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Health News Results - 619

Walk, Dance, Clean: Even a Little Activity Helps You Live Longer

WEDNESDAY, March 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Want a reason to get out of your comfy armchair? Even low levels of regular physical activity -- brisk walking, dancing or gardening -- can reduce your risk of premature death, a new study finds.

Americans who got in just 10 to 59 minutes of moderate physical activity every week had an 18 percent lower risk of death from any cause, compare...

Scientists Spot Clues to Predicting Breast Cancer's Return

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Figuring out which breast cancer patients will live disease-free after treatment is a bit of a guessing game. But new research indicates breast cancer cells hold molecular clues that may allow doctors to predict who is at high risk of having a recurrence up to 20 years later.

It has long been known that women who are successfully treated f...

AI Takes Aim at Lung Cancer Screening

WEDNESDAY, March 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The term artificial intelligence (AI) might bring to mind robots or self-driving cars. But one group of researchers is using a type of AI to improve lung cancer screening.

Screening is important for early diagnosis and improved survival odds, but the current lung cancer screening method has a 96 percent false positive rate.

But i...

Did You Wait Until Middle Age to Get Fit? It Could Still Boost Your Life Span

FRIDAY, March 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's truly never too late to begin exercising, new research shows.

Even for people who were "couch potatoes" in their youth, embarking on a regimen of regular exercise in middle-age can still greatly cut the odds for death from any cause, a major new study finds.

The study tracked the health -- and lifetime exercise patterns -- of m...

Low-Dose Aspirin Doesn't Prolong Survival in Prostate Cancer

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Will an aspirin a day keep prostate cancer at bay?

Not necessarily, according to new research.

Danish scientists say low-dose aspirin doesn't seem to reduce a man's risk of death from prostate cancer, but it may slow down the disease in some cases.

For patients with slow-growing, non-aggressive cancer, aspirin did appear ...

Exercise Might Slow Colon Cancer's Advance

TUESDAY, March 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Exercise has countless benefits, even in small doses. And new research suggests the payoffs might extend to colon cancer patients.

Short sessions of intense exercise may slow the growth of colon cancer, Australian researchers report.

"We have shown that exercise may play a role in inhibiting the growth of colon cancer cells," said l...

High Deductibles May Threaten Breast Cancer Patients' Survival

MONDAY, March 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Even when women have health insurance, high deductibles may delay them from having breast cancer diagnosed and treated, researchers say.

In a study of more than 3 million U.S. women with health insurance, the researchers found that those in plans with high deductibles waited several months more for a breast cancer diagnosis or treatment, versu...

Lifestyle Changes Can Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- While genetics, such as carrying BRCA gene mutations, play a role in who is more likely to get breast cancer, everyday lifestyle factors are involved, too.

Research published in JAMA Oncology used data from thousands of women to identify which lifestyle factors in particular could affect a woman's risk for breast cancer.

The...

Could Invasive Lung Cancer Biopsies Be Replaced by Blood Tests?

THURSDAY, Feb. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A blood test may one day replace invasive tissue biopsies as a pain-free way to guide treatment in lung cancer patients, new research suggests.

The so-called "liquid biopsy" can quickly identify tumor gene mutations that match targeted drug therapies -- potentially boosting patient survival.

The new findings present "a convincing a...

High-Fiber Diet May Help Gut 'Microbiome' Battle Melanoma

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A healthy diet may trigger a better response to a certain kind of melanoma treatment.

How?

New research suggests that a diet that's full of fiber appears to lead to more diverse intestinal bacteria (microbiome). In turn, a thriving gut microbiome is linked to a stronger response to an immune therapy for the aggressive skin cancer....

Colon Cancer Usually Diagnosed Late in Under-50 Adults

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 27, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Young adults are increasingly developing colon cancer -- and it's often diagnosed at a late stage, after they've seen several doctors and been misdiagnosed, a new survey shows.

