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Quit Smoking Before 45 & Wipe Out 87% of Lung Cancer Risk

MONDAY, Oct. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers who kick the habit before age 45 can nearly eliminate their excess risk of dying from lung or other cancers, a new study estimates.

It's well-established that after smokers quit, their risk of tobacco-related cancers drops substantially over time.

Researchers said the new findings underscore the power of quitting a...

Why Are Cases of Pancreatic Cancer Rising in Young Women?

MONDAY, Oct. 25, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- In his work with patients who have pancreatic cancer, Dr. Srinivas Gaddam was bothered by something that he was seeing.

"There are some patients that you can't stop thinking about because they've left a mark on you and you try your best to turn things around, but there's only so much you can do," said Gaddam, who said he had fou...

Just 5 Hours of Moderate Exercise a Week Cuts Your Cancer Risk

Just a few hours a week of moderate exercise may reduce your risk of cancer, a new study suggests.

If Americans got the recommended five hours a week of moderate-intensity physical activity, more than 46,000 cancer cases could be prevented in the United States each year, according to the report.

The study authors said that 3% of all cancer cases in U.S. adults aged 30 and older fr...

When Cancer Strikes, Who's at Higher Risk for Suicide?

U.S. cancer patients in poor and rural areas are more likely to die by suicide than those in affluent, urban areas, a new study finds.

"People who have received a cancer diagnosis are faced with a number of challenges, such as accessing reliable and affordable care, that can add to existing anxiety or depression associated with their illness," said lead author Ryan Suk. "But those who liv...

Researchers Find Better Way to Fight Breast Cancer That Has Spread to Brain

Researchers may have found a noninvasive way to temporarily open the brain's borders to allow tumor-fighting medication inside.

By necessity, the brain is shielded by a layer of specialized cells called the blood-brain barrier. Its job is to allow needed substances in -- like oxygen and sugar -- while keeping out substances that could be toxic.

Unfortunately, that means medications ...

Treating Depression Could Lengthen Lung Cancer Patients' Lives

Persistent depression can significantly shorten lung cancer survival -- even if patients receive the latest cancer treatments, new research shows.

"We need to help these patients, not only at diagnosis, but throughout treatment to take depressive symptoms out of the equation and let these impressive new therapies do their jobs," said lead author Barbara Anderson, a professor of psychology...

Climate Change Could Bring Rising Obesity Rates

You can add obesity and its related health risks to the long list of threats posed by climate change, researchers report.

In a new review, researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia outlined the association between climate change and obesity.

As global temperatures increase, people may become less physically active and less able to burn excess fat, putting them at incr...

Your Free Cancer Screen Shows Trouble: What If You Can't Afford the Follow-Up?

Just over a decade ago, the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) made many common cancer screenings free. But a pair of new studies caution that when those free tests turn up signs of trouble, important follow-up tests may be too pricey for some patients.

The bigger concern: Some patients may forgo these expensive tests, even when they may prove lifesaving.

"With t...

Anti-Nausea Drug May Boost Survival for Some Cancer Patients

Patients who undergo surgery for certain types of cancer may have better short-term survival if they receive a particular anti-nausea drug, a preliminary study suggests.

Among more than 74,000 patients who had cancer surgery, researchers found that those who received the drug -- called dexamethasone -- were less likely to die in the next 90 days.

The vast majority of all patients su...

Access to Top Drugs Makes the Difference for Black Lung Cancer Patients

Equal access to the most effective drugs helps eliminate the survival disparity between Black and white lung cancer patients in the United States, a new study shows.

In general, Black lung cancer patients are more likely to die than white patients, but these findings suggest that barriers to care are the main cause of racial disparities in lung cancer survival rates, the researchers said....

Why Skin Cancer Checks Are Even More Important for Hispanic People

When Hispanic people get a skin cancer diagnosis, their tumors are about 17% larger than those of white people, researchers say.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), skin cancer is often diagnosed at a more advanced stage in people with black and brown skin, leading to worse results. This makes it especially important to know the signs of skin cancer.

"Patients ...

Are Breast Self-Exams Necessary? The Answer May Surprise You

A shift in thinking means it's OK to skip your monthly breast self-exam — but don't miss your regular professional checkup and diagnostic imaging, health experts say.

A periodic visual check in a mirror can be helpful, breast health experts from the Cedars-Sinai health system in California suggest.

"Beginning at age 40, women with an average risk for breast cancer should rely on a...

