Thursday, January 27, 2011

SPF in Sunscreen - The Basics

By Daniel John Phillips
SPF stands for 'sun protection factor'. Basically, the SPF in sunscreen protects your skin from cancer causing UV rays by multiplying your natural defense against the rays. Sounds confusing, but it's not. Here's how it works - If you burn easily and can generally only last 10 minutes in the sun, a sunscreen with SPF 15 will in theory protect you for 15 times more than your natural protection time, so in this case you will protected against UV rays for 150 minutes. That is however a theoretical time - it doesn't take into account sweating, swimming, or wearing clothes - or any other factor that might rub the sunscreen off or impede it's benefits.
Another thing to note is that once you've used your protection time (the theoretical 150 minutes), another dose of sunscreen will not add more protection during that day. In this case if you've been outside in the sun for your 'protected' time minutes you are best to avoid sun for at least the remainder of the day to avoid getting burnt.
On the subject of burning, there are 2 types of UV (ultraviolet) rays that can cause cancer: UVA & UVB.
UVA are sun rays that cause our skin to tan and wrinkle and over time will produce age posts and skin sagging. Although not as powerful as the UVB rays, it can penetrate more deeply into the skin. UVB are shorter, more powerful ultraviolet radiations from sunlight. UVB is responsible for sunburn - It affects the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and is a major contributor to development of skin cancer. The best sunscreens protect from both UVA & UVB rays.
Different parts of the world have variable burn times depending on how strong the ozone layer is in that party of the world. New Zealand for example has a 'hole' over it and burn times can be very fast.
When it comes to SPF in sunscreen it is recommended you use the highest protecting sunscreen product whenever you are outside - even in winter or when it is a cloudy day.
http://www.spfinsunscreen.com brings you everything you could ever want to know about SPF in suncreen, sunblock or suncream.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Acidic pH Promotes Cancer Tumor?

by Henry Relfield 
The intracellular pH of some cancer cells is lower (more acidic) than the pH or a normal cell, which has led some to believe that you can kill cancer cells by raising cellular ph, and that improper internal pH balance can contribute to cancer. There is no scientific evidence, however, that suggests a direct link between alterations in pH balance and cancer prevention, or, specifically that a high pH (alkaline) environment will kill cancer cells.
In fact, the converse may be true. Cancer tumors tend to create an immediate milieu that is acidic. This is in part due to the fact that cancer cells require vast quantities of sugar because they are very inefficient at producing energy from glucose. In many cancer cells, glucose is metabolized anaerobically, which creates lactic acid as a by-product. Lactic acid is acidic. However, this very acidic and the elevated levels of lactic acid may actually be toxic to the cancer cell, ultimately contributing to its demise. Thus, trying to alkalinize the body (and the cancerous tumor) may be counterproductive at worst and irrelevant at best. The pH of cancer cells is the result of metabolic events within the cancer cell and is not reflected in the pH of other body fluids, such as urine, saliva, or blood.
Online information on high pH therapy cites a 1984 report claiming that high pH therapy for cancer has been studied with positive results on both animals and humans. The conclusions drawn from this report are highly suspect, as is the methodology of the study. The actual nature of the conclusions and the specifics of the intervention are left unexplained. It is also suspicious that any positive findings have not been duplicated in any subsequent study in more than 25 years. In fact, the only subsequent studies on humans are case reports of toxicity directly due to ingestion of cesium chloride as an alternative cancer treatment to raise the pH of cancer cells. One report described high levels of accumulated cesium in the liver, leading to liver toxicity.
On a more positive note, some early data from a mouse study indicates that oral administration of cesium chloride does, in fact, raise the pH of tumor tissue and sensitize the tumor tissue to the anticancer effects of vitamin D administered at the same time. This preliminary data may lead to future indications for cesium chloride along with vitamin D. However, at present, data in support of the pH theory is lacking.
Henry Relfield is a medical expert in cancer diseases for more than 15 years and he has been writing many well-known cancer-related articles including, diagnosis and causes of tumors, cancer-fighting recipes, common signs and symptoms of tumors, treatment options, etc. To find out more about his articles, you can visit at: http://www.cancer-dictionary.com
Henry Relfield - EzineArticles Expert Author

