Dog saves owner by sniffing out her cancer BEFORE she even knew she had it


Image: Dog saves owner by sniffing out her cancer BEFORE she even knew she had it

Dogs have a long history of being man’s best friend. But the story of a Newburyport Police Department officer and her blind dog from Massachusetts, doesn’t merely prove the bond between owner and pet but also proves that dogs are great at detecting illnesses.

Police officer Megan Tierney was reportedly at home with Dude, her blind border collie/Australian shepherd mix, when he started acting a little strange. According to her, she was lying in bed when Dude suddenly became focused on her chest area, placing a paw on her.

Tierney turned her attention on the spot Dude was touching and noticed a tissue swell. But to her surprise, a trip to the doctor confirmed that she has stage two triple negative invasive ductal breast cancer. And although finding out you have cancer is never an easy thing to swallow, the police officer said, “Dude found the lump, and we were never so happy because it just meant that we could get it where it was, rather than not knowing.”

It is known that dogs have a more heightened sense of smell compared to humans. Dude, being a blind dog, has greatly enhanced this particular sense which helped him detect the illness of his owner. Moreover, canines’ olfactory bulbs have 220 million scent receptors; 195 million more than that of humans.

According to dog-cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz from Barnard College, dogs can smell odors in parts per trillion. For example, in a million gallons of water, dogs can detect if a teaspoon sugar was mixed into the water. This means their smelling abilities are 100,000 times better than ours. (Related: Dogs can smell lung cancer in humans.)

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One study, conducted by the Pine Street Foundation, reflects Dude’s exceptional skill. The study involved five dogs that were given breath samples of 31 breast cancer patients, 55 lung cancer patients and 83 healthy persons. All dogs were able to pinpoint which samples came from those who were ill, with approximately 90 percent accuracy.

Can dogs really smell cancer?

According to Tammana Khare of Dogs Naturally Magazine, because of the metabolic waste released by cancerous cells, a distinct smell is also released from the human body. This significant smell can be easily traced by dogs even during the earlier stages of cancer.

Other studies suggest that canines also have the ability to smell traces of skin cancer melanoma through skin lesions, and detect prostate cancer with just a urine sample from a person who is suffering from one.

“Not only does their sense of smell make cancer detection possible, but research suggests that dogs can be trained actively to sniff out the cancer, ” the canine expert shared. “In Berlin, a group of researchers trained some dogs to detect the presence of various types of cancer, including ovarian cancer, bowel cancer, as well as bladder cancer, skin cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer,” Khane finished.

Although some remain to be with the whole idea of dogs being able to sniff out cancer and other illnesses, there are already some field experts who see a future where dogs will be directly used in patient care. More importantly, the special dog ability Dude exhibited helped his owner, Tierney, to manage her sickness and prolong her life.

Check out more amazing stories about man’s best friend on NaturalNewsPets.com.

Sources include:

Lifezette.com

PBS.org

 

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What is the Relationship Between Tea and Cancer Prevention?


Drinking tea has been a practice around the world since ancient times, and often has been seen as a way of promoting good health. Whether tea – either the green or black varieties – can reduce the risk of cancer is a question that has been studied, but hasn’t yielded a definite answer.

The relationship between tea and cancer prevention is still being explored.

 

 

Made from the leaf of the plant Camellia sinensis, tea contains an array of chemicals including alkaloids, polyphenols, amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, and volatile organic compounds. Many of the potential health benefits of tea have been attributed to the antioxidant activity of polyphenols.

More than 50 epidemiologic studies since 2006 have examined the relationship between tea drinking and cancer risk, with inconsistent findings. Some have found that tea-drinkers have reduced risks of cancers of the colon, breast, ovary, prostate, and lung. Others have failed to show benefits.

