A shift in focus for head and neck cancer treatment

Source: www.curetoday.com Author: Marijke Vroomen Durning, RN When Cindy Stemple of Westerville, Ohio, noticed a sore on her tongue, the last thing she imagined was that she may have head and neck cancer. After all, she was only 27 years old. She finally went to see her dentist when the sore wouldn’t heal. Since Stemple didn’t have any known risk factors for head and neck cancer, the dentist didn’t expect cancer either. After trying several treatments, they decided it was time for a biopsy. Stemple still wasn’t concerned. “It wasn’t even in the realm of possible things,” she says. “I didn’t even take anybody to the appointment when I got the results and found out it was cancer because it was the furthest thing from my mind.” She received a diagnosis of stage 3 oral squamous cell carcinoma — which is a cancer that occurs in the mouth and/or throat. Tremendous Change in Head and Neck Cancer Historically, head and neck cancer, the seventh most common cancer globally, was predominantly diagnosed in older individuals and was often linked to tobacco and alcohol use. As smoking rates began to decline, so did tobacco- and alcohol-related cases among older individuals. But head and neck cancer rates began rising in another group — younger and middle-aged adults — driven by HPV infections, predominantly HPV type 16, which has been shown to be a clear risk factor for head and neck cancer as well as cervical cancer. HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancers in the United States [...]

2022-09-21T06:29:44-07:00September, 2022|Oral Cancer News|

Canada poised to become 1st country to add warnings on individual cigarettes

Source: globalnews.ca Author: Nicole Thompson, The Canadian Press Canada is poised to become the first country in the world to require that a warning be printed on every cigarette. The move builds on Canada’s mandate to include graphic photo warnings on tobacco products’ packaging – a groundbreaking policy that started an international trend when it was introduced two decades ago. “We need to address the concern that these messages may have lost their novelty, and to an extent we worry that they may have lost their impact as well,” Addictions Minister Carolyn Bennett said at a news conference Friday. “Adding health warnings on individual tobacco products will help ensure that these essential messages reach people, including the youth who often access cigarettes one at a time in social situations, sidestepping the information printed on a package.” A consultation period for the proposed change is set to begin Saturday, and the government anticipates the changes coming into force in the latter half of 2023. While the exact messaging printed on cigarettes could change, Bennett said the current proposal is: “Poison in every puff.” Bennett also revealed expanded warnings for cigarette packages that include a longer list of smoking’s health effects, including stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, diabetes, and peripheral vascular disease. Canada has required the photo warnings since the turn of the millennium, but the images haven’t been updated in a decade. Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst with the Canadian Cancer Society, said he hopes the warnings printed directly on cigarettes become [...]

Smoking behaviors often continued after treatment for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma

Source: www.oncologynurseadvisor.com Author: Vicki Moore, PhD Many patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) who were daily smokers at the time of diagnosis continued smoking following treatment, according to study results reported in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. The study was a prospective cohort analysis of patients treated at an academic tertiary care center from January 2009 through December 2017. Eligible patients had received a new diagnosis of HNSCC and were daily smokers at the time of diagnosis, with a habit of 5 cigarettes smoked per day for 5 or more years. The researchers performing the study collected demographic and clinical data for these patients, as well as data from patient reports of smoking-related behaviors. Those included in the study had 24 months of post-treatment follow-up data. A total of 89 smokers with HNSCC had completed follow-up and were included in the analysis. They had a mean age at enrollment of 60.1 years. Multiple racial and ethnic groups were represented in the study population. Approximately half of the patients had been treated with surgery (50.6%), while others received chemoradiotherapy (49.4%). The oropharynx was the primary tumor site in 39.3% of patients, compared with the larynx in 23.6% and the oral cavity in 22.5%. Patients had a mean smoking habit of 14.7±10.0 cigarettes smoked per day and a mean duration of 23.1±18.6 years of tobacco use. At 6 months after treatment, 58.4% of the patients continued smoking. The percentage of patients still smoking at 12 months was 52.8%, at [...]

