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Old July 29th, 2002, 11:52
sysadmin sysadmin is offline
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June 2002


Thursday, June 27, 2002

Another Strike Against Hormone Replacement Therapy
Post menopausal hormone replacement therapy was found to be associated with an increased risk of gallbladder cancer in this study of 31 women with gallbladder cancer and 3702 healthy control women. Comment: the absolute risk of gallbladder cancer is very low, so this increased risk may be fairly meaningless. Nonetheless, there is beginning to look like hormone replacement therapy should not be routinely recommended. [ article ]  


Tuesday, June 25, 2002

COLONOSCOPY SCREENING FOR COLON CANCER
This study of 2885 patients that filled out specimen cards for fecal occult blood testing and also underwent colonoscopy, it was found that colonoscopy was much more sensitive than a strategy of guaiac card screening with positives undergoing flexible sigmoidoscopy. Comment: currently it is unclear what the best method for screening for colon cancer is--yearly guaiac card testing or colonoscopy every 10 years. This study suggests that screening with colonoscopy may be the preferred method, although the issue is still unclear. [ article ]  


Friday, June 21, 2002

Fruit and Vegetables Protective Against Colon Cancer
This study of 1781 people found that a diet high in fruits and vegetables decreases the chances that a colon polyp will develop into cancer. Comment: the literature overwhelmingly supports the hypothesis that a diet rich in vegetables is healthy. [ article ]  


Thursday, June 20, 2002

Mobile Phones Cause Cell Changes Possibly Linked to Harm
Scientists from Finland have discovered that the cellular protein hsp27 showed increased activity after receiving radiation from a cell phone. This protein is linked to functioning of the blood brain barrier. Comment: what this means in terms of health is unknown. The lead author of the study states that his family continues to use cellular phones. [ article ]  


Smoking Cause Gene Damage Linked to Lung Cancer
Smoking has been linked to a particular type of DNA damage that has been associated with the development of lung cancer. The authors state that although many of the effects of smoking go away rapidly after cessation, the gene damage lasts for many years, thus the risk of lung cancer remains elevated for many years. [ article ]  


Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Vasectomy NOT Linked to Prostate Cancer
This study of 2147 men aged 40 to 74 found that those with a vasectomy were no more likely than other men to get prostate cancer. [ article ]  


Involuntary Smoking (Secondhand Smoking) Causes Cancer
In a comprehensive review of the medical literature by the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that secondhand smoking causes lung cancer, and contributes to the development of stomach, liver, kidney, and cervical cancer as well as myeloid leukemia. Comment: the drug war should spend more attention to tobacco instead of jailing medical marijuana users in California. Clearly, tobacco is by far the greatest cause of preventable premature deaths. [ article ]  


Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Cancer Rates Now Higher in Poor Men vs. Rich
In the early 1950's, cancer death rates were 49% higher in men living in the wealthiest areas versus those in the poorest. By the late 1990's, that trend had reversed, with cancer death rates 19% higher in the poor counties versus the wealthy ones. Comment: the authors of this report blame social disparities in tobacco, diet, pollutants, and access to medical care. Most likely, there is a single reason-- smoking rates. Smoking used to be a status symbol of the wealthy; perhaps now this has reversed, and now the poor smoke more? [ article ]  


Monday, June 17, 2002

Screening for Lung Cancer - the New York City Experiment
New York City recently announced that it will use part of its proceeds from the tobacco settlement to fund a research study on using CT scans to screen for lung cancer. This editorial comments on what the research project will be good for, and also its significant shortcomings. Comment: this is an excellent article that also discusses the use of chest x-rays in screening for lung cancer. Unfortunately, in the case of chest x-rays, there was no benefit in terms of overall mortality. In fact, the trend was for higher mortality in those that were screened. Because the New York study does not utilize a control group, their statistics need to be cautiously interpretted. [ article ]  


US Led Cancer Program to Benefit Mideast- Especially Palestine
Because of the security closures preventing travel to Israeli hospitals, cancer patients in Palistine are in critical need of radiotherapy. The US led Middle East Cancer Consortium (MECC) has had a positive effect on the region, with local health officials calling it a model for productive cooperation. [ article ]  


Thursday, June 13, 2002

Breast Cancer Recurrence Not Linked to Stress
This study of over 200 women with breast cancer found that stress was not linked to the recurrence of breast cancer. [ article ]  


High Fiber Diet Linked to Breast Cancer Prevention
This study found that a diet high in fiber delayed the onset of menstruation in young girls. This delay in the onset of menstruation has been shown in other research to lessen the risk of breast cancer. Comment: another good reason to consume a diet high in vegetables, a primary source of dietary fiber. [ article ]  

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