A few studies have found some evidence that green and black tea may reduce ovarian cancer risk. Higher consumption of flavonoids and flavonols – chemicals found in tea — was associated with a lower risk of ovarian cancer in one analysis of dietary habits and health from the Nurses’ Health Study. Other studies reported a lower risk of developing ovarian cancer with the consumption of green or black tea, while yet another report found that drinking green tea did not appear to prevent recurrences of ovarian cancer.

“It’s definitely a complicated question,” says Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, a senior clinical nutritionist in Nutrition Services at Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center. “What we typically say is that tea, like other plant foods, contains immune-supportive and cancer-fighting properties. But the challenge is to convey that the evidence for tea alone as a means of reducing cancer risk is too weak or inconclusive.”

Since scalding hot beverages including tea have been shown to raise the risk of esophageal cancer, Kennedy recommends that tea be drunk warm or cooled, and with limited amounts of honey or sugar, and it’s best to avoid artificial sweeteners.

Most studies of cancer prevention have focused on green tea, which contains greater amounts of catechins, although some research has suggested benefits from black tea consumption.

Not a tea drinker? Coffee consumption has also been studied in relation to cancer risk, and has generally been found not to raise risk. In some cases, it has even been shown to reduce it. Dana-Farber researchers reported in 2015 that drinking caffeinated coffee daily may improve the survival of patients with colon cancer.

The Role of Selenium in Cellular Health and Cancer Prevention


Micronutrients are incredibly important and vital to your health, but are you getting enough, and perhaps even more importantly, the right form? Mark Whitacre, Ph.D., is a leading expert on one of the most important micronutrients, selenium.

Story at-a-glance

  • At the cellular level, selenium is an active component of glutathione peroxidase, which has potent antioxidant properties and serves as a first line of defense against build-up of harmful free radicals in your cells
  • By reducing free radicals, selenium also helps reduce your risk of cancer. Studies show higher selenium levels can cut your risk of prostate cancer by as much as 63 percent, and lung and colon cancer by about 50 percent
  • For cancer prevention, the recommended dosage is 200 mcg of SelenoExcell® high selenium yeast per day. Avoid exceeding 400 mcg per day as toxicity may be an issue

Selenium is a trace element a Swedish chemist, Baron Jöns Jacob Berzelius, discovered almost 200 years ago. Today, modern scientists recognize it as an essential mineral for human health, with potent anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-cancer activity.

There are fewer than 100 selenium Ph.D. biochemists in the world. Whitacre received his master’s degree in nutrition at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in the late 1970s — a time when selenium was quickly becoming a hot topic.

“After I finished my master’s degree at Ohio State, I went to Cornell University to get my Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry and to study under Gerald F. Combs Jr.[,Ph.D., who] was probably the leading authority in selenium research, and probably still is,” Whitacre says.

During his Ph.D. research at Cornell in selenium biochemistry, Whitacre researched the biochemical role of selenium in pancreatic cells. At the time, researchers were just starting to discover the biological necessities for selenium.

Selenium in Health and Disease Prevention

Selenium serves two very important and interrelated roles:

  1. At the cellular level, selenium is an active component of glutathione peroxidase, an enzyme that converts hydrogen peroxide to water. Glutathione peroxidase has potent antioxidant properties, and serves as a first line of defense against build-up of harmful free radicals in your cells.
  2. Selenium also plays an important role in the prevention of cancer. One of the reasons people get cancer is because of excessive free radical production. By reducing free radicals, selenium helps reduce your risk of cancer.

Excessive Iron + Selenium Deficiency = Bad News

Excessive iron can throw a wrench in the works here. By causing a Fenton reaction in the inner mitochondria, iron then reacts with hydrogen peroxide to form hydroxyl free radicals — the most dangerous type of free radicals known.

These excess free radicals can damage mitochondrial DNA, proteins and cell membranes and lead to dysfunction and ultimately premature death of the mitochondria.

This is why I recommend getting your iron level tested once a year, and to maintain a level between 20 and 80 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), and ideally between 40 and 60 ng/mL.

