The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of a new vaccine that targets five additional strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) fortifies a proven cancer-prevention weapon, according to Ron DePinho, M.D., president of MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The FDA greenlighted use of Gardasil 9 for the prevention of certain cancers caused by nine HPV strains – five more than its predecessor, Gardasil. The FDA said Gardasil 9 has the potential to prevent the vast majority of cervical, vulvar, vaginal and anal cancers.
“This is an incredible step forward in our fight to end cancer,” said DePinho. “Up to 80 percent of the world will be infected with HPV at some point, according to estimates. MD Anderson hopes the vaccine approval will change the conversation about HPV vaccination from sex to saving lives.”
Source: MD Anderson
7 foods that lower women’s cancer risk
Focused on Health – July 2014
Looking for that one magical food that will keep you cancer-free? Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist. But certain foods can help reduce your chances of developing cancer – especially when eaten as part of a healthy diet.
Katie Bispeck, research dietitian in Behavioral Science at MD Anderson, shares her list of foods that women should include in their diet to lower their cancer risks. “But that doesn’t mean you should eat these foods and nothing else,” Bispeck says.
She recommends a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes (like beans or lentils) to give your body the range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants it needs to stay healthy. Eating a variety of healthy foods also helps prevent weight gain and can lower body fat.
“Excess body weight increases the amount of hormones in your body,” Bispeck explains. “And when those extra hormones go unused, they can promote cancer cell growth, increasing a women’s risk of breast and endometrial cancers.”
Below Bispeck shares seven foods you should include in a healthy diet.
Kick-start your morning with a cup of coffee. Some research suggests women who drink several cups of black coffee every day are 25% less likely to develop a common type of uterine cancer, as well as other forms of the disease.
“Coffee contains compounds that change the way a woman’s body uses certain hormones, like estrogen and insulin. This change may explain the drink’s anti-cancer benefits,” Bispeck says.
But be warned: It’s not clear if a cup of decaf offers the same benefits. “And, adding sugar or cream takes away coffee’s cancer-fighting ability,” Bispeck says. Plus, sugar and cream can add unwanted calories.
Lentils are dried beans rich in dietary fiber and fiber may reduce your chances of colorectal cancer. “Fiber helps your gut produce chemicals that stop tumor cells from forming,” Bispeck says.
Fiber also keeps you full longer, helping you maintain a healthy weight. And, it can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Other great fiber sources include beans, whole-wheat pasta, barley and brown rice.
Garlic is loaded with manganese, vitamins B6 and C, and selenium. Someresearch suggests these nutrients can fend off the cancer cell growth in your intestines. The pungent vegetable, great as a seasoning, also may help lower your risk of stomach, colon and breast cancers.
4. Leafy greens
Dark green leafy vegetables, like kale, spinach and broccoli, are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. They’re bursting with fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that reduce your risks of many different types of cancer, including colorectal cancer. Eating lots of leafy greens also can help you maintain a lean body weight and reduce your chances for heart disease and diabetes.
Tomatoes are packed with lycopene, a natural chemical found in plants. This chemical is a powerful antioxidant that may lower breast, lung and stomachcancer risks. Other fruits with lycopene-fighting powers include watermelon, pink grapefruit and most fruits with red-colored flesh.
Grapes are sweet and juicy berries thatcontain a ton of the antioxidant resveratrol, which may block the formation of breast,liver, stomach and lymphatic system cancers. A grape’s skin has the most resveratrol, so leave the skin intact. Red and purple grapes have more resveratrol than green grapes.
Onions contain an antioxidant called quercetin. “It may help fight cancer by lowering inflammation in your body,” Bispeck says. Some studies show yellow onions and shallots may be particularly good at protecting you from liver and coloncancers.
Eat a healthy variety
“Including these seven foods to your diet is a great way to help protect your body from cancer,” Bispeck says. But don’t stop there.
A healthy diet also includes:
- A rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
- Whole grains.
- Plant-based proteins.
- Limiting red meat and avoiding processed meat.
- Eating less salt.
- Limiting alcohol.
- Avoiding sugary beverages and energy-dense foods.
Following these guidelines gives you the best chance to prevent cancer.
Are Electronic Cigarettes Safer to Use than Conventional Cigarettes?
Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered vaporizers that deliver nicotine and other additives in an aerosol format. An LED light at the tip simulates burning tobacco.
Update: On April 24, 2014, the US Food and Drug Administration proposed new rules that would expand its regulatory authority to include electronic cigarettes. As reported in The New York Times, the regulations would ban the sale of e-cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco to Americans under 18, and would require that people buying them show photo identification to prove their age. Below is a post that addresses the FDA’s concerns on the safety of e-cigarettes, featuring assistant director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Tobacco Cessation Program, Jack E. Burkhalter.