1 in 7 Cancer Patients Worldwide Missed a Surgery Due to Pandemic

In yet another illustration of how the pandemic wreaked havoc on medical care, a new report shows that 15% of adult cancer patients worldwide didn't get potentially lifesaving surgery due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

"Our research reveals the collateral impact of lockdowns on patients awaiting cancer surgery during the pandemic. Whilst lockdowns are critical to saving lives and reducing the spr...

Racial Disparities Persist With Childhood Cancers

Black kids and Hispanic kids with cancer fare worse than their white counterparts, a large, nationwide study finds.

"This study suggests that improving health insurance coverage and access to care for children, especially those with low [socioeconomic status], may reduce racial/ethnic survival disparities," Jingxuan Zhao, an associate scientist at the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, a...

Colon Cancer Diagnoses Fell 40% in Pandemic, and That's Not Good News

Colon cancer numbers dropped dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that doesn't mean fewer people have the disease.

In Spain, researchers discovered a more than 40% decline in colon cancer diagnoses, leading experts to worry about the ramifications.

"These are very worrying findings indeed -- cases of colorectal cancer undoubtedly went undiagnosed during the pandemic. Not ...

Existing Drugs Could Treat Lung Cancer in Nonsmokers

There's some encouraging news for people who develop lung cancer even though they've never smoked.

Precision drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration can be used to treat 78% to 92% of their tumors, a new study reports. These precision drugs target specific mutations in tumors.

Most never-smokers' lung tumors have so-called driver mutations, specific mistakes...

New Tests for Colon, Prostate Cancer Show Promise

A pair of experimental tests could help doctors detect colon or prostate cancer with just a sample of blood or saliva.

One test examines a person's blood for four biomarkers linked to inflammation. In a small study, it outperformed the fecal blood test now used in colon cancer screening, said lead researcher Dr. Mona Eldeeb, of Alexandria University Medical Research Institute in Egypt.

Tough Choices: Chemo That Can Save Kids With Cancer Can Also Damage Hearing

The cancer drug cisplatin can save children's lives, but often with the side effect of hearing loss. Now a new study shows that young children are especially vulnerable, and the hearing damage may begin early in the course of treatment.

The researchers said the findings highlight the need to screen kids' hearing during each round of cisplatin treatment, to catch problems early.

Trials Show COVID Vaccines Well Worth It for Cancer Patients

If you have cancer and you think coronavirus vaccines may do you little good, don't let your hesitation stop you from getting the shots: A pair of clinical trials finds that patients' immune systems ramped up after vaccination.

The findings were presented this week during a virtual meeting of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO Congress 2021).

"We have to vaccinate all ...

Can a Computer Program Help Docs Spot Breast Cancer?

An artificial intelligence tool could help radiologists spot breast cancer on ultrasound images and reduce the need for extra testing, new research suggests.

"Our study demonstrates how artificial intelligence can help radiologists reading breast ultrasound exams to reveal only those that show real signs of breast cancer, and to avoid verification by biopsy in cases that turn out to be be...

Could a Japanese Plant Turn Cold Cuts Into Healthy Fare?

There's good news for health-conscious sausage and bacon lovers.

A new study suggests the Japanese knotweed plant could be used to make healthier cured meats.

According to researchers, this fast-growing plant that invades gardens and buildings contains a chemical that could take the place of the preservative nitrite, which has been linked to cancer, in cured meats. That might not on...

Cancer in Hispanics: Good News and Bad

Hispanic people in the United States have lower cancer rates than white people, but they are much more likely to develop certain preventable cancers.

"The good news is that overall cancer rates are lower in Hispanic people, but we are seeing very high rates of infectious disease-related cancers, many of which are potentially avoidable," said study author Kimberly Miller, a scientist at th...

Common Form of Liver Cancer on the Rise in Rural America

Liver cancer is on the rise in rural America, but on a downswing in cities, new research shows.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common type of liver cancer and the fastest-growing cause of cancer deaths in the United States. It's rising at an annual rate of nearly 6% in rural areas, approaching rates seen in cities, the study authors found.

"Considering that one in five A...

New Drug Combo Boosts Survival Against Aggressive Form of Breast Cancer

New research offers good news for women with an aggressive HER2-positive breast cancer.

A targeted therapy, trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd), sold as Enhertu, triples the length of time that the cancer remains in check when compared with the current gold standard, trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1).

Both of these drugs are second-line treatment options for HER2-positive breast cancer that...

Pfizer Recalls All Lots of Anti-Smoking Drug Chantix Due to Potential Carcinogen

Pfizer is expanding the recall of its anti-smoking drug Chantix (varenicline), the company announced Friday.

The nationwide recall of all Chantix 0.5 mg and 1 mg tablets was prompted because they may contain levels of a nitrosamine, N-nitroso-varenicline, that are at or above levels approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Long-term ingestion of N-nitroso-varenicline may b...

