Category Archives: Cancer

Tamoxifen May Increase Breast Cancer Risk Involving ER-Negative Tumors

Tamoxifen – a drug commonly used for treating breast cancer – may actually increase the severity of the disease, according to
Dr Christopher Li at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre.

Their research compared breast-cancer patients who received the estrogen-blocking drug tamoxifen to those who did not, and found that while the drug Tamoxifen was associated with a 60 percent reduction in estrogen receptor-positive (ER positive) second breast cancer – the more common type, which is responsive to estrogen-blocking therapy) – it also appeared to increase the risk of ER negative second cancer by 440 percent.

“This is of concern, given the poorer prognosis of ER-negative tumors, which are also more difficult to treat,” said Dr Christopher Li.

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Tamoxifen May Increase Risk of Some Forms of Breast Cancer

Antioxidant Levels Key to Prostate Cancer Risk in Some Men

Greater levels of selenium, vitamin E and the tomato carotenoid lycopene have been shown to reduce prostate cancer in one out of every four Caucasian males, or those who inherit a specific genetic variation that is particularly sensitive to oxidative stress, say US researchers.

Conversely, if carriers of this genetic variant have low levels of these vitamins and minerals, their risk of aggressive prostate increases substantially, as great as 10-fold, over those who maintain higher levels of these nutrients, they write in today’s issue of Cancer Research.

“This large prospective study provides further evidence that oxidative stress may be one of the important mechanisms for prostate cancer development and progression, and adequate intake of antioxidants, such as selenium, lycopene and vitamin E, may help prevent prostate cancer,” said Dr Haojie Li, a researcher at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

The new findings are based on an analysis of 567 men diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1982 and 1995, and 764 cancer-free men from the Physicians Health Study.

The initial goal of this study was to assess the effect of aspirin and beta-carotene on men’s health. Li’s team decided to check for variants of the gene that codes for manganese superoxide dismutatase (MnSOD), an important enzyme that works as an antioxidant in human cells to defend against disease.

The MnSOD gene is passed from parents to offspring in one of three forms: VV, VA or AA.

“Compared with men with the MnSOD VV or VA genotype, people with the AA genotype seem to be more sensitive to the antioxidant status,” said Li. “Men with the AA genotype are more susceptible to prostate cancer if their antioxidant levels are low.”

  • The study’s results found that a quarter of the men in the study carried the MnSOD AA genotype, half carried the VA genotype, and the remaining quarter carried the VV genotype.
  • The results indicated that the VA and VV men were at equivalent risk for developing prostate cancer across all levels of antioxidants in their blood.
  • But compared to MnSOD VV or VA carriers in the lowest quartile of selenium levels, MnSOD AA males had an 89 per cent greater risk for developing aggressive prostate cancer if they had low blood levels of the mineral.
  • On the other hand, MnSOD AA carriers with high selenium – those men in the highest quartile – had a 65 per cent lower risk than the MnSOD VV or VA males who maintained low levels of selenium.

“The levels of selenium in the highest quartile of these men are not abnormally high,” Li said. “Our range is neither extremely high nor extremely low.”

While similar trends were observed for lycopene and vitamin E when te

sted independently, the contrast in relative risk was most pronounced for the men who had high blood levels for all three antioxidants combined, said the researchers.

“Among men with the MnSOD AA genotype, we observed a 10-fold difference in risk for aggressive prostate cancer, when comparing men with high versus low levels of antioxidants combined,”said Li. “In contrast, among men with the VV or VA genotype, the prostate cancer risk was only weakly altered by these antioxidant levels.”

“Our study, as well as many other epidemiological studies, encourages dietary intake of nutrients such as lycopene from tomato products, or supplements for vitamin E and selenium to reduce risk of prostate cancer,” said Li.

Prostate cancer is one of the biggest cancer killers in industrial countries and affects more than 500,000 men worldwide every year. This number is expected to increase with the aging population.

Similar interactions between dietary antioxidants and the variations in the MnSOD gene have previously been linked to risk for breast cancer.

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Genital Warts Information, Symptoms, Treatment & Medication

Genital warts, also known as condylomata acuminata or venereal warts, are one of the most common types of sexually transmitted diseases (STD). The genital wart viruses (types of Human Papilloma viruses or HPVs) are different from the viruses that cause the warts that people get on their hands and feet.

Genital Warts are the most common sexually transmitted infection diagnosed in clinics in North America and Europe.

  • Genital warts are increasingly common and affect as many as one-third of young women in Canada and USA. These warts, spread by sexual contact, are often flat, tiny and difficult to spot and diagnose.
  • Genital warts can be spread during vaginal or anal sex, and by sharing sex toys. However, you don’t need to have sexual intercourse to pass it on.
  • Genital Warts don’t have to be present to become infected with HPV because it can be caught from touching the infected skin or through sexual fluids.
  • Fast becoming a world wide epidemic with 6.2 million new cases each year in the US alone.

