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    Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma-Symptoms & causes-Diagnosis & treatment-Doctors & departments-Care at Mayo Clinic

    A needle suctioning out liquid bone marrow from hipbone
    Bone marrow biopsy
    Your doctor will likely ask you about your personal and family medical history. He or she may then have you undergo tests and procedures used to diagnose non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, including:

    Physical exam. Your doctor checks for swollen lymph nodes, including in your neck, underarm and groin, as well as for a swollen spleen or liver.
    Blood and urine tests. Blood and urine tests may help rule out an infection or other disease.
    Imaging tests. Your doctor may recommend imaging tests to look for tumors in your body. Tests may include X-ray, CT, MRI and positron emission tomography (PET).
    Lymph node test. Your doctor may recommend a lymph node biopsy procedure to remove all or part of a lymph node for laboratory testing. Analyzing lymph node tissue in a lab may reveal whether you have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and, if so, which type.
    Bone marrow test. A bone marrow biopsy and aspiration procedure involves inserting a needle into your hipbone to remove a sample of bone marrow. The sample is analyzed to look for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cells.
    Other tests and procedures may be used depending on your situation.
    Full Article at Mayo Clinic

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    Metastases – the real cancer risk

    Metastases are often more dangerous than the primary tumor that gives rise to them. They are responsible for 90% of all cancer deaths. Here are the most important facts on these deadly ‘sleeper’ tumors.

    Created by cells released by the primary tumor that have been transported to other organs or body parts, metastases – secondary cancer growths that spread through the body – are often viewed as its ‘deadly offspring'. At these secondary sites, the cells proliferate and grow into dangerous metastatic tumors.

    "Usually cells have their dedicated place in the body – they don't migrate,” explains Susanne Weg-Remers from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg. "But malignant cells from solid tumors can in some instances cross anatomical boundaries. Those malignant cells then invade other environs and destroy the surrounding tissue.”

    When the malignant cells enter the bloodstream or lymphatic system, they are transported throughout the body, and can dock onto and enter tissue in other areas. Once there, they establish themselves and begin to divide, eventually turning into metastases. Those metastatic tumors are no longer localized, meaning they can spread elsewhere in the body and can no longer be controlled.

    Under what conditions do metastases form?

    Cancer begins when the DNA in previously healthy cells changes during the course of life. That gives rise to cells with new characteristics. For example, growth behavior can change. Cells can begin to divide in an uncontrolled way, and no longer heed the body's signals to stop.

    To host a metastasis, a particular location in the body has to fulfil a range of conditions. The malignant cells need access to the circulatory system. "The cells have to stimulate the growth of blood vessels in the area. These have to penetrate the newly-forming tumor to ensure it's hooked up to the bloodstream,” says Weg-Remers. The vessels supply the forming metastasis with blood that carries oxygen and nutrients, allowing the cells in it to multiply.

    Types of cancer that frequently metastasize

    Lung cancer is one type of carcinoma that has frequently already metastasized by the time an initial diagnosis is confirmed. Pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and bile duct cancer are also very aggressive forms of the disease. One big problem with these conditions is that sufferers rarely have any physical complaints until the cancer has progressed significantly. "They're often only recognized when the metastases have already formed. At that point, the cancer is no longer curable,” explains Weg-Remers.

    Cancer treatments are most successful when the tumor is confined to a single location and surgeons can remove it without causing potentially life-threatening damage. That is what makes brain tumors a challenge to treat. While they are usually confined to the brain, complete surgical removal is often difficult.

    Read more: New blood test could detect eight types of cancer before symptoms show

    Brain cancer – a special case

    Primary brain tumors grow directly out of the organ's tissue or the surrounding connective tissue, and only rarely metastasize. When they do, the metastases appear in the areas filled with cerebrospinal fluid, a liquid that surrounds and cushions the brain.

    Even though they so seldom metastasize, brain tumors still often prove deadly when vital functions in the brain are affected. Many brain cancers are also secondary tumors, meaning cancers that have spread from other parts of the body. "The brain apparently offers good docking opportunities for metastases,” says Weg-Remers. "The molecular mechanisms that play a role in the process are the subject of ongoing studies.”

    Metastases and their preferred organs

    Although brain tumors rarely metastasize, other types of cancer – such as lung cancer – can spread to the brain. Breast cancer on the other hand often spreads to nearby lymph nodes. When breast cancer metastasizes, it often affects the bones, lungs or liver.

    Prostate cancer also often metastasizes to the bones and lymph nodes, and at times to the liver or lungs. Metastases from bowel cancer often spread to the peritoneum or lymphatic system.

