5/31/2005 Tokyo, Japan CNN News (www.cnn.com) Mitsuru Hanada, a legendary former ozeki from one of Japan's most powerful sumo dynasties, died Monday at 55, sumo officials said. Hanada, more commonly known by his title as stablemaster Futagoyama, died at a Tokyo hospital at 5:40 p.m. (0840 GMT), the Japan Sumo Association announced. NHK public broadcaster said the cause was a type of oral cancer. Hanada, during his 16-year career in the ring, came to be known affectionately as the "Prince of Sumo," rising to the sport's second-highest rank of ozeki. He was also the father of the immensely popular brothers, former yokozunas Takanohana and Wakanohana, who dominated the sport in the 1990s. Hanada, who also fought under the ring name of Takanohana, rose to sumo's top makuuchi division at the record early age of 18 under the training of his elder brother, Katsuji, the first Wakanohana and also a grand champion. But he was never able to make it to sumo's top rank of yokozuna despite winning two Emperor's Cups. He retired in 1981 and later became director of the Japan Sumo Association.
5/31/2005 Boston, MA Michael Kunzelman apnews.myway.com Tobacco companies did elaborate research on women to figure out how to hook them on smoking - even toying with the idea of chocolate-flavored cigarettes that would curb appetite, according to a new analysis. Researchers at Harvard University's School of Public Health said they examined more than 7 million documents - some dating back to 1969, others as recent as 2000 - for new details about the industry's efforts to lure more women smokers. Carrie Carpenter, the study's lead author, said companies' research went far beyond a marketing or advertising campaign. "They did so much research in such a sophisticated way," she said. "Women should know how far the tobacco industry went to exploit them." The report, published in the June issue of the journal Addiction, says tobacco companies looked for ways to modify their cigarettes to give women the illusion they could puff their way into a better life. One of the documents, a 1993 internal report from Phillip Morris, extolled the virtues of making a longer, slimmer cigarette that offered the false promise of a "healthier" product. "Most smokers have little notion of their brand's tar and nicotine levels," the report states. "Perception is more important than reality, and in this case the perception is of reduced tobacco consumption." A Phillip Morris spokesman declined to comment on the report, saying the company hasn't had a chance to fully review it. The Harvard researchers spent more than a year sifting through an online [...]
5/31/2005 London, England British Dental Journal (2005); 198, 605. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4812409 Fifty-seven countries have agreed a range of approaches to control oral cancer worldwide. The countries have all committed to the Crete Declaration, a statement on approaches for effective control of oral cancer at a global level. The participants of the 10th International Congress on Oral Cancer which took place in April in Crete, Greece, welcomed the initiative to analyse the evidence on oral cancer and the implications for prevention and public health programmes. They also emphasised that oral health is an integral part of general health and wellbeing and expressed concern about the neglected burden of oral cancer which particularly affects developing countries with low availability of prevention programmes and oral health services. In the declaration, the participants affirmed their commitment to oral health and general health as a basic human right. They resolved to support the work carried out by national and international health authorities, research institutions, non-governmental organisations and civil society for the effective control of oral cancer. They also looked at areas of work that should be strengthened. These included the provision of systematic epidemiological information on prevalences of oral cancer and cancer risks in countries, particularly in the developing world and promotion of research into understanding biological, behavioural and psychosocial factors in oral cancer, emphasising the inter-relationship between oral health and general health.
