Categories Prostate Cancer

Emerging Treatments for Prostate Cancer

With cancer being such a big problem these days, it is no wonder that many researchers are submerged in their efforts to find a cure. Although many different types of cancers affect men and women, blacks and whites, children and elderly, one type is certain to affect only males: prostate cancer. In labs all over the world, scientists are developing news strategies for fighting prostate cancer. The test subjects of these experimental drugs and regimens are men with advanced stage prostate cancer. The reason for this is because that no other types of treatment have yet worked, thus giving great promise to the experimental treatments. Plus, because the cancer is so advanced, any change due to the new treatment will be more noticeable, giving researchers “the upper hand.”

Most of these new medications and treatment methods for prostate cancer are known as Targeted Therapies. Basically, these attack the individual cancer cells themselves, unlike chemotherapy and radiation, which can’t differentiate between cancer cells and healthy cells, thus leading to adverse side effects. Some of these new treatments can actually inhibit the cancer cells communication, preventing them from further growth and spreading. Although these types of treatments are in the early stages (the FDA has not approved them yet), they show great promise in controlling and possibly eradicating prostate cancer altogether.

Several different types of Targeted Therapies are in the process of being developed. One method involves altering the growth of cancer through its complex communications network by changing the fats and proteins that are used in this communication system. Although this method has proven mostly unsuccessful, the research involved has helped scientists understand Targeted Therapy more, giving them more knowledge when dealing with other drugs, especially the synergy of two drugs (the ways that drugs might interact to fight disease).

Another method of Targeted Therapy involves the interference of the spread of prostate cancer. When cancer cells divide and spread, new blood vessels must sprout from the old ones in order to keep the cancer cells healthy and growing. This process is called angiogenesis. If angiogenesis could be inhibited in some way, the new cancer cells would die, thus preventing the cancer from ever growing to a larger state. One drug has specifically come out for this purpose (Avastin), but the FDA approved it for colorectal cancer only. However, it is now being tested in patients with breast cancer, and even prostate cancer. Although this treatment doesn’t rid the patient of the cancer, it does add promise to being able to live with the cancer until a definitive cure comes out.

A final type of Targeted Therapy being worked on stems from the notion of harnessing one’s own immune system to fight off the disease. Most vaccine are called preventive vaccines, which introduce small amounts of a virus into the body so that later, if the body ever comes into contact with it, the body will be able to recognize it and fight it off. The problem with cancer is that it never was a foreign virus: it used to be healthy human tissue. Thus, scientists are now working on what are called therapeutic vaccines, which enable the immune system to recognize certain proteins that are specific to cancer cells, giving the body the opportunity to fight off the cancer.

Categories Blog

Silent Reflux Causes Esophageal Cancer

Do you have gastroesophageal reflux? Perhaps you feel a burning in your throat or a need to clear your throat. There are people who actually throw up because the contents that shoot from the stomach into your esophagus has a strong taste and it burns. Silent reflux causes esophageal cancer and there is no way for you to know if you have it or not without testing.

Acid reflux is an uncomfortable feeling and occurs when eating certain foods such as spaghetti sauce or spicey foods such as Mexican. Count yourself fortune if this description fits you because you will not have to worry about the deadly form of silent reflux.

For patients over 50, a routine test is ordered called a colonoscopy. However if you are under 50 it only means no routine testing will be ordered. It does not mean you are not at risk for developing silent reflux. Children are not immune from this diagnosis although it is rare in their age group.

Once routine testing shows esophageal cancer the treatment is palliative. Palliative treatment means buying the patient time to remain on this earth. There is no cure which makes this more devastating.

Surgery is the first procedure offered. Part of the stomach is fashioned to create a new esophagus. The remainder of the stomach remains high in the chest cavity. Nourishment is feeding through a tube until you are able to swallow. Meals are measured in teaspoons a few times a day. This is the same for a gastric bypass which in essence you have had. Ironically you are dying of silent reflux yet now you can feel the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Chemotherapy is the next form of treatment but not to cure, only to keep the disease from a fast progression. Chemotherapy takes a toll on the patient. For some it is hair loss, for others nausea and vomiting lasting for hours. Eventually it wears a person down with loss of weight and loss of energy. At some point a decision is made by the patient, to continue or to stop which is not an easy decision.

