HHC study supports web-based care plans for head, neck cancer patients

Source: www.hartfordbusiness.com Author: John Stearns A joint study by the Hartford HealthCare (HHC) Cancer Institute and the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center has demonstrated benefits of a web-based care plan for patients with head and neck cancer as a tool to better cope with side effects of treatment. A web-based tool to help patients with head and neck cancer better deal with effects of their cancer treatment has proved beneficial to patients and doctors, according to a HHC doctor involved in developing the tool and studying its effectiveness. "The compelling reason to do this work is because head and neck cancer has changed," said Dr. Andrew Salner, medical director of the Hartford HealthCare Cancer Institute at Hartford Hospital, HHC's lead doctor on the joint study with MSK. Head and neck cancer, once mostly associated with heavy drinkers and smokers who had other chronic diseases, is showing up more in younger and healthier patients, he said. That's because of the prevalence of human papillomavirus (HPV), now the leading cause of the cancers that often target the tonsils and back of the tongue. HPV is the most commonly sexually transmitted infection in the U.S. HPV is equally divided among males and females, the latter who've been getting vaccinated against HPV to prevent cervical cancer, but oral cancers are happening more prevalently and are appearing in males and females, Salner said. As such, boys and girls are now recommended for the vaccine before they become sexually active to hopefully prevent future disease, [...]

2018-02-28T14:51:59-07:00February, 2018|Oral Cancer News|

In Memoriam: Jimmie C. Holland, MD

The Oral Cancer Foundation is deeply saddened by the passing of OCF Science Advisory Board member, Dr. Jimmie C. Holland. When our organization was in it’s infancy, Dr. Holland was an early supporter of OCF.  She was one of the first in the profession to focus attention on the mental well being of cancer patients. With OCF being a foundation that is heavily geared to funding the advancement of research, and being very hard science and research oriented,  her compassion for the mental health of cancer patients was a key component in humanizing our efforts, and ensuring that we stayed people centric.  We are tremendously grateful for her advanced work in Psycho-oncology, the good it has done for so many in the oral cancer community, and the guidance she offered us. She will be missed by many. Author: William Breitbart Source: https://blog.oup.com Date: Feb. 23, 2018 Jimmie C. Holland, MD, internationally recognized as the founder of the field of Psycho-oncology, died suddenly on 24 December 2017 at the age of 89. Dr. Holland, who was affectionately known by her first name, “Jimmie,” had a profound global influence on the fields of Psycho-oncology, Psychosomatic Medicine, and Oncology. Dr. Holland was the Attending Psychiatrist and Wayne E. Chapman Chair at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Medical College of Cornell University in New York. In 1977, she was appointed Chief of the Psychiatry Service in the Department of Neurology at MSK. The Psychiatry Service at MSK was the [...]

2018-04-21T11:53:40-07:00February, 2018|OCF In The News, Oral Cancer News|

Suicide Among Cancer Survivors — Highest Risk in HNC

Author: Roxanne Nelson, RN, BSN Source: MedScape.com Date: Feb. 20, 2018 ORLANDO, Florida — Head and neck cancer (HNC) accounts for only about 4% of new cancer cases in the United States, but the risk for suicide among survivors is significantly higher than for survivors of all other cancer types, with the exception of pancreatic cancer. "The risk of suicide is significantly elevated across cancer sites, and the risk is especially high among HNC and pancreatic cancer survivors," said Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, BDS, MPH, CHES, instructor, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Missouri. "Cancer survivors are candidates for suicide-related psychosocial surveillance," he added. Cancer is the number 2 cause of death in the United States and accounts for 1 of every 4 deaths. Suicide is the tenth cause of death, independent of cancer. "If you add cancer to it, you get the perfect storm," he said. "Survivorship does come at a cost, and this is one of the more unfortunate costs of cancer survivorship," Osazuwa-Peters told delegates here at the Cancer Survivorship Symposium (CSS) Advancing Care and Research. Currently, there are more than 16 million survivors in the United States. The good news is that more people are surviving cancer, and there is now more focus on competing causes of death and comorbidities, he explained. There is also more focus on the increased risk for acute and late toxicities, which needs to be addressed as the rate of survival increases. Osazuwa-Peters pointed out that there [...]

