Eikonal Blog



Filed under: health — Tags: , , , — sandokan65 @ 19:58

“Cancer” is a group name for numerous (types) of diseases. It is not clear how many classes exist, how many source mechanisms are there (some of them appear to be caused by viruses, like HPV, some appear to be generated by environmental chemistry, and some appear to be completely endogeneuous), how many cancers are the same disease (e.g. can cancer of one specific organ “infect” some other organ?), etc.


  • “Cancer Genes Help HIV Persist, Complicating Cure Efforts” by Jon Cohen (Science; 2014.03.14; Science 14 March 2014: Vol. 343 no. 6176 p. 1188; DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6176.1188) – http://www.sciencemag.org/content/343/6176/1188.summary
    • Reservoirs of cells that harbor HIV DNA woven into human chromosomes have become the bane of researchers trying to cure infections. New research reveals that many of the infected cells in reservoirs are clones that have gained an evolutionary leg up by HIV weaving into cancer genes.
  • “The Dangers of Hunting for Cancer” by Marty Makary (Time; 2014.02.21) – http://ideas.time.com/2014/02/21/the-dangers-of-hunting-for-cancer/?iid=op-article-mostpop1
    • Why more screening is not always better
  • “New evidence on how weight, diet and exercise can help reduce cancer risk” (Teh Washington Post; 2014.02.18) – http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/new-evidence-on-how-weight-diet-and-exercise-can-help-reduce-cancer-risk/2014/02/18/87bbc62a-8cdc-11e3-95dd-36ff657a4dae_story.html
    • 1. Maintain a healthy weight throughout life.
      • Being as lean as possible and maintaining a healthy weight are key components of cancer prevention. People should aim for body mass index (BMI) score of 18.5 to 24.9. Extra body weight is associated with greater risk of cancers of the breast, colon and rectum, endometrium, esophagus, kidney and pancreas. Added weight also probably raises the risk of such cancers as gallbladder, liver, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, multiple myeloma, cervix, ovary and prostate.
      • Increased body weight associated with increased death rates for all cancers. The same association applied to deaths from many specific cancers including esophagus, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas and kidney, as well as non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma. Poor BMI scores were associated with cancer deaths of the stomach and prostate for men and of the breast, uterus, cervix and ovaries in women. Large body size in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood predicted increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in a 2013 study in Cancer Prevention Research.
    • 2. Get active.
      • Your level of physical activity may affect your risk of several kinds of cancers: breast, colon, endometrium and prostate.
      • A sedentary lifestyle, coupled with overeating, can create an energy imbalance that causes abnormalities in the body. If you are in the habit of taking in too many calories compared with what you burn, this imbalance can spur metabolic and hormonal changes and inflammation that may fuel many diseases, including cancer, heart disease and diabetes. She said people who develop cancers such as colon, breast, lung and prostate often have other diseases as well, because some of the same mechanisms affect all these diseases. That is why controlling activity, weight and diet is so crucial to disease prevention and overall health.
      • Post-menopausal women who walked seven hours a week had a 14 percent lower risk of developing breast cancer compared with those who walked fewer than three hours a week.
      • The ACS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking or 75 minutes of jogging weekly. A similar recommendation comes from the American Institute for Cancer Research, which calls for being physically active at least 30 minutes a day, with maximum health benefits coming from 60 minutes or more of moderate activity or 30 minutes or more of vigorous activity daily.
    • 3. Eat healthfully.
      • Over the past 50 years there have been many studies on the health effects of individual nutrients and foods. One week researchers report on the benefits of coffee; the next, it”s the benefits of nuts or the negatives of sugary beverages.
      • For preventing disease, the current trend is to think about the entire diet or dietary patterns, rather than the particulars of dozens of foods or nutrients.
      • ”We don”t know of a diet that definitely will prevent cancer,” … ”we have very strong evidence that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of certain cancers and [that] unhealthy diet and obesity are associated with increased risk.”
      • The ACS recommends a diet rich in plants and whole-grain foods, especially one that controls calories consumed. The timing of your meals may jump-start your metabolism and help you balance your energy and burn calories efficiently. … Studies seem to suggest that by simply eating your evening meal earlier and redistributing calories throughout the day, as opposed to eating later in the evening, may help reduce how many calories you eat and how well your body burns those calories.
      • others recommend a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, with little red meat and more fish, whole grains and nuts. … suggests that half your dinner plate consist of plant-based foods.
    • Cancer prevention experts also advise avoiding tobacco, limiting alcohol, knowing your family history, being careful about sun exposure and getting age-appropriate screening. They also suggest getting vaccinated against two major cancer-causing viruses: hepatitis B virus (HBV), linked to liver cancer, and human papillomavirus (HPV), which is linked to cervical and throat cancers.
