Leukemia In The Young – Incidence And Survival Statistics

Leukemia is the most common form of childhood cancer. In the United States, leukemia affects around 3,500 children aged 0-14 each year which represents around 40% of all childhood cancers. In young adults, leukemia rates are somewhat lower but the disease is still one of the 5 most common forms of cancer in the 15-39 age group.

Childhood leukemia rates in the USA have been increasing steadily by around 1% a year for the past half century. The reasons for this increase have not been established although some research has suggested increased exposure to electro-magnetic fields may explain at least part of the rise.


Periodontal Disease May Be Linked To Increased Risk Of Pancreatic Cancer

Those with high levels of antibodies against bacteria associated with gum disease could be more than twice as likely to develop pancreatic cancer as those with low antibody levels according to the results of a new study published online this month in the journal Gut.

While the study doesn’t directly implicate poor oral health and periodontal disease with pancreatic cancer it does raise the possibility that maintaining good oral hygiene could lower an individuals chances of developing pancreatic cancer.


Diesel Emissions And Lung Cancer Risk

A diesel trainIn June this year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) reclassified diesel emissions from group 2A (probably carcinogenic to humans) to group 1 (carcinogenic to humans). This puts diesel emissions in the same category as other group 1 carcinogens such as arsenic, asbestos, benzene, ethanol, and formaldehyde. Diesel emissions are associated with an increased risk of lung cancer and possibly an increased risk of bladder cancer although the evidence for this is limited.

These findings may be of concern to some, particularly those who drive diesel vehicles or who are exposed to signficant amounts of diesel emissions in the workplace. Diesel based cars are increasingly in popularity around the world. In Europe for example, about half of new cars sold have diesel engines. In the USA, around 3% of new cars sold are diesel based however this figure is expected to double to 6% by 2015.


Early Onset Lung Cancer – Prevalence, Causes, And Survival

We normally think of lung cancer as an affliction of elderly smokers however this isn’t always the case. The following article provides a brief overview of the prevalence, causes, and survival statistics for lung cancer in younger people.


Lung cancer before the age of 50 is relatively rare in the United States however more than 12,000 cases still occur annually, a rate of 4.2 per 100,000 individuals per year. A smoker has around a 1% chance of developing lung cancer before the age of 50 while a non-smoker’s chances are less than 1 in 1,000.


Infections Cause 16% Of Cancers Worldwide

Almost 1 in 6 cases of cancer is caused by an infectious agent according to a new study published online in The Lancet this month. The study also found that the burden of infection-related cancers was higher in the developing world, in women, and in younger individuals.

Researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France, analysed country specific cancer incidence data, to determine the proportion of cancers in each country that were attributable to infections.


Meat And Cancer – Country Comparisons

A chunk of meatMost scientists agree that a high intake of meat, particularly red meat, increases an individuals risk of developing certain forms of cancer however there is uncertainty over the extent of the link between the two. Comparing cancer rates and meat consumption across different countries provides some interesting insight on the link between meat consumption and cancer. The table below shows the ten countries with the highest and lowest levels of meat consumption per capita.


Which Countries Have The Highest Breast Cancer Rates?

Around the world, more than 1.38 million women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008 with more than 458,000 women dying from the disease.

There is considerable variation in breast cancer rates between countries. Belgium and Denmark have the highest rates of breast cancer in the world with age standardized rates of 109.2 and 101.1 cases per 100,000 adult women per year respectively. A Belgian women has around a 1 in 7 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. Bhutan and Mongolia have the lowest rates with just 8 cases per 100,000 women per year (although rates in these countries are almost certainly under-reported due to poor health systems).


Lung Cancer Rate In UK Women Continues To Rise Despite Falling Smoking Prevalence

The number of cases of lung cancer among women in the UK continues to rise steadily despite dramatic falls in smoking prevalence during the last half of the 20th century according to new data from Cancer Research UK.

In 2009, Cancer Research UK reports that 23,041 new lung cancer cases were diagnosed in men and 18,387 cases in women. This makes lung cancer the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women, behind prostate and breast cancer respectively.


Obesity Linked To Higher Risk Of Prostate Cancer Treatment Failure

Bathroom ScalesNew research, presented this month at the 2012 American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, has found that overweight and obese men are significantly more likely to experience PSA failure following prostate cancer surgery. PSA failure is generally defined as a detectable PSA level following radical prostatectomy to remove the prostate tumour suggesting that the cancer has not been completely eliminated.


