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Posts tagged ‘cervical cancer’

Aspirin may stop deafness caused by chemotherapy

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A trial will be launched at Velindre Hospital to see if high doses of the drug can prevent permanent loss

 

Aspirin could save the hearing of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, scientists in Cardiff hope.

A trial will be launched at the city’s Velindre Hospital to see if high doses of the drug can prevent permanent loss.

Conditions ranging from tinnitus to deafness are a common side effect for patients given the chemotherapy drug cisplatin.

The trial, called Coast, has recruited 88 adults prescribed cisplatin in Cardiff and other UK hospitals.

It is used to treat testicular cancer, germ cell cancer, head and neck cancer, bladder cancer, cervical cancer, non-small cell lung cancer and some types of children’s cancer.

‘Shock it was cancer’

Father-of-four Andrew Millington, 66, was given cisplatin after a tumour was found at the base of his tongue.

Aspirin: The wonder drug?

  • Aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) has been used for many years as a painkiller
  • It has an anti-inflammatory action
  • Low-dose (75mg) aspirin is already recommended for people with known cardiovascular disease to prevent stroke and heart attack
  • The benefits for healthy people are still unclear
  • Aspirin can cause fatal internal bleeding, although this is relatively rare

Source: BBC Health

 

“I had a persistent sore throat and earache, and I went to see my GP last spring,” he said.

“I was referred to a consultant and had an MRI scan. It was a shock to be told it was cancer but… it was generally curable, which was such a relief to hear. I was offered cisplatin and, after hearing about the possible side effects, I was more than happy to take part in the Coast trial.”

Around 18,500 cancer patients receive cisplatin every year and around half suffer some form of permanent hearing loss.

Ahead of the trial’s launch on Thursday, professor Emma King, chief investigator and Cancer Research UK surgeon at the University of Southampton, said: “Aspirin can have serious side effects, including internal bleeding, so it’s important to stress that aspirin is not suitable for all cancer patients.

“To help prevent these problems we’ll be giving patients specially coated aspirin tablets, that only release the drug once it reaches the small intestine, and also using another drug that reduces digestive juices, to prevent bleeding in the stomach.

“If this trial is successful, then a larger trial will follow within two years that could potentially see aspirin become a routine part of cisplatin treatment for many thousands of cancer patients.”

Patient receiving chemotherapy
Conditions ranging from tinnitus to deafness are a common side effect for patients given cisplatin

via BBC News – Aspirin may stop deafness caused by chemotherapy.

One dose of HPV vaccine may prevent cervical cancer

hpv
This file photo shows a doctor at University of Miami giving an HPV vaccination to a girl, at the Miller School of Medicine, on September 21, 2011

 

A single dose — rather than the recommended three — of a vaccine against the sexually transmitted disease HPV may be enough to ward off cervical cancer, researchers say.

The findings may lead to simpler delivery and lower costs, possibly increasing the number of young people who get vaccinated, said the report in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, released Monday.

The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys before they become sexu

ally active, but US research from 2012 showed that only one third of US female teens and fewer than seven percent of US boys got the recommended three doses.

“Our findings suggest promise for simplified vaccine administration schedules that might be cheaper, simpler, and more likely to be implemented around the world,” said Mahboobeh Safaeian, an investigator in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland.

The study focused on a population of nearly 7,500 women aged 18-25 in Costa Rica. Although all were supposed to get the recommended three doses of the HPV vaccine at different times, about 20 percent of participants did not.

So researchers analyzed blood samples from a group of 78 who got one dose, compared to groups of 120 to 192 that received two or three doses as planned.

They found that all the women in all three groups had antibodies against virulent strains of HPV, known as 16 and 18.

These antibodies persisted in their blood for up to four years, which is about as long as researchers have expected the vaccine to be effective.

The levels of antibodies also appeared stable over time, even though they were slightly lower in the single dose group, suggesting “these are lasting responses,” said the study.

The vaccine used in the study was Cervarix, made by the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

“GSK is continuing to review findings from this trial and is committed to ensuring regulatory authorities and public health officials have access to this information,” a company spokesman told AFP.

Study authors said antibody responses after a single dose have not been evaluated for Gardasil, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine made by Merck that is more widely used in the United States and many other countries.

More research is needed before any formal changes can be decided, but Safaeian said the findings could have far-reaching impact in low income nations.

