Monday, March 24, 2008

How to Prevent Mouth Cancer

How to Prevent Mouth Cancer By eHow Health Editor

Cancer of the mouth, or oral cancer, refers to cancer that occurs in the tissues of the mouth that include the tongue, lips, gums and cheeks. Mouth cancer is one of the most serious cancers, but is also one of the most preventable. With only a few known major risk factors, oral cancer is one of the rare cancers that people can avoid by making good choices about diet and the use of tobacco and alcohol.

Know the Risk Factors for Mouth Cancer

Step 1:

Recognize that the use of tobacco is by far the greatest risk factor for oral cancer. Do not use chewing tobacco, cigarettes, cigars or pipes if you want to prevent mouth cancer.

Step 2:

Do not put yourself at risk for mouth cancer by consuming large amounts of alcohol. Drinking large quantities of alcoholic beverages is associated with increased risk for mouth cancer.

Step 3:

Know that age and gender can also be correlated with the risk of developing oral cancer. The risk of getting cancer of the mouth increases in people over the age of 45, and the cancer occurs more commonly in men than in women.

Step 4:

Be aware that exposure to the sun can be a risk factor when it comes to contracting cancers on the lips.

Take Other Measures to Prevent Mouth Cancer

Step 1:

Use lip balms with UV protection to lower your risk. In addition to avoiding the major risks associated with tobacco and alcohol use, protect yourself by using sunscreen on and around your lips.

Step 2:

Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and avoid eating foods high in fats and sugars.

Step 3:

Have your doctor and dentist check for signs and symptoms of mouth cancer during regular checkups and physicals, especially after the age of 45

Tips & Warnings
  • If you believe that you might be at risk for oral cancer or think you may have symptoms of mouth cancer, you should see a physician.
  • Ask your physician about self examination procedures to recognize symptoms of oral cancer.
  • Remember that as a patient, you have the right to be informed of all your treatment options and be a decision maker in the treatment

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunlight and Skin Cancer

Sunlight and Skin Cancer by Michael Russell

Sun "light" is actually a form of electromagnetic radiation. There are three types of electromagnetic radiation that are emitted by the sun that make it through the atmosphere and reach us; ultraviolet radiation, visible light and infrared radiation.

It is the ultraviolet radiation that makes us feel warm when we are out in the sun but it is also the form of sun's radiation that is believed to cause skin cancer. On the scale of electromagnetic waves, visible light is only a very narrow band of waves in the middle between ultraviolet and infrared radiation.

If you think about visible light as being the color red at the low frequency end and going up to the color violet at the high frequency end, ultraviolet is the next higher up form of radiation from the visible color violet and infrared is the band of waves just down from the visible color red. You can't see either ultraviolet or infrared radiation.

Except for rare cases, visible light and infrared radiation from the sun are not dangerous to your health. Ultraviolet radiation however can be very dangerous to your skin and is a significant contributor to skin cancer.

There are 3 types of ultraviolet radiation: UVA (tanning rays). UVB (sunburn rays) and UVC (dangerous cancer causing rays). UVA is the shortest frequency and longest wavelength of the three and is not filtered out by the earth's atmosphere at all.

Since it is not filter out UVA is pretty much the same intensity from sunrise to sunset. Glass windows do not block UVA. It used to be thought that UVA was not a danger as far as skin cancer is concerned but recent studies indicate that the cumulative effect can be just as dangerous as UVB and UVC.

UVB is partially filtered by the earth's ozone layer and is at its greatest intensity at noon. It is currently the most dangerous form of ultraviolet radiation from the sun and can burn, wrinkle, age your skin and cause skin cancer. UVB and UVC cannot go through glass. UVC is currently completely blocked out in the atmosphere by the earth's ozone layer. But as the ozone layer recedes there is a danger that more and more UVC will not be filtered out and contribute to the spread of skin cancer.

Several government agencies and weather reporting services have developed a UV Index to help people avoid the dangers of UV radiation. The UV index is a number from 0 to 11 or more that is a daily forecast of the predicted risk if you are out in the sun too much. A UV index of 2 or less means the risk is low, wear sunglasses if it is bright out and cover up if out for more than an hour.

If the UV index is over 6 many weather reporting agencies will issue a UV Warning asking that you actively reduce your exposure to sun and stay indoors between 11 AM and 4 PM. In most northern climates, the UV index rarely gets to 6.

