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  • Coupling head and neck cancer screening and lung cancer scans could improve early detection, survival

    Wed, Jan 7, 2015


    Source: www.medicalnewstoday.com
    Author: staff

    Adding head and neck cancer screenings to recommended lung cancer screenings would likely improve early detection and survival, according to a multidisciplinary team led by scientists affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI), a partner with UPMC CancerCenter.

    In an analysis published in the journal Cancer and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the team provides a rationale for a national clinical trial to assess the effectiveness of adding examination of the head and neck to lung cancer screening programs. People most at risk for lung cancer are also those most at risk for head and neck cancer.

    “When caught early, the five-year survival rate for head and neck cancer is over 83 percent,” said senior author Brenda Diergaarde, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health and member of the UPCI. “However, the majority of cases are diagnosed later when survival rates generally shrink below 50 percent. There is a strong need to develop strategies that will result in identification of the cancer when it can still be successfully treated.”

    Screening patients for head and neck cancer and lung cancer could improve early detection and survival.

    Screening patients for head and neck cancer and lung cancer could improve early detection and survival.

    Head and neck cancer is the world’s sixth-most common type of cancer. Worldwide every year, 600,000 people are diagnosed with it and about 350,000 die. Tobacco use and alcohol consumption are the major risk factors for developing the cancer.

    The early symptoms are typically a lump or sore in the mouth or throat, trouble swallowing or a voice change, which are often brushed off as a cold or something that will heal. Treatment, particularly in later stages, can be disfiguring and can change the way a person talks or eats.

    Dr. Diergaarde and her team analyzed the records of 3,587 people enrolled in the Pittsburgh Lung Screening Study (PLuSS), which consists of current and ex-smokers aged 50 and older, to see if they had a higher chance of developing head and neck cancer.

    In the general U.S. population, fewer than 43 per 100,000 people would be expected to develop head and neck cancer annually among those 50 and older. Among the PLuSS participants, the rate was 71.4 cases annually per 100,000 people.

    Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force*, as well as the American Cancer Society and several other organizations, recommended annual screening for lung cancer with low-dose computed tomography in people 55 to 74 years old with a smoking history averaging at least a pack a day for a total of 30 years. The recommendation came after a national clinical trial showed that such screening reduces lung cancer mortality.

    “Head and neck cancer is relatively rare, and screening the general population would be impractical,” said co-author David O. Wilson, M.D., M.P.H., associate director of UPMC’s Lung Cancer Center. “However, the patients at risk for lung cancer whom we would refer for the newly recommended annual screening are the same patients that our study shows also likely would benefit from regular head and neck cancer screenings. If such screening reduces mortality in these at-risk patients, that would be a convenient way to increase early detection and save lives.”

    Dr. Diergaarde’s team is collaborating with otolaryngologists to design a national trial that would determine if regular head and neck cancer screenings for people referred for lung cancer screenings would indeed reduce mortality.

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    Experience counts with radiation for head and neck cancer

    Wed, Jan 7, 2015


    Source: www.oncologynurseadvisor.com
    Author: Kathy Boltz, PhD

    When it comes to specialized cancer surgery, the more experienced the surgeon, the better the outcome is generally true. The same might hold true for radiation therapy used to treat head and neck cancer, according to a new study.

    Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology(1) with an accompanying editorial(2), the study compared survival and other outcomes in 470 patients treated with radiation therapy at 101 treatment centers through a clinical trial held from 2002 to 2005. The trial was sponsored by the National Cancer Institute and organized by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG). It was conducted by researchers at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital in Columbus.

    The findings indicated that patients treated at the less-experienced centers were more likely to have cancer recurrence compared with highly experienced centers (62% vs 42%, respectively, at 5 years) and had poorer overall survival compared with those at the highly experienced centers (51% vs 69% 5-year survival, respectively).

    “Our findings suggest that institutional experience strongly influences outcomes in patients treated with radiation therapy for head and neck cancer,” said first author Evan Wuthrick, MD. “They indicate that patients do better when treated at centers where more of these procedures are performed versus centers that do fewer.”