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Information About Skin Cancer

By Brijesh Ghelani
Cancer that is formed in the tissues of the skin is known as Skin Cancer. It is one of the most common kinds of cancer that affects men and women. This cancer affects about a million people every year and there are many factors that cause this including excessive sun exposure, tanning, weak immune systems, etc. Read on to get a complete awareness of this most common form of cancer and on steps to prevent it.
How is skin cancer caused?
When the skin cells modify and multiply in an abnormal fashion, the uncontrollable growth causes the development of a mass known as a tumor. This tumor that occurs in the skin is also known as a lesion and these cancerous growths are malignant in nature which causes the destruction of adjacent cells leading to random growth. These tumors flow through the blood stream and affect other remote organs also during the advanced stages of skin cancer.
Types of skin cancer
Skin cancer is divided into two kinds depending on their ability to spread around. The two types of skin cancer are non-melanoma and melanoma. Non-melanoma includes the type basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma in it.
1. Melanoma - The cancer that affects the melanocytes or the skin cells that create the pigments.
2. Basal cell carcinoma - The cancer that affects the lower part of the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin.
3. Squamous cell carcinoma - The cancer that affects the squamous cells or the flat cells that form the skin surface.
Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma normally do not spread to other parts of the body whereas melanoma is a dangerous form of skin cancer which spreads to other parts of the body. The major ratio and the most common type of skin cancer are the carcinoma types with the aggressive melanoma forming the least portion.
Symptoms of Skin Cancer
The symptoms of skin cancer are skin changes which take time to heal along with ulcers. Sometimes skin discoloration and changes to moles on the skin can also been seen. The most common symptom is a small lump that is shiny and pale in color or a firm red lump. Some types of cancer also are associated with rough and scaly patches or flat scaly patches of red or brown color. Also beware of any new suspicious growth and consult a physician in such cases. Though these growths are most of the times painless, they can also be painful at times.
A smooth round bump is normally developed on the head, shoulder or neck with signs of crusting and bleeding with development of the tumor in cases of basal cell carcinoma. In squamous cell carcinoma, a thick red color patch along with ulcer and bleeding can be developed. Brown or blackish lesions are formed in cases of melanomas. The lesion exhibits change in size, color or shape as a symptom of the melanoma becoming malignant.
Diagnosis of Skin Cancer
This cancer is diagnosed by the physician in two main methods. The first and the most common method is the skin examination. In this method the doctor looks out for any abnormal growth or irregularity in the skin. This can be followed by a biopsy in case of finding any abnormal growth. In case of biopsy, the affected area or abnormal growth is well studied under a microscope to check for the presence of cancerous cells.
Treatment of Skin Cancer
Surgery is one effective method for the treatment of non-melanoma cancer types. The complete procedure of surgical treatment begins with surgery and includes follow-up methods of radiation therapy and chemotherapy. In the surgical methods, the lesion and a calculated amount of tissues around it is removed so as to make the body tumor free. The Moh's micrographic surgery is one effective technique that is used for this process.
Prevention of Skin cancer
Early diagnosis and detection can help treat skin cancer before it turns dangerous and hence self evaluation of your skin on a regular basis is a must on a frequent basis. Look for any kind of abnormal changes, discoloration or growth in your skin. You can also undertake a doctor visit once a year to detect any signs or symptoms of cancer. In certain cases of high-risk situations, you can consult a skin specialist on a regular basis to screen for this cancer.
Skin cancer can be prevented by adopting a few basic tips which can be very useful in your daily life.
1. Use Sunscreens - 90% of the skin cancers are known to be caused by harmful UV radiations and sunscreens are the best protector when you are someone who spends a lot of time outdoors. UV rays damage our cell DNA structure and modify them making them cancerous. Minimize outings during the time when the sun is at its brightest. Also try to maintain your presence within the shade where ever possible. But even if you are in a shade, remember to wear your sunscreen,
2. Avoid excessive tanning - Artificial lights as in tanning beds, lamps and booths, all contain UV rays and increase the chances of melanoma.
3. Wear protective dressings - Though sunscreens do protect, you can consider wearing protective dressings like a hat or sunglasses, which can protect your eyes and facial skin from the sun.
4. Avoid childhood sunburns - Most of the times, a burn during your childhood can increase your risk of being affected with skin cancer along the years as you grow. Thus it is required that you monitor kids when they are in the sun reducing their exposure.
5. Eat healthy - A weak immune system is a ready agent for skin cancer. Make sure that you include lots of fresh fruits and vegetables so as to improve your body's immunity power.
People who run a higher risk of Skin cancer
Though many people are equally exposed to the chances of this cancer, there are a few who run a higher risk. Individuals with a family medical history of skin cancer or those who possess fair skin tone and freckles run a higher risk. Also people who are addictive to tanning and spend a lot of hours outdoors in the sun along with a weak immune system also possess equal risks of getting this cancer.
For more information about Skin Cancer please visit our site http://www.howcurecancer.com.
Brijesh Ghelani - EzineArticles Expert Author