  • “Is there a way to exploit the metabolic quirk of cancer?” by Peter Attia, M.D (The Eating Academy; 2013.02.04) – http://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/way-exploit-metabolic-quirk-cancerhttp://eatingacademy.com/nutrition/way-exploit-metabolic-quirk-cancer
    • Cancer – a collection of cells in our bodies that grow at roughly normal speeds, but that do not respond appropriately to cell signaling. In other words, while a collection of ”normal” cells will grow and stop growing in response to appropriate messages from hormones and signals, cancer cells have lost this property. Contrary to popular misconception, cancers cells do not grow especially fast relative to non-cancer cells. The problem is they don”t ”know” when to stop growing.
    • Metabolism – the process of converting the stored energy in food (chemical energy contained mostly within the bonds of carbon and hydrogen atoms) into usable energy for the body to carry out essential and non-essential work (e.g., ion transport, muscle contraction).
    • ATP – adenosine triphosphate, the ”currency” of energy used by the body. As its name suggests, this molecule has three (tri) phosphates. Energy is liberated for use when the body converts ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate), by cutting off one of the phosphate ions in exchange for energy.
    • Glucose – a very simple sugar which many carbohydrates ultimately get broken down into via digestion; glucose is a ring of 6-carbon molecules and has the potential to deliver a lot, or a little, ATP, depending on how it is metabolized.
    • Fatty acid – the breakdown product of fats (either those stored in the body or those ingested directly) which can be of various lengths (number of joined carbon atoms) and structures (doubled bonds between the carbon atoms or single bonds).
    • Aerobic metabolism – the process of extracting ATP from glucose or fatty acids when the demand for ATP is not too great, which permits the process to take place with sufficient oxygen in the cell. This process is highly efficient and generates a lot of ATP (about 36 units, for example, from one molecule of glucose) and easy to manage waste products (oxygen and carbon dioxide).
    • The process of turning glucose and fatty acid into lots of ATP using oxygen is called ”oxidative phosphorylation.”
    • Anaerobic metabolism – the process of extracting ATP from glucose (but not fatty acids) when the demand for ATP is so great that the body cannot deliver oxygen to cells quickly enough to accommodate the more efficient aerobic pathway. The good news is that we can do this (otherwise a brief sprint, or very difficult exertion would be impossible). The bad news is this process generates much less ATP per carbon molecule (about 4 units of ATP per molecule of glucose), and it generates lactate, which is accompanied by hydrogen ions. (Contrary to popular belief, it”s the latter that causes the burning in your muscles when you ask your body to do something very demanding, not the former).
    • Mitochondria – the part of the cell where aerobic metabolism takes place. Think of a cell as a town and the mitochondria as the factory that converts the stored energy into usable energy. If food is natural gas, and usable energy is electricity, the mitochondria are the power plants. But remember, mitochondria can only work when they have enough oxygen to process glucose or fatty acids. If they don”t, the folks outside of the factory have to make due with suboptimally broken down glucose and suboptimal byproducts.
    • DNA – deoxyribonucleic acid, to be exact, is the so-called ”building block” of life. DNA is a collection of 4 subunits (called nucleotides) that, when strung together, create a code. Think of nucleotides like letters of the alphabet. The letters can be rearranged to form words, and words can be strung together to make sentences.
    • Gene – if nucleotides are the letters of the alphabet, and DNA is the words and sentences, genes are the books – a collection of words strung together to tell a story. Genes tell our body what to build and how to build it, among other things. In recent years, scientists have come to identify all human genes, though we still have very little idea what most genes ”code” for. It”s sort of like saying we”ve read all of War and Peace, but we don”t yet understand most of it.
    • FDG-PET – a type of ”functional” radiographic study, often called a ”pet scan” for short, used to detect cancer in patients with a suspected tumor burden (this test can”t effectively detect small amounts of cancer and only works for ”established” cancers). F18 is substituted for -OH on glucose molecules, making something called 2-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (FDG), an analog of glucose. This molecule is detectable by PET scanners (because of the F18) and shows which parts of the body are most preferentially using glucose.
    • Phosphoinositide 3-kinase – commonly called PI3K (pronounced ”pee-eye-three-kay”), is an enzyme (technically, a family of enzymes) involved in cell growth and proliferation. Not surprisingly, these enzymes play an important role in cancer growth and survival, and cancer cells often have mutations in the gene encoding PI3K, which render PI3K even more active. PI3Ks are very important in insulin signaling, which may in part explain their role in cancer growth, as you”ll see below.
    • Whichever of these is more accurate, the end result appears the same – cancer cells almost exclusively utilize glucose to make ATP without the use of their mitochondria.
