General Cancer Information
Chronic heavy drinking has been linked to an increased risk of
cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, liver, pancreas and
rectum. Consuming as little as three ounces of hard liquor
every day for several years can cause damage.
Aspirin Linked to Reduced Lung Cancer Risk
Aspirin has already risen from the ranks of a mere pain
reliever to become a highly valued heart attack and stroke
prevention tool, and now researchers say preventing lung
cancer may be added to its list of benefits.
Cancer and Nutrition
To prevent cancer, avoid dietary fats. Eat a diet rich in soy,
fruits, vegetables and fiber.
Cancer Risk Factors
The following are various types of cancer and their risk
* Breast- Family history of breast cancer, obesity, late
childbearing and childlessness
* Bladder- Smoking (nearly half of cases), hair dye - bladder
cancer is more common in men than women
* Cervical- First intercourse at an early age, multiple sexual
partners, smoking, history of genital herpes
* Colorectal- Being over 50 with colon polyps or ulcerative
colitis, family history of these disorders or colon cancer,
high-fat, low-fiber diet
* Leukemia- Exposure to radiation, benzene and other chemicals
* Lung- Smoking (83 percent of cases), exposure to asbestos,
radiation and secondhand tobacco smoke
* Lymphoma- Being over 50, no other known risk factors
* Oral- Smoking, chewing tobacco and heavy alcohol use
* Pancreatic- Smoking, high-fat diet
* Prostate- Risk increases with age; more than 80 percent of
cases occur after 65
* Skin- Fair skin, severe sunburn in childhood, frequent sun
exposure, family history of skin cancer
* Uterine- Being post-menopausal with a history of
infertility, ovulation failure or abnormal bleeding, also
obesity, hypertension and diabetes
The earlier cancer is detected, the greater the chance it can
be treated before it spreads to other areas of the body.
That's why self-examinations (such as checks of the breasts,
testicles and skin) are important to build into your routine.
And it's why regular medical screenings (such as mammograms,
fecal occult blood tests, Pap smears and prostate exams) are
crucial even if you feel perfectly healthy.
More Precise Cancer Treatments
Once, a cancer was a cancer was a cancer. Now, scientists have
succeeded in using DNA to determine whether a particular type
of cancer will be resistant to certain therapies, paving the
way to choosing more effective, tailor-made treatments for
Nutrition and Cancer Patients
A great tasting, nutritious milkshake for cancer patients
requiring extra calories in small amounts is made by adding 2
large scoops of ice cream and 1 package of vanilla-flavored
Carnation Instant Breakfast to 8 ounces of milk and blending
Orange Zest and Cancer
Don't toss away that orange peel -- it may help protect you
against cancer. Grated citrus zest -- the outmost layer of the
peel, not the white pith -- includes compounds may provide
health benefits, such as inhibiting development of some
cancers and lowering cholesterol. Scrub the rind with warm
water and a drop of soap before starting to grate. Press a
piece of wax paper onto the grater to make clean-up easier;
the zest accumulates on the paper instead of getting stuck in
the holes of the grater. Best of all, you can use the zest for
a flavor boost in low-fat baked goods, pilafs, salad
dressings, marinades and fruit salads.
Seven Cancer Warning Signs
1. A change in bowel or bladder habits
2. A sore that does not heal
3. Unusual bleeding or discharge
4. Thickening or a lump in the breast or other area
5. Chronic indigestion or swallowing problems
6. An obvious change in a wart or a mole
7. A nagging cough or hoarseness
Startling Facts About Smoking and Cancer
Eighteen little-known facts about smoking might motivate even
a veteran smoker to give up the habit:
1. Cigarette smoke contains tar, made up of over 4,000
chemicals, including 43 known to cause cancer.
2. Chemicals in smoke include cyanide (a deadly poison),
methanol (wood alcohol), formaldehyde (a preservative),
acetylene (fuel used in torches) and ammonia (found in
fingernail polish remover). It also contains nitrogen oxide
and carbon monoxide, both poisonous gases.
3. Smokeless tobacco (snuff) exposes a person to at least 10
times more cancer-causing substances than smoking does.
4. Smoking filtered cigarettes lowers the risk of lung cancer
by only about 20 percent.
5. Smokers are more likely to get pneumonia than are
6. Smokers are more likely to have and die from stomach ulcers
than are nonsmokers.
7. Smoking causes and worsens heart disease, emphysema,
bronchitis, sinusitis, and cancers of the lung, mouth, larynx
(voice box), and esophagus (swallowing tube), and increases
the risk of bladder, kidney, pancreas, stomach and cervical
8. Women smokers experience earlier menopause and have less
dense bones, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis and
9. Children whose parents smoke are at a higher risk for
pneumonia and bronchitis.
