Posts tagged ‘chemotherapy’
by Anthony Gucciardi
August 7th, 2012 | Updated 11/02/2012 at 12:48 am
A team of researchers looking into why cancer cells are so resilient accidentally stumbled upon a far more important discovery. While conducting their research, the team discovered that chemotherapy actually heavily damages healthy cells and subsequently triggers them to release a protein that sustains and fuels tumor growth. Beyond that, it even makes the tumor highly resistant to future treatment.
Reporting their findings in the journal Nature Medicine, the scientists report that the findings were ‘completely unexpected’. Finding evidence of significant DNA damage when examining the effects of chemotherapy on tissue derived from men with prostate cancer, the writings are a big slap in the face to mainstream medical organizations who have been pushing chemotherapy as the only option to cancer patients for years.
COURTESY RUSS HARRINGTON
The country starlet buzzed off her blonde locks on Tuesday in support of her best friend, Summer Holt Miller, 36, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in June and is starting chemotherapy treatments on Thursday.
“Cancer does not discriminate,” Pickler said in a release. Added Miller, “If this compels even one person to change their mentality toward waiting until the age of 40 for their mammogram, then it will be worth it.”
Miller — who has a family history of breast cancer — has always been vigilant about self-exams, and asked her doctor for a mammogram when she felt something might be wrong. After doctors did find a tumor, the mother of two underwent a double mastectomy, and was declared cancer-free in August (her chemotherapy treatments will help ensure the cancer doesn’t come back).
Pickler called Tuesday a “life-changing day,” and Miller made the reasons for shaving her head clear on her Caring Bridge website. “I was told that it was mentally much easier to do it this way than to wake up with my hair on my pillow,” she wrote. “I’m really not that apprehensive about shaving my head. It is hair and it will grow back.” Catch a behind-the-scenes clip of the women shaving their heads on Tuesday here. What do you think of Pickler’s move? And leave your well-wishes for Miller in the comments below!
Posted by Robyn O’Brien
In 2012, about 577,190 Americans are expected to die of cancer, more than 1,500 people a day
Written in memory of Jarren Donatini, who lost his brave battle with cancer at the age of 4 1/2.
Cancer accounts for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths in our country. Every school day 46 kids are diagnosed with pediatric cancer.
Scientific evidence suggests that about one-third of the 577,190 cancer deaths expected to occur in 2012 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition. In other words, 1 in 3 of the cancers affecting about a quarter of us could be prevented.
Why aren’t we talking about this the way we are talking about obesity?
Obesity is the playing field we are currently on. If you’ve put on too many pounds, “Don’t buy that extra soda…cheeseburger…bag of chips” we are told. Personal accountability becomes the talking point, and the blame can be shifted from the provider (the food industry) to the user, we the eaters.
But that’s like telling a drug addict to walk past a dealer every day of the week and abstain. Food is everywhere in our culture, available 24/7, and promoted with a marketing budget that rivals the FDA’s budget itself. And as much as we don’t want to talk about diet-related disease (it hurts to go there), it’s time that we talked about cancer and food.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 5% of all cancers are strongly hereditary. However, most cancers do not result from inherited genes but from damage to genes occurring during one’s lifetime.
Genetic damage may result from internal factors, such as hormones or the metabolism of nutrients within cells, or external factors, such as tobacco or chemicals. 41% of Americans are expected to get cancer in their lifetime, and the average age of cancer diagnosis in children is ten.
So what does food have to do with it? Scientific evidence is mounting and so are the questions. Doctors are MD Anderson have called it “The Doorknob Syndrome” – a patient, newly diagnosed, is advised in office of the radiation and chemotherapy procedures, and as he or she turns to go, with their hand on the doorknob, turns to the oncologist and asks: “Is there anything that I could be doing with my diet?”
It’s an important question, and one that the doctors want to “upstream” as they say. In other words, they want to help educate patients about diet-related choices before they reach the oncology offices.
Does eating food that has been genetically mutated cause mutation of our cells? No long-term studies have been conducted. Do the chemicals sprayed on these foods contribute to the damage? Ethical concerns around feeding trials that breech medical ethics tend to stop that research from being conducted. In other words, with no human trials, no pediatric trials and no prenatal trials, we are the human trial.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that the overall costs of cancer in 2007 were $226.8 billion. That number is almost too big to fathom. If you were to count one billion with seconds (not 226.8 billion, but just one billion), it would take you 31.7 years of continuous counting. To get to two billion, would take 63.4 years, to get to three billion…well, you get the picture. With $103.8 billion for direct medical costs (total of all health expenditures) and $123.0 billion for indirect mortality costs (cost of lost productivity due to premature death), we have to address this growing tumor on our economy.
