The Oral Cancer Foundation Honored as 2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit New Award is Based on Positive Online Reviews

Newport Beach, CA May 28, 2013 - The oral Cancer Foundation announced today that is has been honored with a prestigious 2013 Top-Rated Awarded by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about non-profit organizations.   "We are honored to be named a Top-Rated 2013 Nonprofit," says Brian hill, Founder and Executive Director, The Oral Cancer Foundation. "We have found creative means to accomplish our missions; raise awareness, support patients, provide information, and sponsor research to accomplish important goals when our human and financial resources were minimal."   The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on a large number of positive reviews that OCF received - reviews written by the patient population they serve and donors. Individuals could contribute more than a yes/no answer about questions regarding their personal experiences with the non-profit. For example, one person wrote, "I was 33 years old when I was diagnosed with Stage IV metastatic oral cancer. The treatments and surgeries that saved my life however left me disfigured, disabled and dependent on the opiate pain medication, Fentanyl. I felt lost and alone, without hope. I found the Oral Cancer Foundation website 11 months after diagnosis and it was a ray of light for me. I was able to connect with survivors and other patients who understood my struggle and related to where I was. With their advice and support I've been able to rebuild my body and free myself from the opiates, and begin to live again. I can't express the gratitude in my [...]

2013-05-29T16:05:54-07:00May, 2013|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|

Noninvasive Detection, Diagnosis of Oral Cancer

Source: Science DailyDate: May 23, 2013  More effective detection and diagnosis of oral cancer could result from an advance in noninvasive imaging of epithelial tissue by a Texas A&M University researcher. The research is thought to have the potential to change the way doctors initially look for precancerous and cancerous areas in a patient's mouth. The imaging technique, which is detailed in the Journal of Biomedical Optics, is being developed by Kristen Maitland, assistant professor in the university's Department of Biomedical Engineering. It combines two separate technologies -- confocal microscopy and fluorescence lifetime imaging -- to noninvasively evaluate both the structural changes of tissue as well as molecular changes that take place on a cellular and tissue level. These morphological and biochemical changes are key factors in determining if tissue is precancerous or cancerous, Maitland says.   Fluorescence lifetime imaging with a 16x16 mm2 field of view detects tissue biochemical changes on the macroscopic scale, and (inset) confocal microscopy with a 0.4 mm diameter field of view is used to characterize size, shape, and spacing of cell nuclei to detect oral precancer and cancer (Credit: Texas A&M University)     Typically, such evaluations are made from lab analysis of biopsies, small amounts of surgically removed tissue. The challenge for doctors, Maitland says, is determining from what areas to take a biopsy. These determinations, she says, are largely based on visual evidence. In other words, doctors rely on the naked eye to look for problematic areas that warrant a biopsy. For [...]

2013-05-28T14:02:44-07:00May, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

U.S. panel finds lack of evidence for oral cancer screening

Source: Dr. BicuspidBy: Dr. Bicuspid StaffApril 9, 2013 A U.S. government-backed task force issued a statement this week saying that there is not enough published evidence to recommend for or against screening for oral cancer by primary care professionals. Evidence is lacking on whether screening can accurately detect oral cancer and if earlier treatment of cancers found during those tests improves long-term health, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). Their draft recommendation statement applies to people who do not have any signs or symptoms of oral cancer and is meant for primary care professionals screening for oral cancer. It is not a recommendation about the practices of dentists and oral health professionals, the panel noted. The task force -- an independent volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine -- reviewed the current literature and found: Inadequate evidence that the oral screening examination accurately detects oral cancer Inadequate evidence that screening for oral cancer and treatment of screen-detected oral cancer improves morbidity or mortality Inadequate evidence on the harms of screening; no study reported on harms from the screening test or from false-positive or false-negative test results Seven studies (n = 49,120) examined the performance characteristics of the oral screening examination. These studies were generally conducted in settings with an increased incidence of and mortality from oral cancer (India, Taiwan) compared with U.S. rates, the panel reported. The studies also had considerable heterogeneity and demonstrated great variation in test performance characteristics. Across the seven studies, sensitivity [...]