5/31/2005 Manila, Philippines Christina I. Hermoso The Manila Bulletin Online (www.mb.com.ph) The country joins the rest of the world in today’s observance of World No-Tobacco Day which highlights the ill-effects of tobacco on the body. In the Philippines, statistics showed that 16.5 percent of the population are smokers with women constituting nearly half of the total figure. Smoking is the single biggest preventable cause of death. Tobacco claims 4.9 million lives a year, and if the present consumption patterns continue, the number of deaths will increase to 10 million by the year 2020, 70% of which will occur in developing countries. There are an estimated 1.3 billion smokers and half of them (some 650 million people) are expected to die prematurely of a tobacco-related disease. At the current rate, the number of smokers will rise from today’s 1.3 billion to 1.7 billion by 2025. The Philippines Department of Health (DoH), which leads in the observance, has issued a warning on the long-term effects of cigarette smoking. "Chemicals in tobacco smoke include nicotine and tar which get deposited in the bronchi and the lungs. The other harmful chemicals are acetone, ammonia, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen cyanide, methane and benzopyrene which are also considered as major contributory factors responsible for smoking-related diseases," said the DoH. "Long-term smoking has been linked to various health problems and has been found to aggravate existing health conditions," the DoH said. Long-term effects of cigarette smoking, according to health authorities, include: 1. Nicotine Addiction. 2. Coronary [...]
5/31/2005 Temple Terrace, FL Stephanie Hayes The Kansas City Star (www.kansascity.com) Richard Preston's hookah pipe arrives at his table at the Meridian Hookah Lounge, and he takes a drag. The pipe, a centuriesold worldly tradition, is now on the lips of a 20-year-old heavy-metal enthusiast. Dressed in black, Preston sucks lemon-lime flavored tobacco smoke from a twisting tube and leans back, awash in the perfumed haze. He is mellow but talkative. "I worked my tail off today," says the Papa John's employee and University of Tampa student. "I come up here and it's like, "What's work?"' He shares the sofa with Jennifer Goubeaud, a 20-year-old University of South Florida psychology major. She smiles and sums up why college students are racing to try the hookah's sweet-tasting tobacco. "It's something good and legal to smoke," she says. The hookah, also known as the hubble-bubble or narghile, consists of a bowl connected to a vase of water with a long tube and mouthpiece. Shisha, a sticky, wet cocktail of tobacco, molasses and fruit, sits inside the bowl with a layer of foil and a hot coal on top. The smoke cools by passing through water. Between 200 and 300 hookah bars have opened in the country in the past five years, according to Smokeshop Magazine . Marc Karimi could be mistaken for a customer at Meridian. He has young skin, dark eyes and clean-cut hair. The 21-year-old nestles into a group of college students on a circular sofa. Karimi, a USF graduate, [...]
5/31/2005 Boston, MA Judy Foreman Boston Globe Within two years, you may be able to go for a regular dental visit, spit into a cup and, before your appointment is over, find out from an analysis of your saliva whether you're at risk for oral cancer. Currently, dentists have to do a thorough mouth exam to probe for this disease, which will strike more than 28,000 Americans this year and kill more than 7,000. Within a few more years, you may be able -- with a fancier spit test -- to find out if you're at risk for a number of other diseases, including breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, ovarian cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. If you're among the avant garde, you might even have a tiny chip implanted in your cheek to monitor proteins in saliva such as C-reactive protein, which has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. The chip could sound an alarm -- maybe a beep, maybe an electronic message to your doctor -- whenever levels of a particular protein drift too high or too low. Until a few years ago, the technology to analyze minute quantities of genetic material and proteins in saliva was not good enough for many of the tests doctors want to do or tests consumers could do in their homes, said Dr. David Wong, associate dean of research at the UCLA School of Dentistry. In the brave new world of genomics and proteomics -- the study of genes [...]
5/31/2005 New York, NY Scott Gottlieb, M.D. Forbes.com Cancer survival rates are climbing. Earlier detection is one reason. Another is the new medicines that created through recent innovations in biotechnology. Drugs today are more targeted to tumors, so patients are seeing their lives prolonged with fewer of the side effects that came with traditional cancer drugs. The hope for the future is even better. More than 400 new cancer drugs are in development. One of the clearest beneficiaries of recent innovations has been the field of breast cancer, where 15-year survival rates for early stage breast cancer patients have gone from one in ten to one in five in just the past decade With a series of new breast cancer drugs such as Bristol-Myers Squibb's Taxol, the aromatase inhibitors, Genentech's Herceptin and now Avastin (developed for colon cancer, it was recently shown to almost double the length of time women in late stages of breast cancer survive after chemotherapy), doctors are finally piecing together all of the new drugs they have into cocktails that are saving many more lives. Some experts now say that recent product launches for colon cancer, including ImClone's drug Erbitux, a similar drug made by Abgenix, another from Amgen and Genentech's Avastin, will mean similar gains for that cancer. The bottom line is clear: There's still far too much death and suffering from cancer, but investments in research are paying off. Relaxed regulatory standards at the Food and Drug Administration when it came to drugs that [...]
