pancreas cancer

information of pancreas cancer, pancreas disease, function of pancreas, pancreas symptom...

Monday, July 31, 2006

pancreas cancer : Mangosteen Pills

Mangosteen pills are manufactured from the mangosteen’s fruit pulp and pericarp (skin). Their medicinal value lies in the fact that these pills have a concentration of certain powerful antioxidants called xanthones.

Antioxidants are chemicals that prevent the oxidization of other chemicals. This, in turn, prevents the production of free radicals, which damage tissue and cause infections. Some other useful antioxidants are beta carotene (vitamin A), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin E and selenium.

Just as the inclusion of antioxidants prevents certain foodstuffs from deteriorating, xanthones theoretically prevent body tissue from suffering wear and tear to a certain extent. The polysaccharides (or complex carbohydrates) inherent in the mangosteen fruit and pericarp are also considered useful constituents of mangosteen pills.

In general, pills containing mangosteen are said to support overall biological integrity and balance, help in joint flexibility, boost the immune system and nourish the brain. They are therefore considered extremely valuable dietary supplements. Further, many claim that mangosteen pills have antidepressant properties and can even effect reversal in diseases from microbial infection to leukemia and cancer.

Mangosteen pills are also said to be highly effective in slowing down certain atherosclerotic processes. Additionally, they are used to reduce fever, pain, vertigo and energy depletion. Many adherents believe them to be beneficial in certain types of diabetes since they can bring down blood sugar levels and therefore replace some of the functions of a failing pancreas.

All this is largely hypothetical, and many users of mangosteen pills have reported adverse reactions such as itchiness to the point of insomnia. Whatever the case may be, mangosteen pills are medicines: botanical medicines, but still medicines. Since their ingredients may have sparked off unwanted reactions under certain conditions, they should not be taken outside medical supervision.

Mangosteen provides detailed information about mangosteen, mangosteen fruit and more. Mangosteen is affiliated with Bottled Water Companies.

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pancreas cancer : Key Concepts of Gastric Ulcer

Medically speaking, gastric ulcer or peptic gastric ulcer is a damage on the normal tissues that line the stomach. It is different from the duodenal ulcer, which pertains to damage on the normal tissue lining of the initial part of the bowel or the duodenum. Though gastric ulcer is a common disease among Americans, diagnosis is still quite hard to perform since the clinical presentations of disease vary. Manifestations may range from asymptomatic or showing of no symptoms to nausea, acute-life foreboding internal hemorrhage, epigastric pain, and iron-deficiency anemia.

Gastric ulcer is produced from torn or sored protective layers of the stomach lining. These layers produce the mucus that protects the stomach from becoming injured by harsh digestive gases and stomach acids.

Gastric ulcer is basically due to the imbalanced secretion of stomach enzymes and acids as well as the components released in the mucosal lining of the stomach. This then will get inflamed that may be aggravated by aspirin and NSAIDs or Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. NSAIDs are commonly taken to combat the symptoms of other ailments such as back pain and kidney pain.

Gastric ulcer is also a result of the following conditions:
· The presence of Helicobacter pylori or H. pylori, the bacteria responsible for causing gastric ulcer.
· Lessen capacity of the stomach lining to resist the stomach acids.
· Increase in production of the stomach acids.

Risk factors
Risk factors are some of the causes that may intensify the susceptibility of a person against a disease. In this case, gastric ulcer.
· Regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen and drugs such as aspirin and naproxen
· Chronic gastritis
· Smoking
· Mechanical ventilation
· Increased age
· Helicobacter pylori infection

Interestingly enough, stress and a number of emotional problems are not labeled as risk factors to gastric ulcer. Yet there are studies that may show otherwise. They point out that stress may be a contributing factor to the aggravation of the ailment.

The chance of developing gastric ulcer is further increased by regular smoking and over-use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

· Abdominal indigestion
· Extreme abdominal pain that may subject the patient to sleeplessness at night.
· Blood in stools or black stools
· Fatigue
· Nausea
· Unplanned weight loss
· Vomiting, especially vomiting blood
· Heartburn

It must be noted though that there may be no manifestations of symptoms in some gastric ulcer cases.

Differentiation of gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer
· Classic gastric ulcer pain is often characterized by pain attacking after every meal. The use of antacids may not be as effective and may only provide temporary and very minimal relief.

· The gastric ulcer pain is typically sited at the epigastrium yet it may also be founded in the upper right quadrant of the stomach area and elsewhere.

· Unlike with gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer pain usually sets hours after meals and during night. This may be relieved using antacids and specific foods.

· Pain that radiates to the back may suggest of complications involving the pancreas.

· There are cases of bleeding gastric ulcers and these may show significant signs of melena, hematemesis, and attacks of presyncope.

Treatments of gastric ulcer are very effective yet recurrence is possible and complications are most likely to develop. Three percent of all gastric ulcer cases advance to becoming as stomach cancer so it is extremely important to inform your health care provider of all conditions that you fell during attacks. is a free information site that offers articles and resources. If you want to read or share information on Health-and-Fitness, you're always welcome!

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Friday, July 28, 2006

pancreas cancer : Are Coffee Colonics The Real Thing?

Coffee colonics detoxify the liver, as well as cleans the colon. Some people claim that they provide immediate relief to toxicity symptoms, such as congestion, indigestion, pain and headaches.

There are even some small studies that suggest that coffee colonics can aid in the treatment of pancreatic cancer.

At the very end of the colon, before reaching the rectum, is an "S" shaped segments called the sigmoid colon. There is a special circulatory system between this portion of the colon and the liver.

This is because stool at this point in the colon contains putrefied material and needs to be handled carefully in order to avoid toxicity leaking into the bloodstream.

This system of veins enables toxins to be sent directly to the liver for detoxification, rather than them passing through the bloodstream to the rest of the body and vital organs.

During coffee colonics, the caffeine in the coffee goes straight to the liver where it becomes an extremely strong detoxifying chemical called glutathione-S-transferase. The coffee itself also stimulates the liver to make more bile.

The bile comes from the gallbladder and draws out environmental and metabolic toxins, as well as the toxins from Candida albicans and other parasitic organisms. The colon is responsible for ridding the body of these toxins.