Silent reflux causes esophageal cancer that is deadly with no cure. By the time you are diagnosed there is no treatment to cure you. Routine tests are used to search for this condition but they are offered only when you are over the age group of 50. Perhaps this will change as the public becomes informed of this danger. Colonoscopy is the test that diagnoses this condition and needs to become a routine test to save lives of people who do not have to die.

Sources

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/esophageal
http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_1x_what_is_esophagus_cancer_12.asp

Categories Blog

Vegetables that Prevent and Fight Cancer

Recent studies have shown that there are many vegetables that are effective in fighting and preventing many different types of cancer. They should not be used in place of traditional treatment for those who have been diagnosed with cancer, but can be used as part of a cancer-fighting regimen. The benefit of fighting cancer with vegetables is that they are far less likely than traditional treatments such as chemotherapy to cause sickness and harm to other parts of the body.

Cauliflower, Broccoli, and Cabbage

This family of cruciferous vegetables, including but not limited to cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage, releases a chemical called Phenethyl-isothiocyanate when they are chewed. This chemical induces cancerous cells to turn against themselves, which can greatly reduce the size of cancerous tumors.

Hot Peppers

Although it can sometimes be difficult to stomach spicy foods when you are feeling sick, hot peppers have been shown to reduce the size of tumors in pancreatic cancer, a very aggressive and usually fatal form of cancer. The chemical in peppers that makes them spicy, capsaicin, is the element that caused cancer cells to kill themselves, leading to the conclusion that the spicier the pepper, the more effective it is. Maybe the cancer just can’t take the heat!

Ginger

One study found that simple powdered ginger was highly effective in killing cancer cells, not only through the typical method of cancer cells killing themselves, but also through a more unusual form of cancer cell self-cannibalization. This is especially good because cancers that are resistant to chemotherapy can be targeted through ginger.

Carrots

Carrots are one of the earlier vegetables to have been found to fight cancer. Studies have been a bit inconclusive on what exactly in them is effective, but they suggest that carotene (the element that makes them orange) has an effect, as does falcarinol, a natural pesticide found in carrots.

All Other Vegetables

As a cancer prevention tactic, eating a variety of vegetables is sure to increase the healthy functioning of your body by making sure it has all the vitamins and minerals it needs to fight off cancer and any other disease or illness! Generally, raw vegetables (in their crunchy form, or juiced from that crunchy form) are most effective, but if you can’t stand it raw, go ahead and cook them to get at least some benefit!

Sources
Vegetable Compounds Combat Cancer: Scientific American
Eat Carrots to Fight Cancer: News-Medical

Categories Other Cancers

Statistics on Ovarian Cancer

I was troubled to read that actor Pierce Brosnan’s 41 year old daughter Charlotte Harris, died from ovarian cancer. His first wife Cassie, Charlotte’s mother died 11 years ago, from the very same disease. Cassie Harris, was 43. How sad that Mr Brosnan had to re-live his pain, all over again.

A former co-worker of mine died from ovarian cancer. It seemed as if one day she was diagnosed, and within a few months she was gone. Radiation and chemotherapy did nothing except turn her skin black, cause her to vomit and lose her hair. The alleged cure, seemed to do more harm than the disease.

Cancer does not discriminate based on income. Pierce Brosnan no doubt had the funds to help his wife and daughter get any treatment necessary, yet they died, just like less fortunate individuals who were not able to afford treatment. Actress Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer. She probably had access to the best doctors, yet she too was a victim of this dreaded disease.

Statistics do bear out, that white women experience the highest rate of ovarian cancer, followed by Latinio’s, African Americans, Pacific Islander/Asians, and Alaska Native American Indian women.

Ovarian cancer symptoms, mimic other common, non life threatening, illnesses. This is why many women are not diagnosed, until it is too late. Symptoms may include frequent gas, bloating, pelvic pain, fullness and loss of appetite,or indigestion.

One woman dies from ovarian cancer every 12 days. 43% of those who are diagnosed, live at least 5 years. I have not heard that any other females in my co-worker’s family were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. And it is not known whether or not Charlotte Harris and her mother had the gene marker indicating they were at high risk for the disease.

Although billions of dollars have been raised for cancer research, very little of it goes towards ovarian cancer. There are preventative measures, which offer modest protection against ovarian cancer. They are hysterectomy, oral contraceptives, and tubal ligation. They are only recommended however, if there is an actual medical need.

