Source: Mirror News By: Jeremy Armstrong A mum told she had earache actually had a giant tumour. It took medics a year to spot Paula Bell's mouth cancer. Believing it harmless, they took another year to operate. Part of the tumour remains. Paula, 41, of Newcastle, said: "I got on my knees and begged the specialist to operate. I was that desperate." She was referred to Newcastle's Freeman Hospital in 2006 and said: "I was put on antibiotics as they thought it was an ear infection. That went on for months." In March 2007, a doctor suspected a dislocated jaw and sent her to the nearby General Hospital. It took two months for scans to find the tumour. Surgeons operated in April 2008 - then realised its severity. Paula got an undisclosed payout. Newcastle Hospitals Trust said it was not an "admission as to liability".
Source: www.dentalhealth.org.uk Author: press release An overwhelming majority of people in the UK have indicated that they want the vaccination for the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) to include boys and not just girls. In a survey carried out by the British Dental Health Foundation as part of November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month, nine out of every ten people want to see the vaccination introduced for secondary school boys. A vaccination programme for girls aged 12 to 13 has been in place in the UK since 2008, handing out over four million doses of the jab, but now the UK’s leading oral health charity says it is time for a change. Chief Executive of the Foundation, Dr Nigel Carter, says cases of HPV in men are growing at an alarming rate and that more must be done to prevent any future outbreak. Dr Carter said: “HPV is such growing concern – much of the 42 percent rise in incidence of mouth cancer over the last 10 years is down to HPV and whilst vaccination of young girls will help, in order to be truly effective we will need to consider vaccination of boys as well. “It is about time we took action to prevent this hidden killer, which is beginning to affect more and more young people. Expert studies suggest HPV is set to become the leading cause of mouth cancer alongside smoking and alcohol, so let us be proactive and plan against this threat. “The government wisely acted on the [...]
Scared smokeless–The FDA should use the most graphic images possible in its new warnings on cigarette packs.
Source: Los Angeles Times It's easy to guess what would happen if a pharmaceutical company asked the Food and Drug Administration to approve a new product with the following characteristics: no proven health benefits. Major known side effects: greatly increased risk of emphysema, heart attacks, stroke and cancer, including lung, cervical, mouth, stomach and bladder. The product also lowers bone density in older women and causes higher rates of serious health problems among newborns. It significantly harms the health even of those who merely spend time near the drug while it's in use. And it's addictive. If cigarettes were a new invention, they'd never pass muster with even the most lax of regulatory agencies. Unhappily for our collective health, not only does tobacco's legacy date back thousands of years, but it is inextricably tied to the birth of the United States. None other than John Rolfe, best known as Pocahontas' husband, is credited with the first commercial cultivation of tobacco in Jamestown, in 1612. Four hundred years later, we've learned a thing or two about tobacco, especially in its inhaled form. Now we wrestle with how to act on that information. Cigarettes are a terrible health scourge, but this is also a country that respects the right of adults, in most cases, to ruin their own health as long as they are not endangering others. So driving drunk is forbidden, as is smoking in many indoor public spaces, but cigarettes themselves remain legal. Yet as a society, we don't want to [...]
Pertussis reaches epidemic proportions in California; New links identified between vaccine-preventable infections and cancer.
Source: Disabled World New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that adults remain largely unvaccinated against preventable infectious illnesses. At a news conference convened today by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID), experts in public health, infectious disease, oncology and other medical specialties discussed the data and the health consequences for adults who skip vaccines. They collectively called on all adults and health care providers to improve vaccination rates. "For more than six decades, vaccines have protected us from infectious illnesses that have a wide range of consequences, from lost work days and inability to meet our daily obligations, to pain, discomfort, hospitalization, long-term disability and death," said Susan J. Rehm, M.D., NFID medical director. According to Dr. Rehm, by foregoing needed vaccines, adults not only leave themselves vulnerable to sickness, but they expose those around them to unnecessary risks, too. This problem is evident right now, as pertussis (whooping cough) continues to claim the lives of infants in California, while adults, who are frequently responsible for transmitting the disease to infants, fail to get the one-time pertussis booster vaccine. The impact of other vaccine-preventable infections may not be as immediately apparent, but they are no less important. Other vaccines for adults protect against viruses that cause several types of cancer, reactivation of the chickenpox virus that causes shingles later in life, and infection with bacteria that are the leading cause of community-acquired pneumonia. New survey results from NFID suggest that doctor/patient communication challenges may [...]