The skins reaction to UV radiation varies widely from person to person. Heredity, skin coloration and exposure to industrial chemicals are all considered to be contributing factors. However, there is little doubt that the more time you spend out in the sun the greater is your danger of getting skin cancer.

Striving For Skin Cancer Cures

Striving For Skin Cancer Cures
by Adam Hefner

More people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States than any other type of cancer. Survival rates are excellent if the condition is found and treated early in its development. Early treatment offers the best possible chances for skin cancer cures.

Doctors define success in cancer treatment based on whether a person is alive and without signs of cancer after five years from the date on which they were diagnosed. The cure rate, also known as the five-year rate of survival, varies with the type of skin cancer with which a person is diagnosed.

Individuals diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma, for instance, have the highest survival rate. This is because the cancer is so slow-growing and rarely spreads beyond the initial site. These persons can anticipate a treatment success rate of greater than 99 percent.

In comparison, people who have had squamous cell carcinoma can anticipate a five-year survival rate of slightly more than 95 percent. Although this cancer is a nonmelanoma, and fairly slow growing, it can spread to the lymph nodes and blood if not treated early.

If a person diagnosed with malignant melanoma is treated when the cancer is still in one location, the cure rate is about 88 percent. About eight in ten persons detect their cancer at this point. If the cancer has already begun to spread to lymph nodes, chances of survival are only about 58 percent. If the cancer has metastasized, or spread to other major body organs, about one in ten persons will be alive five years after diagnosis.

Doctors use different treatments to attempt to cure people with skin cancer. Some cancers are more easily cured than others. Basal cell tumors, for example, are typically so small that a person is considered cured after the tumor is removed. Squamous cell cancer, however, may require additional treatment, especially if the cancer has spread. Chemotherapy and radiation are the most common forms of treatment.

Because melanoma is so difficult to cure, physicians often rely on a combination of medications, radiation, chemotherapy, or other procedures that are undergoing clinical trials to attempt to cure this cancer. Some of these investigational treatments include photodynamic therapy and biological therapies.

Diagnosing skin cancer early is extremely important. Skin cancer cures are most likely when the cancer is found early. Indeed, some doctors believe that more than 99 percent of all people who develop skin cancer can be cured if the cancer is discovered early and treatment is begun immediately

Proper Cancer Pain Relief

Proper Cancer Pain Relief by Fatima Edris

We hear nearly everyday there is another person who has been diagnosed with one type of cancer or another. Even so, the topic has always been left undiscussed. There could be a few reasons contributing to this. The common reason is many of us feel that by mentioning, discussing or showing concern to the cancer patients as being not sensitive, for fear that the motions will be taken differently by the patients.

One thing for sure, we have to know that the pain they may be experiencing right at the time may be small, but as the cancer progress, the need for proper cancer pain relief grows and grows until it is all ended either because it is cured or until the person passes away. The cancer pain relief medications used are used somewhat to cover the pain and not to get well from the problem.

What are The Cancer Pain Relief

For most people they just know particular few types of medications that are prescribed for cancer pain relief and one of those given will most often work for the patient. There are many of them who will get or have achieved excellent results for them.

However, when the person suffering from cancer has been given a medication that does not work, then they are closely monitored and selectively given another type to try in the hope that it will be effective.

The emotional trauma that comes along for those with cancer is so great that it is paramount to make them physically as comfortable as possible through the cancer pain relief that have been proven working.

When They Are Near the End

We have many friends or relatives who have cancer, and we will always hope that they will recover and have access to cancer pain relief. Even though there are millions of people who recover from their cancer, there are always going to be a number of people who just could not make it.

As the cancer progresses further and further, the person will be in more pain and it will ultimately get to a point that patient claim they would just rather quickly pass then suffer the pain any more. For these people, in spite of their outlook is not having the chance to survive it, they are still in need of some effective cancer pain relief.

The cancer pain relief is giving the patients chances to be feeling a little better and spending more time with friends and family till their last days.

Frequently, for people who find themselves in that situation, there seems to be little effect from the cancer pain relief medications that are normally given and this is when doctors start to give a lot more medications at a lot higher doses in hopes of doing something.

These people are commonly given so many medications that end up not working; their bathroom cabinet could begin to parallel to a pharmacy. For these people, it is just more about finding something, anything that will help them get through the few days they have left so they can make the most of them.

