With gene mutations, second breast cancer risk rises over time
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – Women who are genetically susceptible to breast cancer and develop it in one breast are at higher than average risk for a tumor in the other breast, and that risk may increase as time goes on, according to a new analysis. Mutations in the BRCA 1 or 2 genes increase the risk for several types of cancer and account for 5 percent to 10 percent of breast cancers, according to the National Cancer Institute. Researchers from Spain reviewed 20 studies of the risk of cancer in the second breast of BRCA 1 and 2 carriers. ...

Overweight cancer patients may be malnourished
By Kathryn Doyle (Reuters Health) – Overweight cancer patients may benefit from being tested for malnutrition, according to a new study. Obesity increases the risk for cancer, so many patients are overweight or obese at diagnosis, and are typically not screened for malnutrition because they appear to be well-nourished, the authors write in the Annals of Oncology. Obese cancer patients also tend to survive longer than underweight patients and that may further discourage nutritional screening, they add. ...

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?
Some reports suggest nearly half the world's population suffers from vitamin D deficiency, which is unsettling news given that a lack of vitamin D has been associated with a host of serious conditions: cancer, heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, tuberculosis and even depression, not to mention brittle bones and the common cold.

Drug spending tops $1 trillion on hepatitis C, cancer therapies: study
By Caroline Humer (Reuters) - Global pharmaceutical spending will break the trillion dollar mark in 2014, driven by high prices in the United States for novel treatments such as Gilead Sciences Inc's Sovaldi for hepatitis C and new cancer drugs, according to a study released on Thursday. Total spending on drugs will hit $1.06 trillion, an increase of 7 percent over 2013 levels, according to the report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. The increase also reflected a slowdown in the introduction of cheaper generic versions of branded medicines. ...

Serb's release by UN court frees nationalist genie, Croat leader warns

Serbian nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj looks on during his rally in BelgradeZAGREB (Reuters) - Croatia's president urged neighboring Serbia on Wednesday to "stop the escalation of nationalism and hatred" following the release of a hardline Serbian nationalist leader from a United Nations war crimes court. The Hague-based tribunal released Vojislav Seselj, who suffers from cancer, on grounds of ill health before it reached a verdict in his trial for atrocities in Croatia and Bosnia. He was released without conditions after 12 years in detention. ...



Mother says Vatican criticism of daughter's Oregon assisted suicide hurtful
By Alex Dobuzinskis (Reuters) - The mother of a 29-year-old woman with terminal brain cancer who took advantage of Oregon's assisted suicide law to end her life said on Tuesday that the Vatican deeply wounded her by unfairly calling into question her daughter's decision. Debbie Ziegler, the mother of Brittany Maynard who ended her life at her Portland home on Nov. 1 by taking a fatal dose of medication, wrote on the website of Compassion & Choices, an organization that supports assisted suicide and worked with Maynard in the final weeks of her life. ...

On eve of her 30th birthday, Brittany Maynard's mother defends daughter's decision to end her life

On eve of her 30th birthday, Brittany Maynard's mother defends daughter's decision to end her lifeBrittany Maynard's mother is publicly defending her daughter's choice less than three weeks after the 29-year-old woman ended her own life as she battled terminal brain cancer.



Blase Cupich installed as Chicago's Catholic archbishop

Bishop Blase Cupich addresses the crowd from the pulpit at Holy Name Cathedral in ChicagoBy Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - Blase Cupich was installed on Tuesday as archbishop of Chicago, taking the helm of the third-largest U.S. diocese after becoming the first major appointment by Pope Francis to the hierarchy of the American Roman Catholic Church. Cupich, 65, is seen as a moderate and succeeds the more conservative Cardinal Francis George, 77, who has cancer and is retiring. Cupich previously served as bishop in Spokane, Washington. ...



Arctic Squirrels Share Circadian Secrets (VIDEO)

Arctic Squirrels Share Circadian Secrets (VIDEO)National Science Foundation, contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. The Arctic ground squirrel has developed highly specialized adaptations to extreme environments, including circadian rhythms ("biological clocks") that persist throughout the Arctic summer, despite near-constant daylight hours. Problems with circadian rhythm have been linked to such issues as fertility, obesity and cancer. With support from the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences, physiological ecologist Cory Williams of the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and a team of fellow researchers traveled to the Toolik Field Station in northern Alaska to study the Arctic ground squirrel on its home turf.



AstraZeneca trumpets solo strength in cancer drugs, snubbing Pfizer

A sign is seen at an AstraZeneca site in MacclesfieldBy Ben Hirschler and Simon Jessop LONDON (Reuters) - AstraZeneca touted an "industry-leading" line-up of hot new cancer drugs on Tuesday, aiming to show investors it has a strong independent future just days before takeover rules would allow Pfizer to launch a new bid. The company also brought forward the filing date for a new lung cancer pill, and said it could win between eight and 10 new approvals in 2015-2016 for drugs dealing with a wide range of diseases. ...



FDA puts partial hold on CytRx cancer drug trials
(Reuters) - CytRx Corp said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a hold on enrolling new patients in clinical trials of its experimental cancer drug after a patient died, sending the company's shares down 11 percent in premarket trading. The patient received the drug, aldoxorubicin, under the company's expanded access program that makes promising drugs and devices available to patients with serious diseases who do not qualify for the trials. Patients already enrolled in the trials, currently in mid stage, will continue receiving the treatment, CytRx said. ...

Next Up in the Soda Wars: Health Warning Labels for New York?
The first label warning consumers that “Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health” was affixed to packs of Lucky Strikes, Camels, and other smokes back in 1966. The surgeon general’s warning came later, and in recent years things have progressed even further, with some packages bearing graphic photos of the physical damage caused by various sorts of cancer.

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