Snuff’s popularity grows, despite cancer fears

7/30/2007 Norway staff Three out of four Norwegians think the tobacco product known as snus, or snuff, can cause cancer. Its popularity has been soaring, though, especially among young men. Snuff's rise in popularity has followed Norway's introduction of laws that ban smoking in offices, restaurants, bars and other public places. Many smokers, denied their cigarettes, turned to snuff instead, and producers responded by boosting production of snuff in small packets that now are often found under the lips of many young Norwegian men. And women. Studies show that around 6 percent of the Norwegian population aged 16-74 use snuff daily. Three times as many in the age group 16 to 24 are believed to use snuff daily. Researcher think the figures will soon reach 35 percent of the population aged 16 to 24, despite cancer fears. A new survey conducted by polling firm Norsk Respons for a state public health program in Østfold County found that 84 percent of women and 66 percent of men questioned believe snuff can cause cancer. Medical researchers are split on the issue, with some downplaying the risk. Others subscribe to the cancer warnings. "We have strong indications that snuff can lead to cancer, especially cancer in oral cavities and the stomach," said Professor Tore Sanner at the leading Norwegian cancer hospital Radiumhospitalet. The World Health Organization and American health authorities have also classified snuff as cancer-causing.

2009-04-15T16:26:00-07:00July, 2007|Archive|

Anti-Smoking Program Again Flush With Cash

7/29/2007 Tallahassee, FL staff Florida's once-heralded youth anti-smoking program is coming back. Lawmakers had gutted the program's budget in recent years, but last year voters forced the program back into relevancy. Voters in November changed the constitution to require the Legislature to put 15 percent of the state's tobacco settlement dollars into the program each year, just under $58 million in the current year. "We have restored an effective youth tobacco prevention program, which includes a substantial appropriation for smoking cessation," said Don Webster, CEO of the American Cancer Society's Florida Division. In the late 1990s Florida's effort to convince kids that smoking wasn't cool was widely praised, partly for its original TV ads that had lots of teens - and young adults - talking about them, and partly because it seemed to work. The number of kids who said in surveys that they smoke dropped off fairly dramatically during the time the program was in full swing. Later, when the program was no longer being used, the decreases leveled off. The program featured a teen-oriented ad campaign that didn't bother with subtlety, squarely taking on the tobacco industry, and portraying industry officials as outright killers. One ad compared tobacco company executives to Hitler, Stalin and the Ku Klux Klan. Another featured a boy getting his tongue bitten off by a dog he was taunting. The ad, which targeted smokeless tobacco, asked "how attached are you to your tongue?" The pinstripe suit-crowd wasn't amused, and many lawmakers also didn't [...]

2009-04-15T16:25:03-07:00July, 2007|Archive|

Myriad Genetics Launches New Molecular Diagnostic Test

7/29/2007 web-based article press release Myriad Genetics, Inc. announced today that it has introduced a new product, TheraGuide 5-FU(TM), to help predict which cancer patients are likely to suffer serious toxic reactions to the drug 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU) or the oral form of the drug, capecitabine. More than 500,000 Americans with breast cancer, colon cancer, skin cancer or head and neck cancer are treated with 5-FU each year. Approximately 30% of those patients experience severe toxicity. TheraGuide 5-FU is a comprehensive analysis of the genetic variations in two genes, DPYD and TYMS, which increase a patient's risk for toxicity to 5-FU chemotherapy. With the TheraGuide 5-FU test results, oncologists and their patients can take steps to reduce the risk of avoidable toxicity, including using alternative therapies, reducing the size of the dose and increasing patient monitoring for side effects. TheraGuide 5-FU provides the critical guidance oncologists need to personalize chemotherapy for their cancer patients who are being considered for chemotherapy regimens. "TheraGuide 5-FU is a new personalized medicine test that has the potential to save many cancer patients from serious toxic reactions to the medicine that is supposed to help them," said Greg Critchfield, M.D., President of Myriad Genetic Laboratories, Inc. "TheraGuide 5-FU points the way to the future promise of personalized medicine, where tests can guide the therapeutic choice for improved patient care, while limiting the side effects of otherwise efficacious drugs." Approximately one third of all patients given 5-FU will experience dose-limiting toxicity that can be severe to [...]

