Study IDs dysphagia risk after head/neck cancer treatment

Source: February 28, 2011 -- A team of Danish researchers has developed a predictive model for determining which head and neck cancer patients are at risk of developing dysphagia (swallowing disfunction) following intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT). Hanna Rahbek Mortensen, PhD, and colleagues presented results from a large prospective trial, the DAHANCA 6 & 7 study, at last week's International Conference on Innovative Approaches in Head and Neck Oncology in Barcelona, Spain. "We followed 1,476 patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, and found out the existence of factors related to the cancer itself, to the patient and to the treatment influencing the development of dysphagia," Mortensen said in a press release. Dysphagia may be acute or late. Risk factors for developing severe acute dysphagia were large tumors, spreading of cancer cells to the lymph nodes, swallowing problems at the time of diagnosis, six treatments per week, and tumor location other than the vocal cords, the researchers noted. Risk factors for developing late dysphagia were large tumors, swallowing problems at the time of diagnosis, and tumor location other than the vocal cords. Although 83% of all head and neck cancer patients develop some kind of dysphagia, this predictive model will have a major impact on patient quality of life, the researchers noted. "These results are very important," said Dr. J.A. Langendijk from the University Medical Center of Groningen. "Today, with the increasing use of IMRT, the dose to the salivary glands is reduced, resulting in lower risks on xerostomia. [...]

2011-02-28T16:49:12-07:00February, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Adolescents and oral sex: is it really something to worry about?

Source: Author: Bonnie Halpern-Felsher , University of California, San Francisco, CA National studies show that the most common form of partnered sexual behavior among adolescents is oral sex. While oral sex does not result in pregnancy, it can lead to STIs. Most studies on adolescent sex have focused on vaginal sex, thus leaving important questions concerning adolescents’ attitudes, perceptions, and experiences with oral sex untapped. This presentation will utilize longitudinal data collected over the first three years of high school to address the following questions: 1) What are adolescents’ beliefs concerning the social, emotional and health consequences of oral compared to vaginal sex? 2) What is the relationship between adolescent oral and vaginal sex? 3) What are the positive and negative outcomes experienced by adolescents who have engaged in oral sex, vaginal sex, or both? Beginning in the fall of 9th grade, 637 adolescents (56% female) were surveyed every 6 months for three years. Between 74% and 92% of the participants responded at each wave. Participants reported diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. Results showed adolescents: 1) perceived oral sex to entail less social, emotional and health risks than vaginal sex; 2) believed that oral sex was more prevalent and more acceptable than vaginal sex; 3) who reported only having engaged in oral sex experienced fewer STIs as well as fewer social and emotional consequences, compared to adolescents who had vaginal sex experience; 4) who only engaged in oral sex reported experiencing fewer benefits, including pleasure or feeling good about [...]

2011-02-23T14:44:41-07:00February, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Oral sex now main cause of oral cancer: Who faces biggest risk?

Source: Author: David W Freeman What's the leading cause of oral cancer? Smoking? Heavy drinking? Actually, it's oral sex. Scientists say that 64 percent of cancers of the oral cavity, head, and neck in the U.S. are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), which is commonly spread via oral sex, NPR reported. The more oral sex you have - and the more oral sex partners you have - the greater the risk of developing these potentially deadly cancers. "An individual who has six or more lifetime partners - on whom they've performed oral sex - has an eightfold increase in risk compared to someone who has never performed oral sex, Ohio University's Dr. Maura Gillison, said at a recent scientific meeting, according to NPR. It's news that might alarm some parents, who worry about adolescents' appetite for oral sex. "Today's teens consider oral sex to be casual, socially acceptable, inconsequential, and significantly less risky to their health than 'real' sex," Dr. Gillison and colleagues said in a written statement released in conjunction with the meeting. Teens simply think oral sex is "not that a big a deal," Dr. Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, told NPR. "Parents and health educators are not talking to teens about oral sex. Period." But simply needling teens about the risks posed by oral sex and HPV - the same virus that causes cervical cancer - is no substitute for literally giving them the needle. "When my patients ask [...]

