Source: www.lajollalight.com Author: Dr. Scott Lippman Dear Scott: “Our son, who is 25, went to the GP yesterday and his doc wasn’t sure about giving the Gardasil I had been bugging him to get. Didn’t you tell me about the benefits of the HPV vaccination?” The note was from a friend. It was personal, but also a topic of wide public interest and one that remains much discussed among cancer researchers and physicians. That’s why I’m answering my friend here. Roughly 12 percent of all human cancers worldwide — more than 1 million cases per year — are caused by viral infections (called oncoviruses) and attributed to a relatively small number of pathogens: human papilloma virus (HPV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Given the emphasis upon other causal factors of cancer, such as genetic mutations or environmental sources, it’s a statistic that’s not well known nor, I would argue, fully appreciated. Human viral oncogenesis is complex, and only a small percentage of the infected individuals develop cancer, but that 12 percent translates into more than 500,000 lives lost each year to virus-caused malignancies. Many of those deaths are preventable because effective vaccines already exist for HPV and HBV. Right now. No future discoveries required. I want to specifically talk about the HPV vaccine. Controversy has constrained its proven effectiveness as a public health tool, but if used as prescribed, the HPV vaccine could essentially eliminate cervical and other HPV-caused cancers. Infection with HPV [...]
Source: www.krcrtv.comAuthor: Danielle Radin REDDING, Calif. - The Redding Rodeo kicked off Wednesday night with events like barrel racing, cattle roping and mutton busting. Professional barrel racer, Carly Twisselman said chewing tobacco is prominent at rodeos. She's teamed up with the Oral Cancer Foundation to try to change that. "We want to show children that you can follow your dreams, be who you want to be, pursue being a rodeo athlete and not chew tobacco," said Twisselman. Twisselman competes in rodeos across the country and sees chewing tobacco time and time again. She's teaching children chewing tobacco is not the 'cool thing to do.' She also wears letting on her sleeves every race that reads, "Be smart, don't start." She also has a brother who chews and had a health scare from it. "My brother's had signs of cancer of the mouth from chewing," said Twisselman. " "I just think that's the wrong message we should be sending to this children." According to the oral cancer foundation, there will be about 48,000 new cases of oral cancer in 2016 in the United States. 75 percent of all oral cancer patients use tobacco. They estimate nearly 10,000 people in the United States will die from oral cancer in 2016.
In an era of rapidly proliferating, precisely targeted treatments, every cancer case has to be played by ear.
Source: www.nytimes.comAuthor: Sidhartha Mukherjee Illustration by Cristiana Couceiro. Photograph by Ansel Adams, via the National Archives, College Park, Md. The bone-marrow biopsy took about 20 minutes. It was 10 o’clock on an unusually chilly morning in New York in April, and Donna M., a self-possessed 78-year-old woman, had flown in from Chicago to see me in my office at Columbia University Medical Center. She had treated herself to orchestra seats for “The Humans” the night before, and was now waiting in the room as no one should be asked to wait: pants down, spine curled, knees lifted to her chest — a grown woman curled like a fetus. I snapped on sterile gloves while the nurse pulled out a bar cart containing a steel needle the length of an index finger. The rim of Donna’s pelvic bone was numbed with a pulse of anesthetic, and I drove the needle, as gently as I could, into the outer furl of bone. A corkscrew of pain spiraled through her body as the marrow was pulled, and then a few milliliters of red, bone-flecked sludge filled the syringe. It was slightly viscous, halfway between liquid and gel, like the crushed pulp of an overripe strawberry. I had been treating Donna in collaboration with my colleague Azra Raza for six years. Donna has a preleukemic syndrome called myelodysplastic syndrome, or MDS, which affects the bone marrow and blood. It is a mysterious disease with few known treatments. Human bone marrow is normally a [...]
