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Smartphone App Reduces Pain, Hospital Visits for Cancer Survivors


A smartphone app that includes artificial intelligence elements may be able to reduce the effects of cancer-related pain, according to recent research presented at the 2018 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Palliative and Supportive Care in Oncology Symposium.

The app, named ePAL, was designed and studied as part of a collaboration between Partners HealthCare Pivot Labs, the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Palliative Care, and the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

“There is a significant shortage of palliative care providers, which will only worsen in the future as our population ages,” lead study author Mihir M. Kamdar, M.D., associate director of the Division of Palliative Care and an interventional pain physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said in a statement. “This is one of the reasons why technology solutions to help manage palliative care challenges, such as cancer pain, are so important.”

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Should You Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Treat Cancer?


Hydrogen peroxide is often used to whiten teeth, treat minor cuts and scrapes, or dye one’s hair. Some individuals claim that hydrogen peroxide can also help cure cancer, but what does the research say?

Claims that hydrogen peroxide can also help cure cancer stem from the fact that it is an oxidising liquid, which means it gives off oxygen. Low oxygen levels can cause cancer, and some people think that exposing cancer cells to high levels of oxygen will prevent them from growing and they will die.

This type of therapy is often known as oxy medicine, oxidology, or oxidative therapy.

No current research suggests hydrogen peroxide has any effect on cancer cells. There are, however, many warnings against using it internally.

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Can Mushrooms Help Fight Cancer?


Conventional cancer treatments can be devastating to the human body, even more so to a small child’s body that is still growing.

While there are yet no other treatments to fight childhood cancer, especially to those in poorer countries, than the old ones such as surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, more and more individuals are also using complementary methods.

Not every conventional or complementary method will work for every individual, but it is surely up to us to try whichever method we can to fight this terrible disease – as long as it does no harm, it could do good.

Something that falls under the banner of complementary treatment is mushrooms – more specifically, Reishi mushrooms, aka Ling zhi, Lin zi, and Mushroom of Immortality – which various studies from around the globe have shown to be effective in fighting cancer.

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More than just Treatments needed for Childhood Cancer


Connor Webb developed a lump on his right thumb that raised concerns with his mother, Kim, but when queried about it, doctors told her not to worry about it and to just “take care of it whenever.”

Eventually though, the lump doubled in size, prompting surgery to remove it, but the subsequent phone call from the doctor stunned Kim – Connor had been diagnosed with epithelioid sarcoma, a slow-growing soft-tissue cancer.

After a month of tests and scans, Connor underwent a full resection of the tumour plus a bit of surrounding tissue to prevent recurrence and regained full use of his thumb. Later CT and MRI scans show no evidence of disease (NED).

This has, however, not put his mother at ease, as epithelioid sarcoma has a very ugly secret…

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Rare Childhood Cancers


The most common Childhood Cancers about which we normally hear include Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL)Brain Tumours, Neuroblastoma, Wilms Tumour, and Lymphoma. These are also the most common Childhood Cancers in South Africa, but they are not the only cancers that children can get.

Compared with adult cancers, childhood cancers are rare and there are a number of very rare types which account for around 20-25% of all childhood cancers. Most behave like other children’s cancers, growing and spreading to other parts of the body.

Unfortunately, while there have been many improvements made in the field of paediatric oncology in the past decade or two, those have mainly been in the more common childhood cancers, and not much has been done for various very rare childhood cancers as they have been treated as “orphan diseases”.

Fortunately this situation has gradually seen change, and various projects dedicated to these rare diseases have been developed in several countries.

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Could the Zika Virus Kill Childhood Cancer?


Neuroblastoma is a cancer of nerve cells that reside outside of the brain, and occurs when malignant cancer cells form in the specialised nerve cells of the sympathetic nerves involved in the development of the nervous system and other tissues.

Neuroblastoma most commonly occurs in one of the adrenal glands situated in the tummy or in the chest, neck, abdomen, pelvis or the nerve tissue that runs alongside the spinal cord. The adrenal glands are specialised glands that release hormones that help the body respond to stress and maintain blood pressure.

Neuroblastoma may be present at birth, but generally presents in early childhood, before the age of 5 years. In most cases, by the time it is diagnosed the cancer has usually already spread to areas outside of the original site, often to the lymph nodes, bones, bone marrow, liver, and skin.

It’s the second most common type of childhood cancer and has a disproportionately high mortality rate, compared to other childhood cancers.

Treatment usually involves surgery, chemotherapy or radiation, high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell support, or a combination in high-risk cases. Unfortunately, in some cases, none of the treatments work.

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Do Alternative Therapies Decrease a Cancer Patient’s Survival Chances?


Here at LFCT we post about various methods of fighting cancer, as we believe in putting all relevant information out there for the patient (or the patient’s parents) as we believe that it is up to them to decide the way forward.

We neither recommend nor discourage the use of alternative/complementary treatments, although we DO urge everyone to discuss their possible use BEFORE embarking on any other treatment regimen…

A recent study of 1,290 patients in the US found that Cancer patients who use alternative therapies are be more likely to shun conventional treatments and risk their chances of survival.

People who received such therapies often refused life-saving care such as chemotherapy or surgery and fewer survived five years after starting treatment compared to those on standard care. Experts urged patients not to ditch proven cancer medicines.

Researchers said the use of alternative therapies, which include certain diets, minerals and vitamin infusions, was growing in the US but there was limited research on how effective they are. Their study looked at 258 patients who had used these therapies with at least one standard treatment, compared to 1,032 who only received conventional care.

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New Drug-Filled Nanocapsules may Fight Cancer more Effectively


drug-filled nanoparticles

Researchers have found a way of creating more resilient drug-loaded nanoparticles that enables them to target diseased tissue or cancer cells more effectively. The findings may change nanomedicine and its applications for treating cancer.
The field of nanotechnology holds a great deal of promise in the treatment of cancer.

For instance, in a recent breakthrough, researchers used nanoparticles to spot previously undetectable microtumors, while another study used nanoparticles derived from tea leaves to destroy lung cancer cells.

Nanoparticles are often used to transport drugs and deliver them straight to diseased tissue. These so-called nanocarriers were recently used to successfully destroy a particularly aggressive form of endometrial cancer, and to deliver a drug that genetically “disarms” cancer stem cells.

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Can Spider Silk Boost our Immune Systems?


New research showcases an innovative method of delivering vaccines straight to our white blood cells, strengthening the immune system against cancer and serious infections.

Immunotherapy, which is a widely used form of treatment against cancer, boosts the body’s immune system in the fight against tumors.

Immunotherapy works primarily with T cells, which are a type of white blood cell, or lymphocyte.Largely, our immune systems rely on B lymphocytes, which are active in a variety of infections, and T lymphocytes which must be activated when combating cancer or more serious infections such as tuberculosis.

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Anti-Cancer Immunity Boosted by Newly Created Compound


Scientists might have found a way to activate the body’s “natural killer T cells” in the fight against cancer. The findings might lead to more effective treatments that stop cancer from spreading.

A  new study, Dual Modifications of α-Galactosylceramide Synergize to Promote Activation of Human Invariant Natural Killer T Cells and Stimulate Anti-tumor Immunity which has recently been published in the journal Cell Chemical Biology — was led by chemistry professor Amy Howell, from the University of Connecticut in Mansfield.

Prof. Howell and her team sought a compound that would activate human immune cells called Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells for any years.

iNKT cells give our immune system crucial ammunition in the fight against infections but also against illnesses such as cancer, lupus, and multiple sclerosis.

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