Sources: BBC Health News; Jorunal Oncology
THE BRCA2 gene has been linked to hereditary breast cancer and ovarian cancer. Now scientists say that as well as being more likely to get prostate cancer, men with BRCA2 are also more likely to develop aggressive tumours and have the poorest survival rates. Men with the gene should be treated quickly to save lives. More than 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. 1 in every 100 men with prostate cancer have the BRCA2 mutation.
Prostate cancer can grow either extremely slowly or very quickly. Some men may live symptom-free for a lifetime, despite having this cancer. Those with BRCA2 and prostate cancer should be treated early and aggressively because their tumour is more likely to spread.
Quick Facts about Prostate Cancer: 1.) The prostate is a small gland in the pelvis found only in men. It’s job is to make the fluid part of semen; 2.) Prostate cancer does not normally cause symptoms until the cancer has grown; 3.) Prostate cancer can be diagnosed by taking a biopsy (a small tissue sample of the prostate gland); 4.) Some men may be advised to delay having treatment if the tumour is very slow growing; 5.) Others may want to have surgery to remove the entire prostate; 6.) For some, treatment may offer the best chance of cure but it can cause serious side effects including impotence and incontinence
Patients with BRCA2-mutations were significantly less likely to survive their cancer, living an average of 6.5 years after diagnosis compared with 12.9 years for non-carriers. They were also more likely to have advanced disease at the time of diagnosis. Men with a significant family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer in addition to prostate cancer should be offered BRCA1/2 testing at diagnosis, but it is not routinely offered to all patients diagnosed with prostate cancer.
The Lewis Law Firm has a history of representing patients with Breast, Ovarian and Prostate Cancers. Have you or a loved one been diagnosed and treated for prostate cancer? Contact the Lewis Law Firm for a free consultation.
Source: Cancer (online Journal, March 11, 2013); American Cancer Society
ASPIRIN is one of the most widely used medications in the world, with an estimated 40,000 tons of it being consumed each year. In countries where Aspirin is a registered trademark owned by Bayer, the generic term is acetylsalicylic acid (ASA).
Plant extracts, including willow bark and spiraea, of which salicylic acid was the active ingredient, had been known to help alleviate headaches, pains, and fevers since the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates (460 BC and 377 BC) described the use of powder made from the bark and leaves of the willow tree. A French chemist, Charles Frederic Gerhardt, was the first to prepare acetylsalicylic acid in 1853. Synthetic Aspirin was first isolated by Felix Hoffmann, a chemist with the German company Bayer in 1897, and was thereafter copyrighted.
The aspirin study included 59,806 postmenopausal Caucasian women aged 50 to 79 years. During a median follow-up of 12 years, 548 incident melanomas were confirmed by medical review. Women who used ASA had a 21% lower risk of melanoma relative to nonusers. Increased duration of ASA use (<1 year, 1-4 years, and ≥5 years) was associated with an 11% lower risk of melanoma for each categorical increase and women with ≥5 years of use had a 30% lower melanoma risk. In contrast, use of non-ASA NSAIDs and acetaminophen were not associated with melanoma risk.
The obvious conclusions are that postmenopausal women who used ASA had a significantly lower risk of melanoma, and that longer durations of ASA use are associated with greater protection. Although this study was limited by the observational design and self-report of NSAID use, the findings suggest that ASA may have a chemopreventive effect against the development of melanoma and warrant further clinical investigation.
The Lewis Law Firm has a long history of representing patients with cancer, and their families in Phildelphia and New Jersey. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a FREE consultation and review of your case, today.
Sources: National Cancer Institute; US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
ON AVERAGE 1 to 2 out of every 10,000 children in the United States are diagnosed with some form of cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among U.S. children 1 to 14 years of age. Over the past 20 years, there has been some increase in the incidence of children diagnosed with all forms of invasive cancer, from 11.5 cases per 100,000 children in 1975 to 14.8 per 100,000 children by 2004. In 2007, approximately 10,400 children under age 15 were diagnosed with cancer and about 1,545 children were expected to die from the disease. Although this makes , cancer is still relatively rare in this age group. On the positive side, the 5-year survival rates for all childhood cancers combined increased from 58.1 percent in 1975–77 to 79.6 percent in 1996–2003.
