Perspectives on Coping Among Patients With Head and Neck Cancer Receiving Radiation

Source: MedScape News Today Abstract and Introduction Abstract Purpose/Objectives: To describe coping among patients with laryngeal and oropharyngeal cancer during definitive radiation with or without chemotherapy. Research Approach: Qualitative content analysis conducted within a larger study. Setting: Two radiation oncology outpatient clinics in Baltimore, MD. Participants: 21 patients with oropharyngeal or laryngeal cancer. Methodologic Approach: Interviews with open-ended questions were conducted during treatment. Questions covered topics such as coping during treatment, treatment-related issues, and resources. Main Research Variables: Coping, treatment, and coping resources. Findings: Patients' self-assessments suggested they were coping or that coping was rough or upsetting. Issues that required coping varied over four time points. Physical side effects were problematic during and one month after treatment completion. Patients used coping to manage the uncertainties of physical and psychological aspects of their experience. Family and friend support was a common coping strategy used by patients, with the intensity of side effects corresponding with the support provided across time points. Conclusions: Findings confirm previous research, but also provide new information about ways in which patients with head and neck cancer cope with their illness experience. Emergent themes provide insight into patients' feelings, issues, and assistance received with coping. Interpretation: Patients with head and neck cancer need education on the amount and severity of side effects and should be appraised of potential difficulties with scheduling, driving, and other logistic issues. Patients also should be informed of helpful types of support and coping strategies. Additional research is needed to expand the findings related [...]

2012-06-27T10:08:59-07:00June, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Study links gum disease, HPV-status of head and neck cancer

Source: Author: Sara R. Saldi Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), once almost exclusively associated with cancer of the cervix, is now linked to head and neck cancer. Furthermore, according to a new UB study just published in the Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, a JAMA publication, gum disease is associated with increased odds of tumors being HPV-positive. Primary investigator Mine Tezal, assistant professor of oral biology in the School of Dental Medicine, and a team of scientists from UB evaluated data from 124 patients diagnosed with primary head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) between 1999 and 2007. “The aim of the study was to test the presence of periodontitis, a persistent inflammatory process and HPV-status of HNSCC,” Tezal says. Of the 124 tumor samples Tezal and her team studied, 50 were positive for HPV-16 DNA and that subjects with HPV-positive tumors had a significantly higher severity of periodontitis when compared to subjects with HPV-negative tumors. According to the National Cancer Institute, there has been a steady increase in the prevalence of oropharyngeal cancers in the U.S. since 1973. This is despite the significant decline in tobacco use since 1965, a year after the U.S. Surgeon General issued the landmark Report on Smoking and Health. Tezal notes that this increase has mainly been attributed to oral HPV infection. Understanding the natural history of the oral HPV infection and targeting factors associated not only with its acquisition but also with its persistence, says Tezal, will lead to more effective strategies, [...]

Gruesome images on cigarette packs seem to be working

Source: Sometimes it takes a good swift kick to open a person's eyes. That's the federal government's strategy in its "scared straight" campaign urging Canadians to butt out by forcing tobacco companies to adorn their addictive products with gruesome images showing the consequences of smoking. The graphic pictures include that of a human tongue rotting in the mouth of a person inflicted with mouth cancer. Other images portray cancer victims, literally human skeletons, at various stages of cancer with the Grim Reaper knocking at their back door. Another shows a man with a hole in his neck -- a victim of throat cancer -- through which he now breathes. His message on the smoke pack: "I wish I had never started smoking." It's a frank message that had to be brought home, and it's apparently working. Statistics Canada reported this week smoking rates have dropped dramatically in the last 10 years, with steep declines in the number of teen smokers. Ottawa credits, in part, its mandatory, graphic anti-smoking packaging for tobacco products. The new rules became official Tuesday. Tobacco companies must now label three-quarters of a cigarette package with grisly pictures showing the horrific consequences of smoking. The image of an emaciated, cancer-stricken Barb Tarbox, curled up in a fetal position in a hospital bed not long before her death, takes up three-quarters of some of the packages. Tarbox became well-known as a powerful anti-smoking activist who, while inflicted with brain and lung cancers, gave numerous public [...]

