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Tag: Cancer

Canada’s first same-day breast cancer diagnosis

Canada’s biggest cancer hospital announced that it expanded a clinic that can offer what no other hospital in this country can: same-day breast cancer diagnosis. The rapid diagnostic breast clinic at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital will be able to provide a patient a diagnosis in a matter of hours instead of the more typical five-week wait.

Patients also receive an immediate treatment plan based on their diagnosis, which explains their treatment options: surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. Women in Canada typically wait weeks for a diagnosis after finding a suspicious lump in their breast. But at Princess Margaret, almost 500 patients have quietly been undergoing rapid testing at the clinic as part of a pilot project that began in the fall of 2006.

More about this in the video below by CTV:

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Ribavirin: the antiviral drug becomes promising cancer-fighter

A commonly used antiviral drug that’s already used to fight hepatitis C and HIV could also be used to treat 30% of cancer types, according to a new study conducted on patients in Canada.

Doctors in Montreal tested the antiviral drug Ribavirin on 11 patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), who had undergone several other treatments that had previously failed. Nine of the patients saw their conditions improve within a matter of months, with one achieving complete remission and two achieving partial remission, all with few side effects. The results are published online in the journal, Blood.

The researchers, led by Dr. Katherine Borden, at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of the Université de Montréal, say that ribavirin works by suppressing activity of the eIF4E gene, which becomes overactive in 30 per cent of cancer types and overproduces a protein that helps turn cells cancerous.

More about this in the video below by CTV:

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Second-hand smoke causes breast cancer in young women

Before now, most breast cancers were believed to be related to hormones, but now researchers are looking at tobacco as well. In an new analysis of hundreds of studies and thousands of patient histories, an international expert panel announced a week ago that smoking does increase the risk of breast cancer. The panel looked at second-hand smoke too and concluded that it’s a factor in breast cancer in younger pre-menopausal women, but not necessarily in older post-menopausal women.

CBC’s Nancy Wood has the details in the video below:

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Lots of red meat increases the risk of premature death

Last week, the largest study of its kind published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that those who ate large amounts of red meat and processed meats faced a greater risk of death from heart disease and cancer. In contrast, a higher intake of white meat was associated with a slightly reduced risk of death over the same period.

The researchers from the US National Cancer Institute, led by Dr. Rashmi Sinha, evaluated more than 500,000 men and women over a 10 year period. For the study, red meat included beef, pork, bacon, ham, hamburger, hot dogs, liver, pork sausage, steak, and meats in foods such as pizza, stews, and lasagna. White meat included turkey, fish, chicken, chicken mixtures, and other meats. Processed meat was either white or red meat that was cured, dried, or smoked, Sinha said, such as bacon, chicken sausage, lunch meats, and cold cuts.

More about this in the video below by Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV:

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Nanotechnology may offer alternative to radiation for cancer patients

Nanotechnology is the study of the control of matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally nanotechnology deals with structures of the size 100 nanometers or smaller, and involves developing materials or devices within that size.

Nanotechnology is extremely diverse and spans many subfields such as nanomaterials, nanomedicine, molecular self-assembly and nanotechnology, nanoelectronics, and many others. It is already applied in hundreds of consumer products to enhance colour and durability of paints or make socks less smelly etc…

Researchers are now focusing on nanotechnology to develop new cancer treatments that could one day replace radiation and chemotherapy. Scientists can use nano particles, created in the laboratory and delivered deep into the body, that would recognize, target, and kill tumor cells.

More about this in the video below from CBC:

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Red wine increases the risks of breast cancer

Last month, research showed that drinking alcohol increases the risks of breast cancer, but researchers, led by Polly Newcomb from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, wanted to analyze red wine specifically because it has been shown to have beneficial effects on prostate cancer and heart disease.

This recent study, published in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, showed no difference between red or white wine when it comes to breast cancer risks; both increase the risk of the disease.

Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV talks about it in the video below:

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Calcium may reduce the risks of digestive cancers

We know that an adequate intake of calcium benefits bone health, but according to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, it appears that it may also lower the risks of digestive cancers, and particularly colorectal cancer (colon cancer).

Researchers at the National Cancer Institute analyzed data from half a million men and women over a long period of time who participated in a diet and health study. Those records were then linked to cancer registries. The men who consumed the most calcium had a 16% lower risk of those types of cancer, while women who consumed the most calcium reduced their risk by 23%.

More about this study in the interview below by CTV with Dr. Marla Shapiro:

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Frequent Marijuana use could cause testicular cancer

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle have just found that frequent or long-term marijuana use can significantly increase a man’s risk of developing the most aggressive type of testicular cancer.

The team interviewed 369 men with testicular cancer, in the Seattle area - mostly in their 20s and 30s - about their history of marijuana use. Even after other “lifestyle” factors such as smoking and drinking as well as risks such as a family history of the disease, cannabis use emerged as a significant possible cause, the study published in the journal Cancer concluded. But they emphasized that their results were not definitive and called for further studies.

Dr. Rhonda Low from CTV explains it more in the video below:

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