In addition, the liver is then stimulated to produce enzymes that clean the blood since it’s no longer needing to work as strenuously on the colon. The coffee itself never enters the bloodstream as long as the coffee colonic is performed properly.

Only organic coffee can be used for coffee colonics. Non-organic coffees contain herbicides and pesticides that will hinder the coffee colonics healing properties, as do instant and decaffeinated coffees.

Organic coffee is available through natural food stores, both in person or online.

How often you perform coffee colonics really just depends on what your goals may be. In the first few months of a more intensive regimen, many people prefer to take a coffee colonics as many as three to seven times each.

For people in a more relaxed regimen or in the latter, established stages of an intensive regimen, this is much too much.

At this point, it is recommended that you limit your colonics to only when you feel they are needed; you may feel constipated, have Candida overgrowth, or just generally feel out of sorts.

Currently, there is a clinical trial underway at the Columbia University Department of Surgery to test the so-called “The Gonzales Protocol.”

(1) This clinical trial is currently in its Phase III randomized study after the first two phases showed as much as three times the average life expectancy for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

(2) The Gonzales Protocol involves a diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, supplements, and detoxifying colonics, including coffee colonics.

In this study of seventy-two to ninety patients, half will receive standard chemotherapy and half with receive The Gonzales Protocol. The doctor hopes to recreate the promising results found in his pilot study in this more involved Phase III clinical trial.

While many within the medical community find The Gonzales Protocol extremely difficult to accept, it’s difficult to dispute its pilot study’s results.

The median survival rate for patients in the stage of pancreatic cancer as those in the pilot study is four to six months. Some of Dr. Gonzalez’s patients are still alive after three years.

This indisputable evidence has led some skeptics to acknowledge that maybe there’s something to the protocol that includes coffee colonics as a base part of the program. If nothing else, the skeptics feel that the results warrant further study.

© Copyright Randy Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

Randy has more articles on coffee such as Colombian Coffee and Arabica Coffee.

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pancreas cancer : How To Choose The Right Type Of Ginseng To Suit Your Needs

Ginseng is perennial herb that has been used to treat some medical problems all over the world especially in Asia and North America. Because of its health benefits, there are many commercial products in the market today that contain ginseng. This includes capsules, teas, tablets, and candies. Some scientific studies prove that Ginseng is a natural energy-boosting herb and that it contains hormone contents and vitamins to nourish the body.

Due to increasing awareness about the benefits one can get from ginseng, more and more people are entice to try it. However, few of them know that in order to make a ginseng work for them, they must first evaluate their personal needs and requirements to avoid harmful side effects.

There are three major types of ginseng. These are the following:

1. Asian or Panax ginseng.

This is considered the most stimulating type of ginseng. It enhances breathing and digestion. There are two types of Asian Ginseng: the White and Red ginseng.

Red ginseng is grown in Korea which is much stronger compare to the white ginseng. It speeds up the circulation and metabolism to boost the energy. Red Ginseng is recommended for people who have diminishing physical and mental health particularly the elderly.

Asian ginseng is also believed to have anti-cancer compounds. A study conducted shows that people who are regularly taking Asian ginseng reduced their chances of having different types of cancer particularly liver, lung, ovarian, and pancreatic cancer.2. American Ginseng.

This type of ginseng is grown mostly in North America. It can also be found in some forests in Canada and United States. American ginseng earned its popularity due to its effectiveness in nourishing the body particularly the lungs. This ginseng is highly recommended for people who are smoking. In addition, it is believed to restore physical or mental condition especially wound or inflammation.

American ginseng has more soothing or cooling agent compare to Asian ginseng. That is why it is considered the “therapeutic ginseng” especially for older people. It is also recommended for people who would like to increase their mental efficiency and stamina.

3. Siberian ginseng.

This type of ginseng is highly recommended for athletes and people who have active lifestyles because it restores energy and combats fatigue. It contains compounds that have positive effects to the adrenal glands. As a result, people will have increased capability in handling physical stresses and increased resistance to certain diseases. This type of ginseng is highly recommended for people who would like to relieve exhaustion or muscle pain that are associated with energy-depleting activities.

Siberian ginseng is also being used to help the reproductive organ. Studies show that males using this herb have increased their sperm counts and boost their testosterone levels that fight certain causes of male impotence.

The female population can also benefit from Siberian ginseng. No more painful menstrual disorders. Siberian ginseng has positive effects on the hormones and has the ability to tone the uterine muscle. Through this, it eases the pains associated with menstruation and other menopausal symptoms.

Experts agree that in order to get the best results, people must know how to make the best choice by analyzing their body’s characteristics and needs first before purchasing any type of ginseng. is a free information site that offers articles and resources on Vitamin Supplements. If you want to read or share information on Health and Fitness-Medicine, you're always welcome!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

pancreas cancer : Pavarotti wants to complete tour

Tenor recovering from cancer op, hopes to be back early '07

(ANSA) - Rome, July 24 - Luciano Pavarotti hopes to be back singing next year to complete his farewell tour, which was interrupted by surgery for pancreas cancer earlier this month .

"I want to finish my tour," said the superstar singer, who turns 70 in October .

"I can't give precise dates because I have to consult my doctors but I think I'll resume it at the beginning of next year". Speaking to La Stampa daily over the phone from his New York home, Pavarotti said he had taken the tumour "philosophically" .

"You see, I've had everything from life. If everything is taken away, the Good Lord and me are quits" .

Pavarotti said he was hoping to be back in Italy, where his wife Nicoletta and baby girl Alice are anxiously waiting for him, in about ten days. The singer's doctors found the tumour at the beginning of July .

He had a successful operation to remove it at an unspecified New York clinic a few days later .

Pavarotti is making a strong recovery .

The legendary singer has had a number of health problems in recent years .

He had to cancel a number of concerts in his open-ended farewell world tour because of back pain earlier this year .

The dates included Sarajevo - which gave him the freedom of the city for his work on behalf of war orphans - in April .

Vienna was another April casualty, followed by several US and Canadian performances and seven English and Scottish dates earlier this month .

Pavarotti's last appearance was at the Turin Winter Olympics when he sang his signature Nessun Dorma aria at the opening ceremony .

In retirement he intends to dedicate his time to teaching and opera direction .

He may still occasionally perform with his Three Tenors' partners Jose Carreras - himself a cancer survivor after a battle against leukemia in the '80s - and Domingo Placido on special occasions .