While anemia (low iron) can be a serious problem it is easily treated with iron supplementation. The vast majority of people actually have too much iron. The only people who typically do not are premenopausal women and children.

As a result of that excess iron, hydroxyl free radicals are catalyzed, and the situation is further worsened if you’re selenium deficient. A great example of the danger of high iron is thalassemia, a genetic condition that causes intrinsically high levels of iron.

I inherited this from my dad, who also has it. He developed hemochromatosis, (iron overload), which led to bronze diabetes — a specific subset of type 1 diabetes that results when high iron oxidizes your pancreatic islet cells.

Check Your Iron Levels Annually

As noted by Whitacre:

“Excessive iron does create some challenges. Actually, my Ph.D. thesis, looking at the biochemical role of selenium in the pancreatic cell … [showed that] chicks with selenium deficiency get pancreatic fibrosis …

Basically, once [the chicks were] 21 to 28 days [old], when they were selenium deficient on a purified diet, they wouldn’t survive at all … Most of that damage we saw early on — the earliest damage we can detect — was mitochondrial membrane [damage].

We could see the degeneration of that mitochondrial membrane … basically, the peroxide oxidizing and attacking those lipids … [The mitochondrial membrane] is really one of the areas that’s impacted first … because of the generation of free radicals inside the mitochondria.”

It’s important to realize that while selenium deficiency can worsen the situation, selenium will not optimize glutathione peroxidase production to the point of actually protecting you against excessive iron. So, you really need to check your iron levels and donate blood (phlebotomy), should your levels be elevated.

The Selenium-Cancer Connection

Since the 1980s, most of the selenium research has been in the area of cancer prevention. The first study was conducted by Combs, Whitacre’s thesis adviser at Cornell University.

The late Larry C. Clark, Ph.D., and former director of the Arizona Cancer Center’s epidemiology program at the University of Arizona, was another Cornell researcher.

“In 1983, which was my last year at Cornell, [Combs and Clark] started a 10-year study looking at 200 micrograms (mcg) per day of selenium supplementation using high selenium yeast compared to no supplementation …

They found … there was a 50 to 63 percent reduction in cancer rates in colon, lung and prostate, with the highest number of 63 percent rate reduction in prostate cancer …  

That was probably the first study that really looked at the impact of selenium supplementation on cancer reduction. Since that point, there’s been dozens of studies verifying that work,” Whitacre says.

“That work really emphasized … the thought that the glutathione peroxidase reducing free radical production was the biological role. There is some newer work that looks like there may possibly be another function … beyond the antioxidant role of glutathione peroxidase …

Most of the works since [then] has really been looking more at selenium form. That study used SelenoExcell high-selenium yeast, and there’s been several studies that have looked at sodium selenite [and] selenomethionine, and have not seen the same effect …  [F]orm does make a difference.

The SelenoExcell high-selenium yeast has been the most effective form. Matter of fact, selenomethionine had no effect in a very long term cancer research study published in 2011 called the SELECT trial …”

The Form of Selenium You Use Is Very Important

Interestingly, there does not appear to be a significant difference between selenium forms in regard to the amount of glutathione being produced. However, it makes a big difference when you’re looking at cancer incidence. Selenomethionine is a single amino acid where the selenium has replaced the sulfur in methionine. SelenoExcell high selenium yeast is the full protein form, and a more natural food form.

The selenium yeast gives you not just selenomethionine but also methylselenocysteine and selenocysteine. Research suggests methylselenocysteine may be the most active form in reducing cancer, and that’s the form found in high-selenium yeast. It’s not found in selenate, selenite or selenomethionine.

“When you look at the selenium bounty yeast, it does match with the selenium that you see in tuna, for example, or that you see in natural plant forms. It does match more the natural food form, which is in the complete protein form. We don’t know [whether] the protection of the protein makes it more effective, or [if it’s] the form itself that’s in the selenium yeast beyond selenomethionine.

