Posts Tagged ‘risk’

Can Depression Influence Lung Cancer Survival?

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

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A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on October 3 concluded that worsening symptoms depression are associated with shorter survival for lung cancer patients, especially for those in the early stages of the disease. On the other hand, when symptoms lift, survival tends to improve. Researchers said “This study cannot prove causation–but it lends support to the idea that surveillance for depression symptoms and treatment for depression could provide significant impact on patients outcomes, perhaps even a mortality benefit.” They also said “Suprisingly, depression remission was associated with a mortality benefit as they had the same mortality as never-depressed patients.”

In the study more than 1700 newly diagnosed lung cancer patients between 2003 and 2005 who had completed an eight item depression assessment at diagnoses and 12 months later were followed. they found almost 40 percent or 681 people had depressive symptoms at diagnosis and 14 percent or 105 people developed new-onset symptoms during treatment. Those depressed at the beginning of the study were 17 percent more likely to die during follow up than those with out depressive symptoms. Those (105 patients) with newly-diagnosed depression symptoms were 50 percent more likely to die than those (640 patients) who never developed depression. And another 254 patients whose depression lasted throughout the study period were 42 percent more likely to die. However, those whose depression at diagnoses were free of depression one year later had the same risk of death as those without depression.

Researchers concluded “Clinicians have to do a better job of treating the whole person and not focusing on the disease only.” “From the patients’ perspective, hopefully some of them will take a look at this study and realize the feelings they arew experiencing are common and they will feel empowered to advocate for themselves and ask their clinician for help or resources when they need it.”

Can Men with a High Genetic Chance of Bowel Cancer lower their Risk with a Healthy Lifestyle?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

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Recent research published in the journal Genetics in Medicine concluded that men with a high genetic risk of developing bowel cancer over the next 25 years could have a lower of developing the disease if they have a healthy lifestyle. They continue that men of 50 who have a high risk of developing bowel cancer have a 29 per cent risk of developing the disease within 25 years and by living healthy the risk could drop as low as 13 per cent.

In the study genetic and lifestyle risk factors were combined to help find men at the highest risk of developing bowel cancer.  Mathematical models of 37 different factors that could put people at risk of cancer were used to calculate how likely it was for a man to be diagnosed with bowel cancer over the following 25 years. Factors included inherited genetic faults increasing the risk of bowel cancer, and lifestyle factors affecting that risk such as consumption of alcohol, red meat, and fruit and vegetables, body mass index, smoking habits, physical activity, aspirin use, and inflammatory bowel disease. Based upon their findings they estimated 610 cases of bowel cancer could be prevented over the following 25 years if 10,000 men in the highest risk category had the healthiest lifestyle.  For men in the lowest risk group, 70 cases of bowel cancer could be prevented.

Researchers concluded “Bowel cancer is one of the biggest cancer killers and the number of cases is going up in the Western world. We have made big strides in our understanding of the genetic and lifestyle factors  that can contribute to the development of bowel cancer, and that gives us an opportunity to begin assessing people for their future risk. If we can identify people who are at a strongly increased risk, through genetic and lifestyle factors, we can begin to give them targeted health messages, aimed at helping them make choices that could prevent the disease.”

Air Pollution and Cancer

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

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A new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention concluded that long term exposure to environmental pollutants are associated with increased risk of mortality for many types of cancer in an elderly population in Hong Kong adding to a growing concern about the health risk of prolonged exposure to ambient fine particle materials. Some particles found in air included hydrocarbons and heavy metals produced by transportation and power generators. The focus of the study was on fine particles less than 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) in diameter. It was found that for every 10 microgram per cubic meter (µg/m3) of increased exposure to PM2.5. the risk of dying from cancer rose by 22 percent. Researchers said “The implications for other similar cities around the world are that PM2.5 must be reduced to reduce the health burden. Air pollution remains a clear, modifiable public health concern.”  In relation to cancer the researchers said ” Long-term exposure to particulate matter has been associated with mortality mainly from cardiopulmonary causes and lung cancer, but there has been few studies showing an association with mortality from other cancers.  We suspect that these particulates could have an equivalent effect on cancers elsewhere in the body.”

