Beware the signs of mouth cancer

Source: Author: Lisa Salmon Most people think of a mouth ulcer as a minor irritation that will disappear in a few days. Normally they’re right. But if the ulcer doesn’t heal and lasts longer than three weeks, it could be a sign of something more sinister: mouth cancer. Mouth, or oral, cancer, which can affect the lips, tongue, cheeks and throat, is one of the UK’s fastest-growing cancers. In the past decade, incidences have risen by 41% and, of the 5,000 people diagnosed with the disease every year, it kills around 2,000 of them. That’s one every five hours. About 70% of mouth cancers are detected at a late stage, which dramatically reduces the chances of survival. Yet if the cancer is detected early, more than 90% of people survive. For that reason, the British Dental Health Foundation (BDHF) has organised Mouth Cancer Action Month. In November, the organisation aims to raise awareness of the condition – which recently struck the film star Michael Douglas – so that people recognise the warning signs and are regularly checked for mouth cancer by their dentist. Signs include ulcers which haven’t healed after three weeks and lumps, or red or white patches, in the mouth, all of which can be mistaken for something less serious. In addition, swelling below the neck or chin, pain when chewing or swallowing, or a feeling that you have something in your throat that can’t be swallowed, can also indicate the disease. If you have any of [...]

“Staggering” lack of awareness of mouth cancer revealed

Source: Dental Health Foundation A NEW SURVEY undertaken by British Dental Health Foundation has revealed an alarming lack of awareness about the causes and symptoms of one of the UK’s fastest growing cancers – mouth cancer. Despite the recent case of actor Michael Douglas, who is suffering from advanced throat cancer, the answers from over 1,000 members of the public who were questioned in the survey for Mouth Cancer Action Month supported by Denplan reveal that there is only limited knowledge and understanding of this potentially deadly disease. One person in 10 claimed not even to have heard of mouth cancer. Chief Executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, said: “After recent high profile coverage of the Michael Douglas case it is staggering to see that some people still have no awareness at all of the condition." Dr Carter added: “It is vital that the public have a greater awareness because survival rates increase massively with early detection from just 50 percent to 90 percent. The public need to be aware of the risk factors and whether they are in a high risk group and how they can self–examine or who they can turn to if they’re concerned.” The results of the survey reveal that it is the older members of the public who are most aware of mouth cancer, with more than 96 percent of those interviewed saying that they had heard of it. Dr Carter added: “This sounds good as the majority of cases occur in the over [...]

Congressman wants chewing tobacco thrown out of World Series

Source: The Hill, The Washington Scene By: Jordan Fabian With the World Series set to begin Wednesday night, a New Jersey congressman wants the participating teams to give chewing tobacco the boot from their dugouts. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D) called on the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants to eschew their use of smokeless tobacco during the Fall Classic, saying it sets a bad example for kids. "Asking @MLB World Series teams to ban chewing tobacco. It hurts more than players when so many young ppl watch & are influenced by players," the congressman said on Twitter. Pallone has long been an opponent of the use of chewing tobacco in the sport, citing its negative health effects and poor example for children. The 11-term congressman held a hearing on the issue in April, at which House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) called on Major League Baseball to ban the use of smokeless tobacco. A representative from the baseball players union opposed the move, drawing a contrast between cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Scrutiny of players' use of the tobacco products, however, re-emerged this month after Hall of Fame right fielder Tony Gwynn was diagnosed with a form of mouth cancer. Gwynn, who spent his entire 20-year career with the San Diego Padres, openly speculated that it resulted from his use of chewing tobacco.

Panitumumab Plus Platinum Chemo Misses Mark in Advanced Head and Neck Cancer

Source: Internal Medicine News Digital Network By: Patrice Wendling MILAN – Panitumumab plus chemotherapy with cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil proved clinically active, but failed to boost overall survival significantly in first-line recurrent or metastatic head and neck cancer in the global, phase III SPECTRUM trial. The primary end point of median overall survival showed a statistically insignificant increase from 9.0 months with chemotherapy alone to 11.1 months with the addition of panitumumab (Vectibix) (hazard ratio, 0.87; log-rank P = .14). Subgroup analysis revealed, however, that the effect of panitumumab, an anti–epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody, was not the same for all patients in the international study, lead author Dr. Jan Vermorken said at the annual congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology. Regional differences were observed, suggesting a greater benefit in patients from North/South America (HR, 0.69) and Western Europe (HR, 0.73) than in those in Eastern Europe (HR, 1.11). Asian Pacific patients fell somewhere in the middle (HR, 0.99). About 45% of patients in each arm used some form of subsequent antitumor activity once off the study protocol, but differences cropped up here as well. The use of cytotoxic chemotherapy was imbalanced at 30% in the panitumumab arm vs. 25% in the chemotherapy arm, while twice as many patients in the chemotherapy arm (12% vs. 6%) received subsequent targeted systemic therapy driven largely by the use of anti-EGFR monoclonal antibodies, observed Dr. Vermorken of the Antwerp University Hospital in Edegem, Belgium. “It’s clear this is the first [...]