    • This may also explain why most animal models show that caloric restriction improves cancer outcomes. Though historically, this observation has been interpreted through the lens of less ”food” for cancer. A more likely explanation is that caloric restriction is often synonymous with glucose reduction, and it may be the glucose restriction per se that is keeping the cancer at bay.
  • “Smoking linked with increased risk of common type of breast cancer” (Fox News; 2014.02.09) – http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/02/10/smoking-linked-with-increased-risk-common-type-breast-cancer/
  • “Vitamin C ‘gives chemotherapy a boost'” by Helen Briggs (BBC News; 2014.02.08) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26038460
    • It is now known that the human body quickly excretes vitamin C when it is taken by mouth.
    • However, scientists at the University of Kansas say that when given by injection vitamin C is absorbed into the body, and can kill cancer cells without harming normal ones.
    • The researchers injected vitamin C into human ovarian cancer cells in the lab, into mice, and into patients with advanced ovarian cancer. They found ovarian cancer cells were sensitive to vitamin C treatment, but normal cells were unharmed. The treatment worked in tandem with standard chemotherapy drugs to slow tumour growth in mouse studies. Meanwhile, a small group of patients reported fewer side-effects when given vitamin C alongside chemotherapy.
  • “Treatment Alone Will Not Win War On Cancer – Prevention Is Crucial, UN Reports” (Individual.com; 2014.02.04) – http://www.individual.com/storyrss.php?story=187515794&hash=3817ccca71667481a14a5b1d9afdf5e9
  • “World facing global ‘cancer crisis’, WHO warns” – http://www.channel4.com/news/cancer-world-health-organisation-crisis-treatment
    • Worldwide cancer cases are growing at an alarming rate, the World Health Organisation warns, and “urgent” action is need to prevent a crisis.
  • “World Cancer Report 2014 Warns Of A “tidal Wave” Of Cancer” (RTT News; 2014.02.04) – http://www.rttnews.com/2262790/world-cancer-report-2014-warns-of-a-tidal-wave-of-cancer.aspx
  • “WHO study shows cancer cases rising at alarming pace, says ”can’t beat cancer with drugs alone”” (The Times of India; 2014.02.04) – http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/WHO-study-shows-cancer-cases-rising-at-alarming-pace-says-cant-beat-cancer-with-drugs-alone/articleshow/29862902.cms
  • “Cancer: A global threat” (BBC News; 2014.02.04) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26031748
    • The World Health Organization is warning of a global “tidal wave” of cancer and says that by 2035, around 24 million people will have the disease.
    • Globally, one in five men and one in six women will develop cancer before the age of 75. And one in eight men, and one in twelve women, will die from the disease.
  • “Cancer ‘tidal wave’ on horizon, warns WHO” (BBC News; 2014.02.04) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-26014693
    • The globe is facing a “tidal wave” of cancer, and restrictions on alcohol and sugar need to be considered, say World Health Organization scientists.
    • It predicts the number of cancer cases will reach 24 million a year by 2035, but half could be prevented. The World Cancer Research Fund said there was an “alarming” level of naivety about diet’s role in cancer.
    • Fourteen million people a year are diagnosed with cancer, but that is predicted to increase to 19 million by 2025, 22 million by 2030 and 24 million by 2035.
    • The WHO’s World Cancer Report 2014 said the major sources of preventable cancer included:
      • 1) Smoking
      • 2) Infections
      • 3) Alcohol
      • 4) Obesity and inactivity
      • 5) Radiation, both from the sun and medical scans
      • 6) Air pollution and other environmental factors
      • 7) Delayed parenthood, having fewer children and not breastfeeding
    • For most countries, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. However, cervical cancer dominates in large parts of Africa. The human papillomavirus (HPV) is a major cause. It is thought wider use of the HPV and other vaccines could prevent hundreds of thousands of cancers.
    • a survey of 2,046 people in the UK suggested 49% do not know that diet increases the risk of developing cancer. A third of people said cancer was mainly due to family history, but the charity said no more than 10% of cancers were down to inherited genes. … “It’s very alarming to see that such a large number of people don’t know that there’s a lot they can do to significantly reduce their risk of getting cancer.” … “In the UK, about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through being a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and being regularly physically active.”
    • “These results show that many people still seem to mistakenly accept their chances of getting cancer as a throw of the dice, but by making lifestyle changes today, we can help prevent cancer tomorrow.” It advises a diet packed with vegetables, fruit, and wholegrains; cutting down on alcohol and red meat; and junking processed meat completely.
  • “Global cancer surge fuelled by alcohol, smoking and obesity predicted by WHO” by Sarah Boseley (BBC News; 2014.02.03) – http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/feb/03/alcohol-sugar-smoking-fuel-cancer-surge
    • World Health Organisation experts issue timebomb warning and say key is prevention, possibly including tax on sugared drinks
  • “The Global Economic Cost of Cancer” (PDF) – http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@internationalaffairs/documents/document/acspc-026203.pdf
  • “World Cancer Report 2014” – http://www.iarc.fr/en/publications/books/wcr/wcr-order.php
  • “Potential Tactics for Defeating Cancer – A Toolkit in 1,000 Words” by Tim Ferris (2014.01.28) – http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2014/01/28/cancer-treatment/


