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    Boston votes to ban chewing tobacco from ballparks, including Fenway

    Fri, Sep 4, 2015


    Author: Marissa Payne


    Baseball in Boston is about to change. On Wednesday, the City Council voted unanimously to make its baseball parks and stadiums, including historic Fenway, tobacco-free zones. And yes, the ordinance covers the kind of tobacco you chew, a longtime favorite of many MLB players.

    “This action will save lives by reducing the number of young people who begin to use smokeless tobacco because they followed the example of the Major Leaguers they idolize,” Matthew Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids said in a statement sent to The Washington Post. “We thank Mayor Marty Walsh, the City Council and Boston’s health community for their leadership on this important issue.”

    Red Sox owner John Henry was also supportive of the legislation.

    “It’s a great thing,” Henry said (via when Mayor Walsh first proposed the legislation last month. “I’m very supportive.”

    The ban doesn’t just apply to players, but also fans, and it covers all stadiums from major-league to organized amateur games. Those found in violation of the ordinance face a $250 fine, Boston’s Fox affiliate reports.

    Boston is now the second major U.S. city to ban tobacco at its baseball stadiums. San Francisco, which banned the substance in April, was the first. Both cities had very good reasons to nix the chew.

    Smokeless tobacco, like cigarettes, contains the addictive substance nicotine and its users can become more at-risk for illnesses such as cancer, gum disease and heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    “You can call chewing tobacco by whatever name you want — smokeless tobacco, spit tobacco, chew, snuff, pinch or dip — but don’t call it harmless,” a Mayo Clinic brochure says.

    The most dangerous side effects of chewing tobacco rose to fame last year when two former major league players connected their cancers to the habit.

    “I do believe without a doubt, unquestionably, that chewing is what gave me cancer,” former MLB pitcher Curt Schilling said at the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon last year. “I did [it] for about 30 years. It was an addictive habit. … I lost my sense of smell, my taste buds for the most part. I had gum issues, they bled, all this other stuff. None of it was enough to ever make me quit. The pain that I was in going through this treatment, the second or third day it was the only thing in my life that … I wish I could go back and never have dipped. Not once. It was so painful.”

    An even more dire warning came from the experience of San Diego Padres slugger Tony Gwynn. His cancer of the mouth and salivary glands killed him last year at the age of 54. Before his death, he too blamed his disease on smokeless tobacco.

    “Of course, it caused it,” Gwynn once said. “I always dipped on my right side.”

    Despite the health concerns, however, many MLB players, including several Red Sox players, continued to use chewing tobacco.

    An informal Boston Globe survey last month found that 21 of the 58 Red Sox players who were invited to spring training last year indicated they used smokeless tobacco. This is despite the team already discouraging the substance’s use by offering players other things to chew on, including gum and sunflower seeds.

    With the new ordinance, however, those players will now be forced to find new, possibly safer habits, which the Boston City Council and tobacco-free advocates hope trickle down to their young fans.

    While cigarette use among youths in the United States is declining, smokeless tobacco use has remained steady. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than five out of every 100 high school students reported using smokeless tobacco in 2014. Nearly two out of ever 100 middle schoolers said they used the substance.

    Boston and San Francisco aren’t the only city’s that see a problem either.

    In June, a member of the Los Angeles City Council proposed legislation to also ban tobacco at area baseball stadiums.

    “It’s about protecting the health of our players and the health of our kids,” Councilman Jose Huizar told the Los Angeles Times. “America has a great pastime, but chewing smokeless tobacco shouldn’t be part of that.”

    *This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

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    Five reasons to schedule a dental exam today

    Wed, Sep 2, 2015


    Author: Raquel Braemer

    Often times we can get caught up in our day-to-day life, neglecting things like routine check-ups. Until, of course, a problem arises. An aching tooth requiring an immediate appointment and possibly requiring time off from work or even an unexpected trip to the Emergency Room. We all know we should make time for routine dental exams. But – if you need some motivation to pick up the phone – here are 5 reasons to schedule that appointment today.

    1. 9 in 10 Adults Have Cavities. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 91% of adults ages 20-64 had cavities. Further, 1 in 4 adults had untreated tooth decay.

