Thursday, May 17, 2007



A number of researches over the years show that lung cancer is greatly linked with smoking this means that there is a close relationship between cancer and tobacco. Lung cancer deaths in the United States show that there is a drastic increase in lung cancer deaths with the increase of smoking and in recent there is a decrease in lung cancer deaths with the decrease in smoking. Similarly tobacco, diet, exercise, alcohol, tanning choices, and certain sexually transmitted diseases are the major risks for other types of cancer.


There is a correlation between cancer incidence with the lower levels of melatonin produced in the body when people spend more time in bright-light conditions. This effect is compounded in people who sleep fewer hours and in people who work at night, two groups that are known to have higher cancer rates.


Obesity increases the risk of cancer. Cancer is greatly linked with the eating habits, for example gastric cancer is more common in Japan and colon cancer is more common in the United States. Epidemiologists studying both diet and serum levels observed that high levels of beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, were associated with a protective effect, reducing the risk of cancer. Effect is strong in lung cancer. Tests found no benefit of beta-carotene supplementation in reducing lung cancer incidence and mortality.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Technology Helps Doctors Diagnose Skin Cancer

May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Researchers are working on a new technology to help doctors diagnose skin cancer without cutting into the skin.

A small changeable dark spot on your skin may not look like much, but only a doctor's trained eye can rule out skin cancer.

"Melanoma is a very serious and deadly cancer and way too common. And if caught early, can be cured with simple excisions," said Dr. Allan Halpern, a dermatologist.

Currently, suspicious moles are biopsied. The doctor takes a small tissue sample by cutting into the skin, which leaves a car. If melanoma is discovered, a second surgery makes a wider cut. At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, researchers are looking for a way to detect skin cancer more quickly and painlessly without scarring (Originally posted on WTVQ 36).

Environmental Factors in Breast Cancer

Researchers from Harvard University, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University of Southern California, along with the Silent Spring Institute, collected and assessed existing scientific reports of breast cancer and environmental pollutants, diet, body size, and physical activity. Also reviewed were animal studies that identify chemicals as potential mammary carcinogens. The study findings were released in the online version of the American Cancer Society's scientific journal, Cancer (From Associated Content).

The free, searchable database reveals that exposure to potential breast cancer-causing agents is widespread from chemicals used in consumer products, food, women's workplaces, and in air and water pollution. The database includes references to 900 studies of which 460 are human breast cancer studies. The researchers stressed that 29 of the potential cancer-causing carcinogens are found in massive amounts in the U.S., but little is known yet about their effects on human health.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Breast Cancer in Males


Most of the men thought that breast cancer only affects women and not men. They accept it as a truth that they are not at the risk of getting breast cancer. But this is not true; men are also at the risk of developing breast cancer. The main symptoms and signs of male breast cancer are given below.

Signs and symptoms

Breast lumps, swelling, dimpling around the breast area, nipple retraction, redness, scaling and nipple discharge are the main symptoms of breast cancer among males. The breast mass in men is much less than the women have, so in males breast cancer can easily affect the closer tissues than in females. That’s why these symptoms in males need not to ignore as these breast cancer in more dangerous in males than the females.

Risk factors

In the age of 60 men is more likely to develop breast cancer, so the main risk factor is advanced age. The other well-known risk factor is the family history. Liver disease can reduce the levels of androgen and can raise the levels of estrogen in males that make men more prone to the disease. Exposure to radiation can also develop breast cancer. Genetic mutations like Kleinfelters syndrome can also develop breast cancer in men.


Screening mammograms are simply x-rays of each breast. The breast is placed between two plates for a few seconds while the x-rays are taken. If something appears abnormal, or better views are needed, magnified views or specially angled films are taken during the mammogram. There are some experimental screening modalities that are currently being studied. These include MRI, ductal lavage, ultrasound, optical tomography, PET scan, and digital mammograms. Depending on the results of the mammograms and/or ultrasounds, your doctors may recommend that you get a biopsy.


There are a number of options available to men with regard to the treatment of breast cancer like surgery (modified mastectomy), radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy. The survival rates for the males with breast cancer are similar to that of females with breast cancer. So men should be made mentally prepared about the fact that breast cancer can also affect them. So males need to examine regularly for the breast cancer in advanced age.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Proliferation and programmed cell death are totally in balance to ensure the veracity of organs and tissues. But some times some type of mutations occur in the DNA of the cell, which results imbalance in proliferation and programmed cell death. This may cause uncontrolled and rapid division of cells, which lead to benign tumor initially but some times it may turn in to a malignant tumor and hence CANCER. The benign tumors do not attack and spread to other body organs or tissues but they are harmful only when their target is any vital organ of the body. While malignant tumors are life takers as they can spread and even attack other organs.

How a malignant tumor develops

Tumors act as the self-regulating target of natural selection. Mutated cells promote their own growth and proliferation. Mutations may cause rapid growth, ability to migrate and capacity to spout into blood vessels. If these mutant strains come to dominate the clone the tumor may progress towards a malignant status. Invasive and proliferation abilities of the normal cells are similar to that of cancer cells. But the regulatory mechanisms of normal cells are different from the cancer cells. Hence in the cancer cells mutations mainly affect the regulatory genes of the cells. Rapidly dividing cells provide an opening for cancer. Cancer cells even becomes resistance to the anti cancer pharmaceuticals. The more rapidly the cells divide, the more likely that a variant will amplify into a clone. That is why skin and blood cancers are more common than the bone cancer.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Statins May Fight Lung Cancer

Cholesterol-Lowering Drug May Have Added Benefit for Lung Cancer People taking statins to control their cholesterol levels may be getting an unexpected benefit for their lungs, new research suggests (From ABC News).