Categories Other Cancers

Breast Cancer Misconceptions

Those working toward ending breast cancer have been plagued for years about the connection between abortions and miscarriages and breast cancer. Many have speculated that an induced abortion (or spontaneous abortion, as miscarriages are known as) have led to higher developments of breast cancer because of hormonal levels that lead to changes in the breasts (“Abortion, Miscarriage, and Breast Cancer Risk”). The National Cancer Institute consulted 100 experts on pregnancy and breast cancer and came to the definitive conclusion that there is no correlation between abortion and miscarriage and the risk of breast cancer (“Abortion, Miscarriage…”)

A more devastating myth is the notion that mammograms detect 100% of all breast cancers. In reality, mammograms falsely misdiagnose 35 to 70 out of 1,000 women as not having breast cancer when they do (“Mammography”). Human error is to account in most cases although there are still limitations in technology. However, it is important to realize that mammograms remain the only screening method available to find early onset breast cancer, so discounting them as unhelpful or unnecessary could lead many women to live with untreated cancer for an extended time. Mammograms should be utilized as cautionary tools. If a suspicious lump is visible and mammograms do not detect it, patients should request another mammogram or biopsy of the lump.

The road to requesting a mammogram often begins with monthly breast self-examination. Many look to this procedure as a fail-safe method toward determining if their lump is cancerous or not. A startling report has been released in recent months that highlight the ineffectiveness of self-exams. While many grassroots advocacy groups have persevered with their conviction that breast self examinations (BSE) are unhelpful and often stressful for women, it is only in recent months that groups such as the Canadian and American Cancer Societies have shied away from advocating BSE in their prevention tip brochures. Doctors and researchers reason that most lumps discovered from BSE’s are typically benign and cause undue worry and fear in patients. They maintain that the best screening method remains regularly scheduled yearly mammograms for women over 40.

While mammograms are known to dispense false prognosis in some cases, they still remain the best pre-diagnostic tool available. The American Cancer Society recommends that women 40 to 49 should have a screening performed every two years, and once a year for women age 50 and older (“Breast Cancer and Care”). More than 90% of breast cancers are detected from a mammogram (“Breast Cancer…”). A mammogram is an x-ray imaging of the breast, designed to detect suspicious lumps through low dose x-rays. While discovered some years earlier in Europe, the method was not used widely in the United States until the 1950’s. New developments in film imaging has reduced the amount of radiation needed to produce a picture and thus lessened the controversy surrounding the practice of mammography (“Mammography”).

Categories Other Cancers

Best Breast Cancer Products

Numerous companies provide consumers with products that sponsor breast cancer awareness. These breast cancer products fund numerous charities that raise money for research projects around the world. Donating to charity from proceed is an innovative idea because people help a cause without spending extra money and purchasing items that they use anyway. It alleviates the need to spend extra money to donate to different organizations. Many of these products display pink ribbon, so consumers know that they are purchasing breast cancer products.

Yoplait Yogurt

Many Yoplait Yogurt containers sport pink lids. The only thing yogurt lovers have to do is purchase this product at their local grocery store. For every pink lid, Yoplait donates 10 cents to breast cancer awareness causes around the country, this includes research and treatment centers. Their campaign has raised as much 1.5 million for breast cancer. In addition, Yoplait is the National Present Sponsor of Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.

People can work as teams or individuals to collect lids. On the Yoplait website, they provide starter kits and other incentives for lid collectors. The site also provides instructions on mailing lids.

Breast Cancer Crusade Tennis Bracelet

This tennis bracelet features rose crystals and pink ribbons on a silver chain. Consumers who purchase this breast cancer product donate 100 percent of the profits, which is $3.46, to the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, an organization that has raised more than $585 million since its establishment in 1992. This organization has raised breast cancer awareness and donated to research programs in more than 50 countries. In addition to this bracelet, Avon has more than 40 other breast cancer products.

Pink M & M’s

M & M’s gives consumers a sweet way to purchase products for breast cancer awareness. People who buy Promise Blend M & M Chocolate candies are, in essence, donating 7 to10 percent of their purchase to Komen for the Cure. This bag of M & Ms is a mixture of white and pink varieties of this chocolate-covered candy. People who buy this breast cancer product at their online store not only fund research; they can even get personalized messages inscribed on their M & Ms. The large bag costs about $11 and the smaller one costs about $4.

