Is oral sex safe?

Source: BBC Three Author: staff Darren was diagnosed with orophyrangeal cancer, a rare form of mouth cancer at the age of only 31. But that wasn't the only shocking news that he had to deal with. Most oral cancers are caused by smoking or drinking but Darren's cancer was caused by the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) which is sexually transmitted. Darren had caught it through having oral sex. And he's not alone. New research shows that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of HPV-related oral cancers amongst young people. Actress Jaime Winstone sets out to discover why the statistics are rising and whether anything can be done to stop this trend. Having met Darren, Jaime wants to know more. She's sadly got an intimate relationship with cancer as filming began for this programme, her close friend Paul, a DJ, died from pancreatic cancer aged only 26. Whilst his cancer wasn't preventable, Darren's was. HPV is recognised as the cause of cervical cancer in women and so two years ago the Government introduced a national vaccination programme for teenage girls. But if a vaccine exists, why isn't it also given to boys to protect them from developing HPV-related cancers? Although this oral cancer is still relatively rare, the HP virus is common, with an estimated 80% of adults having it, without any symptoms, during their lives. Jaime is a woman with a mission to understand and her journey takes her to meet Dr Margaret Stanley, a world expert on [...]

2010-12-26T08:21:02-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Prereferral Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

Source: Archives of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery Objective To evaluate the prereferral treatment of patients referred to our tertiary care center with recurrent or persistent head and neck cancer for compliance with National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines. Design A prospective recruitment and retrospective chart review. Patients The study included new patients identified at multidisciplinary treatment planning conference from October 1, 2008, to February 1, 2009, who had received prior treatment at an outside institution and presented to our department with recurrent or persistent disease. Main Outcome Measures All facets of prior care were examined, including the time from initial symptoms to diagnosis and whether their prereferral treatment was compliant with or deviated from NCCN guidelines for head and neck cancer. Results A total of 566 consecutive new patients were identified, of whom 107 (18.9%) had persistent or recurrent disease. The average time from first presentation with initial symptoms to diagnosis among patients who presented with persistent disease was 23.8 weeks. Nearly half of the patients who presented with persistent or recurrent disease had either endocrine (21.5%) or cutaneous (24.2%) primary cancers, with the rest of the cases being distributed among 10 other sites. Of the patients who presented with recurrent or persistent disease, 43.0% had prereferral care that was noncompliant with NCCN guidelines. Of these patients, 58.7% had inadequate surgical management, 15.2% were treated for the wrong diagnosis, 10.9% received inadequate adjuvant therapy, 4.4% received inadequate radiotherapy, and 10.9% refused indicated recommended treatment. Conclusions Significant deviation from NCCN [...]

2010-12-22T11:28:19-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Aspirin Cuts Death Rate From Several Common Cancers

Source: Web MD Taking aspirin over a long period of time can substantially cut the risk of dying from a variety of cancers, according to a study showing that the benefit is independent of dose, gender, or smoking. It also found that the protective effect increases with age. The study is by Peter Rothwell, MD, PhD, FRCP, of John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England, and colleagues, and has been published online by the journal the Lancet. A previous study by the same authors showed that low doses of aspirin (75-300 milligrams) reduced the number of cases of colorectal cancer by a quarter and deaths caused by the disease by more than a third. The latest study confirms the earlier results and concludes that similar effects can be shown for other types of cancers. The study looked at eight trials examining the effects of a daily dose of aspirin on preventing heart attacks involving 25,570 patients, 674 of whom died from cancer. They showed a 21% reduction in the number of deaths caused by cancer among those who had taken aspirin, compared with people who had not. The investigation also showed that the benefits of taking aspirin increased over time. After five years, death rates were shown to fall by 34% for all cancers and by 54% for gastrointestinal cancers. Participants were also followed up after 20 years, by which point 1,634 of the original participants had died as a direct result of cancer. This 20-year follow-up established that the risk [...]

