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.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cancer-Causing Chemical Isolated in Smokeless Tobacco

Cancer-Causing Chemical Found in Smokeless Tobacco | Stronger Than Cancer

We've known for some time that even chewing tobacco can cause cancer.

Now they've isolated what the chemical is.

As a rule of thumb, all habit forming tobacco products should be avoided.

The best way to fight cancer is to be careful what you put into you body, in the mouth, in your lungs, in the food you eat.  Cancer rates are going up.  Everything else is just too risky!!

Screening tied to Overdiagnosis and Unnecessary Treatment

Breast cancer screening tied to Overdiagnosis | Stronger Than Cancer

I don't oppose cancer screenings, but we need better information about what to do with that information.

Right now, the word 'cancer' invokes too much fear, so if it is caught at any stage, even quite early or benign, the path is usually treat it aggressively so there is no chance that it will come back.

We are finding that this isn't the best approach.  Some cancers have been seen to go away on their own.  Others would never become malignant.

If treating cancer was non-toxic, this wouldn't be a problem, but the side effects of treatment lead to other issues, like heart disease and increase risk of leukemia etc.  The decision to treat cancer can't be taken lightly.

In cancers that are discovered early, the patient needs better guidance about the best approach for her health.  Wait and watch is not standard for breast cancer, but with better diagnostics, maybe it's an option we should explore.