Weekly and Monthly Newsletter

This is how belly fat could increase your cancer risk

A Michigan State University study offers new details showing that a certain protein released from fat in the body can cause a non-cancerous cell to turn into a cancerous one. The federally funded research also found that a lower layer of abdominal fat, when compared to fat just under the skin, is the more likely culprit, releasing even more of this protein and encouraging tumor growth.

Study: Nearly half of cancer patients can’t answer basic questions about their disease

“It has been well documented that patients with advanced cancer are more likely to choose aggressive end-of-life care when they have a poor understanding of their illness,” said the study, which was published recently in the American Society of Clinical Oncology. “This raises significant concerns regarding the informed consent process and our ability to provide care that truly aligns with patient preferences and goals of care.”

What NOT to Say to Someone Having Breast Reconstruction Surgery

There are many who believe breast reconstruction is simply a free cosmetic breast surgery. This could not be further from the truth. Breast Reconstruction is performed after a woman has undergone removal of her breast tissue for medical reasons. That’s a completely different scenario to women choosing to enhance the appearance of their existing, natural breasts. Furthermore, insurance is required to cover breast reconstruction, but this does not mean the surgery is free. Insurance policies come with ongoing costs to maintain, and also an assigned deductible and out of pocket amount that must be paid by the patient. In addition, many women must travel to find surgeons who are experienced in advanced breast reconstruction techniques like the DIEP flap.

The Vitamin That Targets And Kills Cancer Stem Cells

The study, published in the medical journal Oncotarget, found that vitamin C can actually seek out and destroy cancer stem cells, thereby preventing the spread of the disease. Vitamin C was found by researchers to be up to 10 times more effective at killing cancer stem cells than experimental drugs. That’s good news considering the toll that cancer is currently taking. Cancer is currently the second leading cause of death and killed almost 9 million people in 2015 alone.

Scientists Can Now Filter BPA Out Of Water 

With 15 billion pounds of BPA still being produced annually, water cleanup is a big issue to tackle. Luckily, scientists have discovered a way. Terrence J. Collins, chemist at Carnegie Mellon University, has developed a process that removes over 99 percent of BPA from water. What’s better is that it is both quick and cheap, with the potential to be applied to large-scale to industrial waste and landfill runoff so as to scrub out the BPA before the contaminated water reenters the environment. This process is desperately needed on a global scale to reduce environmental contamination. And who knows, maybe it could one day be used on a smaller scale to clean contaminated drinking water in your home?

Unrecognized Effect of Chemotherapy Uncovered

A new study conducted primarily in mice suggests that chemotherapy given before surgery for breast cancer can cause changes in cells in and around the tumor that are tied to an increased risk of the cancer spreading to other areas of the body. However, the study also identifies an experimental therapy that could potentially reduce this risk.

Chemo Will Try to Kill Your Sex Life

Unfortunately, the majority of people who are diagnosed with cancer report some change in sexual function, because of either cancer or cancer treatment,” says Sharon Bober, founder and director of the Sexual Health Program for Cancer Patients and Survivors at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Bober explains that treatment’s impact on sexuality and sexual function is broad; the side effects are myriad.

Cancer Doctor Studies ‘Financial Toxicity’ To Help Patients Struggling With Debt

Ten years ago, Fumiko Chino was the art director at a television production company in Houston, engaged to be married to a young Ph.D. candidate. Today, she’s a radiation oncologist at Duke University, studying the effects of financial strain on cancer patients. And she’s a widow. How she got from there to here is a story about how health care and money are intertwined in ways that doctors and patients don’t like to talk about. Chino is co-author of a research letter, published in JAMA Oncology, that shows that some cancer patients, even with insurance, spend about a third of their household income on out-of-pocket health care costs outside of insurance premiums.

Understanding The Myths About Breast Cancer 

While I have learned so much along the way about all of the myths connected to breast cancer, I do think that we must always put things into proper perspectives. Until such times as the scientific community is able to figure out how and why we get cancer, perhaps we should focus on dealing with our own individual treatment and healing. While we are given certain guidelines to hopefully improve our chances of not getting cancer, we all know people who have religiously lived by those guidelines and still got cancer. Therefore, since we can’t change the past, we do ourselves a major favor if we choose to focus on our present and the future.

Before Buying a Water Filter, Read This

The findings of the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) Tap Water Database may be shocking to many Americans, as they show that the drinking water supplies of nearly everyone in the nation are tainted with chemicals at levels exceeding at least one health-protective guideline. If you’re concerned about what’s in your water, buying a water filter is a smart next step. In conjunction with the database, EWG has released an updated Water Filter Buying Guide.

Why Mammography Screening is being Abolished in Switzerland 

Last year, the Swiss Medical Board, an independent health technology assessment initiative, was asked to prepare a review of mammography screening. The team of experts on the board included a medical ethicist, a clinical epidemiologist, a pharmacologist, an oncologic surgeon, a nurse scientist, a lawyer, and a health economist. After a year of reviewing the available evidence and its implications, they noted they became “increasingly concerned” about what they were finding. The “evidence” simply did not back up the global consensus of other experts in the field suggesting that mammograms were safe and capable of saving lives. On the contrary, mammography appeared to be preventing only one death for every 1,000 women screened, while causing harm to many more. Their thorough review left them no choice but to recommend that no new systematic mammography screening programs be introduced, and that a time limit should be placed on existing programs. In their report, the Swiss Medical Board also advised that the quality of mammography screening should be evaluated and women should be informed, in a “clear and balanced” way, about the benefits and harms of screening. The report caused an uproar among the Swiss medical community, but it echoes growing sentiments around the globe that mammography for breast cancer screening in asymptomatic populations no longer makes sense.

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