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VITALITY Oral Sex May Lead To Oral Cancer Via HPV Virus In Mouth, Throat

Oral cancer made big headlines in 2013 when actor Michael Douglas blamed his throat cancer on oral sex. The 72-year-old star said he contracted the human papilloma virus (HPV) through oral sex, which triggered his cancer. Douglas’ revelation stirred a debate about whether oral cancers, like throat cancer and mouth cancer, can be a sexually contracted disease.

More than 3,100 new cases of HPV-associated oral cancers are diagnosed in women and over 12,600 are diagnosed in men annually in the U.S. In fact, most adults are at risk of contracting HPV, and 80 percent of people will test positive for HPV infection within five years of becoming sexually active. The truth is, most of us have been infected, but few of us are affected.

There are over 100 strains of HPV, but roughly 15 are known as high-risk HPV types. It’s important to note that detecting the HPV virus in a sample of people who have oral cancer, doesn’t mean that HPV caused the cancer. Rather, the virus becomes part of the genetic material of the cancer cells, which triggers them to grow.

Typically, HPV found in the mouth is sexually transmitted, meaning oral sex is the most common way of contracting the disease. It’s not known how common HPV infection in the mouth is, but a recent reportreleased by the Canadian Cancer Society and Public Health Agency of Canada found rates of HPV mouth and throat cancers in males are increasing.

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Oral cancers caused by oral sex usually originate from HPV in the mouth.Photo courtesy of Pexels, Public Domain

A 2011 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that the proportion of oral cancers related to HPV increased from 16.3 percent to 71.7 percent between 1984 and 2004. Previous data presented that same year at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting proposed HPV was overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of oral cancers in Americans under the age of 50.

Meanwhile, risk factors for oral cancers have been linked to sexual behavior, such as ever having oral sex, having oral sex with four or more people in your lifetime, and among men, first having sex at an earlier age (under 18). HPV is so common that nearly all sexually active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.

“In most cases, the virus goes away and it does not lead to any health problems. There is no certain way to know which people infected with HPV will go on to develop cancer,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, when cancer does occur and it’s detected early, patients have an 80 to 90 percent survival rate.

This is why early protection against HPV is advised. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatricsrecommends both boys and girls get the HPV vaccine between the ages of 11 and 12. The vaccine is most effective if it’s administered before a child becomes sexually active.

HPV vaccines and practicing safe oral sex can help reduce the number of cases of HPV infection in women and men. This will make it less common in the general population, and minimizing the cases of HPV-related cancers in years to come.

SOURCE: medicaldaily.com

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Breast Cancer Facts and figures till and now in 2016

  • About 1 in 8 U.S. women — 12% — will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
  • In 2016, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed, along with 61,000 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer (also known as carcinoma in situ). About 40,450 women are expected to die in 2016 from breast cancer, though there has been a decrease in death rates since 1989, with larger decreases in women under 50. These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advancements, earlier detection through screening, and increased awareness.
  • For women in the United States, breast cancer death rates are higher than death rates for any other type of cancer, besides lung cancer.
  • Except for skin cancer, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2016, it’s estimated that just under 30% of cancers diagnosed in women will be breast cancers.
  • In women under 45, breast cancer is more common in African-American women than white women. Overall, African-American women are more likely to die of breast cancer. For Asian, Hispanic, and Native-American women, the risk of developing and dying from breast cancer is lower.
  • As of June 2016, there were more than 2.8 million women with a history of breast cancer in the U.S. This figure includes women currently being treated and women who have finished treatment.
  • A woman’s risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member who has been diagnosed with it.
  • About 5-10% of breast cancers are thought to be caused by inherited gene mutations (abnormal changes passed through families).
  • Mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are the most common. Women with a BRCA1 mutation have, on average, a 55-65% risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetimes. For women with a BRCA2 mutation, the lifetime risk is 45%. An increased ovarian cancer risk is also associated with these genetic mutations.
  • The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are gender (being a woman) and age (growing older).

Source: American Cancer Society

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Israeli scientists stop breast cancer spread in mice

In breast cancer breakthrough, scientists discover targeted delivery of microRNAs to primary tumors blocks the movement of cancer beyond the breast.

Image of cancer cell by Tatiana Shepeleva/Shutterstock

Israeli and American researchers revealed yesterday that treating a primary breast tumor in lab mice with both genetic therapy and chemotherapy is extremely effective in preventing breast cancer metastasis, the deadly spread of cancerous cells to vital organs.

Results of the breakthrough study were published in the September 19 online issue of Nature Communications by Noam Shomron of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine, Natalie Artzi of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Shomron’s students Avital Gilam and Daphna Weissglas, Artzi’s student Joao Conde, and onco-geneticist Prof. Eitan Friedman of Sackler and Chaim Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.

“Our mission was to block a cancer cell’s ability to change shape and move,” explained Shomron. “Cancer cells alter their cytoskeleton structure in order to squeeze past other cells, enter blood vessels and ride along to their next stop: the lungs, the brain or other vital organs. We chose microRNAs as our naturally occurring therapy, because they are master regulators of gene expression.”

The researchers based their approach on the three “Ds” — database, drugs and delivery. The team began by exploring bioinformatics databases to investigate the span of mutations in a tumor and identify precisely which ones to target.

They then procured a naturally occurring RNA-based drug to control cell movement and created a safe gold-nanoparticle-based vehicle for delivering the two microRNAs to the tumor site.

“We looked at mutations and polymorphisms that other researchers have ignored,” said Shomron. “Mutations in the three prime untranslated regions (UTRs) at the tail end of a gene are usually ignored because they aren’t situated within the coding region of the gene. We looked at the three UTR sites that play regulatory roles and noticed that mutations there were involved in metastasis.”

Two weeks after initiating cancer in the breasts of their mouse “patients,” the researchers injected the tumors with the microRNA hydrogel. Two days after this treatment, the primary breast tumors were excised.

The mice were evaluated three weeks later using CT imaging, fluorescent labeling, biopsies and pathology. The researchers discovered very few or no sites of metastasis in the mice that had been treated with the microRNA drug.

In stark contrast, the control group, which had been injected with random scrambled RNAs, exhibited a fatal proliferation of metastatic sites.

Hope in a bleak situation

“We realized we had stopped breast cancer metastasis in a mouse model, and that these results might be applicable to humans,” said Shomron.

“There is a strong correlation between the effect on the genes in mouse cells and the effect on the genes in human cells. Our results are especially encouraging because they have been repeated several times at TAU and at MIT by independent groups.”

One in eight women worldwide is diagnosed with breast cancer every year, and it is the second leading cause of cancer death in women despite early detection programs. About 80 percent of women with metastatic cancer die from the disease within just five years of being diagnosed.

“The situation is bleak,” said Shomron. “Death rates from breast cancer remain high and relatively unchanged despite advances in medicine and technology. We wanted to find a way to stop metastasis from happening altogether. It’s the turning point, where survival rates drop exponentially.”

The researchers are continuing their study of the effects of microRNAs on tumors within different microenvironments.

Shomron received his bachelor’s degree in biotechnology in Australia; his master’s degree in gene therapy at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and his PhD in genetics at Tel Aviv University, where he worked on regulatory RNA systems. He was a post-doctorate affiliate at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He heads the Functional Genomics Laboratory at Tel Aviv University’s Medical School and is editor-in-chief of Genetics Research, a Cambridge University Press Journal.

Click below to watch Shomron’s TEDx talk about his research.

source: theheartysoul