Researchers questioned nearly 1,200 colon cancer patients diagnosed before age 50. Most cases were correctly identified only after the cancer was more advanced. In f...

Almost Half of Global Cases of Childhood Cancer Go Undiagnosed

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The actual number of childhood cancer cases worldwide is nearly double the recorded number, a chilling new study finds.

"Our model suggests that nearly one in two children with cancer are never diagnosed and may die untreated," said study author Zachary Ward. He is a researcher at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Publ...

Testicular Cancer Treatment Doesn't Always Doom Fertility

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Young men diagnosed with testicular cancer often worry that treating the disease may jeopardize their chances of having children, but new research should ease their minds.

In the study, sperm counts rebounded in men who received one course of chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery for early-stage testicular cancer.

It was k...

Cervical 'Microbiome' Could Help Predict Cancer Risk

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The community of bacteria or "microbiome" in a woman's cervix might be a harbinger of her risk for cervical cancer, a new study suggests.

For the study, researchers used genetic analysis to identify bacteria present in samples from 144 Tanzanian women who had cervical cancer screenings between March 2015 and February 2016.

Of the wo...

Is At-Home Stool Test a Viable Alternative to Colonoscopy?

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Simple at-home stool tests are a reliable way to screen for colon cancer -- and a good alternative to invasive colonoscopies, a new research review confirms.

The analysis, of 31 studies, looked at the effectiveness of the fecal immunochemical test, or FIT -- which detects hidden blood in the stool. It found that a one-time FIT screening caught...

Smokers May Fare Worse Against the Deadliest Skin Cancer

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Melanoma patients who are recent and current smokers have lower survival rates than nonsmokers, suggesting that smoking may weaken immune response to the most deadly skin cancer, researchers say.

In a study of more than 700 melanoma patients in the United Kingdom, smokers were 40 percent less likely to survive melanoma than people who hadn't ...

Don't Be Fooled: Thermography No Substitute for Mammograms, FDA Says

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women should not be misled into thinking that thermography is an effective alternative to mammography for breast cancer screening, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned.

Despite claims to the contrary, thermography should not be used in place of mammography for breast cancer screening, detection or diagnosis, the agency said Monday.

...

AHA News: Cancers of the Heart Are Rare -- and Here's Why

MONDAY, Feb. 25, 2019 (American Heart Association News) -- For years, Jan H. Mitchell felt terrible.

"The fatigue I was experiencing was unreal," said Mitchell, 62, of Paris, Tennessee. "It was beyond feeling tired; I would come home from work and had no energy to do anything."

Mitchell saw doctor after doctor. After a stress test, a sleep apnea assessment and other evalua...

FDA Aims to Strengthen Sunscreen Rules

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took steps Thursday to tighten regulation of over-the-counter sunscreen products.

Included in the proposed rule are updates on sunscreen safety, sun protection factor (SPF) requirements, and the effectiveness of insect repellent/sunscreen combinations.

"The proposed rule that we issued today wo...

Most Nations May Be Rid of Cervical Cancer By 2100

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Rapid expansion of HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening could eliminate the cancer as a major health problem in many countries by the end of the century, a new study claims.

HPV (human papillomavirus) causes most cases of cervical cancer, and the researchers determined that more than 13 million cases of cervical cancer worldwide cou...

HPV Infections Most Tied to Cancer Are in Decline, and Vaccines May Be Why

THURSDAY, Feb. 21, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Infections with two strains of the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus (HPV) are showing marked declines among American women, and rising vaccination rates could be driving the trend.

That's the finding from a new study involving thousands of U.S. women who tested positive for precancerous conditions of the cervix.

Infection ...

Are Primary Care Doctors Prepared to Discuss Cancer Treatment?

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 20, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many primary care doctors feel ill-equipped to discuss cancer treatment options with patients, according to a new study.

Researchers surveyed 517 primary care doctors who had 1,077 female patients diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.

Doctors were asked if they had discussed surgery, radiation or chemotherapy options with thei...

