of pregnancy. They affect about 2 to 8% of all pregnancies.

According to MedlinePlus, testicular cancer mainly affects young men between the ages of 20 and 39 years old. The cause is unknown but it is associated with abnormal testicular development, such as an undescended testicle at birth.

The researchers collected data from the Swedish Cancer Register and Swedish Medical Birth Register. They looked at the pregnancy data (e.g., hypertension, proteinuria, anemia and glucoseuria) of the mothers of 293 men with germ-cell testicular cancer and 861 men who are testicular cancer-free. Their data analysis showed that there seems to be an inverse association between a mother’s hypertensive condition and the development of testicular cancer in her son.

Baby boys born to mothers with severe gestational hypertension have 71% lower likelihood of developing the cancer later in life compared to those with non-hypertensive mothers. For those who were born to mothers with mild hypertension, the risk for testicular cancer increase by 62%.

The mechanism behind the protective mechanism of maternal hypertension is not clear. However, the researchers speculate that

One possible reason is that estrogens are lower in pregnancies that develop severe gestational hypertension or preeclampsia, and this lack of estrogens may lower the risk of testicular cancer.”

Another possible explanation is that “severe gestational hypertension and preeclampsia increases the level of human chorionic gonadotropin, another pregnancy-related hormone, which may also have a protective effect against testicular cancer.”

The study results seem to show a “silver lining” to the otherwise very dark cloud of gestational hypertension. This condition is one of the leading causes of pregnancy complications that present serious risks to both mother and child. It can often result in preterm delivery, babies with low weights, and other health problems. Worst-case scenarios result in death of mother and/or child.

The study results are published in the November issue of the journal Cancer Research.

Testicular Cancer Awareness Week

April 1, 2008 by  
Filed under CANCER

Testicular Cancer Awareness Week

April 1-7, 2008

“There will be about 8,090 new cases of testicular cancer in the United States in 2008. About 380 men will die of the disease in 2008. A man’s lifetime chance of having testicular cancer is about 1 in 300. Because treatment is so successful, the risk of dying from this cancer is very low: about 1 in 5,000. Testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer. There are nearly 140,000 men who have survived testicular cancer in the United States.”

–Source: The American Cancer Society

The “Get a Grip” Campaign at the National Men’s Resource Center promotes the importance of young men and boys doing monthly self exams for early detection.

Testicular cancer forms in the testicles, the egg shaped glands located in the scrotum, that produce sperm and testosterone. According the American Cancer Society nine out of ten cases are diagnosed in men between age 20 and 54, however; it the disease can occur in infants or the elderly.

Symptoms include pain, swelling or unusual lumps in the testes or groin. Many times when lumps are discovered they are painless. Other symptoms may include breast enlargement or tenderness, a general malaise, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum or an ache in the abdomen or groin.

The connection between risk factors and diagnosis is being studied but a cause for testicular cancer has not been determined.

Testicular Cancer risk factors:

  • Undescended testicles or cryptorchidism. 10% of all cases occur in men with a history of cryptorchidism.
  • Family history
  • HIV infection may increase risk
  • Race-white American men have a higher risk
  • Age as mentioned

More detailed information on testicular cancer risk factors can be found at the American Cancer Society site.


Following a physical exam your physician may order blood tests (there are currently three tumor marker tests which screen for testicular cancer) and an ultrasound for a complete diagnosis.

Treatment Options:

  • Surgery to remove the affected testicle. This may include lymph node removal.
  • Radiation therapy, according to the type of cancer you have. Radiation is done after surgery.
  • Chemotherapy in coordination with surgery

More Resources:

M.D. Anderson

NCI-Testicular Cancer Home Page

CancerBackUp-A U.K. site

Support:Male-Care: Men Fighting Cancer Together

TC-Care: Testicular Cancer Information and Support

The Genitourinary Cancer Message Boards at M.D. Anderson

LiveStrong: The Lance Armstrong Foundation


CancerBackUp 10K Fun Run-London, Sunday June 18, 2008. To raise awareness of male cancer.


Frequently asked Questions About Testicular Cancer by Paula Johnson (2007, Nonfiction)

It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back Into Life by Lance Armstrong (2001, Memoir)

Related Posts with Thumbnails

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.