Alcohol should have cancer warning labels, say doctors and researchers pushing to raise awareness of risk

Source: www.cbc.ca Author: Ioanna Roumeliotis & Brenda Witmer · CBC News It's not a secret, but it may as well be. Few Canadians know the truth, and few may want to hear it: alcohol, any amount of alcohol, can cause cancer. There is no safe amount, and the calls to inform Canadians are growing. "Even drinking one drink a day increases your risk of some cancers — including, if you're a woman, breast cancer — but also cancers of the digestive system, the mouth, stomach," said Tim Stockwell, a senior scientist with the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research at the University of Victoria. "The risk increases with every drink you take." Alcohol has been classified as a Group 1 carcinogen (carcinogenic to humans) for decades by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). It's right up there with tobacco and asbestos. Alcohol is also a top cause of preventable cancer after smoking and obesity. But the vast majority of Canadians have no idea of the risk. Stockwell wants to change that, and he and other health experts are advocating for cancer warning labels on alcohol containers. People need to know, he says, that though there are other genetic and lifestyle factors that contribute to developing cancer, every drink comes with a risk. "The risk from alcohol, it's a dose response. The bigger and more frequent the dose, the higher your risk." Kathy Andrews had no idea that the wine she enjoyed most nights before she got pregnant was [...]

The ‘big three’ causes of mouth cancer

Source: www.hippocraticpost.com Author: staff By knowing the causes of mouth cancer, we can take positive steps to reduce our own level of risk, says a leading health charity. The Oral Health Foundation is raising awareness about the causes of mouth cancer, following new research that shows far too many people remain unaware of the main risk factors. The number of people diagnosed with mouth cancer in the UK has doubled in the last 20 years, with tobacco, drinking alcohol to excess and the human papillomavirus, being the considered the most common causes. However, new data shows that awareness into the three big risk factors is as low as 15%. With more than half of all mouth cancer cases linked to lifestyle factors, the charity along with Denplan, part of Simplyhealth, are using November’s Mouth Cancer Action Month to shed light on the biggest risks factors associated with the disease. Tobacco Smoking tobacco increases your risk of developing mouth cancer by up to ten times. This includes smoking cigarettes, pipes or cigars. Around two-in-three mouth cancers are linked to smoking. Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation says: “Despite the number of smokers continuing to fall, it remains the leading cause of mouth cancer. Our focus must be on providing smokers with the support and information they need in order to kick tobacco for good. It’s never too late to quit and by making this positive step, the health of your mouth and body will see both instant [...]

2021-12-22T13:06:29-07:00December, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Detecting suspicious lesions: what do I say next?

Source: dentistry.co.uk Author: Philip Lewis Dental team members are amazing. They put patients at their ease and provide treatment for their dental issues. They improve smiles, boost self-confidence and they save lives. Yes, you read that right. There aren’t many opportunities for dental team members to be lifesavers. Detecting mouth cancer at an early stage is one of them. It’s an initiative for the whole dental team. Both clinical and non-clinical team members have a vital part to play. From a receptionist noticing changes in a patient’s voice, a practice manager spotting a swelling they haven’t seen before to a clinician picking up on a soft-tissue abnormality, we all get the chance to be pivotal in protecting a patient’s wellbeing. Risk factors We know there are risk factors we should be aware of: the use of tobacco in any form, regular use of alcohol, especially spirits, social deprivation with its associated problems of nutrition and vitamin deficiency. It is understood that increasing age is a factor and that men are more likely than women to get the disease. We appreciate the significant effects of infection that certain strains of HPV have had recently but realise how important it is to examine all adults. Many sufferers have no identifiable risk factors. During the clinical examination, we’ll be looking for anything unusual, including: Red, white or mixed patches Ulcers that don’t heal within a maximum of three weeks Swellings Changes to normal appearance or texture and lumps in the face or neck [...]

2021-11-19T07:02:03-07:00November, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Two new studies show how to enhance effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy

Source: www.news-medical.net Author: Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc. Two new studies revealed that anti-PD-1 immunotherapy given before surgery was safe and effective for patients with oral-cavity squamous cell carcinoma (OCSCC) and identified potential molecular biomarkers in the blood and tumors of patients that would show how likely it is that someone would respond to immunotherapy. The studies, recently published in Cell Reports Medicine, were a collaborative effort between MUSC Hollings Cancer Center, UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. Due to the highly invasive and resistant nature of OCSCC, researchers looked to anti-PD-1 immune checkpoint inhibitors to improve outcomes as this type of immunotherapy has revolutionized the way patients with advanced malignancies are treated. OCSCC, a subset of head and neck cancer, is prevalent in South Carolina due to the history of tobacco use. These cancers oftentimes require complicated surgeries that may be disfiguring, as treatment may involve removing all or a portion of the jawbone and tongue. David Neskey, M.D., a Hollings head and neck cancer specialist and co-senior author of the studies, said 50% of these patients will have a recurrence, and only 60% of patients are alive five years later. "This cancer can impact a patient's ability to talk and breathe," Neskey said. "It can impact a patient's ability to go out to a restaurant or socialize with friends and family. It's one of the reasons so many head and neck cancer doctors are seeking ways to improve outcomes for these patients." [...]

