Blog Archives

Why Are Childhood Cancer Rates on the Rise?


Global childhood cancer rates jumped 13% in the decade to 2010 compared to the 1980s, according to a UN-backed study that says the increase may be due in part to improved detection.

For children under 15, the incidence rate of cancer was 140 per million during the first decade of this century, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reported in The Lancet Oncology.

Locally, the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA) in a previous review stated that many developing countries are going through rapid societal and economic changes, and there is a shift toward lifestyles representative of industrialised countries. These factors, along with changes in reproductive, dietary, and hormonal risk factors, are contributing to the rising cancer rates.

Ty Bollinger lost both his mother and father to cancer (as well as 5 other family members). Ty travels the globe and sits down with the foremost doctors, researchers, experts, and cancer conquerers to find out their proven methods for preventing and treating cancer.

In this video, Ty speaks with the founder of the Dr. Rath Research Institure, Dr. Matthias Rath and the director of research, Dr. Aleksandra Niedzwiecki, about why childhood cancer rates are on the rise.

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Cancer Protects Itself via Inflammatory Pathways


A few years ago, scientists in the laboratory of Stanford’s Irving Weissman, MD, discovered that cancer cells cover themselves in copies of the CD47 “don’t eat me” protein to protect themselves from being engulfed and devoured by immune cells called macrophages.

What they could never really tell though, is how the cancer cells actually increased the production of CD47.

Recently, however, Weissman and his colleagues discovered that cancer cells accomplish this trick by recruiting molecular pathways usually used for inflammatory processes. One particular pathway involves a protein called tumour necrosis factor (TNF-alpha), which is produced in response to infection or trauma. It attracts and activates macrophage cells, which destroy sick or damaged cells. Ironically, that same genetic machinery is being used by cancer cells to protect themselves from those macrophages. The research study was published in the journal Nature Communications. Read the rest of this entry

Cancer-Detecting Gum May Soon Be Available: Fact or Fiction?


On April 10, 2017, Fox News published an article, Chew on this: Cancer-Detecting Gum May Soon Be Available, which stated that “soon there may be a new chewing gum that could help save your life.”

The article went on to say:

The gum absorbs what are known as “volatiles” in a person’s saliva as they chew it, then the chewed gum is analyzed to determine whether it contains certain chemicals produced in the body when a person has cancer.

Katherine Bazemore, president and CEO of Volatile Analysis explained that there are chemicals produced in the body called volatile organic compounds, and they are unique to each type of cancer. By determining which of those compounds are found in the gum, doctors can tell which type of cancer is present in the patient.

The gum is still in the testing stage so it may be too early to determine how well it will work. But the company is hoping to make the gum available to doctors and patients sometime next year.

While you may not be able to blow bubbles with it, Bazemore promises the gum will come in flavors that taste just like candy.

Now this sounds FANTASTIC, but is it the truth?

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Cancer Benefits of Cardamom


health-benefits-of-cardamomCardamom is a peppery, citrusy spice that is native to the evergreen forests of India and is commonly used in Indian cuisine, but it has also made its way into Ayurvedic medicine as a treatment for mouth ulcers, digestive problems, and even depression.

According to various studies, cardamom also contains cancer-fighting compounds with the potential to kill cancer cells as well as stunt new cancer cell growth. In India, Cardamom was known as the “Queen of spices” to black pepper’s title as the “King of spices”. Also in India, during the 11th century, it was listed as one of the ingredients in the “Five fragrance betel chew” in the Book of Splendour.

Historically, spices have shaped many events throughout the world. Many voyagers, including the legendary Christopher Columbus, explored the seas in search of treasured spices. These valued commodities contribute not only flavours but also serve as colorants and preservatives in a wide variety of cultures.

In Ayurveda (the ancient Indian science of medicine and lifestyle) and Traditional Chinese Medicine, cardamom was believed to be a remedy for teeth and gum infections, throat problems, congestion of the lungs, pulmonary tuberculosis, inflammation of the eyelids, gastrointestinal disorders, disintegrating kidney, and gall bladder stones, and was also used as an antidote for poisons and venoms.

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Direct-To-Brain Chemo Better Than Systemic Drugs When Immunotherapy Is To Follow


glioblastomaIn a recent study, Anti-PD-1 antitumor immunity is enhanced by local and abrogated by systemic chemotherapy in GBM, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found in experiments on mice with a form of aggressive brain cancer, that localised chemotherapy delivered directly to the brain rather than given systemically may be the best way to keep the immune system intact and strong when immunotherapy is also part of the treatment.

