Head and Neck Cancer News (98)

2147475?profile=RESIZE_480x480There are a range of cancer treatments with mix and match combinations usually the approach of the day. Understanding how they work however is a challenge for the layman though the lead story this week offers a pretty good and accessible explanation for immunotherapy.

That’s followed by a few words of caution and a British celebrity success story.

Meanwhile:
# We must be truly exceptional at curing diseases in mice by now
# Never be afraid of failure. Remember, you can always be used as a ba

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The above picture comes from the Macmillan website. It doesn't relate directly to this post but might tease the mind to figure out some controllable causes of cancer. 

Whether a patient, family member or friend, finding a perspective on cancer is always going to be difficult and the reams of stories, updates, advice and analyses probably don’t help.

The lead article below from the Economist offers one of the few `world view’ summations around and is worth a quick read through.

 Meanwhi

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2147383?profile=RESIZE_480x480A constant annoyance in reading through reports for this column is the tendency of so many writers to use terminology that can likely be interpreted only by a minority of experts. Coming from a profession that insisted any writing be understood by the average, literate 12-year-old, it’s an annoying habit.

However the news, once deciphered, is usually encouraging…..`dysphagia’ by the way means `difficulty swallowing’.

Meanwhile:

# You become much less afraid of things going bump in the night

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Radiation and chemotherapy remain the first line of attack against head and neck cancer – unfortunately they don’t always work and surgery becomes a necessity.  Even there though technology continues to provide major advances with robotic surgery looking good. The article below is a beginner’s introduction to the technique, followed by a bit of HPV caused cancers and a reasonably novel fundraising idea.

(The illustration is of the APOBEC3 enzyme mentioned in story 2.)

Meanwhile:

A werewolf

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The costs of cancer drug research and consequent cost of treatment is fairly obvious and of course there are opportunities for someone to profit from the industry.  Looking at it all from an investor point of view rather than a medical one can provide a whole new (though not necessarily comforting) perspective.

Meanwhile:

#Out of the millions of ways you can die, you've avoided all of them. Look at you go.

#Do my dogs understand my vision limitations at night, or do they think I just enjoy

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2147333?profile=RESIZE_320x320After the worrying news that the `wonder drug’ Keytruda may not be living up to its reputation  it’s always good to remember there are many new attack fronts opening up and new treatments being trialled in the cancer war.  A couple of those new and promising developments are detailed below.

Meanwhile;

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2147340?profile=RESIZE_480x480The after effects of cancer treatment are many - and  generally unpleasant. Keeping those effects to a minimum is often a major task with things like nutrition  and mental health to consider.  Just keeping fit and active can be a major challenge, but, as  the rather intense  article below indicates, it is worthwhile.

Meanwhile:

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World Head and Neck Cancer Awareness Day has generally been rated a major success by organisers and observers alike; however, the news isn’t all great. Being aware is one thing and certainly helps in overcoming the disease, but straight medical treatment is the big gun and latest tests on one of the biggest calibre guns - the immunotherapy drug Keytruda -are not promising. Then there’s a story about U.S. insurance company blues which suggests battling bureaucracy is a universal challenge.

On

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2147303?profile=RESIZE_480x480The American enthusiasm for litigation is generally regarded with incredulity by most observers so the lawsuit mentioned below probably shouldn’t come as a surprise, even if the option of cancer with hair - or no cancer, but no hair - seems like a no brainer.

More pertinent is the U.K. statement on HPV vaccinations and to finish off a few words on fibre.

Meanwhile:

This  is probably the first time in history where nobody is excited about what the future might look like in 100 years.  

Any d

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Given the advances in gene therapy, robotic surgery, proton treatment and more it’s possible to imagine the  tide has turned in the cancer battle.  And maybe it has, but those advances usually come with a caution mainly added as an afterthought in most popular media reports.   Progress is being made, but as the last few paragraphs in the stories below indicate the fight will be going for a while yet.

Meanwhile:

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Claims for `natural’ treatments are usually best taken with a healthy dose of scepticism – though some, like the aloe vera mentioned below, are almost self evident. Suggesting education reduces tobacco use and thus cancer levels seems more like a variation on a regular theme, while possible advances in using radiotherapy sounds all good news.

Meanwhile consider;
If you're a optimist, you're always either right, or disappointed. If you're a pessimist, you're always either right , or pleasantly

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It often surprises just how many people get a head and neck cancer. I recently discovered a singer/song writer favourite, John Prine, had a cancer back in the 90s and Val Kilmer recently confirmed that he actually did have a cancer this year (after first denying it.) Both survived and are apparently going strong - something the stories below suggest are becoming more of the norm. However, as always, a little skepticism never hurts.

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Meanwhile consider;
The best example of the difference between

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In lieu of the regular Weekly Wednesday whose writer is otherwise occupied at the moment, I want to introduce you to our World Head and Neck Cancer Day build up. From now on we will have a series of articles relating to many different aspects of the disease: the path to diagnosis, being a caregiver, HPV, laryngectomy issues and many more. 

What is WHNCD? 

World Head and Neck Cancer Day on July 27 each year was established in 1987 as a way to bring together all specialists involved in the care

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Weekly Wednesday

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The anti vaccine movement, much like the Flat Earth Society, refuses to lie down despite the evidence of science, logic, history and pretty much everything else. Unfortunately the efforts of the anti-vaxers can have serious health effects on people even outside their misguided movement. Having said that there is now widespread access to the HPV vaccine and apparently a new one (see below) is being developed. We should wish them well.

Meanwhile consider:

James Bond seems awes

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It’s hard to make sense of all the cancer research out there: a phantasmagoria of hopeful reports full of scientific jargon. Some themes come through: how scientists might be able to tackle cancer at its very heart inside our genes and the way our immune system can be switched on to recognise cancer cells and attack them. And then there are the superfoods that might contain cancer-fighting properties. The latest: the red onion.

 (Note: The usual Weekly Wednesday writer is absent this week.This w

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The disfiguring effects of treatment are well known to many patients who have been through it - scarring, missing teeth, muscle wastage and more. The story below however does suggest some help with one of the common effects - lymphedema - could be on the way.

Meanwhile consider:
The Prince from Cinderella must have had a serious foot fetish to not remember any other discernible characteristic about her or maybe the only difference between passion and addiction is if the thing you're doing is goo

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If there is any overall message to take from trawling through the libraries of news stories about head and neck cancer it is that a lot of people in a lot of countries are working on the most effective forms of treatment. That can range from drug treatment to robotic surgery and more, supporting the patient during and following treatment is another issue and one that groups like this network are constantly advocating for.

Meanwhile consider; Everything in the universe is either a potato or not a

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Wednesday Weekly

Anyone looking through the plethora of stories on new drugs, trials, innovative surgeries, vaccines and all could think the world’s medical industries are well on top of the cancer plague. While it’s true progress is being made unfortunately there’s no sign of the end of the war.
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