    Radiation therapy for head and neck cancer requires complex treatment planning that can vary considerably between institutions and physicians. In addition, significant short-term and long-term side effects can occur that require management by a carefully coordinated multidisciplinary care team.

    National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines recommend that head and neck cancer patients receive treatment at experienced centers, but whether provider experience affects outcomes was previously unknown.

    The research team used participation in previous RTOG head and neck cancer clinical trials as a surrogate for experience. They identified 88 low-accruing centers that enrolled an average of four patients yearly to the trials, and 13 high-accruing centers that enrolled an average of 65 patients annually. Next, the researchers compared outcomes based on whether patients were treated at the high-accruing (more experienced) or low-accruing (less experienced) centers.

    They found that 5-year local recurrence rates were higher among patients treated at less experienced centers versus more experienced centers (36% vs 21%). The radiation therapy plan was more likely to deviate from protocol at less experienced centers (18% vs 6%).

    Treatment at low-accruing centers was associated with a 91% increased risk of death and an 89% increase in progression or death when compared with high-accruing centers.

    Institutional elements not assessed by the study that can also influence outcomes included use of a tumor board, the number of colleagues and their years of practice, and ancillary services such as speech and swallowing therapy, diet and nutrition support, and specialized nursing.

    1. (2014; doi:10.1200/JCO.2014.56.5218)
    2. (doi:10.1200/JCO.2014.58.2239)

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    Majority of public unaware of alcohol’s link with cancer

    Wed, Jan 7, 2015


    Source: www.cancerresearchuk.org
    Author: staff

    More than half of the British public are unaware of the link between alcohol consumption and cancer, according to a survey from the Alcohol Health Alliance UK (AHA) (link is external).


    The UK- wide poll found that just 47 per cent of people were aware of any connection between alcohol and the disease. But an overwhelming majority (83 per cent) would back further nutritional and health information on alcohol labelling.

    Sarah Williams, Cancer Research UK’s senior health information officer, said: “Alcohol has long been a scientifically established cause of cancer, but there is surprisingly low awareness among the public of this link.

    “And it isn’t just a risk for heavy drinkers; regularly drinking alcohol puts you at greater risk of seven different types of cancer, including breast and mouth cancer”

    Alcohol is currently exempt from the EU legislation that makes it mandatory for food products and soft drinks to carry nutritional value information, despite alcohol being classed as a group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organisation (link is external).

    The AHA’s chair, Sir Ian Gilmore, says the lack of health information on many alcoholic products is “indefensible”.

    “It’s not right that labelling is mandatory for a box of corn flakes but not for alcoholic products which can seriously harm health,” he said.

    Gilmore urges the Government to start listening to public opinion on this issue rather than the demands of big businesses.

    The results from the survey of 3077 people showed that nine in 10 (91 per cent) think that clarifying the health impacts of alcohol is important. But when challenged over their current knowledge, just under one in three (31 per cent) of people successfully acknowledged the links between alcohol and breast cancer.

    This stretched to half of people being aware of the links in relation to mouth or throat cancer.

    The AHA is calling for health labelling to be made a legal requirement for alcohol products. Its campaign is pushing for every alcohol product to clearly describe its nutritional, calorie and alcohol content as well as make it clear through labelling that the safest option for pregnant women is to avoid alcohol consumption entirely. Cancer Research UK supports the campaign for clearer labelling so everyone can make better choices about their drinking, said Williams.

    “Cutting back on alcohol can help cut the risk, so you could try having more alcohol free days or making every other drink something soft,” she added.

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    Time to treatment increasing with head, neck cancer

    Wed, Jan 7, 2015


    Source: medicalxpress.com
    Author: staff

    Time to treatment initiation (TTI) is rising for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Cancer
    Colin T. Murphy, M.D., from the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, and colleagues analyzed data from the National Cancer Database to identify head and neck cancer sites (oral tongue, oropharynx, larynx, and hypopharynx) and to determine TTI (the number of days from diagnosis to the initiation of definitive treatment).

