Posts Tagged “Cancer”


Commercial for the California Dept of Health Services

Unbelievable, isn’t it?

A new analysis has found that a substantial number of lung and colorectal cancer patients continue to smoke after being diagnosed. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study provides valuable information on which cancer patients might need help to quit smoking.

When a patient receives a cancer diagnosis, the main focus is to treat the disease. But stopping smoking after a cancer diagnosis is also important because continuing to smoke can negatively affect patients’ responses to treatments, their subsequent cancer risk, and, potentially, their survival. Elyse R. Park, PhD, MPH, of the Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School in Boston, led a team that looked to see how many patients quit smoking around the time of a cancer diagnosis, and which smokers were most likely to quit.

The investigators determined smoking rates around the time of diagnosis and five months after diagnosis in 5,338 lung and colorectal cancer patients. At diagnosis, 39 percent of lung cancer patients and 14 percent of colorectal cancer patients were smoking; five months later, 14 percent of lung cancer patients and 9 percent of colorectal cancer patients were still smoking. These results indicate that a substantial minority of cancer patients continue to smoke after being diagnosed. Also, although lung cancer patients have higher rates of smoking at diagnosis and following diagnosis, colorectal cancer patients are less likely to quit smoking following diagnosis.

Obviously, some patients, even after having cancer, have a hard time breaking the addictive cycle of nicotine.

Physicians and dentists must develop strategies to help these patients quit and quit for good.

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According to the latest Gallup Poll
Nationwide, smoking rates range from a high of 29% in Kentucky to a low of 11% in Utah, according to Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data collected in the first half of 2011.

Each day, Gallup and Healthways ask 1,000 Americans, “Do you smoke?” The January-June 2011 results are based on 177,600 interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. These results provide a preliminary picture of 2011 state smoking rates, ahead of the final full-year data, which will be available in early 2012.

As the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout Thursday urges smokers to attempt to quit their habit, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index finds an average of 21% of all Americans saying they smoke in the first half of this year. This has gone unchanged since Gallup and Healthways started tracking Americans’ smoking habits in 2008.

So far this year, there are 18 states with smoking rates lower than 20%, compared with 8 states in 2010, 11 in 2009, and 10 in 2008. There are 11 states with rates of 25% or higher, fairly similar to recent years.

Here is the chart:

Gallup has found that the American national smoking rate is stuck at around 21%. This is historically lower than from the mid-1940s to the mid-1970s where the rate was close to 40%.

Let’s see if with better education we can lower that rate.

Today is the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout
– please if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, then please quit.
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Tongue Cancer

For the first time, cancer is the number one cause of death in Canada.
For the first time, cancer has overtaken heart disease as the number-one cause of death across Canada, according to the latest statistics here [1].

According to numbers released yesterday, cancer accounted for 29.6% of deaths (70 558) in 2008–the latest year for which stats have been made available by heath authorities. Heart disease caused 21.3% of deaths (50 722).

Stroke, in third place, caused 5.8% (13 870) of deaths.

Statistics from the previous year had cancer leading heart disease in every province and territory with the exception of Prince Edward Island and the Northwest Territories. In the 2008 statistics, heart disease has now moved into second place in every province/territory, with the exception of Nunavut, where suicide ranks second.

Between 2007 and 2008, cancer deaths climbed 1.4% nationally, continuing a trend seen since 2000. By contrast, heart-disease deaths declined between 2000 and 2006 but actually crept upward between 2007 and 2008.

In the United States, heart disease is still the leading cause of death.

Preliminary US numbers published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that heart disease was still the leading cause of death for both 2008 and 2009, followed by malignant neoplasms, with both diseases declining in this period, although that decline was three times greater for heart disease [2].

Now, if we can work on obesity and diabetes, we can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease even further.

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Miley Cyrus out for some coffee

The answer is YES, according to a new study. And, the cancer is the slow growing Basal Cell Carcinoma.
Scientists reported Monday that drinking coffee was associated with decreased risk of a common and slow-growing form of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma. It appears that caffeine may play a role, they said.

The team, based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, presented their study at the American Assn. for Cancer Research International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.

Examining data from the Nurses’ Health Study, which followed 72,921 people between 1984 and 2008, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which followed 39,976 people between 1986 and 2008, they found 25,480 skin cancer cases. Basal cell carcinomas represented 22,786 of the cases, squamous cell carcinomas 1,953 and melanomas 741. 

Women who drank more than three cups of coffee had a 20% reduction in risk for basal cell carcinoma.  Men who drank that much coffee had a 9% reduction in risk of the slow-growing cancer.  People who drank the most coffee had the lowest risk.  The team did not identify reduced risk for squamous cell carcinoma.

Co-author Fengju Song, a postdoctoral fellow in dermatology, said that the discovery could help prevent cancers in the future.

“Daily dietary factors with even small protective effects may have great public health impact,” Song said in a statement. “Our study indicates that coffee consumption may be an important option to help prevent basal cell carcinoma.”

Great news since I love my coffee and had a squamous cell carcinoma surgically removed from behind my left ear a few years ago.

Now, if I can drink coffee and prevent cancer.

Really a WIN – WIN here.

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