10. Diseases caused by cigarette smoking kill about one in
11. By the time lung cancer is diagnosed, it has usually
spread to other parts of the body. The survival rate is low:
only 13 percent are still alive five years after diagnosis,
fewer than 10 percent after 10 years.
12. Lung cancer now kills more women than any other type of
13. Smoking takes an average of seven years off a personís
14. Smoking causes one out of every six deaths in the United
15. Nine out of ten smokers say they want to quit.
16. More men have quit smoking than women.
17. More than 43 million Americans have quit smoking, andĖover
the past decadeĖthe percentage of smoking adult Texans has
decreased from 31 to 22 percent.
18. Between 1964 and 1985, approximately 750,000 deaths were
avoided or postponed as a result of decisions to quit smoking
or not to start.
And Thatís Not All!
Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer in
America, but it could be prevented 80 to 90 percent of the
time if only people would not smoke.
Tea for Tumors
Research shows one kind of tea can be up to 100 times more
potent at blocking growth of cancer cells than another. While
all tea (green, oolong or black) contains antioxidant
compounds called catechins that protect against cancer
(especially of the lung, breast, colon, stomach and skin) by
neutralizing free radicals, green tea contains about 7 times
more catechins than black tea. Green tea also has unique
catechins that block an enzyme involved in breast, prostate
and colon cancers. Green tea is 10 to 100 times stronger than
black tea in blocking the growth of cancer cells. Catechins
also prevent heart disease and stroke, primarily by defending
against the harmful effects of artery-clogging LDL
Understanding Blood Counts
Counting and examining blood cells are very important in the
diagnosis of blood cell diseases. Blood has several different
types of cells in it:
* Red blood cells pick up oxygen as blood passes through the
lungs and release it to the cells in the body.
* White blood cells help fight bacteria and viruses.
* Platelets are the cells that form a plug in response to a
cut or wound. The platelets aggregate and plug up the site of
Normal blood counts fall within the range that has been
established by testing healthy men and women of all ages.
The approximate normal ranges of blood cell counts for healthy
adults are as follows:
* Red blood cell (RBC) count: 4.5 to 6.0 million red cells per
microliter of blood in men, 4.0 to 5.0 million red cells per
microliter of blood in women
* White blood cell (WBC) count: 4.5 to 11 thousand white cells
per microliter of blood
* Platelet count: 150 to 450 thousand platelets per microliter
Hematocrit is the percent of the blood that is composed of red
* 42% to 50% is normal in men
* 36% to 45% is normal in women
Hemoglobin is the compound in the red blood cell that carries
* 14 to 17 grams per 100 milliliters of blood is normal for
* 12 to 15 grams per 100 milliliters of blood is normal for
White cell differential count, sometimes referred to as a
"diff," measures the proportion of the total white cell count
that is composed of one of the five principal white cell
types. The observer can also tell if the white cells in the
blood are normal in appearance. The five types of normal white
cells that are counted are neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes,
eosinophils, and basophils. Blood contains about 60%
neutrophils, 30% lymphocytes, 5% monocytes, 4% eosinophils and
Vitamin E and Cancer
Vitamin E has been found to reduce cancer risk when consumed
at recommended levels.
Want to Quit Smoking?
Most people who quit smoking have tried before, so donít give
up! Try these tips:
* List the reasons you want to quit. Refer to the list every
time you want to smoke.
* Typical triggers to smoking include working under pressure,
feeling depressed, having a drink, drinking coffee, driving a
car, finishing a meal and watching someone else light up a
cigarette. Learn to look for these triggers and then avoid
them, for example, by cutting down on alcohol and caffeine.
* Reward yourself for not smoking. Spend the money saved from
not buying cigarettes on a treat for yourself.
* Keep lots of low calorie snacks handy, including sugarless
* Try taking a few deep breaths when you start to feel
* Quit smoking with a friend, bet someone you will quit, or
get involved with a group having the same goal of quitting.
* Take your mind off smoking by keeping your hands busy with
handwork or hobbies.
Watermelon and Cancer Prevention
Juicy, red watermelon is not only delicious, it may help
prevent cancer. As long as you spit out the seeds, watermelon
is the biggest supplier among fresh fruits and vegetables in
the antioxidant lycopene, which is believed to play a big role
in the prevention of the killer disease. Antioxidants such as
lycopene work in your body by disarming free oxygen radicals,
which are thought to contribute to the development of many
cancers. A 2-cup serving of watermelon contains 15 - 20
milligrams of this vital plant pigment. Other sources include
tomatoes, red grapefruits and guavas.