    2. Complications with Diabetes. If you are one of nearly 30 million Americans reported to be suffering from diabetes according to the American Diabetes Association, you are also at risk of developing gum disease. Working with a dentist to develop and maintain good oral health practices could help you control your diabetes.

    3. Early Detection of Oral Cancer. The American Cancer Society reports that 39,500 Americans are expected to get oral cancer in 2015. Your dentist’s chair is often the first place these cancers of the tongue, tonsils, and gums can be identified. Early detection and treatment are critical to survival.

    4. Good Oral Health Means Good Overall Health. Studies continue to show that good oral health has correlations to reduced risk of diabetes, arthritis, stroke, and heart disease. In fact, the Surgeon General now reports on the state of Oral Health in America because of this.

    5. Save Money. If the four previous health reasons aren’t concerning enough, then consider how much money you will save. If you don’t have dental insurance or qualify for free care at a clinic like HealthLink, you may be deterred by the out-of-pocket cost of a dental exam and cleaning. The median cost for a dental exam in the United States is currently $261, according to data from OKCopay. However, allowing problems to progress to the point of requiring a root canal could cost you between $700 and $900.


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    CEL-SCI reports August patient enrollment for Its phase 3 head and neck cancer trial

    Wed, Sep 2, 2015


    Author: press release

    CEL-SCI Corporation today announced that in the month of August it has enrolled 19 patients in its ongoing Phase 3 trial of its investigational immunotherapy Multikine* (Leukocyte Interleukin, Injection) in patients with advanced primary squamous cell carcinoma of the oral cavity/soft palate, a type of head and neck cancer. Total patient enrollment is now 540 as of August 31, 2015 in the world’s largest Phase 3 study in head and neck cancer.

    “A lower enrollment number in the month of August was expected since the majority of our clinical sites are in Europe and the month of August is known to be a primary vacation time in Europe. We expect enrollment in the fall to increase rapidly again with the goal of being completely enrolled by March of next year,” stated CEL-SCI Chief Executive Officer Geert Kersten.

    A total of 880 patients are expected to be enrolled, through approximately 100 clinical centers in over 20 countries.

    About the Multikine Phase 3 Study
    The Multikine Phase 3 study is enrolling just diagnosed, not yet treated patients with advanced primary squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. The objective of the study is to demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in the overall survival of enrolled patients who are treated with the Multikine treatment regimen plus standard of care (“SOC”) vs. subjects who are treated with SOC only. Standard of care for these patients consists of the surgical removal of the tumor and any locally involved lymph nodes, followed by radiotherapy or concurrent radiochemotherapy.

    About Multikine
    Multikine (Leukocyte Interleukin, Injection) is an investigational immunotherapeutic agent that is being tested in an open-label, randomized, controlled, global pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial as a potential first-line treatment for advanced primary squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Multikine is designed to be a different type of therapy in the fight against cancer: one that appears to have the potential to work with the body’s natural immune system in the fight against tumors.

    Multikine is also being tested in a Phase 1 study under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (“CRADA”) with the U.S. Naval Medical Center, San Diego, and at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), as a potential treatment for peri-anal warts in HIV/HPV co-infected men and women. CEL-SCI has also entered into two co-development agreements with Ergomed Clinical Research Limited to further the development of Multikine for cervical dysplasia/neoplasia in women who are co-infected with HIV and HPV and for peri-anal warts in men and women who are co-infected with HIV and HPV.

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    Does olive oil kill cancer?

    Wed, Sep 2, 2015




    Many people have pushed olive oil aside in recent years in favor of coconut oil, which has garnered headlines for its ability to improve everything from your cholesterol profile to weight loss. But a new study may have you extending an olive branch, so to speak, to extra virgin olive oil. When researchers added a compound found only in certain types of olive oil—an antioxidant called oleocanthal—to cancer cells in the lab, something amazing happened: It wiped out the cancer cells in less than an hour. Even better, the oleocanthal didn’t harm the healthy cells.

