Cancer Blog

Here's our collection of cancer-related stories. We sift through a variety of stories and share the issues that we think matter to cancer patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and survivors. Learn about current events in the cancer community, human interest stories, and promising technology and treatment advances. Tell us what you think in the Comments section at the bottom of each post.

Note: The information contained in this service is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in the service is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment of any illness, condition or disease.



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Pediatricians Recommend Prohibiting Minors from Indoor Tanning

by: cancercompass

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued a new policy Monday supporting legislation prohibiting minors from using indoor tanning salons.

"There are more tanning facilities in the U.S. than there are Starbucks or McDonald's," Dr. Sophie J. Balk, of the American Academy of Pediatrics, told Reuters. "More than a million visits are made every day."

According to the AAP, the ultraviolet radiation from tanning beds is 10 to 15 times higher than the midday sun. Furthermore, the organization claims that skin cancer rates, including for the most serious of the disease - melanoma - are rising, particularly in young people.

Do you think prohibiting minors from using tanning salons is a good idea?

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our skin cancer information page.



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UK Government: Lower Colon Cancer Risk by Decreasing Red and Processed Meat Intake

by: cancercompass

The BBC reported Friday that the Department of Health in England is advising people to eat no more than 70 grams, or just under 2.5 ounces, of red or processed meat per day to lower the risk of colon cancer.

"Red and processed meat is a fine part of a healthy, balanced diet. As a guide, we're suggesting 70 grams per day," Dr. Alison Tedstone of the Department of Health in England told the BBC. "Approximately two slices of cooked, sliced meat."

How much red or processed meat do you eat each day? Are you over or under what they suggest?

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our colon cancer information page.



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Some Experts Claim HPV Causes More Oral Cancer Than Tobacco

by: cancercompass

The human papillomavirus seems to be making headlines lately. There are TV commercials with young girls asking others to get vaccinated against it; HPV is one of the leading causes of cervical cancer. And HPV was recently highlighted during the Advancing Science, Servicing Society Annual Meeting last weekend in Washington D.C.

According to NPR, researchers studying the virus claim that 64 percent of oral cancers in the U.S. are caused by HPV, whereas in the rest of the world, it is caused by tobacco.

Speaking during the Advancing Science, Servicing Society meeting was Dr. Maura Gillison of Ohio State University.

"An individual who has six or more lifetime partners — on whom they've performed oral sex – has an eightfold increase in risk compared to someone who has never performed oral sex," Gillison told NPR.

What do you think of this news? Does it comes as a surprise?



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Study: Liver Cancer Differs for Foreign Born and U.S. Born Latinos, Asians

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, liver cancer rates greatly differ between U.S.-born Latinos and Asians compared to their foreign-born equivalents.

The study claims that Asians and Hispanics have the highest incidence of liver cancer in the United States but researchers wanted to learn the patterns for this trend for prevention and monitoring purposes.

Researchers discovered that foreign-born Hispanics had significantly lower liver cancer rates than U.S.-born Hispanics. However, foreign-born Asians had up to five-times higher liver cancer rates than U.S.-born Asians.

Researcher Ellen Chang told The San Francisco Chronicle that the study's findings suggest that environmental and behavioral factors could very well supersede genetics regarding liver cancer development.

What are your thoughts about this study?

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our liver cancer information page.



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Cancer and Entrepreneurship

by: cancercompass

USA Today published an interesting article on Tuesday highlighting stories of former cancer patients who, soon after recovery, developed an entrepreneurial spirit and launched their own businesses.

Cancer Compass has highlighted this concept before with the Susansnaps cookie company.

Some believe that cancer changes people. And we wanted to ask our readers if cancer has changed them in regards to work and entrepreneurship.

Has cancer affected your life in a way where you've quit your job for a new field, or launched a business of your own?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.



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Study: No Pressing Issue with Cell Phone Use and Brain Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

Cancer Compass has written several blog posts about the controversial concerns of cell phones and brain cancer development. According to the latest study, which was published in the journal Bio Electro Magnetics, the results found no immediate concerns of brain cancer development because of cell phone usage.