2018-02-27T17:02:46-07:00February, 2018|Oral Cancer News|

Bareback Rider Cody Kiser Uses Tucson Rodeo Role to Rail Against Oral Cancer

Author: Norma Gonzalez Source: Arizona Daily Star Date: Feb. 23, 2018 Prior to Friday’s first event, Cody Kiser stretched and danced around the dressing room behind the chutes. Kiser was nothing but smiles as he loosened up for bareback riding at the 93rd annual La Fiesta de los Vaqueros. While in high school in 2006, Kiser suffered an injury competing in bull riding. The bull stepped on his face, breaking all the bones in its left side. Kiser’s jaw was broken in two places and had to be wired shut. Through plastic surgery, Kiser had his face put back together. Now, Kiser’s smile is more than just a gruesome injury story. The 27-year-old from Carson City became a spokesperson and role model with the Oral Cancer Foundation in 2014, and is the first spokesman to be affiliated with the rodeo. “My side of it isn’t giving out a lot of facts,” he said. “Everyone knows smoking and chewing is bad. If you do it long enough, it’ll kill you.” Kiser has never smoked or chewed. He simply doesn’t like it. “I was never part of that,” Kiser said. “I just like to lead a healthy lifestyle and it just worked out so perfect to get involved with the foundation.” So now, the bareback rider lends his voice to the foundation and helps in the prevention of tobacco use. According to oralcancer.org, as many as 15 percent of high school boys use smokeless tobacco in the United States. The nicotine content in [...]

2018-02-27T10:35:38-07:00February, 2018|Oral Cancer News|

E-cigarette Vapor Filled With Dangerous Toxins Like Lead, Study Finds

Source: www.newsweek.com Author: Melissa Matthews Electronic cigarettes may have been deemed safer than traditional smoking by the American Cancer Society, but that doesn’t make it a risk-free habit. Past research has found that oils used to vape contain toxins, and a new study shows that the latest e-cigarette devices might leak dangerous amounts of metal, including lead, which could have serious health risks. Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images In a study published in the February 2017 issue of Environmental Research, public health expert Ana María Rule of Johns Hopkins University found that liquids used in the first generation of e-cigarettes could be potentially toxic and carcinogenic. However, things have changed in just one year as companies constantly offer new, more sophisticated devices. Plus, Rule was often met with questions about the safety of inhaled aerosol. “A lot of people were asking, ‘You found these metals in the liquid, but what does this mean?’ Are they getting into the vapor that I’m inhaling?’” Rule explained to Newsweek. So, the team began a new project studying the latest devices, called Mods, as well as the aerosol inhaled by smokers. For this study, 56 daily e-cigarette smokers lent their devices to Rule’s lab, where scientists tested the vaping liquid, liquid inside the e-cigarette tanks, and the aerosol. They looked for 15 different metals including lead, chromium, nickel and manganese, which are the most dangerous, according to Rule. Some of the refilling dispensers did contain small amounts of metal. However, liquids in the e-cigarette [...]

2018-02-24T08:08:27-07:00February, 2018|Oral Cancer News|

New cancer test isn’t ready for prime time

Author: H Gilbert Welch Date: February 14, 2018 Source: http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/13/opinions/liquid-biopsy-opinion-welch/index.html (CNN)- A simple blood test to detect cancer early. How great is that? There has been enthusiasm about the so-called "liquid biopsy" for years. In mid-January, however, doctors learned more -- both about this vision and its problems. A widely reported study in the journal Science described a liquid biopsy test -- CancerSEEK -- which combined measuring eight tumor biomarkers with testing for pieces of DNA with cancer associated mutations in 16 genes. It's not one test; it's a battery of tests. And while collecting the blood may be simple, the subsequent analysis is extraordinarily complex. The task at hand is particularly challenging. We all have pieces of DNA in our blood. Distinguishing the tumor DNA from the background DNA requires finding the mutations specifically associated with cancer. Adding to the complexity, healthy individuals can have mutations. To avoid labeling innocuous mutations as cancerous requires a bunch of statistical fine-tuning. In other words, there are a lot of steps in a liquid biopsy and much potential for things to go awry. To their credit, the CancerSEEK investigators were very forthright that the study conditions were ideal for the test to accurately detect cancer. The liquid biopsy simply had to discriminate between patients with known cancer (the majority of whom had symptoms) and healthy individuals. And the statistical fine-tuning was tailored to the study participants -- with the knowledge of who had, and who did not have, cancer. Although the test was [...]

2018-02-14T11:36:19-07:00February, 2018|Oral Cancer News|

Should kids be required to get the HPV vaccine?