Long-term trends in incidence for leukemias and brain tumors, the most common childhood cancers, show patterns that are somewhat different from the others. Incidence of childhood leukemias appeared to rise in the early 1980s, with rates increasing from 3.3 cases per 100,000 in 1975 to 4.6 cases per 100,000 in 1985. Rates in the succeeding years have shown no consistent upward or downward trend and have ranged from 3.7 to 4.9 cases per 100,000. For childhood brain tumors, the overall incidence rose from 1975 through 2004, from 2.3 to 3.2 cases per 100,000.
Despite advances in detection, the causes of childhood cancers remain largely unknown. Some genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome and ionizing radiation exposure, explain a small percentage of cases. A number of studies are examining suspected or possible risk factors for childhood cancers, including early-life exposures to infectious agents; parental, fetal, or childhood exposures to environmental toxins such as pesticides, solvents, or other household chemicals; parental occupational exposures to radiation or chemicals; parental medical conditions during pregnancy or before conception; maternal diet during pregnancy; early postnatal feeding patterns and diet; and maternal reproductive history. Researchers are also studying the risks associated with maternal exposures to oral contraceptives, fertility drugs, and other medications; familial and genetic susceptibility; and risk associated with exposure to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Current treatments for pediatric cancers continue to lag. Most children’s cancers are treated primarily with chemotherapy over the course of one to several years. Some cancers also require radiation therapy, surgery, and/or bone-marrow transplants. Chemotherapy is a group of highly toxic chemical drugs that were developed to kill fast-replicating cells. These drugs are non-specific -they don’t distinguish between diseased and healthy tissuess and result in severe reactions such as hair loss, nausea, significant weight loss and weakness associated with thier toxicity. As if that weren’t enough, most pediatric cancer protocols suggest combination chemotherapy which involves the infusion of several different toxic drugs over the course of time to kill cells at differing levels of development. Radiation therapy, while it can be targeted, is also an indiscriminate killer of healthy tissue and organs. Even if a cure or remission is obtained, children can develop long-term medical problems, including the development of secondary cancers from the chemotherapy or radition itself.
The Lewis Law Firm has a long history of representing children with cancers, and their families in Phildelphia, PA and New Jersey. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with liver cancer, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a FREE consultation and review of your case, today.
Sources: National Cancer Institute; National Institutes for Health
PANCREATIC cancer will kill 38,460 of the 45,220 people who are diagnosed with it in 2013 in the US. Pancreatic cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells are found in the tissues of the pancreas. Also called exocrine cancer. The pancreas makes pancreatic juices. These juices contain enzymes that help break down food. The pancreatic juices flow through the main duct to the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.
The pancreas is also a gland that makes insulin and other hormones. These hormones enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. They help the body use or store the energy that comes from food. For example, insulin helps control the amount of sugar in the blood.
Studies have found the following risk factors for cancer of the pancreas:
- Smoking: Smoking tobacco is the most important risk factor for pancreatic cancer. People who smoke tobacco are more likely than nonsmokers to develop this disease. Heavy smokers are most at risk.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are more likely than other people to develop pancreatic cancer.
- Family history: Having a mother, father, sister, or brother with pancreatic cancer increases the risk of developing the disease.
- Inflammation of the pancreas: Pancreatitis is a painful inflammation of the pancreas. Having pancreatitis for a long time may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
- Obesity: People who are overweight or obese are slightly more likely than other people to develop pancreatic cancer.
Early cancer of the pancreas often doesn’t cause symptoms. When the cancer grows larger, you may notice one or more of these common symptoms: Dark urine, pale stools, and yellow skin and eyes from jaundice; Pain in the upper part of your belly; Pain in the middle part of your back that doesn’t go away when you shift your position; Nausea and vomiting; and stools that float in the toilet.
Advanced cancer may cause these general symptoms: Weakness or feeling very tired; Loss of appetite or feelings of fullness; Weight loss for no known reason
At this time, cancer of the pancreas can be cured only when it’s found at an early stage (before it has matastasized or spread) and even then, only if surgery can completely remove the tumor. For people who are not surgical candidates or who are diagnosed late, the only treatment is palliative.