The researchers say their study results, reported in Science Translational Medicine, could directly affect the design of immunotherapy clinical trials and treatment strategies for people with a deadly form of brain cancer called glioblastoma.

We understand that our research was done in a mouse model and not in humans, but our evidence is strong that systemic chemotherapy alters the immune system in a way that it never fully recovers,” says Michael Lim, M.D., associate professor of neurosurgery and director of brain tumor immunotherapy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

With aggressive cancers like glioblastoma, it is important that we don’t handicap the defenses we may need to add alternative treatments, such as immunotherapy, to chemotherapy,” he adds.

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Graphene used to Detect Cancer Cells


graphene-graphicBy interfacing brain cells onto graphene, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have shown they can differentiate a single hyperactive cancerous cell from a normal cell, pointing the way to developing a simple, non-invasive tool for early cancer diagnosis.

“This graphene system is able to detect the level of activity of an interfaced cell,” says Vikas Berry, associate professor and head of chemical engineering at UIC, who led the research along with Ankit Mehta, assistant professor of clinical neurosurgery in the UIC College of Medicine.

Graphene is the thinnest known material and is very sensitive to whatever happens on its surface,” Berry said. The nanomaterial is composed of a single layer of carbon atoms linked in a hexagonal chicken-wire pattern, and all the atoms share a cloud of electrons moving freely about the surface.

The cell’s interface with graphene rearranges the charge distribution in graphene, which modifies the energy of atomic vibration as detected by Raman spectroscopy,” Berry said, referring to a powerful workhorse technique that is routinely used to study graphene.

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Could Fasting Help Treat Childhood Cancer?


leukaemiaAccording to recent research published in the journal Nature Medicine, intermittent fasting may help combat the most common type of childhood Leukaemia – Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia.

Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), also called Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia , is a cancer that begins in immature versions of white blood cells in the bone marrow, called lymphocytes.

All prohibits the maturation of certain cells, which then results in large numbers of immature, leukemic cells being released into the bloodstream, outweighing the number of healthy white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.

This reduction in healthy white blood cells makes a patient vulnerable to infection, while low levels of platelets and red blood cells can lead to unusual bleeding and anaemia. Other signs and symptoms of ALL include fatigue, loss of appetite, fever, rib pain, and bone or joint pain.

According to the American Cancer Society, ALL is the most common form of childhood Leukaemia , accounting for around 3 in 4 Leukaemia cases in children.

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Killer Cancer Claims Another Child Victim


tia-llewellynTia Llewellyn, a young 12-year-old girl from Milford Haven, Wales, began vomiting one morning in late November, and was sent home from school with what was thought to just be a common bug.

However, the next day she woke up and was still feeling unwell, so went to her local hospital,  Withybush General Hospital in Haverfordwest, where blood tests were taken before she was transferred to Glangwili General Hospital in Carmarthen, slightly further away.

Just half an hour after being sent home with a suspected kidney infection, she was told to go straight to the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales, Cardiff, because she had cancer.

Doctors initially informed the family that Tia had Burkitts Lymphoma, a rare but treatable cancer of the lymph nodes. Tumours were also found in her kidneys and neck and her family was told that she required treatment in the US. However, her bone marrow had to be treated in the UK first.

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Cancer Patients Should Avoid CHOCOLATE


no-chocolateAccording to recent research from the Institute for Research in Barcelona, funded by Worldwide Cancer Research, eating chocolate, biscuits and bread while suffering from cancer makes the disease more deadly.

A key ingredient in palm oil,found in some toiletries and in various foodstuffs, including chocolate, stimulates a protein called CD36 in humans.

This protein, which is found in the membranes of tumour cells, is responsible for taking up fatty acids. CD36 activity and dependence on lipid (fat) metabolism distinguish metastasis-initiating cells from other tumour cells.

Experts believe that this protein plays a vital role in tumours spreading around the body (metastasising), making it more deadly. It is hoped the ‘game-changing’ findings could lead to new treatments to prevent cancer from reaching vital organs.

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The Importance of Nutrition for Children with Cancer


cancer fighting foodsNutrition is an important part of the health of all children, but it is especially important for Children with Cancer. It is therefore of vital importance that you learn about your child’s nutritional needs and how cancer and its treatment may affect them.