Electrochemical sensor spots oral cancer

Source: Author: Erika Gebel Medical Diagnostics: A simple and inexpensive device detects multiple cancer biomarkers When doctors spot cancerous lesions in patients’ mouths, it’s often too late: The disease has already reached a difficult-to-treat stage. As a result, oral cancer has a high death rate. To help doctors catch the disease earlier, researchers have developed a simple, low-cost method to identify multiple oral cancer biomarkers at once (Anal. Chem., DOI: 10.1021/ac301392g). Scientists previously have shown that oral cancer patients have altered levels of several proteins, including vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C), in their blood (J. Clin. Pathol., DOI: 10.1136/jcp.2007.047662). Doctors would like to use these biomarkers to diagnose the disease. But James Rusling of the University of Connecticut, Storrs, says that to improve diagnostic accuracy, it’s necessary to detect multiple proteins at once. What’s more, current technology can’t easily measure subtle changes in the low concentrations of these proteins found in patients’ blood. Such tests would require trained technicians and expensive equipment, such as spectrometers, that most clinics don’t have. Rusling and his colleagues, including J. Silvio Gutkind of the National Institutes of Health, wanted to develop a low-cost test doctors could easily use. The team built a device that can measure concentrations of multiple biomarker proteins at once through easy-to-read electrical signals. For each protein they want to detect, the scientists use two antibodies that each bind to a different part of the biomarker. One antibody decorates magnetic microbeads. The team also coats these microbeads [...]

Darwin’s Principles Say Cancer Will Always Evolve to Resist Treatment

Source: According to researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center, cancer is subject to the evolutionary processes laid out by Charles Darwin in his concept of natural selection. Natural selection was the process identified by Darwin by which nature selects certain physical attributes, or phenotypes, to pass on to offspring to better "fit" the organism to the environment. As applied to cancer, natural selection, a key principle of modern biology, suggests that malignancies in distinct "microhabitats" promote the evolution of resistance to therapies. However, these same evolutionary principles of natural selection can be applied to successfully manage cancer, say Moffitt researchers who published an opinion piece in a recent issue of Nature Reviews Cancer. "Understanding cancer as a disease starts with identifying crucial environmental forces and corresponding adaptive cellular strategies," said Robert A. Gatenby, M.D., chair of the Department of Diagnostic Imaging. "Cancer is driven by environmental selection forces that interact with individual cellular adaptive strategies." Cancer cell development, like any natural selection (or Darwinian) process, is governed by environmental selection forces and cellular adaptive strategies, the authors wrote. Investigating cancer and its proliferation through genetic changes and ignoring the adaptive landscape is most likely futile. Under "selective pressure" of chemotherapy, in this case the "adaptive landscape," resistant populations of cancer cells invariably evolve. The authors say that tumors can be thought of as "continents" populated by multiple cellular species that adapt to regional variations in environmental selection forces. Their strategy in offering this metaphor, they wrote, is to "integrate microenvironmental [...]

2012-06-22T12:53:19-07:00June, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

More On Why The Adverse Event Reports On Gardasil Don’t Point To A Problem

Source: Readers are still commenting on my post on why the adverse event reports on Gardasil seem to indicate the vaccine is safe. One particularly persuasive line of comment comes from reader Stephanie Rehak, who does some reporting for me. Basically, she points out, many of these reports are third-hand and for problems that a vaccine would be unlikely to cause. Rehak writes: Have you read through the (currently) 107 reports of death on VAERS tied to Gardasil? It’s well worth the read. The first page has mostly cases of death with other underlying factors that contributed to the patient’s death (congenital heart disease, seizure disorders, DVT in patients taking Yaz BCP). The further in you get the crazier it becomes. There are several fourth and fifth hand reports such as VAERS ID 344385 “Information has been received from an office manager that the physician heard from the physician”s colleague that a 16 year old female colleague”s patient was given an unspecified dose of GARDASIL (Lot not reported) on a Friday and on Monday the patient passed away (specific dates were unknown).” There are at least a dozen regarding cases the reporter read about on the internet, heard about on the radio or saw on TV, like 383175 “Information has been received from a consumer via an internet newspaper concerning a patient who on an unspecified date was vaccinated with a dose of GARDASIL… It was also reported that polysorbato 80 or tween 80 that is a chemical that causes [...]

2012-06-21T09:33:11-07:00June, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Facing the Facts: HPV-Associated Head and Neck Cancers Get a Second Look

Source: HPV causes surge in oral cancer rates. Kevin Pruyne knew he didn’t fit the stereotype of a hard drinker or heavy smoker who one day develops an oral cancer. The 52-year-old mechanic had been working a three-week stint in a remote section of northern Alaska, repairing trucks on an oil field, when he noticed a hard lump beneath his jaw while shaving. For nearly three months, as Pruyne was prescribed antibiotics for a possible infection and then later shuttled between physician specialists, he kept hearing the same thing: the lump could not be cancer. Pruyne only occasionally consumed alcohol and had never smoked. His wife, Kathy, began researching her husband’s symptoms, which included repetitive throat clearing, a nagging sensation that something was lodged in his throat and ringing in his ears. And the lump, which looked like the top half of an egg, felt solid to the touch. This wasn’t some inflamed lymph node from a lingering head cold, Kathy Pruyne says. “He had every symptom [of cancer], but nobody would listen to me.”   Kevin Pruyne, with his wife, Kathy, is hopeful his HPV-positive oral cancer will be cured. Photo by Rick Bacmanski. Pruyne received a diagnosis of stage 4 oral cancer, which started with a tumor at the base of his tongue. He had already begun chemotherapy when he learned that researchers had discovered an association between the human papillomavirus (HPV) and increasing rates of oropharyngeal cancers. He asked that his tissue be tested; the results came [...]