Source: WebMD By: Bill Hendrick Even after a generation of warnings from public health officials about the dangers of tobacco use, about 20% of Americans still smoke cigarettes, a CDC report says. The report also shows the rate of smokers who also use smokeless tobacco, such as chewing tobacco and snuff, is rising. Using smokeless tobacco can keep the nicotine habit alive, making it even harder to quit than going cold turkey, Terry Pechacek, PhD, of the CDC, tells WebMD. More Americans are turning to smokeless tobacco because of laws that prohibit smoking in public places such as bars, restaurants, and airplanes -- and also because smokeless forms can be used in offices and on the job, Pechacek says. Immediate Benefits of Smoking Cessation The tobacco companies market smokeless tobacco as a substitute for smokers, but they don’t help people quit smoking, Pechacek tells WebMD. “We are making no progress in getting people to quit smoking,” he says. “This is a tragedy. Over 400,000 people are dying prematurely and won’t be able to walk their children down the aisle or see their grandchildren.” Contrary to common beliefs of smokers, the benefits of quitting start immediately, Pechacek tells WebMD. “We see lower rates for heart attacks within months of quitting,” he says. “And lower rates for lung cancer, too. Stopping a decline in lung function is one of the biggest benefits of quitting smoking.” The national smoking prevalence rate was 20.6% in 2008 and 2009. About 23% of males smoke, compared [...]
Source: WebMD By: Daniel J. DeNoon If you use snus, do you win or lose? Snus -- alternately pronounced snoose or snooze -- is a smokeless, flavored tobacco product very different from snuff. When placed between cheek and gum, it doesn't make you spit. Even its critics admit that snus is less harmful than other forms of smokeless tobacco. And it is far less harmful than cigarette smoking. So is snus a good thing? It would be a good thing if everyone who smoked cigarettes or dipped snuff switched to snus instead. It would be a good thing if snus were a way station on the road to quitting all forms of tobacco. It would even be a good thing if kids who would have become smokers became snus users instead. But despite all of that, mounting evidence suggests snus isn't a good thing -- and may be far worse than they appear. Snus: Less Harmful, But Not Safe Cigarettes are the world's most efficient nicotine delivery device. They are also the most deadly. Many of the most dangerous byproducts of cigarettes are created during the burning process. Smokeless tobacco products obviously don't burn. But smokeless tobacco is a major cause of oral cancer, pancreatic cancer, and esophageal cancer. Much of this risk comes from cancer-causing chemicals called nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). And snuff products actually deliver more cancer-causing nitrosamines than cigarettes do. But nitrosamine content is far lower in snus than in snuff, says Stephen S. Hecht, [...]
Source: UBC Dentistry The Canadian Dental Association has presented the Oral Health Promotion Award to the BC Oral Cancer Prevention Program (BCOCPP) and to two of its founding pioneers, Dr. Miriam Rosin and UBC alumna and faculty member Dr. Michele Williams (DMD 1988). Rosin and Williams are part of a team of scientists and clinicians that has worked tirelessly to develop a program that has heightened the awareness of oral cancer, and the need for early oral cancer detection. They led a working group in creating Guidelines for the Early Detection of Oral Cancer that have been adopted as the standard in this area and have been widely circulated in BC and the rest of Canada. In addition, their team has established a variety of community outreach programs that are linked to the central BC Cancer Agency/BC Cancer Research Centre, Vancouver General Hospital and the University of British Columbia Faculty of Dentistry. There has been as special emphasis on outreach to high-risk under-served groups such as the poor, new immigrant populations and the elderly who have limited access to care and information. Through their work, Rosin and Williams have defined the pathway to reducing the incidence of oral cancer and have led the way to the initiation of research into new technologies to assist in recognizing and diagnosing oral cancer. Their impact has been broad in the dental community where they have been recognized and in the patient community where early detection using new technology and comprehensive protocols have made huge [...]
