Mesothelioma cancer, Prostate cancer treatment, Cancer Articles, breast cancer treatment

Senin, 18 Mei 2009

Mesothelioma Staging-What are the different types of staging?

Staging is the process of finding out how far the cancer has spread. Staging of mesothelioma is based on imaging studies such as x-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. The treatment and outlook for patients with mesothelioma largely depends on the stage (extent of spread) of their cancer. Since pleural mesothelioma occurs more commonly and has been studied the most, it is the only mesothelioma for which a staging classification exists.

The staging system most often used for mesothelioma is the Butchart system. This system is based mainly on the extent of the primary tumor mass, and divides mesotheliomas into stages I through IV.

Butchart Staging System

  • Stage I: Mesothelioma is present within the right or left pleura, and may also involve the lung, pericardium, or diaphragm (the muscle separating the chest from the abdomen) on the same side.

  • Stage II: Mesothelioma invades the chest wall or involves the esophagus (food passage connecting the throat to the stomach), heart, or pleura on both sides. The lymph nodes in the chest may also be involved.

  • Stage III: Mesothelioma has penetrated through the diaphragm into the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity). Lymph nodes beyond those in the chest may also be involved.

  • Stage IV: There is evidence of distant metastases (spread through the bloodstream to other organs).

Another staging system has recently been developed by the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC). This is a TNM system, similar to staging systems used for most other cancers. T stands for tumor (its size and how far it has spread to nearby organs), N stands for spread to lymph nodes and M is for metastasis (spread to distant organs).

TNM Staging System

  • Stage I: Mesothelioma involves the right or left pleura. It may also have spread into the lung, pericardium, or diaphragm on the same side. It has not yet spread to the lymph nodes.
  • Stage II: Mesothelioma has spread from the pleura on one side to the nearby peribronchial and/or hilar lymph nodes next to the lung on the same side. It may also have spread into the lung, pericardium, or diaphragm on the same side.

  • Stage III: Mesothelioma has spread into the chest wall muscle, ribs, heart, esophagus, or other organs in the chest on the same side as the primary tumor, with or without spread to subcarinal and/or mediastinal lymph nodes on the same side as the main tumor. Subcarinal nodes are located at the point where the windpipe branches to the left and right lungs. Mediastinal lymph nodes are located in the space behind the chest bone in front of the heart. Mesotheliomas with the same extent of local spread as in stage II that have also spread to subcarinal and/or mediastinal lymph nodes on the same side are also included in stage III.

  • Stage IV: Mesothelioma has spread into the lymph nodes in the chest on the side opposite that of the primary tumor, or directly extends to the pleura or lung on the opposite side, or directly extends into the peritoneum, or directly extends into organs in the abdominal cavity or neck. Any mesothelioma with evidence of distant metastases (spread to other organs through the bloodstream) or spread to organs beyond the chest or abdomen is included in this stage.

Although the recently developed TNM classification is the most detailed and precise, the original Butchart staging system is still used most often to describe the spread of pleural mesotheliomas. Understanding these staging systems for mesothelioma is important both for estimating prognosis, and also for assessing therapeutic options.

Prognostic Factors Younger age at diagnosis, good general state of health and absence of weight loss are associated with a more favorable prognosis.

Mesotheliomas are usually of three different cell types (histological analysis): 1) epithelial cell type - has the most favorable prognosis; 2) sarcomatoid cell type - carries the worst prognosis and 3) mixed cell type - has an intermediate prognosis.

Patients should also educate themselves about mesothelioma and treatment options and reach out to available resources to make coping with a mesothelioma diagnosis easier.

Senin, 04 Mei 2009

Celebrities with Breast Cancer

By: Charlene Nuble

There is no discrimination when it comes to breast cancer. Anyone can be a victim of this dreaded disease; whether you’re rich or poor, young and old. Despite the increasing number of breast cancer patients worldwide, these celebrities with breast cancer can serve as your inspiration because they were able to survive.

Famous survivors of breast cancer:

1. Edie Falco – the breast cancer was diagnosed in 2003; this soprano star secretly battled against this dreaded disease and was able to survive.

2. Melissa Etheridge – her breast cancer was discovered in 2004 and at present, she is doing quite well.

3. Gloria Steinem – a lump on her breast was discovered in 1984; she was an activist and because she is a natural fighter, she was able to combat breast cancer.