BEC5 Skin Cancer

By Brijesh Ghelani
You can cure skin cancer with the help of treating it with eggplants. Treatments with eggplants revealed amazing results. So try out this alternative medicine instead of regular surgical procedures.
Do you believe it that there is a product which will help you survive skin cancer not only for a year or two but for a lifetime. You can see the success within three months. There are lot of cases which will prove this statement. This product does not harm healthy cells.
This research has been conducted by Royal Hospital London and not by some private company. But medical fraternity is not taking it very seriously. Only one doctor is convinced about its effects. He was convinced that taking help of Mother Nature is the best way to cure skin cancer. He was bent on changing things incorporated in modern medicine.
It is hard to believe that an extract of eggplant is very effective in curing skin cancer. Some researchers know this for around 20 years. It was Jonathan Wright who published this truth and accepted it. A research was conducted by Royal Hospital London which used a form of extract of an eggplant and this was termed as BEC5. In this experiment the doctors took into consideration both invasive and non invasive non-melanoma skin cancer. They were surprised by the end results. These results showed better performance than surgical procedures. By this process it was ensured that cancer does not make a comeback. Chemotherapy or other treatment procedures do not guarantee of the reoccurrence of cancer. This is considered as a major breakthrough in treatments for cancer.
Thus, it has become necessary to go through this non invasive procedure. In this regard we have to undertake a study of how an eggplant works as a miracle in curing skin cancer. Eggplant is an alkaline food. BEC5 works effectively because it contains a plant sugar called rhamnose. BEC5 recognizes rhamnose and binds it to the cancer cell.
The endogenous lectins enter the cancer cell and destroy them. This process produces a minimum side effect. You will find that your skin has become red. You can also experience shedding of unwanted skin cells. Your skin which is affected is required to be washed off with mild antiseptic. Be very careful and avoid contact with your eyes.
The treatment with this eggplant ranges from a period of 7 - 60 days. The success is dependent on the continuous application of this medicine. This treatment should not be used by those patients who are allergic to eggplants. It is also to be noted that application of BEC5 is forbidden on moles.
For more information about BEC5 Skin Cancer please visit our site http://www.howcurecancer.com.
Brijesh Ghelani - EzineArticles Expert Author

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Breast Cancer Recovery: Should Look into Cancer Group Therapy?

by Deborah G. Alicen, Ph.D.

