Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The link between brushing your teeth and cancer

According to this article: Got Plaque? It May Be Linked with Early Cancer Death | Stronger Than Cancer plaque seems to be an indicator of a shorter survival.

More research is needed, but there are some interesting links here - perhaps due to inflammation or bacteria.

As our diet becomes poorer, our teeth suffer as well.

We need to think about maintaining a healthy smile as a more important health regimen - it's not just about having a pretty smile anymore.

Understanding why in one type of cancer, heavier men may live longer

According to this recent article, new findings indicate a survival benefit in heavier patients:

In one type of cancer, heavier men may live longer | Stronger Than Cancer

The researchers are quick to say that they would not encourage people to keep on weight, which could increase risk of other cancers, but that the findings might help understand this particular cancer in the study, called a diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.

Later in the article, it does point out that a heavier person is getting less chemotherapy in relation to their body weight - it's quite possible that there is a link there as well.

In cancers that treat well with chemotherapy, you may have a better survival rate if you don't cause too much damage to healthy cells in your body.  Meaning - in some cases, less may be more with chemotherapy.

The belief to this point has always been to give the patient as much as they can tolerate.  A young relatively healthy patient will be given higher doses, than an more fragile elderly patient.  This seems to be the wrong way to dose a drug.  This is fear-based drug dosing.   It should be based on how the cancer responds to the drug, and what level would be least toxic to to the individual.  With that one change, I think survival rates would increase.

I don't mean to dismiss where the findings are leading the researchers.  It is there job to look into the particular cancer and find out what interactions may improve survival.

I would just love to see findings like this branch out into further research that looks at toxicity in dosing chemotherapy, and how to maximize the survival benefit by targeting the dosing to be most effective with the least toxicity.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Is It Time to Include Aspirin in Cancer Prevention Guidelines?

Aspirin Reduces Cancer Risk: Is It Time to Include It in Cancer Prevention Guidelines? | Stronger Than Cancer

Studies are showing that aspirin does more than reduce heart disease, it also reduces cancer risk.

It's an odd thing to supplement.  As someone who promotes healing, nutrient dense foods, and fighting cancer with nutrition, I feed uneasy about a recommendation to take a drug regularly, just because it has been found to reduce some risk.

Evidently, there is little risk associated with long term aspirin use, so if someone is inclined to take it, I would support that idea.

For now, I will refrain.  I prefer to reduce my risk by eating well, and keeping my immune system and body strong.

When they publish the mechanism by which aspirin reduces the cancer risk, we will probably find something in nature that does the same job.  My guess, is that it reduces certain inflammation which can lead to cancer - and there are many natural foods that do that as well.

I don't have an issue with inflammation in my body, so taking a drug blindly, to reduce cancer risk, for a risk factor that doesn't apply to me, doesn't make sense.

I am hoping people are thoughtful about their approach to this type of 'prevention'.

Know your body - start there for your cancer prevention plan.

Friday, April 6, 2012

False Positive Mammograms Increase Breast Cancer Higher Risk

Women With False Positive Mammograms at Higher Risk | Stronger Than Cancer

I love Susan Love's take on this:

"Surgery or needle biopsies may cause a local inflammatory or wound-healing reaction, which increases cancer risk," or "the extra radiation from the workup for the false positive could increase breast cancer," said Love. "Or we might be picking up on some subtle change in the microenvironment, the fibrous tissue, that's more conducive to cancer growing. We just don't know."

While others think there is some biological predisposition, she points out the very obvious possibility that the procedures that surround the investigation can lead to cancer later.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fatal Side Effects of a Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer diagnosis raises risk of heart attack and suicide | Stronger Than Cancer

An interesting new study shows that a cancer diagnosis dramatically raises the risk of heart attack and suicide in the months that follow.

This should send a message to doctors, and fear-mongering organizations that want to sell you a 'cure' - many people survive cancer.  More people survive cancer, than a car crash, but we're not afraid to drive.

Let's put the focus on targeting the cancer, healing the body, and bringing more balance to our lives.

Fear will shut down the immune system.  Even in patients that don't have a heart attack, the panic of a diagnosis has its negative effects.

Are there ways of addressing this issue to improve the survival for all cancer patients?

Patients who are determine to survive, seem to survive against all odds.  If more patients are offered encouragement, we would have better survival rates regardless of what their choice of treatment is.

Time to make a shift away from fear, and toward individual paths to healing for every patient.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Cancers Become Resistant To Chemotherapy

Why Cancers Become Resistant To Chemotherapy | Stronger Than Cancer

This just underscores the need for more targeted treatments, and more careful, strategic planning when it comes to treatment.

Some patients may not even need chemotherapy, and this puts them at greater risk for future mutations that may lead to cancer.  And patients that do, will have better survival rates if targeted therapies can address this - better results, while reducing resistance.

Hopefully, this new data will be used for more thoughtful treatments - especially for borderline patient (ie. both ends of the spectrum, very early or late stage cancers).

Caffeine Combined With Exercise Cuts Skin Cancer Risk

Caffeine Combined With Exercise May Cut Skin Cancer Risk | Stronger Than Cancer

I love to see research that shows effects like this.

It is hard for us to connect exercise with reducing cancer, but there are things that are happening in our body that isn't just strengthening our muscles, and heart - all of our metabolic systems are getting a workout, and that benefits the immune system.

We don't need to kill ourselves exercising.  Mice in a lab are not forced to exercise more than they would naturally do - they are just given the equipment, and they naturally feel like running.

Whenever you feel sluggish - get up and move around - your body wants it, and it may be helping fight cancer.