Since there are so many types, cancer isn't an "it" but a "them." And the semantics of our "war on cancer" mislead us into considering cancer as just one disease. But in reality, just one type — breast cancer — is composed of 10 different sub-types, each of which might require different treatments.
Metastatic cancer that is unresponsive to chemotherapy is considered incurable. But those days may be numbered, as scientists at the University of North Carolina may have uncovered the perfect system for delivering chemotherapy directly to the site of the cancer -- using a fraction of the conventional dose.
A recent seven-country study in JAMA evaluates approaches to cancer patient care in the last year of life. The findings were that the U.S. does unexpectedly well in several areas, but relies too much on ICU admission and chemotherapy at life's end, and too little on palliative care.
In a surprising show of unity, parents of soccer players stricken with cancer and synthetic turf companies are joining to question whether tiny rubber particles used on thousands of fields across the country are linked to the disease affecting hundreds of young players nationwide.
Screening for cancer may well reduce deaths from the cancer screened for but still not reduce (or even increase) overall mortality. That's the message in a recent BMJ meta-analysis of the harms and benefits of screening.
President Obama declared that the U.S. will mount a new, extraordinary fight against cancer, with the aim of finally "curing it once and for all." Unfortunately, this is an impossible task. Throwing money at this disease will aid some researchers but this new initiative will speed progress only slightly, if at all.
With no topic beyond reach of his scorn, Donald Trump takes a shot at the NFL, calling the game "too soft" for its attempts to protect players with rule changes. Meanwhile, a big thumbs up to another mogul, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for publicizing the vaccination of his infant daughter; and a sad, early goodbye to legendary rocker David Bowie, a one-time heavy smoker, who died at the age of 69.
The "Cancer Statistics" report from the American Cancer Society confirms the continued decline in cancer deaths in America. Since peaking in 1991, the death rate has dropped by 23 percent, translating to more than 1.7 million deaths averted through 2012.
Like the use of luminol in crime scene investigations, researchers at Duke University, in collaboration with MIT in Boston, have developed a chemical dye that emits brighter fluorescence in cancer cells than normal tissue. The innovation could lead to better surgical results, by preventing subsequent operations.
Writing at Reason, Ron Bailey dissects some worrying trends and then highlights some insight on cancer which, I am proud to say, came from us.
A very large study of Nordic twins published recently in JAMA found that there's a significant link between their genetic makeup and their risk of getting certain cancers, with the strongest links involving melanoma and the prostate.