National Vaccination Program Leads To Marked Reduction In HPV Infections

Source: Forbes Date: January 28th, 2020 Author: Nina Shapiro While widespread vaccination continues to be a source of contention in this country and others, one of the newer vaccines has begun to demonstrate remarkable positive impact, which will hopefully become harder and harder to dispute. The HPV vaccine, with trade name GardasilR, is recommended for both boys and girls, ideally sometime between ages 11 and 12 years, given in two doses at a six month interval. It can be given as early as age 9, and as late as age 26. Older adults, even up to age 45, can receive the vaccine, although it is more likely that these adults have already been exposed to the virus, and are less likely to be protected by the vaccine. The vaccine prevents infection with the human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause health problems ranging from nuisance-causing warts to cancer-causing lesions of the cervix, throat, and anorectal area. When HPV-related cancers hit Hollywood, with Michael Douglas publicly attributing his throat cancer to HPV, it became clear that this disease can no doubt affect both men and women. When Marcia Cross announced that her anal cancer was due to HPV infection, it raised yet another red flag that HPV can affect the lower gastrointestinal tract, not just the female reproductive tract. Indeed, HPV can affect any of us, at any age, from stem to stern. As I wrote in an earlier Forbes piece, the vaccine to prevent HPV can prevent not only sexually transmitted [...]

2020-01-30T12:16:44-07:00January, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

What parents need to know about the HPV vaccine

Source: www.news-medical.net Author: University of Chicago Medical Center, reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor) The vaccine that prevents infection from human papillomavirus (HPV) is nothing short of a medical marvel. "It's one of the most effective vaccines we have against any disease or infection. And it prevents cancer," said Andrea Loberg, MD, clinical associate of obstetrics and gynecology. Pre-teens and teens who are vaccinated against HPV can be spared some of the deadliest, most disfiguring and hard-to-treat cancers-;those of the cervix, vagina, vulva, penis, anus, mouth and throat. Over 90% of cancers caused by HPV can be prevented-;29,000 cases of cancer per year-;with the HPV vaccine. Concerns about sexual promiscuity To some parents, however, the HPV vaccine may be an uncomfortable reminder that their child will be moving into adulthood and may choose to express his or her sexuality. HPV is transmitted by oral, vaginal and anal sex and other intimate skin-to-skin contact, and it is extremely prevalent; about 80% of people will be exposed to the virus in their lifetime. Condoms reduce but don't eliminate the risk of HPV infections because the virus lives in both oral and genital tissues. Condoms do not cover the entire genital area of either gender. Nor are same-sex female partners protected from contracting the virus, which often causes no symptoms until precancerous lesions or cancer show up years later. "It's hard for parents to think about our kids becoming sexually active, but we also want them to have fulfilling lives," said Truehart, whose [...]

Ask the Doctors: Dysphagia common in elderly

Source: journalstar.com Author: askthedoctors@mednet.ucla.edu Dear Doctor: Why do the elderly often have a hard time swallowing, and sometimes experience a feeling that food is stuck in their throats? I heard there's a procedure to stretch the throat. Does it help? Dear Reader: The condition you're asking about is known as dysphagia, which refers to difficulty in swallowing. Patients may have trouble starting a swallow, or problems with the esophagus, which is the muscular tube that connects the throat with the stomach. The origins of the disorder fall into several basic categories. There are neurological causes, such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia and head injury. Certain muscular conditions can affect the proper functioning of the esophagus. So does obstruction, which can result from a narrowing of the esophagus, or from inflammation. These can be caused by head and neck cancers, radiation therapy, tuberculosis and chronic acid reflux. Although dysphagia can affect people of all ages, you're correct that it's seen more often in older adults. This is commonly due to age-related changes in the body, such as loss of muscle tone, mass and strength, and changes to nerve function. Still, dysphagia is not considered to be a normal sign of aging. Understanding dysphagia starts with the mechanics of swallowing. We tend to think of it as the "gulp" that empties the mouth. But that's just the first step of a complex process. A successful swallow moves the contents of your mouth through the throat, and all the way down [...]