2013-05-26T07:36:08-07:00May, 2013|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|

Study reveals genetic diversity within tumors predicts outcome in head and neck cancer

Source: Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have developed a new way to predict the survival rate of patients who have squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, thanks to a study partially funded by a CPRIT grant. One of the problems with treating cancer is the degree of genetic heterogeneity within a tumor. What this means is that there are sub populations of tumor cells within a given tumor that have different mutations. This makes the cancer difficult to treat because some cells due to their different mutations will be resistant to the same treatment. According to Edmund Mroz, PhD at the MGH center for Cancer Research (lead author of a report in Cancer on May 20, 2013), this new method of measuring genetic heterogeneity can be applied to a wide range of cancers. (Additional co-authors included Curtis Pickering, PhD, and Jeffrey Myers, MD, PhD, both from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.) Prior to this study, genes and proteins that are involved with treatment resistance have been identified, however, there has been no way to measure tumor heterogeneity to predict patient survival. Mroz and his group of researchers working in the lab of James Rocco, MD, PhD at MGH developed this new measure by looking at advanced gene sequencing data to calculate a number that indicates the genetic variance found in sub populations of cells within a tumor. They dubbed this new procedure as the mutant-allele tumor [...]

Heartburn and throat cancer: is there a link?

Source: Author: staff Heartburn may raise a person's risk for throat cancer, but it seems that antacids could have a protective effect, according to a new study. The research, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, shows that people with a history of frequent heartburn, also known as acid reflux, have a 78 percent higher risk of developing vocal cord or throat cancers. But they also found that for people with frequent heartburn, taking antacids can lower risk of these cancers by 41 percent. "Additional studies are needed to validate the chemopreventive effects of antacids among patients with frequent heartburn," study researcher Scott M. Langevin, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research fellow at Brown University, said in a statement. "The identification of gastric reflux as a risk factor for throat and vocal cord cancers, however, may have implications in terms of risk stratification and identification of high-risk patients." The study included 631 people who were part of a case-control study in Boston, 468 of whom had throat cancer and 163 of whom had vocal cord cancer, as well as 1,234 people with no cancer history. Researchers analyzed family history of cancer, smoking history and drinking history of all the study participants, as well as presence of HPV 16 viral protein antigens since HPV can cause some head and neck cancers. Researchers found that the increased risk for throat and vocal cord cancers was higher among the people experiencing frequent heartburn, even when they had no history of smoking or [...]

Big Data Unveils Exciting Head and Neck Cancer Targets

BioscienceTechnology.comCynthia FoxMonday, May 20, 2013  Genome sequencing of head and neck cancers may quickly—and soon—spur new therapies. There are 20 tumor types being studied by the massive, $100 million Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) is the eighth to be unveiled. The first, glioblastoma, has been cited in a whopping 2000-plus manuscripts. “That’s an enormous number of citations,” said University of North Carolina medical oncologist David Hayes at the recent American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting. Yet, “the squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck dataset is much, much bigger. “This is a very big project.” Much clinically relevant HNSCC data was released at AACR, and more will be released at the May American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, Hayes said in an email. Hayes is national co-chair of TCGA's Data Analysis Subgroup. The frequently fatal HNSCC is the fifth most common cancer globally; sixth in the US. It is overwhelmingly associated with smoking (80% attributable risk). The rest is linked to an epidemic of the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Conducting an exhaustive series of genomic tests on tumor samples from 279 patients, the overarching find made by Hayes’ hundreds-strong TCGA group was that HNSCCs fall into four clinically relevant subtypes: basal, mesenchymal, atypical, and classical. Furthermore, there are surprising, major similarities between lung cancer and non-HPV (smoking) related HNSCCs, and between cervical cancer and HPV-related HNSCCs. For instance, in non-HPV-driven cancers, the group located more than 30 sites of significant “somatic [...]

2013-05-22T14:06:21-07:00May, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Bankruptcy Rate Doubles With Cancer Diagnosis

Nick MulcahyMay 15, 2013Medscape Today  Adults diagnosed with cancer are 2.65 times more likely to declare bankruptcy than adults without cancer, according to a new study. In addition, bankruptcy rates are 2- to 5-fold higher among younger cancer patients than among older cancer patients, report the study authors, led by Scott Ramsey, MD, PhD, an internist and health economist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Ramsey and colleagues used various databases to match cancer patients diagnosed from 1995 to 2009 with adults without cancer in western Washington. Of 197,840 adults who were diagnosed with cancer in that region during the study period, 4408 (2.2%) filed for bankruptcy protection after diagnosis. Of the age- and sex-matched control population without cancer, only 2291 (1.1%) filed for bankruptcy. "This study found strong evidence of a link between cancer diagnosis and increased risk of bankruptcy," the authors write in their paper, which was published online today in Health Affairs. The relation between a cancer diagnosis and bankruptcy is less well understood than that between high medical expenses and the likelihood of a bankruptcy filing, according to a press statement. "This is an important study," said Melissa Jacoby, JD, from the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill, in an email to Medscape Medical News. She is is an expert in bankruptcy, but was not involved in this research. The relative — not the absolute — rate of bankruptcy among cancer patients is most notable here, she said. "Remember that bankruptcy filings, at [...]