"There is an ongoing controversy about whether radio frequency (RF) exposure from mobile phones increases the risk of brain cancer. However, given the widespread use and nearly two decades elapsing since mobile phones were introduced, an association should have produced a noticeable increase in the incidence of brain cancer by now," the study concludes.

Some districts in the United States have been so concerned about the potential risk of cell phones and brain cancer development that they've instituted laws that require cell phone manufacturers to post RF levels on packaging.

What do you think of the latest news regarding cell phones and brain cancer development? Do you use your cell phone any less because of it?

To learn more about the cancer in this post, please visit our brain cancer information page.



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Consumer Group: Brown Cola Sodas May Cause Cancer

by: cancercompass

The Center for Science in the Public Interest group is speaking out about the potential hazards of two chemicals used to create the caramel coloring for certain soda drinks.

The organization filed a petition Wednesday regarding the ingredients 2-methylimidazole and 4 methylimidazole, commonly known as 2-MEI and 4-MEI. According to the consumer group, certain government studies found that these ingredients caused various cancers in mice and rats.

"The State of California is so concerned about this that they have listed one of these ingredients on their list of substances known to cause cancer, and they want to limit the amount to no more than 16 micrograms a day," CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton said on The Early Show. "To put that into context for you, 20 ounces of cola can contain 12 times that amount."

The American Beverage Association issued a response to the petition, stating:

"4-MEI is not a threat to human health. There is no evidence that 4-MEI causes cancer in humans. No health regulatory agency around the globe, including the Food and Drug Administration, has said that 4-MEI is a human carcinogen. This petition is nothing more than another attempt to scare consumers by an advocacy group long-dedicated to attacking the food and beverage industry."

Although there are two staunchly different opinions to this issue, for those undergoing cancer treatment, the National Cancer Institute advises that patients should continue to pay close attention to what they eat and drink as cancer nutrition is an important and vital step toward recovery.

What do you think?



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Study: Few Women Get Help about Sexual Issues After Treatment

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published by researchers at The University of Chicago Medical Center, doctors rarely discuss sexual health issues with women after receiving gynecologic or breast cancer treatments.

"Some women have the courage to raise sexual concerns with their doctor, although repeated studies show they prefer the doctor to initiate the discussion," Stacy Tessler Lindau, MD, a senior author of the study, noted in a news release. "Physicians will often empathize with a patient's concerns, but struggle with a lack of knowledge about how to help."

Lindau and her team of researchers surveyed 261 patients who ranged in age from 21 to 88. They discovered that only seven percent of participants asked their doctors about their sexual issues, while 42 percent of participants wanted to receive more information about their sexual health.

What are your thoughts about this study?

To learn more about the cancers featured in this post, please visit our cancer types page.



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Lance Armstrong Retiring to Focus on Cancer Foundation, Family

by: cancercompass

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he is going into retirement - for the second time - to focus on his family and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

After his seventh consecutive Tour de France win in 2005, Armstrong declared retirement, only to return in 2009.

"I can't say I have any regrets. It's been an excellent ride. I really thought I was going to win another tour," Armstrong told the AP. "Then I lined up like everybody else and wound up third."

At the age of 25, Armstrong was diagnosed with stage III testicular cancer, which spread to his lungs and brain. Three years later, he won his first Tour de France. And during that time he also founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation which aims to improve the lives of people affected by cancer.

What do you think of Armstrong's retirement?

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our testicular cancer information page.



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Study: Bone Medications May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

Bone drugs known as bisphosphonates, which are used for the treatment of osteoporosis, have been associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. And according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Onocology, the use of oral bisphosphonates was also associated with a 59% reduction in the risk of colon cancer development.

"These [new] findings are meaningful because they point to a possible protective effect of this class of drugs being relevant to prevention of many different cancers," lead researcher Dr. Gad Rennert, from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Medicine, told HealthDay.

Rennert and his team of researchers studied 933 postmenopausal female patients and controls. The use of bisphosphonates for more than one year was associated with a reduced risk.

"The lower risk of colorectal cancer risk seen among bisphosphonate users in this study is intriguing," Eric Jacobs of the American Cancer Society, told Reuters. "However, these results should be interpreted with caution and require confirmation by additional studies."

To learn more about the cancers featured in this post, please visit our breast cancer information and colon cancer information pages.

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