The Epstein-Barr virus has always been a bit mysterious. It is responsible for mononucleosis, and is suspected of being a cause of chronic fatigue syndrome, although this disease remains poorly understood. The concept of viruses causing cancer is not new.
In the 1970s, an assay was developed by Dr. Bruce Ames that revolutionized the ability to test if a compound causes cancer or not. Since then, the Ames test has been used on everything from food dyes to pesticides. The test's power is not only that it is incredibly efficacious, but also that it's inexpensive and relatively easy to do.
In some circles high sugar consumption, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB), has been considered to be virtually the root of all evil when it comes to health issues. But a recent study tried -- and failed -- to find a link between high SSB consumption and cancer survivors. Thus any supposed link with cancer recurrence or cancer mortality wasn't supported by this report.
Ovarian cancer is the most deadly cancer of the female reproductive tract — at least partly because it is not found until it has progressed. New research on mouse models of the disease suggests that there may be a way to halt that progression — by disinhibiting the body's immune system and allowing it to attack the tumor(s).
Obesity is considered a risk factor for several types of cancer — breast and colon cancer, for example. But some cancers might be considered risk factors for obesity — or at least weight gain, according to a recent study from Columbia University.
Personalized medicine is the rage but it's yet to realize much of its potential. That is why a study that was recently reported for ovarian cancer surveillance is exciting.
Joe Biden has good intentions, and it's easy to sympathize with the Vice President's personal pain and frustration. However, threatening and pointing fingers at the scientific community is often counterproductive. If Dick Cheney had similarly threatened to pull funding from scientists, how would the public and media have reacted?
Time for a colonoscopy? Many want to shun this screening for colorectal cancer, but according to the US Preventive Services Task Force, having the procedure is the best way to go. This and other modalities were evaluated in their latest recommendations on CRC screening.
The aftermath of the heparin crisis should put to rest any notions that there's a conspiracy to suppress a cure for cancer; to control your mind with fluoride; to hide a link between vaccines and autism; or to treat Americans as guinea pigs for GMOs. If there was any truth to those beliefs, somebody would have uncovered it by now.
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.