Source: www.forbes.com Author: Bruce Y. Lee If a bill recently introduced in Florida passes, the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine would be mandatory for adolescents attending public school in the state. Currently, the vaccine is mandatory for boys and girls in Rhode Island and just girls in Virgina and Washington, DC. (AP Photo/John Amis, File) Florida isn't kidding about low human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination rates. If you are a kid enrolled in a Florida public school, come July 1, 2018, you may be required to get the HPV vaccine. That is if you are old enough and if a bill now being debated in the Florida state legislature ends up passing. If it gets through, Senate Bill 1558 would then become known as the "Women's Cancer Prevention Act", which is a much easier name to remember and also reflects some major benefits of the HPV vaccine. As the National Cancer Institute explains, HPV vaccine can help prevent not only cervical cancer but also many vaginal and vulvar cancers. In fact, two types of HPV (16 and 18) cause around 70% of cervical cancers. But just because you don't have a vagina, cervix, and vulva doesn't mean that you are in the clear. HPV is responsible for about 95% of anal cancers, 70% of oropharyngeal (the middle part of the throat) cancers, and 35% of penile cancers. Thus, the "Women's Cancer Prevention Act" is really a "Cancer Prevention Act." Regardless, Florida State Senator José Javier Rodríguez (D-Miami) filed this bill [...]

2018-02-13T14:05:18-07:00February, 2018|Oral Cancer News|

Living with cancer in the country: Many Wyoming residents must leave home to seek the care they need

Source: trib.com Author: Katie King Bob Overton is all too familiar with the 140-mile stretch of land between Thermopolis and Casper. He and his wife, Sherry, made the two-hour trip in their white pickup dozens of times while Bob was undergoing treatment for lymphoma in 2015. Even with the help of Alan Jackson and Martina McBride’s music, the hours still lagged, with nothing to stare at except endless grassy plains. “That trip is pretty monotonous, and it doesn’t get any better with time,” he recalled. But the couple didn’t have a choice. Their hometown of Thermopolis, population 3,009, doesn’t offer the care Bob needed. And the Overtons aren’t alone. As the least populated state in the country, Wyoming appeals to those in search of space and wilderness. But the peace and quiet comes with drawbacks: Services that urban residents may take for granted, like advanced medical care, aren’t readily available for thousands of people living in small towns and rural areas. Many of those battling cancer in Wyoming subsequently end up seeking treatment in Casper, according to Rocky Mountain Oncology’s Patient Navigator Sam Carrick. She said the center is the only medical facility in the state that offers radiation, chemotherapy and Positron emission tomography scans. Other areas may offer one or two of those services, but many prefer the convenience of a one-stop shop, she said. About 15 percent of their patients are from out-of-town, added Carrick, who is responsible for guiding all patients through the treatment process. She said [...]

2018-02-04T09:47:02-07:00February, 2018|Oral Cancer News|

Biofilms in tonsil crypts may explain HPV-related head and neck cancers

Source: www.genengnews.com Author: staff Human papilloma virus (HPV) encased in biofilms inside tonsil crypts (pictured) may explain why the roughly 5% of HPV-infected people who develop cancer of the mouth or throat are not protected by their immune systems. Tonsil crypts with HPV are shown in green; epithelial and biofilm layers are shown in red. [Katherine Rieth. M.D.] How can human papilloma virus (HPV) be prevalent in otherwise healthy people not known to carry it? A just-published study concludes that the virus may be lurking in small pockets on the surface of their tonsils. Researchers from University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) found HPV encased in biofilms inside tonsil crypts, where HPV-related head and neck cancers often originate. HPV is shed from the tonsil during an active infection and gets trapped in the biofilm, where it may be protected from immune attack. In the crypts, the virus likely lays in wait for an opportunity to reinstate infection or invade the tonsil tissue to develop cancer. “The virus gains access to the basal layer of stratified squamous epithelium through structural breaks in the stratified epithelial superstructure,” the investigators reported in the study. “Tonsillar crypt reticulated epithelium itself has been shown to contain numerous small blood vessels and has a discontinuous basement membrane, which may facilitate this infection and reinfection process.” The URMC researchers said their finding could help prevent oropharyngeal cancers that form on the tonsils and tongue—and may explain why the roughly 5% of HPV-infected people who develop cancer [...]

2018-02-01T09:46:22-07:00February, 2018|Oral Cancer News|
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