$12 Million SPORE Grant Spurs Head and Neck Cancer Research

2/29/2004 Houston, TX MD Anderson Cancer Center Press Release Nearly 38,000 men and women in this country will develop head and neck cancers in 2002, according to the American Cancer Society. Now, the first Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant to study these cancers has been awarded to a national cancer center. The National Cancer Institute recently presented M. D. Anderson with a $12 million SPORE grant to study head and neck cancers, which include cancers of the: * jaw * mouth * throat * nose * nasal cavity * salivary gland * sinuses * thyroid * larynx “M. D. Anderson has made great strides in treating head and neck cancer patients while maintaining quality of life for our patients,” says Dr. Waun Ki Hong, the lead investigator on M. D. Anderson's latest SPORE lire ici. Hong is head of the institution's Division of Cancer Medicine and chairman of the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology. The grant's co-lead investigators are Drs. Reuben Lotan, professor of medicine, and Gary Clayman, professor of head and neck surgery, both in the Department of Thoracic/Head and Neck Medical Oncology. “We are already hard at work, and with this addition, we hope to make more progress in reducing head and neck cancer and ensure that patients with these diseases receive state-of-the-art medical care with cutting-edge therapeutic approaches.” The head and neck SPORE grant will support research in five key areas: Genetic Susceptibility Markers: Although head and neck cancer is known to be [...]

2009-03-22T22:28:04-07:00February, 2004|Archive|

Oral sex linked to mouth cancer

2/28/2004 Baltimore, Maryland Michael Day New Scientist Print Edition Oral sex can lead to oral tumours. That is the conclusion of researchers who have proved what has long been suspected, that the human papilloma virus can cause oral cancers. The risk, thankfully, is tiny. Only around 1 in 10,000 people develop oral tumours each year, and most cases are probably caused by two other popular recreational pursuits: smoking and drinking. The researchers are not recommending any changes in behaviour. The human papilloma virus (HPV), an extremely common sexually transmitted infection, has long been known to cause cervical cancers. Several small studies have suggested it also plays a role in other cancers, including oral and anal cancers. "There has been tremendous interest for years on whether it has a role in other cancers. Many people were sceptical," says Raphael Viscidi, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, a member of the team that did the latest work. The researchers, working for the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, compared 1670 patients who had oral cancer with 1732 healthy volunteers. The participants lived in Europe, Canada, Australia, Cuba and Sudan. HPV16, the strain seen most commonly in cervical cancer, was found in most of the oral cancers too. Antibodies against HPV The people with oral cancers containing the HPV16 strain were three times as likely to report having had oral sex as those whose tumour did not contain HPV16. There was no difference between [...]

2009-03-22T22:26:47-07:00February, 2004|Archive|

Aspirin May Ward Off Some Cancers

2/18/2004 By Daniel DeNoon, Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD WebMD Medical News Evidence Mounts: Aspirin Prevents Cancers of Esophagus, Blood Regular use of aspirin is a cost-effective way to prevent cancer of the esophagus. And it may also prevent Hodgkin's disease. The findings come from two separate reports in the Feb. 18 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The most provocative of these reports suggests that regular aspirin use may prevent Hodgkin's disease, a lymphoma or cancer of the white cells in the blood. The finding holds true only for aspirin and not for other drugs of its class such as ibuprofen. "If aspirin use is indeed found to protect against Hodgkin's lymphoma, this relationship could afford insight into the [cause] of the disease and offer possible clues toward its prevention," conclude Harvard researcher Ellen T. Chang, ScD, and colleagues. Regular use of another common pain reliever, acetaminophen (Tylenol), seemed to increase the odds of having Hodgkin's disease. It's not the first time acetaminophen has been linked to cancer. However, the researchers think this association is more likely due to the fact that people coming down with Hodgkin's disease may have used more pain relievers. In the second study, Massachusetts General Hospital researcher Chin Hur, MD, and colleagues find that aspirin is the key to preventing esophageal cancer. Hur's team looked at whether aspirin is a good way to prevent a condition known as Barrett's esophagus, a result of chronic acid reflux. People with Barrett's esophagus are [...]