Study explores correlation between Medicaid expansion and disease stage and time to treatment initiation in head and neck cancer

Source: www.docwirenews.com Author: Kaitlyn D’Onofrio A new study examined the relationship between Medicaid expansions as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with stage at diagnosis and time to treatment initiation (TTI) for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients. “Medicaid expansions as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) are associated with decreases in the percentage of uninsured patients who have received a new diagnosis of cancer. Little is known about the association of Medicaid expansions with stage at diagnosis and time to treatment initiation (TTI) for patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC),” the study authors explained. The study authors performed a retrospective cohort study at Commission on Cancer-accredited facilities. A total of 90,789 HNSCC patients aged between 18 and 64 years who received a cancer diagnosis between Jan. 1, 2010, and Dec. 31, 2016, were identified using the National Cancer Database. The primary outcomes were health insurance coverage, stage at diagnosis, and TTI. The researchers figured out the absolute percentage change in health insurance coverage, crude and adjusted difference in differences (DD) in absolute percentage change in coverage, stage at diagnosis and TTI before (2010-2013) and after (2014-2016) the ACA took effect for Medicaid expansion and nonexpansion states. Of the 90,789 HNSCC patients (mean [SD] age, 54.7 [7.0] years) included in the analysis, the majority (n = 70,907, 78.1%) were male, and most (n = 72,911, 80.3%) were non-Hispanic white. More than half (n = 52,142, 57.4%) were aged between 55 [...]

How Marijuana Accelerates Growth of HPV-related Head and Neck Cancer Identified

University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers have identified the molecular mechanism activated by the presence of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — the ingredient that causes people to feel the euphoria or “high” associated with cannabis — in the bloodstream that accelerates cancer growth in patients with human papillomavirus (HPV)-positive head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. “HPV-related head and neck cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the United States. While at the same time, exposure to marijuana is accelerating. This is a huge public health problem,” said Joseph A. Califano III, MD, senior author and professor and vice chief of the Division of Otolaryngology in the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego School of Medicine. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma is the sixth most common cancer worldwide. These cancers begin in the cells that line the mucous membranes inside the mouth, nose and throat. Approximately 30 percent of cases of this disease are related to HPV infection, and it is these cases, in particular that are on the rise. Califano suggested increased marijuana use may be a driving factor. Previous studies have linked daily marijuana exposure to an increased prevalence of HPV-related throat cancer. However, a mechanism linking cannabis exposure to increased growth of the cancer was unknown. Reporting in the January 13, 2020 online edition of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, researchers outline how the presence of THC in the bloodstream activates the p38 MAPK pathway, which [...]

2020-01-16T15:44:42-07:00January, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

Healthy diet may avert nutritional problems in head, neck cancer patients

Source: medicalxpress.com Author: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign At least 90 percent of head and neck cancer patients develop symptoms that affect their ability or desire to eat, because of either the tumor itself or the surgery or radiation used to treat it. These problems, called nutrition impact symptoms, have wide-ranging negative effects on patients' physical and mental health and quality of life. However, patients who eat foods high in antioxidants and other micronutrients prior to diagnosis may reduce their risks of developing chronic nutrition impact symptoms up to one year after being diagnosed with head or neck cancer, according to a recent study led by researchers at the University of Illinois. The scientists analyzed the dietary patterns of 336 adults with newly diagnosed head and neck cancers and these patients' problems with eating, swallowing and inflammation of the digestive tract. This painful inflammatory condition, called mucositis, is a common side effect of radiation treatment and chemotherapy. The mitigating effects of a healthy diet were particularly significant in people who had never smoked and in patients who were underweight or normal weight at diagnosis, who often experience the greatest eating and digestive problems during treatment, said Sylvia L. Crowder, the paper's first author. Crowder is a research fellow in the Cancer Scholars for Translational and Applied Research program, a collaborative initiative of the U. of I. and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Illinois. "While previous work has established that the presence of nutrition impact symptoms is associated with decreased food [...]

Alcohol use high among cancer survivors

Source: www.medwirenews.com Author: Shreeya Nanda Over half of cancer survivors report being current drinkers, including about a fifth who appear to engage in excessive drinking behaviors, finds a US study. “Given that alcohol intake has implications for cancer prevention and is a potentially modifiable risk factor for cancer-specific outcomes, the high prevalence of alcohol use among cancer survivors highlights the need for public health strategies aimed at the reduction of alcohol consumption,” write the study authors in JNCCN—Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. They used data from 34,080 participants of the US National Health Interview Survey interviewed between 2000 and 2017 who reported a history of cancer. In all, 56.5% of the total cohort reported being current drinkers, including 34.9% who exceeded moderate drinking limits – defined as a daily intake of more than one drink for women and more than two drinks for men – and 21.0% who engaged in binge drinking, which was defined as at least five drinks per day on at least one occasion in the past year. Researcher Nina Sanford (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, USA) and colleagues caution that for the blood alcohol concentration to reach the threshold for binge drinking, drinks generally need to be consumed within 2 hours, but the survey did not collect information on the duration of alcohol intake and therefore participants who reported binge drinking may not have reached the biologic threshold. They also investigated factors linked to alcohol use, finding that younger age (18–34 years [...]

