Cancer Blog

Here's our collection of cancer-related stories. We sift through a variety of stories and share the issues that we think matter to cancer patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and survivors. Learn about current events in the cancer community, human interest stories, and promising technology and treatment advances. Tell us what you think in the Comments section at the bottom of each post.

Note: The information contained in this service is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in the service is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment of any illness, condition or disease.

Nov

30

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Should Smoking in Cars with Kids be Illegal?

by: cancercompass

There are some districts in the United States that have made it outright illegal to smoke in a car that has children under 18 inside.

And according to the Belfast Telegraph, many Northern Ireland residents want that same law.

"Nine out of 10 households across Northern Ireland would welcome a ban on smoking in cars with children on board,” noted the publication.

There are many studies that have resulted in serious negative health effects of secondhand smoke. One recent study suggests that nearly 600,000 people die worldwide from secondhand smoke every year.

Although some view it as commonsense not to smoke in front of children, especially in confined areas - do you think it should be against the law?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Nov

29

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Study: Alpha-Carotene Found to be Good for Heart and Health

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine last week, alpha-carotene was found to be inversely associated with the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Beta-carotene is familial to its alpha counterpart.

"Alpha-carotene has a lot of overlapping chemical properties with beta-carotene, as well as the same perceived mechanisms of effect," Harvard School of Public Health's Howard Sesso told Reuters. "In fact, it's hard to disentangle the two from each other. They tend to travel together."

Several fruits and vegetables contain alpha and beta-carotene, including: sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, spinach, pumpkin, and many more.

Lead author Dr. Chaoyang Li told the New York Times that more research is needed for alpha-carotene. Adding that although there is an "association" between better health and alpha-carotene, the study does not clinically prove that alpha-carotene prevents cardiovascular disease and/or cancer.

Nov

24

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Jennifer Grey Fights Thyroid Cancer, Wins Dancing With the Stars

by: cancercompass

Jennifer Grey has once again proven that nobody puts Baby in a corner.

The star, perhaps most known for her starring roles in Dirty Dancing and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, has overcome quite the odds to be crowned the latest winner on the popular television show, Dancing With the Stars.

From a horrible car accident years ago with then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick that caused severe spinal cord injuries to her battle with a cancerous growth in her thyroid, Grey is a proven fighter.

"Pain you forget, but this I will remember for the rest of my life," she told ABC News after the final episode of Dancing With the Stars.

What do you think of Jennifer Grey's story? Please let us know in the comments below.

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our thyroid cancer information page.

Nov

24

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Nova Scotia Could Ban Teens from Using Tanning Beds

by: cancercompass

Many young girls start using a tanning bed for the first time to get ready for their high school prom. Perfectly tanned skin is something that is coveted, and many young girls are willing to expose themselves to the extra UV radiation to get it.

But those in Nova Scotia may just have to wait. A ban on fake tans for most teenagers is coming next year, says Health Promotion and Protection Minister Maureen MacDonald. According to The Chronicle Herald, MacDonald introduced legislation at Province House on Monday that would prevent anyone under the age of 19 from using tanning beds at businesses around the province.

"Indoor tanning using tanning beds actually exposes the skin to UV radiation 10 to 15 times higher than that of the midday sun," said MacDonald. "By restricting access to tanning beds to youth under age 19, we are protecting their health and well-being in the long term."

According to MacDonald, the risk of skin cancer increases 75 percent in people who use tanning beds before the age of 35.

What do you think of the proposed law? Is it something you'd like to see take effect in the United States as well? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our skin cancer information page.

Nov

23

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Bone Cancer Takes Away Young Violinist's Shoulder, He Continues Playing

by: cancercompass

When Joe Ginem was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma four years ago, the then 15-year-old couldn't even pick up a pencil. A talented violinist, the musician was unable to play the instrument he cared for so deeply.

After undergoing successful surgery and chemotherapy, Ginem was asked to make a tough decision about his recovery.

"My surgeon gave me the option of being able to make daily tasks easier or being able to play the violin better and I chose the musician route," Ginem told ABC News.

An inspiring story about perseverance, Ginem hopes to attend Juilliard to advance his musical talents.

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our bone cancer information page.

Nov

23

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Facebook Removes Breast Cancer Survivor's Scar Photos

by: cancercompass

Anna Antell modeled for a photography exhibition showcasing the effects of cancer. The breast cancer survivor had her black and white photo shown at the swanky Malmaison Hotel Oxford in the United Kingdom. She is shown, topless, exposing her mastectomy scars.

Antell decided to post the exhibited photograph on her Facebook profile for friends and family to see. What she didn't expect was Facebook to remove the photograph because of its "offensive" nature.

"What they have done makes me more cross the more I think about it," Antell told the U.K publication Daily Mail. "It's basically saying we are offensive. The way I see it, cancer is offensive, Facebook is offensive but these images are not. Would the image have been removed if it showed a man with a scar on his chest?"

