Showing posts with label cancer survival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cancer survival. Show all posts

Friday, May 24, 2013

What is Cancer

Cancer is medically known as malignant neoplasm and is caused due to uncontrollably division and growth of cells. Cancer can be characterized in more than 100 different types, that includes lung cancer, breast cancer, blood cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer and many more. Cancer starts harming the body when damaged cells starts dividing uncontrollably to form lumps which are also called tumors. These tumors grow and interfere in various other systems of the body like nervous system, digestive system and releases hormones that changes your body system. Normally cells follow a systematic path to grow, divide and die however when cell stops following the path then that leads to hormonal changes to your body and causes cancer.

Its main causes

To determine the reason of causing cancer can be very difficult. Different type of cancer has a different cause behind it. A few popular cancer are prostate cancer, lung cancer which has spread all across world. The article will be too short to discuss the causes for all types of cancer. For example, Lung cancer causes mainly because of tobacco and smoking which has proved highly injurious for health. Some types of cancer run in certain families, the genes inherit from their parents, but this is a seldom case. In US, Obesity is a major reason of causing cancer. Due to excess body weight, many types of cancer takes place that has led to death in past.


The cancer symptoms depends where the cancer is and how and which part of your body is getting affected with it. The popular symptoms of cancer caused are: fever, extreme tiredness or weight loss. This happens because cells start using the energy supplied from food. Some cancers reflects lumps on breasts or on other parts of body that indicates the cancer for that part. Skin cancer is indicated by moles or spots on skin. Symptoms are visible as the tumor grows. Since the disease consumes most of the body energy, so the person might suffer from fever, anemia, fatigue, excessive weight loss, hair loss etc. There are various other symptoms of cancer that shows other changes in your body part. The active response would be to consult doctor as soon as you feel these changes.


Cancer treatment depends upon the type of cancer and its criticality which is defined by stage, age, health and other characteristics. There is a series of treatment or a combination of therapies, that the patient has to go through. The therapies are classified as: surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or gene therapy. This is the treatment procedure, however prevention is the first step before treatment. You should always make sure that you follow some basic rules to prevent from cancer. Some of them are: Say no to tobacco, smoking and frequently consuming alcohol,it will save you from mouth cancer, lung cancer etc.

To avoid skin cancer stay in shade, protect yourself from direct sunlight, you can use sunscreen and also take special care of diet. Eat healthy and fresh, drink vegetable and fruit juices.

There are various precautions for all types of cancers. All that we need to do is be cautious and aware about any changes occurring to our body. Discuss the treatment procedure with specialized doctor to overcome at an early stage.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Breast milk and HPV

We all know that faulty genetics is partially responsible for breast cancer in a family. But faulty genetics is not the sole risk factor for breast cancer that spreads from a mother to her daughter(s).

Studies suggest that viruses that cause or increase risk of breast cancer can spread from one generation to another through breast milk.

Dr. W.K. Glenn and colleagues published a study in BMC Research Notes that had found high risk human papillomavirus and Epstein Barr virus in human breast milk and babies drinking the virus-loaded milk may contract the cancer-causing viruses.

The authors reported that multiple viruses including human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), Epstein Barr virus (EBV) and mouse mammary tumour virus have already been identified in human milk and high risk human papillomavirus (HPV) sequences have already been identified in breast cancer tissue.

Apparently, baby girls who drink milk from their infected mothers may get infected with the viruses. But the current study has found these viruses may also be present in human milk from normal lactating women who had no history of breast cancer.

The researchers found high risk HPV in 15% of milk samples from normal lactating Australian women. Four samples were sequenced and HPV 16 was found in three samples and HPV 18 was found in one sample. Epstein Barr virus was detected in 33% of breast milk samples.

The researchers concluded "The presence of high risk HPV and EBV in human milk suggests the possibility of milk transmission of these viruses. However, given the rarity of viral associated malignancies in young people, it is possible but unlikely, that such transmission is associated with breast or other cancers."

Although HPV was found in non-cancerous tissue, HPV was also found in breast cancer tissue, suggesting that these viruses may play a role in the development of certain cases of breast cancer.

By David Liu, PHD

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday Sept 16, 2012 ( -- A new study in Cancer Causes and Control suggests that being type 2 diabetic potentially increases risk of death from breast cancer. Because having type 2 diabetes also means to have diabetes treatment, diabetes treatment can potentially be linked to higher risk for breast cancer death.