“Vaccination with two doses, or even one dose, could simplify the logistics and reduce the cost of vaccination, which could be especially important in the developing world, where more than 85 percent of cervical cancers occur, and where cervical cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths,” she said.

HPV can cause oral, anal, and cervical cancer.

According to the World Health Organization, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, and causes 500,000 new cases and 250,000 deaths each year.

Read more: One dose of HPV vaccine may prevent cervical cancer – World – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/world/one-dose-of-hpv-vaccine-may-prevent-cervical-cancer-1.420147#ixzz2mPfhR1Wz

via One dose of HPV vaccine may prevent cervical cancer – World – New Straits Times.

A dose of HPV vaccine may be all you need

cervical
Researchers in the US say that a single dose of the HPV vaccine may be enough to ward off cervical cancer.

 

Early research shows that only one dose of the vaccine is needed to prevent cervical cancer.

 

A single dose – rather than the recommended three – of a vaccine against the sexually transmitted disease HPV may be enough to ward off cervical cancer, researchers said this week.

The findings may lead to simpler delivery and lower costs, possibly increasing the number of young people who get vaccinated, said the report in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

The HPV vaccine is recommended for girls and boys before they become sexually active, but US research from 2012 showed that only one third of US female teens and fewer than 7% of US boys got the recommended three doses.

“Our findings suggest promise for simplified vaccine administration schedules that might be cheaper, simpler, and more likely to be implemented around the world,” said Mahboobeh Safaeian, an investigator in the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute in Maryland, the United States.

The study focused on a population of nearly 7,500 women aged 18-25 in Costa Rica. Although all were supposed to get the recommended three doses of the HPV vaccine at different times, about 20% of participants did not.

So researchers analysed blood samples from a group of 78 who got one dose, compared to groups of 120 to 192 that received two or three doses as planned.

They found that all the women in all three groups had antibodies against virulent strains of HPV, known as 16 and 18.

These antibodies persisted in their blood for up to four years, which is about as long as researchers have expected the vaccine to be effective.

The levels of antibodies also appeared stable over time, even though they were slightly lower in the single dose group, suggesting “these are lasting responses”, said the study.

The vaccine used in the study was Cervarix, made by the British pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline.

“GSK is continuing to review findings from this trial and is committed to ensuring regulatory authorities and public health officials have access to this information,” a company spokesman told AFP.

Study authors said antibody responses after a single dose have not been evaluated for Gardasil, the quadrivalent HPV vaccine made by Merck that is more widely used in the United States and many other countries.

More research is needed before any formal changes can be decided, but Safaeian said the findings could have far-reaching impact in low income nations.

“Vaccination with two doses, or even one dose, could simplify the logistics and reduce the cost of vaccination, which could be especially important in the developing world, where more than 85% of cervical cancers occur, and where cervical cancer is one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths,” she said.

HPV can cause oral, anal, and cervical cancer.

According to the World Health Organisation, cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide, and causes 500,000 new cases and 250,000 deaths each year. — AFP Relaxnews

via A dose of HPV vaccine may be all you need – Health | The Star Online.

Stigma hampering cervical cancer battle in India


File photo shows a doctor drawing medicine into a syringe during a surgery. (AFP/Brendan Smialowski)

Social stigma is harming attempts to combat cervical cancer in India where more women die annually of the disease than anywhere else in the world, a new report said Friday.

NEW DELHI: Social stigma is harming attempts to combat cervical cancer in India where more women die annually of the disease than anywhere else in the world, a new report said Friday.

More than a quarter of cervical cancer deaths worldwide occur in India, representing 72,825 a year according to the report by the US-based Cervical Cancer Free Coalition, although African nations have higher mortality rates.

Cervical cancer is the second largest killer of women in low- and middle-income countries and is a taboo subject in many conservative societies as it is linked to sexual transmission, said the report.

“It is critical to educate the public on the importance of screening and to break down cultural barriers about discussing sexual issues,” said Usha Rani Poli, a doctor at the MNJ Institute of Oncology in the Indian city of Hyderabad.

She urged dismantling of the cultural barriers that impede frank discussions over sex in the largely patriarchal and male-dominated Indian society.

India, China, Brazil, Bangladesh and Nigeria account for over 50 per cent of the annual 275,000 cervical cancer deaths, said the report, which compiled data from multiple sources including the World Health Organization.

