Monday, February 20, 2017

GLOSSARY of Cancer

GLOSSARY of Cancer

adjuvant : A substance that is added to a vaccine to increase the body’s immune response.

allele : One form of a specifi c gene pair, remembering that we have two copies of (almost) every gene. For example, a person may have one brown allele and one blue allele for eye color.
One allele may be dominant over the other and in this example brown is dominant over blue. This person will have brown eyes.

Angiogenesis : The formation of new blood vessels from preexisting blood vessels.

biobank : A collection of human biological tissue and associated health information that can be used as a resource for current and future research. Participation in biobanks is important for research that will benefi t future generations.

biomarker : A biological molecule found in bodily fl uids or tissue that indicates health or disease or the effect of treatment.

carcinogen : An agent that causes cancer.

DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) : The genetic material of most living things that carries the chemical instructions for the synthesis of proteins. The structure of DNA is a double helix, which is important for the process of DNA replication.

DNA adduct : A chemical mask on DNA; the addition of a chemical group to DNA.

gene : A section of DNA sequence that carries the chemical instructions to code for a protein. Proteins are needed for the structure and function of cells over a lifetime. There are about 25,000 genes in the human genome.

genome : The complete set of genes of an individual or species.

germline mutation : A mutation in either egg- or spermcell DNA (as opposed to a somatic mutation). Only mutations in germ cells can be passed on to the next generation.

incidence rate : The number of new cases of cancer (or other disease) in a defi ned population over a defi ned period of time.

ion : A molecule with a positive or negative charge. They may be created by ionizing radiation and can damage DNA, leading to mutations and cancer.

kinase : An enzyme that adds phosphate groups to proteins. The addition of a phosphate can regulate protein activity, turning it on or off. Kinases are important drug targets.

metastasis : The spread of cancer cells from a primary tumor to distant sites in the body.

metastasis suppressor gene : A gene that inhibits any of the steps involved in the spread of cancer cells from a primary tumor to a distant site in the body. Over 20 of such genes have been identified.

monoclonal antibody : A molecule of the immune system that is produced in response to exposure to a foreign body. They can be also be designed and prepared in the laboratory and used as a research tool or therapeutic agent. Herceptin is an example of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody.

mutation : A permanent change in the DNA sequence. For example, the replacement of ‘A’ in the genetic code by a ‘C’.

oncogene : A mutated gene that can produce a ‘faulty’ protein product that contributes to cancer (think oncology).

pharmacogenomics : The study of the infl uence of genetic variation on drug response.

phosphorylation : The addition of a chemical group, called a phosphate, to a protein. The addition causes a change in shape of a protein and, in doing so, can switch the activity of a protein either on or off. This is an important mechanism of the regulation of proteins.

premetastic niche : A site of future metastasis prepared by host cells upon receiving a signal from the primary tumor prior to the arrival of the metastasizing cell.

primary tumor : The original site of a cancer that can give rise to metastasis upon progression.

prognosis : The predicted outcome of having a disease.

reactive oxygen species (ROS) : Highly reactive oxygen molecules. They can be produced during normal metabolism that uses oxygen or by the interaction of ionizing radiation with water. They can oxidize DNA and cause mutations that may lead to cancer.

RNA (ribonucleic acid) : The genetic material in some viruses.Also, messenger RNA (mRNA) carries the genetic code transcribed from DNA to the ribosomes for protein synthesis.
Other types of RNA in cells are ribosomal RNA, located in ribosomes, and transfer RNA, which plays an important role in protein synthesis.

somatic mutation : A mutation in any cell other than a germ cell (i.e. an egg or sperm cell). Mutations in somatic cells cannot be passed on to the next generation.

teratogen : An agent that causes birth defects.

transcription factor : A protein that binds to the controlling region of genes and which can regulate gene expression (i.e. turn a gene on or off ).

tumor suppressor gene : A gene with a protein product that plays a role in preventing cancer. Loss of function of these genes by mutation or modifi cation contributes to cancer. Functions of tumor suppressor proteins may include regulation of antioxidant enzymes, cell suicide, or DNA repair, or pausing cell division.

variolation : The practice of introducing smallpox virus to non-immune individuals. The procedure involved using a lancet applied with material from a lesion of a smallpox patient. Although not without risks, immunity against future smallpox exposure was often observed.

