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Obesity Is Now A Bigger Cause Of Cancer Than Smoking

Obesity is now a bigger cause of many types of cancer than smoking, scientists has revealed. Excess weight causes thousands of more cases of bowel, kidney, liver and ovarian cancer than cigarettes every year.

Britain has the highest rates of obesity in Western Europe, with rates rising even faster than those in the United States. 

About 15 million adults in Britain (29 per cent) are obese, more than double the 6 million adult smokers (14 per cent). This is a reversal from the early 1990s, when 27 per cent of adults smoked and 15 per cent were obese.

NHS boss Simon Stevens said it was “further proof that obesity is the new smoking” and called on all areas of society to do their bit to “avoid copying America’s damaging and costly example”.

The charity urged ministers to take action, and ban junk food adverts on TV and online before 9pm. 

The figures were released by Cancer Research UK in the midst of a ‘fat shaming’ row centered around their latest campaign raising awareness of the dangers of obesity. Other measures should include restricting promotional offers on unhealthy food and drinks, it said. 

Simone Harding, a counsellor and nutritionist based in Devon, said: ‘Weight stigma is rife across society – the research detailing weight stigma in healthcare, media etc shows us that blaming individuals for a situation that is complex leads to worse outcomes, not better. It creates a bigger problem.’ 

It’s not the first time the charity has drawn a parallel between smoking and obesity, leading to accusations of shaming people who are overweight.

Danish comedian and body positive campaigner Sofie Hagen criticized calling the advert ‘incredibly damaging’. 

She wrote at the time: ‘Society viewing fatness as a negative thing is a thing that kills more than the cancer that you MIGHT get due to MAYBE something to do with you POSSIBLY weighing MORE than a CERTAIN weight POSSIBLY MAYBE.’ 

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Are We Finally Winning The Battle Against Cancer? New Research Suggests The Answer Is “YES”

Doctors at King’s College Hospital, London, said some patients were being completely cured in a way that had “never been seen before”.

The therapy, called CAR-T, is a “living drug” that is tailor-made for each patient using their body’s own cells.

“It is a very exciting new development and it gives new hope to a lot of our patients,” Victoria Potter, haematologist at King’s College Hospital told the BBC. “It’s amazing to be able to see these people, who you may have not been able to give any hope to, actually achieving remission.”

CAR-T is the pinnacle of personalized medicine as it has to be developed for each individual patient.

Firstly, parts of the immune system – specifically white blood cells called T-cells – are removed from the patient’s blood. They are frozen in liquid nitrogen and sent to laboratories in the United States. There, the white blood cells are genetically reprogrammed so that rather than killing bacteria and viruses, they will seek out and destroy cancer.

Because it’s very new, there’s not enough data to say for sure how effective the new therapy is but clinical trials have shown incredible results. 40 per cent of patients had all signs of their terminal lymphomas removed from their body just 15 months after treatment.

“The start of this treatment marks the beginning of a new era of personalized medicine.”

The treatment is expensive, and comes with potential side-effects. “Patients who receive the treatment can experience a range of unpleasant side effects from high fever; vomiting; and diarrhoea to confusion; aphasia (difficulty understanding or speaking); and loss of consciousnes,” said Dr Reuben Benjamin, Consultant Haematologist at King’s.

Testing cancer vaccines

Study after study over the last several decades has taught doctors that cancer is personal. Everyone’s looks different on a molecular level. And each tumor is an agile, devious adversary that mutates as it grows to outwit the human immune system.”They may be right,” Stephen Johnston says, but “if the chance is 10% that it might work, I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t take that chance.”

Stephen Johnston is a scientist, inventor and director of Arizona State University’s Center for Innovations in Medicine. He recently launched a clinical trial to test a cancer vaccine in hundreds of dogs across the country. The trial will examine whether the vaccine delays or prevents a variety of cancers in healthy, older dogs. If it’s successful, Johnston says, it could lay the groundwork for developing a similar vaccine for humans.

Many canine cancers are also similar to human cancers on a molecular level. This has a lot to do with our shared environments. We breathe the same air, drink the same water, run on lawns sprayed with the same chemicals. Dogs are also ideal for a study like this because they don’t live as long as humans, so researchers will be able to see if the vaccine works in three to five years instead of 10 to 30.

Even if the vaccine works in dogs, the team has a long road ahead to get approval for a human clinical trial. Animal testing is often unpredictable, and the vast majority of drugs tested in animals are never approved by the FDA for use in humans because they are deemed unsafe or ineffective.

This isn’t the only trial involving dogs and cancer vaccines. Many other cancer researchers are working on these experimental procedures and if they are successful, we could be dealing cancer a deadly blow and for once get the upper hand in the fight against that dreaded decease.

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9/11 WTC Responders have Higher Rates of Prostate Cancer

Physicians and researchers have long known that men exposed to toxic dust after the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, may have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. The challenge has been to provide a link between exposure and the cancer.

A new study of men with prostate cancer who were first responders during the September 11 World Trade Center attacks is giving researchers fresh clues about how the disease works. The results suggest that exposure to the toxic dust at Ground Zero may have changed how a body responds to cancer, even years later, in some devastating ways.