Zambia has the highest mortality rate globally at 38.6 deaths per 100,000 women with India registering less than half that rate at 15.2 deaths.

By contrast, Australia, which has a strong cervical cancer vaccine immunisation programme, has the lowest death rate at 1.4, said the report to be formally launched Sunday to coincide with International Mothers’ Day.

“Lack of awareness and deep-seated stigma associated with the disease pose significant barriers” to treatment access in many countries with high death rates, the report said.

Cervical cancer is “preventable”, said coalition executive director Jennifer Smith, adding “we can dramatically reduce this disease through vaccination, screening and education”.

The US group, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina and funded by drug firms and other donors, chose 50 countries to provide a global snapshot reflecting geographic, economic and population variations.

“Unless women’s groups and civil society join together to lead movements that break through stigma, patriarchy and other societal barriers, we will continue to see large numbers of deaths,” the report said.

Doctors believe the disease can be prevented through better awareness.

“There are encouraging opportunities for prevention with breakthroughs in cervical cancer screening in low-resource settings,” said gynaecologic oncologist Poli.

Zambia’s Christine Kaseba, wife of President Michael Sata, called the nation’s high cervical cancer mortality rate “shocking”.

“We can change this by making life-saving vaccines available that almost entirely prevent the disease,” Kaseba said.

– AFP/sb http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/stigma-hampering-cervical-cancer-battle-/670240.html

 

Cervical cancer screening: One in four in Wales miss test


One in every four women in Wales fail to go for a smear test, figures show

One in four women fail to go for cervical cancer screening in Wales, with Cardiff recording the nation’s lowest figures, figures show.

The charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust calls the decline worrying and more women are being urged to go for a test.

Almost 40,000 in Cardiff did not have the test in 2010/11 and a bus advert campaign will target the city.

Campaigners blame increasingly busy lives, surgery opening times and a fear of the test for the low uptake.

They they told me there and then what they thought it was – I was absolutely distraught – I cannot even begin to explain how I felt”

Karen Holroyd Charity campaigner

For women in the younger and older age groups, numbers slip below the national average with 24.3% of 25 to 29-year-olds and 24.8% of 60 to 64-year-olds missing the test.

Karen Holroyd, from Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, missed tests and was diagnosed with the disease at the age of 30.

“I urge everyone to have their smear tests, I realise now how important they really are,” the mother-of-one told BBC Wales.

In February 2010 Ms Holroyd began experiencing heavy bleeding which was was put down to an infection.

Ms Holroyd admits she had not gone for a smear test “for years”.

In August that year she was seen by a different doctor who immediately carried out an internal examination, and was sent to the emergency gynaecology unit at the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

“They they told me there and then what they thought it was.”

Early menopause

A biopsy revealed Ms Holroyd had had stage 2B cervical cancer which had spread to her lymph nodes.

“I was absolutely distraught. I cannot even begin to explain how I felt,” she said.

She immediately began chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy.

Another major contributing factor to women not attending is embarrassment and fear of the procedure – it’s a simple five minute procedure that could save their life”

Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust

“That obviously affected my fertility, it brought on early menopause and my partner and I had only just been discussing having children,” she said.

Last June, Ms Holroyd was told the primary cancer had gone but the disease was still present in her lymph nodes which could be controlled, not cured, with chemotherapy.

“I went home and did my own research and found out I could have a type of radiotherapy, called CyberKnife, which targets the area more specifically than normal radiotherapy,” she said.

After initially being told she would have to fund the treatment herself, Ms Holroyd launched the campaign Karen’s Cause and was eventually granted the treatment on the NHS.

The tumours have now shrunk and Ms Holroyd is awaiting further test results.

“It’s so important to make sure you have your smear tests,” she added.

‘More career-driven’

Until 18 June, buses in Cardiff will carrying the message “Cervical screening saves lives” down the side in conjunction with Cervical Screening Awareness Week from 10-16 June.

A Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust spokeswoman said: “There are a whole variety of reasons as to why women are missing out on the test.

“We’re much busier now, more career-driven and don’t have the time to take time off to fit in with GPs’ opening hours.

“Some girls have a fear of the test because it’s quite intimate, they think it will hurt.”

Robert Music, director of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said: “Each year, the UK screening programme saves 5,000 lives, yet one in four Welsh women are not attending their cervical screening test.