A Facebook spokesperson responded to the Daily Mail claiming that although Antell's photograph reflects a worthy cause, it does not follow Facebook's guidelines, stating: "The image was removed because it contains what we categorise as nudity not because of the nature of the nudity in question."

What do you think of Facebook's actions? Do you think the social network should have removed Antell's photograph from the website?

Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

To learn more about cancer featured in this post, please visit our breast cancer information page.

Nov

22

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Flight Attendant Removes Prosthetic Breast for TSA Screening

by: cancercompass

Cathy Bossi is accustomed to airports, airplanes, and making sure passengers arrive to their destinations safely. A flight attendant for the last 32 years, this veteran frequent flier and breast cancer survivor refused to go through the full-body scanner at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport last week because she did not want to receive the additional radiation from the screening. Bossi instead opted for the TSA pat-down.

According to Bossi, during her private security check, a female TSA agent asked Bossi to remove her prosthetic breast.

"She put her full hand on my breast and said, 'What is this?' Bossi told CBS News. "And I said, 'It's my prosthesis because I've had breast cancer.' And she said, 'Well, you'll need to show me that.'"

According to WBTV, a TSA spokesperson said TSA agents are allowed to see and touch passengers’ prostheses. However, they are not allowed to ask passengers to remove them. TSA later told WBTV that they would review the Bossi situation.

What are your thoughts regarding this issue of TSA agents touching and seeing prostheses due to cancer? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

Nov

19

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New Cereal to Benefit The Steadfast Foundation

by: cancercompass

It may just be time to pass on those Wheaties. Buffalo Sabres All-Star goaltender Ryan Miller introduced a new cereal called KICK-SAVE KRUNCH at a press conference yesterday.

According to the Buffalo Sabres website, KICK-SAVE KRUNCH is a honey nut toasted oat cereal and comes in a 14 oz limited edition collector's box. But the taste and collector's box aren't the only draws. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of KICK-SAVE KRUNCH will benefit The Steadfast Foundation, a non-profit foundation started by Miller to support and provide resources to children and their families who are fighting cancer.

"I’m excited about the release of KICK-SAVE KRUNCH and hopefully plenty of sports fans in Western New York will make the cereal a part of their breakfast routine,” said Miller. “More importantly to me, many children who are battling cancer will benefit from the sales through The Steadfast Foundation."

Miller was named the MVP of the 2010 Winter Olympics men’s hockey tournament as part of Team USA, has won the Vezina Trophy (NHL’s best goaltender), and the NHL Foundation Player Award in recognition of his continued work with The Steadfast Foundation.

Funding from The Steadfast Foundation has provided support and resources to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute and Carly’s Club.

 

Nov

18

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Think Happy, Be Happy

by Dana Demas

A new study finds that people who let their minds wander are happier if they think pleasant thoughts than if they think unpleasant thoughts.

Perhaps it’s true that if we “hope for the best” and “stay positive,” things do feel less overwhelming. However, this can be a difficult, almost unrealistic, expectation during cancer. Stresses come from every direction and cancer takes no prisoners – whether relationships, finances or peace of mind.

It can be helpful to set aside a time for worrying, then literally say ‘no’ when negative thoughts creep in at other times. This is a form of mindfulness training that yoga and other ancient traditions have taught since the beginning of time. The negative thoughts may not stop coming, but you can decide whether or not to engage them.

However, there is also something to be said for forgetting these thoughts entirely. The study found that people who were totally immersed in the moment, ranked the happiest of all. This idea of “flow” – of being so consumed by what you are doing that you forget about time or even to think of anything else – has also been around since ancient times.

Activities that promoted the most good feelings included, in order: sex, exercise, conversation, listening to music, taking a walk, eating, praying and meditating, cooking, shopping, taking care of your kids and reading.

Can you fit more of these activities into your day?

Nov

18

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Today is the Great American Smokeout

by: cancercompass

Have you been trying to quit? Do you know someone who should? Well, today is the day! Thursday, November 18, 2010, has been declared the 35th Great American Smokeout by the American Cancer Society.

Using the tagline "Help create a world with less cancer and more birthdays", the American Cancer Society is urging people to make their plan today to quit, or even quit smoking today. They acknowledge that quitting is not easy, but with help and support it can be done and lead to a healthier lifestyle. Tips for quitting, health information, a cigarette cost calculator and other tools and resources are available on their website.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, since the first Great American Smokeout was held, there have been dramatic changes in attitudes about smoking and a large decrease in smoking rates. The article reports that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), between 1978 and 2009, the percentage of adults who smoke in the United States fell from 34 percent to 21 percent. However, much can still be done, as 46.6 million U.S. adults still smoke, 40 percent of nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, and smoking and secondhand smoke causes 443,000 deaths each year.

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our lung cancer information page.

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