Category Archives: Cancer

Folfox Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is the treatment used to treat cancer. It is also used in a combination that gives excellent results. Folfox is one of the combination chemotherapy treatments, which is used to treat bowel cancer. Folfox combination includes combination of drugs such as Folic acid (FOL), Flurourcil 5FU (F) and Oxaliplatin (OX). Folic acid vitamin is taken with 5FU that makes the chemotherapy more active against cancer cells without any side effects. However, sometimes it may cause high temperature but very rarely.

Chemotherapy is a cycle treatment and the number of cycles depends on your situation or stage of cancer. Mostly, you may have it up to 12 and each cycle lasts 2 weeks. At the beginning of each cycle of treatment, you have to inject these drugs intravenously that is into your blood stream. Also you may take it through a central line in which a long plastic tube is gone put into central blood vessel, through chest or vein in your arm. It stays until your treatment complete.

On first day, folic acid and oxaliplatin is given through drip over two hours and injection of 5FU is injected through central line. Mixture of 5FU is also given through drip for over 22 hours. On second day, the same process is done. On day 3 to 14, you have no treatment. After day 14, the cycle starts again.

There is standard folfox chemotherapy treatment that is known as Folfox-4 that is advanced treatment for colorectal cancer. Folfox-6 is the modified chemotherapy, which is active as first line chemotherapy for AGC patients.

Folfox chemotherapy also gives some common side effects. Combination may increase or decrease the chance of getting side effect. You may fill side effects such as fatigue, numbness or tingling, weight loss, sickness, risk of infection, drop in bone marrow function, diarrhea, pain in vein during infusion, mouth sores, loss of fertility etc. There are some occasional side effects like hair thinning chipped, brittle and ridged nails and sensitivity to sunlight. These side effects may be mild or more severe.

Side effects depend on your health, amount of drug and for how many time you are haven it and other drugs that you are taking along with chemotherapy. However, you may cure these side effects by taking other medicines, consulting with you doctor or care giver.

Folfox chemotherapy is one of the way using combination chemotherapy treatments and to know more about chemotherapy click here
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The Basics of Mutations

A cell can be compared to a city. Cities are bustling with activity. People, airplanes, cars, trains, etc. . . are coming and going to and from it. Structures are being built and others are being torn down. In a sense, proteins can be compared to the people within the city. The proteins cause all the commotion, they make things happen.

As described, all the proteins within a cell go back to that one segment (which we call the specific gene) of the DNA strand. The DNA orchestrates all the commotion caused by proteins similar to the way a conductor leads musicians at a symphony. If the conductor becomes sidetracked and makes a mistake, the harmony can be thrown off. If it is thrown off too much, the music can become chaotic and lose its rhythm.

Fortunately in most cases this doesn’t happen. Things run smoothly. And if the rhythm is lost it can usually be corrected.

Back in the molecular world things run the same. A cell can usually correct these subtle mistakes without causing a major catastrophe. However, it is remotely possible that a damaged piece of DNA can cause the cell to die. This will only happen if the damaged segment of DNA codes for a protein that is absolutely essential for the survival of the cell. If this happens, then that specific protein cannot be made. The job that protein performs cannot be completed. Just imagine, a damaged piece of DNA in the cell’s nucleus can cause the entire cell to shut down.

Life is fragile, but fortunately not quite that fragile as you might expect. DNA gets damaged often. Luckily, there are cellular components (once again, special proteins) that can fix damaged spots on a piece of DNA. Since there are two strands of DNA these proteins can do a good job of repairing alterations.

When a mutation or alteration occurs on a piece of DNA, there are several different possibilities. The impacts of these possibilities range from minuscule to disastrous.

Possibility #1

The alteration can be fixed and everything continues just like normal.

Possibility #2

The damage occurs on a piece of DNA that isn’t ever used by that particular cell (remember, different cells perform different functions too). No single type of cell needs all the information contained within the vast amount of DNA that is present. Likewise, the mistake may not affect the production of the protein at all. Sometimes this occurs even when the mistake is contained within the sequence used to make the protein.

Possibility #3

The protein may either be damaged or not produced at all. This may cause the cell to function inappropriately – it can also lead to the cell’s death. In the most disastrous scenario, the cell may become damaged, but still have the ability to divide, forming new, similarly dysfunctional cells just like it.

In most cases, an alteration to a single piece of DNA will not have any far-reaching affects on the cell. But, in instances where the alteration results in the production of a dysfunctional protein and the cell still divides, the alterations are passed onto later generations. This is where serious problems may come into play, even leading to cancer.

Scientists currently believe that several different alterations are responsible for a disaster of this magnitude to ever occur. Additionally, these mutations must probably arise in a special sequence. The odds of all this happening are low, but when it does happen the effects are certainly far-reaching and potentially devastating.

Lisa Ginger is a molecular biologist specializing in cancer research. Please review free cancer prevention articles written by knowledgeable scientists and doctors at Cancer Prevention Report – Our health is our most precious asset.

Cancer And Obesity – Is There A Link Between The Foods You Eat, Being

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992, I began to search everywhere to see how this might have happened to me. I researched any way I could to get information that could possibly help me. The internet was not developed at that time, so I began to read and ask questions.