General Mills Products

General Mills launched their General Mills’ Pink Together program in 2007. During the month of October, General Mills will turn the boxed of some of its well-known brands pink in recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Komen for the Cure. Some of these products include Cheerios cereals, Progresso soups, and other well-known brands. General Mills has contributed more than $2 million in the past two years. In addition to the month of October, consumers can join their Pink Together program by visiting their page. They will find out about research, hear from breast cancer survivors and people who’ve lost loved ones, and learn about other donating opportunities.

KitchenAid

The purchase of products from the KitchenAid pink collection supports “Cook for the Cure.” This program, created in 2001, has raised more than $6 million for Komen for the Cure. Every time a customer uses KitchenAid breast cancer products to feed their loved ones, they know that they’ve supported breast cancer awareness and research. These products can be purchased at retail stores and on the KitchenAid website.

These breast cancer products appeal to consumers because they can support awareness while using items they would on a daily basis. They allow people to support this cause without having to give more money than they would normally pay for these products. Every time they eat one of these products or use them during the day, they know that they promote breast cancer awareness, even if not directly.

Categories Blog

Did Cancer Exist in Prehistoric Times?

Around 14,000 years ago, human survival strategies took a radical new direction, namely a shift from hunter-gatherer to agriculture. Life would never be the same.

The word “agriculture” does not make us wince, but it should because it came with a high price in terms of health, happiness, and well-being. On its heels came many new problems, stresses, and diseases that earlier people did not suffer.

New fossil evidence confirms that early farmers, unlike their hunter-gatherer ancestors, had reduced life span, higher infant mortality, a greater prevalence of degenerative disease, more bone and dental problems, reduced stature, and more nutritional deficiencies. As for cancer, it seems to have been largely non-existent prior to Neolithic times.

In his paper “Capitalism and Cancer,” Mikhail Sivashinskiy, the renowned Russian oncologist and cross-cultural epidemiologist, writes that “Modernity is cancer-prone,” but adds that the “toxins” of the modern age go far beyond physical ones. Just as important are the social, spiritual, and emotional aberrations that can erode the integrity of the immune system. Features of modernity that are especially corrosive in this regard are stress, frustration, repression of feelings, pretense, artificiality, inhibition of creativity, loss of control, decline of family and community support, and loss of existential grounding.

Diet is certainly another factor. It is estimated that our Paleolithic forerunners ate upwards of eighty different plants, herbs, and tubers in the course of their gathering, which was supplemented by small amounts of meat. Theirs was a largely vegetarian diet which means it is more accurate to refer to them as gatherer-hunters rather than hunter-gatherers. The switch from this diverse immune boosting diet to an agriculture-based one reduced drastically the richness and variety of our diet, and today’s woeful dietary habits continue to offer little cancer immunity.

Ultimately, the illusive cure for cancer may require us to gain a better understanding of the toxic indoctrinations that infect us in the modern age, along with the goals, aspirations, and lifestyles that they inspire.

Categories Other Cancers

Best Breast Cancer Charities to Donate To

If you are going to donate for breast cancer and need help in deciding which breast cancer charity to donate your money to, you may become a bit overwhelmed by all the information on the internet. This article will showcase the top five breast cancer charities to donate to.

One of my favorite breast cancer charities is the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. They have a pie chart on the website that shows clearly where every dollar they receive in donation goes to. 35% of the donations go to education and 33% goes to Research and awards. They also give a percentage to both treatment and to screening.

Another popular breast cancer charity is Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The founder, Evelyn Lauder is a breast cancer survivor and founded the Foundation 15 years ago to help fund research. They expected to give $345 million dollars in 2008 for breast cancer research. They give over 90% of the money you donate for breast cancer to research and awareness. The Breast Cancer Research Foundation is considered one of the best breast cancer charities for people to donate to.

Living Beyond Cancer was started in 1991 and is for breast cancer survivors during and after treatment. They use over 80% of all monies you donate for breast cancer to help people diagnosed with breast cancer, from diagnosis all the way through to recovery and survival.

The best breast cancer charity for awareness is National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. Started 17 years ago their mission is save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer by means of education and providing mammograms to those who can not afford to pay for them. They use over 80% of the money you donate for breast cancer to fund programs such as free mammograms, patient education and awareness campaigns as well as research.