2009-03-22T22:26:08-07:00February, 2004|Archive|

Poor Oral Health Linked to Coronary Heart Disease

2/17/2004 Laurie Barclay, MD Medscape Medical News 2004 Information sources/original article in the medical publication Circulation. Published Feb. 16, 2004 Asymptotic dental scores (ADS) reflecting poor oral health are linked to coronary heart disease (CHD), according to the results of a study published in the March 9 issue of Circulation, and published online Feb. 16. "Oral infections are thought to produce inflammation that might be associated with CHD, so we examined all oral pathologies that might generate inflammation," lead author Sok-Ja Janket, DMD, MPH, from Boston University School of Dental Medicine in Massachusetts, says in a news release. "The ADS is a noninvasive risk indicator that can be measured easily at the time of dental check-up."Using a logistic regression model, the investigators determined the weight that each of five oral diseases should be assigned to create the ADS as a predictor of cardiac risk. The strongest predictor of CHD was pericoronitis, followed by root remnants and gingivitis; then dental caries and missing teeth. Comparing oral health records from 256 Finnish patients with CHD to those of 250 matched controls without CHD revealed that individuals with high ADS, low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and high levels of fibrinogen had an 82% probability of having CHD. A model that included ADS, C-reactive protein, and HDL cholesterol and fibrinogen levels was at least as good a predictor of cardiac risk as was the Framingham heart score High ADS alone was associated with a 70% probability of having CHD, low HDL cholesterol [...]

2009-03-22T22:25:37-07:00February, 2004|Archive|

Cancer radiation risk estimated Medical X-rays cause thousands of cases of cancer every year.

2/12/2004 HELEN R. PILCHER A British study has quantified the cancer risk from diagnostic X-rays. Radiation from medical and dental scans is thought to cause about 700 cases of cancer per year in Britain and more than 5,600 cases in the United States1. The benefits of using X-rays still far outweigh the potential increase in cancer risk, says Amy Berrington de González from Oxford University, UK, who coordinated the study. But it's important to know what that risk is, she says, so doctors can weigh up the pros and cons of using the technique. X-rays and their computerized cousin, CT scans, are routinely used to diagnose cancer and examine bone breaks. But the radiation can penetrate through cells and damage DNA. In some people, this can trigger cancer. To minimize the risks, doctors use low doses. A chest X-ray, for example, delivers just three days' worth of low, background radiation. But X-rays are commonplace in hospitals and huge numbers of people receive them — there are 500 X-rays for every 1,000 people every year in Britain. Attempts to quantify the risk of X-rays have been made before. The most recent previous estimate, made in 1981, found that X-rays probably accounted for 0.5% of cancer cases in the United States. The new study, using more data from 15 different countries, is a much-needed update on those risk estimates, says Berrington de González, particularly because many more X-rays are done today than 20 years ago. The study estimates that diagnostic X-rays account [...]

2009-03-22T22:24:56-07:00February, 2004|Archive|

Cancer survivor gives teens some scary facts to chew on

2/12/2004 Lisa Patterson Daily World A little white dot on the side of Cliff Crawford's tongue got a lot more significant Tuesday. Mouth wide - opened, tongue sticking out, the Aberdeen High School ninth - grader asked Rick Bender to take a look. Bender told him to talk with his parents, see a doctor and quit chewing "spit tobacco," a habit Crawford says he began at the age of 7. "I'm not a doctor," Bender said. "But I wouldn't take any chances." Missing part of his tongue, all of his bottom teeth and much of his chin, Bender's words held more weight with Crawford and his fellow Aberdeen High School students than any wordy warning on the side of chew cans that so many of the students admittedly pack. Bender barely survived mouth cancer, diagnosed in April of 1989, just days before his 27th birthday. He spoke to students at several area schools this week to share is horrific near - death experience. OCF Note: What we would like to know is where were the parents responsible for the bringing up of this 7 year old when he started using spit tobacco? How can we make a difference in the incidence and death rate from this disease when parents allow this to occur? How proud they will be of their parenting abilities when their child finds out that oral cancer is now part of his life, due to their lack of involvement or plain stupidity. No matter how you try [...]

2009-03-22T22:23:42-07:00February, 2004|Archive|

Americans say they are excited about cancer screening when asked if they would prefer a total-body CT scan or $1,000 in cash, 85% chose the total-body CT.

2/11/2004 Schwartz LM, Woloshin S, Fowler FJ, Welch HG Thanks in part to successful, aggressive marketing campaigns about cancer screening technology, people in the United States are enthusiastic about cancer screening, according to a national survey. “Most people in the United States are firmly committed to cancer screening,” said Lisa M. Schwartz, MD, MS, from the Veterans Affairs Outcomes Group in White River Junction, VT. She added that false-positive results did not reduce enthusiasm for screening. Schwartz and her colleagues conducted a national telephone survey of 500 adults during 2001 and 2002. None of the participants had a history of cancer. There were 360 women who were at least 40 years old and 140 men who were at least 50 years old. The survey was restricted to these age groups, Schwartz explained, “because it is at these ages that most cancer screening is recommended, a notable exception being Papanicolaou testing.” The survey included questions about the value of early detection and four cancer screening tests: Papanicolaou (Pap) smear, mammography, prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test and sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. One screening technology that is often aggressively marketed to consumers is total-body computed tomography (CT) scanning. Although there are no data to support benefit or safety for the test and some medical groups discourage patients from receiving it, 86% of survey participants wanted to have a free total-body CT. When those people were asked if they would prefer a total-body CT scan or $1,000 in cash, 85% would choose the total-body CT. Eighty-seven [...]