Should You Get Tested for the 'Breast Cancer Genes'?

TUESDAY, Feb. 19, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women who have specific mutations in genes known as BRCA are at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Now, an influential expert panel reaffirms that certain women should be screened for the genes.

The draft recommendation comes from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, whose advisories often guide physician practice and insuranc...

Kidney Failure Patients Face Higher Risk of Cancer Death

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with kidney failure who are on dialysis or have received a transplant have a sharply higher risk of dying from cancer, Australian researchers report.

In fact, compared with people who don't have kidney failure, they have more than double the odds of cancer death. The odds are particularly high among patients aged 20 to 34, for whom...

Despite Gains, Black Americans Still Have Highest Cancer Death Rate

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A new report from the American Cancer Society brings good news and bad news for black Americans.

The number of black lives lost to cancer is falling, the report finds, and at a faster rate than observed among whites. That's helping to close a decades-long "race gap" in cancer deaths between blacks and whites.

"Seeing the substantia...

Breast Cancer and DDT: Timing of Exposure May Matter

THURSDAY, Feb. 14, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to high levels of the pesticide DDT increases breast cancer risk -- but when the cancer surfaces depends on when women first came in contact with the chemical, researchers say.

"What we have learned is that timing really matters," said lead author Barbara Cohn, from the California-based Public Health Institute.

"We know th...

Tasmanian Devils Likely to Survive Cancer Scourge

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 13, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A contagious cancer that has almost decimated the Tasmanian devil population probably won't drive the species into extinction, a new study suggests.

Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumor Disease (DFTD) kills most of the animals it infects and has led to an 80 percent decrease in the number of wild devils since the disease was first identified in 199...

Study Reaffirms Safety of Hepatitis C Meds in Liver Cancer Patients

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's safe to use antiviral drugs to treat hepatitis C in liver cancer survivors, a new study reports.

The findings contradict previous research suggesting that antiviral drugs might increase these patients' risk of liver cancer recurrence.

That prior research involved a single-center study from Spanish investigators in 2016 that "ga...

More U.S. Men Holding Off on Prostate Cancer Surgery

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Many more American men are now saying no to surgery for low-risk prostate cancer, and choosing to monitor the disease instead, a new study finds.

Over just five years, researchers found, the number of men who opted for monitoring tripled -- from 14 percent of patients in 2010, to 42 percent in 2015.

The shift followed new guideline...

HPV Might Be Behind Vocal Cord Cancers in Young

TUESDAY, Feb. 12, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Recent increases in vocal cord cancers among younger, nonsmoking Americans may be explained by the spread of human papilloma virus (HPV), researchers report.

"Over the past 150 years, vocal cord, or glottic cancer, has been almost exclusively a disease associated with smoking and almost entirely seen in patients over 40 years old," explained ...

Aspirin Can Help Prevent Colon Cancer, But Many at Risk Don't Take It

MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- People with colon polyps spotted during screening are at higher risk for colon cancer. But while low-dose aspirin could lower the odds for the disease, too few patients adopt the regimen, new research shows.

Advanced colon polyps are a major risk factor for colon cancer, the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States.

...

One Key Step Can Help Cancer Patients Quit Smoking

FRIDAY, Feb. 8, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Cancer patients are already fighting a tough battle, so quitting smoking while doing so is a real challenge.

Now, research from Northwestern University in Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania shows that a combo of counseling and extended use of an anti-smoking medication can boost their odds for success.

One lung cancer patient ...

Study Ties Cancer-Causing HPV to Heart Disease, Too

THURSDAY, Feb. 7, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Certain strains of HPV are known to cause cervical cancer and other types of tumors. Now, a new study raises the possibility that they might also contribute to heart disease.

Researchers found that among over 63,000 women, those infected with "high-risk" strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) were somewhat more likely to develop heart disease ...

