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This Sandwich Predicts Your Risk of Cancer – And Here Is What We Can Learn From It

What would you say if I told you that a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with a kosher pickle increases cancer risk dramatically? Would you believe me? Actually, BLT with a kosher pickle is a mnemonic I learned in my medical training to help remember the types of cancers which have a predisposition to metastasize (spread) to bone: Breast Lung Thyroid Kidney Prostate However, I believe we can learn a lot from this sandwich about cancer risk and progression in … Read More

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An oncologist-in-training thinks cancer is “natural.” Do you agree?

I just came across an editorial (https://www.statnews.com/2017/08/29/cancer-treatment-alternative-medicine/) by an oncologist-in-training who stated rather confidently that cancer is “natural.” He gives the example of a woman who rejected conventional treatments completely, and instead opted to go to Mexico for a strictly alternative approach. In his attempt to discount “natural” treatments, he made a statement which shocked me: “The truth is, cancer is all natural. While some are caused by smoking or chemical exposures, most of them are sporadic, meaning they aren’t … Read More

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Does Alternative Medicine Impact Cancer Survival?

A study ( link: https://academic.oup.com ) just released set out to examine the effectiveness of alternative cancer treatments. Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (JNCI), this study followed 281 patients with non-metastatic cancer of the breast, colon, lung, or prostate who chose alternative cancer treatments alone (i.e., they refused conventional therapies such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and/or hormone therapy). The study found that this approach resulted in a greater risk of death. When reading a study, it is … Read More

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New Study Proves Chemotherapy Spreads Cancer…Or Does It?

A study(1) released earlier this month has been making its rounds on the internet, and has quickly become a hot topic on social media. I have seen some sensational headlines stating that this study “proves that chemotherapy spreads cancer” and “is the death blow to chemotherapy.” Statements such as these are typically the hallmark of an agenda-driven view, a poor understanding of science, or a combination of both. This study in question was performed on cells in the laboratory, and … Read More

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Bacteriophages: What Are They And What Can They Do?

Viruses that specifically kill bacteria, called bacteriophages, might one day help solve the growing problem of bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotic treatment. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center have determined that phages can effectively reduce bacterial levels and improve the health of mice that are infected with deadly, antibiotic-resistant bacterial ‘superbugs.’ The study appears in Scientific Reports. read more Dr. Stegall’s Comments: Bacterial infections are becoming much more common, … Read More

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Targeting Circulating Tumor Cells In Cancer Treatment

Cancerous tumors are formidable enemies, recruiting blood vessels to aid their voracious growth, damaging nearby tissues, and deploying numerous strategies to evade the body’s defense systems. But even more malicious are the circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that tumors release, which travel stealthily through the bloodstream and take up residence in other parts of the body, a process known as metastasis. While dangerous, their presence is also a valuable indicator of the stage of a patient’s disease, making CTCs an attractive … Read More

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A Personal Experience With Immunotherapy Cancer Treatment

Michael D. Becker, a former biotech executive, knows a lot about cancer drug development. In 2015, he was diagnosed with head and neck cancer, which was caused by human papillomavirus (or HPV), a sexually transmitted infection. After the diagnosis, Becker — who detailed his experience in “A Walk With Purpose: Memoir of a Bioentrepreneur” — used his expertise in the drug industry to consider possible treatment options. One he was enthusiastic about? Cancer immunotherapy. read more Dr. Stegall’s Comments: I share this … Read More

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Vitamins & Bioactives: How Much Is Too Much

Research has shown the potential health benefits of bioactive nutrients — those compounds found in foods like fruits, vegetables, tea, and cocoa. And consumers are showing an increased interest in learning more. But can there be too much of a good thing? John Erdman, a professor emeritus in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois, and his lab have studied bioactives and their health benefits for years. Now, Erdman and a team of other … Read More

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Chocolate Improves Cognitive Performance

In their recent review published in Frontiers in Nutrition, Italian researchers examined the available literature for the effects of acute and chronic administration of cocoa flavanols on different cognitive domains. In other words: what happens to your brain up to a few hours after you eat cocoa flavanols, and what happens when you sustain such a cocoa flavanol enriched diet for a prolonged period of time? Although randomized controlled trials investigating the acute effect of cocoa flavanols are sparse, most … Read More

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Soy Consumption And Breast Cancer

Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers have used animal models to reveal new information about the impact — positive and negative — that soy consumption could have on a common breast cancer treatment. The scientists have uncovered the biological pathways in rats by which longtime soy consumption improves effectiveness of tamoxifen and reduces breast cancer recurrence. But they also show why eating or drinking soy-based foods for the first time while being treated with tamoxifen can, conversely, reduce effectiveness of … Read More