New cancer treatment delivers weeks of radiation therapy in a second

Source: New Atlas Date: January 9th, 2020 Author: Michel Irving Radiation therapy is currently our best shot at treating cancer, but it’s far from a perfect solution. It takes a course of weeks or even months, during which time healthy cells often become unfortunate collateral damage. But what if the whole course of treatment could be over in under a second? Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have now shown just how this might be feasible. With the right tools, cancer cells on their own aren’t all that difficult to kill. Radiation or drugs can be administered to kill them off relatively easily – the problem is tumors like to hide in crowds, and whatever weapons we fire at them also tend to hit healthy cells around them. Because radiation therapy takes weeks, there are more opportunities for those healthy cells to be affected, leading to all kinds of health problems even if the cancer is destroyed. That’s where FLASH radiotherapy comes in. This emerging form of treatment involves giving a patient in one second a similar amount of radiation as they would normally receive over weeks. Previous experiments have shown that the effect on the cancer itself is basically the same, but the collateral damage to healthy tissue is drastically reduced. For the new study, researchers at Pennsylvania University found that by changing the type of fundamental particle used, they could make FLASH radiotherapy far more effective. Normally, electrons are the particles of choice for this method, but they [...]

2020-01-10T10:50:29-07:00January, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

Cervical pre-cancer rates down 88% in decade since HPV vaccinations began – first findings

Source: The Conversation Date: April 19, 2019 Author: Kevin Polluck Cervical cancer is the third most common cancer among women in the UK under the age of 35 after breast and skin cancer. In the majority of cases, the cancer only develops if the patient is infected with human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 or 18. This virus is mainly transmitted between people having vaginal, anal or oral sex. At some point in their lives, four in five people will be infected by HPV strains – as many as 14 can cause cancer in total. According to recent studies, other cancers heavily linked to HPV infections include head-and-neck, vulvo-vaginal and anal. In an effort to reduce rates of cervical cancer, a number of countries launched immunisation programmes in the late 2000s, starting with Australia in 2006. The UK and its devolved governments launched a school immunisation programme in 2008 to vaccinate all girls aged 12-13. To speed up the time lag associated with achieving the benefits of vaccination, they also kicked off a three-year catch-up programme for girls aged up to 18 years. A decade on, we are finally able to publish the first results. The data relates to Scotland, since it was cervically screening women from the age of 20 until 2016 – before falling into line with the minimum age of 25 used in the rest of the UK. This meant that Scotland obtained screening data for the 2008-09 cohort before the change in screening age. Scotland also has [...]

2020-01-06T17:40:21-07:00January, 2020|Oral Cancer News|

Single dose of HPV vaccine may be as effective as three

Source: www.laboratoryequipment.com Author: Michelle Taylor, Editor-in-Chief More than a decade after the introduction of a vaccine that has been proven to stave off 90 percent of human papillomavirus-caused cancers, only half of U.S. adolescents have completed the 3-shot series. While part of that can be attributed to adolescents and adults who question the validity of the vaccine, the majority is due to unawareness of or forgetting the need for additional doses, lack of insurance and non-frequent contact with the medical system. But, a new study from researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, has revealed a single-dose regimen may be equally as effective as the current 2- to 3-dose system. “Ensuring boys and girls receive their first dose is a big challenge in several countries and a majority of adolescents are not able to complete the recommended series due to a lack of intensive infrastructure needed to administer two or three doses," said the paper’s senior author Ashish Deshmukh, assistant professor at UTHealth School of Public Health. "If ongoing clinical trials provide evidence regarding sustained benefits of a one-dose regimen, then implications of single-dose strategy could be substantial for reducing the burden of these cancers globally." Deshmukh’s study examined the difference in the prevalence of HPV infection in a total of 1620 women aged 18 to 26 of whom 1,004 were unvaccinated, 616 received at least 1 dose of HPV vaccine 106 received just 1 dose, 126 received 2 doses and 384 received 3 doses. Compared [...]

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