2010-12-22T11:18:57-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Predicting the Prognosis of Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma After First Recurrence

Source: Archives of Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery Objectives To describe the clinicopathologic features of oral squamous cell carcinoma in patients who develop locoregional recurrence of disease, to identify factors that predict prognosis in the subset of patients treated with salvage surgery, and to determine the adjusted effect of time to recurrence. Design Cohort study. Setting A head and neck cancer institute in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Patients A total of 77 patients who underwent salvage surgery for oral squamous cell carcinoma that had been treated initially by surgery, radiotherapy, or surgery with postoperative radiotherapy. Main Outcome Measures Univariable and multivariable analysis of clinical and pathologic risk factors. Results Median time to recurrence from initial treatment was 7.5 months (range, 0.9-143.9 mo), with 86% of recurrences occurring within the first 24 months. Surgical salvage was attempted in 77 patients who had experienced recurrence at the primary site (n = 39), ipsilateral neck (n = 27), and contralateral neck (n = 11). Time to recurrence, initial treatment modality, and site of failure were independent prognostic variables. Conclusions The relationship of these prognostic variables displays a dynamic interaction. Initial combined-modality treatment and shorter time to recurrence were associated with worse outcome, while the effect of site of recurrence (local vs regional) was dependent on an interaction with the time to recurrence. The result of this interaction was that local recurrence was worse for those who experienced it early (eg, <6 mo after the initial treatment) and nodal recurrence was worse for those who experienced it late (eg, [...]

2010-12-22T11:11:20-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

R.J. Reynolds Pulls Dissolvable Smokeless Products from Test Markets; Company Must Stop Pushing Tobacco Products that Entice Kids

Source: PR Newswire It is good news for the communities involved that R.J. Reynolds has decided to stop its initial test-marketing of new, dissolvable smokeless tobacco products – called Camel Sticks, Strips and Orbs – that look, taste and are packaged like candy and are likely to entice children. According to media reports and a letter RJR sent to customers, the company is pulling the products from the test markets of Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis and Portland, Oregon, where the products have provoked outrage among public officials and the public. Unfortunately the company told the media that these products have been pulled only for potential redesign and may be test-marketed elsewhere in the future. We call on R.J. Reynolds to permanently pull these products and to stop its insidious marketing of tobacco products in ways that appeal to kids and seek to discourage smokers from quitting and keep them hooked on nicotine. The Camel dissolvable products appeal to children in that they are easily concealed and colorfully packaged, shaped and flavored to resemble mints or gum. These products also have been marketed as an alternative to cigarettes in the growing number of places where smoking is not allowed, which discourages smokers from quitting and truly protecting their health. One ad for these products states, "Enjoy Anywhere. Anytime. Anyplace." U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR) took swift and laudable action by including a mandate that the Food and Drug Administration review the impact of these products on public health [...]

2010-12-22T10:51:57-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Real Cancer Drug Breakthrough Is Astronomical Prices

Source: Robert Langreth Blog In the wake of the FDA’s decision start the process to revoke Avastin’s approval in breast cancer last week, patients are puzzled and angry over how a drug once touted as a breakthrough  now can be branded as ineffective.  The controversy illustrates just how much the much-vaunted revolution in cancer therapy is driven by hype and high prices. Selling cancer drugs has become big business, with $52 billion in sales last year, according to IMS.  Some $6 billion of it goes right to Roche’s Avastin, the biggest selling of the new drugs. No wonder companies like Merck and Pfizer are  racing to develop new cancer drugs. But even as sales reach new heights, and prices keep going up–pretty much any cancer drug now costs $50,000 a year–the results from many trials are getting less and less impressive. Tarceva from Roche extends the life of pancreatic cancer patients by two weeks. Avastin has now failed to extend the lives of breast cancer patients in three giant trials. The hype about targeted cancer drugs has reached fever pitch thanks in part to baby boomers who don’t want to acknowledge their mortality; companies who need to sell hugely expensive drugs that can cost up to $100,000 a year; and science journalists eager for a positive story about a dread disease. The truth is that nobody wants to acknowledge the unpleasant fact that progress against most cancers has been grudgingly slow. Oncologists are in the business of providing hope to [...]

2010-12-21T13:56:53-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Surgical excision can spread tumor cells to sentinel node

Source: Author: K Wachter, Elsevier Global Medical News Surgical excision of breast cancer prior to sentinel lymph node dissection can displace isolated tumor cells to the sentinel lymph node, but these tumor cells appear to have little clinical significance, according to an analysis of more than 17,000 patients in a large database. "Earlier surgical excision leads to a nearly fourfold increase in the risk of having isolated tumor cells in the sentinel node indicating iatrogenic displacement," Dr. Tove F. Tvedskov said at the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. She advised, however, that these cells are probably without clinical significance, and that the omission of axillary lymph node dissection should be considered. The study was based on data from the Danish Breast Cancer Cooperative Group database, which includes more than 80,000 women with breast cancer. Approximately 3,000 new sentinel lymph node dissections (SLNDs) are included in the database each year, with clinical and histopathologic data prospectively collected for these cases. Data from this database were combined with data from the Danish National Health Registry, which includes all surgical procedures performed in Danish hospitals. The researchers identified 414 breast cancer patients who underwent surgical excision up to 2 months before SLND and compared them with 16,960 breast cancer patients who underwent SLND without prior surgical tumor excision. "The proportion of patients with isolated tumor cells was almost three times higher in the group with earlier surgical excision, compared to the group without earlier surgical excision," said Dr. Tvedskov of Copenhagen [...]