4. Kate Jackson – it was in 1987 and 1989 when Kate battled against this disease. She was a star in Charlie’s Angels

5. Richard Roundtree – women are not the only ones at risk of breast cancer, even men can get it like Roundtree. His cancer was detected in 1993 and he underwent chemotherapy and radical mastectomy

6. Olivia Newton John – it was in 1992 when she was diagnosed with the disease. She underwent breast reconstruction and mastectomy.

7. Jaclyn Smith – also a Charlie’s Angels star was diagnosed with the disease in 2002. The treatments given were radiation and lumpectomy.

8. Suzanne Somers – actress and author was also diagnosed with cancer but she did not choose the standard medication; instead, she opted for holistic medicine and alternative therapies

9. Sandra Day O’Connor – she battled against this disease in 1982 and underwent mastectomy

10. Anastacia – in 2003, she was diagnosed with the disease and was able to survive; now, she is helping other patients in fighting against this disease and she is also raising the awareness of the public about breast cancer.

These are only ten of the survivors of breast cancer. Other survivors include Rue McClanahan, Linda Ellerbee, Jill Eikenberry, Ann Jillian, Lynn Redgrave, Cokie Roberts, and Shirley Temple Black. These breast cancer patients used conventional treatments as well as alternative treatments. Oftentimes, the type of medication or treatment given is dependent on the extent of the cancer. If the cancer is detected at an early stage, the chance of survival is also high.

It is vital that you conduct self examinations. If you feel any lump on your breast, it’s time to consult a doctor; by doing so, you can get accurate diagnosis. After thorough examinations, the patient will be given a treatment plan. Some breast cancer patients forego with conventional medical treatments and tend to go for alternative medicines or therapy.

As you can see, even celebrities are not exempted from developing breast cancer. If celebrities can get it, then so can you! There are millions of non celebrities suffering from breast cancer. Let the stories of these celebrities who survive breast cancer serve as inspiration especially if you’re also suffering from this disease.

Early detection is important so you must regularly check your breast area for any lumps or unusual bumps. Don’t hesitate to consult a doctor if you’re suspicious about certain lumps in your breast. There are lots of celebrities with breast cancer; if they can fight this disease, then so can you.

Cancer Causes and Symptoms: Warning Signs Of Cancer To Watch Out For

By: Michael Lee

Cancer has always been thought of as a serious disease. Nobody wants to have it or be associated with it. But what is cancer anyway? How does one get it? And what are the most common cancer causes and symptoms?

For starters, cancer is actually the uncontrolled growth of cells in a person’s body. It is something that can strike anybody at any age. Cancer causes and symptoms vary with the type of cancer in question. Below are some of the most common cancers in the world.

Lung Cancer Causes and Symptoms

If you’re a smoker, then you run a high risk of getting lung cancer. Unfortunately, this type of cancer is not detected easily.

Sometimes, the cancer has already reached a serious stage before the patient even realizes something is going on. However, some of the most common symptoms of lung cancer are weight loss, wheezing, coughing of blood and even shortness of breath.

Breast Cancer Causes and Symptoms

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. Women - and to a small degree, men - can get this. Some of its most common symptoms include tenderness of the breast, a strange lump inside the breast or discharge from the nipple.

People have yet to find any exact causes for breast cancer. However, there are some factors which might contribute to it.

If you have been using contraceptives or have had an early period, the chance increases. If your family has a history of breast cancer, it would be best to make an appointment regularly with your doctor.

Kidney Cancer Causes and Symptoms

Kidney cancer, on the other hand, occurs more in men than in women. Although there is no universal cause of kidney cancer yet, medical experts have pinpointed smoking to be one of the possible culprits.

Exposure to Phenacetin is also thought to be responsible for the growth of kidney cancer. This is an ingredient found in some painkillers. Symptoms of kidney cancer include swelling of the ankle and leg, lump in the abdomen, pain in the side or lower back or presence of blood in the urine.

There are many different types of cancer in the world. Some of the most common cancer symptoms are fatigue, fever and blood, where there shouldn’t be any. As long as you detect something odd in your body, be sure to have it checked immediately. Cancer, as previously stated, is the uncontrolled or abnormal growth of cells. Should something out of the ordinary happen, play it safe and schedule an appointment.