Blood Cancer Patients Could Benefit From COVID Booster Shot: Study

Patients with B-cell blood cancers who did not make antibodies to COVID-19 after two shots of vaccine may find that a third shot does the trick, new research finds.

More than half the patients who had failed to respond to the first two shots had a positive response to the third, or booster, shot, according to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society study.

"The additional COVID-19 vaccine do...

Having Even a Cousin or Grandparent With Colon Cancer Raises Your Risk: Study

Colon cancer risk runs in families, and it's not just a parent or sibling having had the disease that should concern you.

If you have a second- or third-degree relative who had colon cancer at an early age, your odds of having the disease substantially increase, a new study finds.

First-degree relatives include parents, children and siblings. Second-degree relatives include aunts, ...

9/11 First Responders Face Higher Cancer Risk 20 Years Later

Twenty years on, responders to the World Trade Center attacks in New York City are showing increased risks of certain cancers, two new studies confirm.

Researchers found higher-than-average rates of prostate cancer among firefighters, medics and other workers who toiled at the disaster site on and after Sept. 11, 2001.

And compared with firefighters from other major U.S. cities...

Your State's Laws Might Save Your Life If Breast Cancer Strikes

When Nancy Cappello was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2003, she was stunned.

How could this have happened? She went for her annual screening mammogram every year and was always told that all was fine.

It wasn't.

Cappello had dense breasts, but no one had ever told her. "The tumor was likely growing for five to seven years," said her husband, Joseph Cappello. "At th...

Child Cancers Are Rare, But Here Are Signs to Look For

Most parents want their children to live carefree lives, so a diagnosis of childhood cancer is devastating. Fortunately, pediatric cancers are rare.

Yet it doesn't hurt to be watchful for the warning signs, suggest experts in childhood cancer from Penn State Health.

The best screening most parents can do is to stay on track with well-child visits, the doctors said.

"For e...

Sen. Amy Klobuchar Treated for Breast Cancer

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar revealed Thursday that she's been treated for early-stage breast cancer, including surgery to remove a lump and radiation therapy.

The 61-year-old Minnesota Democrat said in a statement posted on social media that Mayo Clinic doctors found worrying signs...

In Cancer Patients, COVID Vaccine Immunity at 6 Months Is Similar to General Population

Cancer patients who get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine appear to maintain the same levels of antibodies as people without cancer, Israeli researchers report.

They compared the rate of COVID infections after the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine (Comirnaty) among 154 patients with solid tumors with that of 135 patients without cancer.

In all, 79% of the cancer patients had antibodies --...

Which Cancer Patients Need a COVID Booster Shot Most?

An alliance of leading U.S. cancer centers has updated guidance about COVID-19 vaccine boosters for cancer patients and the people around them.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network's new recommendations are intended for health care providers.

"COVID-19 can be very dangerous, especially for people living with cancer, which is why we're so grateful for safe and effective vaccines...

AI May Not Be Ready to Accurately Read Mammograms

Radiologists still outperform artificial intelligence (AI) when it comes to breast cancer screening, a new paper shows.

Many countries have mammography screening programs to detect and treat breast cancer early. However, examining mammograms for early signs of cancer means a lot of repetitive work for radiologists, which can result in some cancers being missed, the authors explained.

<...

Transgender People Face Twice the Odds for Early Death: Study

Transgender people have double the odds of dying early compared to folks whose identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth (cisgender), a long-term study finds.

And the added risk did not decrease over time, according to an analysis of data collected from more than 4,500 transgender people in the Netherlands between 1972 and 2018.

Study author Martin den Heijer said the ri...

Too Many Antibiotics Might Raise Colon Cancer Risk

Here's another reason to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics: Long-term use of these medications could increase your risk of colon cancer, researchers say.

"While in many cases antibiotic therapy is necessary and saves lives, in the event of less serious ailments that can be expected to heal anyway, caution should be exercised. Above all to prevent bacteria from developing resistance but...

Fewer American Adults Are Getting Malignant Brain Tumors

Malignant brain tumor rates are declining among U.S. adults, but patients still have a low chance of survival, a new study finds.

The researchers also found that rates of noncancerous tumors are on the rise, likely due to increased awareness and improvements in diagnosis.

"Although the molecular understanding of how brain cancers differ from each other is advancing rapidly, we conti...

Enlarged Prostate Doesn't Raise a Man's Odds for Cancer: Study

Does having an enlarged prostate doom you to prostate cancer?

Far from it, a new study suggests.