A study appearing in the latest issue of the journal Chest showed that patients who had taken statins for six months or longer cut their lung cancer risk by more than half.

In the study, a team of researchers led by Louisiana State University's Dr. Vikas Khurana looked back at the records of more than 400,000 patients in the Veterans Administration Hospital System, more than 160,000 of whom were taking statins at the time.

The research lends credence to previous animal and test tube studies suggesting that statins are capable of blocking the growth of cancer cells.

"Our study suggests that statins have a potential role in primary chemoprevention for lung cancer," the researchers write in their conclusion. "Due to the high prevalence of statin use and grave prognosis of lung cancer, even a modest reduction means a considerable effect on public health."

The numbers seem to agree. In 2005, lung cancer accounted for about 160,000 deaths in the United States. The researchers note that they hope future studies will help determine whether the drugs can one day be used to fight lung cancer in a clinical setting.

Dr. Tim Johnson, ABC News' medical editor, said on "Good Morning America" Tuesday that the findings, though preliminary, are intriguing. But he agreed that more research is needed to clarify the effects of statins on lung cancer and to iron out some potentially confusing trends.

"When they looked at people who had taken statins for less than six months, they seemed to have somewhat of an increased risk," Dr. Tim said. "So it is a complicated study and we now need a so-called gold-standard randomized trial."

How Acupuncture and Massage help after cancer surgery

A cancer patient feels a lot of pain (intolerable pain) and a lot of anxiety or worry after undergoing a cancer surgery.

According to a new study acupuncture and massage combination can ease depression and pain after cancer surgery. Acupuncture helps in decreasing the pain and also control the vomiting after the surgery. Massage aid to the anxiety of cancer patients. But there are still no evidences of combining the two therapies for the well being of the people who accompany a lot of pain and worry after undergoing cancer surgery. They are passing through the emotional and physical difficulties.

Two studies are done keeping in view the effects of acupuncture and massage in reliving the cancer patients from pain and anxiety after cancer surgery. One study is done on 138 patients who are provided with a standard post-operative care or standard care plus acupuncture and massage for 2 days after their cancer surgery. The second study is also done on 138 people. According to this study patients after cancer surgery are provided with standard post-operative care or standard care plus acupuncture and massage for 2 days. The studies find that there is a steeper decline in pain over 3 days and depression of the patients receiving therapies.

Overall, the study found, patients who received the therapies had a steeper decline in pain over 3 days, as well as fewer symptoms of depression. The findings are published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management.

"We can say that adding acupuncture and massage definitely helped," said lead study author Dr. Wolf E. Mehling, an assistant professor of family and community medicine at the University of California San Francisco.

So the patients receiving both acupuncture and massage in combination after cancer surgery got the benefit of lowering the pain and anxiety or we can say they got extra attention of the family members than the other patients.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Kidney Cancer and risk factors

Number 0f simple things like smoking, exposure of chemicals, overweight and inactive lifestyle, which we ignore in our daily life, can cause kidney cancer. High blood pressure, taking diuretics, race, gender and certain medications are some other risk factors, which lead to kidney cancer. The physician gets an idea to assess the symptoms through risk factors. The physician has to watch closely a patient who have higher amount of risk factors.

The risk factors give an idea about the disease before its occurrence so the risk factors help in preventing the disease from occurring. According to the risk factors one can avoid smoking and can increase the intake of vitamins. If a person avoid smoking then risk of kidney cancer reduced to 40%. Obesity is the main cause of adult and juvenile diabetes, which cause the need of dialysis or kidney failure. So through losing weight or through exercise you can reduce the risk of kidney cancer. But there are some genetic factors related to the kidney cancer, which are not avoidable.

So the thing what we have to consult our physician is about the risk factors. Prevention is better than cure so keeping this in mind one has to look for the risk factors and try to avoid them if not possible then need to go for treatment.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

What is Osteosarcoma?

Osteosarcoma is also called bone cancer. It is the most terrible disease all around the world. It mainly affects children because it develops from osteoblasts. It caused by the genetic factors. Genetic factors change immature bone cells into cancer cells. Around the knee joint and close to the shoulder are the main sites of osteosarcoma. Swelling just above or below knee joint/ upper arm/ near shoulder, painful & limited movements of joint, limping gait in case of leg swelling, signs of incontinence of bladder/ bowel in case of pelvic or spinal osteosarcoma and backache are the main symptoms of osteosarcoma.

Osteosarcoma is of 2 types 1. Central or lower grade Osteosarcoma. 2. Surface or high grade Osteosarcoma. Diagnosis of Osteosarcoma can be done through X-ray of bone- Lytic lesion with indistinct margins or ossification in the soft tissue with sunburst pattern. Reactive new bone formation is seen as a periosteal elevation, a sign named as a ‘Codman’s angle’, MRI of involved bone, CT chest, Bone scan, Tru-cut needle biopsy of tumor. Through all this a doctor can be able to examine osteosarcoma.

Osteosarcoma needs to treat at right time. Surgery is one option for its treatment. Surgical treatments for osteosarcoma consist of either amputation or limb-salvage surgery. Limb salvage surgery also preferred. For the metastatic disease in the lungs, surgery is done to do pulmonary metastatecomy. Chemotherapy is another option. Chemotherapy is given before or after surgery. Radiotherapy is the still another option for the treatment of osteosarcoma.