Study: HPV vaccination will reduce throat and mouth cancers, but overall impact will take 25-plus years to see

Source: www.newswise.com Author: Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Vaccinations against human papillomavirus (HPV), a major cause of throat and back of mouth cancers, are expected to yield significant reductions in the rates of these cancers in the U.S., but will not do so until after 2045, according to a new modeling study from researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infectious virus worldwide. HPV infections are often silent, and while most infections clear, some are chronic and can trigger cancers including mouth and throat (oropharyngeal), and cervical cancer because they disrupt DNA and inhibit tumor-suppressor proteins in the cells they infect. Although there is no cure for existing HPV infections, new infections are preventable with vaccines, the first of which entered use in the U.S. in 2006. In the new study, the Bloomberg School researchers analyzed national databases on oropharyngeal cancer cases and HPV vaccinations, and projected the impact of HPV vaccination on the rates of these cancers in different age groups. They estimated that the oropharyngeal cancer rate would nearly halve between 2018 and 2045 among people ages 36–45. However, they also projected that the rate in the overall population would stay about the same from 2018-2045, due to still-rising rates of these cancers in older people, where most of these cancers occur. The study appears online September 2 in JAMA Oncology. “We estimate that most of the oropharyngeal cancers from 2018 to 2045 will occur among [...]

2021-09-03T12:26:37-07:00September, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Shades of Big Tobacco: How (and why) Juul bought an entire issue of a scientific journal

Source: Salon Date: July 20th, 2021 Author: Jon Skolnik   Facing the imminent threat of corporate death, the embattled e-cigarette maker Juul is pulling out all the stops in its fight to convince the Food and Drug Administration that its vaping products are more beneficial than harmful. If that sounds like a stretch, it probably is. Last month, Juul settled a $40 million lawsuit that accused the company of luring in teens to use its flavored vape products, allowing Juul to avoid the potential PR nightmare of a widely covered jury trial. Juul has also spent tens of millions in federal lobbying efforts over the past several years, presumably in an effort to block comprehensive regulations on the sale of e-cigarettes. But the most bizarre Juul news came two weeks ago, when the New York Times reported that the company had funded an entire issue of a scientific journal, in which every article presented evidence that vaping is a beneficial harm-reduction practice that can wean smokers off tobacco cigarettes. Last month, the American Journal of Health and Behavior (AJHB), a 44-year-old academic journal that has published many nationally recognized scholars, released a special edition specifically devoted to the question of whether e-cigarettes are harmful or helpful. The 219-page issue is unusual not just by virtue of its niche subject matter — e-cigarettes are a relatively new phenomenon in the field of health behavior — but also because its publication was bankrolled entirely by one source: Juul Labs. This fraught episode comes at an exceptionally tumultuous time for the vape maker. In early 2019, Juul, a company founded just four [...]

2021-07-20T13:15:56-07:00July, 2021|Oral Cancer News|

Study: Secondhand smoke exposure significantly increases risk of developing mouth cancer

Source: www.studyfinds.org Author: Stephen Beech, SWNS writer When most people think about the dangers of smoking, they probably consider the risks of cancer for the smoker. Although it’s common knowledge secondhand smoke is also dangerous, a new study is revealing just how devastating that exposure can be. Researchers say exposure to secondhand smoke can increase the risk of oral cancer by a staggering 51 percent. Oral cancer, or cancers of the mouth, include those affecting the lip, oral cavity, and throat. These cancers account for almost 450,000 new disease cases and more than 228,000 deaths every year globally. Scientists say that significant risk factors for these forms of cancer include tobacco smoking and use of smokeless tobacco products. Drinking alcohol can also increase the risk of oral cancer. Tobacco smoke represents the largest amount of human exposure to chemical carcinogens and causes a fifth of cancer-related deaths worldwide. However, active smokers are not the only people who suffer from these chemicals. Researchers examining data from 192 countries find 33 percent of male non-smokers, 35 percent of female non-smokers, and 40 percent of children have experienced exposure to involuntary smoking through inhaling secondhand tobacco smoke. Previous research also shows that inhaling secondhand smoke can cause several other diseases, including lung cancer. Although tobacco smoking can cause oral cancer, there is less evidence proving whether or not secondhand smoke also leads to the disease. Long-term smoke exposure doubles cancer risks A team from Britain, Portugal, Spain, and the United States evaluated the [...]

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