Fertility Treatments Don't Raise Cancer Risk for Offspring

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- All expectant parents worry, and for those undergoing fertility treatments, there are additional concerns about the health of their child.

But a new study finds one less thing they need to stress over -- their children don't appear to be at greater risk of cancer than other children.

"These results provide reassuring evidence that ...

Benign Ovarian Cysts Should Be Left in Place, Study Suggests

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- It's a common gynecological finding: A growth on an ovary, which turns out to be a benign cyst. Is surgical removal necessary?

Not always, according to data from a new study of more than 1,900 such cases in which outcomes were tracked for two years post-diagnosis.

The team behind the research now believes that most women with non-c...

Too Much TV Raises Women's Odds for Early-Onset Colon Cancer: Study

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Binge-watching series after series might be fun, but too much TV could raise a middle-aged woman's odds for colon cancer, a new study finds.

Reporting Feb. 5 in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, researchers tracked data for more than 89,000 U.S. women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study.

The investigators found 118 cases of "young-onset"...

Canine Bone Cancer Vaccine Hints at a Human Version

TUESDAY, Feb. 5, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental vaccine for bone cancer in dogs could offer a road map for a human version of the treatment, researchers report.

More than 10,000 cases of bone cancer in dogs occur in the United States each year. But the disease is not common in humans, with only 800 to 900 cases a year. About half of those cases occur in children and teens.

Obesity-Linked Cancers On the Rise Among Young  Americans

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- As more young American adults struggle with extra weight, they are paying an even steeper price as the rates of obesity-related cancers rise in this age group.

Obesity has already been linked to rising rates of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and knee replacements. Now, new research suggests cancer can be added to that list, and the rate of obes...

Exercise Your Right to Fight Disease

MONDAY, Feb. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Research consistently tells you just how important exercise is for health. It can help head off heart disease, stroke, diabetes and many types of cancer, including breast and colon cancers.

A report published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that another important prevention factor for an even wider group of cancers is havin...

Head, Neck Cancers Up Among 9-11 Responders: Study

FRIDAY, Feb. 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Head and neck cancers among a group of first responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center terrorist attacks are significantly higher than expected, a new study says.

Rutgers University researchers found that diagnoses of these cancers increased 40 percent in a group of WTC workers and volunteers over a four-year period.

The findings sug...

Breast Cancer May Bring Higher Odds for A-fib, Too

TUESDAY, Jan. 29, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Women diagnosed with breast cancer may face a higher risk of developing the abnormal heartbeat called atrial fibrillation (a-fib), Danish researchers report.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women worldwide. In 2018, more than 2 million women were diagnosed with the disease. The inflammation the disease causes might increase the ...

Still Too Few Teens Getting the HPV Vaccine

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- HPV vaccination rates for younger American adolescents are alarmingly low, researchers say.

"While we have seen gains in HPV vaccination coverage, we are still falling behind at the younger ages," said study lead author Robert Bednarczyk. He'sassistant professor of global health and epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta.

Human ...

Adding Blood Test for Pancreatic Cancer May Aid Early Detection

MONDAY, Jan. 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Using a new blood test for pancreatic cancer alongside the current blood test may improve early detection and help screen people at high risk for the deadly disease, researchers say.

The combination approach detects 70 percent of pancreatic cancers with a less than 5 percent false-positive rate, according to the team led by scientists at the V...

Many Cancer Patients Have Undiagnosed Hepatitis

FRIDAY, Jan. 25, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- A large number of U.S. cancer patients with hepatitis B and C don't know they have the virus, which can cause life-threatening complications during some cancer treatments, researchers say.

The findings suggest screening for hepatitis B and C may be appropriate in community cancer clinics, according to investigators from the SWOG Cancer Researc...

Acupressure Is Good Medicine for Breast Cancer Survivors

THURSDAY, Jan. 24, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Breast cancer survivors struggling with common, lasting symptoms stemming from their treatments may find relief in self-applied acupressure, new research suggests.