Also called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), the condition may actually provide some protection for men from developing prostate cancer, researchers report.

"Men are often anxious about prostate cancer, as it is the second most common cancer in men, with some worrying BPH increa...

Exercise Could Help Fight 'Chemo Brain' in Breast Cancer Patients

For breast cancer patients battling "chemo brain," regular exercise may be a powerful prescription, a new study suggests.

The term "chemo brain" refers to thinking and memory problems often experienced by patients who undergo chemotherapy.

It's "a growing clinical concern," said study first author Elizabeth Salerno, an assistant professor of surgery at Washington University School o...

Recall of Philips Breathing Machines Affects Millions of Americans

A recall of more than a dozen types of Philips breathing machines because of potential cancer risks has millions of Americans struggling to find replacements to deal with sleep disorders, breathing problems and respiratory emergencies.

The recall involves certain Respironics BiPAP (bi-level positive air pressure), CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) and ventilator machines made before...

Vitamin D Might Help Prevent Early-Onset Colon Cancer

Foods rich in vitamin D may help protect younger adults against colon cancer, researchers report.

While colon cancer is decreasing overall, cases among younger adults have been on the rise. The trends dovetail with a decline in vitamin D intake from foods such as fish, mushrooms, eggs and milk.

There is growing evidence of a link between vitamin D and risk of colon cancer death, but...

Cancer Patients Avoiding Pot, Even as Rules on Use Relax

As legal use of marijuana expands, experts say U.S. cancer patients are still far less likely to use it than the general population.

That's the key finding from a new study based on data on smoking habits -- both tobacco and pot -- collected from nearly 20,000 people between 2013 and 2018. Several U.S. states legalized recreational pot during that time.

Over the period, reported ma...

Wildfires Ravage Firefighters' Long-Term Physical, Mental Health

Roaring, fast-moving blazes. Choking smoke. Fiery tornados. Thunderstorms and lightning.

The Dixie Fire -- now the single largest wildfire in California history -- continues to spread, having burned through more than 750 square miles of forest land north of Sacramento.

The astonishing spread of smoke from the fire, causing discomfort and illness to people hundreds or thousands of mi...

Vaping Just Once Triggers Dangerous 'Oxidative Stress'

Young, healthy adults who try vaping for the first time may experience an immediate reaction that can harm cells and lay the groundwork for disease, according to a new study.

Just 30 minutes of vaping can increase oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance between free radicals (molecules that damage cells) and antioxidants that fight them, researchers said.

"Just lik...

Immune-Based Therapy May Help Some Battling Advanced Colon Cancers

Immunotherapy helped extend the lives of some patients with the most common type of advanced colon cancer, researchers report.

The new findings are important, they noted, because immunotherapy doesn't typically work against microsatellite stable (MSS) colon cancer. These patients have few treatment options once their disease no longer responds to chemotherapy.

This study included 95...

Fatigue Before Treatment Starts Might Affect Cancer Survival

Significant fatigue at the start of cancer treatment is associated with a greater risk of severe side effects and shorter survival, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed data from four clinical trials of lung cancer or prostate cancer treatments that were conducted by the SWOG Cancer Research Network, a cancer clinical trials group funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute.

The...

New Drug Might Be Non-Surgical Option for Common Skin Cancers

An experimental gel has shown early promise in treating the most common form of skin cancer -- hinting at a potential alternative to surgery in the future.

Researchers tested the gel in 30 patients with basal cell carcinoma (BCC), a skin cancer diagnosed in more than 3 million Americans each year. The tumors rarely spread and are highly curable, usually through surgical removal.

Eve...

How Did the Pandemic Affect Cancer Clinical Trials?

The pandemic widely disrupted medical care across the United States, but a new study reports that clinical trials testing cancer treatments were able to carry on.

Researchers found that U.S. cancer trials quickly responded to the pandemic in the early months, allowing the studies to get back on track after an initial -- and steep -- drop-off in patient participation.

That was partic...

Take This Refresher on Skin Safety in Summer Sun

Sun protection is essential as you enjoy the outdoors this summer, a skin expert stresses.

"Skin cancer is the most common cancer in humans so it's important that we do what we can to protect ourselves," Dr. Ida Orengo, a professor of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in a school news release.

Here are some of her tips:

  • Wear a sunscreen with SPF ...

Black Women's Group Sues Johnson & Johnson Over Baby Powder

WEDNESDAY, July 28, 2021 (Healthday News) -- Johnson & Johnson is being sued by the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) over the company's marketing of baby powder to Black women.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Superior Court of New Jersey claims that Johnson & Johnson targeted baby p...

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