© Copyright ANSA. All rights reserved

pancreas cancer : New Treatments For Pancreatic Cancer

July 6 - KGO - Pancreatic cancer is the deadliest form of the disease. Almost all who are diagnosed with it will die within six-to-12-months. But there is some exciting research taking place. Meet one patient who's beating the odds, and a Bay Area company hoping to offer a powerful solution.

Ed Marra, pancreatic cancer patient, 2004: "The first oncologist told me I would likely live nine months."

That was two year ago. Ed Marra quickly learned he was facing the biggest challenge of his life.

The American Cancer Society estimates nearly 34,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year. More than 32,000 will die from it.

Ed moved to the Bay Area to undergo treatment at UCSF.

Dr. Margaret Tempero is deputy director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, and a nationally renowned expert in pancreatic cancer.

Margaret Tempero, M.D., UCSF director of clinical sciences: "It's diagnosed often late, and the reason for that is it has very few early signs or symptoms."

Once diagnosed, pancreatic cancer is operable in less than a quarter of patients -- and treating it is tricky. Chemo does not shrink the tumors as it does with other forms of cancer.

Margaret Tempero, M.D., UCSF director of clinical sciences: "We started learning if you paid attention to how people felt for example or focused more on survival, which are much more important end points than whether a measurement is changing, that you could do a lot better in sifting through the treatments that we were trying, and finding ones that were actually effective."

Ed's treatment regimen couples chemotherapy every three weeks with bevacizumab -- known as Avasitin -- a Genentech drug approved for treating colorectal cancer.

Ed Marra, pancreatic cancer patient: "This is the best I've felt. I'm cycling, I'm exercising, and I feel mentally strong."

Margaret Tempero, M.D., UCSF director of clinical sciences: "What we found by adding the bevacizumab to our chemotherapy, we seem to be getting much better results."

But a stage three clinical trial studying the effectiveness of Avastin in treating pancreatic cancer was called off last week because the drug did not have a statistical impact on survival rates of patients.

For a disease with so few treatment options, this was a tough blow. But there is promise in the form of vaccine research.

Tom Dubensky, Ph.D., v.p. research, Cerus Corporation: "The goal is to re-educate the immune system so they recognize, in fact, that the cancer is foreign."

Tom Dubensky is vice president of research for Concord-based Cerus. The company is combining exciting vaccine research from Johns Hopkins with Listeria research out of UC-Berkeley.

Listeria is a deadly food-borne bacteria, but Cerus scientists have genetically engineered it to trigger an immune response without causing illness.

Tom Dubensky, Ph.D., V.P. research, Cerus Corporation: "Essentially what we're doing is using Listeria to hijack the immune system, thinking that it's been infected with this food borne contaminate, but in doing so, recognizing Listeria, it will also generate these cytotoxic T-cells that are specific for mesothelin and the pancreas cancer."

The idea is the killer T-cells will then attack pancreatic tumor cells anywhere in the body. Phase one clinical research focused on safety should begin next year.

Tom Dubensky, Ph.D., v.p. research, Cerus Corporation: "If we can stimulate an immune response specifically for pancreas cancer, that when necessary we can give those patients a booster."

And by continuing to boost patient's immune response, pancreatic cancer could become more of a chronic condition rather than a fatal disease.

Tom Dubensky, Ph.D., v.p. research, Cerus Corporation: "That infected metastasis that turned into an abscess is now just a hole."

Ed Marra remains confident he can beat this cancer despite the poor odds. He's always had "a passion to win." It's a philosophy he's now applying to his battle with cancer.

He's determined to raise awareness and money for this woefully under-funded disease.

Ed Marra, pancreatic cancer patient: "The advances being made in cancer are a function of funding and focus, and getting the best and brightest minds researching cancer and doing the clinical trials."

He's hopeful the work being done at Cerus could mark a turning point.

For more information:

UCSF Cancer Center

Johns Hopkins

Copyright 2006, ABC7/KGO-TV/DT.

Monday, July 24, 2006

pancreas cancer : We Know the Cause and the Cure

One has to wonder why after the billions of dollars put into research and development of cancer treatments it is reported that you have a higher chance of getting cancer today than you did in 1950. As a matter of fact if you are diagnosed with cancer today your chances of survival are what they were in 1950, in a lot of cases, most in fact.

Our health care system and our government have been lying and misleading the public about the effectiveness of the traditional medical treatment for cancer. Chemotherapy, drugs, surgery, and radiation are the most profitable health industry services and products on planet. There is more profit in the treatment of cancer than any other disease. Most of us have no idea what a big business this is. Some families make billions of dollars a year in profits from treating cancer. When we say treating cancer that’s exactly what is meant. There is much less profit in curing it. Think if we cured cancer now so that cancer were eradicated from the planet trillions of dollars would be lost! And the treatments are government mandated. So those at the top of this economic pyramid would rather you had cancer than not. You are forced to treat it in the manner that makes money for those who profit from disease. And that is obviously true since they actively keep alternative cures off the market or make it very difficult to provide and to choose an alternative method to cure cancer.

With any disease if you find the cause then the cure follows. So, then what is the cause of cancer? Researchers tell us that we don’t know the cause. That is just not true. According to “Natural Cures They Don’t Want You To Know About”, by Kevin Trudeaux, “The causes of cancer are known at the highest levels of the health industry, and this information is being suppressed and hidden from the American public. This is exactly the same situation that occurred with big tobacco and with Ford and General Motors. Big tobacco knew as early as 1950 that their product caused cancer and disease. They lied about this to the American public, and even in congressional hearings. They hid the truth. Ford and General Motors knew that some of their products, including the Pinto and Corvair, would cause people to be maimed, deformed, injured, and die. They hid this information and lied about it. Today, the pharmaceutical companies and the heads of various organizations know the various reasons people come down with cancer. They have this empirical data, but they are lying about it and hiding this from the public.”

There are those such as Kevin Trudeaux and Dr. Hulda Clark who are actively getting the word out and helping numerous people. Dr. Hulda Clark has been doing extensive research and actively curing this disease for many years. Below is taken from The Cure for All Cancers, which you can purchase from the

“The Cause

The Cause For many years we have all believed that cancer is different from other diseases. We believed that cancer behaves like a fire, in that you can't stop it once it has started. Therefore, you have to cut it out or radiate it to death or chemically destroy every cancerous cell in the body since it can never become normal again. NOTHING COULD BE MORE WRONG! And we have believed that cancers of different types such as leukemia or breast or pancreas cancer have different causes. Wrong again!