    The researchers found that based on 274,630 patients from 1998 to 2011, the median TTI for all patients was 26 days, and increased from 19 to 30 days (P < 0.0001). Increased TTI was associated with treatment with chemoradiation (CRT; P < 0.0001), treatment at an academic facility (P < 0.0001), and stage IV disease (P < 0.0001). For each disease stage (P < 0.0001), treatment modality (P < 0.0001), and facility type (P < 0.0001), TTI significantly increased over time. Longer TTI was predicted in multivariate analysis by treatment at an academic facility (33 days), transitioning care (37 days), and receipt of CRT (39 days).

    “Those who have advanced-stage disease, receive treatment with CRT, are treated at academic facilities, and who have a transition in care realized the greatest increases in TTI,” the authors write.

    Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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    Ring in the New Year by encouraging patients to quit tobacco use

    Wed, Dec 31, 2014


    Source: www.dentistryiq.com
    Author: Maria Perno Goldie

    The New Year always brings a sense of hope and conviction to improve our lives. New Year’s resolutions abound. With the New Year come new beginnings, fresh starts, and promises for a brighter future. We try to move on from the losses and trials of 2014, but we never forget. The people we’ve lost will be in our hearts forever, and the trials can be viewed as life lessons and opportunities.

    As World Oral Health Day (WOHD) 2015 approaches, FDI World Dental Federation wants people to make a healthy New Year’s resolution and reduce their use of tobacco – or give it up completely – as part of the 2015 World Oral Health Day Smile for Life campaign.(1) Tobacco use can significantly increase the risk of many serious oral health problems, including oral cancer, periodontal disease, early tooth loss, tooth discoloration, oral malodor, and a reduced ability to taste and smell.

    Dental and dental hygiene office visits can create an opportunities to help patients quit smoking and using tobacco, yet dental settings are often not used for treatment of tobacco dependence. The purpose of one study was to evaluate issues that may influence patterns of tobacco-use-related practice among a national sample of dental providers.(2) Researchers surveyed a representative sample of general dentists practicing in the U.S. More than 90% of dental providers reported that they regularly ask patients about tobacco use, 76% counsel patients, and 45% routinely offer cessation assistance. This was defined as referring patients for cessation counseling, providing a cessation prescription, or both. Results showed that cessation assistance was associated with having a practice with one or more dental hygienists, having a chart system that includes a tobacco use question, having received training on treating tobacco dependence, and having positive attitudes toward treating tobacco use.

    Providers who did not offer assistance but reported they would change their practice patterns if they were sufficiently reimbursed were likely to be in a group practice, treat patients insured through Medicaid, and have positive attitudes toward treating tobacco dependence. The results indicated the benefit of increasing training opportunities and promoting changes to increase the involvement of dental providers in conducting tobacco use treatment. Reimbursement models should be tested to assess the effect on dental provider practice patterns.

    The ADA issued a letter on “modified risk” tobacco products.(3) In a letter signed by the president and executive director, the ADA expressed to the FDA that “it is ‘virtually impossible’ to justify claims that smokeless tobacco and such newer generation products as electronic cigarettes and hookah tobacco ‘are somehow less harmful to the oral cavity than combustible tobacco products or without other adverse effects.’” The ADA strongly supports developing the published research on the latest generation of tobacco products and the short- and long-term effects of these products on oral health.

    Last, but not last, there is a new report on smokeless tobacco. (4) Smokeless tobacco (ST) products present a multifaceted and extensive challenge to public health that has not been adequately addressed by researchers and policymakers. International tobacco control efforts have largely focused on cigarettes, and dedicated only limited attention to other types of products, including smokeless tobacco. This report addresses these issues.