Delta-24-RGD - A Virus Found to Target and Eliminate Cancer Cells of the Brain

Delta-24-RGD - A Virus Found to Target and Eliminate Cancer Cells of the Brain By Derek Kroll

Cancer is quite a hot topic in the scientific research community today, due to the obvious lack of knowledge underlying certain biological processes. Without the mastery of these biological pathways, it is not feasible to devise surefire treatment and/or prevention methods against specific types of cancer. One does not have to look very far to find criticism or an attempt at exploitation of these biological voids by the media. Despite the frequent scrutiny, the field of oncology (the study of tumors/cancer) has improved exponentially in understanding the manifestation, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer. A simple look at the declining morbidity rates of cancer patients over the last few decades should provide some comfort even to the most skeptical individuals.

Despite the frequent advances in cancer research, the findings manage to fly under the radar of mainstream media. It lies within these small findings, which are the basis of future treatments and cures. Recently, a group of researchers came one step closer to solving their life saving puzzle.

The study, conducted by researchers at the UT-Houston M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and funded by the National Cancer Institute, analyzed the destructive effects on brain tumor stem cells of mice by introducing a tailored adenovirus (Delta-24-RDG). By tailored adenovirus, I mean a specific virus produced by scientists. This was tested on the most aggressive brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme, which is known to be resistant to chemotherapy and radiation. The particular intrigue in this project stems from their attempt to build on well-known and studied research performed in 2003.

The 2003 study found that Delta-24 eliminated brain tumors in 60% of mice. The recent study however, was conducted on the actual stem cells that drive the continued tumor growth postoperatively, hence the testing on glioma stem cells. This led to a direct comparison in survival time between the control group (received no intervention) and the treatment group (received Delta-24 injection). The survival time of the mice who received treatment nearly doubled that of the control group. The result is obvious: the mice that received the injection of the adenovirus demonstrated prolonged life-spans. The success of the study did not simply end there.

The researchers attempted to analyze more than mere cause and effect. They sought to gain information on the actual physiological process contributing to the death of the stem cells in the brain. For the first time, adenovirus-mediated cell death (by autophagy) was noted as the direct method of cellular death in tumor stem cells of the brain. It was also noted that the therapeutic virus did not alter normal brain tissue. This finding carries with it tremendous hope because the tumors formed in the brains of these mice closely resemble brain tumors in humans.

This resemblance lies in their irregular form and invasive metastatic, or spreading, properties. The study did mention the limitations of these findings and the need for further research, but it does postulate an exciting and possible method of cancer treatment, which may not be limited to the brain. This study only hints at the remarkable and constant efforts put forth by cancer researchers. One must remember that our race for a cure is not a sprint, but an ongoing marathon that must be carefully and methodically ran.

Can Milk Thistle Prevent Liver Cancer

Can Milk Thistle Prevent Liver Cancer by Nicole Cutler

Toxic substances surround us every day, in our food, water, medications, and especially the air we breathe.

These toxins are extremely detrimental to the health of your liver, and your choice of liver support supplements can drastically affect this very important organ.

Milk thistle has long been known for its liver supportive and protective qualities, and is the number one herbal supplement prescribed for most liver ailments.

It has proven in various clinical studies to have a profound effect on the progression of fibrosis, and has been quite effective in slowing the rate of advancement of liver damage.

Most people are aware of the stages of liver disease: inflammation, fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver failure.

If not treated in the early stages, liver cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC) can develop.

Milk thistle has been proven to help protect liver cells against further damage from harmful toxins, which speed up the progression of the above stages of liver disease.

Supplementing with milk thistle in the early stages can keep the disease from quickly advancing towards liver cancer. In addition to keeping liver cells healthy, milk thistle can also help this vital organ regenerate new liver cells, in an effort to prevent any additional scar tissue from developing.

Milk thistle, or silymarin, is made up of three main components - and silybin is the most beneficial to the liver.

This highly concentrated part of milk thistle has the most therapeutic effects on the liver.

Research shows that not only is milk thistle anti-fibrotic and anti-inflammatory, but it has potent antioxidants and can block toxins from invading the liver.

Because it is an herbal supplement, the FDA has not approved milk thistle as a treatment for any condition or disease, including liver cancer.

However, the clinical research offers hope that milk thistle's proven ability to help fight liver disease makes it a viable liver cancer preventive method.

Anyone with advancing liver disease can benefit from this therapeutic supplement that has no known contraindications or interactions.

Epigenetics - An Individualized, Future Approach to Cancer Treatment

Epigenetics - An Individualized, Future Approach to Cancer Treatment by
Derek Gene Kroll

Trivial findings are immense in the scientific community, especially in the field of oncology. Much emphasis is aimed at building upon previous laboratory discoveries; let's use the treatment of cancer as a broad example.