In this book you will see that all cancers are alike. They are all caused by a parasite. A single parasite! It is the human intestinal fluke. And if you kill this parasite, the cancer stops immediately. The tissue becomes normal again. In order to get cancer, you must have this parasite.

How can the human intestinal fluke cause cancer? This parasite typically lives in the intestine where it might do little harm, causing only colitis, Crohn's disease, or irritable bowel syndrome, or perhaps nothing at all. But if it invades a different organ, like the uterus or the kidneys or liver, it does a great deal of harm. If it establishes itself in the liver, it causes cancer! It only establishes itself in the liver in some people. These people have isopropyl alcohol in their bodies.

All cancer patients have both isopropyl alcohol and the intestinal fluke in their livers. The solvent, isopropyl alcohol, is responsible for letting the fluke establish itself in the liver. In order to get cancer, you must have both the parasite and isopropyl alcohol in your body.”

From the book "The Cure for all Cancers." Page 1.

Cancer can now be CURED:

From the book The Cure for All Cancers: Cancer can now be CURED, not just treated. We are not accustomed to thinking about a cure for cancer. We think of remission as the only possibility. But this book is not about remission. It is about a cure. This is possible because in 1990 I discovered the true cause of cancer. The cause is a certain parasite, for which I have found evidence in every cancer case regardless of the type of cancer. So lung cancer is not caused by smoking, colon cancer is not caused by a low-roughage diet, breast cancer is not caused by a fatty diet, retinal blastoma is not caused by a rare gene, and pancreatic cancer is not caused by alcohol consumption. Although these are all contributing factors, they are not THE cause. Once the true cause was found the cure became obvious. But would it work? I set a goal of 100 cases to be cured of cancer before publishing my findings. That mark was passed in December, 1992. The discovery of the cause and cure of all cancers has stood the test of time and here it is!

It is the pollutants in food and other products that leave us vulnerable to parasites and disease. Dr. Clark has invented a device called the Syncrometer, which is used to identify various toxins in food and products and ourselves. She has also developed a device called the zapper which kills the parasites in the body.

From the book "The Cure for all Diseases." Before contents, by Dr. Hulda Clark, and also available at or . “You may not have time to read this entire book first if you have cancer and are scheduled for surgery, chemotherapy or radiation treatment. You may wish to skip the first pages which describe how cancer develops.

Go directly to the cancer curing recipe and order your supplies. Using the herbal recipe together with the zapper is best. It only takes days to be cured of cancer regardless of the type you have. It does not matter how far progressed the cancer is, you can still stop it in 5 days.

After you have stopped the cancer, you can turn your attention to getting well. Read the case histories to see how easy it is to stop even terminal cancer. Learn from them to avoid mistakes.

Does this mean you can cancel your date for surgery, radiation or chemotherapy? YES! After curing your cancer with this recipe it cannot come back. This is not a treatment for cancer: It is a cure! But if you do not wish to make your doctor angry, you could follow her or his wishes, too. Be careful not to lose any vital anatomical parts in surgery though, because you may need them later when you are healthy!

Remember that oncologists are kind, sensitive, compassionate people. They want the best for you. They have no way of knowing about the true cause and cure of cancer since it has not been published for them. I chose to publish it for you first so that it would come to your attention faster.”

From the book "The Cure for all Diseases." After cover. Different solvents accumulate in different organs, in the liver, Isopropyl alcohol, which completes the life cycle of Fasciolopsis, intestinal fluke. This begins the malignant process.

From the book Cure For All Diseases, also available at

…The killing of all parasites and their larval stages together with removal of isopropyl alcohol and carcinogens from the patients' lifestyle results in remarkable recovery, generally noticeable in less than one week. Cancer could be eradicated in a very short time…

Cancer The success rate for advanced cancer is about 95%. So you can count on this method, not merely hope it will work for you. It is a total approach that not only shrinks tumors, but also normalizes your blood chemistry, lowers your cancer markers, and returns your health. The small failure rate (5%) is due to clinical emergencies that beset the advanced cancer sufferer. However, if you combine the advice in this book with access to hospital care, even "hopeless" patients can gain the time necessary to become well again.

The promise

Step into a new world a world without chronic diseases. Step out of your old world. It has kept you a prisoner. Try something new.

The prison has no walls. It has only lines; Lines that mark the ground around you. Inside the lines are your old ideas. Outside are new ideas that invite you to step over and escape your prison. Dare to try these new ideas and your illness promises to recede. In a few weeks it can be gone.

From the book "The Cure for all Diseases." Page 1.

I highly recommend any of Dr. Clark’s books. They are remarkable and once you read them I believe you to will be convinced that the cause and the cure are now readily available and very affordable. In the Cure for All Diseases you will find cures for cancer, diabetes, MS, and many, many others it is a book I would not want to be without. If you already have cancer you might want to also pick up The Cure for All Cancers, and or the Cure for All Advanced Cancers.

Michele Michaels has been active in raising awareness for alternative and natural methods of curing and treating all manner of illnesses.

Available at

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pancreas cancer : Preventing Cancer with Green Tea?

We are constantly hearing ideas and claims of what we should eat to keep us from getting cancer. There is always new research somewhere showing how eating this or that will help us and potentially protect our bodies from getting cancer. Some of the studies are valid, some are not; some of the research shows that it cannot completely prevent it, simply reduce our chances by this percentage or that percentage providing we are male or female, black or white, old or young, etc.

Well few of these things are as good as green tea researchers say, of course the Chinese have been saying it for 10,000 years. A brand new research now shows that the phytochemicals in green tea are absolutely incredible. Something that the Asian cultures have known throughout their history, in fact it is quite well known that green tea is known to prevent many forms of cancer such as; Leukemia, Pancreatic cancer, Colon cancer, Lung cancer and Breast cancer. Some say that if green tea was a medicine or drug it would be considered more of a wonder drug than most other cancer drugs. Green tea is considered by many to be a powerful herb, which would be wise to incorporate into your diet.