“With such a worrying decline in numbers, our campaign is also targeting Cardiff, where uptake is 73.7% – the lowest in the country.

“Adverts urging eligible women to get screened will adorn buses across the city with a potential to reach 92% of the city’s population.”

“Another major contributing factor to women not attending is embarrassment and fear of the procedure.

“We want to reverse this trend by reassuring those who are nervous about the test that it’s a simple five-minute procedure that could save their life,” the spokeswoman added.

BBC

Push for girls to be vaccinated against cervical cancer

Last year, real-estate agent Angeline Tan, 44, got her three teenage daughters vaccinated against cervical cancer after reading about the immunisation.

She said: ‘It’s more effective for younger girls, and we thought prevention is better than cure.’

But her daughters are in the minority. Just 4 per cent of women here are protected against the sixth-most common women’s cancer, which kills 70 here each year on average.

The Singapore Paediatric Society has thus launched a public education drive this month, Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, to raise awareness of the vaccine. It will put TV infomercials and get letters on the disease sent out to parents of teenage girls in schools. Eventually, it wants to push for the vaccine to be put on the school immunisation programme.

Straits Times

‘One in six cancers worldwide are caused by infection’

Infection with human papillomavirus can cause cervical cancer

 

By Michelle Roberts Health editor, BBC News online

One in six cancers – two million a year globally – are caused by largely treatable or preventable infections, new estimates suggest.

The Lancet Infectious Diseases review, which looked at incidence rates for 27 cancers in 184 countries, found four main infections are responsible.

These four – human papillomaviruses, Helicobacter pylori and hepatitis B and C viruses – account for 1.9m cases of cervical, gut and liver cancers.

Most cases are in the developing world.

The team from the International Agency for Research on Cancer in France says more efforts are needed to tackle these avoidable cases and recognise cancer as a communicable disease.

‘Preventable’

The proportion of cancers related to infection is about three times higher in parts of the developing world, such as east Asia, than in developed countries like the UK – 22.9% versus 7.4%, respectively.

Infection prevention …could have a substantial effect on the future burden of cancer worldwide”

Dr Catherine de Martel and Dr Martyn Plummer

Nearly a third of cases occur in people younger than 50 years.

Among women, cancer of the cervix accounted for about half of the infection-related cancers. In men, more than 80% were liver and gastric cancers.

Drs Catherine de Martel and Martyn Plummer, who led the research, said: “Infections with certain viruses, bacteria, and parasites are some of the biggest and preventable causes of cancer worldwide

“Application of existing public-health methods for infection prevention, such as vaccination, safer injection practice, or antimicrobial treatments, could have a substantial effect on the future burden of cancer worldwide.”

Vaccines are available to protect against human papillomavirus (HPV) – which is linked to cancer of the cervix – and hepatitis B virus – an established cause of liver cancer.

And experts know that stomach cancer can be avoided by clearing the bacterial infection H. pylori from the gut using a course of antibiotics.

Commenting on the work, Dr Goodarz Danaei from Harvard School of Public Medicine in Boston, the US, said: “Since effective and relatively low-cost vaccines for HPV and HBV are available, increasing coverage should be a priority for health systems in high-burden countries.”

Jessica Harris of Cancer Research UK said: “It’s important that authorities worldwide make every effort to reduce the number of infection-related cancers, especially when many of these infections can be prevented. In the UK, infections are thought to be responsible for 3% of cancers, or around 9,700 cases each year.

“Vaccination against HPV, which causes cervical cancer, should go a long way towards reducing rates of this disease in the UK. But it’s important that uptake of the vaccination remains high. At a global level, if the vaccine were available in more countries, many thousands more cases could be prevented.”

BBC

Cervical Cancer Home Test Kit Jumps Cultural Fears in Indonesia


A doctor examines a woman for cervical cancer using the method at the health center Pademangan, North Jakarta on January 17, 2012. Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer among women after breast cancer, but cultural fears prevent many Asian women from being tests. The Singapore-Dutch based company Delphi Bioscience Asia hopes a new home test kit will overcome these fears. (JG Photo/Safir Makki)

 

Singapore. A Singapore-Dutch joint venture has launched a home test kit for cervical cancer to make the process more convenient and help women, particularly in Asia, overcome fear of the traditional pap smear.