2009-04-15T16:24:33-07:00July, 2007|Archive|

The evolution of surgery in the management of neck metastases

7/27/2007 web-based article S Subramanian et al Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital, December 1, 2006; 26(6): 309-16 In spite of advancement in science, molecular medicine and target therapies, surgical treatment of metastases using different techniques, from selective neck dissection to extended radical neck dissections, form a major part in the management of neck metastases. This is due to the fact that, so far, there is no treatment more effective for resectable neck metastases, than surgery. Since most head and neck cancer patients die due to loco-regional progression of disease, and a very large majority of them do not live long enough to develop distant metastases, the status of neck lymph nodes remains the single most important prognostic factor, in these cases. In the 100 years since George Washington Crile described Radical Neck Dissection, we now have a much better understanding of the biological and clinical behaviour of neck metastases. This has ultimately led to the conservative approaches of selective neck dissections depending on the primary site of the tumour, type of tumour and the characteristic features of the metastases themselves. A search of the literature on neck lymph nodes and neck dissections, on the internet and in old publications, not available in the electronic media, has been carried out. Using this as the basis, we arranged, in sequence, the dates of various landmarks in the treatment of head and neck cancer related to neck dissections to emphasize the overall process of evolution of neck dissection thereby showing how the field of head [...]

2009-04-15T16:24:04-07:00July, 2007|Archive|

Woman Who Pushed for HPV Vaccine Dies

7/24/2007 Austin, TX staff Heather Burcham, whose battle with cervical cancer led her to urge legislators to try to keep girls from sharing in her fate, has died of the disease. She was 31. Burcham, of Houston, died Saturday. "Her pain and suffering have forever ceased," Gov. Rick Perry said Monday. He said she was "an inspiration to myself, my staff and others." Perry issued an executive order in February that would have required the newly approved human papillomavirus vaccine for girls entering the sixth grade, to help protect them from cervical cancer. Members of the Legislature were outraged, complaining that Perry circumvented the legislative process, that the vaccine was too new and that making it mandatory could encourage young people to be sexually active. The human papillomavirus that causes cervical cancer is transmitted through sexual contact. Burcham went to the Capitol to voice support for the vaccine in February. In April, legislators passed a bill blocking state officials from following Perry's order. In a May news conference to announce that he would not veto the bill, Perry closed with a video of Burcham speaking from her hospice bed. With oxygen tubes snaking out of her nose, she spoke of the pain she had endured for four years. She also mourned for the husband she would never meet and the children she would never raise. "If I could help one child, take this cancer away from one child, it would mean the world to me," she said. "If they [...]

2009-04-15T16:23:40-07:00July, 2007|Archive|

Cancer strikes top chef in his prime

7/24/2007 Chicago, IL Phil Vettel and Robert Mitchum Chemotherapy treatments could rob Chicago's rising culinary star of his ability to taste. Grant Achatz, the 33-year-old superstar chef whose Lincoln Park restaurant, Alinea, is ranked among the very best in the world, is facing a medical challenge with a painful twist. On Monday, Achatz announced that he has been diagnosed with Stage 4 squamous cell carcinoma of the mouth. The cancer, which doctors believe has spread to Achatz's lymph nodes, is life-threatening. The lesions are on the chef's tongue. If chemotherapy is successful, there remains a possibility that Achatz will lose all sense of taste. "It's Shakespearean," said Nick Kokonas, Achatz's friend and co-owner of Alinea. "This is like a painter whose eyes are taken from him, a pianist who has his fingers cut off." An optimistic-sounding Achatz doesn't quite see it that way. "People confuse the role of the chef," he said. "A lot of what I do is conceptualize. I'm not the guy who cooks everything every night; it's impossible. I've got a really strong team (at Alinea), and their response has been amazingly positive. They're going to rally around this." Achatz burst on the dining scene in 2001, when, after four years working under Thomas Keller at the acclaimed French Laundry in Yountville, Calif., he was hired as executive chef at Trio in Evanston. Not only did Achatz maintain the restaurant's four-star status, but a year later he made Food & Wine magazine's list of Best New [...]

2009-04-15T16:23:10-07:00July, 2007|Archive|

Laser surgery checks oral cancer spread

7/20/2007 Bhubaneswar, India staff Laser technology has been used in surgeries since early seventies but innovations have made it an important tool today to treat superficial lesions in oral cancers. As oral cancer is most common in Orissa due to the tobacco chewing habits, the ‘carbon dioxide laser’ is perhaps the right tool to manage the surgical requirements and a finding from 128 cases shows that it has got extremely good tumour control capabilities. A study carried out over nearly a year at Panda Medical Centre (PMC), Telengapentha, has found that the use of carbon dioxide laser increases accuracy, improves accessibility and minimal collateral tissue damage through instantaneous tissue sealing, reduced pain, edema and minimal blood loss. According to consultant ENT and head and neck surgeon Dr Sanjoy Panda of PMC, the most important benefit with this technique is sealing of lymphatic vessels as it demands paramount importance in cancer surgery. “The small invisible vessels are sealed spontaneously by laser. This is necessary while dealing with tumours and preventing seeding of wounds,” he adds. “There is recent data that compares excising tumours with knife to excision with laser, and finally, to excising with laser and vapourising the base. There is a marked decrease in the recurrence with the latter method,” he points out. Carbon dioxide laser has an important role to play in Orissa as most of the cancer patients are tobacco chewers and the cost of therapy is less which makes it attractive for the needy, the cancer [...]