    1. http://www.worldoralhealthday.com/fdi-calls-for-a-tobacco-free-new-year-and-a-long-lasting-smile-for-life/.
    2. Jannat-Khah DP, McNeely J, Pereyra MR, et al. Dentists’ Self-Perceived Role in Offering Tobacco Cessation Services: Results From a Nationally Representative Survey, United States, 2010–2011. Prev Chronic Dis 2014; 11:140186. http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2014/14_0186.htm.
    3. ADA News. December 5, 2014. http://www.ada.org/en/publications/ada-news/2014-archive/december/ada-comments-on-modified-risk-tobacco-products.
    4. National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smokeless Tobacco and Public Health: A Global Perspective. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute. NIH Publication No. 14-7983; 2014.http://tobaksfakta.se/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/SmokelessTobaccoAndPublicHealth_AGlobalPerspective.pdf.

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    5 Best apps to quit smoking

    Wed, Dec 31, 2014


    Source: www.gottabemobile.com
    Author: Josh Smith

    You want to quit smoking, but it isn’t easy to do. You can leverage community support, motivation and proven techniques on your iPhone, Android and Windows Phone with the best apps to quit smoking, and motivational on demand help when you have a craving.

    Most of these quit smoking apps will help you work through the cravings and calculate the money and health benefits of quitting smoking with calculators and a quite smoking timeline that can help you visualize the benefits of quitting smoking.

    Whether you are quitting smoking as a New Year’s Resolution or you finally decided to take a stand, you can use these apps to quit smoking faster and with more help than going cold turkey with no support.


    Use these apps to quit smoking in 2015.

    According to the CDC, you will notice the benefits in as little as 20 minutes and carbon monoxide level in your blood drop to normal in just 12 hours. In as little s two weeks your heart attack risk drops and in one to nine months your coughing and shortness of breath decreases. There are many other benefit to quitting smoking in the years following.

    The 2014 CDC Surgeon General’s report found one in three cancer deaths could be prevented if people quit smoking, and it isn’t only lung or oral cancer that smoking increases the risk for.

    With the help of the best quit smoking apps on the market, you can turn your iPhone, Android or Windows phone into a powerful coach that can help you quit smoking faster than going on your own.

    Best Apps to Quit Smoking in 2015

    Use your iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or even flip phone to stop smoking in 2015.

    Use your iPhone, Android, Windows Phone or even flip phone to stop smoking in 2015.

    These quit smoking apps will help you track the money you save, show you the health benefits for your current amount of time since you quit smoking and offer support and help when you have a craving. We’ll also share a simple service that works with text messages, allowing anyone with any phone to get support, even if it is a flip phone.

    Here are the top five apps to quit smoking and a Smoke Free text service that works on any phone.

    Livestrong MyQuit Coach – Dare to Quite Smoking

    Use the Livestrong app to quit smoking with support on your iPhone.

    Use the Livestrong app to quit smoking with support on your iPhone.

    The Livestrong MyQuit Coach is a physician approved quit smoking app that helps you set achievable goals based on where you are now — whether that is current smoker or recent quitter. You can quit smoking cold turkey or gradually reduce your smoking each day until you can stop completely and the iPhone app will help you do this. Check out the features of this app to quit smoking below;

    • Personalized quitting plan
    • Upload your own personalized motivations
    • Track your daily consumption and allowance
    • Optional budget alerts and reminders
    • Earn badges and awards
    • View charts of your usage history by date and time
    • Your plan will automatically adjust if Quitting tips, facts, and motivation from LIVESTRONG.COM

    You can also get support from Twitter, Facebook and the LiveStrong community and the app will adjust as you progress towards your goal to quit smoking.

    Quit Pro: Stop Smoking Now

    Quit Pro is another stop smoking app for iPhone.

    Quit Pro is another stop smoking app for iPhone.

    The Quit Pro: Stop Smoking Now iPhone app helps you track when and where you smoke so you can identify triggers that include where you smoke and why you smoke. This includes moods and situations that lead to smoking so that you can do your best to avoid the things that could push you over to smoking while you are trying to stop.

    You can also use this app to track how long you stopped smoking for, how much money you’ve saved and the benefits to your health. There are also motivational quotes to help you stay on target.

    Quit Smoking – QuitNow for Android

    Quit Smoking for Android is another top option.

    Quit Smoking for Android is another top option.

