Archive for July, 2011

Most women carrying cancer genes take action: study

July 30, 2011

Women who screen positive for gene mutations that promote breast and ovarian cancers usually opt for surgery to cut their risk of the diseases, a new study suggests. The research, reported in the journal Cancer, followed 465 women who were tested for mutations in the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 that substantially boost the lifetime risks of breast and ovarian cancers.

It found that more than 80 percent of women who tested positive for the harmful mutations ultimately chose to have surgery to remove their ovaries, breasts or both. Read more…


Screening has little impact on breast cancer deaths: study

July 29, 2011

Falling breast cancer death rates have little to do with breast screening but are down to better tre  atment and health systems, scientists said on Friday, in a study likely to fuel a long-running row over the merits of mammograms.

Researchers analyzed data from three pairs of countries and found that although breast cancer screening programs had been introduced 10 to 15 years earlier in some areas than in others, declines in death rates were similar.  The findings suggest that “improvements in treatment and in the efficiency of healthcare systems may be more plausible explanations” for falling deaths rates from breast cancer. Read more…

Corporate hospitals foraying into medical aesthetics

July 28, 2011

Factors driving the momentum for the medical aesthetics segment are easy acceptability, affordability and urge to look good as it increases the self-esteem,” Vij said. Shetty said medical aesthetics offered by corporate hospitals ensure services of fully trained and qualified medical doctors and cut down risk of botched up results by untrained or unqualified staff. Taking into consideration that these clients do not want to be treated as patients,  Narayana Hrudayalaya have set up clinics or first contact points, where clients can walk in and wait in a comfortable lounge, sans the usual smell or discomfort of waiting in a hospital complex. “We work in partnership with clients to understand their needs and create a personalised treatment programme that delivers best possible results. At the initial consultation, we discuss all aspects of the procedure, including benefits, possible risks, and costs,” Shetty said. After initial counselling, treatment is decided and mainly conducted in a non-hospital ambience. But in case of any medical issue, they are referred to the hospital, where again they are treated as non-patients and privacy given importance. Demand for medical aesthetics is roughly split between 60 per cent women, mainly in 15 to 30 age group category and 40 per cent men in the mainly above 40 category. An international survey by International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery ranked India fourth with 8,94,700 surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures in 2010, thus accounting for 5.2 per cent of all procedures done worldwide. India’s rise to being fourth biggest cosmetic surgery and cosmetic medicine market from almost nowhere in the last 7-8 years has been remarkable and this trend is likely to continue at a much faster pace in future. Read more…

Cat parasite linked to brain cancer

July 27, 2011

An infectious parasite spread by cats may be a cause of brain cancer in humans, research suggests. The single-celled organism Toxoplasma gondii infects about a third of the world’s population. Often it causes no symptoms, but the parasite can be fatal to unborn babies and damage the nerve systems of people with weak immune systems. The new study shows a positive correlation between rates of infection by T. gondii and brain cancer incidence around the world.

Scientists collected global data on brain cancers in men and women and compared them with figures on T. gondii prevalence. Adjusting for a range of factors that can influence brain cancer statistics, the researchers found that cancer rates went up with greater exposure to the parasite. Across the range of infection prevalence, from 4% to 67% of the population, T. gondii was associated with a 1.8-fold increase in the risk of brain cancer. Read more…

One-stop facility with world-class treatment

July 26, 2011

Dedicated teams of specialists of Mazumdar Shaw Cancer Center at Narayana Hrudayalaya Health City have expertise to treat patients with head, neck, gatero intestinal cancer. Read More…

New cancer fight treatment launched

July 25, 2011

A new treatment system to help people fight cancer is going into service. The Novalis Tx has the ability to destroy cancerous cells virtually anywhere in the body in a single, 20-minute session, without the need for a single cut of the scalpel, the manufacturers said.

It treats cancer using a specialised technique called radiosurgery which is especially beneficial for tumours of the brain and spine previously thought untreatable by surgeons. Using powerful, highly accurate beams of radiation shaped to fit the precise shape of even the most complex tumours, the system is able to treat painlessly without the need for invasive surgery, and with fewer side effects. Read more…


Taller women more likely to get cancer: study

July 22, 2011

Taller women are at greater risk of developing 10 different forms of cancer, new research has revealed. The study published medical journal checked height against cancer rates for more than 1 million middle-aged women. Between 1996 and 2001, some 97,000 developed some form of the disease and those who were taller were more likely to be at risk.

But Cancer Australia head Professor Ian Olver says tall people should not panic, saying having a healthy lifestyle is far more important when it comes to preventing cancer. In particular, breast cancer risk rose by 17 per cent, ovarian cancer rose by the same, and womb cancer rose by 19 per cent. Read more…

Gene responsible for lung cancer spread identified

July 21, 2011

A major challenge for cancer biologists had been to find out which among the hundreds of genetic mutations found in a cancer cell are most important for driving the cancer’s spread. But, now with a new technique scientists have found the genes responsible for this. Using whole-genome profiling,  scientists have pinpointed a gene that appears to drive progression of small cell lung cancer.

The NFIB gene codes for a transcription factor, meaning it controls the expression of other genes, so researchers  are now looking for the genes controlled by NFIB. Read more…

Breast-Cancer Patients Under 40 May Keep Fertility With Drug, Study Finds

July 20, 2011

Younger women with early-stage breast cancer who took a drug to suppress their ovaries were more likely to avert early menopause caused by chemotherapy, researchers found. The treatment, triptorelin, helped patients avoid the permanent loss of their fertility that can be prompted by chemotherapy’s toxic doses, according to research published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Two out of every five women under 40 who undergo chemotherapy for breast cancer lose the ability to conceive children, the researchers said. The use of triptorelin reduced the rate of early menopause by more than 17 percentage points, according to the results of a late-stage clinical trial called Promise-GIM6. Read more…

Doctors aim to stop pancreatic cancer before it forms

July 19, 2011

Seeing a chance to stop one of the most deadly kinds of cancer before it forms, doctors are focusing on the common pancreatic cyst. Up to 20 percent of pancreatic cancer begins as one of these small, fluid-filled brown lesions. And left to grow unabated, pancreatic cancer kills 95 percent of sufferers within five years.

A study last year published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology found that up to 13 percent of the population has a pancreatic cyst, though most do not become cancerous. Researchers studied patients who had undergone an MRI for a reason besides their pancreas, and such routine screening has become the main method of discovering pancreatic cysts. Read more…