For survivors with fatigue, self-acupressure improved related issues such as chronic pain, anxiety, depression and sleep difficulties more than usual care, the scientists found.<...

Many Oncologists in the Dark About LGBTQ Health Needs

FRIDAY, Jan. 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Most cancer specialists are comfortable treating LGBTQ patients, but many aren't confident in their knowledge about these patients' specific health needs, a new survey finds.

"Cancer care within the LGBTQ community is a largely ignored public health issue," said Gwendolyn Quinn, a professor in the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology and P...

Cancer Diagnosis May Quadruple Suicide Risk

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 16, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- The risk of suicide is more than four times higher among Americans with cancer than those without the disease, a new study finds.

"Even though cancer is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, most cancer patients do not die from cancer, the patients usually die of another cause," said researcher Nicholas Zaorsky, a radiati...

Race May Matter for Liver Transplant Success

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Black Americans who receive a liver transplant to treat liver cancer may survive much longer if the new organ comes from a black donor, a new study suggests.

"Our data are intriguing. But our results require validation," said study author Dr. T. Clark Gamblin, chief of surgical oncology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

...

Vaccine, Screening Can Prevent Cervical Cancer Deaths

TUESDAY, Jan. 15, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- About 4,000 women in the United States die from cervical cancer each year -- even though there's a preventive vaccine and screening to catch the disease early.

"When cervical cancer is found early, it is highly treatable," said Dr. Sarah Ramirez, a family medicine physician with Penn State Health. "So it's important to make sure you are being...

Make Cancer Prevention a Priority in 2019

FRIDAY, Jan. 11, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- If one of your resolutions for 2019 is to improve your health, reducing your risk of cancer should be part of that goal, a cancer expert says.

While cancer risk factors such as family history and aging can't be controlled, lifestyle changes such as eating right, staying active and not smoking can lower your risk, said Dr. Elias Obeid. He is di...

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Wellness Library Results - 64

What's a Pap test? A Pap test -- named for its inventor, George Papanicolaou -- is a medical test that can detect a potential case of cervical cancer before it even starts. The test is undoubtedly a life saver. By some estimates, widespread use of the Pap test has cut cervical cancer deaths by 70 percent. What happens during a Pap test? The test is very simple. You will lie back on a table with y...

What's the disease that women fear the most? The answer is most likely to be breast cancer. And if you ask them the disease they're most likely to get, their answer would be breast cancer as well. But they would be wrong. Among the most lethal diseases of women in the United States, breast cancer lags behind heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, and Alzheimer's...

Just by coincidence, I usually see my breast surgeon in October, National Breast Cancer Awareness month, but I saw her early this year because she's on maternity leave again. After my visit, I ran into a friend. When I told her where I was, she suddenly looked alarmed. "I didn't know you had breast ... problems," she said, concerned. "I don't!" I jumped to reassure her. Then I was suddenly tongue...

Louis Benton, Jr. has nine brothers and sisters. But when his mother had a breast cancer recurrence and his father was diagnosed with bone cancer a few months later, Benton was the one who came to his parents' aid. "I had retired three years ago, so it fell into my hands," says Benton. "I can't describe what it's like to have both parents sick at the same time." Cancer is in large part a disease...

In the Jewish Scriptures, it is written that every 49th year there is to be a Jubilee Year. In the Jubilee Year, all debts are forgiven and everyone is given a fresh start. As I approached my 49th birthday, I knew that something big was going to happen that was going to change my life forever. I never imagined that the vehicle would be breast cancer. While my 49th year was not always as joyful as ...

Anne Hofstadter is a breast cancer survivor. Her sister and mother have also had breast cancer. So Anne worries that her 46-year-old daughter may eventually be diagnosed with the disease -- especially since her daughter's paternal grandmother also suffered from it. But it never occurred to her to fret about her 44-year-old son. "I guess I knew men could get breast cancer, but it seemed more like a...