The selenium in selenium yeast has been shown to be about 70 percent selenomethionine. But these other forms that are in the yeast form — and also in Brazil nuts — does have the methylselenocysteine and also selenocysteine that you don’t have in these other selenium forms.

It’s really thought at this stage that the mixture of these forms … like selenomethionine together with methylselenocysteine and selenocysteine, could possibly be the reason why it’s more effective than selenomethionine by itself at … 200 mcg.”

People With Higher Selenium Levels Have Lower Rates of Cancer

When it comes to food, Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium, and all you need is two to three per day to meet your daily requirement. Sadly, there have been no comparison studies done to assess the difference between Brazil nuts and selenium from bounty or extracted from yeast. That said:

“There have been studies showing that the lower the blood level of selenium — looking at individuals who consume foods that are higher in selenium compared to individuals who consume foods that are lower in selenium and therefore have very low selenium blood levels — [the] higher the rates of cancer. Those studies do exist,” Whitacre says.

If you use a supplement, you’ll typically find selenium combined with other antioxidants such as vitamin E. According to Whitacre, this is likely because they serve similar antioxidant functions, not because there’s any type of beneficial interactions between them, such as enhancing the absorption. For example, the SELECT trial looked at both vitamin E and selenium on cancer incidence.

That particular trial looked at the alpha form of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) and selenomethionine as the selenium source. Neither of these forms had an effect on cancer rates. This does not mean vitamin E and selenium are useless. It simply confirms that the devil’s in the details, so to speak. When it comes to selenium, you really should strive to get it from your whole food in order to reap maximum benefit.

Best Food Sources of Selenium

As a general rule, eating a variety of whole, unprocessed foods will naturally optimize your selenium levels (along with other important nutrients). Good food sources of selenium include:

Brazil nuts (which average about 70 to 90 micrograms per nut) Sardines Wild-caught Alaskan salmon
Pastured organic eggs Sunflower seeds Pasture-raised organic chicken and turkey
Liver (lamb or beef) Chia seeds Mushrooms

In most parts of the U.S., selenium levels in soil tend to be relatively high (northern Nebraska and the Dakotas have soil that is especially high in selenium). However, in other areas such as China, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, soil levels of selenium tend to be much lower, and if you eat food primarily grown in these areas, a high-quality selenium supplement may be beneficial. Even parts of the U.S. have been identified as selenium-deficient regions, including:

  • The Pacific Northwest
  • Parts of the Great Lakes region and east of it toward New England
  • Parts of the Atlantic Coast

If you live in one of these areas and focus your diet on locally grown foods, you may be low in selenium. You may also have low levels of selenium if you smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, have had weight loss surgery or have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Dosage and Supplement Recommendations

Selenium is needed in very small, microgram amounts, which is a fraction of a milligram. More is not better here, as toxicity can become an issue. For cancer prevention, the recommended level is 200 mcg per day. Many studies have used as much as 400 mcg per day without ill effect. However, since most of the research supports the use of 200 mcg per day, and shows no significant benefits at higher amounts, I don’t recommend exceeding 200 mcg per day.

If you like Brazil nuts, eating about two to three of them per day will typically be sufficient. If you opt for a supplement, make sure to get the correct form. What you’re looking for is the high-selenium yeast form. SelenoExcell is the scientifically tested and most recommended version.

“There’s been a lot of research looking at other high-selenium yeast forms. The National Cancer Institute [NCI] required high selenium yeast — before it could be used in clinical trials — to be standardized. They … found that some of the high selenium yeast forms in the marketplace were really just taking yeast and supplementing sodium selenite. They were adulterated.

In 1998, the [NCI] signed a clinical trial agreement … with Cypress … that any cancer prevention trial that was going to use high-selenium yeast had to use the standardized form, which is SelenoExcell high-selenium yeast …

The trials that you see since that first trial published in 1996 by Clark and Combs … all the work since then, supported by the NCI, has been the SelenoExcell high-selenium yeast form. Not only does form make a difference — even [among] the high-selenium yeast forms there are some differences. I really want to emphasize that,” Whitacre says.