There are presently no known side effects for green tea, yet it appears to be one of the most incredible anti-cancer compounds around. Think on this.

Lance Winslow

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

pancreas cancer : How important is finding an experienced surgeon?

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States. Recent data from the National Cancer Database indicate that pancreaticoduodenectomy (the Whipple procedure: designed to remove the head, neck and uncinate process of the pancreas as well as the majority of the duodenum) is the most commonly performed cancer-directed operation for pancreatic cancer, although it is used in only 9% of patients. In this large national database, the five-year survival rate for patients treated by pancreaticoduodenectomy in 1985 was 3%. In contrast to these national figures, specialized centers have reported decreasing operative mortality rates and improving long-term survival rates after pancreaticoduodenectomy for pancreatic cancer. For example, the five-year survival rate for patients treated surgically at Johns Hopkins now exceeds 20%. Many factors are likely to be responsible for the improving safety of pancreaticoduodenal resection, including improvements in intensive and critical care, improved surgical experience with decreases in operative time and less need for blood replacement, and regionalization of patient care to specialized "Centers of Excellence," such as Johns Hopkins.

In the April 11, 2002 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Birkmeyer and colleagues from Department of Veterans Affairs, Vermont, report their analysis of surgical mortality in the United States (N Engl J Med 2002 Apr 11;346(15):1128-37). Using information from the national Medicare claims database and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample they examined the relationship between hospital volume (total number of procedures performed each year) and mortality (death in hospital or within 30 days) for a variety of surgical procedures. The mortality rate for Whipple procedures (pancreaticoduodenectomy) at low-volume centers (16.3%) was much greater than the mortality rate at high-volume centers (3.8%). From their analyses the authors conclude that patients "can significantly reduce their risk of operative death by selecting a high-volume hospital." High-volume centers were defined in this study as centers that perform more than 16 whipples per year. Last year close to 240 whipples were performed at Johns Hopkins.

A recent analysis performed at The Johns Hopkins Hospital has determined the factors which favor long-term survival after pancreaticoduodenectomy. Between April 1970 and April 1994, 208 patients underwent a standard pancreaticoduodenectomy for adenocarcinoma of the head of the pancreas at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. The preference of surgeons at Johns Hopkins is to perform partial pancreatectomy whenever possible, leaving the pancreatic body and tail in place. Distal gastrectomy is typically reserved for tumor involvement of the distal stomach or first portion of the duodenum. Multiple factors were analyzed including patient demographics, intraoperative factors, tumor characteristics, and post-operative use of adjuvant therapy. The primary outcome variable analyzed was survival. The results of this review, which is the largest single institution experience reported to date, allowed assessment of 201 of the 208 patients. Seven patients had incomplete outcome data and were excluded. For the group of 201 patients comprising the study population, the overall postoperative in-hospital mortality rate was low, with the current figure being 0.7% (for the last 149 patients). This means that survival data for patients treated at Johns Hopkins reflect an operative mortality rate of less than 1%. The mean age of the patients was 63 years, with a slight male predominance (108 men and 93 women). There were no differences in survival based on age, gender, or race. The actuarial one, three and five-year survival rates for all 201 patients were 57%, 26%, and 21% respectively, with a median survival of 15.5 months. There were 11 five-year survivors, 7 six-year survivors, and one fifteen-year survivor. By univariate statistical analysis, a significant improvement in survival has been observed from the decade of the 1970s, through the decade of the 1980s, to the decade of the 1990s. Patients resected in the 1970s had a median survival of 7.5 months and a three-year survival of only 14%, while patients undergoing resection in the 1990s had a median survival of 17.5 months and a three-year survival of 36%.

Multiple intraoperative factors were analyzed in order to determine their impact on survival. Using multivariate analysis, the type of pancreatic resection, the intraoperative blood loss, the number of packed red blood cell transfusions and the operative time were not found to be significant prognostic factors. However, multivariate analysis revealed that many tumor characteristics were important in predicting patient survival. Patients with tumors less than 3 cm in diameter had significantly longer median survival and better five-year survival compared with patients with tumors 3 cm or more in diameter. The status of the lymph nodes in the resected specimen proved to be a highly significant factor predicting survival. The status of the resection margins also proved to be a highly significant factor, with patients undergoing resection with negative margins having a median survival of 18 months and a five-year survival of 26%, whereas those resected with positive margins had a median survival of only 12 months and a five-year survival of 8%. The DNA content of the pancreatic cancer cells, as determined by image cytometry, proved also to be a highly significant determinant of survival. Patients with diploid tumors had a median survival of 24 months and a five-year survival of 39%, significantly better than the median survival of 11.5 months and five-year survival of 8% observed in patients with aneuploid tumors.

Since the completion of this review of 201 patients with pancreatic cancer, nearly 400 additional pancreatic cancer patients have been treated by pancreaticoduodenectomy at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. It is likely that more pancreas cancer surgery is performed at Johns Hopkins than at any other hospital in the world.
In recent years the surgical treatment of adenocarcinoma of the head, neck or uncinate process of the pancreas via pancreaticoduodenectomy has been associated with falling postoperative morbidity and mortality rates and improving long-term survival. The results from our recent single institution experience demonstrate an actuarial five-year survival of 21% for all patients undergoing pancreaticoduodenal resection for adenocarcinoma of the pancreas. Importantly, the actuarial five-year survival is improved for patients resected with tumors less than 3 cm in diameter (28%), negative margins (26%), negative nodal involvement (36%), or diploid tumor DNA content (39%). Multivariate analysis indicated that the parameters that serve as the strongest independent predictors of favorable outcome are tumor DNA content, tumor diameter, status of resected lymph nodes, margin status, and decade of resection (resection in the 1990s being most favorable). The increasing use of postoperative combined modality chemoradiation therapy appears to be another factor favoring long-term survival.
This large series from The Johns Hopkins Hospital provides room for cautious optimism in the treatment of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. The development of more promising adjuvant therapies, such as strategies combining chemoradiation with immunotherapy, may further enhance survival. Additionally, developments in the field of molecular genetics hold promise for the earlier detection of pancreatic cancer, possibly using gene-based diagnostic modalities.

Copyright ©1996-2006 The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

pancreas cancer : What does the future hold for patients with cancer of the pancreas?

