One of the world’s deadliest cancers, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. Its ability to metastasize and quickly spread to other organs in the body is what makes lung cancer so deadly. A new genetic discovery by scientists at the Salk Institute in California may help researchers devise a way to keep lung cancer from spreading and dramatically improve the long-term outcome of this deadly form of cancer.
Cancer Cells on the Move
As described in Medical News Today, Salk researchers have discovered a gene that helps lung cancer cells “pull up their anchors in the primary tumor,” making it possible for them to move to other parts of the body to form new tumors; a process called metastasis. Normal cells have a natural adhesion that acts like an anchor, keeping the cells firmly rooted in their proper place.
Genes Linked to Cell Adhesion
Scientists already knew that cancerous cells were able to overcome this natural adhesion and travel through the bloodstream to other organs. Previous studies had even shown that some cancer cells were able to manipulate cell anchors. But the Salk Institute research is the first to link communication between specific genes to cancer cell adhesion and explain how cancer cells are able to “up anchor.” When that communication breaks down, cancer cells are set free and start traveling.
In lab and animal experiments, Salk researchers were able to re-establish communication between anchoring genes and slow metastasis. Researchers are hopeful that further research will lead to a way to stop lung cancer from spreading.
“Promising” is the word British scientists are using to describe early results of a simple blood test that could revolutionize cancer diagnosis and speed cancer treatment. Developed by researchers at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom, the Lymphocyte Genome Sensitivity (LGS) test may turn out to be the easy to administer, inexpensive and accurate diagnostic tool the cancer treatment community has been searching for.
How It Works
Named for the type of white blood cell it examines, the Lymphocyte Genome Sensitivity test searches for cancer-related DNA damage in cells that have been bombarded with varying degrees of ultraviolet light.
“White blood cells are part of the body’s natural defense system,” study leader Professor Diana Anderson explains on the University’s website. “We know that they are under stress when they are fighting cancer or other diseases, so I wondered whether anything measurable could be seen if we put them under further stress with UVA light. We found that people with cancer have DNA which is more easily damaged by ultraviolet light than other people.”
What It Means
The ability to diagnose cancer with a blood test that measures immune system response would decrease the need for more costly and invasive tests and biopsies. In early testing, UV damage to white blood cell DNA was able to accurately differentiate between healthy, pre-cancerous and cancerous cells. DNA damage to white blood cells became measurably more pronounced as cancer developed and advanced.
If you’ve recently had a mammogram, you may have discovered that you have dense breast tissue. What does it mean? How does it affect your results and prognosis for breast cancer?
The definition of dense tissue
Fibrous and fatty tissue give breast their size and shape, holding in place glandular tissue, home of the lobules which produce milk. For reasons not yet known, those with dense breast tissue simply have more fibrous connective tissue or glandular tissue than fatty tissue. It is common for breast density to increase with age, and dense tissue is not abnormal.
Breast density and the cancer risk
Women with high breast density are 4-5 times more likely to get breast cancer than those with low breast density, however lowering the density of the tissue has not been shown to decrease this risk. As a result, at this time breast density is not considered a factor in assessing a woman’s cancer risk.
How breast density effects mammograms Mammograms are more difficult to interpret on patients with high breast density than those with low. Fatty tissue is more translucent allowing for greater visibility, however dense fibrous and glandular tissue appears white on x-rays, clouding results. For a better interpretation, your provider may suggest other types of breast imaging to obtain a more accurate diagnosis such as digital mammography, ultrasound, or MRI. Unfortunately there are no special recommendations or screening guidelines for women with dense breasts at this time.
Did you find out you have breast cancer from your mammogram results? Issels can help. Learn more about Issels integrative immunotherapy options for treating your breast cancer today.
The most common cancer in American men with the exception of skin cancer, 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during their lifetime. Though most men with prostate cancer will not die from it, it can be a serious disease.