Source: www.mystatesman.com Author: Catherine Troisi Tobacco products are a known cancer-causing agent and responsible for one in three cancer deaths. Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car crashes, illegal drugs, murders and suicides combined — and thousands more die from smoking-related causes such as fires caused by smoldering cigarettes. E-cigarettes, often touted as a safer alternative, have not been well-studied and may contain unknown poisons. We are not protecting our children from this danger. Unlike alcohol sales, where you have to be 21 years to purchase legally, adolescents and young adults 18 and over can purchase tobacco products. While the Texas Legislature wisely raised the age to buy e-cigarettes from 14 to 18 years last year, it’s time to look at raising the legal age for all tobacco products to 21. The problem is not just those age 18 and older smoking. This young legal age to purchase makes it easier for children under age 18 to get access to cigarettes and other products. Each year, 19,000 Texas children under the age of 18 start smoking. In Texas, almost one out of every six high school students smokes — and over their lifetime, half a million Texans who started smoking under age 18 will ultimately die of tobacco-related diseases. Most of us have someone in our family or know someone who has been affected by a tobacco-related disease. A colleague lost both parents and his only sibling as a result of smoking that began when they were teens. Each [...]
Source: www.huffingtonpost.comAuthor: Huffington Post Staff The law makes it the second state to raise the minimum age to 21, following Hawaii. SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California will raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products to 21 from 18 under a bill signed on Wednesday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, part of a package of anti-smoking measures that also regulates electronic cigarettes. Under five bills signed into law on Wednesday, California will ban the sale of vaping products or tobacco to anyone under the age of 21, imposing a fine of up to $5,000 against companies that violate the law. “It is long past due for California to update our approach to tobacco,” said Steven Larson, president of the California Medical Association. “There has been an alarming rise in the use of e-cigarettes by teens, putting them at risk for lifelong addiction.” Under the measures, electronic cigarettes will be regulated like traditional ones. That means that wherever cigarettes are banned, such as in restaurants, workplaces and public areas, use of e-cigarettes will also be prohibited. The state will also expand its funding for anti-smoking programs under the bills. Brown stopped short of allowing local counties to impose their own tobacco taxes, noting in his veto message that several proposed new taxes would be placed before voters on the November ballot. *This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.
Source: immuno-oncologynews.com Author: Magdalena Kegel Several new checkpoint inhibitors — a class of immunotherapy drugs used in cancer — continue to show beneficial effects in numerous cancer types, according to data presented at the recent American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in New Orleans. Investigated checkpoint inhibitors confirmed earlier results showing evidence of efficacy in melanoma, and also suggested that this class of immunotherapies, which trigger a person’s immune system to attack cancer, might work in patients suffering from certain head and neck cancers. One of the studies, CheckMate-141, exploring the checkpoint blocker nivolumab (Opdivo) in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck, was stopped early after 36 percent of the 361 patients survived for one year — an increase of more than 100 percent compared to patients receiving other treatments. Squamous cell carcinoma is usually treated with platinum-based chemotherapy, but the effects are often temporary as the cancer tends to return. Moreover, patients who fail to fully recover after chemotherapy are generally resistant to further treatment. Maura Gillison from Ohio State University, who presented the CheckMate-141 data, said that no effective treatments have been approved for patients with this kind of cancer in over a decade. “I’ve treated head and neck cancers for more than twenty years, and this is the first time I’ve had a drug to go to for patients that have become resistant to first-line treatment,” she said in a press release. Dr. Emma King, a Cancer Research UK-funded head and neck [...]
Source: www.fortune.comAuthor: Scott Cendrowski Baidu, the dominant search engine in China, is being investigated by government regulators after social media users criticized the quality of medical ads appearing in its searches. Chinese social media over the weekend gave widespread exposure to the story of Wei Zexi, a young cancer patient whose family pooled together more than $30,000 for his treatments at a government hospital he found through a Baidu search. The hospital marketed an innovative treatment for synovial sarcoma, the rare form of cancer Wei suffered from. Following an unsuccessful treatment and Wei’s death in April, reports spread that the treatment was much less effective than the hospital had advertised. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) sent investigators to Baidu today, according to China’s official Xinhua news agency Baidu has endured criticism recently for similar instances in which dubious medical practices were promoted in paid search results. Analysts have estimated around one quarter of its revenues come from medical and health-care advertisers. “We deeply regret the death of Zexi,” a Baidu spokeswoman said today, adding that the search engine had launched its own internal investigation of the matter. *This news story was resourced by the Oral Cancer Foundation, and vetted for appropriateness and accuracy.