Eating the right kinds of foods before, during, and after treatment can help a child feel better and stay stronger. It is also important so that the Child with Cancer can cope with treatment side effects that might affect how well they can eat.

Children with Cancer need protein, carbohydrates, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals. A dietitian can help you understand your child’s specific needs and develop an eating plan.

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Scientists Tackle Lethal Childhood Brain Cancer


dipgIn precision medicine era legacy gifts of patient brain tissue reveal disease mechanisms and new therapeutic approaches.

Sandra Smith, a pastor’s wife and mother of three in DeWitt, Mich. and her son were both diagnosed with cancer during the same week. She with an aggressive form of breast cancer and her son, six-year-old Andrew, with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a fatal childhood brain cancer that typically strikes between the ages of 4-10 and kills most within a year of diagnosis.

In DIPG, the malignant cells entwine with normal brain tissue in a region that controls critical functions such as breathing and heart rate, making it impossible for a surgeon to remove the tumour. Radiation therapy has been proven to be the only treatment that helps, and then only to extend life by a few short months. Andrew outlived the “typical” DIPG patient by surviving just over two years after his diagnosis, passing away at the end of 2009.

DIPG accounts for about 10% of childhood brain and spinal cord tumours. It is the second-most common paediatric brain tumour and the leading cause of cancer death in children. Treatment options and survival rate for DIPG have not changed in 40 years.

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Living With Retinoblastoma ~ Part IV


retinoblastoma2Today we continue with Part IV, the final post of Living With Retinoblastoma, a fast growing eye-cancer which affects babies and young children.

Today’s post covers everything you need to know about your child going to school or going back to school after retinoblastoma, and includes some great tips on how to help your child cope.

Retinoblastoma affects about 1 in 15, 000 live births, and an estimated 9,000 children develop the cancer globally each year. These posts cover living with retinoblastoma for those who have either had treatment for or have been through enucleation (surgical removal of the eye).

The reason for the posts is to help both children with retinoblastoma and their parents cope for the next few years to the rest of their lives…

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Living With Retinoblastoma ~ Part III


Retinoblastoma_babyToday we continue with Part III of Living With Retinoblastoma, a fast growing eye-cancer which affects babies and young children.

Today’s post will cover living with a prosthetic or “special” eye, mainly from the child’s point of view, and with some good pointers for parents to help their Little Fighters to come to terms with their new special eye, physically and psychologically.

Retinoblastoma affects about 1 in 15, 000 live births, and an estimated 9,000 children develop the cancer globally each year. These posts cover living with retinoblastoma for those who have either had treatment for or have been through enucleation (surgical removal of the eye).

The reason for the posts is to help both children with retinoblastoma and their parents cope for the next few years to the rest of their lives…

 

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Living With Retinoblastoma ~ Part II


Today we continue with Part II of Living With Retinoblastoma, a fast growing eye-cancer which affects babies and young children.

Retinoblastoma affects about 1 in 15, 000 live births, and an estimated 9,000 children develop the cancer globally each year.

These posts cover living with retinoblastoma for those who have either had treatment for or have been through enucleation (surgical removal of the eye).

The reason for the posts is to help both children with retinoblastoma and their parents cope for the next few years to the rest of their lives.

Today’s post will concentrate on handling and cleaning the “special eye” as well as dealing with your own anxiety and that of your child.

 

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Living With Retinoblastoma ~ Part I


posters-sign-to-look-english-2Retinoblastoma is a fast growing eye-cancer which affects babies and young children. Tumours may form in one eye (unilateral) or both eyes (bilateral), and can spread outside the eye (extraocular retinoblastoma). Rarely, a separate tumour develops in the brain (trilateral retinoblastoma). This cancer typically develops before 3 years of age, and some children are born with tumours.

Retinoblastoma affects about 1 in 15, 000 live births, and an estimated 9,000 children develop the cancer globally each year.  Due to global population distribution, 90% of children with retinoblastoma live in economically developing countries.

The most common early sign of retinoblastoma is leukocoria, a white glow in the pupil (black circle) of the affected eye, seen in flash photographs. This reflection may be visible to the naked eye in dim light when cancer fills the eye, or in very young babies. Other signs include a squint (misaligned eyes), red, painful or swollen eye. Trilateral retinoblastoma causes a range of symptoms, depending on its location in the brain.

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