    For Android phones, the Quit Smoking app QuitNow is the best option we could find. This app includes a comprehensive set of tools that will help you stop smoking and are always available on your Android smartphone.

    You’ll see the real-time stats on how long since your last cigarette, down to the minute. You can also see how many cigarettes you didn’t smoke and the money and time you saved by quitting.

    The app shows you achievements based on the World Health Organization findings on health improvements after you quit smoking. The app tracks your progress and shows you the health benefits to motivate you to keep going.

    You can use the app to chat with other people trying to quit smoking and to share your progress. There are tips & tricks to stop smoking and other help. There is also a widget on your home screen to track your progress.

    Quit Smoking Windows Phone App

    This quit smoking app for Windows Phone includes Live Tile support.

    This quit smoking app for Windows Phone includes Live Tile support.

    There is a powerful Windows Phone app to quit smoking. This free app delivers encouragement to resist cravings and tracks your progress to help you stay on track with money saved and the health benefits of quitting. Here are the main features of this app;

    • Record the amount of time that you’ve been smoke free
    • Record how much money you’ve saved
    • Record the number of cigarettes avoided
    • Record the number of cravings resisted
    • Pinnable craving timer
    • See what health benefits you should have experienced
    • View a timeline of expected health benefits

    The app also includes Live Tile support, showing you key information about your progress to quit smoking that updates every 30 minutes.

    Stop Smoking Text Support

    SmokefreeTXT is a free service to help you quit smoking with text message support. if you don’t want to use an app or you are using a flip phone during the day and an iPad or Android tablet to help you quit smoking during the evening this is a good option.

    In addition to the standard help, you can send three keywords to 47848 to get immediate help, 24/7.

    • CRAVE – An immediate reminder why you shouldn’t give in to this craving.
    • MOOD – Get a positive message to boost a bad day.
    • SLIP – Just because you slipped doesn’t mean you should stop trying, get motivated.
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    Oral cancer on rise in young people

    Wed, Dec 31, 2014


    Source: www.wwltv.com
    Author: Jaclyn Kelley

    Alex Dupuy is like most 15-year-old boys, except for one very special talent. Last year he stole the headlines during a bowling tournament for bowling a perfect 300. But that high wouldn’t last long.

    “My son came to us one day and said I have an ulcer, and we thought, OK, let’s gargle with some salt water and we kept checking on it and it never went away,” said Nancy Dupuy, Alex’s mother.

    When the sore on Alex’s tongue never cleared up, but instead started growing, his mother became concerned and took him to see the doctor.

    “It has grown so rapidly that I would really like to have the tumor or whatever it was removed,” she said.

    Alex was taken to Children’s Hospital for surgery, and doctors removed the sore and 30 percent of his tongue. Three days later test results came back confirming the Dupuy’s worst fears: It was cancer.

    “The word aggressive stuck out to me,” Nancy Dupuy said. “The type of cancer that my son presented with was an adult cancer. It’s not usually diagnosed in young children.”

    The doctors said Alex had a rapid form of squamous cell carcinoma of the tongue. Four days later he and his parents were on a plane to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

    Through it all, Alex managed to stay positive.

    “I felt nervous, I felt scared and I told myself, I’ll be alright,” Alex said.

    In Houston Alex would have yet another surgery before starting six weeks of intense radiation.

    “We would wrap his neck because the neck would be burned. The skin, the tissue was burned when it would start to break down,” Nancy Dupuy said.

    Dr. Paul Friedlander, the chairman for Tulane’s ear, nose and throat department, said the number of young people with oral cancer is on the rise.

    “Most of the cancers we saw were smoking, alcohol related,” Friedlander said. “Right now we’ve seen an increase in a number of people who have not been exposed to cigarettes and alcohol that have these cancers.”

    And he said that’s because of the human papaloma virus, or HPV. It’s an orally transmitted virus that he says is easy to get.

    “These can be transmitted through oral sexual contact or something as innocuous as an open-mouth kiss,” Friedlander said.

    Friedlander said early detection is key.