I was in the 85% of women who develop breast cancer when there is no known family history of the disease. I was 37 years old, so I had not had a baseline mammogram yet. For the first three months, the doctors were sure I would not live. I was sure that I would.

One area of my research brought me to thinking about the role of diet and weight as related to breast cancer. I read about women who are obese and end up with a high level of estrogen in the body. The estrogen formed tumors that ended up being cancerous.

I have always been a milk drinker. The estrogen from dairy products is now believed to have an effect on our body’s ability to fight off all types of disease. I had also been at least twenty pounds overweight for most of my life, starting as a child. I thought there might be a correlation.

I have now given up all dairy products and eliminated other animal products as well. Cows, pigs, and chickens are regularly injected with antibiotics and hormones. I believe this will cause various diseases over time, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. There is now more research to substantiate all of this.

I eat a vegan diet and use a cleanse every six weeks or so to rid my body of toxins. I believe there is a connection between the foods we eat, how overweight we are, and our risk for cancer.

And now I invite you to learn more about a healthy diet that will cleanse your body of toxins by visiting http://www.FivePoundsAtATime.com to find out how to keep your body healthy and reduce your risk of disease.

Mesothelioma Cancer – Symptoms According to Different Types

Although there are common symptoms pertaining to the three types of mesothelioma, different type of mesothelioma may have also specific symptoms.

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (mesothelioma cancer that affects the lung lining) are as follows:

  • Pain in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the lower back
  • Fluid surrounding the lung (pleural effusion)
  • A persistent cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Wheezing
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Persistent fever
  • Excessive sweating
  • Swelling of the face and arms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sensory loss.

    In the early stages symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are usually quite mild. The most common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are shortness of breath and chest pain. These two symptoms are the result of the build up of fluid in the pleura. Approximately 60% of the individuals report pain in the lower back. The other symptoms are usually reported by a lower number of individuals.

    The signs and symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma (mesothelioma cancer that affects the lining of the abdominal cavity) are as follows:

  • Abdominal pain (ranging from acute to severe)
  • Stomach pain
  • Accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity ( ascites)
  • Swelling of the abdomen (due to the accumulation of fluid)
  • A mass in the abdomen
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Anemia (a low count of red cells in the blood)
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss (due to no apparent reason)
  • Blood clots in the veins
  • Blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
  • Abnormal blood clotting
  • Severe bleeding in body organs
  • Yellowing of the eyes and skin (Jaudice)
  • A low level of sugar in the blood
  • Pleural effusion

    The most common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pain and swelling due to the accumulation of fluid in the abdomen. Weight loss is another common symptom of peritoneal mesothelioma and is usually more dramatic than other forms of mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects also the intestines, liver and other structures in the abdominal cavity. The ability of the body to make blood clots is impaired since the liver plays an important role in producing the substances to control bleeding. As the cancer spreads beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body other symptoms may include trouble swallowing or swelling of the neck or face.

    The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are as follows:

  • Accumulation of fluid around the heart
  • Chest pain (ranging from mild to severe)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Persistent coughing
  • Extreme fatigue (with little physical activity)

    Fluid accumulates around the heart due to the growth of tumors in the pericardial region. Most of the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are attributed to the accumulation of this fluid since the accumulated fluid interferes with the function of the heart. The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are often wrongly mistaken as an indication of some type of heart disease.

    For more info go to Mesothelioma Cancer

  • Learn More About Sarcomatoid Carcinoma

    What is Sarcomatoid cancer?

    Sarcomatoid cancer (SARC) of the lung is a rare type of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). Non-Small Cell lung cancer accounts for about 80% of all lung cancers. There are several types of Non-Small Cell lung cancer and each type is associated with a uniquely different type of cancer cells. Sarcomatoid cancer cells tend to invade the lung tissue more deeply than other types of cancerous cells.

    It has been suggested that radiotherapy for the treatment of a patient’s other cancer’s may induce a Sarcomatoid change in lung tissue which could preempt the subsequent development of a Sarcomatoid Carcinoma.

    Sarcomatoid cancer (SARC) is sometimes found in other parts of the body although the incidence is more common in the upper body, particularly the lungs. Although this rare form of cancer has been associated with a poor prognosis, its effect on survival rates and incidence of recurrence has not been well documented or studied to date.

    The survival rate in patients diagnosed with SARC is dependent upon a number of factors such as any metastases and the original cause or site of the cancer. In a recent study, the five year survival rate for Sarcomatoid cancer patients was 24.5% compared with 46.3% for patients with other forms of NSCLC.

    Primary pulmonary Sarcomatoid Carcinoma can only be differentiated from other types of carcinoma by close examination involving immunohistochemistry (microscopic and biologic examinations) and molecular analysis. Once a tumor is identified as being SARC, it is then further defined by the presence of spindle cell lesions in the lung. SARC may also be described as a Carcinosarcoma, a Pseudosarcomatoid Carcinoma or spindle cell Carcinoma. These are all terms which define the lesions as seen on examination.