Scientists at hospitals and medical centers all across the country are studying pancreatic cancer. They are trying to learn what causes this disease and how to prevent it. They are also looking for better ways to diagnose and treat it.

The NCI is supporting may studies of new treatments for pancreatic cancer. Researchers are exploring new drugs and drug combinations, new forms of radiation therapy, biological therapy, and combinations of these treatments.

Researchers are also looking at new ways to give radiation. For example, they are studying giving radiation therapy two or more times a day, or during surgery (intraoperative radiation), or with drugs that help protect normal tissue so that higher doses can be given.

Biological therapy is a new type of cancer treatment that uses natural and laboratory-produced substances to stimulate or restore the body's immune system so it can fight disease more effectively. This kind of treatment is being studied in patients with advanced or recurring cancer of the pancreas.

When laboratory research shows that a new treatment method has promise, it is used to treat cancer patients in clinical trials. These trials are designed to answer scientific questions and to find out whether a new treatment is both safe and effective. Patients who take part in clinical trials make an important contribution to medical science and may have the first chance to benefit from improved treatment methods. A person with cancer of the pancreas who is interested in taking part in a trial should discuss this option with his or her doctor.

One way to learn about clinical trials is through PDQ, a computerized resource of cancer treatment information. Developed by NCI, PDQ contains an up-to-date list of trials all over the country. Doctors can obtain an access code and use a personal computer to get PDQ information, or they can use the services of a medical library. Also, the Cancer Information Service, at 1-800-4-CANCER, can provide PDQ information to doctors, patients, and the public.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

pancreas cancer : Vaccine Improves Survival

An experimental vaccine for pancreatic cancer has produced promising results in an early trial, researchers report.

The survival rate for 60 patients getting the vaccine in addition to surgery and chemotherapy was 88 percent after one year and 76 percent after two years, doctors at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center reported Tuesday at a cancer meeting in Philadelphia. That is a marked improvement over the traditional 63 percent one-year survival rate and 42 percent two-year survival rate.

But it is a relatively small study that requires intensive follow-up before the findings can enter medical practice, Dr. Daniel Laheru, an assistant professor at the center, told a joint meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, the National Cancer Institute and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer.

"There are clearly important challenges one has to overcome in designing a cancer vaccine," Laheru said. The major challenge is to get the body's immune system to recognize and attack the special proteins that distinguish cancer from normal cells.

"In disease, the key proteins are known," he said. "We don't know them for pancreatic cancer. Also, many cancer cells can secrete substances that allow them to evade the immune mechanism."

The Hopkins vaccine, developed by Dr. Elizabeth Jaffe, uses irradiated cancer cells, grown in a laboratory, that cannot multiply but secrete a substance, GM-CSF, which attracts immune cells.

A first vaccine shot is given eight to 10 weeks after surgery, with four booster shots in addition to chemotherapy and radiation.

The new trial follows an earlier study of 14 patients. Three of them are alive seven years later, an impressive result considering that all were at high risk, Laheru said. Blood studies showed that the immune systems of those three patients recognized specific cancer cells, he said.

While the Hopkins researchers continue to follow survivors of the 60-patient trial, plans are being made for a larger study, which will include 500 to 600 patients, Laheru said. At best, the vaccine would not be available for clinical use until much later in the decade, he said.

A successful vaccine would be a great help, said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. The current prospect for most pancreatic cancer patients is not good, in part because the disease is usually not detected early, he said. There are 32,000 new cases of pancreatic cancer in the United States each year, and about the same number of deaths, Lichtenfeld said.

"When compared to the historical data, these patients are doing better with this vaccine, and that is exciting," he said. "But while we have exciting results, there is a lot of work yet to be done."

One cautionary note is that the Kimmel Center is unusually good at treating pancreatic cancer, so it's not known whether other centers would get the same results, Lichtenfeld said.

Still, the Hopkins report is another sign that cancer vaccines, a hope for three decades, might now be working out, he said, citing recent successful reports on vaccines for melanoma and prostate cancer.

©1996-2006 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved.

pancreas cancer : How do patients and families adjust to cancer of the pancreas?

The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can change the lives of cancer patients and the people who care about them. These changes in daily life can be difficult to handle. It is natural for patients and their families and friends to have many different and sometimes confusion emotions.

At times, patients and their loved ones may feel frightened, angry, or depressed. These are normal reactions that people have when dealing with a serious health problem. Others in the same situation have found that they cope with their emotions better if they can talk openly about their illness and their feelings with those who care about them. Sharing feelings with loved ones can help everyone feel more at ease, opening the way for others to show their concern and offer their support. Many patients find that it helps to talk with others who are facing problems like theirs. They can meet other cancer patients through self-help and support groups such as those described in the next section.

Worries about tests, treatments, hospital stays, and medical bills are common. Talking with doctors, nurses, or other members of the health care team may help to calm fears and ease confusion.

Patients can take an active part in decisions about their medical care by asking questions about pancreatic cancer and their treatment choices. Patients, family, or friends often find it helpful to write down questions to ask the doctor as they think of them. Taking notes during visits to the doctor helps them remember what was said. Patients should ask the doctor to explain anything that is not clear.

Patients have many important questions, and the doctor is the best person to answer them. Most people ask about the extent of their cancer, how it can be treated, and how successful the treatment is likely to be.

Patients are naturally concerned about their future and may try to use statistics they have heard to figure out what the future holds. It is important to remember, however, that statistics are averages. They are based on the experiences of large numbers of patients, and no two cancer patients are alike. The doctor who takes care of the patient and knows his or her case is the best person to discuss the patient's prognosis.

The doctor can give advice about treatment, working, or limiting activities. Patients also may wish to discuss their concerns about the future, family relationships, and finances. If it is hard to talk to the doctor about feelings and other very personal matters, it may be helpful to speak with a nurse, social worker, counselor, or a member of the clergy.

Learning to live with the changes brought about by cancer is easier for patients and those who care about them when they have helpful information and support services. Often, the social service office at the hospital or clinic can suggest local and national agencies that will help with emotional support, financial aid, transportation, or home care.

©1996-2006 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

pancreas cancer : How is cancer of the pancreas treated?

Treatment for pancreatic cancer depends on a number of factors. Among these are the type, size, and extent of the tumor as well as the patient's age and general health. A treatment plan is tailored to fit each patient's needs.