    “If one does have a sore on their mouth, difficulty with swallowing, hoarseness or a neck mass that persists after two or three weeks, it’s a good idea to see your local doctor,” he said.

    He recommends parents consider getting their teens the HPV vaccination, which doctors say can help prevent oral cancer.

    It’s something Nancy Dupuy did with Alex and his brothers after his diagnosis.

    “In our case it wasn’t HPV, but just the thought of oral cancer and that there is maybe something that could have prevented it is just really worth it in the end,” she said.

    Several weeks of radiation would take its toll on Alex, but his family says it’s bowling that got him through it.

    “On the good days, Alex would bowl and Alex would be in a world that was just perfect, and to me that was the most important thing that helped him get through six weeks of radiation,” Nancy Dupuy said.

    Thank to early detection, Alex is now in remission.

    “I always thank God I am cancer free.”

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    Antacids linked to better survival in patients with head and neck cancer

    Wed, Dec 31, 2014


    Source: www.oncologynurseadvisor.com
    Author: Kathy Boltz, PhD

    Patients with head and neck cancer who used antacid medicines to control acid reflux had better overall survival, according to a new study.

    Reflux can be a common side effect of chemotherapy or radiation treatment for head and neck cancer. Doctors at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center in Ann Arbor frequently prescribe two types of antacids, proton pump inhibitors or histamine 2 blockers, to help treat this side effect.

    The researchers reviewed 596 cases of head and neck cancer. More than two-thirds of the patients took one or both types of antacid medication after their diagnosis.

    Patients who were taking antacids had significantly better overall survival than those who did not take them. Proton pump inhibitors, including drugs such as Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid, had the biggest effect: a 45% decreased risk of death compared with patients who did not take antacids. Patients taking histamine 2 blockers, such as Tagamet, Zantac, or Pepcid, saw a 33% decreased risk of death.

    “We had suspicions that these medications somehow had a favorable impact on patient outcomes. This led us to review our large cohort of patients and screen them for common medications, focusing on antacids. In fact, our study did show that people taking antacids are doing better,” said lead study author Silvana Papagerakis, MD, PhD, research assistant professor of otolaryngology–head and neck surgery at the University of Michigan (U-M) Medical School and an adjunct clinical assistant professor at the U-M School of Dentistry.

    Results of the study were published in Cancer Prevention Research (2014; doi:10.1158/1940-6207.CAPR-14-0002).

    The researchers are not clear why these medications affect the cancer, although they have begun additional work to understand the mechanisms involved.

    “Currently, patients might be on and off of this medication according to their symptoms of acid reflux. We believe this medication can also be beneficial at stopping cancer progression. Perhaps longer duration of treatments may have significant effect in terms of outcome survival,” Papagerakis said.

    In addition, the researchers would like to understand if using antacids in people with reflux disease or people with precancerous lesions might reduce their risk of developing head and neck cancer.

    Antacids are seen as relatively safe and typically have little or no adverse side effects. More importantly, Papagerakis noted, patients with head and neck cancer are already taking these medications.

    “What this study makes clear is these medications may be more beneficial to the patients than just controlling side effects,” she said.

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    Boy Scout Troop Hiking to Raise Awareness of Oral Cancer in Honor of their Former Scoutmaster

    Mon, Dec 29, 2014


    Source: abcnews4.com
    Author: Staff

    AWENDAW, S.C. (WCIV) — South Carolina is second in the nation for the number of people who die from oral cancer every year. That statistic hits too close to home for one local Boy Scout troop who is now taking on the fight against the cancer.

    For five days, Boy Scout Troop 50 will be hiking through the Francis Marion National Forest from Awendaw to Moncks Corner.

    “Last summer our former Scoutmaster was diagnosed with tongue and throat cancer and he had to step down,” said Larry Elkin, who is volunteering to help lead the hike.

    Elkin says the boys have been preparing the 53 mile voyage for months. Their goal is to raise $5,000 to donate to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

    “Mr. Hardy loved his troop and he loved to hike, so what way better way to honor and bring awareness than through something he loved,” said Elkin.