M. T. Redaniel of University of Bristol in Bristol, UK and colleagues conducted the case-control study and found women with breast cancer who also suffered type 2 diabetes mellitus were 40 percent more likely to die from all causes, compared with those with breast cancer only.

The association, which was derived already after adjustment for age, period, region, smoking status, body mass index, alcohol drinking and deprivation, was based on data from 52,657 women with type 2 diabetes diagnosed between 1987 and 2007 and 30,210 randomly selected women without type 2 diabetes.

This association can be easily understood. Type 2 diabetes mellitus patients have insulin insensitivity or insulin resistance and tend to produce more insulin than people without diabetes type 2 do. When insulin is produced, insulin-like growth factor-1 is also produced, which is known to promote cancer growth.

Type 2 diabetes mellitus was also associated with 29 percent increased overall risk for developing breast cancer. This association was attenuated after adjustment for other factors like age, period of cohort entry, region, and BMI. That is, women with type 2 diabetes were 12 percent more likely than those without the disease to develop breast cancer.

Diabetes treatments may make some difference in the risk of developing breast cancer. Compared with sulfonylurea, metformin monotherapy and insulin therapy were associated with 4 and 33 percent increased risk of developing breast cancer among women with diabetes. From the study report abstract, it is unknown whether using sulfonylurea would increase risk of breast cancer.

Of all the associations, the one between being diabetic and risk of breast cancer was the strongest, suggesting that it is important to maintaining adequate glycemic control alongside cancer treatment, the researchers concluded.

The findings suggest that type 2 diabetes may increase risk of developing breast cancer and death from the disease.

By David Liu, PHD

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Those who have cancer may feel like the treatments are more draining than the disease itself. These can sap their energy, making them feel weak and tired all of the time. They may even feel nauseous and sick. This is not the way that they want to live, and they will be glad to know that it is not the way that they have to live. Something that many people do not realize is that exercise can really help them to overcome these feelings. It can help them to regain their strength and to feel better.

Increased Strength
First of all, exercise can help them by increasing their muscle mass and making them physically stronger. The body will be weak already, so this strength can help them to feel like they are able to be more active. They will be able to do more things, showing them that their life can still be as fulfilling as they desire.

Better Blood-Flow and a Higher Heart Rate
Any exercise gets the heart working. This helps to prevent blood clots and other such problems. The rising heart rate can also make them feel less lethargic. This is one of the reasons that cancer patients have been shown to have a lower risk of a reoccurrence of cancer if they are exercising frequently.

An Improved Outlook
Exercise can just help people to feel better in an emotional sense. They will be more awake and alert. This will improve their mood. It can also help them to connect with those around them.

The Best Exercises
Some exercises are ideal for cancer survivors. One such exercise is simply stretching. Increased flexibility helps with blood flow and allows more exercises to be possible. Resistance training with weights or machines is also a good idea since patients will have often lose muscle mass during their treatment. They could also have gained fat, and having larger muscles will help them to burn it off. As they start to feel better, aerobic exercises such as walking or swimming are encouraged. These can also help to reduce fat.

How To Stay Motivated
When someone is not feeling well, it can be hard for them to want to do anything, let alone work out. They need to keep the positives in mind so that they can be encouraged to continue working out. They need to set goals for themselves. Even small goals, such as walking for a mile, can be helpful. Furthermore, they could reward themselves when they accomplish certain things. They should also think of exercise as a way of showing cancer that it cannot rule their life.

Many doctors and patients have noticed the benefits of exercise and healthy living throughout cancer treatment. Many hospitals have open fitness classes, and some gyms offer course designed for cancer patients or survivors. No matter what, patients with an unfavorable cancer prognosis, lean towards some sort of exercise routine. They are fun, social, and exciting ways to learn how to challenge the body.

Monday, November 21, 2011

There is growing disquiet in the medical community. The NHS breast-cancer screening programme, which invites all women to have three-yearly X-rays (mammograms) from the age of 50, has been said by some doctors to 'do more harm than good'.

This, coupled with the fact that one woman in eight now develops the disease 5,000 more diagnoses a year than a decade before and reports that many cases are dismissed by GPs who don't recognise symptoms, makes for confusing reading.