Sixty six thousand two hundred eighty people between age 65 and older between 1998 and 2001 were followed until 2011. Causes of death within the group were determined from the Hong Kong registration.  Annual concentration of PM2.5 at their homes was estimated using satellite data and fixed-site monitoring.  Findings were adjusted for smoking status, and deaths occurring within 3 years of baseline.    Results showed that for every 10 ug/m3 of increased exposure   to PM2.5, the risk of dying from any cancer rose by 22 percent. This increase was also associat4ed with a 42 percent increased risk of mortality from cancer in the upper digestive tract and a 35 per4cent increase risk of mortality from accessory digestive organs including the liver, bile ducts, bladder, and pancreas.  For women, every increase of 10 ug/m3 increase in exposure to PM2.5 produced an 80 percent increased risk of mortality from breast cancer, and for me this produced a 36 percent increased risk of dying of lung cancer. Causes for these associations  may include defects in DNA repair functions, alternations in the body’s immune response, or inflammation that triggers angiogenesis, that allows the growth of new blood vessels allowing tumors to spread according to the researchers. In addition, heavy metal pollution could affect gut microbiota and influence the development of cancer in the digestive system, they postulate. Researchers say we mist be cautious about the findings because pollution is only one risk factor and others such as diet and exercise may be more identifiable and modifiable.

Can the Risk of Colorectal Cancer Among Obese People be Reduced?

Friday, January 22nd, 2016

logo1267406_mdA new study published in Cancer Research concluded that they have discovered the biological previously unfound connection of a long known association between obesity and an increased risk of colorectal cancer. They have also identified an approved drug that might prevent  the cancer in obese people.

In research they found that a high caloric diet turned off expression of a key hormone in the intestines, which lead to deactivation of a tumor suppressor pathway. Genetic replacement of that hormone turned the tumor suppressor back on and prevented cancer development even when mice continued to eat excess calories. The drug that was used was linaclotide (Linzess) that is structurally related to the hormone and may be a therapeutic approach to prevent colorectal cancer in obese patients. The researchers said “Our study suggests that colorectal cancer can be prevented in obese individuals with the use of hormone replacement therapy.”

In the study they used genetically engineered mice on different diets and found that obesity (either from excess fat or carbohydrate consumption. or both, is associated with loss of the hormone guanylin, that is produced in the intestine’s epithelium or cells lining the intestines. The hormones turn on its receptor guarylyl  cyclase (GUCY2C) that regulates processes underlying regeneration of the intestinal epithelium. “The lining of the intestines is very dynamic and continuously being replaced, and the GUCY2C contributes to the choreography of the key processes  needed for thus regeneration.”  Deactivation of the guanylin gene is common in colorectal cancers in both humans and animals and morbidly ovese patients echibit an 80% decrease in Guanylin gene expression compared to lean people.

In this study they found the consequence of that loss is that , and without the hormone, the receptor is silent. the guanylin  hormone receptor acts as a growth-controlling tumor suppressor happening early in the cancer development. “When the receptor is silenced, the epithelium becomes dysfunctional, setting up the conditions for cancer development.” The research demonstrates that obese mice, compared to lean mice, were much more likely to silence the hormone and its receptor, “We believe that if colorectal cancer is going to develop, it will be through this silencing mechanism-and that it will happen much more frequently in the obese.” This study demonstrates that if you can prevent hormone loss, you can also prevent tumor development and  a drug like guanylin, can activate GUCY2C tumor-suppressing receptors to prevent cancer in these patients.

Researchers have already started multi site clinical studies testing dose and side effects of linaclotide use in healthy volunteers.

 

Can Therapy for Prostate Cancer Increase Risk of Alzheimers

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Logos 005A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology concluded  that men taking androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer were almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s later in life than those who did not use the therapy based on the analysis of medical records. In addition, men with the longest duration of using ADT were even more likely to suffer Alzheimer’s. Researchers said this does not prove that ADT increases the risk of Alzheimer’s but point to that possibility and are consistent to other evidence that low levels of testosterone may weaken the brain of aging individuals resistance to Alzheimer’s.  The researchers said “We wanted to contribute to the discussion regarding the relative risk and benefits of ADT. and no one had yet looked at the association between ADT and alzheimer’s disease.” “Based on the results of our study, an increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease is a potential adverse effect of ADT, but further research is needed befre considering changes to clinical practice.”