Question: I am recovering from breast cancer and have recently heard about a support group for cancer patients, also known as cancer group therapy. My doctor doesn't know anything about it and doesn't seem interested one way or another. I am kind of interested, but I don't want to do anything stressful or potentially harmful to myself. I don't want to get upset by other people's problems. I have enough of my own. How should I think about this decision?
Joining a group for cancer survivors can be a very good idea, if the group is properly led. Given your statement about not wanting to be stressful, what if you called the group therapist first, and chatted with him/her about the group? What if you specifically mentioned your concerns about getting too stressed out at this vulnerable time?
If you call and manage to get them to talk to you on the phone, try to get a sense of how well that therapist hears your concern, that is, how sensitive they are to you 1-1 on the phone. If the phone call goes well, and you feel good about the person, chances the group they are leading probably is not going to be good for you.
Most group therapists will ask you to meet with them prior to joining their group. That's another chance for you to get a sense of how that person is going to be with you, and also find out more about the group, the topics discussed, what usually happens when someone brings up a disturbing problem, etc.
The best groups are run by professional, licensed therapists with experience in group counseling. Don't be afraid to ask the group therapist if they have had any specialized training after graduate school in running groups. Ask if they have any additional credentials in group counseling.
Many of the best group therapists will have additional training and credentials to prove it. They have are the ones to trust more than someone who decides to do a group for breast cancer, simply because they've survived their own breast cancer. (It takes a whole lot more than one's own experience with a problem to counsel others successfully over time.)
Find someone who has specialized training and your chances of a healthy, supportive and nurturing group experience are greatly enhanced!
The American Psychological Association has published a number of articles about group therapy for various types of health concerns. I know of several articles in particular, published in their "Monitor". It was published several years ago, but still is accessible. The articles suggested that therapy can "improve life and possibly bolster immunity" (APA Monitor, Volume 26, Number 12, page 24).
Your own feelings are the best judge of what you should do, and if you go to the group you can decide if it is the right place for you. It is helpful for people to talk about their feelings concerning their cancer in a supportive environment where they can help each other. My opinion is, talk to the therapist and see how you feel after that experience. Then if you like, take the next step.