2012-06-20T12:05:38-07:00June, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Allentown woman who lost jaw to cancer shares anti-smoking message

Source: People often stare at Christine Brader. Sometimes strangers ask the Allentown woman what happened to her. She tells them, "I used to smoke." Tobacco users flinch when they hear her response, Brader says. Smoking led to oral cancer, which eventually cost the 49-year-old all of her teeth and part of her lower jaw.Brader has had three bouts with the disease since her first diagnosis five years ago, but is now cancer free. "I have to go through life disfigured, all because I made a bad decision and smoked," she says. Brader doesn't want others to follow in her footsteps, so she is working with Tobacco Free Northeast Pennsylvania to spread the word about the dangers of smoking. The organization serves a 10-county area, including Lehigh and Northampton, spokeswoman Alice Dalla Palu said. Brader recently shared her story in a radio advertisement broadcast during the week of World No Tobacco Day, which was May 31. In the ad -- part of the Centers for Disease Control "Tips from Former Smokers" campaign -- she describes preparing liquid meals and consuming them through a feeding tube. Last year, Brader appeared in a TV commercial for Truth, a national smoking prevention campaign that targets youth. BREAK THE HABIT: Call 1-800-784-8669 or visit to get help quitting smoking. She started smoking at 16 to fit in with her peers and continued for 28 years. Brader quit cold turkey at 44 after learning in June 2007 that the growth inside her cheek was cancer. [...]

2012-06-18T10:03:27-07:00June, 2012|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|

Cross-sectional study on the prevalence of HPV antibodies in the general population of the Czech Republic

Source: BMJ Correspondence to Dr Eva Hamsikova, Department of Experimental Virology, Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, U Nemocnice 1, 128 20 Praha 2, Czech Republic; Contributors EH participated in the design and coordination of the study, evaluated results, performed statistical analysis and drafted the manuscript. VL prepared antigens for assessment of antibody presence. JS performed the immunoassays. RT participated in the design of the study and helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript. Abstract Objectives The assessment of the prevalence of antibodies to human papillomaviruses (HPV) in the healthy population is essential for effective planning of HPV vaccine implementation into the preventive programmes for HPV-associated diseases and for the prospective monitoring of the impact of HPV vaccines in the Czech population. Methods The seropositivity for HPV-6, 11, 16, 18, 31 and 33 virus-like particles was determined in sera from 3150 healthy individuals (age range 6–76 years) by means of enzyme-linked immunoassay. Results The seroprevalences for HPV-6, 11, 16, 18, 31 and 33 were 23.8%, 15.2%, 14.5%, 9.9%, 16.4% and 9.6% in women and 18.4%, 13.7%, 6.5%, 5.4%, 6.1% and 4.3% in men. For both genders, except for HPV11, these rates were age dependent. The prevalence of antibodies to HPV-16 and/or 18 reached the maximum of 27.0% in women 30–39 years of age and of 14.4% in men 50–59 years of age. The highest proportion of individuals' seropositive for any of the vaccine types HPV-6/11/16/18 was in 30- to 39-year-old women (50.0%) and in ≥60-year-old men [...]

2012-06-11T11:09:53-07:00June, 2012|Oral Cancer News|

Part of jaw removed after mix-up

Source:   A lab mix-up is being blamed for an operation on the wrong patient at an Otago dental hospital An Otago dental hospital has apologized to a woman who had part of her jaw removed after being wrongly diagnosed with mouth cancer. The misdiagnosis happened after a laboratory worker at Medlab Dental, part of the University of Otago Dental Hospital, dropped two samples on the floor and mixed them up, the Otago Daily Times reports. As a result the 63-year-old patient was wrongly diagnosed with cancer and had the right side of her upper jaw removed. An area on the woman's lower leg where bone and blood vessels were taken to reconstruct her jaw later became infected and she had trouble walking. "I can't for the life of me understand how you can get tissue samples mixed up," Nelson oral surgeon Iain Wilson, the woman's dentist, told the newspaper. "I am astonished and horrified by these lab mix-ups." University faculty of medicine dean, Professor Peter Crawford, says the university has apologized to the patient. "We have taken this incident very seriously, and have already taken all appropriate measures to minimise the likelihood of any such incidents occurring again," he said. "The patient was contacted very soon after the incident was discovered, and we offered a full apology at that time." The case is being investigated by the Health and Disability Commissioner and the patient has consulted a lawyer about compensation. The patient was one of six who had [...]

2012-06-11T10:07:33-07:00June, 2012|Oral Cancer News|
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