    “That was definitely an OMG moment,” says study co-author Paul Breslin, a professor of nutritional sciences at Rutgers University. The findings showed that oleocanthal proves lethal to cancer cells because it can penetrate their lysosomes (the part of the cell that stores and recycles waste), says David Foster, a study co-author and professor of biological sciences at Hunter College. “Lysosomal membranes are larger and more fragile in cancer cells than in healthy cells, making those cells vulnerable to any compound that can rupture this barrier,” says Foster, who notes that they used roughly the amount of oleocanthal found in a sixth of a cup (about 50 milliliters) of high-quality oleocanthal-rich oil from Corfu, Greece. “It isn’t that much,” Foster adds. “It’s certainly an amount you can ingest in one day.”

    Of course, oleocanthal is just one of many promising compounds that scientists are finding has dramatic cancer-fighting abilities. A recent study from Penn State demonstrated that a substance in green tea was able to kill oral cancer cells while sparing healthy ones. A number of studies have identified curcumin (a.k.a. the aromatic spice turmeric, which gives yellow curry its vibrant color) as a potent weapon against many kinds of cancers, including breast cancer. And don’t toss that parsley decorating your main course. A University of Missouri mouse study revealed that apigenin, found in parsley and celery, shrank a type of breast cancer tumor that is stimulated by progestin, a synthetic hormone given to women to ease menopausal symptoms. Scientists at the University of California, Davis, recently reported that walnuts and walnut oil slowed the spread of prostate cancer in mice and reduced levels of a hormone implicated in both prostate and breast cancer. And, as if we needed more proof that broccoli and other cruciferous veggies are VIPs, growing research has shown that compounds called indoles and isothiocyanates can stymie the development of bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung, and stomach cancer in rodents. Unfortunately, because of the chasm between controlled studies in the lab and real-world dietary habits, it’s unclear just how much of each of these compounds a person needs to consume to see similar results.

    So, in an effort to thwart cancer, should olive oil elbow out coconut oil, or should we, say, add curried broccoli topped with walnuts and parsley to our diet and wash it down with green tea? At the very least, is something like extra virgin olive oil going to become a cancer treatment? Not so fast. “Seeing something in a lab or artificially induced in a rodent is far different from how it might impact you when you eat it,” says Victoria Stevens, strategic director of laboratory services for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta. Plus, food entering the digestive tract has to go through a host of systems that affect how it’s processed.

    Still, it can’t hurt—and chances are it may help, asserts Stevens. After all, almost all of these killer compounds have one thing in common: They’re found in the Mediterranean diet, which time and again comes out on top in terms of being associated with longevity and lower rates of cancer, heart disease, and dementia, Breslin says. The takeaway? Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish, use olive oil generously, limit processed foods and meats, and drink green tea. “When it comes to cancer,” says Carrie Daniel-MacDougall, an assistant professor of epidemiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, “it’s long-term behaviors that count.”

    Note: This article originally appeared in the September 2015 issue of Harper’s BAZAAR.

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    Hopkins team shows methylation-specific ddPCR may help predict head and neck cancer recurrence

    Thu, Aug 27, 2015


    Author: Madeleine Johnson

    Oncologists probe the margins of surgical sites to detect epigenetic indicators that can anticipate cancer recurrence. But deep surgical margin analysis with biopsy can alter the site making it challenging to return to the exact spot if there is a problem. It also takes only a few rogue cancer cells to cause a recurrence and these may be missed by histological techniques.

    Researchers at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have now developed a method using Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR platform that is amenable to molecular methods and only requires a tiny sample from the surgical margin.

    Specifically, in a study published this week in Cancer Prevention Research, scientists examined an epigenetic signature of PAX5 gene methlyation previously determined to be specific to cancer, and found that it could be used to predict local cancer recurrence after tumor removal for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, or HNSCC.

    In a prospective study of 82 patients, if the tumors had methylated PAX5 then the presence of residual methylated cells in the surgical margins was a predictor of poor locoregional recurrence-free survival. And among patients on subgroup of patients who did not receive radiation treatment after surgery, the ddPCR method increased detection of the PAX5 maker from 29 percent to 71 percent.

    Compared to conventional methylation analysis, the ddPCR method also reduced the number of false negatives. Importantly, the authors noted in the study that the method can be performed within three hours by one person. Thus, it might be completed before the reconstruction phase of a typical operation, allowing surgeons to resect the margin of the surgical site if methylated cells are detected.