Gap In Mortality Rates Between Smokers And Non Smokers Continues To Widen

Several recent studies have looked at trends in the mortality differences between smokers and non-smokers. The studies have all produced remarkably similar conclusions – the excess mortality associated with cigarette smoking continues to increase resulting in a growing life expectancy difference between non-smokers and smokers. This is damning for the cigarette industry who have long claimed that increased usage of filtered cigarettes and low tar or “mild” formulations has resulted in a safer product. This simply doesn’t appear to be the case, and if anything, cigarette smokers are at a higher risk of dying from lung cancer, heart disease, and other smoking related illnesses than ever before.


HIV Increases Risk Of Lung Cancer By More Than 50%

HIV infected individuals are 70% more likely to develop lung cancer, even after adjustment for major lung cancer risk factors such as smoking, according to the results of a study published online in the journal AIDS last month.

Several studies had already found increased rates of lung cancer amongst HIV infected individuals however it had been thought much of the increase was the result of higher smoking rates rather than the disease itself. The prevalence of smoking in HIV infected individuals is around 65% in the USA – more than twice the national average.


The Ethnic Gap In Cancer Survival

While cancer survival rates in the USA have increased significantly over recent decades, African Americans continue to lag behind whites. In 2003, overall 5-year cancer survival rates were 68% for whites and 59% for African Americans. For most cancer sites African Americans have the lowest survival rates of all ethnic groups.

The death rate for all cancers combined is around 30% higher in African American men and 15% higher in African American women compared to their white counterparts. For prostate cancer, death rates are a massive 145% higher in African American men compared to white men.


Lowering Cholesterol Levels May Improve Prostate Cancer Survival

Men who have developed castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) may be able to slow the growth of prostate tumours by reducing their cholesterol levels according to the results of a recent article published in the open access journal PLoS ONE last month.

While the research was conducted in mice, if the results are replicated in human studies, it could open new treatments for castration-resistant prostate cancer, which is notoriously difficult to treat.


45% Of Male Cancers, 40% Female Cancers Preventable According To Study

While we all know that a significant proportion of cancers are preventable, a recent British study has attempted to quantify the precise percentage of cancers that could be prevented through lifestyle and environmental changes. The authors found that a massive 45% of male cancers and 40% of female cancers could be prevented through simple behavioural changes.

The research, which was led by Professor Max Parkin of the Centre for Cancer Prevention at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, involved the identification of 14 factors that are known to be related to cancer risk.


Child Cancer Rates Have Increased 34% Since 1975

Despite a fall in overall cancer rates over the last decade or so, child cancer rates have continued to increase steadily and are now up 34% since 1975 recent data from SEER shows. Overall age adjusted cancer rates have been falling since the late 1990s and are now 10% below their peak. Child cancer rates on the other hand have increase steadily by around 1% per year and show no sign of peaking.

Fortunately, most childhood cancers are easily treatable with a 5-year survival rate of 83.9% for cancers diagnosed in those under 20 compared to 66.7% for the general population.


Can Aspirin Really Cut Your Chances Of Getting Cancer?

Over the last year or so there has been a number of well publicized studies linking aspirin with a reduction in the risk of developing various forms of cancer. Many people will be wondering if the decreased risk of cancer is sufficient to justify taking a low dose aspirin daily. While doctors normally recommend a low dose aspirin regime to prevent myocardial infarction in patients with pre-existing cardiovascular disease, most shy away from recommending low dose aspirin to apparently healthy individuals.


Popular Statin Cuts Breast Cancer Recurrence Rate By 30%

Simvastatin, a popular statin, may cut the rate of breast cancer recurrence by as much as 30% according to the results of a recent study conducted by American and Danish researchers.

The study, published in October, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, involved almost 18,769 Danish women who were diagnosed with stage 1-3 breast cancer between 1996 and 2003. The women were followed up for an average of 6.8 years. Slightly under 20% of breast cancer patients were prescribed statins following their diagnosis.


Do Soy Foods Promote Breast Cancer?

Soy beansThere has been alot of debate recently about the safety of soy with respect to the development of breast cancer. One theory that hs been promoted by the anti-soy lobby over the years is that because soy contains estrogen-like compounds, it has the potential to enhance the growth of breast cancer, particularly ER-positive tumours.

The Weston A. Price foundation, which is an organisation funded primarily by meat and dairy farmers, is a classic example of the anti-soy lobby.