Cervical cancer, with about 500,000 new cases and 250,000 deaths each year, is the second most common cancer among women after breast cancer, the World Health Organization says.

“We are still struggling with reaching out to women for cervical cancer screening in Asia,” Singapore gynaecological oncologist Tay Eng Hseon said at a media briefing on Monday, citing factors such as shyness, culture, fear and lack of time.

Delphi Bioscience Asia Pte is a collaboration between Delphi Bioscience BV, a life sciences company based in the Netherlands, and its Singapore partners Tay and businessman David Tan.

The Delphi screener, with a cylindrical shape and round tip, can be inserted to the top of the cervix by the user to collect cells with a sterile, saline liquid. This is then used to test for high-risk Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which could cause cervical cancer. In a pap smear, cells are scraped from the opening of the cervix with a speculum and then examined under a microscope.

The recommended retail price for the screener is 79.90 Singapore dollars ($63), including the laboratory test. This compares with 30-40 Singapore dollars for a pap smear in a clinic and more than 100 Singapore dollars for an HPV test, Tay said.

Delphi expects the screener to be available at about 100 family physician clinics in Singapore over the next three months and hopes to use the Southeast Asian city-state as a regional launchpad. Tan, executive managing director (commercial) at Delphi Bioscience Asia, said its Indonesian distributor has committed to 1.5 million units over the next 12 months and Malaysia is next in the company’s sights.

But China, the world’s second-largest economy, poses significant regulatory hurdles, Tan said.

“China is not on our immediate radar for obvious reasons,” he said. “Regulatory approvals take a long time and they are very complicated.”

Reuters

Read More : Jakarta Globe

 

Smear tests ‘boost cure chances’


The human papilloma virus can cause cervical cancer

 

Women diagnosed with cervical cancer as a result of a smear test have a far better chance of being cured than women who do not go for tests, a Swedish study suggests.

The researchers found a 92% cure rate after a smear test diagnosis, compared with 66% for symptoms-based diagnoses.

The study in bmj.com looked at all women diagnosed with cervical cancer in Sweden between 1999 and 2001.

A cancer charity said screening saved 5,000 UK lives a year.

The Swedish research, carried out at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, followed 1,230 women for an average of eight years after diagnosis.

To estimate the chances of surviving cervical cancer, the study analysed cancers detected by an abnormal smear test result and all other cases based on diagnosis using symptoms.

The percentage of women cured after presenting with symptoms within the recommended interval between screenings was 74%.

But for women with symptoms who were overdue for screening, this cure rate decreased to 60%.

Researchers found that the chances of being cured for all women who had a smear test within the recommended three to five years were 11% higher than for women who were overdue or who had never had a smear test.

This is a result of screen-detected cancers generally being found at an earlier stage, the study says.

Three-quarters of the 373 women who died from cervical cancer in the Swedish study had not had a cervical smear in the recommended timeframe.

 

CERVICAL SCREENING IN UK

In England, women aged 25 to 49 are invited every three years.

Women aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years.

In Northern Ireland, women aged 25 to 49 are invited every three years.

Women aged 50 to 64 are invited every five years.

In Scotland, women aged 20 to 60 invited every three years.

In Wales, women aged 20 to 64 invited every three years.

Dr Bengt Andrae, study author and senior consultant gynaecologist at Uppsala University, said that screening both reduced the risk of cervical cancer and was linked with improved likelihood of cure.

“Even if you have not gone to cervical screening before, go when you are invited because you have a much better prognosis than waiting for the symptoms to appear.”

Recent NHS figures show that one in five UK women decline the offer of a smear test.

The Swedish cervical screening programme invites women aged 23-50 to attend every three years and women aged 51-60 to attend every five years.

This is very similar to the UK’s cervical screening programme, although there are variations across the country.

Robert Music, director of Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, said the research highlighted the importance of attending cervical screening.

“Cervical cancer is largely preventable thanks to cervical screening which saves 5,000 UK lives a year. And for those diagnosed, survival rates are good if the disease is caught early.

But he said he was concerned about the downward trend in screening attendance.

“Three pieces of research the charity has undertaken over the past year have identified a number of barriers to attending screening.

“There is an urgent need for more investment in targeted campaigns to remind women that they can take proactive steps to reduce their risk of cervical cancer by attending screening. Quite simply it could save their life.”

 

Read More: BBC

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