    SARC is an aggressive form of cancer and the resultant tumors are frequently symptomatic, locally advanced and have high rates of recurrence. Non-surgical treatments are usually recommended for patients with clinically advanced Sarcomatoid cancer.

    Inflammatory Sarcomatoid Carcinoma is an aggressive tumor with an unusually benign appearance. Inflammatory SARC amounts to just 0.1% to 0.4% of all lung malignancies and most often occurs in male smokers who are usually around 60 years of age at the time of diagnosis.

    Patients most often present with cough, hemoptysis (coughing blood), chest pain, and dyspnea (shortness of breath). As with other non-small cell carcinomas of the lung, the clinical stage of SARC seems to be the most important prognostic factor. The diagnosis of Sarcomatoid Carcinoma cancer requires the exclusion of other diseases that histologically – that is, microscopically – may appear similar. It is therefore most often not confirmed as being SARC until tumor sampling has been carried out.

    SARC may be mistaken for an inflammatory pseudo-tumor (IP) which is the most common type of lung cancer found predominantly in younger patients who have a history of cigarette smoking. Chest x-rays can’t always distinguish between SARC and IP so again, histologic investigations as well as biopsy may be required to make an accurate diagnosis.

    The definitive diagnosis of Sarcomatoid Carcinoma with a primary or metastatic lung sarcoma – especially spindle cell carcinoma – can again be difficult and in-depth studies may be required to establish if the SARC is primary or secondary to other pulmonary cancers. The treatment options for Sarcomatoid Carcinoma will vary depending upon many factors to do with the patients overall condition.

    For More Facts About Sarcomatoid Carcinoma and other Types of Lung Cancer, please visit the site that provided you with this article – http://www.NonSmallLungCancer.com

    Diet During Chemotherapy

    I always thought I had fairly healthy eating habits. However, when I went for my first chemotherapy treatment, I met with a Nutritionist who went over what I should have in my diet during treatment and then beyond. One of the first things I was told was to maintain my current weight. Chemotherapy drugs are given to you based on your body weight and if your weight fluctuates during the course of the treatment, then it can change the effects of the medicine. So if you were thinking of going on a diet to lose weight, you’ll have to put that on hold until after your treatment is completed. You may even be surprised that you may gain weight because of the foods you eat due to the change in your taste buds. More about that later.

    Next, we discussed me eating foods that had a high source of Iron, protein and calcium as well as eating lots of fruits and vegetables. See index for list of foods high in Iron and calcium. Keep in mind that while we had this conversation prior to starting the chemo, all the suggestions I received about what foods to eat was put on the back burner because one of the side effects of the chemo is that it alters your taste buds considerably. So, just know what you should eat may not be what you actually end up eating because your food just doesn’t taste “normal”.

    Be sure to make a list of your favorite foods and try not to eat them during your treatment because you will be disappointed in the taste. So what does your food taste like after you’ve had a treatment? My mouth had a metal taste in it and all my food tasted like someone sprinkled sawdust all over my plate. My tongue also felt like it grew slightly in size. Don’t be surprised if you favorite foods become peanut butter and jelly or other foods that have a strong taste to them. Peanut butter and jelly was a comfort food for me and it actually tasted like PB&J. Another food that actually broke through my taste buds was salmon teriyaki, I guess because the teriyaki sauce can be a bit strong. Foods that had a strong taste were best because there was a better chance that they would actually taste good.

    Your diet during chemotherapy will fluctuate and that’s ok. It’s best to eat although at times, you may not have an appetite. The most important thing is to eat what will taste good to you and know that once your treatment is over, your taste buds will return to normal.

    It’s also important to keep you body hydrated during treatment, especially for the first 24-48 hours after a treatment. Fluids will help to flush your system. I found seltzer or sparkling water to be quite tasty. I would add it to my cranberry juice or lemonade. The bubbles from the seltzer and sparkling water actually felt good in my mouth and helped to spruce up my drink. Now for those of you who drink alcohol, you’ll find that your intake of it will be extremely limited if not eliminated altogether.

    When I met with my Nutritionist, she also asked me about my alcohol intake. I am a wine drinker (at least I was before this whole experience), so when she asked me how much I drink, I said about 1-2 glasses of white wine (with ice) per night. Well, I was told that-that was too much and to cut that back to 5 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer 3-4 times per week. Now, I have to tell you that I really enjoyed my end of the day drink, so this news wasn’t good as far as I was concerned. After I got over my shock of reducing my alcohol intake, I understood that alcohol actually plays a role in breast cancer recurrence (not to mention it’s full of calories) and since I don’t particularly care to see cancer again, I did what I was told.

    So, for those of you who may experience the shock that I did, I will tell you that it was rather easy to significantly reduce my alcohol intake during treatment and now beyond. Reducing my intake during treatment was easy. First of all, my taste buds were off, so I had no desire for it and when I did taste it, it just didn’t taste right. Second, it just didn’t feel right putting that into my system when my body was in the process of being flushed with toxic drugs to remove any stray cell that wasn’t removed during surgery.

    Kimberly
    http://www.suburbanmomsofcolor.com