Prostate Cancer Recovery

After a male is treated for prostate cancer, medical professionals continue to provide care for the individuals road to recovery.
Patients should be concerned about diet and nutrition. Because of treatment, patients may experience problems with nausea and weight loss. Meeting with a cancer specialized dietitian can provide a dietary plan to follow while the person is going through treatment.
Getting into a modified exercise regimen can help the patient regain some strength during the recovery press.
When men receive treatment for prostate cancer, there is always a strong possibility of becoming impotent(erectile dysfunction). Erectile dysfunction (ED) can be either temporary or sometimes permanent depending on the course of treatment. ED is a common condition among men especially those who are not dealing with prostate cancer. ED experienced by males who have not been diagnosed with prostate issues are defined by three areas: blood flow decreased by an arterial blockage, increased blood output to the penis and conditions affecting the nerve endings to the penis.
In regards to prostate cancer, treatments such as hormone therapy, radiation therapy, cryosurgery and radical prostatectomy (removal of the prostate) are the leading causes of erectile dysfunction.
During a radical prostatectomy, nerves that are adjacent to the prostate may be cut due to cancer present in the area or if the nerves impaired the surgeon’s ability to remove the prostate.
After a prostatectomy, 60% to 80% of males may experience temporary erectile dysfunction where it is difficult to maintain an erection to sustain during intercourse. This has been reported to only last a few months. Erectile issues may begin to disappear up to 3 years after surgery. For men with this type of dysfunction, medical treatments have been successful to help the function return in a shorter amount of time. Daily dose of Viagra or Alprostadil has shown remarkable results for erectile dysfunction. Alprostadil is a hormone treatment placed in the penis or the urethra.
If the patient underwent radiation therapy, it has been reported that 30% to 60% percent will experience erectile dysfunction. The type of radiation therapy used will dictate the severity of the ED. Brachytherapy which involves using seeds or wires inserted near the tumor has caused lowest rate of erectile dysfunction.
A common way to treat prostate issues is the transurethral resection of the prostate(TURP). The TURP surgery can cause temporary ED and incontinence.
Hormone therapy to combat prostate cancer by interfering with testosterone can cause erectile dysfunction. Cryosurgery can cause erectile dysfunction because when the nerves in and surrounding the prostate are exposed to the cold temperatures, it can cause a loss in erectile function.
There are many options for men to explore about helping restore erectile function. Treatments include: medications, mechanical, surgical and psychological.
Medications like Viagra or Cialis have been successful in helping men achieve an erection but males who have an existing cardiac condition are not recommended to use these medications. These drugs help increase blood flow to the vessels of the penis. Other medications used to treat erectile dysfunction are testosterone and prostaglandins.
Mechanical aids to help restore erectile function include: penile implants and injection of pellets into the penis.
For men who have decided that maybe surgery would help with erectile dysfunction,they may turn to doctors who will perform nerve grafts. During a radical prostatectomy, sural nerve grafting is done to prevent impotence. The surgeon takes part of the sural nerve from the leg and grafts the end of the nerve past where the prostate was before. One side effect to this treatment is patients have reported numbness in the foot from the leg where the nerve was. Several hospitals like the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Memorial Sloan-Kettering in New York, the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and other medical facilities are performing this treatment.
Men who experience erectile dysfunction may be treated for psychological reasons. Anxiety over the ability to engage in sexual activity, poor self-image and guilt over not being able to meet their partner’s sexual needs are contributors to erectile dysfunction in men getting treatment for prostate cancer. Men with this condition can benefit form engaging with a therapist trained in working with erectile dysfunction.
If the patient is experiencing incontinence in the recovery phase of prostate cancer treatments, there are several ways medical professionals help alleviate the symptoms. There are 3 types of incontinence: stress, overflow, and urge. Stress incontinence involves a dysfunction of the bladder sphincter. This condition is caused by possible nerve damage during prostate surgery. Overflow incontinence is the excessive amount of urine held in the bladder. This condition is caused by pressure from the prostate. Urge incontinence is not being able to control urine output. This condition is caused by the effects of prostate cancer.
The methods used to treat incontinence are: dietary changes which alleviate symptoms from offending foods, medicines that prevent spasms in the bladder and ureters, bladder feedback programs and incontinence products (collagen injections, bladder pads and special condoms used to control leakage).
Infertility may be a problem during the recovery stage of prostate cancer. When the TURP procedure was used, semen does not go the traditional route through to the penis but up to the bladder. By backing up into the bladder, semen can’t be transported to fertilize an egg.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Breast Cancer and Adjuvant Therapy

During my first visit with an oncologist, he kept using the term "adjuvant chemotherapy" in reference to future treatments for me. Since he never called it just "chemotherapy," I assumed that this was worse, or somehow different from the standard drug treatments that I'd often heard about. Then he went on to plan out "adjuvant hormone therapy." What I really needed was an "adjuvant medical interpreter" to translate what he was telling me. So I'm going to do some translating for you, and hope that you will be better informed than I was before making your treatment decisions.
In order to help you understand more about adjuvant systemic therapy and treatment decisions, I looked up what the experts say in UpToDate -- a trusted electronic reference that is used by many of the oncologists who treat breast cancer patients.
You may or may not choose to have adjuvant systemic therapy. Regardless, you will need to know which treatments will be best for you. Start by reading this excerpt to see why adjuvant therapy may be important for you.
Introductory Discussion: Adjuvant systemic therapy for hormone-responsive early stage breast cancer in postmenopausal women From UpToDate