The Lewis Law Firm has a long history of representing people with pancreatic and other cancers, and their families in Philadelphia and New Jersey. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer which was misdiagnosed or diagnosed late, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a FREE consultation and review of your case, today.
Sources: American Cancer Society; MD Anderson Cancer Center of the University of Texas
LIVER cancer is one of the most rapidly increasing cancers in the US, with 22,600 cases of primary liver diagnosed in the United States in 2009. It is a killer cancer with an overall 5-year survival rate of around 15%. The Liver is an Essential organ and the largest organ in the body, the liver is pyramid-shaped and located under your right ribs. It has two sections called lobes. The liver essential because you can’t live without it. Some of its important functions are to: Break down and store nutrients from the intestine; Manufacture some of the clotting factors your body needs to stop bleeding; Make bile that helps the intestine absorb nutrients; and, Help get rid of waste.
Liver cancer can begin in the liver as primary liver cancer or can start as cancer somewhere else and metastasize or (spread) to the liver. The liver’s size and high blood flow make it a prime target for cancer cells moving through the bloodstream. Colorectal, breast and lung cancers are the most common primary sources of metastatic liver cancer.
The most common form of primary liver cancer is Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). As the name suggests, these cancers start at the cellular level and care common in people with liver damage, such as cirrhosis. Fibrolamellar HCC is a rare subtype that often has a higher chance for successful treatment than other types of liver cancer. Other types of liver cancer include Bile duct cancers (cholangiocarcinomas) and Angiosarcomas and hemangiosarcomas, which are usually not diagnosed until they are in advanced stages.
Studies have shown that patients with small, resectable tumors (tumors that can be removed), who do not have cirrhosis or other serious health problems, are likely to do relatively well if their cancers are removed. The overall 5-year survival is over 50%. For people with early-stage liver cancers who are able to have a liver transplant, the 5-year survival rate is in the range of 60% to 70%. However, only a small number of liver cancers are found in the early stages and can be removed with surgery. For all stages combined, the relative 5-year survival rate from liver cancer is about 15%. One reason for the low survival rate is that most patients with liver cancer also have other liver problems (co-morbitities) such as cirrhosis and metastasis (spread) of cancer.
The Lewis Law Firm has a long history of representing people with liver and other cancer in Philadelphia and New Jersey. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with liver cancer, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a FREE consultation and review of your case, today.
Sources: NPR (National Public Radio); US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
WE’VE blogged about MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), VRE (cancomycin Resistant Enterococcus) and C-Diff (Clostridium difficile). Get ready to add another nasty super bug to the list -CRE (carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae).
Federal officials warn that the newest kid on the block has become a significant health problem in hospitals throughout the United States. These germs, known as carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, have become much more common in the last decade, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the risk they pose to health is becoming evident. “What’s called CRE are nightmare bacteria,” says Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC, “They’re basically a triple threat.” First of all, they are resistant to virtually all antibiotics, including the ones doctors use as a last-ditch option. Second, these bugs can transfer their invincibility to other bacteria. “The mechanism of resistance to antibiotics not only works for one bacteria, but can be spread to others,” Frieden says. Third, the bacteria can be deadly. Infection with the bacteria “have a fatality rate as high as 50 percent,” Frieden says.
While resistant bacteria potentially pose a risk to anyone, people whose immune systems are weaker, such as elderly people, children and people who have other health problems, tend to be most susceptible to infection.
CDC data show the proportion of bacteria that have this resistance to many drugs has quadrupled in the last decade or so. CRE cases were reported by 4 percent of hospitals in 2012, up from about 1 percent from about a decade earlier, according to the report. In long-term care hospitals the situation is even worse — about 18 percent have reported cases, the CDC says. In addition, the proportion of Enterobacteriaceae bacteria that were resistant increased from 1.2 percent in 2001 to 4.2 percent in 2011, the CDC reported.