GlaxoSmithKline Drops the Price of Cervarix

Source: PharmaLive MISSISSAUGA, ON, Oct. 25 /CNW/ - Today, GlaxoSmithKline Inc. (Canada), announced its plan to reduce the cost of CERVARIX™ by 30%. The cost reduction is in response to recent research that demonstrates the relatively high price of cervical cancer vaccines, coupled with a low understanding of their protective benefits topped the list of reasons why the majority of young Canadian women have yet to be immunized. Last week, research supported by The Society of Gynecologic Oncology of Canada (GOC), The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC), the Federation of Medical Women of Canada (FMWC), and the Society of Canadian Colposcopists (SCC) revealed that 9 out of 10 Canadian women aged 18 to 25 have not been vaccinated against cervical cancer. Half of young women polled (who do not have a private drug plan) cited cost as a barrier to obtaining the vaccine and 61% of mothers of young women agreed that cost was a deterring factor. In fact, 50% of non-vaccinated women aged 18 to 25 without vaccine coverage through their drug plan and 61% of mothers with daughters in this age group cited cost as a deciding factor. This is particularly relevant as 60% of Canadians do not have vaccine coverage through private insurance.1 As a patient-focused company, GlaxoSmithKline Inc. was concerned to learn that the cost of cervical cancer vaccines is deterring women from protecting themselves from a largely preventable disease that kills one Canadian woman every day.2 Effective today, October 25, 2010, the [...]

2010-10-26T13:57:51-07:00October, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Large Thyroid Nodules Linked to High Malignancy Risk

Elsevier Global Medical News Author - MG Sullivan PARIS (EGMN) - Patients with a non-decisive fine-needle aspiration for large non-diagnostic thyroid nodules or lesions of undetermined significance should be considered for surgery because more than half of these large nodules can be malignant. In a review of 156 patients with non-decisive fine-needle aspirations (FNAs), nodule size was a major determinant in surgical referral, Dr. Susana Mascarell said at the International Thyroid Congress. "Nodules of this size were associated with a malignancy rate of up to 60%," said Dr. Mascarell of the John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago. FNA is considered the main diagnostic tool in deciding which patient to refer to surgery. "However," Dr. Mascarell said, "the FNA results may not be helpful when the cytology specimen is non-diagnostic or qualifies as a follicular lesion of undetermined significance - both classifications that are part of the new six-level FNA classification system suggested by the National Cancer Institute." When an FNA comes back as non-decisive on such specimens, the clinician must choose between surgery and clinical follow-up as the next step. Unfortunately, said Dr. Mascarell, there are no hard-and-fast rules about which management path to choose. Molecular markers are becoming more important in the decision, but can't be relied upon in every patient, she said. "When these markers are present in high concentrations, they are up to 99% accurate in identifying malignant nodules and so are a very helpful tool. But only 40% of nodules are positive for [...]

2010-10-26T13:38:00-07:00October, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Poll reveals patients are not mouth cancer-savvy

Source: Author: Staff The public are oblivious to signs of mouth cancer. A poll, commissioned to coincide with November's Mouth Cancer Action Month, reveals that one person in 10 claimed not to have even heard of the condition. Despite the much-publicised news of the battle actor Michael Douglas is currently having with advanced throat cancer, the survey, conducted by the British Dental Health Foundation and Denplan. oll reveals an alarming lack of awareness about the causes and symptoms of one of the UK's fastest growing cancers. The poll of more than 1,000 people suggests that there is only limited knowledge and understanding of this potentially deadly disease. Chief executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, says: “After recent high profile coverage of the Michael Douglas case it is staggering to see that some people still have no awareness at all of the condition. 'The public need to be aware of the risk factors and whether they are in a high risk group and how they can self-examine or who they can turn to if they're concerned.' The results of the survey reveal that it is the older members of the public who are most aware of mouth cancer, with more than 96% of those interviewed saying that they had heard of it. Dr Carter adds: 'This sounds good as the majority of cases occur in the over 50s but now more young people are being diagnosed with mouth cancer it is important that everyone is aware of the problem. [...]

