Is there a cancer cure?
The world is still seeking for a complete cancer cure - I am sure we are all aware of this fact.
There are huge advances in medical science, and if discovered early enough, the current methods are often, but not always, successful in halting the spread of cancer in a person's body.
Let's start off by looking briefly at some of the latest developments in the field of cancer cure research and treatment:
News 1: from a CBS interview
What if we told you that a guy with no background in science or medicine - not even a college degree - has come up with what may be one of the most promising breakthroughs in cancer research in years?
His name is John Kanzius, and as correspondent Lesley Stahl first reported last April, he's a former businessman and radio technician who built a radio wave machine that has cancer researchers so enthusiastic about its potential they're pouring money and effort into testing it out.
It was the worst kind of luck that gave Kanzius the idea to use radio waves to kill cancer cells: six years ago, he was diagnosed with terminal leukemia and since then has undergone 36 rounds of toxic chemotherapy. But it wasn't his own condition that motivated him, it was looking into the hollow eyes of sick children on the cancer ward at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Kanzius told Stahl the chemotherapy made him very sick and that he couldn't sleep at night. "And I said, 'There's gotta be a better way to treat cancer.'"
Here's how it works: one box sends radio waves over to the other, creating enough energy to activate gas in a fluorescent light. Kanzius put his hand in the field to demonstrate that radio waves are harmless to humans.
"So right from the beginning you're trying to show that radio waves could activate gas and not harm the human-anything else," Stahl remarked. "'Cause you're looking for some kind of a treatment with no side effects, that's what's in your head."
But how could he focus the radio waves to destroy cancer cells?
Kanzius thought he had found a way attack cancer cells without the collateral damage caused by chemotherapy and radiation. Today, his invention is in the laboratories of two major research centers - the University of Pittsburgh and M.D. Anderson, where Dr. Steven Curley, a liver cancer surgeon, is testing it.
That's because Kanzius impressed Curley with another remarkable idea: to combine the radio waves from his device with something cutting edge - space age nanoparticles made of metal or carbon. They are so small that thousands of them can fit in a single cancer cell. Because they're metallic, Kanzius was hoping his radio waves would heat them up and kill the cancer.
My comment: We sure hope that this could pave the way for more future developments in the field of searching for a cancer cure...
News 2: Drop in pre-cancerous cervical changes in Australia after HPV vaccination introduced
Brotherton, JM et al, Early effect of the HPV vaccination programme on cervical abnormalities in Victoria, Australia: an ecological study, Lancet (2011) DOI: PIIS0140-6736(11)60551-5
The number of women with precancerous cervical changes has fallen in Victoria, Australia since the introduction of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination programmes, a new study has found.
The research, published in the Lancet medical journal, is the first to observe a reduction in high-grade cervical abnormalities - the precursors to cervical cancer - following the introduction of HPV vaccination.
Australia introduced a vaccination programme to protect against cancer-causing strains of HPV among 12 to 26-year-old women between 2007 and 2009. Analysis revealed that the incidence of high-grade cervical changes in girls aged 17 and under was 0.80 per cent before the vaccination programme, and just 0.42 per cent afterwards.
Writing in an accompanying comment in the Lancet, Drs Mona Saraiya and Susan Hariri, from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, urged caution.
They noted: "Individual-level vaccine status was not considered -as it perhaps should have been in view of the availability of such data in Victoria - and, as stated by Brotherton and colleagues, linkage between vaccination and screening registers is needed to confirm these findings independent of possible bias by screening policy or practice changes.
"Indeed, more rigorous epidemiological studies are needed - many are under way - to increase our understanding of HPV vaccine effectiveness against cervical disease."
News 3: Skin cancer treatments revealed at conference
Treatments were tested on a group of 675 patients with advanced melanoma. Another drug, taken intravenously, called Ipilimumab, is said to give patients extra years of life.
The results were presented at a meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
During a trial, 84% of patients who took Vemurafenib pills twice a day were still alive six months later. This compares with 64% of those on standard chemotherapy.
This is the biggest breakthrough in melanoma treatment in more than 30 years”
said Researcher Professor Richard Marais.