2013-05-20T13:53:29-07:00May, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Cancer jabs for girls

Katharine Child & Denise Williams 16 May, 2013 01:15Source: Times Live Image by: Gallo Images/Thinkstock   Fresh from his battle to reduce HIV infections and make antiretrovirals freely available to almost two million South Africans infected with the virus that causes Aids, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi is now taking on cervical cancer.   In parliament yesterday, Motsoaledi announced that girls as young as nine at poorer primary schools would be given free vaccinations against human papilloma virus (HPV) from February. As many as 520000 girls aged between nine and 10 will be vaccinated against HPV, which causes cervical cancer. It is important that girls be vaccinated before they are sexually active if they are to be protected against HPV. More South African women are killed by cervical cancer than by any other type of cancer. Black women and HIV-positive women are particularly vulnerable to the disease. The drive to vaccinate schoolgirls was prompted by the severity and prevalence of the disease in young women, said Motsoaledi. He said it was not known what the vaccination roll-out would cost but he was negotiating with pharmaceutical companies on the pricing of the vaccine. "It's not about the money; it's about the human suffering ... we are obliged at all times to put money aside for treatment but we are not obliged at all times to put money aside for prevention," said Motsoaledi. He said about 6000 women were treated each year for cervical cancer in public hospitals at a cost of R100000 [...]

2013-05-16T15:26:32-07:00May, 2013|Oral Cancer News|

Public lacks awareness of head and neck cancer

Source: Author: Leatitia Michael A survey reveals that the general public, including those who smoke, do not know very much about oral, head, and neck cancer (OHNC). There were nearly 40,000 new cases of oral, head and neck cancer diagnosed last year in the USA, of which 85 per cent could be linked to tobacco use and heavy alcohol consumption. Yet, according to a survey from the Medical University of South Carolina, the public remains largely unaware of the risks. In the study, over 1,000 members of the public were telephoned and 62 per cent said they were not knowledgeable about OHNC. Among smokers, the lack of awareness ran at 58 per cent. Under half of non-smokers and smokers knew that smoking was a risk factor. Hoarseness was correctly identified as a symptom by only one per cent of smokers and two per cent overall. But 17 per cent of the sample incorrectly named headache as a symptom. People can spot the signs and symptoms of OHNC themselves, but 94 per cent had not been told to look for problems like mouth sores that do not heal. And only 26 per cent had been check for this by a doctor. Clearly there is some way to go in raising awareness among the public of OHNC.

Michael Douglas: It took doctors nine months to figure out walnut-sized tumor at the back of my tongue was throat cancer

Source: Author: Corky Siemaszko Michael Douglas said the tumor at the back of his tongue was the size of a walnut, but it still took doctors nine months to figure out it was throat cancer. “I knew something was wrong,” he said. “My tooth was really sore, and I thought I had an infection.” But the ear-nose-and-throat doctors and periodontists he consulted kept giving him antibiotics. “And then more antibiotics, but I still had pain,” he said. Finally, in 2010, a doctor in Montreal figured out that thing on his tongue was tumor. “Two days later, after the biopsy, the doctor called and said I had to come in,” Douglas recalled in a wide-ranging interview with New York magazine. “He told it me it was stage-four cancer. I said, ‘Stage four. Jesus.’ “And that was that. After complaining for nine months and them not finding anything, and then they told me I was stage four? That was a big day.” Douglas not only talked about his brush with mortality, he also chatted about his Hollywood comeback. He plays flamboyant piano tickler Liberace in an HBO biopic, “Behind the Candelabra,” that airs May 26. “Liberace loved sex,” he said. But the “Wall Street” star’s revelation that he had cancer sent a scare through Hollywood, where the words “stage four” were looked at as a death sentence. And for a time, Douglas looked like hell — losing 45 pounds as he subsisted on mostly on matzo ball soup as he healed. [...]

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