Treatment Methods

Cancer of the pancreas is curable only when it is found in its earliest stages, before it has spread. Otherwise, it is very difficult to cure. However, it can be treated, symptoms can be relieved, and the quality of the patient's life can be improved.

Pancreatic cancer is treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Researchers are also studying biological therapy to see whether it can be helpful in treating this disease. Sometimes several methods are used, and the patient is referred to doctors who specialize in different kinds of cancer treatment.

Surgery may be done to remove all or part of the pancreas. Sometimes it is also necessary to remove a portion of the stomach, the duodenum, and other nearby tissues. This operation is called a Whipple procedure. In cases where the cancer in the pancreas cannot be removed, the surgeon may be able to create a bypass around the common bile duct or the duodenum if either is blocked.

Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-powered rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. Radiation is usually given 5 days a week for 5 to 6 weeks. This schedule helps to protect normal tissue by spreading out the total dose of radiation. The patient doesn't need to stay in the hospital for radiation therapy.

Radiation is also being studied as a way to kill cancer cells that remain in the area after surgery. In addition, radiation therapy can help relieve pain or digestive problems when the common bile duct or duodenum is blocked.

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The doctor may use just one drug or a combination. Chemotherapy may be given by mouth or by injection into a muscle or vein. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel through the body. Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles; a treatment period followed by a recovery period, then another treatment period, and so on.

©1996-2006 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved.

pancreas cancer : What causes cancer of the pancreas?

While it can seldom be explained why one person gets pancreatic cancer and another doesn't, it is clear that the disease is not contagious. No one can "catch" cancer from another person.

Although scientists to not know exactly what causes cancer of the pancreas, they are learning that some things increase a person's chance of getting this disease. Smoking is a major risk factor. Research shows that cigarette smokers develop cancer of the pancreas two to three times more often than nonsmokers. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, and a number of other diseases.

What are symptoms of cancer of the pancreas?

Pancreatic cancer has been called a "silent" disease because early pancreatic cancer usually does not cause symptoms. If the tumor blocks the common bile duct and bile cannot pass into the digestive system, the skin and whites of the eyes may become yellow, and the urine may become darker. This condition is called jaundice.

As the cancer grows and spreads, pain often develops in the upper abdomen and sometimes spreads to the back. The pain may become worse after the person eats or lies down. Cancer of the pancreas can also cause nausea, loss of appetite, weight loss, and weakness.

A rare type of pancreatic cancer, called islet cell cancer, begins in the cells of the pancreas that produce insulin and other hormones. Islet cells are also called the islets of Langerhans. Islet cell cancer can cause the pancreas to produce too much insulin or hormones. When this happens, the patient may feel weak or dizzy and may have chills, muscle spasms, or diarrhea.

These symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious problems. If an individual is experiencing symptoms, a doctor should be consulted

©1996-2006 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved

Thursday, July 06, 2006

pancreas cancer : Complementary and alternative medicine

More and more people are interested in nontraditional approaches to healing, especially when standard treatments produce intolerable side effects or aren't able to provide a cure. To address this growing interest, the National Institutes of Health established the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

The center's mission is to explore nontraditional therapies in a scientifically rigorous way. NCCAM and the National Cancer Institute have teamed up specifically to look at the role complementary and alternative medicine may play in the treatment of cancer.

In general, alternative medicine refers to therapies, such as mistletoe or coenzyme Q-10, that may be used instead of conventional treatments. Complementary or integrative medicine, on the other hand, usually means therapies used in conjunction with traditional treatments.

Rather than simply addressing a problem with the body, complementary and alternative treatments often focus on the entire person — body, mind and spirit. As a result, they can be especially effective at reducing stress, alleviating the side effects of conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, and improving quality of life. However, these products aren't regulated by the FDA, so you can't be sure of a product's quality. Additionally, some of these substances can interfere with your treatment. Check with your doctor before taking alternative medications.

NCCAM's findings are available on its Web site. You can also talk to information specialists at NCCAM's clearinghouse by calling (888) 644-6226.


pancreas cancer : Coping skills

Learning you have any life-threatening illness can be devastating. But coping with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer can be especially difficult. The more advanced the disease when it's discovered, the less likely the chance of real recovery. As a result, you may feel especially overwhelmed just when you need to make crucial decisions. Although there are no easy answers for people dealing with pancreatic cancer, some of the following suggestions may help:

Learn all you can about your illness. Learn everything you can about pancreatic cancer — how the disease progresses, your prognosis and your treatment options, including both experimental and standard treatments and their side effects. Be sure you understand whether a particular approach is used to treat cancer or provide palliative care. Don't be afraid to seek a second opinion and to explore treatments available through clinical trials. You will have many decisions to make in the weeks and months ahead. The more you know, the more active a role you can take in the decision-making process.

In addition to talking to your medical team, look for information in books and reputable sources on the Internet. Some reliable sites are listed at the end of this article. In addition, the National Cancer Institute offers a toll-free information line called the Cancer Information Service that you can reach at (800) 4-CANCER, or (800) 422-6237.

Maintain a strong support system. Strong relationships are crucial to dealing with life-threatening illnesses. Although friends and family can be your best allies, in some cases they may have trouble dealing with your illness. Or you may not have a large social network. If so, the concern and understanding of a counselor, medical social worker, pastoral or religious counselor, or even a formal support group can be helpful. Although support groups aren't for everyone, they can sometimes be a good resource for practical information about your disease. You may also find strength and encouragement in being with people who are facing the same challenges you are.

If you're interested in learning more about support groups, talk to a doctor, nurse, social worker or psychologist. They may be able to put you in touch with a group in your area. Or check your local phone book, library or cancer organization. The National Cancer Institute also can provide a list of support groups. After deciding to participate in a group, try it out a few times. If it doesn't seem useful or comfortable, you don't have to continue.

Come to terms with your illness. Coming to terms with your illness may be the hardest thing you've ever done. For some people, having a strong faith or a sense of something greater than themselves makes this process easier. Others seek counseling from someone who understands life-threatening illnesses, such as a medical social worker, psychologist or chaplain. Many people also take steps to ensure that their end-of-life wishes are known and respected.

A great fear of many people with a life-threatening illness is being subjected to treatments they don't want or spending their last weeks or months in a hospital away from loved ones and familiar surroundings. The welcome news is that many choices exist for people with a terminal illness.