Following surgery, systemic (bodywide) anticancer treatment may be given to eliminate any microscopic tumor cells that might remain in the body. This type of therapy is called adjuvant therapy, and it is an important component of breast cancer treatment. Adjuvant systemic therapy significantly decreases the chance that the cancer will return (or recur), and it also improves a woman's chance of surviving her cancer.
Basics About Adjuvant Systemic Therapy For Breast Cancer What is Adjuvant and Neoadjuvant Treatment?
The most basic meaning of adjuvant is "giving additional support." Adjuvant treatment is any type of cancer therapy given after breast cancer surgery. Its purpose is to make sure that any stray cancer cells that you may still have are killed, which helps lower your risk of recurrence. Neoadjuvant treatments are those that may be given before surgery, to shrink tumors before those are removed.
What is Systemic and Localized Treatment?
Systemic treatment for cancer gets to nearly every tissue in your entire body and has the potential to impact every cell in your body. Localized treatments (such as radiation) are limited to a specific area of your body, and affect only the tissue that is targeted by the treatment. Breast cancer is an uncivilized disease that will use your lymph and blood systems to wander throughout your body. Systemic treatments are designed to make your body an inhospitable place for cancer, by traveling everywhere the cancer may have gone, and interfering with its growth and cell division. Healthy cells are also affected along the way, which may temporarily cause side effects.
What Are Options for Adjuvant Systemic Therapy?
Your oncologist may discuss several types of adjuvant treatments with you, depending on your surgery type and breast cancer diagnosis. You will need to know the status of your lymph nodes, hormone receptors and HER2/neu expression. Once you have the results of those tests, you may consider three options for treatment.
  • Chemotherapy: Opinions differ on which patients will benefit most from chemotherapy, but having a tumor expression test like the Oncotype DX assay may tip the balance on this decision. Within the United States, national guidelines state that these patients should have chemo:
    • Positive lymph nodes, HER2-negative breast cancer, and any hormone receptor status
    • Negative lymph nodes, HER2-negative breast cancer, hormone receptor positive, high grade tumors that are >1 cm or 0.6 to 1.0 cm
    • Metastatic breast cancer, regardless of HER2 and hormone receptor status
  • Targeted biological therapy: These treatments are aimed at specific processes of cancer cell growth, division and lifecycle (or, in some cases, the blood vessels nourishing a tumor), and can be given for HER2 positive, HER2 negative, and metastatic disease.
  • Endocrine therapy: Given for tumors that are estrogen positive (ER), progesterone positive (PR), or both. Treatments may include Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs) and Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs).