Saturday, January 28, 2017




500 g cups pasta of your choice
1⁄4 cup basil pesto
2 tomatoes, diced
1⁄2 cup cashew nuts


1. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Drain.
2. Mix in the basil pesto, tomatoes and nuts, and serve immediately.

by Cherry Armstrong

Friday, January 27, 2017

Thermography to Assess Breast Inflammation in breast cancer survivors

Thermography to Assess Breast Inflammation in breast cancer survivors

Thermography to Assess Breast Inflammation in breast cancer survivors

Breast thermography provides one of the best visual clues of the presence of inflammation in breast tissue. Since inflammation often accompanies precancerous changes to the breast and since it always produces heat, measuring the temperature of the breasts can provide us with vital information.

Temperature measurement as a means of assessing health has its roots in ancient Greece, when Hippocrates covered his patients’ bodies with a thin slurry of mud and, as it dried, observed temperature differences around diseased organs. With the advent of military infrared heat detection technology, specialized cameras were developed that could produce a detailed picture showing how the heat is distributed over the body. This picture could then be analyzed with computer software to
determine regions of abnormal heat, suggesting injury or disease.

When it comes to breast health, here’s how it works, according to Robert Kane (pers. comm.), a board-certified clinical thermologist who maintains a busy thermal-imaging interpretation practice in Redwood City, California: “Heat is produced in the breast by normal tissue metabolism and is carried to the surface by the blood supply. Our bodies naturally release heat to the environment in the form of infrared energy to maintain a normal body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. This energy can be captured and visualized by a special infrared detector inside the thermography camera.”

Normal breast tissue produces a characteristic temperature pattern when visualized with thermography. On the other hand, fast-growing, abnormal breast tissue (cancerous or precancerous) will produce heat through its faster metabolism.

This heat travels through the circulatory system to the surface of the skin, where it can be detected using a thermographic camera (Yahara et al. 2003). What’s more, as mentioned earlier, cancerous tissue can create its own blood supply via the process of angiogenesis, or new blood vessel formation (Anbar 1994). Both of these occurrences can translate into temperature changes at the surface of the breast and provide a means of detection with the thermographic camera.

Thermography findings are less dependent on the size of the abnormal tissue and are more directly related to the degree of inflammation, growth rate of the tissue, and metabolic activity (Gautherie et al. 1982). The more inflamed, aggressive, and metabolically active the tissue, the more likely that a trained interpreter will see it on a thermogram. Since highly inflamed, precancerous growth represents the highest likelihood that cancer will develop, we consider thermography to be an excellent addition to standard breast imaging (mammography, MRI, or ultrasound) to help identify smaller lesions that are growing quickly and may appear between annual examinations.

Perhaps even more important, thermography provides invaluable feedback if you’re attempting to lower your risk of recurrence through lifestyle and nutrition, allowing you to see if your actions are effective. In short, just as thermography can be used to identify physiological signs that precede cancer and signal future risk, you can also use it to track the success of your anti-inflammatory strategies, adding a great deal to your peace of mind between conventional screenings.

High Fiber, Low Fat - How Foods Fight Cancer

High Fiber, Low Fat - How Foods Fight Cancer

High Fiber, Low Fat - How Foods Fight Cancer

It turns out that many foods that help prevent cancer in the first place also seem to help us beat the disease when it has struck. Among the most important themes to emerge from research has been that foods influence the hormones that fuel cancer growth. For example, diets high in fiber and low in fat tend to reduce the amount of estrogens (female sex hormones) circulating in the bloodstream. This taming of estrogens seems to reduce the likelihood that cancer cells will multiply or spread.

Fiber is also important in preventing colon cancer, as it helps move food waste out of the body. And fiber may even help the immune system function properly. Building your diet from fiber-rich plant foods is important for cancer prevention and survival as well as overall health.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

vegetables and fruits sources healthful compounds

Cancer-Fighting Compounds and Immune-Boosting Foods

vegetables and fruits sources healthful compounds

As you plan your menu, be generous with a variety of vegetables and fruits, because they are the main sources of these healthful compounds.

As you push your grocery cart down the aisle, you’ll want to keep a lookout for foods that have special cancer-fighting properties. In this chapter, we’ll focus on foods rich in protective compounds called antioxidants and phytochemicals, as well as foods that can help boost your immune system.

As you plan your menu, you’ll want to be generous with a variety of vegetables and fruits, because they are the main sources of these healthful compounds. Studies have amply demonstrated the ability of diets rich in vegetables and fruits to reduce the likelihood that cancer will develop in the first place. Although fewer studies have investigated their effect on survival after diagnosis, some have suggested that cancer survivors who consume more vegetables and fruits do indeed live longer. As you’ll see, researchers have begun to tease out reasons why produce is so powerful.