The big fear is that they’ll start to move out of hospitals and into the communities around them. “If CRE spreads out of hospitals and into communities, that’s when the ship is totally underwater and we all drown,” Infectious disease specialist Dr. Brad Spellberg, of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, says. To prevent that from happening, the CDC and others are calling on hospitals to contain CRE. The first thing hospitals need to do is test patients to see if they have these bugs. That includes common-sense things like keeping them away from other patients and sterilizing everything they come into contact with. And doctors have to use antibiotics more carefully to prevent more germs from developing into more dangerous superbugs.
The Lewis Law Firm represents patients and their families who are victims of hospital and physician malpractice in Philadelphia and New Jersey resulting in serious injury and death. If you or a loved one were the victim of hospital or physician malpractice, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a FREE consultation and case review today.
Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
MAJOR findings contained in the most current comprehensive report of cancer statistics, compiled in the United states reveals that Breast Cancer is still a leading killer of women. The three most common cancers with which women continue to be diagnosed are:
1. Breast cancer (123.1 per 100,000 women) or 1.5 million new cases of breast cancer per year
2. Lung cancer (54.1 per 100,000 women).
3. Colorectal cancer (37.1 per 100,000 women).
Lung Cancer remains the leading cause of death for women, ending the lives of 38.6 per 100,000 women. Despite advances in detection and treatment, Breast Cancer continues to be the second leading cause of death from cancer among women, ending the lives of 22.2 per 100,000 women. Colorectal cancer is a close third, ending the lives of 13.1 per 100,000 women.
The data come from a collaborative effort of: the CDC’s National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR); the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology and end Results (SEER) Program; and, the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR). The section on childhood cancer includes incidence data for more than 13,000 cancer cases and 2,000 cancer deaths among children and adolescents aged 19 years or younger. These data are presented by race, sex, age, and primary site as well as by specific cancer types.
The three most common cancers among men include:
1. Prostate cancer (137.7 per 100,000 men)
2. Lung cancer (78.2 per 100,o00 men).
3. Colorectal cancer (49.2 per 100,000 men).
The leading causes of cancer death among men are: Lung cancer (62.0 per 100,000 men), Prostate Cancer (22.0 per 100,000 men) with Liver and Colorectal Cancer not far behind. These alarming statistics suggest that we have a long way to go before we reduce, to any significant degree, deaths from cancers in the US.
The Lewis Law Firm has a long history of representing women with Ovarian, Cervical, Endometrial and breast cancer in Philadelphia and New Jersey. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with breast cancer which was misdiagnosed or diagnosed late, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a FREE consultation and review of your case, today.
Sources: Bloomberg News, US Food & Drug Administration
THEY have been hailed as the latest state of the art technology and their manufacturer has given them a name worthy of a medical rennaissance -the Da Vinci. But are robotic surgeries actually safer than those performed directly by the hand of a surgeon?
Robot systems (da vinci) made by Intuitive Surgical Inc. (ISRG) have been linked with incident reports of 70 deaths sent to U.S. regulators since 2009, according to a review by Bloomberg News. Intuitive, based in Sunnyvale, California, dominates the robot-surgery field. It’s the only company whose system is cleared in the U.S. for soft tissue procedures that include general surgery, prostate operations and gynecological surgery, according to a company spokeswoman.
The da vinci robotic systems consist of a video-game style console with foot pedals and hand controls attached to a HD display and mechanical arms equipped with tools -all guided by a 3-D camera. They are priced at $1.5 million each and have helped make Intuitive one of the hottest stocks in health care, growing 61 percent since the end of February 2010 to a market value of $21.7 billion. The number of U.S. procedures done with the robots has grown to about 367,000 in 2012, according to a company filing.
More than half of last year’s total involved gynecological treatments including delicate ureteral repairs. The reported benefits include better visualization, robot arms that can precisely manipulate small areas inside the body, and improved ergonomics to reduce surgeon fatigue.
According to a Bloomberg review of adverse incident reports sent to the US Food and Drug Administration since 2009 reportedly shows an increase in adverse incidents during robotic surgery. Injury reports involving the procedures jumped to at least 115 in 2012 from 24 in 2009, while deaths rose to 30 from 11. Intuitive Surgical remains confident the robots are “extremely safe,” according to Myriam Curet, the company’s chief medical adviser. An “extraordinarily small” percentage of deaths and injuries “hasn’t grown” over time, Curet reportedly stated.