Genital warts are very contagious and are spread during oral, vaginal, or anal sex with an infected partner. They are transmitted by skin-to-skin contact during vaginal, anal, or (rarely) oral sex with someone who is infected. Genital warts should not be confused with Fordyce’s spots , which are considered benign.

Genital warts are bumps of various sizes on the skin of the genitals. They result from infection with some types of human papillomavirus, or HPV (a common sexually transmitted virus). Genital warts are caused by a virus which is passed on from direct skin to skin contact during sexual contact or sexual intercourse with an infected partner, usually during vaginal, anal, or oral sex play. They can spread even when no warts are visible.

Symptoms include:

  • Genital warts are cauliflower-like lumps, in and around the genital area, and in some cases the anus.
  • Genital warts look like small flesh-colored, pink, or red growths in or around the sex organs. The warts may look similar to the small parts of a cauliflower or they may be very tiny and difficult to see.
  • Genital warts typically present as flesh-colored, exophytic lesions on the external genitalia, including the penis, vulva, scrotum, perineum, and perianal skin.
  • External warts can appear as small bumps, or they may be flat, verrucous, or pedunculated. Genital warts can vary in color, from pink to brown, but generally look like small pink or red growths. They can cluster together and take on a cauliflower-like appearance.
  • Genital warts are soft to touch and can be itchy. The warts can be very small and go unnoticed.
  • A person with genital warts is carrying a virus. So Genital warts are very easily transmitted.
  • Using condoms and dams (a thin latex square held over the vaginal or anal area during oral sex) provides some protection, but they only protect the area of skin they cover.
  • For men wart growth is common on the head of the penis, the shaft of the penis, or randomly on the scrotum or around the anus.
  • Women most commonly first get them on the tissue at the opening of the vagina that is closest to the anus and on the labia surrounding this tissue.

Genital warts are spread by sexual contact with an infected partner and are very contagious. Approximately two-thirds of all persons who have sexual contact with an infected partner will develop this sexually transmitted disease (STD).

Genital warts in women often cause abnormal Pap test results. Certain types of HPV increase the risk of cervical cancer.

Genital warts are passed on by direct skin-to-skin contact. Condoms reduce the risk, but they only protect the area of skin covered by the condom. Genital warts are warts that are located near or in the genital areas. In a female, that means on or near the vulva (the outside genital area), vagina, cervix, or anus.

Genital warts, also called human papillomavirus (HPV), is a group of 70 or more viruses that infect the skin and cause warts. HPV is a very common virus, and it is likely that you will probably be exposed to one more strains of it during your lifetime. Genital warts that are visible need to be removed and should never be allowed to grow any bigger than they first appear. The doctor that you see will discuss with you the ways in which they remove genital warts. Genital warts differ from the common wart in where they grow in the warm, moist genital areas of the body.

Genital warts can also develop in the mouth or throat of a person who has oral sex with someone infected with HPV causing virus. Genital warts is a leading cause of cervical cancer in women and can cause penile cancer in men. Genital warts may resolve without treatment in immunocompetent patients but may persist and spread in patients with decreased cell-mediated immunity (eg, HIV infection).

Sometimes these bumps can even arise in the mouth or throat after having oral sex with someone who has the disease. Women can take a Pap smear test to check for presence of human papilloma virus infection on the cervix. In a Pap smear, a laboratory worker examines cells scraped from the cervix under a microscope to see if they are cancerous.

Women should have regular cervical screening tests whether or not they have genital warts. Visible genital warts are not linked to cervical cancer and women who have had them do not need cervical screening tests more often than other women. HPV can pass through small tears in the skin of your genitals that happen during sex.

A wart will appear in the same area, usually within 3 months but sometimes not for years. HPV is easiest to pass on when there are visible warts present, but there is an infectious period before they appear and after they resolve. The length of this period is unknown. HPV may be passed even when there are no visible warts.

HPV can probably never be completely removed from the body, since viruses are extremely difficult to eradicate. However, warts can be treated using medications applied to them, or special injections at the base of the warts, or by removal. HPV is very common, so most sexually active men and women are likely to have been exposed to HPV. The virus maybe preventable with a new vaccine which is being tested currently.

30–60% of males whose partners have HPV acquire the virus in their own body. HPV can also cause cervical cancer if they are not treated. You can be infected with genital warts by direct sexual or skin-to-skin contact and a mother also can pass on the virus to her baby at birth.