Hospice care, for example, provides a special course of treatment to terminally ill people. This allows family and friends — with the aid of nurses, social workers and trained volunteers — to care for and comfort a loved one at home or in hospice residences. It also provides emotional, social and spiritual support for people who are ill and those closest to them. Although most people under hospice care remain in their own homes, the program is available anywhere — including nursing homes and assisted-living centers. For people who stay in a hospital, palliative care specialists can provide comfort, compassionate care and dignity.

Although it can be extremely difficult, discuss end-of-life issues with your family and medical team. Part of this discussion will likely involve advance directives — a general term for oral and written instructions you give concerning your medical care should you become unable to speak for yourself.

One type of advance directive is known as a durable power of attorney (POA) for health care. In this case, you sign a legal document authorizing a person you respect and trust to make legally binding medical decisions for you if you're unable to do so. A POA is often recommended because the appointed person can make decisions in situations not covered in a regular advance directive. Whatever you decide, it's important to put your wishes in writing. Laws regarding advance directives and POAs vary from state to state, but a written document is more likely to be respected.

To learn more about advance directives, you can contact the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization at (800) 658-8898.

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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

pancreas cancer : Understanding Cancer

Cancer is a group of many related diseases. All cancers begin in cells, the body's basic unit of life. Cells make up tissues, and tissues make up the organs of the body.

Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old and die, new cells take their place.

Sometimes this orderly process breaks down. New cells form when the body does not need them, or old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.

Tumors can be benign or malignant:

Benign tumors are not cancer. Usually, doctors can remove them. In most cases, benign tumors do not come back after they are removed. Cells from benign tumors do not spread to tissues around them or to other parts of the body. Most important, benign tumors are rarely a threat to life.

Malignant tumors are cancer. They are generally more serious and may be life threatening. Cancer cells can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. Also, cancer cells can break away from a malignant tumor and enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system. That is how cancer cells spread from the original cancer (primary tumor) to form new tumors in other organs. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.

Most pancreatic cancers begin in the ducts that carry pancreatic juices. Cancer of the pancreas may be called pancreatic cancer or carcinoma of the pancreas.

A rare type of pancreatic cancer begins in the cells that make insulin and other hormones. Cancer that begins in these cells is called islet cell cancer. This booklet does not deal with this rare disease. The Cancer Information Service (1-800-4-CANCER) can provide information about islet cell cancer.

When cancer of the pancreas spreads (metastasizes) outside the pancreas, cancer cells are often found in nearby lymph nodes. If the cancer has reached these nodes, it means that cancer cells may have spread to other lymph nodes or other tissues, such as the liver or lungs. Sometimes cancer of the pancreas spreads to the peritoneum, the tissue that lines the abdomen.

When cancer spreads from its original place to another part of the body, the new tumor has the same kind of abnormal cells and the same name as the primary tumor. For example, if cancer of the pancreas spreads to the liver, the cancer cells in the liver are pancreatic cancer cells. The disease is metastatic pancreatic cancer, not liver cancer. It is treated as pancreatic cancer, not liver cancer.

A Service of the National Cancer Institute

Pancreatic Cancer: Who's at Risk?

No one knows the exact causes of pancreatic cancer. Doctors can seldom explain why one person gets pancreatic cancer and another does not. However, it is clear that this disease is not contagious. No one can "catch" cancer from another person.

Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop pancreatic cancer. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease.

Studies have found the following risk factors:

Age -- The likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer increases with age. Most pancreatic cancers occur in people over the age of 60.

Smoking -- Cigarette smokers are two or three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop pancreatic cancer.

Diabetes -- Pancreatic cancer occurs more often in people who have diabetes than in people who do not.

Being male -- More men than women are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Being African American -- African Americans are more likely than Asians, Hispanics, or whites to get pancreatic cancer.

Family history -- The risk for developing pancreatic cancer triples if a person's mother, father, sister, or brother had the disease. Also, a family history of colon or ovarian cancer increases the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Chronic pancreatitis -- Chronic pancreatitis is a painful condition of the pancreas. Some evidence suggests that chronic pancreatitis may increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Other studies suggest that exposure to certain chemicals in the workplace or a diet high in fat may increase the chance of getting pancreatic cancer.

Most people with known risk factors do not get pancreatic cancer. On the other hand, many who do get the disease have none of these factors. People who think they may be at risk for pancreatic cancer should discuss this concern with their doctor. The doctor may suggest ways to reduce the risk and can plan an appropriate schedule for checkups.

A Service of the National Cancer Institute

Saturday, July 01, 2006

pancreas cancer : Red meat linked to pancreatic cancer

A diet high in red meat appears to raise the risk developing pancreatic cancer, Swedish researchers report in the International Journal of Cancer. The good news is that consumption of poultry may cut the risk.

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly cancers, due, in large part, because it is seldom detected at an early, curable stage.

Surgical removal offers the only chance for a cure, but only a small percentage of patients are candidates for this therapy. In many cases, removal is not possible when surgery reveals that the cancer has actually spread outside the pancreas.

"Findings from our study," lead investigator Dr. Susanna C. Larsson told Reuters Health "suggest that high consumption of red meat is associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer."

Larsson of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and colleagues conducted a study of more than 61,000 women. The investigators were interested in the possible effects of meat, fish, poultry and egg consumption. During 17 years of follow-up, 172 of these women were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Long-term consumption of red meat was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, whereas consumption of poultry was linked to a decreased risk.

There were no significant associations with consumption of processed meat, fish or eggs. "These findings," Larsson concluded, "raise the possibility that individuals may lower their risk of pancreatic cancer by reducing red meat consumption."

© 1997- 2006 ninemsn Pty Ltd - All rights reserved

pancreas cancer : Pancreatic cancer vaccine shows promise

More than 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer each year, and about the same number die. Chances of surviving more than five years with this disease are low, but researchers at Johns Hopkins University hope to reverse that trend with a new vaccine.

The vaccine uses genetically altered cells to create a molecule. The molecule lures immune cells and retrains them to recognize the tumor as cancer and fight it.

So far, the results have been encouraging. With the vaccine, 76 percent of patients are alive after two years -- compared to 42 percent of patients who only received chemotherapy and radiation.

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