    Is slowing metastasized cancer the only option? Or can it be stopped?

    Once metastases have appeared, the progression of the disease can generally only be slowed.

    Researchers are working hard to clarify the mechanisms behind metastasis. Many scientists believe that in order to develop new treatments, we first have to fully understand the docking mechanism used by cancer cells to gain a foothold elsewhere in the body, as well as how the tumor ensures a steady supply of blood.

    Many of the interactions that take place between cancer cells and cells in the surrounding healthy tissue remain unexplained. "For example, the body produces a range of hormones that eventually cause reprogramming in the surrounding blood vessels,” explains Weg-Remers. "When researchers are able to trace and understand these mechanisms, that will likely open the door to new therapeutic approaches.”

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    This Vaccine Can Prevent Cancer, But Many Teenagers Still Don't Get It

    Each year, about 31,000 men and women in the U.S. are diagnosed with a cancer caused by an infection from the human papillomavirus, or HPV. It's the most common sexually transmitted virus and infection in the U.S.

    In women, HPV infection can lead to cervical cancer, which leads to about 4,000 deaths per year. In men, it can cause penile cancer. HPV also causes some cases of oral cancer, cancer of the anus and genital warts.

    The CDC says HPV vaccination can prevent many of these cancers, and urges pediatricians to recommend HPV vaccination for all their patients, beginning at age 11.

    But a new analysis from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association finds only 29 percent of the teens its members insure receive a first dose of the HPV vaccine by their 13th birthday. And the CDC finds, nationally, only 43 percent of teens are up-to-date on all the recommended doses of the vaccine.

    CDC Endorses A More Effective HPV Vaccine To Prevent Cancer
    "It's important for 12 and 13-year-olds to get the HPV vaccine to provide immunity so that when they may be exposed to HPV later in life, typically through sexual activity, they have protection, says Dr. Margaret Stager, of the Metro Health Medical Center in Cleveland. She's a pediatrician and spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

    The CDC summarizes the transmission of the virus bluntly: "People get HPV from another person during intimate sexual contact. Most of the time, people get HPV from having vaginal or anal sex. Men and women can also get HPV from having oral sex or other sex play."

    HPV immunization rates have been rising in the decade or so since the first vaccine became available, but pediatricians still hear pushback from some parents. Stager says she's heard questions such as: "Why are we giving this vaccine to my [11-year-old] girl? She's not going to be having sex — so why are we doing this now?"

    There are two reasons to vaccinate at this age. First, there's a more effective immune response if it is given in early adolescence. And second: "It works best if given before any sexual exposure."

    Though gender differences in vaccine rates have narrowed, more girls than boys get the HPV vaccine. This may be because the recommendation to vaccinate boys began in 2011, years after it was first recommended for girls.

    Is 20-Something Too Late For A Guy To Get The HPV Vaccine?
    Meanwhile, it's clear that males are getting HPV-related cancers. "We're seeing a trend in adult men with oral cancers related to HPV," says Stager. These oropharyngeal cancers occur in the back of the throat, including the base of the tongue and tonsils. Oral HPV cancer is much more common in men than women.

    "This is the [age] group of men that did not have the opportunity to get the HPV vaccine," she says.

    So what's the connection between HPV and oral cancer? "It's related to oral sex," Stager explains.

    The CDC has documented an increase in the cases of HPV-related cancers in men in recent years, with a significant increase in oropharyngeal cancer.

    "The fastest growing segment of the oral and oropharyngeal cancer population are otherwise healthy, nonsmokers in the 25-50 age range," according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

    For young men and women, it may not be too late to get the vaccine.

    The CDC says those who missed being vaccinated as teenagers, can still benefit from getting the HPV vaccine through their early and mid-20s.

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    For everyone who has tried to quit smoking by using E-cigs

    Turns out E-Cigarettes Cause a Horrible Incurable Disease Called “Popcorn Lung”
    The latest trend in smoking has been E-cigarettes. They have been promoted as a much safer alternative to smoking regular cigarettes.

    But of course, there’s the old saying that starts out, if it’s too good to be true…It turns out the Harvard School of Public Health decided to do a study on E-cigarettes and the results are startling. It looks as if they may not pose the traditional cigarette threat, but they pose a different one altogether.

    Diacetyl is a flavoring chemical used in E-cigs which are linked to cases of severe respiratory disease, most notably the incurable condition called “Popcorn Lung.” This condition was first noticed in workers in microwave popcorn processing facilities who inhaled the artificial butter flavoring. The disease is totally debilitating and irreversible. It’s a respiratory disease which causes scarring in tiny air sacs in the lungs. This leads to shortness of breath and excessive coughing.