    The authors concluded that future personalized oncology workflows could also employ methylation arrays or methylation sequencing to pre-operatively define a patient’s methylome and design a panel of primers and probes that could be used in intraoperative surgical margin assays.

    A spokesperson at Bio-Rad noted that an increasing number of researchers are using the firm’s digital PCR platform for methylation studies.

    “There seems to be increasing success in applying ddPCR to measurements of methylation, as judged from an uptick in recent publications,” George Karlin-Neumann, the director of scientific affairs at Bio-Rad’s Digital Biology Center, told GenomeWeb in an email.

    He cited another recent study that examined so-called “field cancerization,” or the presence of clonally-related cells in the mucosal area surrounding a tumor that have malignant potential and carry cancer-associated genetic or epigenetic alterations.

    That work, published in Epigenetics in July, looked at colorectal cancer and showed MethyLight ddPCR was able to achieve a significantly lower limit of detection than the same technique using standard PCR. The author of that study told GenomeWeb that ddPCR could help detect the one or two cells with cancerous epigenetic changes out of a field of thousands.

    This increased sensitivity over conventional qPCR is “translating into better clinical sensitivity and specificity with methylation biomarkers, bringing us closer to the possibility of their clinical implementation,” Karlin-Neumann said.

    He further noted another recent study, published in Diabetes, which showed absolute measurements of methylated and non-methylated preproinsulin cell-free DNA in blood could provide a better association with Type 1 diabetes than ratio measures.

    This result “plays to the strengths of ddPCR’s ability to make absolute measurements, rather than just relative ones.”

    Raleigh, North Carolina-based biopharmaceutical company Islet Sciences is also using the methylation status of cell-free DNA to track pancreatic beta cell death. That firm licensed a ddPCR-based epigenetic method from a lab at Yale University, and representatives told GenomeWeb last year that Islet is working to commercialize the assay.

    Viresh Patel, global marketing director at Bio-Rad’s Digital Biology Center, told GenomeWeb in an email that the firm is not currently marketing methylation applications specifically, but Bio-Rad continues to work with customers on assay design, sample compatibility, and data analysis.

    “This is an emerging application for ddPCR which we expect to gain momentum as researchers continue to publish their breakthrough research,” Patel said.

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    Rinsing with salt water beats out swishing with mouthwash

    Thu, Aug 27, 2015


    Author: John Przybys

    A bottle can be found on just about every bathroom countertop or in just about every medicine cabinet in America. But is incorporating an over-the-counter mouthwash into your daily oral hygiene routine worth it?


    Dr. Daniel L. Orr II, a professor and director of oral and maxillofacial surgery at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Dental Medicine, says over-the-counter mouthwashes pose no health problems to those who use them sparingly.

    But Orr also notes that some over-the-counter mouthwashes contain more than 20 percent alcohol. That alcohol — in addition to being a potential poisoning danger to kids who might stumble upon it and drink it — also is “an irritant” to the gums and mouth, Orr says.

    “If you want to do a little experiment, you can just put any name brand (of mouthwash) into your mouth and just hold it there for a couple of minutes. It starts to burn and doesn’t feel good at all.”

    Over-the-counter mouthwashes usually are taken by consumers in an attempt to kill odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. But, Orr says, “mouthwash doesn’t really clean your mouth. It doesn’t debride like a toothbrush and floss do. So if you brush and floss correctly, there really shouldn’t be much need for mouthwash at all.”

    Also, Orr says, some studies indicate that “people who use it a lot — like taking it three times a day — have a slightly increased chance of oral cancer, other things being equal.”

    In addition, Orr says, there are studies that indicate that “mouthwash use can actually raise your blood pressure a little bit. We’re talking maybe two or three points. That might not be a big deal, but why do it?”

    The bottom line: Using an over-the-counter mouthwash to refresh one’s mouth “once a day probably is not a big deal,” and studies that point to adverse reactions tend to involve the more chronic use of mouthwash three or so times a day.

