Enclyclopedia of Cancer

Well, if you really want to know ALOT more about cancer and are not afraid to read what scientists have to say and are willing to pay something for it….then please do check out the Encyclopdia of Cancer by Springer publications at:
http://www.springer.com/biomed/cancer/book/978-3-540-36847-2. But, for easy to understand and some free info please also see my page at http://www.cancermadesimple.com
Dr. C

Cancer questions

I know that many people have questions about cancer….

What exactly is cancer?

What causes cancer?

How far until we cure cancer?

Why must we have these tough cancer treatments (e.g at the hospital) that hurt us?

Are there other types of treatments besides the ones offered by clinical doctors?

How to trust what is out there in the media and being sold?

Can I prevent Cancer?

Will I get cancer?

Why is cancer on the rise…or is it?

Well…I will do my best to answer every single one of these and more…but I need your help.  I need you to ask questions.  I would also encourage you to visit my website at www.cancermadesimple.com and look at my comments.  I am almost ready to uplink my 8 new audio tapes and 8 new written documents that go into a lot of these details.  Some will be free and some I will sell…but all in all, they will be quite affordable and informative.  I promise!

Dr. C

NHL (non Hodgkins lymohoma)

Some one asked me what NHL was….and it is not so easy to explain but first let me give you the official medical dictionary term “non-Hodgkin lymphomas  a diverse group of malignant lymphomas whose common feature is the absence of the giant Reed-Sternberg cells characteristic of Hodgkin disease. They arise from the lymphoid components of the immune system, and present a clinical picture broadly similar to that of Hodgkin disease except that these diseases are initially more widespread and involve painless enlargement of one or more peripheral lymph nodes. One widely used classification is based on two criteria: cytologic characteristics of the constituent cells and type of cell growth pattern (defined as either nodular [follicular] or diffuse). Another system of classification is based on the cell type of origin: T or B-lymphocytes or histiocytes. Still another formulation has been proposed, separating non-Hodgkin lymphomas into major subtypes using only morphologic criteria.
 (this is directly from Dorland Medical  Dictionary).  NHL is a collection of cancers that affects the blood cells that make up the immune system or white blood cells known as lymphoma.  That definition is similar to Hodgkin’s lymphoma and it is confusing to explain HL and NHL.  But, in essence this guy named Hodgkin’s was the first one to really identify a blood cancer or lymphoma.  later people started to realize there are many different types.  It because very hard to classify them as even cancers from the same cells could look different (ie. even a cancer from T cells could be so different from one to another).  So, as more were found, a subset of cancers from the blood were called NHL….thre are now 16 different cancers in this subtype.  So, it is actually a classification system that defines what Hodgkin’s and non Hodgkin’s disease are…they use different criteria to help decide which is which.  For the patient it does not matter much as long as they know what type of cancer it is…e.g. immune cell cancer of the B cell, etc.  It really matters a lot for the physician who is treating you as he would need to know the exact classification so he can give you the right anti cancer treatment and can get an idea about survival issues, etc. I know this is not idea…but its the best I can do for now!

Dr. C

come visit me at www.cancermadesimple.com my basic information on cancer audio files are nearly ready!

Is cancer always one or can it be more than one?

I just talked with a relative of mine.  He has been battling cancer for some time.  His type of cancer is very perplexing to many as it would seem as is it many types of cancer …or is it?  He was diagnosed with nasopharyngeal non Hodgkin’s lymphoma (ie. a cancer in part of the nose).  So is this nose cancer of blood cancer (lymphoma)?  Well, it is a bit complicated, but essentially its a blood cancer.  The lymphoma which is a cancer of the blood cells (usually T or B cells) that has found its way to the nasal cavity and established itself.  When that happens, it presents itself as a solid tumor in the nose, but it is NOT a nose tumor as it did not initiate there.  You see some blood cancers can leave the blood and settle down into any organ or tissue.  So, scientists or lab folks can tell what kind of cancer it is by looking at the markers it has (certain protein flags displayed on the surface of the cell or sometimes inside the cell too) that tells us what tissue it originates from.  So, when you hear something that does not make sense to you…then ask yourself…where does the doctor suspect the cancer originated? Blood cancers can leave the blood and settle almost anywhere.  Solid tumors that don’t come from the blood can also start in one place and then move to another at a later time.  We call that metastasis.  Anyhow, just ask the doctor if you are not sure where the cancer originated and exactly what kind of cancer it is!

I hope this helps!

Dr. C (www.cancermadesimple.com)

Diet and Cancer (part II)

OK, as I mentioned last time it is very hard to quantitative the exact risks that one has for certain cancer or for cancer overall by eating unhealthy foods or by not eating enough of healthy ones.  However, for certain cancers definitive links have been made.  Let me list some of them one at a time.

1.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are known to contain many useful nutrients and vitamins that can be cancer preventative in nature (very general statement). Specifically, Vit A, Vit C, and carotenoids have been shown to be beneficial in retarding lung, colon and rectum, breast, oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, uterine cervix, and ovary.  Epithelial cancers along the gut and respiratory tract are known to occur twice as much in those who DO NOT eat enough fruits and vegetables in comparison to those who eat them often. 