Virus passed during oral sex tops tobacco as throat cancer cause

Source: Author: Peggy Girshman If you're keeping score, here's even more evidence that HPV causes oral, head and neck cancers and that vaccines may be able to prevent it. Researchers studying the human papilloma virus say that in the United States HPV causes 64 percent of oropharynxl cancers. In the rest of the world, tobacco remains the leading cause of oral cancer, Dr. Maura Gillison of Ohio State University told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this past weekend. And the more oral sex someone has had — and the more partners they've had — the greater their risk of getting these cancers, which grow in the middle part of the throat. "An individual who has six or more lifetime partners — on whom they've performed oral sex – has an eightfold increase in risk compared to someone who has never performed oral sex," she said. The recent rise in oropharnx cancer is predominantly among young, white men, she noted, though she says no one has figured out why yet. About 37,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2010, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. People with HPV-related throat cancer are more likely to survive their cancer than those who were heavy smokers or drinkers, the other big risk factors. The message may be more critical for teens according to Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. She has studied 600 adolescents over 10 [...]

2011-02-24T10:24:37-07:00February, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Popularity surges for e-cigarettes, but health questions unanswered

Source: Misti Stewart of Gregor's Eastside Liquor demonstrates an electronic cigarette. They have gained popularity since the smoking ban. / Elisha Page / Argus Leader Jeff Mann has found a way to get his nicotine fix with no ash, no flame, no odor and no bad breath. And he can do it legally inside businesses that are smoke free. Mann, 40, smokes an electronic cigarette. It's a battery-powered device that looks like a cigarette and emits cigarette-like smoke, but delivers nicotine in vapor form. "You can get a nicotine level that you're used to getting from a regular cigarette," Mann said. E-cigarettes have been available in the United States since 2006 and have grown in popularity in Sioux Falls since the smoking ban went into effect Nov. 10. They're sold in bars, casinos and various retail shops. At least one local distributor has seen a 50 percent increase in sales. But the federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved e-cigarettes. That raises red flags for some health professionals and has them questioning what risks might be associated with e-cigarettes. Smoker says device helped him cut back The FDA lost a court case last year after trying to treat e-cigarettes as drug-delivery devices instead of tobacco products because e-cigarettes heat nicotine extracted from tobacco. But Mann, who owns Vishnu Bunny Tattoo and Piercing, views e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to the traditional cigarettes he has smoked for 25 years. He said it has helped him cut down on smoking. [...]

2011-02-22T11:36:28-07:00February, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Sweden wants the EU to legalize snus

Source: Stockholm News The Swedish government is now urging the EU to legalise snus (moist powder tobacco). But this has led to a quarrel between the government and its own experts in the National Board of Health and Welfare and in the Swedish National Institute for Public Health. Since some years back, the EU is overlooking its tobacco policy - the so called tobacco directive. In its answer to the EU, the Swedish government is now openly urging the EU to legalise snus. The argument from the Swedish government is that the ban on snus goes against the free market. Sweden's Minister for Health and Social Affairs, Göran Hägglund writes that "there is no argument at all which motivates a ban on snus" (quote from Svenska Dagbladet) and he continues that snus is clearly less dangerous than cigarettes. Therefore he claimst that the ban on snus "lacks logic". But at the same time, experts in Sweden do not agree with Minister Hägglund. OCF The Swedish argument of 'harm reduction' with convincing smokers to insted start with snus is "a myth" according to these experts. Internal conflict in Sweden The problem today is that the tobacco issue has become a health issue in the EU as it has been moved to the EU's Directorate for health. This is why is the Swedish Minister for health and not for trade is answering the letter from the EU. This has created a conflict and a dilemma between Swedish authorities. The government's expert organs [...]

2011-05-23T20:47:46-07:00February, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Antibody as ‘smart bomb’ to fight cancer

Source: Author: staff A joint team of Indian and Australian scientists claims to have achieved a breakthrough by creating an antibody which could be used for developing a "medical smart bomb" that would help seek out and eradicate the root of cancer — the stem cells. The international project is a collaboration between Australia's Deakin University and Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore along with Barwon Health's Andrew Love Cancer Centre and Chem Genex Pharmaceuticals. The team has, in fact, created the world's first RNA aptamer, a chemical antibody that acts like a guided missile to seek out and bind only to cancer stem cells, the Cancer Science journal reported. The aptamer has the potential to deliver drugs directly to the stem cells and to be used to develop a more effective cancer imaging system for early detection of the disease, say the scientists. The Director of Deakin Medical School's Nanomedicine Program , Professor Wei Duan, said that the development of the aptamer had huge implications for the way cancer is detected and then treated. Duan said: "The survival rates for many cancers remain poor, due partly to the inability to detect cancer early. To provide a cure for cancer we must accurately detect and eliminate the cancer stem cells."