    Note, too, that there are nonalcohol over-the-counter mouthwashes on the market, and that dentists often recommend specialized mouth rinses in treating specific dental problems. And while strong over-the-counter preparations may be iffy additions to an oral hygiene regimen, “rinsing is good,” Orr says.

    “For instance, I’m an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, and when you take out a tooth, you can’t mechanically debride that socket very well,” he says. “So after I take out a tooth, I recommend rinsing, and what I recommend 90 percent of the time is warm salt water.”

    So try rinsing with a teaspoon of salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of water, Orr says. “It kills bacteria and keeps (the mouth) clean.”

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    HPV DNA detected in mouthwash predicts oral cancer recurrence

    Thu, Aug 27, 2015


    Author: Kelly Johnson

    The presence of HPV16 DNA is common at diagnosis of HPV-related oropharyngeal carcinoma (HPV-OPC) but rare after treatment. HPV-OPC has a favorable prognosis; however, 10% to 25% of patients experience disease progression, usually within 2 years of treatment.

    Patients who have HPV 16 DNA in their saliva following treatment of their oropharyngeal cancer are more likely to have their cancer recur, and a prospective cohort study published in JAMA Oncology has shown that a simple mouth rinse can be used to detect it.


    Gypsyamber D’Souza

    Gypsyamber D’Souza, PhD, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and fellow researchers monitored 124 patients with newly diagnosed oropharyngeal cancer from 2009 through 2013. They collected oral rinse and gargle samples using 10 mL of mouthwash at the time of diagnosis as well as after treatment 9, 12, 18, and 24 months later.

    HPV16 DNA was detected in 67 out of 124 of the participants testing positive. Of the 67 patients who had HPV16 DNA in their saliva at the time of diagnosis, five patients (7%) were found to still have traces of HPV16 in their oral rinses following treatment.

    All five patients developed a local recurrence of oropharyngeal cancer, three of whom died from the disease.

    “It’s a very small number so we have to be somewhat cautious,” said D’Souza, an associate professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School and a member of the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center, in a statement. However, “The fact that all of the patients with persistent HPV16 DNA in their rinses after treatment later had recurrence meant that this may have the potential to become an effective prognostic tool.”

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    Teen E-Cig Users More Likely to Smoke

    Fri, Aug 21, 2015



    Newswise — As e-cigarette usage among high school students continues to climb, a recent study from The Journal of the American Medical Association reveals an unsettling trend: that adolescent e-cigarette users are more likely than their non-vaping peers to initiate use of combustible tobacco products such as cigarettes, cigars and hookahs. The reason may lie in a common denominator between e-cigarettes and their combustible counterparts: nicotine.

    While the study hints that more research is needed to determine if this association is merely casual, it’s important to note that while e-cigarettes don’t contain tobacco, the battery-powered devices do deliver nicotine in aerosol form.

    “Nicotine’s addictive properties are a risk for any age group, but with adolescents, the stakes are even higher,” says Dr. K. Vendrell Rankin, director of Texas A&M University Baylor College of Dentistry’s Tobacco Treatment Services.

    For teens, mental health as well as key emotional and cognitive systems are at stake.

    “Major cognitive functions and attention performance are still in the process of developing during adolescence,” says Rankin, also a professor and associate chair in public health sciences at TAMBCD. “Nicotine increases the risk of developing psychiatric disorders and lasting cognitive impairment and is associated with disturbances in working memory and attention. Reliance on nicotine to manage negative emotions and situations impairs the development of coping skills.”

    In addition to affecting the emotional and cognitive development of teens, nicotine is highly addictive. In fact, the younger a person is when they begin using nicotine, the more likely they are to become addicted and the stronger the addiction may become. According to the American Lung Association, of adults who smoke, 68 percent began smoking at age 18 or younger.

    In other words, the younger users are when they try or start using nicotine, the more nicotine receptors they will have and the more they may struggle with nicotine cravings throughout  their lives.

    “Everybody has a certain amount of nicotine receptors in the brain,” Rankin says. “When you start smoking, vaping or supplying nicotine to them, they multiply. If you stop smoking or vaping, the receptors don’t go away.”