2. Diets high in fiber have been associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer and other studies have shown some benefits in reduced cancer of the following sites: breast, rectum, oral cavity, pharynx, and stomach.  These studies are complicated as they used fruits and vegetables high in fiber and the results are hard to determine if it’s the fiber or other properties that helped.  Either way, fruits, vegetables and fiber do help!

3. Fats are a no-no!  It is quite clear now from many studies, some quite old now that high fat diets are linked to increase risks of cancer for the following: breast, colon, prostate, and possibly pancreas, ovary, and endometrium (USDHHS, 1988; National Research Council, 1989).  When one compares high fat diets of certain counties to low-fat diets of other countries the low-fat diet containing populations show dramatic lower incidences of death due to breast colon and prostrate cancer…and all three are huge killers in Western countries.  Many studies have shown (but not 100% conclusive) that fats of the saturated category fare much worse.  On average Americans take in much more calories from fat than is physiologically needed…reducing that fat intake should help improve overall cancer rates significantly.

4. Others: Vitamin C has been shown to provide some benefits in esophagus, oral cavity, and stomach cancers and shown to be protective in some others as well.  Vitamin E inhibits the development of some tumors in mice and some studies point to its beneficial effects but not all studies find significant results in vitamin E’s protective effects.  Calcium is another nutrient from food that has shown in some studies to lower the risk of getting certain cancers.

Eating healthy is for sure an excellent way to change one’s lifestyle to decrease the risk of getting certain cancers.  But one must use cautions and 1) not overtake these as they can hurt your liver, kidney and other organs if you take too much, 2) getting nutrients from foods is a much better way to get them than from tablets in general, 3) there are few studies that PROVE the positive effects of any of these, they just suggest that they play a risk reduction role, 4) Be careful about all the claims out there about this and that organic/natural/isolated anti cancer product that you should buy in tablet or dried powder form.  Little to no studies have been performed with many of the formations, some might even make you ill, some might not be pure at all, and at the very least some provide NO protection whatsoever.  Take these at your own risk at they are not usually regulated by any governmental oversight!  Eating healthy is something that you can do, is safe, and makes your whole body healthy at the same time…now that’s a no brainer!

Peace … Dr. C  www.cancermadesimple.com

Cancer and Food

So, in 2010 it is estimated that a little less than 570,000 people will die of cancer in the US. Close to 190,000 of those cancer deaths are thought to be primarily driven by obesity and/or by being overweight or simply by being physically inactive (or by poor nutrition).  Wow, that’s a lot of deaths caused by something that we can in many cases control.  It is interesting also that cancer deaths caused by smoking (estimated to be over 170,000 cases in 2010). Many of the  cancers caused by overexposure to the sun (skin cancer) and excessive alcohol consumption (live cancer) can also be prevented.  Thus, in the US alone, a large number of cancers can be thwarted or at least minimized by adjustment of lifestyle changes.  Does this mean they will be reduced in 2o11 because this information is publically available and cancer advocates are spreading the word.  No, it does not.  Ask someone to stop smoking and they might?  Ask someone to stop drinking and they might.  Ask someone to stop eating too much or less red meats, etc. and hmm…they might not.  It is hard to stop overeating or to stop eating less than healthy foods…very hard.  If you don’t smoke, then you wont get lung cancer due to smoking (still a small chance of lung cancer do to other factors) but if you stop eating unhealthy foods you might still get cancer right?  Yes, that’s true.  Does anyone actually know the exact risk that unhealthy eating adds to one’s overall cancer development?  Well, now that is hard.  It is known that smokers have a 12 time relative risk of getting lung cancer than non smokers.  That means if you smoke often your risk is 12 times higher than someone who does not smoke.  That is of course high, but still does not tell us exactly if we will get cancer or not.  Obesity and eating unhealthy is MUCH harder to calculate as it really depends of the individual.  Anyhow, to make a long story short, we do know that by looking at people who are overweight and those who are not, the risk of several types of cancer is higher.  We do know that red meats, and other types of foods high in cholesterol and fats are not healthy for us.  But, stopping eating that cheeseburger is hard.  People will insist that it is better to enjoy life and eat what they want, then to worry about a risk (not a certainty).  So, this issue is not resolved.  My own thoughts are, now that we know the facts, we should try to incorporate some of the measures when we can.  Why not eat as healthy as possible and reduce (not necessarily eliminate) unhealthy foods.  Eat in moderation and do try to eat fresh green vegetable more often for example.  If it means a potentially longer life…than why not! Food for thought only! Any thoughts…

Dr. C www.cancermadesimple.com

Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer (via Ronnie Lippin Cancer Info & Resource Line's Blog)

Youths with cancer….i don’t know what else could be more devestating to a parent or relative of the child with cancer….

According the National Cancer Institute, cancer occurring between the ages of 15 and 30 years is almost three times more common than cancer occurring during the first 15 years of life. Cancer survival rates for this age group used to be better than for older individuals, but during recent years the survival rates have leveled off and are not as good as they previously were. The majority of cases diagnosed in adolescents and young adults appear to … Read More

via Ronnie Lippin Cancer Info & Resource Line's Blog