Judy* needed my medical clearance to keep walking. It was a beautiful fall morning in southern California, and more than 2,500 walkers were setting off for the final leg of a 75-mile, three-day walk from Santa Barbara to Malibu to raise money for breast cancer prevention. Judy was suited up in shorts and cross-training sneakers. Pinned to her pink t-shirt was a laminated picture of a young, vibran...

It used to be thought that the more the surgeon cut from a woman's breast, the more likely she was to survive breast cancer. By the time surgery was over, a woman with a small tumor in one breast would have lost her breast, the chest muscles underneath and a trail of the lymph nodes up to her collarbone. It's an image that still holds great power for many women who are newly diagnosed, but it's an...

If you find a lump in your breast, don't delay -- see your doctor as soon as possible. Anything you notice that's different from your normal breast tissue should be investigated. The good news is that more than 80 percent of breast lumps turn out to be benign tumors or cysts. How can my doctor tell whether a lump is cancerous? If a breast exam, mammogram, or follow-up ultrasound turns up a suspic...

Can a mammogram save my life? Mammograms -- X-ray pictures of the breasts -- are a valuable but imperfect tool for detecting breast cancer. The death rate from breast cancer has dropped dramatically in the last 20 or 30 years, but most of that progress is due to better treatments, not mammograms. While a mammogram can definitely uncover hidden cancers, recent research suggests that the X-rays don'...

Most people are in denial about the possibility of getting any form of cancer. If they think about it at all, they're more likely to worry about lung or breast cancer than they are about cancer of the colon. Colon cancer is the second most deadly form of cancer after lung cancer. But it's one of the easiest diseases to detect, and in its earliest stages, it's also one of the most curable. If you'...

How does depression affect cancer patients? For cancer patients, depression means much more than just a dark mood. The illness, which strikes about up to 25 percent of all cancer patients (compared with about 7 percent of the general public), can sap a person's immune system, weakening the body's ability to cope with disease. Patients fighting both depression and cancer feel distressed, tend to ha...

The irony was as inescapable as the smoke. Here was Taku Ronsman choking on secondhand smoke at work every day in a city health department, where she gave advice on how to create a smoke-free workplace. Hard at work for the Brown County Tobacco-Free Coalition in Green Bay, Wisconsin, she developed chronic bronchitis from the cigarette smoke down the hall. The building -- which also housed the Ame...

What's the difference between chewing and spit (or snuff) tobacco? Chewing tobacco ("chaw") is usually sold as leaf tobacco, and users place a large wad of it inside their cheek. Users, who tend to be older men, keep chewing tobacco in their mouths for several hours (the tell-tale bulge often gives them away). Snuff, which is much more common today, is a powdered tobacco that's usually sold in ca...

Rick Bender was 12 when he stuck the first pinch of snuff between his cheek and gum. He was 26 when doctors diagnosed him with oral cancer and removed half of his jaw, a third of his tongue, and part of his neck. "I always thought smokeless tobacco was the safer alternative to cigarettes," says Bender, now 38. "'Smokeless' sounds so harmless. You know, no smoke, no fire." An estimated 7.6 milli...

Linking cigarettes and cancer In the early 1960s, researchers at Brown and Williamson, one of the world's largest tobacco companies, made a sickening discovery: Smoking could cause lung cancer. In public, the company claimed cigarettes were perfectly safe. Behind closed doors, their scientists searched for ways to remove cancer-causing compounds from cigarettes. As their own internal documents sho...

Albert Einstein once remarked that pipe smoking "contributed to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs." Whether the observation is true or not, pipe smoking has had many other famous devotees, among them Franklin D. Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the fictional Sherlock Homes, who often disappeared into a haze of pipe smoke while solving his cases. Today, pipes are still a symbol...

Like any other business, tobacco companies are always looking for ways to make their products stand out. Some claim to offer superior flavor, while others try to make their brands seem rugged or sexy. But one strategy is conspicuous for sheer boldness and effectiveness: As concerns about the health effects of smoking mount, many brands are scrambling to appear safer than the typical smoke. "Light"...