Diagnosis of genital warts is made by visual inspection and may be confirmed by biopsy, although biopsy is needed only under certain circumstances (e.g., if the diagnosis is uncertain; the lesions do not respond to standard therapy; the disease worsens during therapy; the patient is immunocompromised; or warts are pigmented, indurated, fixed, bleeding, or ulcerated). Genital warts should be consulted with your doctor.

Genital warts can be transmitted from the mother to the child during childbirth. Occasionally, the child will develop the warts on his or her larynx.

Depending on the location of the warts will decide how your doctor will treat them. If they are located on the outer areas of the genitals the most common form of treatment is liquid nitrogen, which freeze the cells of the warts.

Condoms are usually ineffectual in preventing the spread of warts. However they are usually a very effective means of reducing the risk of other sexual infections and therefore should be considered even after the warts have disappeared. Condoms can help protect you from the HPV virus. However, because condoms do not completely cover the skin surrounding the genitals, you can still get the HPV virus if you come into direct contact with genital warts. Condoms may help reduce the risk of HPV infection.

Effects Of Stress On Human Body

There are many effects of stress on the body and these can manifests themselves both physically and mentally. Some effects of stress on the body are easier to detect than others.

Stress is a state where an individual feel anxious, threatened, angry or tense. It is often experienced in the workplace (work related stress) and sometimes in the home. The varied effects of stress on the body are sometimes easy to cope with while other, especially long term stress effects can be debilitating.

Although stress is a normal part of our lives and we always experience it through the years it is how we cope with it that is important. The physical effects of stress on the body are easier to detect compared to mental effects. While stress is often seen as a negative aspect, it can have a positive effect on us by training us for difficult times. But stress affects us negatively when it does not have any let up or respite. A body under continuous stress will eventually break down and will have a difficult time regaining balance.

Physical Effects Of Stress On The Human Body

Some effects of stress on the body which are physical are headaches, stomach upsets, chest pains, sleep related problems and elevated blood pressure.

Other effects of stress on the body are skin conditions such as hives, heart palpitations, hyperventilation and several heart problems.

The effects of stress on the body can be dangerous. Many diseases start in a stressed body because there seems to be a link between stress and reduced immunity. Therefore, being able to manage the effects of stress on the body is vital in keeping yourself healthy both physically and mentally.

Because stress is unavoidable in our daily lives, it is best to learn to cope with it in such a way that the effects of stress on the body are not as debilitating.

There are many ways to prevent being stressed. You need to take a break after a particularly stressful episode at work or at home.

Myeloma Bone Cancer Symptoms & Treatment

Myeloma is a type of cancer in which abnormal cells destroy normal tissue. This results in extremely fragile bones and intense pain.

This condition, which is also known as Kahler’s disease, is common in adults between the ages of 50 and 70. More men than women suffer from the disease.

There are many kinds of myeloma. But the tumor is often grayish red and appears in the ribs, pelvic bones, and the bones of the skull.

“The main symptom is bone pain, which seems to worsen at night. Back pain is often present. Bone fractures may occur. Abnormal bleeding, difficulty in urination, anemia, a tired feeling, painful swelling on the ribs, and susceptibility to infections are all possible symptoms,” according to Marion Morra & Eve Potts in “Choices: Realistic Alternatives in Cancer Treatment.”

Since the bone marrow is producing fewer oxygen-carrying red blood cells and disease-fighting white blood cells, myeloma patients are often anemic and susceptible to infections such as pneumonia. As the plasma cells act against the bone tissue, calcium is released sometimes in amounts exceeding the kidney’s capacity to dispose of it. The patient may become weak, nauseated, and disoriented,” they added.

To diagnose myeloma, the doctor may require x-ray studies to reveal destroyed bone parts. Blood and urine tests can detect abnormal proteins that indicate the presence of the disease.

Treatment of multiple myeloma depends on the extent of the disease. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often used to relieve symptoms and repair bone damage. Exercise and adequate fluid intake are important to prevent immobilization and calcium imbalance. Back braces may help keep the patient active.

“Radiation therapy may be used on specific parts of the back and neck to relieve pain and help repair bone damage. The tumor cells usually decrease in number at a rapid rate during the first few months of treatment, and the patient may go into remission. When a complete remission occurs, there is a complete return to a state of normal good health. The symptoms disappear, the physical findings become normal, and abnormal cells are no longer found in the bone marrow and blood,” Morra and Potts said.

Sometimes the remission is only partial, and one or more signs of myeloma may not disappear completely. Examination of the blood, urine, and bone marrow at regular intervals allows the doctor to follow the course of the disease and to select the proper treatment,” they concluded.

About the Author: Sharon Bell is an avid health and fitness enthusiast and published author. Many of her insightful articles can be found at her website ; Article Source