Source: www.bioportfolio.com Author: Wikström, Anna-Karin Background: Swedish snuff has been discussed internationally as a safer alternative to tobacco smoking. International cigarette manufacturers are promoting new snuff products, and the use of Swedish snuff is increasing, especially among women of childbearing age. The effect of Swedish snuff on pregnancy complications is unknown. Methods: In this population-based cohort study, we estimated the risk of stillbirth in snuff users (n = 7629), light smokers (1-9 cigarettes/day; n = 41,488), and heavy smokers (>/=10 cigarettes/day; n = 17,014), using nontobacco users (n = 504,531) as reference. Results: Compared with nontobacco users, snuff users had an increased risk of stillbirth (adjusted odds ratio = 1.6 [95% confidence interval = 1.1-2.3]); the risk was higher for preterm (<37 weeks) stillbirth (2.1 [1.3-3.4]). For light smokers, the adjusted odds ratio of stillbirth was 1.4 (1.2-1.7) and the corresponding risk for heavy smokers was 2.4 (2.0-3.0). When we excluded women with preeclampsia or antenatal bleeding and infants who were small for gestational age, the smoking-related risks of stillbirth was markedly attenuated; the elevated risk for snuff users remained the same level. Conclusions: Use of Swedish snuff during pregnancy was associated with a higher risk of stillbirth. The mechanism behind this increased risk seems to differ from the underlying mechanism in smokers. Swedish snuff does not appear to be a safe alternative to cigarette smoking during pregnancy. Source: Epidemiology (Cambridge, Mass.) Authors Affiliations: a Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden; b Department of Women's and [...]
Source: www.medscape.com Author: Laurie Barclay, MD High coverage of quadrivalent human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination in young Australian women resulted in a lower frequency of genital warts, which might protect heterosexual men through herd immunity, according to the results of an analysis of national sentinel surveillance data published online November 9 in Lancet Infectious Diseases. "The natural history of cervical and HPV-associated diseases is slow," Mark H. Einstein, MD, MS, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology and women's health, and director of clinical research for women's health and gynecologic oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Albert Einstein Cancer Center, Montefiore Medical Center, in New York City, told Medscape Medical News when asked for independent comment. "This is the first registry-based study that has already shown the declines after vaccinating a large population of vaccine-eligible adolescents and young adults. This prospectively shows what all the models have been predicting all along." The annual incidence of genital warts has been increasing for decades and is currently about 1% in young, sexually active people. Up to 90% of cases of genital warts are caused by HPV types 6 and 11, which are 2 of the 4 types targeted by the quadrivalent HPV vaccine used in Australia (Gardasil; CSL Biotherapies). "While it will probably be as effective as the quadrivalent HPV vaccine at preventing anogenital and other cancers, the bivalent HPV vaccine (Cervarix, GSK) used in the UK national program provides no protection against genital warts," lead author Basil Donovan, MD, head of [...]
Source: ntr.oxfordjournals.org Author: Deborah K. Mayer & John Carlson Introduction: More than 11 million cancer survivors are at risk for new cancers, yet many are receiving inadequate guidance to reduce their risk. This study describes smoking trends among a group of cancer survivors (CaSurvivors) compared with a no cancer (NoCancer) control group. Methods: The Health Information National Trends Survey 2003, 2005, and 2007 cross-sectional surveys were used in this secondary data analysis. Descriptive statistics were produced, and logistic regressions of current smokers were performed on weighted samples using SUDAAN. The sample included 2,060 CaSurvivors; the average age was 63 years; and the majority of respondents were female (67%), White (80.6%), married, or partnered (52.5%), with at least some college education (57%). The mean time since diagnosis was 12 years; 28.7% reported fair or poor health status. Results: The overall smoking rate was 18.7% for CaSurvivors and 21.7% for the NoCancer group. Education (less than college), age (younger), marital status (widowed or divorced), and health care access (none or partial) were significant personal variables associated with a greater likelihood of being a current smoker. Controlling for these variables, there were no differences between the CaSurvivors and NoCancer groups over time. Women with cervical cancer were still more likely to be smokers (48.9%) than other CaSurvivors (p