The Lewis Law Firm handles cases of physician malpractice and hospital malpractice causing injury and death in Philadelphia and New Jersey . If you or a loved one were the vitim of wrong-site or wrong surgery, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a FREE consultation today.
Sources: Johns Hopkins Medicine (2013, January 9). ScienceDaily (2013, February 12).
RESEARCHERS at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed a test to detect ovarian and endometrial cancers using cervical fluid obtained in routine Pap tests. The Papanicolaou (Pap) tes is a minimally invasive screening test routinely performed during annual gynecologic visits. Cells collected from the cervix are examined for microscopic signs of cancer, is widely and successfully used to screen for cervical cancers. There is currently no routine screening method available for ovarian or endometrial cancers. Ovarian and endometrial cancers are newly diagnosed in nearly 70,000 women in the United States each year, and 1/3 of them will die from it.
Since the Pap test occasionally contains cells shed from the ovaries or endometrium, cancer cells arising from these organs could also be present in the fluid as well, says Luis Diaz, M.D., associate professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins. “Our genomic sequencing approach may offer the potential to detect these cancer cells in a scalable and cost-effective way,” adds Diaz.
Cervical fluid of patients with gynecologic cancer carries normal cellular DNA mixed together with DNA from cancer cells, according to the investigators. The investigators needed a was to use genomic sequencing to distinguish cancerous from normal DNA. From the ovarian and endometrial cancer genome data, the Johns Hopkins-led team identified 12 of the most frequently mutated genes in both cancers and developed the PapGene test with this insight in mind.
The new test detected both early- and late-stage disease in the endometrial and ovarian cancers tested. “Performing the test at different times during the menstrual cycle, inserting the cervical brush deeper into the cervical canal, and assessing more regions of the genome may boost the sensitivity,” says Chetan Bettegowda, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins. The “PapGene” test, relies on genomic sequencing of cancer-specific mutations, is reported to hae accurately detected all 24 (100%) endometrial cancers and nine of 22 (41%) of ovarian cancers. While large-scale studies are clearly required, the initial results are promising for pioneering genomic-based cancer screening tests.
The Lewis Law Firm has a long history of representing women with Ovarian, Cervical, Endometrial and breast cance in Philadelphia and New Jersey. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with breast cancer which was misdiagnosed or diagnosed late, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a FREE consultation and review of your case, today.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Jemal A, et al., Cancer statistics, 2009. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians 2009;59(4):225–249; U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2009.
CANCER is the second most common cause of death among children between the ages of 1 and 14 years in the US, surpassed only by accidents. More than 16 out of every 100,000 children and teens in the U.S. were diagnosed with cancer, and nearly 3 of every 100,000 died from the disease. The most common cancers in children were leukemia (cancer of the bone marrow and blood) and brain and central nervous system cancers.
In 2005,* 4.1 of every 100,000 young people under 20 years of age in the U.S. were diagnosed with leukemia, and 0.8 per 100,000 died from it. The number of new cases was highest among the 1–4 age group, but the number of deaths was highest among the 10–14 age group.
Brain and Central Nervous System Cancer
In 2005,* 2.9 of every 100,000 people 0–19 years of age were found to have cancer of the brain or central nervous system, and 0.7 per 100,000 died from it. These cancers were found most often in children between 1 and 4 years of age, but the most deaths occurred among those aged 5–9.
Deaths from Childhood Cancer Declining
During the past 25 years, there have been significant improvements in the five-year relative survival rate for all of the major childhood cancers. The five-year relative survival rate among children for all cancer sites combined improved from 58% for patients diagnosed in 1975–1977 to 80% for those diagnosed in 1996–2004. A CDC study found that from 1990 to 2004, childhood leukemia death rates fell by 3.0% per year, childhood brain and other nervous system cancers by 1.0% per year, and all other childhood cancers combined by 1.3% per year, likely reflecting better treatment of childhood cancers. (2005 is the most recent year for which statistics are available)
The Lewis Law Firm has a long history of representing Women and Children in Philadelphia and New Jersey. If you or a child have been diagnosed and treated for cancer, contact the Lewis Law Firm for a free consultation.