Oncology researchers suggest, “The toxicity of chemotherapy and other drug treatments for cancer has extended beyond side effects such as nausea and nerve pain. It has now extended to a patient’s ability to pay the mortgage and buy groceries while undergoing care, said the author of a study looking at the financial impact of cancer treatment.” A study conducted by researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that as cancer patients’ survival time increases, so do the chances they will declare bankruptcy.
According to Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Professor and Director at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, “This is the first generation predicted to live fewer years than their parents. The incentives are all wrong. In medicine, we’re financially rewarded for treating the sick, but not for helping people get or stay healthy.”
Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children between infancy and age 15.Every school day 46 kids are diagnosed with pediatric cancer. Among the major types of childhood cancers, leukemias (blood cell cancers) and brain and other central nervous system (CNS) tumors account for more than half of new cases.
White children are more likely than children from any other racial or ethnic group to develop cancer.
And September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. We didn’t have one of these when we were kids.
But the landscape of children’s health has changed. And so has the landscape of food. According to Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, Professor and Director at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, “the recommendation from the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the American Institute for Cancer Research is an emphasis on a plant-based diet and reduce processed meat and red meat for cancer prevention and the same recommendations for cancer survivors. The new guidelines from the USDA also recommend a reduction in protein from animal sources.” And while MD Anderson is talking about this, are pediatricians?
They didn’t have to when we were kids. We didn’t have a month designated to childhood cancers.
And our kids shouldn’t have one either.
Having held onto the moms who have lost their little ones and looked into the eyes of dads that have cradled a coffin, the heartache is immeasurable.
So while none of us can do everything, all of us can do something. And following the advice of MD Anderson, the USDA and other organizations, just might be a start. Here are a few of their tips:
- Eat less red meat and more veggies
- Eat less salt and more spices
- Drink less sugar and more water
Diet is not one size fits all, and cancer isn’t either, but if we can arm ourselves with knowledge and learn how to Eat to Beat cancer, we can work together to protect not only the health of our kids, but also the health of our country.
- Anti Cancer Lifestyle
- Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life
- American Cancer Society: Cancer: Facts and Figures
- MD Anderson: Federal Government Embraces an Anti-Cancer Diet
AFP Relax News – Mon, Aug 6, 2012
Cancer-busting chemotherapy can cause damage to healthy cells which triggers them to secrete a protein that sustains tumour growth and resistance to further treatment, a study said Sunday.
Researchers in the United States made the “completely unexpected” finding while seeking to explain why cancer cells are so resilient inside the human body when they are easy to kill in the lab.
They tested the effects of a type of chemotherapy on tissue collected from men with prostate cancer, and found “evidence of DNA damage” in healthy cells after treatment, the scientists wrote in Nature Medicine.
Chemotherapy works by inhibiting reproduction of fast-dividing cells such as those found in tumours.
The scientists found that healthy cells damaged by chemotherapy secreted more of a protein called WNT16B which boosts cancer cell survival.
“The increase in WNT16B was completely unexpected,” study co-author Peter Nelson of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle told AFP.
The protein was taken up by tumour cells neighbouring the damaged cells.
“WNT16B, when secreted, would interact with nearby tumour cells and cause them to grow, invade, and importantly, resist subsequent therapy,” said Nelson.
In cancer treatment, tumours often respond well initially, followed by rapid regrowth and then resistance to further chemotherapy.
Rates of tumour cell reproduction have been shown to accelerate between treatments.
“Our results indicate that damage responses in benign cells… may directly contribute to enhanced tumour growth kinetics,” wrote the team.
The researchers said they confirmed their findings with breast and ovarian cancer tumours.
The result paves the way for research into new, improved treatment, said Nelson.
“For example, an antibody to WNT16B, given with chemotherapy, may improve responses (kill more tumour cells),” he said in an email exchange.
“Alternatively, it may be possible to use smaller, less toxic doses of therapy.”
“Most cancer patients in this country die of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy does not eliminate breast, colon, or lung cancers. This fact has been documented for over a decade, yet doctors still use chemotherapy for these tumors.” – Allen Levin, MD UCSF The Healing of Cancer