What all experts agree on is that early diagnosis is key to successful treatment. 'When a breast cancer is picked up through a routine screening mammogram, it's often cured,' says Lester Barr, a consultant breast cancer surgeon at the Christie Hospital in Manchester.

'When the disease is picked up through discovering a lump, the chances of a cure drop as the cancer is likely to be more advanced.'

Mr Barr admits that screening, which was introduced in 1988, could be improved but women should not be put off having mammograms. 'There is an argument that screening catches tiny tumours that would never have grown, meaning women go through unnecessary worry and treatment. And perhaps we need to better target women who are at risk.

'All women need to make sure they are doing enough themselves to ensure early detection. There are still women who know surprisingly little about how a breast should feel and look.' Here, Britain's leading experts give their essential guide that every woman should read.

Breast cancer is hereditary in ten per cent of cases so it is vital for a woman to know her family history, says Professor Gareth Evans, consultant in genetic medicine at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester. 'Look for any patterns on one side of the family such as a mother, grandmother, aunt and first cousin who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. If there are at least two first-degree relatives – ie a mother and sister – who have had the disease, the risk is greater,' explains Prof Evans. The younger a woman is diagnosed the more likely it will be that her breast cancer has been caused by an inherited defective gene.

The rogue genes, known as BRCA 1, BRCA 2 and P53, can be identified through a blood test. But this can be done only if a woman has a living relative who has had breast cancer and can provide a blood sample. Those who carry the genes have an 85 per cent risk of getting breast cancer. The options for women with a strong family history or who have been identified as carrying the faulty breast-cancer gene include yearly MRI scans and mammograms on the NHS. 'Together these can pick up 90 to 95 per cent of breast cancers early,' explains Prof Evans. 'But some women opt for a pre-emptive strike by having their breasts removed.'

Prof Evans is leading a study into the use of the drug tamoxifen, which may reduce the risk of breast cancer by 40 per cent. 'Do'’t take the contraceptive pill if you have a strong family history as the drug has been linked to an increase in risk,' says Dr Anne Trigg, a consultant medical oncologist at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, London.

Mammograms are not effective for women under the age of 50 as the breast tissue is still too dense. If there have been isolated incidents of breast cancer in the family, you can always consult your GP for an examination. 'Aside from lumps, they are looking for areas of the breast that feel subtly different from the rest  limpness, a harder area or a breast that feels more granular,' explains Mr Richard Sainsbury, consultant breast cancer surgeon.

Unexplained tiredness can be early symptoms of the disease. 'It's not necessary to do constant self-examinations,' says Mr Sainsbury. 'But be aware of any changes – particularly heaviness, distortions, or a change in size or shape.'

'Inflammatory breast cancer, which accounts for between one and five per cent of breast- cancer cases, can make the skin red and swollen, but it is often misdiagnosed as cellulite or a skin infection,' Dr Trigg says. 'Look out for a new and itchy rash around the nipple, discharge from the nipple or any difference in shape and size. It could be normal but always get it checked by your GP. And always check armpits for lumps.'

Dr Trigg says: 'From the age of 30, self-examination should be done once a month, midway through the menstrual cycle.'

Using the pads of the fingers, feel in small circular motions round the breast and then move in smaller concentric circles until you reach the nipples.
Cover the entire breast from top to bottom, side to side.
Do this lying down, and then feel your breasts while you are standing or sitting.

'In the ten years leading up to the menopause, breast tissue begins to turn to fat and this can cause benign cysts,' adds Mr Sainsbury. 'Cancer can be ruled out by mammogram or biopsy. See your GP, who will refer you to a specialist.' Be familiar with the appearance of your breasts, checking that they are their usual shape, size and colour and appear symmetrical.

At present women of 50 are called for a three-yearly mammogram through the NHS screening programme. But Prof Evans says: 'A third of breast cancers are picked up in the three years between mammograms.'

Self-examination is vital after the age of 50 when breasts may look different. A loss of volume can cause dimpling in the skin and as this can also be a sign of breast cancer, get it checked.
Prof Evans tells menopausal women with a family history to avoid hormone-replacement therapy as artificially raising hormone levels can increase risk of breast cancer. The hormone oestrogen, which can drive some forms of breast cancer, is produced by fatty tissue. So the fatter you are, the bigger the risk.

Screening stops at the age of 70. If women wish to continue, then they can request it, explains Barr. He says: 'By the age of 80 any lump is likely to be breast cancer. Women should be aware of any changes.'