Selenium Is Important for Optimal Health and Cancer Prevention

The research is quite clear on this point: Making sure you’re getting enough selenium in your diet on a regular basis will help you achieve biological health and reduce your risk of cancer. Considering the fact that heart disease and cancer are both at epidemic levels in the Western world, cutting your risk by eating a few Brazil nuts or taking a high-selenium yeast supplement like SelenoExcell seems like a no-brainer.

As noted by Whitacre, many of the trials show higher blood selenium levels as a result of high selenium yeast supplementation can cut your risk of prostate cancer by as much as 63 percent, and lung and colon cancer by approximately 50 percent. Avoiding toxins and optimizing your vitamin D level, iron level and diet (reducing your net carbs and avoiding processed foods) will provide additional protection.

ASPIRIN:the wonder drug


Effect of Daily Aspirin on Long-Term Risk of Death Due to Cancer: Analysis of Individual Patient Data From Randomised Trials

Results of this analysis of individual patient data from all randomised trials of long-term daily aspirin use were the first to provide proof in man that aspirin reduces deaths due to several common c…

Background: Treatment with daily aspirin for 5 years or longer reduces subsequent risk of colorectal cancer. Several lines of evidence suggest that aspirin might also reduce risk of other cancers, particularly of the gastrointestinal tract, but proof in man is lacking. We studied deaths due to cancer during and after randomised trials of daily aspirin versus control done originally for prevention of vascular events.

Methods: We used individual patient data from all randomised trials of daily aspirin versus no aspirin with mean duration of scheduled trial treatment of 4 years or longer to determine the effect of allocation to aspirin on risk of cancer death in relation to scheduled duration of trial treatment for gastrointestinal and non-gastrointestinal cancers. In three large UK trials, long-term post-trial follow-up of individual patients was obtained from death certificates and cancer registries.

Results: In eight eligible trials (25 570 patients, 674 cancer deaths), allocation to aspirin reduced death due to cancer (pooled odds ratio [OR] 0•79, 95% CI 0•68—0•92, p=0•003). On analysis of individual patient data, which were available from seven trials (23 535 patients, 657 cancer deaths), benefit was apparent only after 5 years’ follow-up (all cancers, hazard ratio [HR] 0•66, 0•50—0•87; gastrointestinal cancers, 0•46, 0•27—0•77; both p=0•003). The 20-year risk of cancer death (1634 deaths in 12 659 patients in three trials) remained lower in the aspirin groups than in the control groups (all solid cancers, HR 0•80, 0•72—0•88, p<0•0001; gastrointestinal cancers, 0•65, 0•54—0•78, p<0•0001), and benefit increased (interaction p=0•01) with scheduled duration of trial treatment (≥7•5 years: all solid cancers, 0•69, 0•54—0•88, p=0•003; gastrointestinal cancers, 0•41, 0•26—0•66, p=0•0001). The latent period before an effect on deaths was about 5 years for oesophageal, pancreatic, brain, and lung cancer, but was more delayed for stomach, colorectal, and prostate cancer. For lung and oesophageal cancer, benefit was confined to adenocarcinomas, and the overall effect on 20-year risk of cancer death was greatest for adenocarcinomas (HR 0•66, 0•56—0•77, p<0•0001). Benefit was unrelated to aspirin dose (75 mg upwards), sex, or smoking, but increased with age—the absolute reduction in 20-year risk of cancer death reaching 7•08% (2•42—11•74) at age 65 years and older.

Interpretation: Daily aspirin reduced deaths due to several common cancers during and after the trials. Benefit increased with duration of treatment and was consistent across the different study populations. These findings have implications for guidelines on use of aspirin and for understanding of carcinogenesis and its susceptibility to drug intervention.

source:Lancet