    “The amount of diacetyl in 39 of the e-cigs exceeded the amount that was able to be detected by the laboratory. Diacetyl and other related flavoring chemicals are used in many other flavors beyond butter-flavored popcorn, including fruit flavors, alcohol flavors, and candy flavored e-cigarettes.”

    Allan also noted how scary these findings are as the flavor names of these e-cigs include cotton candy, cupcake, and other flavors which would clearly be attractive to young people.

    But that’s not all. Due to the fact that e-cigs are so new, it wouldn’t be a stretch to figure that even more risks will pop up in the near future. David Christiani, Elkan Blout Professor of Environmental Genetics, was the co-author of the study and said the following:

    “Since most of the health concerns about e-cigarettes have focused on nicotine, there is still much we do not know about e-cigarettes. In addition to containing varying levels of the addictive substance nicotine, they also contain other cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde, and as our study shows, flavoring chemicals that can cause lung damage.”

    It looks like the fruity-flavored “safe” alternative to traditional smoking, may not be all that after all, and it probably is best to cease any e-cig habits until further research is done on this emerging smoking trend.

    Here’s a video where e-cigs led to devastating results for one man:

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    Ask Congress To Reject Any Proposed Cuts To Cancer Research Funding And Lifesaving Cancer Prevention Programs


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    10 Tips for National Cancer Prevention Month

    The American Cancer Society estimates that 1,688,780 people were newly diagnosed with cancer in 2017. While that number may seem staggering, the good news is the number of people who die from cancer continues to decline, thanks to treatment advances and early detection.

    Perhaps the best news is that cancer is highly preventable. Research shows that just 5 to 10 percent of cancer cases are attributed to genes. Lifestyle and environment likely triggered the remaining 90 to 95 percent.

    February is National Cancer Prevention Month. While you are likely well aware of things you should do to prevent cancer –avoiding smoking and wearing sunscreen, and getting regular screenings for colon, breast and prostate cancer, for example– there are other steps you can start taking now to up your odds of remaining cancer-free. In fact, many are surprisingly simple to tackle.

    1. Drink Filtered Water
    Sipping enough H2O every day is essential to overall health, but it is important to make sure the water you drink is clean and safe. Find out what contaminates are in your tap water (you can check the EWG’s Tap Water Database). If carcinogens are present, you may wish to buy a filter for your home or filtered water from the store.

    2. Eat a Rainbow
    The more colorful your diet is, the more likely that it is packed with the nutrients your body needs to fight cancer. Load your plate with minimally-processed foods in a variety of hues, such as fruits, vegetables, herbs and whole grains.

    3. Get on Your Feet
    Studies suggest that spending too much time sitting can make you likelier to develop cancer. Find opportunities to stand throughout each day, whether you invest in a special desk that enables you to work while on your feet or you opt to stand while making phone calls, doing chores or even watching television.

    4. Have a Cup of Joe
    Java lovers rejoice! Drinking coffee regularly could protect against multiple types of cancer. The beans, a rich source of antioxidants, may have other positive effects on your health, as well.

    5. Start Moving
    Physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of 13 types of cancer. You don’t have to hit the gym or exercise strenuously, either. Walking just 30 minutes at 3 mph 5 days per week can be enough to protect you.

    6. Be Picky about Meat
    Processed meats, such as hot dogs, bacon and lunch meat, has been classified as a carcinogen. Red meat has been labeled a possible carcinogen, as well. Make more meals using poultry and fish or create meatless dishes using beans, eggs and other protein sources instead.

    7. Shed (Just a Few) Pounds
    If you are overweight or obese, you are at a higher risk for cancer. Fortunately, you can begin lowering that risk by losing a minimal amount of weight. Shedding as little as five percent of your body weight can make a major difference.

    8. Get Vaccinated
    The human papillomavirus can cause cervical, vaginal, vulvar, anal and oral cancer. The HPV vaccine protects against the virus. Another immunization to consider is hepatitis B virus, as a long-lasting hepatitis B virus can cause liver cancer.

    9. Up Vitamin D Intake
    Studies have shown a correlation between low levels of vitamin D and certain types of cancer. Your primary care provider can test to see if you are deficient in this vitamin and give recommendations for getting more from sun exposure or supplements.

    10. Relax
    While there is no hard proof that stress can cause cancer, chronic stress can weaken your immune system and potentially speed the development of tumors. Find healthy, positive ways to release the strains of daily life, such as prayer and meditation, exercise or venting to a friend.