2009-03-22T22:22:37-07:00February, 2004|Archive|

Midge Mackenzie

2/11/2004 London Telegraph news Midge Mackenzie, who has died aged 65, was a documentary film-maker, writer and historian of film; energetic and determined in all her endeavours, she made uncompromising, honest and stylish documentaries about feminism, human rights and child abuse as well as many other subjects. With her habitual Stetson setting off flame red hair, tight jeans, extravagant rings and cowboy boots, Midge Mackenzie's appearance reflected her originality and showmanship, but belied her strong principles and need to expose injustices. Film-making was her real passion, but in her work for the feminist and anti-apartheid movements in the 1960s and 1970s she cut a swathe, excited controversy and made a difference. Margaret Rose Mackenzie was born in London on March 6 1938, the eldest of three children. After the war, which she spent in Dublin, cared for by a great-aunt, she attended a convent school in north London. But having been left to look after her brothers when her parents divorced, she was determined to escape her home life. She left school at 16 and went to work for an advertising agency in central London, which provided her with an entry into films. Following a brief marriage to Peter Jepson-Henry, an antiques dealer, she moved to New York where she cut her teeth in film-making as a director of television commercials. Her reputation as a documentary film-maker was established in 1967, when her revolutionary, and widely acclaimed, multimedia Astarte for the Joffrey Ballet made the cover of Time magazine. Three [...]

2009-03-22T22:21:56-07:00February, 2004|Archive|

Despite the risk, oncologists admit they know little about lymphedema

2/11/2004 Tammy Dotts Hem/Onc Today The lifetime risk for lymphedema is about 20% for patients who receive treatment that interferes with lymph transport. Many oncologists and other physicians, however, know little about the condition or about available treatments, said Christine Rymal, MSN, RN, CS, AOCN, a nurse practitioner at the Karmonos Cancer Institute in Detroit. “Lymphology is a neglected field,” she told Hem/Onc Today. “There aren’t many experts around.” The lack of experts may explain why some patients feel abandoned by the medical community. Rymal mentioned a 1997 paper in the Oncology Nursing Forum that found a primary theme among women treated for lymphedema was that they received little information from their doctors. “Ideally, oncologists should know enough about the condition to counsel patients before referring them to a therapist,” she said. “But oncologists may not have the time or the knowledge to understand how lymphedema and lymphedema therapy affect the patient. Even primary doctors aren’t that knowledgeable about it.” Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary defines lymphedema as chronic accumulation of interstitial fluid as a result of stasis of lymph, which is secondary to obstruction of lymph vessels or disorders of the lymph nodes. Under normal conditions, Rymal explained, lymph does not typically flow across watersheds that are the boundaries between quadrants of the peripheral lymph transport vasculature. Surgery, radiation or both can compromise lymph transport. This can cause lymph stasis, vessel hypertension, quadrant congestion and lymphedema. Untreated lymphedema can lead to decreased or lost function in the limbs, skin breakdown, [...]

2009-03-22T22:21:04-07:00February, 2004|Archive|

Joe Eszterhas writes off throat cancer

2/10/2004 John Morgan USA Today Basic Instinct scribe Joe Eszterhas is known for his dark tales populated with seductive killers. But like a character from one of his famous movies, Eszterhas was being slowly murdered by two killers he thought he loved cigarettes and alcohol. Their murder weapon was cancer of the larynx. And they almost got away with it. "I started smoking when I was 12 years old and drinking when I was 14," says Eszterhas, whose just-released novel Hollywood Animal will hit the New York Times best-seller list this week. "By 2000, I was smoking four packs of Salem lights every day and drinking a significant amount. My voice began to get hoarse." Eszterhas says he wasn't concerned. He had experienced hoarseness before on several occasions after having nasal polyps removed. So the million-dollar screen writer casually went in to see his "hot shot Beverly Hills ENT guys." "I was diagnosed with a benign polyp that was wrapped around my vocal cords," Eszterhas recalls. "They said that it was nothing alarming. It was outpatient and no rush. It was just a polyp not unlike all the other ones." But it wasn't. After moving his family back to Ohio in March of 2001, the hoarseness got worse. With the renowned Cleveland Clinic nearby, Eszterhas decided to have the polyp removed rather than wait any longer. "The Cleveland Clinic throat guy performed the same test as the Beverly Hills doctors," Eszterhas explains, describing the flexible laryngoscope, a lighted tube with [...]

2009-03-22T22:20:21-07:00February, 2004|Archive|
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