  • “Global cancer cases reach 14 million, World Health Organization says” by James Gallagher (BBC News; 2013.12.12) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-25346639
    • The number of people being diagnosed with cancer in the world each year has leaped to more than 14 million, the World Health Organization says.
  • “HPV: Sex, cancer and a virus” by Megan Scudellari1 (Nature; 2013.11.20) – http://www.nature.com/news/hpv-sex-cancer-and-a-virus-1.14194
    • Human papillomavirus is causing a new form of head and neck cancer – leaving researchers scrambling to understand risk factors, tests and treatments.
  • “Cancer diversity has ‘huge implications'” by James Gallagher (BBC News; 2013.11.15) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24957089
    • A single tumour can be made up of many separate cancers needing different treatments, say researchers.
  • “Air pollution causes cancer – WHO” (BBC News; 2013.10.17) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24564446
    • Pollutants in the air we breathe have been classed as a leading environmental cause of cancer by the World Health Organization.
  • “Anti-cancer vaccine for Laos” by Fergus Walsh (BBC News; 2013.10.14) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24520974
    • A programme to vaccinate girls against the virus that causes cervical cancer has begun in Laos, South East Asia.
  • “Cancer costing European Union countries ‘billions'” (BBC News; 2013.10.13) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24493862
    • Cancer costs countries in the European Union 126bn euro (.107bn) a year, according to the first EU-wide analysis of the economic impact of the disease.
  • “Economic burden of cancer across the European Union: a population-based cost analysis” by Ramon Luengo-Fernandez, Dr Jose Leal, Prof Alastair Gray, Prof Richard Sullivan (The Lancet > Oncology; 2013.10.14) – http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanonc/article/PIIS1470-2045%2813%2970442-X/abstract
    • The Lancet Oncology, Volume 14, Issue 12, Pages 1165 – 1174, November 2013; doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(13)70442-X
    • Background: In 2008, 2.45 million people were diagnosed with cancer and 1.23 million died because of cancer in the 27 countries of the European Union (EU). We aimed to estimate the economic burden of cancer in the EU.
    • Methods: In a population-based cost analysis, we evaluated the cost of all cancers and also those associated with breast, colorectal, lung, and prostate cancers. We obtained country-specific aggregate data for morbidity, mortality, and health-care resource use from international and national sources. We estimated health-care costs from expenditure on care in the primary, outpatient, emergency, and inpatient settings, and also drugs. Additionally, we estimated the costs of unpaid care provided by relatives or friends of patients (ie, informal care), lost earnings after premature death, and costs associated with individuals who temporarily or permanently left employment because of illness.
    • Findings: Cancer cost the EU 126 billion in 2009, with health care accounting for 51.0 billion (40%). Across the EU, the health-care costs of cancer were equivalent to .102 per citizen, but varied substantially from .16 per person in Bulgaria to .184 per person in Luxembourg. Productivity losses because of early death cost .42.6 billion and lost working days .9.43 billion. Informal care cost .23.2 billion. Lung cancer had the highest economic cost (.18.8 billion, 15% of overall cancer costs), followed by breast cancer (.15.0 billion, 12%), colorectal cancer (.13.1 billion, 10%), and prostate cancer (.8.43 billion, 7%).
    • Interpretation: Our results show wide differences between countries, the reasons for which need further investigation. These data contribute to public health and policy intelligence, which is required to deliver affordable cancer care systems and inform effective public research funds allocation.
  • “Why is cancer so common?” (BBC Science; 2013.04.22) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/0/22028516
    • Hundreds of thousands of people are diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK. It is not one disease; there are over 200 different types, each with its own symptoms, methods of diagnosis and treatment.
  • “Do drugs really have to be so expensive?” by Michelle Childs (BBC News; 2013.03.28) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21834442
    • A liver cancer treatment is off-limits in the NHS due to its unjustifiably high price tag, but in India the same treatment is available for less than .100 a month.
    • In this week’s Scrubbing Up, Michelle Childs, of Medecins Sans Frontieres, questions why wealthy nations are not doing more to drive down medicine costs.
  • “Thriving cancer’s ‘chaos’ explained” by James Gallagher (BBC Science; 2013.02.27) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21603235
    • The way cancers make a chaotic mess of their genetic code in order to thrive has been explained by UK researchers.
  • “13,000 cancer deaths ‘can be prevented'” (BBC Science; 2013.02.03) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21299550
    • At least 13,000 premature deaths from cancer could be prevented each year in the UK, says the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).
  • “Cancer fight ‘hampered in UK by stiff upper lip'” (BBC Science; 2013.01.29) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21242871
    • The UK’s “stiff upper lip” culture may explain why it lags behind other countries when it comes to beating cancer, say experts.
  • “Lifetime risk of prostate cancer ‘has trebled'” (BBC Science; 2013.01.22) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-21144676
    • Prostate cancer risk has risen to such a degree that one in every seven boys will develop it, projections suggest.
  • “‘Drug holidays’ beat cancer drug resistance in mice” by James Gallagher (BBC Science; 2013.01.09) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20956179
    • Introducing medication-free spells to some cancer treatments may keep patients alive for longer, studies in mice with skin cancer suggest.
    • The animals had melanoma, which can rapidly become resistant to treatments. However, a study in the journal Nature showed tumours also became dependent on the drug to survive. Withdrawing treatment caused tumours to shrink.