2009-04-15T16:22:45-07:00July, 2007|Archive|

Treatment is dying man’s last hope

7/18/2007 Northamptonshire, UK staff Evening Telegraph ( A dying man will find out today if he is suitable for a revolutionary cancer treatment which experts say could save his life. Brad Tompkins will undergo an MRI scan at University College Hospital in London which will determine whether he could benefit from the breakthrough laser therapy to treat his mouth cancer. Mr Tompkins, of Rushden, has rejected the chance of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, as well as surgery to remove parts of his tongue and throat, because it would severely affect his quality of life. It leaves the new treatment his only hope for treatment. Mr Tompkins, who has been told his cancer is terminal, said: "I'm so nervous. Essentially, I'll find out whether I've got weeks left to live or if I've got the rest of my life to look forward to. "Doctors will be carrying out an MRI scan to see if the treatment could work. "I'm frightened and excited because this treatment could be perfect. Other options involved surgery to remove my tongue and voice box. "That would not be an option for me because I have to talk to people –I have to communicate." Mr Tompkins, who was diagnosed with cancer in April, said he only found out about photodynamic therapy (PDT) as an alternative to chemotherapy and radiotherapy after Northampton Welfare Rights showed him a cutting from a newspaper a few weeks ago. He is concerned that had he known about the procedure earlier, doctors would have [...]

2009-04-15T16:21:54-07:00July, 2007|Archive|

B.C.-developed scope detects oral cancer

7/16/2007 British Columbia, Canada staff Oral cancer will be diagnosed in over 3,200 Canadians this year and will prove fatal in over 1,100. That's usually because it is caught late, when the cancer has spread and survival rates are around 20 per cent. Now scientists in B.C. are testing a new tool they hope will shine a light on this little-recognized disease. Researchers at the B.C. Cancer Agency have developed with LED Medical Diagnostics Inc. a tool called the VELscope, a hand-held device that usees fluorescence technology to allow dentists and hygienists to scan for abnormal tissue that may be cancerous. B.C. is the first region in Canada to test the VELscope. They are part of a test project that they hope will lead to making the scope a standard screening device in every dentist's office. Balvir Dhadda's life may have been saved by the VELscope. She had been suffering from what she thought were stubborn cold sores in her mouth. Her dentist used the experimental tool and discovered the cold sores were actually cancer. "I was devastated," Dhadda told CTV News. "I'd never heard of oral cancer myself." In Dhatta's case, the VELscope found her cancer early, at the stage when treatment has an over 80 per cent survival rate. "Basically, they saved my life," she said. Oral cancer is more common that most think. It's diagnosed more often than ovarian cancer, liver cancer or cervical cancer, but most aren't aware of it. But it can be disfiguring, [...]

2009-04-15T16:21:27-07:00July, 2007|Archive|

Betel nut cancer link takes buzz out of Taiwan tradition

7/15/2007 Kaohsiung, Taiwan Ralph Jennings For centuries, hundreds of millions of people across Asia, from Pakistan to Palau, have chewed the spicy date-like fruit of the betel palm for a quick buzz. Then four years ago, a World Health Organization study found that chewing betel nuts can cause oral cancer and that the rate of these malignant mouth tumors was highest in Asia where the betel nut is a widely used stimulant. Despite the cancer link, betel nut addicts are chewing on in many parts of Asia. But in Taiwan, the findings have spurred a government health campaign against the nut which is grown on palm trees across the sub-tropical island southeast of China. "If you don't want oral cancer, the most direct way is to quit chewing betel nuts," Wu Chien-yuan, chief of cancer prevention in the Taiwan health ministry, told Reuters. Betel nut, which contains an addictive stimulant similar to nicotine, is widely used in parts of Southeast Asia, India, Pakistan and the South Pacific as a breath freshener, a hunger antidote, a substitute for cigarettes and as a way to get high. Users often chew it all day long, causing all sorts of unpleasant side-effects such as red-stained teeth and pavements covered with red spittle as many users spit out the betel nut's remnants as they chew. "Whether it harms you is an individual thing," said Kaohsiung betel chewer Wan Chin-hsian, 35. "It's healthy to spit it out." Under pressure from the government health drive, betel [...]

2009-04-15T16:20:06-07:00July, 2007|Archive|
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