2011-02-21T21:56:23-07:00February, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Revealed: oral sex is ‘bigger cause of throat cancer than tobacco’

Source: Author: staff A virus spread during oral sex is now the main cause of throat cancer in people under 50, scientists have warned. They say the human papilloma virus spread during unprotected sex is to blame for a disturbing rise in potentially deadly oral cancers in the last few decades. Doctors have called for boys to be vaccinated against HPV just like teenage girls to stop the spread of the disease. HPV is best known as the cause of around 70 per cent of cervical cancers. Since 2008, girls have been vaccinated against the virus aged 12 and 13 in schools. However, it can also cause warts, verrucas and other cancers. Cancers of the mouth and oropharynx - the top of the throat - used to be mainly diagnosed in older men who drink or smoke. But increasingly, it is being seen in younger men. Prof Maura Gillison of Ohio State University in Columbus said the sexually transmitted HPV was a bigger cause of some oral cancers than tobacco. She said: 'We don’t know from strict scientific evidence whether the vaccine will protect from oral HPV infections that lead to cancer. Those of us in the field are optimistic it will – the vaccines in every anatomical site looked at so far have been shown to be extraordinarily effective, about 90 per cent effective, at preventing infections.' 'When one of my patients asks whether or not they sound vaccinate their sons, I say certainly.' Girls aged 12 and [...]

2011-02-21T12:58:57-07:00February, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Second primary cancers after an index head and neck cancer: subsite-specific trends in the era of human papillomavirus–associated oropharyngeal cancer

Source: Authors: Luc G.T. Morris et al. Purpose: Patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) are at elevated risk of second primary malignancies (SPM), most commonly of the head and neck (HN), lung, and esophagus. Our objectives were to identify HNSCC subsite-specific differences in SPM risk and distribution and to describe trends in risk over 3 decades, before and during the era of human papillomavirus (HPV) –associated oropharyngeal SCC. Methods: Population-based cohort study of 75,087 patients with HNSCC in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program. SPM risk was quantified by using standardized incidence ratios (SIRs), excess absolute risk (EAR) per 10,000 person-years at risk (PYR), and number needed to observe. Trends in SPM risk were analyzed by using joinpoint log-linear regression. Results: In patients with HNSCC, the SIR of second primary solid tumor was 2.2 (95% CI, 2.1 to 2.2), and the EAR was 167.7 cancers per 10,000 PYR. The risk of SPM was highest for hypopharyngeal SCC (SIR, 3.5; EAR, 307.1 per 10,000 PYR) and lowest for laryngeal SCC (SIR, 1.9; EAR, 147.8 per 10,000 PYR). The most common SPM site for patients with oral cavity and oropharynx SCC was HN; for patients with laryngeal and hypopharyngeal cancer, it was the lung. Since 1991, SPM risk has decreased significantly among patients with oropharyngeal SCC (annual percentage change in EAR, −4.6%; P = .03). Conclusion: In patients with HNSCC, the risk and distribution of SPM differ significantly according to subsite of the index cancer. Before [...]

2011-02-19T10:13:38-07:00February, 2011|Oral Cancer News|

Florida ruling Big Tobacco won comes back to bite it

Source: Author: Curt Anderson A Florida Supreme Court ruling that threw out a $145 billion award against cigarette makers is biting Big Tobacco back, making it dramatically easier for thousands of smokers to sue and turning the state into the nation's hot spot for damage awards. The 2006 ruling has helped generate more than $360 million in damage awards in only about two dozen cases. Thousands more cases are in the pipeline in Florida, which has far more smoking-related lawsuits pending than any other state. Though the justices tossed the $145 billion class-action damage award, they allowed about 8,000 individual members of that class to pursue their own lawsuits. And in a critical decision, they allowed those plaintiffs to use the original jury's findings from the class-action case. That means the plaintiffs don't have to prove that cigarette makers sold a defective and dangerous product, were negligent, hid the risks of smoking and that cigarettes cause illnesses such as lung cancer and heart disease. The plaintiffs must mainly show they were addicted to smoking and could not quit, and that their illness - or a smoker's death - was caused by cigarettes. Jurors have sided with smokers or their families in about two-thirds of the 34 cases tried since February 2009, when the first Florida lawsuit following the rules set by the Supreme Court decision went before a jury. Awards have ranged from $2 million or less to $80 million, though tobacco companies are appealing them all. The successes [...]

2011-02-19T10:02:14-07:00February, 2011|Oral Cancer News|
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