One of the most up and coming breast cancer charities today is Breast Cancer Network of Strength. They are one of the best breast cancer charity for support. They recently joined with Bumblebee foods to start the program BeeWellMiles. You get to join up, log in any miles you walk each day and for every mile people log into their website they will donate a certain amount of money. Support is very important in the fight against breast cancer and the Breast Cancer Network of Strength is one of the best places to get this support. They would be a superb organization to donate not only your money but your time as well. All the breast cancer charities mentioned here are wonderful organizations that do a great amount of good, I sincerely hope you will consider them when you are thinking about donating to breast cancer charities.

Categories Prostate Cancer

Four Common Prostate Cancer Treatments

When it comes to men’s health, prostate cancer has risen to the top of the list of common ailments that strike all ages. There are various ways in which a man can reduce the risk of this cancer, but in most cases men of all age groups and race will have to either personally deal with this problem, or offer support to someone that they know that has it. Many different treatment options are available to men. Depending upon their current age and health, some may be more appropriate than others. The four most commonly used prostate cancer treatments used today are waiting, surgery, radiation, and hormone injections or pills.

High risk patients, such as men with current health issues, will benefit from watching and waiting. This is a prostate treatment that can be used if the tumor is not at a dangerous size, and if the cancer cells are not spreading. This treatment option eliminates the need for any other treatments in the hopes that the cancer will not gain any size, or maybe even be destroyed by the body. In some instances, this is the first line of defense for men as a prostate cancer treatment plan.

Hormone therapy treatments are also a common prostate treatment when men do not want to deal with the side effects of radiation and surgery, and they are not yet willing to accept the risks that go along with them. This treatment plan begins with receiving an injection, or pill, that helps reduce the amount of testosterone that is produced within the testicles. Since this chemical aids the growth of cancerous cells, the idea is to reduce the growth of the current tumor and to eliminate any growth that may have occurred on a regular basis.

Radiation therapy is the next prostate cancer treatment that can be taken. It can be either an internal or external procedure, and it is designed to kill the cancerous cells within the prostate. This treatment option prevents the need for risky prostate surgery procedures, and offers just as high of a success rate as surgery does.

The final prostate cancer treatment option that is available is surgery. The radical prostatectomy is the only treatment that can successfully prevent any recurrences from happening. If the surgeon removes all of the cancerous cells, as well as any surrounding tissues that have been affected, then the patient will basically be cured.

Categories Other Cancers

Methods to Cure Breast Cancer in That Are Less Radical Than Mastectomy

Words cannot explain how harrowing the experience of being diagnosed with breast cancer can be. Methods of treatment prevail all around us, but finding the right solution when the time comes becomes difficult. Also, treatment for breast cancer needs to be a continuous process. However, there are methods to treat breast cancer today using alternative techniques. These methods can be called as more humane and considerate to the woman who is already suffering from the affliction.

The most common treatment for breast cancer in women until a few years ago was mastectomy, i.e. surgical removal of the breast. Today, the treatment does not need to be so aggressive. There are methods in which just the lump and the nearby tissues can be removed from the breast in a method known as lumpectomy. But if the woman has a large tumor and not just a small lump in her breast, then she will need to first use some method like chemotherapy to lessen the size of the breast and then the lump removal operation can be conducted.

Some women opt to go for removal of just the portion of the breast that has been diagnosed with the cancerous growth. This saves her entire breast from being removed. However, some portion of the thoracic muscle will need to be removed along with the tissue and some of the tissue surrounding it. This process, known as partial mastectomy, is fortified with radiotherapy treatments.

If the doctor strongly recommends complete mastectomy, you could at least go for this method that saves the entire breast from being amputated. Here, portions of the breast such as the nipple, the fatty tissues, the lobules, the ducts and the skin of the breast are removed. Many women who have no other option go for this kind of mastectomy, which needs to be followed up with hormone supplementation or chemotherapy.

Of course, the best way out is to get diagnosed as early as you can because all cancers can be nipped in the bud if detected early. A simple breast examination can indicate the presence of cancer in it. To confirm it, methods such as sentinel lymph biopsies are conducted. This includes a diagnosis of the lymph nodes in the armpits. A diagnosis at this stage can stop the problem from aggravating in dimension. Diagnosing breast cancer in its benign stages ensures complete treatment in an easier manner, and your breasts will be safe. You can also consider speaking with your treatment provider for a second option if their recommended method is not quite agreeable to you.