The results were so impressive that the British experts running the trial stopped it early so they could switch all patients in the group over to Vemurafenib.
And trials showed the drug reduced the risk of the disease worsening by 74%, compared with chemotherapy.
Research is now being conducted to find out whether Vemurafenib could be used for other cancers, including ovarian, thyroid and bowel cancer.
"The results demonstrate for the first time that a targeted therapy can work in melanoma and will change our approach to treating this disease. It is an enormous advance in the field."
"It is a first step but a vitally important one, and it encourages us to redouble our efforts for people with this most dangerous type of skin cancer."
Malignant melanoma kills more than 2,000 people in the UK each year, and more than 11,000 people annually develop the disease.
News 4: Mobile phone users warned over cancer link
By Lewis Smith
A warning against the use of mobile telephones has been issued by the World Health Organisation after scientists identified a potential link with a type of brain cancer.
Researchers analysing the evidence for a link between mobile phone use and brain cancers concluded there "could be some risk" of the brain cancer glioma being caused.
In response to the finding, the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) urged the public to use hands-free devices rather than have phones pressed against their heads, and to send text messages where possible instead of calling.
The research team found that the overall evidence was "limited" but felt there was enough evidence of a link to glioma to justify classifying mobile phone use as "possibly carcinogenic to humans". For all other types of cancers the evidence against mobile phone use as a cause of cancer was regarded as being "inadequate" so they were unable to draw any conclusion for them.
On gliomas, however, they were concerned that the evidence was mounting. The IARC cited a 2010 study which identified a 40 per cent increase in the level of risk for people who in the 10 years up to 2004 had used mobile phones for an average of 30 minutes or more every day.
The finding reignites the debate over how safe mobile phones are and whether usage has serious health consequences for the five billion worldwide who use them. There have been dozens of studies, but a categorical cause-and-effect link has yet to be established. However, a lack of evidence could simply mean that mobile phones have not been in widespread use for long enough for their full effect to be felt – many brain tumours take years to develop.
It added: "Given the possibility of long-term cancer effects, excessive use of mobile phones by children should be discouraged." However, it pointed out that magnetic fields from electricity, coffee, petrol exhaust fumes and being a print worker come under the same "possibly carcinogenic" classification as mobiles.
20 years of research:
1991 National Radiological Protection Board suggests mobiles could affect brain.
2000 The Stewart report finds no problem but recommends caution.
2006 A Danish study of 420,000 people over 20 years finds no increased risk.
2010 Biggest study so far mainly inconclusive.
Ed Yong, of Cancer Research UK, said: "The WHO's verdict means that there is some evidence linking mobile phones to cancer, but it is too weak to draw strong conclusions from. The vast majority of existing studies have not found a link between phones and cancer, and if such a link exists, it is unlikely to be a large one. "The risk of brain cancer is similar in people who use mobile phones compared to those who don't, and rates of this cancer have not gone up in recent years despite a dramatic rise in phone use. However, not enough is known to totally rule out a risk."
OK, so now we know about some of the many medical advances. But... is there anything the individual can do to PREVENT cancer in the body? Seeing that no conclusive cancer CURE is evident, is there anything you can
contribute to staying cancer free?
There sure are ways to improve your chances of staying free of this dreaded disease. Nothing is of course guaranteed, there are always genetic and circumstantial factors that have to be taken into account.
But it all boils down to the basics of a healthy lifestyle, which is what this website is all about. Let's go and investigate the correct ways once more, one can never be reminded too often!
1. Eat a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet.
2. Get enough exercise to make up for the modern sedentary lifestyles we are leading in most cases.
If your work is very physical, you have an advantage, providing it is not overly strenuous.
3. Get enough sleep and rest - not easy in today's hectic world. Make time to relax, work this into your schedule. A rested person is much more creative and productive, not so?
4. Find spiritual fulfilment in whichever way suits your beliefs and preferences the best. Humans are spiritual beings - ignore this fact to your own detriment.
5. Find emotional fulfilment in satisfying and GOOD relationships within all levels of interaction:
parents, children, spouses, partners, business associates and so forth.
Please keep in mind that this is not a medical treatment website: just plain common sense, general public domain information and practical experience are related in these articles about finding a cancer cure.
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