Many smokers around the world are choosing electronic cigarettes (also known as e-cigarettes) in the belief that they are less damaging to their health. Millions of Americans have joined the trend since the tobacco-free devices were introduced domestically in 2007, with sales estimated to reach $1 billion this year.
Although they differ in shape and size, e-cigarettes basically all function in the same way. The user inhales through a mouthpiece, triggering a sensor that turns on a battery-powered heater. This action vaporizes liquid nicotine and activates a light at the tip.
The heater also vaporizes substances such as propylene glycol and glycerol to produce theatrical smoke similar to the white puff produced when exhaling tobacco cigarettes. Flavorings such as mint, chocolate, and bubblegum are often added.
Among the new users are many young people. The number that have tried e-cigarettes doubled from 2011 to 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control, which estimates that a total of 1.78 million middle and high school children have experimented with the devices.
As the assistant director of Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Tobacco Cessation Program, Jack E. Burkhalter hears questions and concerns about the safety of e-cigarettes every day.
Dr. Burkhalter says he often hears smokers claim e-cigarettes must be healthier than conventional cigarettes because they do not contain tobacco. But e-cigarettes do contain a liquid form of nicotine, a highly addictive tobacco component that may cause changes in the developing brains of young people. And the consequences of long-term nicotine use in adults have not even been fully studied, Dr. Burkhalter explains.
“Another problem is that we have no way of knowing what’s in a given product,” Dr. Burkhalter says, as manufacturers and types of e-cigarettes vary widely. “There is no one product — so it is impossible to determine whether any given e-cigarette is in fact safer than a conventional one, or safer than another brand of e-cigarette.”
Most electronic cigarettes sold in the United States are imported from China, which does not regulate or standardize the products. Domestic e-cigarettes are not government regulated, either. As a result, users are left in the dark regarding how much nicotine or other substances they are inhaling.
What those other substances might be is yet to be determined. While more research on the topic is needed, some studies indicate that e-cigarettes may contain a variety of chemicals, from suspected carcinogens to heavy metals and airway irritants.
Nor has much research been done to determine the health impact of inhaling e-cigarette vapors into the lungs.
“So while they may seem to be safer compared to tobacco cigarettes because they don’t contain tobacco and tobacco smoke, we can’t really quantify if that is the case,” Dr. Burkhalter says. “Overall, I hope for the best—but fear the worst.”
Source: Sloan Kettering
At least 50% of Cancer can be Prevented through Lifestyle changes
Modern oncology treatment often focuses on destroying cancer cells and targeting abnormal gene function – an essential aspect of therapy. But what if the focus of treatment extended beyond this, and, in addition, focused on modifying behaviors known to be associated with cancer?
It is becoming more evident that truly effective cancer care should simultaneously foster lifestyle changes that will improve biological processes and alter the tumor-microenvironment. The American Cancer Society, the American Institute for Cancer Research, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that at least fifty percent of cancer can be prevented through appropriate lifestyle changes such as eliminating smoking, maintaining a proper diet and healthy weight, minimizing alcohol consumption, and exercising regularly. These same lifestyle factors can also influence outcomes for a number of cancers including breast, colorectal, and endometrial cancer to name a few. click here for the rest of the story from MD Anderson Cancer Center.
According to my study and personal experience, diet and lifestyle changes beneficial to me include:
- Daily supplementation of vitamin D. Studies show that vitamin D helps prevent certain cancers, including breast, ovarian, prostate and colorectal. Read more;
- Increased fiber in my diet. Fiber moves excess estrogen out of your body. Studies have shown that women on a high-fiber diet have lower levels of circulating estrogen. Lower levels of estrogen mean less estrogen stimulation of breast tissue, for example, which reduces the risk of breast cancer.
- Decreased consumption of high glycemic foods, such as white breads and pastas and desserts and sweets which cause blood sugar to spike then drop. Studies show that not only do high glycemic foods boost risk for leading to type 2 diabetes and obesity, but can also lead to colon cancer.
- Drinking more water. Water is the basis of all life and that includes your body. Your muscles that move your body are 75% water; blood that transports nutrients is 82% water; your lungs that provide your oxygen are 90% water; your brain that is the control center of your body is 76% water; even your bones are 25% water. Our health is truly dependent on the quality and quantity of the water we drink.
- Exercising 30 minutes every day. Exercise can reduce the risk of diseases such as heart disease, non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, some cancers, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, and obesity. Studies also show that exercise can promote psychological well-being and reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Exercise can be as simple as taking a walk.
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Six Tips for Finding a Qualified Oncology Massage Therapist
by Sat Siri Sumler, LMT, NCTMB, RYT, Massage Therapist | Integrative Medicine Program, MD Anderson
1. Consult Your Oncologist
2. Find an Oncology Massage Therapist
3. Ask About Their Training
4. Ask About Their Oncology Massage Experience
5. Do They Specialize in a Particular Massage Modality?
6. How will They Modify Massage for You?
click here for full story @ MD Anderson