Most cigarette smokers know the dangers of tobacco. After all, the Surgeon General stamps a warning right on the pack. But what about the people sitting next to the smoker? What about his friends and coworkers? His children? Secondhand smoke doesn't come with a warning label. If it did, more smokers might try harder to kick their addiction. According to the best current estimates, secondhand smoke...

In the Jazz Age, flappers wielded foot-long cigarette holders as emblems of panache and independence. During World War II, monthly ads with Chesterfield cigarette girls featured such stars as Betty Grable and Rita Hayworth. Twenty years later, the U.S. Surgeon General linked smoking and death, but images of cigarettes as symbols of feminine freedom, mystery, and sex appeal were by no means extingu...

It was eye-catching news in 2002 when researchers called a halt to a major government-run study of a hormone therapy used by millions of older women. Researchers stopped the study, one of a series of clinical trials under the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), after they found that long-term use of estrogen and progestin raised the risk of heart disease, stroke, blood clots, and invasive breast canc...

What is the prostate, and how common is the cancer? It's a walnut-size gland that lies at the base of the bladder and surrounds the urethra. In the United States prostate cancer is one of the two most frequently diagnosed cancers in men (the other is skin cancer), accounting for 10 percent of cancer-related deaths in men. The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates that one man in six will be diag...

Editor's note: Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, h...

Editor's note: Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, h...

Editor's note: Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, h...

Editor's note: Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, h...

Editor's note: Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, h...

Editor's note: Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, h...

Editor's note: Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, h...

Editor's note: Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, h...

What's a breast biopsy? A breast biopsy is a procedure in which a doctor removes a small amount of tissue or fluid from your breast in order to examine it under a microscope for signs of cancer. Your doctor will usually recommend a biopsy if there's a lump in your breast or something suspicious on your mammogram or ultrasound scan. About 80 percent of biopsies show that no cancer is present. If t...

You may have heard that some genes put women at extra risk for breast cancer. If your mother, grandmother, aunt, or sister has had the disease, you may very well wonder if a breast cancer gene runs in your family. The first thing you should know is that only a small minority of breast cancers -- about 5 to 10 percent -- can be traced to specific mutations, and even having family members with bre...

Editor's note: Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, h...

Why do I need to examine my breasts? Finding a tumor before the cancer has spread to other parts of your body can mean the difference between life and death. Many breast cancers are first detected by women themselves -- and according to the American Cancer Society (ACS), women who are attuned to changes in their bodies are more likely to spot a suspicious lump. New guidelines issued by the ACS sa...

"Take a walk. Earn big money, up to 1.7 cents per step!" If I saw an ad making that claim, I certainly would find it hard to believe. But in the last few years I have learned that in the fight against breast cancer, small steps can indeed lead to substantial cash. More than 20,000 people know the power of walking and understand that the meager per-step earnings add up to a healthy sum that helps ...

Responsible breast cancer specialists advise their new patients to weigh their options carefully before rushing into treatment. If you have breast cancer, you're likely to need a combination of therapies. These will depend on the type and size of the tumor, your age, and the degree to which the cancer has spread. Take your time as you think over each option, and consider taking your partner, a fri...

Elizabeth Churchill began writing her blog in 2006 after a grapefruit-sized tumor wedged between her lungs was diagnosed as a malignant highly aggressive stage IV lymphoma. Before her cancer diagnosis, she was the author of a horticultural column, an avid weightlifter, and a homeowner with a beautiful garden north-east of New Orleans, Louisiana. Once she started treatment, she couldn't work, her ...

You've made it through many of the hard choices in your breast cancer treatment only to confront another major one: whether -- and when -- to have your breast (or breasts) reconstructed after your mastectomy. Some women want a fully reconstructed breast that looks as much as possible like the original. Others want a new breast that simply helps them look the way they like in a bathing suit. Still ...

