Thursday, 30 March 2017

High doses of vitamin D do not cut cancer risk

A new clinical trial conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School indicate that high doses of vitamin D supplements may not lower risk of developing cancer in older women.  According to Dr. JoAnn Manson, the trial, involving 2,300 older women randomly assigned either high-doses of vitamin D plus calcium or placebo pills resulted in "no compelling evidence that vitamin D reduces cancer incidence."  Two additional trials, comprising 20,000 individuals are currently ongoing.

For more information, click here.

Monday, 27 March 2017

MRI for prostate cancer screening

A new study conducted by Dutch researchers indicates that MRI screening can reduce overdiagnosis of prostate cancer by 50% in men over 70. According to lead researcher Dr. Arnout Alberta, from the urology department at Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the study, conducted in 335 men 71 years of age and older, found that "70% of the men...would not have needed biopsies at all if MRI had been used beforehand, because no suspicious areas showed up on their scans."

To read more about this study, click here.  

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Family history of colon cancer necessitates earlier screening

According to a recent hospital news release by Dr. Walter Koltun, chief of colon and rectal surgery at Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center, individuals with a family history of colon or rectal cancers should be screened before age 50.  According to Koltun, "if more than one close relative has had colon or rectal cancer, your risk of getting such a cancer is 12 times greater."

To read more about this news release, click here.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Obesity linked to higher esophageal and stomach cancer risk

A new study from the U.S. National Cancer Institute indicates a correlation between overweight individuals in their 20s with an increased risk of esophageal and stomach cancer should they become obese later in life.  Study data revealed a 60%-80% increase risk of developing the above noted cancers for individuals who were overweight from age 20 compared to those with a normal body weight.  According to lead researcher Jessica Petrick, "these findings underscore the potential of weight control programs for decreasing the likelihood of developing esophageal and stomach cancer, both of which have extremely poor survival ."

To read more about this study, click here.

Friday, 10 March 2017

CHANGE Cancer Alberta: new cancer prevention program

An innovative new cancer prevention program aimed at increasing physical activity, promoting healthy eating and reducing obesity has been a successful initiative for more than 800 Albertans thus far.  Known as CHANGE, the program "links people at risk of chronic disease with a registered dietitian and an exercise specialist."

To read more about CHANGE, click here.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

Soy safe and protective for breast cancer survivors

While the debate surrounding the use of soy for breast cancer patients has been discussed for several years, a new study conducted at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston breast cancer survivors who consumed soy had a lower risk of death during a 10 year follow-up period.  According to Dr. Fang Fang Zhang, assistant professor of epidemiology at Tufts University, "overall, consuming higher levels of soy is associated with a 21% reduction in the risk of death compared to women who consumed soy at a lower level".

To read more about this study, click here.

Monday, 6 March 2017

Brain training for cancer survivor's nerve damage

A new study conducted at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center investigates the use of neurofeedback, aimed at helping cancer survivors control symptoms of chemotherapy-induced nerve damage.  According to lead investigator Sarah Prinsloo, "neurofeedback has no known side effects, can be used in combinations with other treatments and is reasonable cost-effective."

To read more about this study, click here.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Colon and rectal cancers rising in young people

Scientists are reporting a sharp rise in colorectal cancers in adults as young as their 20s and 30s, though the reasons are unclear.

The vast majority of colorectal cancers are still found in older people, with nearly 90 percent of all cases diagnosed in people over 50. But a new study from the American Cancer Society that analyzed cancer incidence by birth year found that colorectal cancer rates, which had dropped steadily for people born between 1890 and 1950, have been increasing for every generation born since 1950. Experts aren’t sure why.

Rectal cancers are rising particularly sharply, far faster than cancers in other parts of the large intestine or colon. The American Cancer Society estimates about 13,500 new cases of colon and rectal cancers will be diagnosed in Americans under 50 this year, with more than 95,500 cases of colon cancer and nearly 40,000 cases of rectal cancer in all age groups.

Read Full Article

Study mentioned:
Colorectal Cancer Incidence Patterns in the United States, 1974–2013
Rebecca L. Siegel Stacey A. Fedewa William F. Anderson Kimberly D. Miller Jiemin Ma Philip S. Rosenberg Ahmedin Jemal
J Natl Cancer Inst (2017) 109 (8): djw322. DOI:
Published: 28 February 2017

Monday, 27 February 2017

SWOG study shows strong long-term survival rates for patients with GIST

Nine years ago, SWOG researchers confirmed a new standard of care for patients with incurable gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), who could survive by being treated with imatinib mesylate, the breakthrough drug marketed as Gleevec. SWOG researchers are back with long-term findings from that study, which estimate that nearly one in four patients treated with Gleevec will survive 10 years. Results are published in JAMA Oncology.

In this new study results published in JAMA Oncology, researchers from SWOG, the international cancer research community supported by the National Cancer Institute, report a follow-up of patients originally enrolled in S0033, a SWOG-led trial supported by other groups in the NCI's National Clinical Trials Network (NCTN). Initial results published in 2008 confirmed Gleevec as an effective treatment for advanced GIST patients.

Study mentioned:
JAMA Oncol. 2017 Feb 9. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2016.6728. [Epub ahead of print]
Correlation of Long-term Results of Imatinib in Advanced Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors With Next-Generation Sequencing Results: Analysis of Phase 3 SWOG Intergroup Trial S0033.

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Exercise a powerful ally for breast cancer survivors

New research from Canada indicates that exercise more than any other healthy habit lowers a breast cancer survivors chance of dying.  According to author Dr. Ellen Warner, medical oncology at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre in Ontario, of all of the lifestyle changes patients made in reducing the risk of cancer recurrence, "exercise came out on top, reducing the risk of breast cancer death by about 40%."

To read more about this study, click here.