As many of you know, it is now common to combine independently discovered chemotherapy treatments, with or without radiation and/or surgical intervention. The heart of cancer breakthroughs have stemmed from this methodical combination. In recent news, a new and stirring foundation for future therapeutic combinations has surfaced.

The discovery can be attributed to vigilant scrutiny of biological processes within the tumor cell. The review, in the March issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, focuses on a specialty known as epigenetics. Epigenetics is associated with inheritable disparity in gene expression while retaining the same base sequence of DNA.

This essentially allows the cells, while stably maintaining the same DNA sequence, to assume different characteristics. Epigenetics is most commonly associated with x-chromosome inactivation in females, gene silencing, and post-transcriptional modification of amino acids.
Tumor cells are identifiable by numerous intracellular processes. For relevance and simplicity, I will only briefly discuss DNA methylation. Epigenetic processes can be marked by this methylation, which is vital to proper cellular function.

Upon observing a metastatic tumor cell, one would find an increasing degree of hypomethylation as the tumor became more invasive. The actual comparison of DNA methylation (normal cells) and hypomethylation (tumor cells) was originally observed in 1983 during the research of colon cancer. Dr. Manel Esteller, who authored the more recent review, explained that the tumor cells were in a DNA methylation paradox depending on the location of the nucleic acid in question.

The varying locations of DNA methylation directly contribute to the disturbance of chromosomes, or mutations, and inactivation of tumor suppressor genes, hence the abnormal behavior of tumor cells. How can this be related to future treatment options though?
Methylation can actually predict one's response to therapeutic treatment via protein analyzation.

The targeted protein is MGMT, also known as O6-Methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase, which is known to be significant in DNA repair. Observing MGMT for its degree of methylation allows the scientist a unique look at their prognosis with respect to certain DNA damaging drugs. For example: if MGMT is found to be hypermethylated, one can deduce the benefit of introducing DNA damaging drugs because the tumor cell will not be able to repair the DNA, leading to its death.

In conclusion, epigenetic markers can provide great insight into the potential of certain chemotherapeutic treatments: stepping away from mere protocol steps and into more individualized medicine. After all, it is the building upon minute discoveries and postulated treatments that will lead to the next breakthrough in cancer treatment

Antioxidants To Prevent And Cure Cancer

Antioxidants To Prevent And Cure Cancer

Cancer is one of the major causes of death in the world. Although it seems like a life-threatening disease, a lot of developments and findings in medicine, technology, and science are able to contribute to the prevention, proper diagnosis, and finding the cure necessary for each case.

Cancer is basically a group of several related diseases that start within your cells, which are your body's building blocks. Cells normally grow and divide to give way to newer ones that can help keep our bodies healthy. However, there are times when this process can go wrong.

This happens when old cells fail to die even if they should and there are newer cells in the body even if you do not really need them yet. Because of the extra cells, a mass of tissue forms, which is more commonly known as a tumor. The tumor can either be malignant or benign but only the malignant ones are cancerous.

It is important to note that this malfunction in cell metabolism is caused by several factors from our environment and lifestyle.

Through years of extensive research, scientists and medical experts realized that cancer is mainly caused by changes in our genes and abnormal cell metabolism that is brought about by our lifestyle and environment.

The changes in our genes are usually caused by our diet, smoking, exposure to UV rays from the sun, and exposure to carcinogenic substances. In some cases, the changes in your genes are inherited from your parents.

Still, it is important to take note that having an inherited cancer gene will make you susceptible to cancer. This only means that your chances of getting the disease are increased. Because of this, scientists and doctors are continuously examining the various factors that can affect your chances of developing cancer.

Nowadays, nutritionists and medical experts are recommending you to eat more fruits and vegetables as part of a healthier lifestyle. Basically, the idea is centered around providing your body with more means for detoxifying harmful toxins and substances from it. Aside from that, the antioxidants found in some fruits can help restore your body's natural functions especially when it comes to cell metabolism.

Antioxidants are helpful in cell protection against damage due to free radicals that can often lead to cancer. Using antioxidants, your body can stabilize the free radicals to prevent them from causing damage to your cells and your body in general. Among these antioxidants include lycopene, vitamins A, E, and C, and beta-carotene.

Laboratory and scientific evidence indicated that antioxidants are able to prevent or slow down your chances of developing cancer