Overall, research suggests that first responders who were at Ground Zero nearly 18 years ago have a 65% increased risk of developing prostate cancer, compared to the general population. That’s a much more noticeable difference than researchers have found for lung-cancer rates in 9/11 survivors. Also alarming is the fact that many 9/11 survivors in their 30s and 40s are developing prostate cancer, since the disease usually affects men in their 60s and older.

“It suggests that the dust could have somehow changed the person’s immune system,” Dr. William Oh, the lead author of the new study and an oncologist at Mount Sinai in New York, told Business Insider.

“9/11 is still killing,” said John Feal, an advocate for WTC responders. “Sadly, this fragile community of heroes and survivors is shrinking by the day.”

The number of cancer patients has rapidly risen since the federal program started tracking the disease in 2013.

Thyroid cancer incidence is also higher in World Trade Center (WTC) responders compared with the general population. The same goes for blood cancer, head and neck cancers, thyroid cancer and skin cancer.

Over 700,000 people have added their names to a registry of those who believe they were exposed to toxic substances; the actual figure could be smaller, or it could run into millions – 10,000 of them so far have filed court claims. 

The scandal is that the Bush administration knew almost immediately of the dangers of the toxic New York air, but lied. The public could breathe free, secure in the knowledge that “it is not being exposed to excessive levels of asbestos or other harmful substances”, according to Christine Todd Whitman, the former New Jersey governor appointed by Bush to lead the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in January 2001. Speaking seven days after the attacks, she said: “I am glad to reassure the people of New York . . . that their air is safe to breathe.” The then mayor, Rudy Giuliani, chimed in to say that air quality was “safe and acceptable”. Both Whitman and Giuliani, subsequent investigations suggest, were under pressure from the White House to provide these reassurances in order to keep Wall Street operating.

Dr Cate Jenkins, a senior EPA scientist who has kept her job despite accusing Whitman and others of lying, says the EPA knew all along that the air hundreds of thousands were breathing was potentially as “caustic and corrosive as Drano”, the best-known American drain declogger.

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Bayer, Owner Of Roundup, To Invest $5.6 Billion In New Weedkiller

German chemical and pharmaceutical company Bayer says it plans to invest about $5.6 billion over the next decade in developing “additional methods to combat weeds.” Bayer became the owner of Roundup when it bought Monsanto last year for $63 billion. 

As well as saying it would invest 5 billion in research over the next 10 years, Bayer promised to reduce its environmental impact by 30% through 2030 via measures such as more precise and more sparing application of crop chemicals. “We listened. We learned,” Bayer said on its website here, adding that it had “heightened responsibility and … unique potential to advance farming for the benefit of society and the planet”. 

Bayer argues that studies have established that glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, is safe and made clear Friday that it stands by the product. Yet not all scientific organizations agree, with the World Health Organization’s cancer agency saying the weedkiller is “possibly carcinogenic to humans.” 

Environmental groups are also expressing concern about trace amounts of glyphosate that are found in popular foods. A report this week that found 21 oat-based cereal and snack products popular with children, such as Cheerios, contain traces of glyphosate. The Environmental Working Group said its tests found glyphosate levels above what it considers safe for children in all but four of the products.

Herbicide-resistant ‘superweeds’ on the rise

The most damaging weed in the UK is about to become resistant to the main defense farmers have against it – the weed-killer glyphosate. And the situation is similar in many other countries around the world, with more than 500 weed strains having evolved resistance to at least one herbicide.

Roundup is not working like it used to. “We were relying solely on glyphosate. It was doing a real good job for us,” said Mr Nichols, who farms near the Mississippi river in western Tennessee. “We probably overused that herbicide, and now we’ve got full-blown resistance to glyphosate.”

Weed resistance has grown as farmers leaned too heavily on one herbicide. Natural selection enabled a tiny minority of weeds with ingrained resistance to survive and eventually proliferate. By the early 2000’s, many US farmers were almost entirely dependent on glyphosate to protect crops of corn and soybeans, which are typically planted on the same ground.

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New Laser Can Find And Destroy Cancer Cells In The Blood

Tumor cells that spread cancer via the bloodstream face a new foe: a laser beam, shined from outside the skin, that finds and kills these metastatic little demons on the spot.

Though it may still be a ways away from becoming a commercial diagnostic tool, the laser is up to 1,000 times more sensitive than current methods used to detect tumor cells in blood, the researchers reported June 12 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

While being completely non-invasive, “this technology has the potential to significantly inhibit metastasis progression,” Vladimir Zharov, author of the paper that was published today in Science Translational Medicinetells IEEE SpectrumThe idea is to kill of cancer cells before they are able to metastasize, or spread, through the body — the primary cause of cancer-related deaths.

The researchers have already shown a proof of concept by targeting circulating tumor cells using the spaser. In the future, it is envisioned that such spasers will be delivered directly to the sites of tumors, as they can be bound to folic acid and other chemical compounds that tend to gather in large quantities near cancer cells. There, the spasers will be able to analyze the cells and destroy the cancerous cells one by one, leaving everything else perfectly intact.

The results are promising: “In one patient, we destroyed 96 percent of the tumor cells,” said Zharov. And that’s before they cranked the laser to max power.