    Nicotine use very quickly escalates into addiction, even when dealing with tobacco-free, odorless “vaping” associated with e-cigarettes. That’s because nicotine in any form triggers the release of neurotransmitters such as adrenaline and dopamine, which dramatically impacts a number of body systems. Dopamine floods the brain, and nicotine cravings increase.

    This includes spit, or smokeless tobacco, which in the past was promoted as a replacement to smoking. The result: The creation of a large group that began using spit tobacco as a smoking replacement but eventually became dual users.

    “We are seeing the same phenomena with the e-cigarette,” says Rankin. To better understand the similar association between e-cigarettes and combustible tobacco product use among teens, Rankin says further research could be replicated on a national level, as the study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association focused on Los Angeles high school students.

    E-cigarette companies currently advertise their products to a broad audience that includes 24 million youths, and proposed U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations would not limit e-cigarette marketing. Bold marketing tactics, celebrity endorsements, endless flavor choices and a plethora of online videos instructing users on how to mix their own e-cigarette liquid, or “e-juice,” have only added fuel to the fire. There currently are no federal laws in place to restrict minors from purchasing e-cigarettes.

    There is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. In April, the FDA released the details of a proposal to extend its tobacco authority to e-cigarettes, including minimum age and identification restrictions intended to prevent sales to minors. A final ruling is slated for summer 2015.

    In the meantime, many Texas cities have set their own regulations and ordinances banning the sale of e-cigarettes to minors. Any e-cigarette regulation in Texas will have to occur city by city, Rankin says, since the state doesn’t have comprehensive smoke-free laws.

    “I don’t think e-cigarettes are going to drop off,” Rankin says. “It’s the newest — or most popular — kid on the block right now.”

    *This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.

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    Kissing, a leading risk factor for oral cancer, says doctor

    Mon, Aug 17, 2015


    Author: Bryan Nelson

    Bad news for kissers: According to at least one doctor, kissing could be worse than smoking when it comes to being a risk factor for developing head and neck cancers, reports NT News. Dr. Mahiban Thomas, head of Maxillofacial and Head and Neck Surgery at the Royal Darwin Hospital, Australia, says that there has been a “tsunami” of human papilloma virus (HPV) related cancers in his hospital, and that this trend is indicative of a growing threat worldwide.

    “High-risk behaviors are oral sex, multiple kissing partners, and more recently there are reports even ‘petting’ can lead to infection,” warned Thomas. “If someone has kissed in excess of six people their risk of contracting HPV is higher, or if someone has kissed in excess of nine people the risk is significantly higher again.”

    HPV is actually a relatively common infection that is believed to infect around 8 out of 10 people at some point in their life. There are hundreds of different strains of HPV, however, and the vast majority of those strains do not cause cancer. Only about 15 are of the cancer-causing variety, and even these so-called “high risk” HPV types do not always cause cancer in those infected. It is most transmittable through oral sex or kissing, and is most associated with mouth, throat and cervical cancers.

    Although drinking alcohol and smoking are thought to be the main risk factors for developing mouth and throat cancers, growing evidence suggests that HPV infection could be right up there too. For instance, Cancer Research UK reports that more than 40 percent of oral cancers can be linked to HPV infection, though these numbers can vary worldwide. In the U.S., as many as 70 percent of cases of oropharynx cancer (cancer in the back of the throat) are thought to be caused by one particular strain of HPV.

    Dr. Thomas’ claim that kissing has overtaken smoking as a risk factor for cancer may have a tad of hyperbole attached to it, but it’s certainly true that HPV-related cancers appear to be on the rise, and kissing is one form of transmission. In Australia’s Northern Territory, where Dr. Thomas practices, rates of head and neck cancers are well above the Australian average, and it is particularly high in ­indigenous males.

    Due to the fact that HPV has long been associated with cervical cancer, it’s a common misconception that only women are at threat from this virus. Actually, straight men in their 40s and 50s are the most likely to be infected due to the fact that oral sex on a woman is riskier than oral sex on a man, because the virus is shed easier by the vulva than it is by the penis.

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    Rodeo Competitor Speaks to Youth to Spread Anti-Tobacco Message

    Fri, Aug 14, 2015



    Author: Oral Cancer Foundation
    Unknown-1Cody Kiser prepares for competition while sporting the Oral Cancer Foundation’s message – Be Smart. Don’t Start.


    NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Aug. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The traditional image of the American cowboy is one of strength, rugged determination and courage. In the world of professional rodeo competition, that image is no different. Cowboys—and increasingly so cowgirls—are held in esteem and looked at as heroes by young and old alike. The power of the cowboy as a compelling figure has not gone unnoticed by the tobacco industry, whose marketing campaigns have sought to tie the ideals of the cowboy with the use of their products. The western/rodeo environment in the US has had a long-term relationship with tobacco, and until 2009 The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) and the rodeos that they sanctioned had a lengthy history of tobacco money funding the sport. While that has ended at PRCA events, tobacco use and smokeless/spit tobaccos are still popular within the sport.

    The Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF) believes that in order to solve problems you must engage the problem at the source. As a small and growing non-profit, OCF is not afforded the luxury of relying on conventional methods of outreach utilized by larger, more established charities. To enact meaningful change and bring awareness to the public, OCF must employ ingenuity and creativity to address the problems at hand. Within the world of professional rodeo, that problem remains to be the glorification and pervasive use of tobacco products amongst athletes and fans. The Oral Cancer Foundation is the first non-profit charity to ever sponsor a rodeo competitor, and in doing so is able to introduce a new type of role model into the rodeo world.

    In 2014 OCF partnered with Cody Kiser, a young, personable, up and coming bareback bronc rider to promote the foundation’s anti-tobacco campaign. As a spokesperson for the foundation Cody hopes to serve as a positive role model for children and teens that look up to cowboys as their heroes in the rodeo world. Research shows that as many as 15% of high school boys use smokeless tobacco in the United States. With the nicotine content in a can of dip equaling approximately that of 80 cigarettes, this addiction can be one of the hardest to break, which is why The Oral Cancer Foundation hopes to educate parents and youth about the dangers before they even get started.

    On June 11th Cody attended the Montana High School Rodeo Association’s (MHSRA), reACT Tobacco Free Rodeo Finals, in Kalispell, MT, speaking to youth and their parents. ReACT Tobacco Free Rodeo is a campaign sponsored by the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program empowering teens to take a stand against tobacco and honoring rodeo athletes who pledge to live tobacco free. This year reACT awarded five MHSRA Seniors with $5,000 scholarships towards their college educations, and 14 high-scoring student athletes received breast collars in recognition of their achievements and commitments to living tobacco free.

    As motivational speaker, Cody discussed how Rodeo culture has been inundated by tobacco companies, and how this is a new generation that can make a difference by taking a stand against tobacco companies that use the country way of life to market a deadly product. The forty-five minute presentation focused on how living a tobacco-free lifestyle has assisted Cody in making good choices and accomplishing his dreams. Cody stressed to the teens in attendance that they each had a choice, and in choosing to live tobacco free they also had the power to fulfill their own dreams and enact meaningful change.

    While adults certainly have the right to make any lifestyle choice they desire, they inadvertently expose impressionable young people to what are sometimes harmful habits through poor examples like the use of tobacco products. This is particularly harmful as kids look up to athletes, not just in rodeo, but major league baseball and elsewhere, as heroes that they aspire to be like. Unfortunately, no hero is ever perfect. OCF uses its Rodeo Campaign to put alternative role models out in the world of rodeo cowboy athletes, with the intention of reaching young people before they make addictive choices that will harm them later in life. The foundation’s message is simple and straightforward: Be Smart. Don’t Start.

    About the Oral Cancer Foundation

    The Oral Cancer Foundation, founded by oral cancer survivor Brian R. Hill, is an IRS registered non-profit 501(c)(3) public service charity that provides information, patient support, sponsorship of research, and advocacy related to this disease. Oral cancer is the largest group of those cancers that fall into the head and neck cancer category. Common names for it include such things as mouth cancer, tongue cancer, head and neck cancer, and throat cancer. OCF maintains a web site at, which receives millions of hits per month. Supporting the foundation’s goals is a scientific advisory board composed of leading cancer authorities from varied medical and dental specialties, and from prominent educational, treatment, and research institutions in the United States.

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