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Men diagnosed with prostate cancer will often put off chemotherapy, with their doctor’s approval. But new research suggests that men who get chemotherapy early on may actually live longer.

Typically, men with prostate cancer will start their treatment with simply active surveillance of their tumors, before starting hormone therapy. Men will undergo chemotherapy only when their tumors become resistant to hormone therapy. But a recent clinical trial found that men treated early with chemotherapy lived longer than men who underwent the standard treatment.

The clinical trial randomized 790 men with recently diagnosed prostate cancer into two groups. One followed the standard treatment guidelines, and the other received chemo right away alongside their hormone therapy. The men who underwent chemotherapy lived over a year longer than the men on the standard treatment regime.

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Read the rest — Early Chemo May Help Men With Prostate Cancer Live Longer, Study Says

The study was deemed among the most noteworthy of the thousands of studies presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Tags: chemotherapy, chemo, prostate cancer, disease


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Disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

“Many air travelers are concerned about the risks of catching a disease from other passengers given the long time spent in crowded air cabins,” says Kiril Vaglenov, of Auburn University who presented the data. “This report describes the results of our first step in investigating this potential problem.”

In order for disease-causing bacteria to be transmitted from a cabin surface to a person, it must survive the environmental conditions in the airplane. In the study Vaglenov and his colleagues tested the ability of two pathogens, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli O157:H7 to survive on surfaces commonly found in airplanes. They obtained six different types of material from a major airline carrier (armrest, plastic tray table, metal toilet button, window shade, seat pocket cloth, and leather), inoculated them with the bacteria and exposed them to typical airplane conditions.

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Read the rest — Harmful bacteria can linger on airplane seat-back pockets, armrests for days

I believe that an additional study needs to be done on hair recirculation on airlines. If one person has a flu type syndrome or other diseases such as tuberculosis, the diseases are spread as the air recirculates in the airplane. How many times have you had a friend or family member get sick after flying? Should our fear of flying extend to these situations?

Tags: staph, airplane, flying, bacteria, disease


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Prostate cancer might be a sexually transmitted disease caused by a common infection, according to a study. Experts say the research has limitations and is not proof, though.

Scientists at the University of California found evidence of a link between prostate cancer and the STD trichomoniasis, in which a common parasite is passed on during unprotected sexual contact.

The parasite is believed to infect around 275 million people worldwide. Furthermore, over three-quarters of men harboring it have no symptoms and may not seek treatment, resulting in chronic inflammation of the prostate.

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Read the rest — Prostate Cancer ‘Could Be Transmitted Sexually’

The prostate cancer/STD link isn’t confirmed and the article points out that this research was done in a lab setting (not in actual patients). As always, more research is needed.

Tags: std, trichomoniasis, prostate cancer, disease


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Based on data from a new study at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, men who demonstrate evidence of chronic inflammation seen in prostate biopsies stemming from chronic prostatitis may have close to twice the risk of developing prostate cancer compared to those without inflammation.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men in the US.

The link between developing cancer and having chronic inflammation was even more striking for men with aggressive or high-grade prostate cancer, reflected in a Gleason score between 7 and 10. The Gleason score is a numeric scale for assessing risk of developing invasive or high-grade prostate cancer based on microscopic evaluation of prostate tissue.

The research was published April 18 in the Journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

The data from the current study is derived from information about men in the placebo arm of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial by the Southwest Oncology Group. The goal of the trial was to evaluate if the drug finasteride could prevent prostate cancer. Regardless of whether there were any concerning signs of cancer such as high prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, the protocol called for biopsies to check for prostate cancer at the conclusion of the trial.

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Read the rest — Is There A Link Between Prostate Cancer And Chronic Inflammation?

This was an observational study that shows an association between prostate inflammation and prostate cancer, but researchers can’t prove that inflammation causes the cancer. If it can be determined that inflammation leads to cancer, perhaps it can be prevented. In any case, much more research will need to be done.

Tags: prostate cancer, prostate inflammation, cancer, disease


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Stacy Erholtz was out of conventional treatment options for blood cancer last June when she underwent an experimental trial at the Mayo Clinic that injected her with enough measles vaccine to inoculate 10 million people. The 50-year-old Pequot Lakes mother is now part of medical history.

The cancer, which had spread widely through her body, went into complete remission and was undetectable in Erholtz’s body after just one dose of the measles vaccine, which has an uncanny affinity for certain kinds of tumors.

Erholtz was one of just two subjects in the experiment and the only one to achieve complete remission. But the experiment provides the “proof of concept” that a single, massive dose of intravenous viral therapy can kill cancer by overwhelming its natural defenses, according to Dr. Stephen Russell, a professor of molecular medicine who spearheaded the research at Mayo.