    Soy and Breast Cancer - Research, Controversy and Your Diet


    Soy is one of those "wonder foods" that used to be sold only in health food stores or Asian markets in western countries. In the last several years, soy has been showing up regularly on the shelves of mainstream grocery stores, packaged in an amazing variety of products and flavors. At the same time, a controversy has been brewing – is soy healthy or risky for breast cancer patients and survivors? Do soy foods protect you from cancer, or do they hasten its development? Before you throw out the tofu with the miso soup, or rush out to buy some soy supplements, let's take a look at soy foods and their health impact.
    Soy Foods – More Than Just Tofu and Soy Sauce
    Soy foods are made from soybeans – a crop that, until the 1980s, has been used in America primarily as livestock feed, but has been a part of the Asian diet for many generations. Soy is available as: edamame (green soy beans), tofu, soy milk, soy powder and flour, miso paste, tempeh, oil, and textured vegetable protein (TVP). Soy shows up in many meat analogue products – meatless meatballs, "burger" style crumbles, and even bacon-like strips and chicken-shaped nuggets.
    Benefits of Soy Foods
    Products based on soy can make great entrees for those on a vegetarian diet, and some products are even suitable for vegans. Tofu and tempeh can be cooked as part of an Asian meal and combined with just about any flavoring. Soy is high in protein, helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and may help with menopause symptoms and osteoporosis. The right amount of soy in your diet helps guard your heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. The FDA has officially ruled that 25 grams of soy protein consumed daily is considered beneficial. They also note that consumers must read the labels carefully to see whether the right amounts of soy have been added to products.
    Soy Chemistry Controversy - Isoflavones
    Soybeans contain all the amino acids essential to human nutrition. Soy foods contain isoflavones (phytoestrogens). These isoflavones have powerful antioxidant properties, and may be able to prevent cell damage (oxidation) caused by free radicals. Soy isoflavones can act like weak estrogens, and may block estrogen receptors, similar to the way that tamoxifen works to prevent a recurrence of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer. Sounds great, doesn't it? But there may be a problem of "too much of a good thing." Just as an excess of natural estrogen may fuel the growth of a breast tumor, too much of the soy isoflavone genistein, in concentrated form in many over-the-counter nutritional supplements, may set the stage for tumor development. But what about Asians who grow up on tofu? Let's look at their rates of breast cancer.
    The Well-Polished Chopstick – A Lifetime of Soy and Green Tea
    Japanese women typically consume soy beginning in childhood, which may be a key to prevention of breast cancer. In April of 2008, a Japanese study was published on soy consumption and rates of breast cancer. In this study, Dr. Iwasaki and his team recruited 24,226 Japanese women aged 40 to 69. Their study covered 10.6 years, and the women in the study did not keep a food journal, which is sometimes an unreliable component of such a study. The researchers used blood and urine samples to measure isoflavone levels. Women who had the most consistently high levels of genistein (isoflavone from soy) had the lowest rates of breast cancer.
    Dietary Soy Versus Soy Supplements
    The isoflavones found in soybeans, sesame seeds, and legumes are about one hundredth as powerful as natural female estrogens. If you're getting your isoflavones from dietary sources, you'd have a hard time overdosing yourself, unless you went on an all-soy diet. So wouldn't those capsules containing soy isoflavones that are sold as hormonal support and bone health protection be safe? The answer is: it depends. Pills with isolated soy isoflavones may cause trouble – not enough studies have been done yet on people to determine whether or not high concentrations of those isoflavones may encourage the growth of breast cancer. If you're taking soy supplements to help with menopausal symptoms, speak with your doctor about what level of isoflavones may be safe for you.

    Be Smart About Sugar in Your Diet

    Sugar provides energy, but doesn't give you any nutrients that are needed to reduce your cancer risk. Natural sugars are in fruits and vegetables as well as honey and molasses – they should be part of a healthy diet. Processed sugars such as white or brown sugar and corn syrup should be avoided or limited. Consuming too many sugar calories can lead to obesity and high insulin levels, which would contribute to your increased cancer risk. Cut back on sugar-loaded foods such as candy, baked goods, sugary cereals and sodas to reduce your cancer risk. Balance your diet with plant foods, fish, and whole grains. Use white sugar sparingly and try natural sweeteners instead.
    Sweet Ending
    It's OK to eat some natural sugars on a daily basis. Sugar in your diet does not cause cancer to develop. Starving all of your cells of sugar won't kill or prevent cancer, but it will deprive your healthy cells of a necessary source of energy. Keeping a balance of nutritious foods and a regular exercise routine can give you a healthy body weight and normal insulin levels. That's the sweet way to reduce your cancer risk.

    Developing New Sugar-Coated Cancer Drugs

    At Johns Hopkins University, a group of researchers looked at ways to fool cancer cells into growing more slowly and then eventually killing themselves. They studied abnormal glycosylation - how cancer cells put sugar and proteins together to sustain themselves. When these cells were given n-butyrate (a salt) with carbohydrates (contains sugar), cell proliferation slowed down. In order to feed the cancer a death-dealing drug, they produced a hybrid molecule made of a simple sugar and n-butyrate. Because the cancer cells absorbed the sugar readily, they soaked up this new molecule, which interfered with their ability to keep growing, and they died.
    Other teams of scientists are working on drugs that will take advantage of cancer's weakness for sugar. Some of these new drugs may be given along with chemotherapy, to make tumor cells more sensitive to chemo drugs. In Switzerland, scientists are using a sugar coating on "quantum dots" or nanocrystals of drugs that would travel to the liver only, avoiding other organs. It's the sugar on those little doses that help the drugs target one particular part of the body, thereby reducing side effects and increasing the effects of the drugs.

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