September 22, 2009 at 9:57 pm Comments (2)
According to U.S. researchers a virus that has been found to cause leukemia and tumors in animals may play a part in prostate cancer in humans. Xenotropic murin leukemia virus related virus (also known as XMRV) was found in about 27% of prostate cancer cases( 233 active cases and 101 benign controls were studied), especially those with particularly aggressive tumors. It’s hoped that these findings could help with the development of a new vaccine or more effective treatment method based on the link.
Viruses like HPV have been found to cause certain cancers in recent years, making it possible for drug makers to develop vaccines to inoculate against the virus and thus prevent cancer. If these findings prove to be true it could help vaccines and preventative medicines to reduce and in time perhaps eliminate some forms of cancer.
Prostate cancer kills 254,000 men a year and is the second most deadly form of cancer in men worldwide.
XMRV is a retrovirus which means that it introduces it’s genetic map into the framework of any cells it contaminates. This in turn either kills or makes the cell cancerous. If the way it infects the human body can be found and prevented some forms of prostate cancer could be averted.
September 3, 2009 at 4:28 pm Comments (2)
Gardasil, a vaccine intended to combat the human papilloma virus or HPV which was released in 2006, has been facing closer scrutiny of late. The four strains of HPV the vaccine protects against are linked to the development of cervical cancers and genital warts, all very serious concerns for young women but certain risks and side effects associated with the vaccine have put consumers on guard. Dizziness, headaches, fever and fainting have all been associated with the vaccine since it’s release but is it really as risky as consumers believe?
The reality is that no, there aren’t serious enough reasons to avoid getting the vaccine. In fact not getting it can be far riskier than any of the relatively mild side effects that have been reported by those who have taken it. HPV has been on the rise in the last few decades, raising the rates of cervical and throat cancers in the young along with them. Young women who avoid receiving the vaccine are at a very high risk of being one of these women who develops these serious forms of cancer, a major cause of death in younger people.
August 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm Comments (0)
New research has found at least 21 new carcinogens and toxins in smokeless tobacco. According to this research this means that a single pinch of the product equals just as much harmful exposure as five cigarettes, making the effects far worse for the snuff user. Smokeless tobacco use has been rising since the 80s, primarily from the common misperception that smokeless tobacco is less harmful than cigarettes because it is not inhaled. The reality is that there are at least twenty six cancer causing substances in smokeless tobacco and a very high risk of developing oral cancers as well. One of the new toxins found in smokeless tobacco is PAH, an environmental contaminate that comes from the wood burned in the fire curing process that makes the tobacco into a snuff. Smokeless tobacco use is rising again due to the production and advertising of products like Snuss which offer smokers an alternative to going outdoors or looking for a smoking area when they need nicotine.
August 27, 2009 at 3:59 pm Comments (0)
A rise in HPV which can cause throat cancer if contracted during oral sex may be responsible for rising rates of the cancer. The dramatic rise in the virus over the course of the last two decades led the American Association for Cancer Research to call a meeting to discuss new research into HPV and its link to throat cancer. While tumors tested twenty years ago had HPV levels of about 20% current samples have a much higher rate 60% which is the reason for concern. It’s believed that because of the changing beliefs on sexual practice and interaction HPV may have become a more serious problem, potentially causing higher risk for developing head and neck cancer, including esophageal cancer. While it was once a problem primarily found in older people who drank and smoked now these cancers are being found in younger people. Part of the rise of oral sex is believed to be linked to a belief that it is safe sex, the reality is that oral sex should require protection as much as penetration as it leaves those who practice it open to just as many diseases including AIDS as intercourse.
August 23, 2009 at 10:44 pm Comment (1)
Researchers have found a compound which destroys certain stem cells that are thought to cause recurrence in cancer after treatment. There is already a large collection of research which proves these stem cells play a part in rebuilding cancer after treatment is thought to have killed the initial tumor. The stronger tumors associated with these stem cells include those caused by cancers such as breast, lung and prostate cancers among others.
Studying these cells has been a problem however, because they don’t grow as well outside of the human body. Through a process called epithelial-to-mesynchymal transition researchers of this study were able to produce and test stem cells against thousands of chemical compounds that have been effective against breast cancer. Salinomycin, the compound in question, destroyed lab generated and naturally occurring cancer stem cells, reducing them by a 100 fold and breast tumor re-growth in the mice tested. More research will need to be done before the effects of the compound can be confirmed as effective for humans as they have been for the mice. It’s also hoped that the reason why the chemical is effective can be resolved during further study.
August 21, 2009 at 10:40 pm Comments (0)
While the drug has been recently connected to an increased survival rate in those with colorectal cancer its risks shouldn’t be any less regarded according to medical authorities. Side effects such as stroke hemorrhaging, gastrointestinal bleeding and bleeding in the brain are still considered serious side effects of the drug. Experts warn against beginning an aspirin regimen without first discussing it with your doctor. While there are benefits to using the drug the dangerous side effects should never be forgotten.
According the results of a study earlier this week patients suffering from colorectal cancer are nearly a third less likely to be killed by the condition and patients who began taking the drug shortly after being diagnosed cut the risk by almost half. While it had already been established that aspirin could reduce the occurrence of tumors in the colon, the effects of the drug on patients who already had the disease were unclear. It thought that aspirins anti-inflammatory qualities help reduce the ability of tumors to form in certain cancers.