Acinar Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of prostate cancer
Acinar adenocarcinoma begins in the gland cells in the prostate, and comprise more than 90 percent of prostate cancers, including atrophic, foamy, colloid and signet ring carcinoma. All subtypes of acinar adenocarcinoma are treated in the same fashion. Though the majority of these cancers grow slowly, some can grow more quickly.
Other rare forms of prostate cancer, comprising the remaining 10 percent include:
Originates in the cells lining the ducts (tubes) of the prostate gland. Spreads more quickly than acinar adenocarcinoma. Some men have advanced cases when diagnosed.
Transitional cell (urothelial cancer)
Begins in the cells lining the urethra, the tube for carrying urine outside the body. Typically begins in the bladder and spreads to the prostate.
Squamous cell cancer
Arises from the flat cells covering the prostate. Also spreads more quickly than adenocarcinoma, making advanced cases common.
Carcinoid of the prostate
Starting from cells of the neuroendocrine system, specialized nerve and gland cells, these tumors are rare and slow-growing.
Small cell cancer
A type of neuroendocrine tumor comprised of small, round cells. Does not raise PSA, so it is difficult to detect early.
Sarcoma and sarcomatoid cancer
A mixture of sarcoma and adenocarcinoma cells and originating from muscle cells, this cancer, including leiomyosarcoma, can grow quite quickly.
Conventional cancer treatments, while capable of saving people’s lives, can also zap the human body of crucial vitamins and minerals. When patients go through chemotherapy and radiation, for example, they may feel lethargic, have brittle hair and nails, and find that they cannot fight off colds and infections very well.
Rather than take chances on their bodies being able to resist viruses and bacteria or submit to feeling tired and physically drained until their treatments are done, most may be able to reclaim their energy and immune support by taking supplements in conjunction with alternative or conventional cancer treatments.
Before a patient takes any vitamins or supplements, they should consult their doctors to make sure that any product that they take will not interfere with their treatment. However, studies have noted that antioxidants, particularly those that contain Vitamins A, C, and E are effective in fighting free radicals in the body and repairing some of the damage that these free radicals have inflicted on a person’s DNA.
Likewise, chemotherapy and radiation are well known to deplete a person’s iron level and leave that individual feeling lethargic and sick. People whose blood iron levels are found to be very low during cancer treatment may be advised to take an iron supplement or a multi-vitamin that contains 100 percent of the daily recommended dose of iron. They should take their iron supplement with fruit juice, as the Vitamin C in juice will bind with the iron in the supplement and help transmit it throughout one’s body better.
People who go through cancer treatments look forward to recovering from their illness. When they feel drained of energy, have low blood iron, or have other signs of nutritional deficiencies like brittle hair and nails, they may recoup some of their former physical characteristics by taking a supplement.
Attitude is everything whether the cancer diagnosis is for a family member, friend or you, the aftermath of diagnosis is often devastating. A range of emotions are soaring through your mind, and you’re wondering if you have what it takes to beat this disease. Fortunately, when you equip yourself with the right attitude, used in conjunction with traditional or alternative cancer treatment programs, you can build the strength necessary to fight with all you have.
Changing your attitude about any situation is difficult, and you’ll want to make sure to surround yourself with people who support your cause. Build a team of support whether it’s through family members, your church group or all of your best friends from college. Positive attitudes can have a profound effect on you well-being. Once you have found that group, you can also begin to focus on what it is that you are fighting for.
You might be fighting to live longer for your children, or you may be fighting because you don’t feel as though you’ve completed your journey here yet. Setting a goal and giving you a passion for the journey are two powerful tools. This positive attitude can also be tied to religion or spirituality. By connecting yourself to God or a higher power, you can tap into a powerful force that helps you to retain your positive “I can win” attitude.
Incorporating religion or spirituality of some type into your “I can win” attitude lets you know that you are not alone. Prayer and meditation can also be a part of your plan as you work to enhance attitude.
Consider using immune boosting programs to get your mind, body and spirit all in line with one another. No matter what your treatment plan is be sure to discuss all of your goals and ideas with your doctor first to ensure that you are moving in the “right” direction.