For this study, the researchers evaluated large sets of medical records from two hospitals on the east and west coasts.  In total, there were about 5 million patients. of whom 16,888 had a diagnoses of prostate cancer and met the other criteria of the study. Of the 16,888 prostate cancer patients about 2,400 had received ADT and had the necessary follow up records. This group was compared with a control group of prostate cancer patients who did not receive ADT that were matched by age and other factors.

Using two different statistical analysis methods, the researchers  showed that the ADT group , xompared to the control group, had significantly more Alzheimer’s diagnoses in later years and showed that the ADT group were about 88 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s during the follow up period. Further studies are planned  to determine whether ADT does increase Alzheimer’s risk using data from large cancer registries.

Does Yo Yo Dieting Increase your Risk of Cancer?

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

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The largest study to date reported in early the online American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that weight cycling, repeated cycles of intentional weight loss followed by regain, was not associated with overall risk of cancer in men and women after adjusting for body mass index and other factors. Previous studies in animals and humans have reported that weight cycling may lead to biological processes such as increased T-cell accumulation, enhanced inflammatory responses in adipose tissue, and lowered natural killer cell cytotoxicity that could lead to cancer. However, many of these studies have not been confirmed by follow up studies and at least 2 previous studies showed no association between weight cycling and cancer.

This study examined weight cycling and cancer among more than 132,999 men and women in the Cancer Prevention Study II Nutritional Cohort  of the American Cancer Society. Data collection began in 1992/1993 on men and women age 50 to 74 to explore the effect of nutrition on cancer incidence and mortality. Weight cycling and the incidence of all cancers and 15 individual cancers were studied. Over 25,000 subjects developed cancer during the 17 years of the study. Researchers said “This study, to our knowledge the largest and most comprehensive to date on the issue, should be reassuring. Our findings suggest that overweight and obese individuals shouldn’t let fears about ability to maintain weight loss keep them from trying to lose weight in the first place.”

Is Eating Chocolate Daily Good for your Heart Health?

Friday, June 19th, 2015

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A new study published online in the journal Heart concluded that eating up to 100 gm of chocolate daily is associated with lower heart disease and risk of stroke. Specifically eating this amount of chocolate compared to those who ate no chocolate is associated with an 11% lower risk of cardiovascular disease and a 25% lower risk of associated death.  Thus, there does not seem to be evidence for cutting out chocolate to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

These results were based on analysis of almost 21,000 adults who participated in the study that traced the impact of diet on long term health of 25,000 men and women in England using food frequency and lifestyle questionnaires. Researchers also reviewed published evidence of links between chocolate and cardiovascular disease that involved almost 158,000 people. In the study subjects were monitored almost 12 years on average, during which time 3013 (14%) experienced either an episode of fatal or non-fatal coronary heart disease or stroke. Among subjects about 1 in 5 said they did not eat any chocolate . but among the others daily consumption averaged 7 gm with some eating up to 100 gm. Eating more chocolate was also associated with higher energy intake and a diet containing more fat and carbohydrates and less protein and alcohol.

In addition, to results presented earlier, additional results showed a 9% lower risk of hospital admission or death as a result of coronary heart disease after taking into account dietary factors. Results also showed a 23% lower risk of stroke for those eating chocolate. Analysis of published studies showed similar results. Because this is an observational study, the researchers said no definitive conclusions about cause and effect can be made. However, they say “Cumulative evidence suggests that higher chocolate intake is associated with a lower risk of future cardiovascular events.” They add that since milk chocolate was more often used by the subjects, the health benefits may extend tyo this type of chocolate also.

Does Obesity Increase the Risk of Breast Cancer among Post Menopausal Women?