What is radiation therapy? Radiation therapy, or radiotherapy, is the use of high-energy x-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. If you have external radiotherapy, the most common radiation approach, the radiation will be aimed directly at your tumor or, if it's after surgery, at the whole breast. Isn't the radiation dangerous? Radiation kills healthy cells along with cancer cells, so it...

When you or someone you care about has or is facing the possibility of breast cancer, it is natural to feel many bewildering and frightening emotions. No one wants to get sick at all. Certainly no one wants to get cancer. And there are kinds of cancers that seem particularly terrible, not only because of their death-dealing potential, but because they or their treatment hits us "where we live." B...

How are drugs used to fight breast cancer? Doctors use certain medications to help prevent breast cancer or, in combination with other therapies, to fight it and treat it. The kinds of drugs you'll take depend on what stage your cancer has reached, whether it responds to hormones like estrogen, whether you're resistant to any medications or treatments, and how well you tolerate the ones prescribe...

Cancer can happen to anyone. Still, a healthy lifestyle can definitely help push the odds in your favor. According to the Institute for Cancer Research, between 30 to 40 percent of all cancers are linked to poor diet and a lack of physical activity. If you've already made a pledge to avoid cigarettes, getting the right blend of nutrition and exercise is the next best thing you can do to avoid canc...

What is cervical cancer? The cervix is the opening of the uterus, and cervical cancer means malignant cells are found in tissues there. In the United States, it's one of the most common cancers, with around 11,270 new cases a year; it's also one of the most detectable cancers. This is because the pap smear, which gynecologists urge women to get regularly, checks the cervix for abnormal cells that ...

What is endometrial cancer? It's cancer of the lining of the uterus, a hollow pear-shaped organ in women in which a fetus can develop. (This lining is known as the endometrium.) Endometrial cancer is the most common cancer of the female reproductive tract, with an estimated 40,000 women diagnosed each year. Fortunately, it has a high cure rate. According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year ...

What is ovarian cancer? It's a cancer that strikes a woman's ovaries, the small almond-shaped organs that produce and release eggs. Unfortunately, the disease is characterized by symptoms so subtle that they often go unnoticed until the cancer has spread elsewhere. Most women who develop it, in fact, get a diagnosis only when the disease is far advanced. About 15 to 20 percent of ovarian cancer pa...

To many people, the word "cancer" represents their worst nightmare. For Ken Lloyd, a 65-year-old former firefighter, the nightmare began with his father, who had prostate cancer, and a sister who had breast cancer. Lloyd knew his risk of getting cancer was elevated, because his job as a firefighter in Napa, California, had often exposed him to toxic materials. "Cancer rates in firefighters are fai...

A few days after being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, Lynne Greabell got another surprise: She was also pregnant. Carrying a baby can be stressful business, especially when you're 38, hold down a full-time job, and already have a toddler at home. But carrying a baby while fighting cancer -- that's a challenge not everyone can handle. At least one doctor encouraged her to terminate the preg...

Do I have to wear sunscreen every day? You do, if you spend time outside and don't want to end up looking like a prune. Every day you go unprotected now may mean another tiny wrinkle later. Most sunscreens these days shield you from both ultraviolet A and B radiation. While UVB rays are the ones that cause sunburn, UVA rays penetrate deep into the base layer of the skin, where they break down the ...

Smoking is a dangerous habit -- and not just for people who light up. Secondhand smoke contains many of the same irritants, toxins, and cancer-causing compounds that plague smokers. If you spend any time in smoke-filled bars, restaurants, homes, or offices, you should know the facts about this health hazard. Take this short quiz to test your secondhand smoke IQ. 1. According to the best current ...

Health experts have warned for years that too much sun exposure can cause skin cancer, age spots, and wrinkles. With the rising rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, experts caution against sunbathing without protection against ultraviolet rays. But how much do you really know about protecting yourself and your family from the harmful effects of the sun? Take our quiz to find out...

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