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Read the rest — Mayo Clinic trial: Massive blast of measles vaccine wipes out cancer

The two trial patients were injected with 100 billion infectious units of the measles virus (the normal vaccine contains 10,000 infection units). Clearly more research must be done before these findings can be confirmed in large randomized clinical trials.

Tags: cancer, blood cancer, measles, vaccine, medicine


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Dogs are renowned for their keen sense of smell, and researchers have tested their abilities and have found they are almost four times better at detecting prostate cancer than traditional tests. These specially trained animals, known as Medical Detection Dogs are trained in Buckinghamshire, UK, and have the ability to accurately detect the cancer 90 percent of the time.

“MDD’s trained dogs can detect cancer before noticeable symptoms and others have been trained to recognize dangerously low sugar levels in diabetics. In short, this wonderful charity is training dogs to save lives,” said Betsy Duncan Smith, a trustee of the Medical Detection Dogs charity.

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Read the rest — Dogs Can Detect Prostate Cancer 4 Times Better Than Traditional Tests, With Low False-Positive Rate

Man’s best friend vs man’s worst disease.

Tags: cancer, prostate cancer, dog, canine


Snippet from the article:

Treating prostate cancer has always been trickier than most patients anticipate. Unlike other cancers, most prostate tumors are slow-growing and emerge late in life, so the majority of men affected are more likely to die of other causes than their cancer. For up to 15% of cases, however, the disease can be fast-moving and life-threatening, and because doctors don’t have good ways of separating these aggressive cases from the less dangerous ones, many physicians and patients prefer to err on the side of over-treatment. Recent changes to prostate screening recommendations advising men not to get routine blood tests that can signal the disease have made matters more confusing for men worried about the disease.

That may soon change, thanks to a test that can pick out the slow-growing cancers from the faster-growing ones. Researchers at Columbia University report in the journal Cancer Cell that they have identified two genes that are likely driving the most aggressive cases of prostate cancer. Other scientists had linked the genes, FOXM1 and CENPF, to cancer, but none had connected them to prostate growths. And more importantly, none had figured out that the two genes’ cancer-causing effects only occurred if they are turned on at the same time.

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Read the rest — The Genes Responsible for Deadly Prostate Cancer Discovered

Tags: prostate cancer, cancer, genes


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An alopecia sufferer has covered her head in confectionery in an effort to become a human Easter egg.

15-year-old Joelle Amery cooled her head with frozen peas before being covered with chocolate and hundreds and thousands. ‘I thought it was a fun thing to do for Easter’, she said.

While it might seem a slightly bizarre thing to do, the stunt is actually an effort to raise awareness of alopecia universalis, which affects 100,000 people in the UK.

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Read the rest and see the photos — Alopecia sufferer becomes chocolate egghead to highlight hair loss disease

We have treated this condition with Scalp MicroPigmentation. This is an easy cosmetic solution for men, as a man with alopecia universalis has no hair and looks like a person who shaved their head. This effect doesn’t work so much for women, as women will not usually go with the shaved head look.

Tags: hairloss, hair loss, alopecia universalis, alopecia awareness, easter


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Prom night sends most teen girls on a dizzying quest for the perfect dress, accessories and hairstyle to make their ensemble complete. On her prom night, Jennifer DeFreece was harried by one simple detail: “I just wanted eyebrows for my prom pictures.”

When she was just a baby, DeFreece was diagnosed with alopecia totalis, an autoimmune disease that results in the total loss of scalp hair. By her 1st birthday, she’d lost all of her hair.

“I was like Charlie Brown,” says DeFreece, now 33 and living in Northridge, California.

Alopecia is nondiscriminatory. It can occur in men and women at any age and is a strictly physical disease, but sufferers say it’s also a disease of the spirit, exacting a devastating emotional toll in this world of silky shampoo commercials and Rapunzel fairy tales.

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Read the rest at CNN — How it feels to be a bald woman

Tags: hairloss, hair loss, alopecia totalis, female hair loss


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Kim Irish had just started a new job and was in California for a training session. She had her tests and was waiting for the results but had asked the doctor not to call her so she could concentrate on the training.

She was set to return to Indianapolis when she got the call from the doctor confirming she had Stage 2 breast cancer. “I was standing in the security line at San Francisco airport when she called me, and I can still see the people in line around me,” she said.

Irish had a lumpectomy followed by four rounds of chemotherapy and 33 sessions of radiation. “My doctor told me my hair would start to fall out three weeks after my first chemo. The moment he said it would start — it started.”

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Read the rest (and watch the video) at — Breast cancer patients find strength in hair loss

Fair warning: The video automatically loads when you click that link.

Tags: breast cancer, cancer, hairloss, hair loss


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