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

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A recent analysis in an article in  online  JAMA Oncology suggested that postmenopausal women who were overweight and obese had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer compared to women of normal weight. Results were based upon data from 67,142 postmenopausal women between 1993 and 1998 with a median age of 13 years of follow-up. There were 3,388 invasive breast cancers.

Results showed 1) women who were overweight or obese as measured by the body mass index had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer compared to women of normal weight measured by the body mass index; 2) the risk was greatest for women with a body mass index (BMI) greater than 35 who had a increased risk of 58 percent when compared with women of normal weight (BMI under 25); 3) a BMI of 35 or higher was associated with an increased risk of estrogen and progesteron receptor-positive breast cancer but not estrogen receptor-negative cancers; 4) obesity was associated with markers of poor prognosis: women with a BMI greater than 35 were more likely to have large tumors, evidence of lymph none involvement and poorly  differentiated tumors; 5) women with a baseline BMI under 25 gaining more than 5 percent body weight during the follow-up period had an increased risk of breast cancer; 6) among overweight or obese women who changed weight (gain or lose) there was no increased risk of breast cancer during follow up; and 7)post-menopausal hormone therapy had no effect on the BMI-breast cancer relationship.  Researchers further said “Obesity is associated with a dose-response increased postmenopausal breast cancer risk, particularly for estrogen receptor-and progesterone receptor-positive disease, but risk does not vary by hormone therapy use ot race/ethnicity.” More research is needed according to the researchers.

Does Fitness Level Influence Risk of Cancer and Death in Men?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Does Fitness Level Influence Risk of Cancer and Death in Men

A new study published in the online JAMA Oncology concluded that men with a high fitness level in midlife seem to be at lower risk for lung and colorectal cancer, but not prostate cancer. In addition, a higher fitness level may also predict aa lower risk of death if they are diagnosed with cancer when they are older.

The purpose of the study was to look at the association between midlife cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) and the incidence of cancer and survival at age 65 or older. The study included 13,949 men who had a baseline fitness exam where CRF was measured in a treadmill test between 1971 and 2009. Lung cancer, prostate and colorectal cancers were assessed on this group using medicare data between 1999 and 2009. during an average surveillance period of 6.5 years for the men, 1310 developed prostate cancer, 200 lung cancer, and 181 developed colorectal cancer.  Results showed that high CRF in midlife was associated with a 55 percent lower risk of lung cancer, and a 44 percent lower risk of colorectal cancer compared to men with low CRF. However, this association was not seen between high CRF and lower prostate cancer risk. Researchers also found that high CRF in midlife was associated with a 32 percent lower risk of cancer death among men who developed lung, colorectal or prostate cancer at age 65 compared with men who had alow CRF.  In addition, high CRF in midlife was associated with a 68 percent reduction in cardiovascular disease death (CVD) compared with low CRF among men who developed cancer.  Further research is needed to determine specific levels of CRF necessary toi prevent site specific cancer.

Does Breast Cancer Increase the Risk of Thyroid Cancer?

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Does Breast Cancer Increase the Risk of Thyroid Cancer

Risk of Thyroid Cancer: New research presented at the 97th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society concluded that breast cancer survivors are at increased risk of thyroid cancer especially within 5 years of the breast cancer diagnosis. Data used included 704,402 patients with only breast cancer, 49,663 patients with only thyroid cancer, and 1,526 patients who developed thyroid cancer after breast cancer between the years 1973 and 2011.  Those who had breast cancer followed by thyroid cancer were younger on average when diagnosed with breast cancer than those with breast cancer alone; were more likely to have invasive ductal carcinoma; a smaller focus of cancer; and to have received radiation therapy. There was no difference in risk of having hormonal positive or had spread to lymph nodes in the two groups. When compared to those with thyroid cancer alone, those with breast cancer followed by thyroid cancer were more likely to have a more aggressive type of thyroid cancer, but the cancers were smaller in size, and fewer patients required additional radioactive iodine treatment. Patients with breast cancer followed by thyroid cancer were older than those with thyroid cancer only by 65 vs 45 years and the median age for developing the thyroid cancer following breast cancer was 5 years. The researchers recommended that breast cancer patients who receive radiation therapy be followed closely for 5 years.