Avoid Cancer - Ten Tips for the Prevention of Cancer

By: Kirsten Whittaker

The latest information we have on cancer deaths in the U.S. shows the rate going down an average 2.1% a year between 2002 and 2004. Important drops were seen in the three leading causes of cancer deaths for men: lung, prostate and colorectal.

In women, death rates from colorectal and breast cancer was down, while the increase in lung cancer deaths slowed quite noticeably.

Good news to be sure, and a sign that new therapies, early diagnosis and continued research are making a mark against this terrible disease.

Cancer prevention also makes a marked impact on cancer diagnosis, and is the motivation behind ten recommendations made last year by the American Institute of Cancer Research and presented at 2008's annual meeting of the American Dietetic Association.

Written by an international team of scientists, including Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, an epidemiology professor who heads the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, the ten lifestyle tips were reviewed by Karen Collins, MS, RD, CDN, the nutritional advisor for the American Institute for Cancer Research. Both Collins and Willett discussed the suggestions with attendees at the American Dietetic Association's annual meeting that's just wrapped in Chicago.

Take a look at the recommendations for yourself… common sense really, but absolutely worth including in your life, especially if you have high risk factors for cancer.

1) Be as lean as possible, but not underweight. Collins suggests not just checking the number on the scales, but also measuring your waist to get a feel for your abdominal fat. Men should have a waist measurement no larger than 37 inches; women's waists should be 31.5 inches or less.

2) Be active for at least 30 minutes every day on most days of the week. If you're out of shape or very sedentary, talk with your doctor first. Then start slow and build gradually over time. And contrary to popular belief, you can break up your workout - 10 to 15 minute sessions, twice a day are just fine according to Collins.

3) Avoid sugary drinks and consumption of energy-dense foods. No one is saying these foods (or their additives) cause cancer, but they do add extra calories to your diet, and can sabotage your healthy weight over time. A treat now and then is fine, all the time can really blow your calorie budget.

4) Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes. You'll want to try to add a lot of different colors (deep green leafy veggies, blueberries, etc.) to your meals. Most Americans, says Collins, are stuck in a rut of eating the same three vegetables over and over. Try something new, you just might like it and be helping your body at the same time!

5) If you drink at all, limit alcoholic drinks to two a day for men and one for women. To do this, you'll need to keep an eye on the bartender as according to Collins, drinks can have a higher alcohol content than expected. Willett was quick to caution that the pros and cons of moderate drinking is something that women should consider carefully, weighing the heart benefits against the increased breast cancer risk from drinking.

6) Limit red meats (beef, pork, lamb) and avoid processed meats. Good as they may taste, you'll want to keep your red meat intake to 18 ounces a week, says Collins. She suggests choosing chicken, seafood, or legumes in place of red meat, and encourages moderation rather than eliminating these meats entirely from the diet.

7) Limit consumption of salty foods and foods processed with sodium. You'll want to try and keep your sodium intake under 2,400 milligrams a day. To add flavor to food, use herbs and spices instead, says Collins. She points out that processed foods account for a large part of sodium intake today - so don't worry so much about the salt you add when cooking or eating, rather read the labels of the foods you buy.

8) Don't use supplements to protect against cancer. This is a recommendation that is likely to be reviewed, but for now the experts are cautioning against taking a supplement purely for cancer protection benefits. It's not that supplements are bad, but the science doesn't support (except in the case of vitamin D) the idea that these substances can protect against cancer.

9) Mothers should try to breastfeed babies exclusively for up to six months and then add other foods and liquids. If this is an option for you, it's a good idea and provides the baby with many healthy benefits.

10) After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention. This includes patients who are currently undergoing treatment, as well as those who have finished their therapy and are being monitored. Once you've beaten your cancer back, you need to do all you can to keep your body in top form - healthy and strong enough to resist anything that comes your way.

You need to keep in mind that while these tips are sensible suggestions they are only intended to reduce (not eliminate) your risk of cancer. There are many other things (genetics and environmental factors to name a few) that contribute to cancer risk, but these lifestyle choices give you some control over the aspects you can change and help you to better avoid cancer.