2010-12-17T15:45:46-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Hospital Performs Area’s First Robotic Surgeries on Oral Cancers HEALTH CARE: Technique Could Reduce the Length Of Patients Hospital Stay

Source: San Diego Business Journal By: Steve Sinovic The first transoral robotic surgeries in San Diego have been performed at Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center and all three patients who underwent those procedures are recovering well, said the surgeon who is leading up the effort to help patients beat early-stage oral cancer. Advances in robotic surgery prompted the hospital to look for ways to apply that technology to treat tumors of the mouth and throat. And thanks to a local benefactor, the institution hopes to be performing more procedures on local patients. The hospital is one of fewer than a dozen in the U.S. to offer the procedure, which was launched thanks to a $1.2 million anonymous donation to Sharp Chula Vista. The donation helped fund the acquisition of Intuitive Surgical Inc.’s da Vinci Surgical System, said Dan Dredla, vice president of business development for the 343-bed hospital in south San Diego County. “We were fortunate that a donor helped us purchase the da Vinci,” said Dredla. “It’s a costly system, and it was challenging to find the capital to acquire it on our own.” The da Vinci robot, which combines enhanced 3-D views with precise incision capabilities, is already being used for various surgeries at hundreds of hospitals throughout the country and around the world. However, it was just recently that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved using the da Vinci for the transoral surgeries, or TORS, procedures on head and neck cancers. While Dredla didn’t have exact [...]

2010-12-17T11:39:08-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Zometa aids patients with head and neck cancer

Source: Zoledronic acid, a drug currently approved for osteoporosis treatment, has been shown to reduce bone loss in a study of mice with oral cancer, suggesting it could serve as a supplemental therapy in patients with head and neck cancers that erode bone (Cancer Research, November 1, 2010, Vol. 70:21, pp. 8607-8616). The drug, known by the brand name Zometa, is designed to inhibit bone resorption. Oral squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 90% of all tumors in the mouth, according to the National Cancer Institute. The five-year survival rate for this form of cancer is 61% for all stages combined. When these tumors form in the gums, their growth in the mouth leads to bone loss in the jaw. In turn, bone erosion stimulates the cancer to grow. Scientists call this phenomenon, driven in part by the release of cancer stimulatory compounds from bone, a vicious cycle that occurs in this and other forms of cancer. Even though the bone loss itself is not life-threatening, loss of bone means the tumor is continuing to grow. "The goal is to stop the vicious cycle," said Thomas Rosol, DVM, PhD, professor of veterinary biosciences at Ohio State, in a press release. "Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery are all used to treat head and neck cancers. Zoledronic acid is a very safe drug and all it does is block bone resorption, so patients could receive all of the standard treatments, and this drug could be added as an additional benefit. That's the [...]

2010-12-15T11:16:48-07:00December, 2010|Oral Cancer News|

Michael Douglas Fights Oral Cancer

Source: The Science of Dentistry Actor Michael Douglas‘ recent revelation that he has stage IV oral cancer has highlighted the growing incidence of oral cancer, and experts say dentists can help stem the alarming increase of the disease by checking for it during routine examinations.The actor’s cancer includes a walnut-sized tumor at the base of his tongue, and he will require radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. Douglas says his doctors told him he has an 80% survival rate if it hasn’t spread to his lymph nodes. While tobacco was the prime cause of oral cancer in the past, recent studies have attributed the steady increase of the disease to the human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV are common viruses that cause warts. There are approximately 130 versions of HPV but only nine cause cancers, and the HPV16 version causes almost half of the oral cancers in the U.S., said Brian Hill, executive director of the Oral Cancer Foundation. “Tobacco is no longer the only bad guy,” he told “HPV16 is increasing in incidence as the causative etiology, and if it continues on this trend line, it will replace tobacco as the primary cause of oral cancers.” Dentists can play a key role in catching the disease in its early stages if they check for it during examinations.  Most Americans have never even heard of oral cancer, but it’s not as rare or uncommon as people would like to think it is. This is why an opportunistic screening by the dental community [...]

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