    “If it’s one thing Mr. Hardy taught me is that if you are not going to do something right then don’t do it at all,” said Reid Kaplan, a 17-year-old who was under Hardy’s leadership when he was in the sixth grade.

    It’s memories and lessons learned from Hardy that Kaplan says will keep him going when he gets tired.

    “I remember going camping with him, and no matter how tired or worn out he was he never gave up he never complained, so when I’m drained I’ll be thinking about that,” said Kaplan.

    Cole Shuber is another teenager who’s learned lots of life lessons from Hardy, and now he wants to give back to a man who has given so much to him.

    “With everything going on, he really isn’t in a position to hike which is something he loved, so I want him to know I’m doing this — we are doing this — for him,” said Shuber.

    Troop 50 is doing three 12-mile hikes and finishing off the last two days each with an 8-mile hike.

    So far they’ve raised nearly $3,600. To help the Troop 50 reach their goal, click here.


    *This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.
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    Levels of cancer-causing chemicals in smokeless tobacco products influence carcinogen exposure

    Thu, Dec 25, 2014


    Source: www.healthcanal.com
    Author: staff

    Higher levels of cancer-causing chemicals called tobacco-specific nitrosamines in smokeless tobacco products led to greater exposure to these carcinogens even after taking into account how much or how long the product was used, according to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

    “Our results show that although the pattern of tobacco use—for example, amount of dip and number of dips—can influence the level of smokeless tobacco users’ exposure to tobacco-specific nitrosamines, the actual amount of these chemicals in the products also makes a significant difference,” said Dorothy K. Hatsukami, PhD, the Forster Family professor in cancer prevention in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

    “The majority of smokeless tobacco users in the United States are not aware of the levels of cancer-causing chemicals in their smokeless tobacco products or of the tremendous variability in the levels of these chemicals across brands sold in this country,” continued Hatsukami. “At a minimum, the FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] should provide smokeless tobacco consumers information about the different levels of cancer-causing chemicals in different brands of smokeless tobacco and, ideally, require levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines be substantially reduced, if not eliminated, in all products. Levels of these chemicals in smokeless tobacco products could be readily reduced by changing manufacturing practices.”

    Levels of exposure to tobacco-specific nitrosamines are associated with disease risk, according to Hatsukami. Prior studies have shown that smokeless tobacco users in the United States experience about two to three times greater risks for oral cancer compared with those who do not use these products, she said. Pancreatic cancer has also been linked to smokeless tobacco use.

    “Now that the FDA has the authority to establish product standards—that is, mandate the reduction of harmful and potentially harmful constituents in tobacco products—there has been greater interest in understanding how levels of tobacco-specific nitrosamines in products relate to exposure,” said Hatsukami.

    To study this, Hatsukami; Stephen Hecht, PhD, the Wallin professor of cancer prevention in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Minnesota; and their colleagues analyzed data from 391 adults from Minneapolis/St. Paul; Eugene, Oregon; and Morgantown, West Virginia, who used smokeless tobacco products daily. The smokeless tobacco brands used by different participants varied in nicotine and tobacco-specific nitrosamine content. Participants could not be current users of other tobacco or nicotine products.

    At two assessment sessions, approximately one week apart, demographic information, smokeless tobacco-use history, and urine samples were collected from participants. Urine samples were analyzed for biomarkers of exposure to nicotine and the tobacco-specific nitrosamines N’-nitrosonornictoine (NNN) and 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone (NNK).

    Analysis showed that levels of biomarkers of NNN and NNK in users’ urine samples were independently positively correlated with the number of years of daily smokeless tobacco use, number of tins of smokeless tobacco used each week, mean daily dip duration, and levels of NNN and NNK in the smokeless tobacco products used. For every one unit (µg/g wet weight) increase of NNK and NNN in the smokeless tobacco product used, the estimated increase of the corresponding biomarkers was 32 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

    The study was supported by the National Cancer Institute. Hatsukami declares no conflicts of interest. Hecht served as an expert witness in a smokeless tobacco trial 10 years ago.

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