5/29/2005 Stockholm, Sweden Ivar Eckman New York Times Sweden is a few days from joining the select group of European countries that have banned smoking in restaurants and bars. But unlike Ireland, where the ban upset pub owners, or Italy, where cappuccino drinkers complained about having to smoke outdoors, no one here expects the June 1 event to be met with much protest. The main reason for this indifference is a four-letter word: snus. A moist, finely minced snuff tobacco inserted under the upper lip, snus is the Swedish alternative to cigarettes. The substance, which is prohibited in the rest of the European Union (Sweden got an exemption when it joined in 1995), has been used widely here for almost two centuries, and has grown in popularity in recent years. More than a million Swedes use it, and as smoking is banned in eating and drinking establishments, snus (pronounced snoos) is expected to become even more popular. "Historically, we've seen a lot of smokers switching to snus," said Sven Hindrikes, chief of Swedish Match, which made 95 percent of the almost 200 million cans of snus sold last year. "If you're not allowed to smoke in restaurants, it will have a positive effect on our sales." Swedish Match has been preparing for two years to take advantage of the smoking ban. New custom-made refrigerators and vending machines have been offered to restaurant and bar owners, and a sleek black "snustray" has been designed to replace ashtrays. (Because snus use stimulates [...]
5/29/2005 Australia Australian Bbroasting Co. News Online (abc.net.au) Smokers are being urged to kick the habit or risk developing life-threatening mouth cancers. The Australian Dental Association has issued the warning ahead of World No Tobacco Day, which falls on Tuesday. The association's Lena Lejmanoski says in Australia, 46 per cent of oral cancers in men and 36 per cent in women are caused by smoking. She says treatments for the cancers are distressing. "Radical surgery can be a form of treatment with radiotherapy involved," she said. "It can be very very disfiguring, giving them a severely compromised quality of life as far as their speech, their chewing and their swallowing." Ms Lejmanoski says smokers should get regular dental check-ups and look for early signs of the disease. "A white patch in the mouth, a lump in the mouth or any lesion in the mouth that doesn't heal," she said. "Early detection is very very important in basically helping to cure, give a potential cure for these cancers."
5/29/2005 Anaheim, CA Red Nova (www.rednova.com) Smokers who regularly took certain popular painkillers cut their risk of developing oral cancer but increased their chances of dying from heart-related problems, researcher say. The study raises fresh questions about the long-term use of Advil, Motrin and Aleve. The findings add to the suspicion that the heart risk extends beyond Cox-2 medications like Bextra, Vioxx and Celebrex to the larger family of pain relievers known as nonsteroidal anti- inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs. These include ibuprofen and virtually all other over-thecounter pain pills except Tylenol or other brands of acetaminophen. Short-term use of NSAIDs -- two weeks or less -- for headaches or other pain is still considered safe. However, the study of smokers in Norway is the first evidence to support the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision to warn about long-term use of all of these drugs except aspirin. Results were presented Monday at an American Association for Cancer Research meeting in Anaheim. Many doctors have switched patients to over-the-counter NSAIDs since the prescription drugs Vioxx and Bextra were pulled from the market. The doctors believed the over-thecounter drugs to be safer. Doctors in Norway wanted to see whether NSAIDs could prevent oral cancer because other work suggested they helped ward off other cancers. They found that heart risk was highest among ibuprofen users, who were nearly three times more likely to die of cardiovascular disease than non-NSAID users. Aspirin was the only NSAID that did not seem to raise the [...]