2010-10-26T12:37:32-07:00October, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

The Most Deadly HPVs in the World

Source: WebMD News Author: Daniel DeNoon Cervical Cancer-Causing Viruses ID'd in Worldwide Study Oct. 19, 2010 – Two human papillomavirus types included in HPV vaccines cause 71% of cervical cancers -- but there are six other cervical cancer-causing HPVs, an international study finds. Led by Spanish researcher Silvia de Sanjose, MD, the effort analyzed 22,661 tissue samples from 14,249 women from 38 countries in six continents. Researchers looked for any of the 118 known types of HPV. The samples included 10,575 cases of invasive cervical cancer -- for women, the second most common cancer in the world. HPV is believed to cause nearly all cervical cancers. Although the study detected HPV in only 85% of cervical cancers, de Sanjose and colleagues suggest that various problems (such as DNA degradation in samples) led researchers to miss HPV in the remaining 15% of cases. There are currently two HPV vaccines: Cervarix from GlaxoSmithKline and Gardasil from Merck. Both protect against HPV types 16 and 18; Gardasil also protects against the genital wart-causing HPV strains 6 and 11. The new study strongly supports use of these vaccines, as HPV 16 and HPV 18 account for 71% of invasive cervical cancers. HPV 16, HPV 18, and HPV 45 are found in 94% of cervical adenocarcinomas. HPV types 18 and 45 are found in much younger women with invasive cervical cancer, suggesting that these viruses are particularly deadly. HPV 16 is also linked to cancer in younger women. In addition to HPV 16, 18, and [...]

2010-10-26T12:24:24-07:00October, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Health Risks of Oral Sex- linked to Oral Cancer

Source: Women's Health Magazine Author: Alyssa Giacobbe Long known to cause cervical cancer, the pervasive but often silent human papillomavirus (HPV) has been finding its way into women's mouths Mische Eddins, 37, awoke with a head cold. Or what seemed like one anyway. Postnasal drip. Sore throat. Swollen lymph nodes. No biggie—it was the fall of 2007, and a seasonal bug was winding its way through Seattle. "I had just been bragging to my friends about how I'd managed to avoid getting sick," she says. "But I was healthy, so it all passed quickly." Everything, that is, except a swollen node on the left side of her neck, which, months later, hadn't gone away. Christmastime came, and the little bump was still there. Sans appointment, Mische walked into her doctor's office and left with a script for antibiotics. No improvement. She then bounced from M.D. to M.D., and finally, six months after that seemingly innocuous head cold, she had a PET/CT scan. The results were a total shock: Mische had stage III oral cancer, and the disease had spread from her tonsil to her lymph nodes. Within hours, her docs had scheduled a tonsillectomy and were talking about chemo and radiation. Someone suggested she prepare a will. "I was floored," she says. "A will?" A professional singer, Mische exercised almost every day, ate a mostly organic diet, didn't booze heavily, and never smoked as an adult. Even her doctors were stymied. Searching for answers, one physician tested Mische's cancer cells [...]

2010-10-26T10:04:27-07:00October, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Experts say oral cancer on the rise in younger people

Source: Author: staff It was the winter of 2002 when then-34-year-old Kelley Fish of Grosse Pointe Park, Mich., first spotted the lump that would change her life. "I was looking in the mirror, and I thought 'what the heck is that?' It was certainly visible," said Fish. Fish went to the doctor, who thought it was an infection and prescribed antibiotics. But two months later, the lump was still there. "Then they went forward and sent me to an ear, nose and throat specialist and finally had the lump removed," said Fish. Fish said the tumor was the size of a large grape, and it was malignant. Fish was diagnosed with stage 4 oral cancer. "I was horrified," said Fish. "They say you should never get on the Internet. The statistics were not in my favor at that point." Experts said oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses and throat. Stage four is the most advanced stage. Fish had surgery, 32 radiation treatments and three cycles of chemotherapy. The treatments left her fatigued and suffering multiple side effects. "It was hell, excuse my expression," said Fish. "I was unable to swallow after a period of time. I had burns, second- or third-degree burns, on my neck. It was the scariest moment or time in my life to say the least." Like most people, Fish had assumed oral cancer was something older men got, not 34-year-old women. "When I [...]

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