  • “Cancer ‘changes outlook on life'” (BBC Science; 2012.12.31) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-20879212
    • A new study has offered a snapshot of how being diagnosed with cancer led many people to make positive changes to their lives.
  • “One test may ‘find many cancers'” by James Gallagher (BBC Science; 2012.11.06) – http://web.archive.org/web/20121110025818/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-20179560
    • Targeting just one chemical inside cancerous cells could one day lead to a single test for a broad range of cancers, researchers say.
  • “Breast cancer rules rewritten in ‘landmark’ study” by James Gallagher (BBC Science; 2012.04.18) – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17740690
    • What we currently call breast cancer should be thought of as 10 completely separate diseases, according to an international study which has been described as a “landmark”.
    • “From a cancer prevention point of view it is best not to drink at all. But we have to be realistic and the fact is that many people in the UK enjoy a drink and see it as part of their social life.” – Dr Rachel Thompson (World Cancer Research Fund)




  • “Drink blamed for oral cancer rise” (BBC News; 2009.08.10) – http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8193639.stm
    • Alcohol is largely to blame for an “alarming” rise in the rate of oral cancers among men and women in their forties, say experts.
    • Numbers of cancers of the lip, mouth, tongue and throat in this age group have risen by 26% in the past decade.


  • Liver cancer:
    • Infection with the hepatitis C virus increases the death rate by 1,600%
    • Obesity increases the death rate for liver cancer by 3505


Related here at this blog: Cell phones radiation – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/cell-phone-radiation/

1 Comment »

  1. […] … subjects who used a cellphone 10 or more years doubled the risk of developing brain gliomas, a type of tumor. … Related here: Taxonomy of cancers – https://eikonal.wordpress.com/2011/01/07/taxonomy-of-cancers/ […]


    Pingback by Cell phones radiation « Eikonal Blog — 2011.06.01 @ 10:13

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