The dying officer treated for cancer with baking soda

Naima Houder-Mohammed

The father of the alkaline diet, Robert O Young, is hailed as an inspiration by one of the UK’s most popular food writers, Natasha Corrett, but he faces a jail sentence for practising medicine without a licence. One patient who believed he could cure her cancer, British army officer Naima Houder-Mohammed, paid thousands of dollars for his alkaline treatment, which consisted mainly of intravenous infusions of baking soda.

In May 2009 Naima Houder-Mohammed was commissioned as a captain in the British army. The following year, tragedy struck. Naima was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She received treatment and was declared cancer-free. But in 2012, while training with the army skiing team, it was discovered the cancer had returned. Her condition was so serious she was offered end-of-life care.

“She refused to accept that this was the end,” recalls her friend and former fellow officer, Afzal Amin.

“Naima was a fighter. She fought to get through selection for Sandhurst. She fought through Sandhurst and she fought her way through her life in everything she dealt with – army skiing or whatever it may have been. And this for her was another fight in that long list of victories.”

Naima Houder-MohammedImage copyrightDAVID POOLE
Image captionNaima Houder-Mohammed

As her medical options were limited, Naima did what many of us would do – she turned to the internet for a solution.

She came across Dr Robert O Young, an American alternative health writer selling a message of hope for cancer patients online.

Naima began an email correspondence with him, which reveals how pseudo-science can be used to manipulate the vulnerable.

Young is the author of a series of books called the pH Miracle, which has sold more than four million copies around the world.

These books lay out his “alkaline approach” to food and health which has influenced many others, including the work of the British clean-eating guru Natasha Corrett, whose Honestly Healthy brand promotes her take on an alkaline diet.

Natasha Corrett

Natasha CorrettImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
  • In the introduction to her book Honestly Healthy Cleanse, the food writer says acidity in the body causes “dis-ease”, which can show itself in “everyday discomforts” like acne, dry skin and bloating, “to much more serious illnesses, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity”
  • She says Young “discovered that eating a plant-based diet free from processed foods can help to cure terminal diseases in the body”
  • She adds that his work is not recognised by the medical industry, “perhaps because giant pharmaceutical organisations wouldn’t be able to make money out of doctors prescribing vegetables”

In one email Young sent to Naima in July 2012, he told her “there is a great need for a daily regime focused on… hyper-perfusing the blood with alkalinity”. He went on: “I would suggest your healing program is going to take at least 8 – 12 weeks. It will not be easy but you will be in a controlled environment that will give you the care you need.”

Naima set about raising the money she would need – in one email Young mentioned a figure of $3,000 (£2,440) per day.

Naima’s family used their savings, ran fund-raising events and managed to pull together tens of thousands of pounds with the help of a charity so that Naima could be treated by Young.

But the treatment did not have the outcome she was hoping for.

Email from Robert O Young to Naima Houder-Mohammed
Image captionEmail from Robert O Young to Naima Houder-Mohammed

On one recent sun-kissed Californian morning, we drove up into the hills outside San Diego to visit Young. As we turned off Paradise Mountain Road, the parched golden grass eventually gave way to groves of avocado trees and we entered a millionaire’s paradise known as the “pH Miracle Ranch”.

The front door, preposterously set behind a moat, is reached by walking across some stone slabs.

As Young welcomed us into the ranch, our eyes were drawn to an empty spherical fish-tank built into the wall that separated the living area from the kitchen.

Noting our interest, he began to share his alkaline view of the world, starting with what he calls the fish-bowl metaphor. “If the fish is sick – what would you do? Treat the fish or change the water?”

He went on: “The human body in its perfect state of health is alkaline in its design.”

Media captionInside the “ph Miracle Ranch” of Robert Young

The pH of our blood is 7.4, which is slightly alkaline, so Young is broadly correct – although different compartments of our bodies, such as our stomach, function at very different pHs.

But then Young’s “alkaline living” vision becomes complete fantasy. Young believes that in order to maintain the pH of our blood, we have to eat “alkaline” foods.

The main problem with this view is that it doesn’t appear to take into account the stomach, which functions at a pH of about 1.5 and is the most acidic compartment in the body. Thus, everything we consume, regardless of its starting pH, becomes acidic before passing into the intestines.

Also, the categorisation of foods into alkaline or acidic does not appear to follow any consistent rules, with certain citrus fruits (full of citric acid) considered to be alkaline, for instance.

However, Young’s view that alkalinity is good and acidity is bad goes beyond food. He told us: “All sickness and disease can be prevented by managing the delicate pH balance of the fluids of the body.”

He believes that when your blood becomes acidic, something weird happens, and your blood cells transform into bacteria – a phenomenon he calls pleomorphism – thereby resulting in a diseased state.

This, frankly wild, view goes against all current scientific understanding.

When we put this to him, he simply disagreed, saying: “Germs are nothing more than the biological transformation of animal, human or plant matter. They’re born out of that.”

This is post-truth.

Dr Giles Yeo with Robert O Young
Image captionDr Giles Yeo with Robert O Young at the “pH Miracle Ranch”

The biggest problem is that because Young believes that disease emerges from acidity, then by extension disease can be reversed with alkalinity – echoing his fish-bowl metaphor that you don’t treat the disease, but you change the environment.

When Young said Naima would be cared for in a controlled environment, he meant the pH Miracle Ranch, which has a large area set aside as a “clinic” to treat cancer.

Young told us he uses the term “cancerous” as an adjective to describe a state of acidity.

Since 2005 he has brought more than 80 terminally ill patients to stay at his ranch for months at a time. Treatment has included intravenous infusions of an alkaline solution of sodium bicarbonate – the same Arm and Hammer stuff you stick in your fridge to absorb smells.

This was the “healing programme” that was being sold to Naima.

There is no doubting the impact of Young’s message. In an email, Naima wrote to him: “I’ll be pronounced text book perfect in a few months.”

According to her friend Afzal Amin: “Naima was supremely confident that, with her willpower and this therapy, she would be healed. That was the overriding emotion in her that yes, I am going to better.”

We put it to Young that someone like Naima, in a terminally ill state, who was desperate for a cure, would buy anything, try anything to help get better.

He responded: “But I wasn’t selling her anything… I didn’t force her to come here, it was her decision.”

Yet, in one email Young insisted on Naima paying for her treatment, before she stepped on to the plane.

Email from Robert O Young to Naima Houder-Mohammed

All in all, Naima and her family paid Young more than $77,000 (£62,700) for the treatment.

Young told us: “The doctors need to be paid and the people that are doing the massages need to be paid and the colonics, but I gave her the best price to make sure that those people were paid.”

There is no evidence whatsoever that infusing an alkaline solution into your bloodstream will do anything against cancer. When we raised this with Young, he said: “These things need to be studied.”

After about three months at Young’s facility, her condition worsened and she was taken to hospital. Naima was brought back to the UK and died with her family. She was 27.

Afzal Amin told us: “They feel utterly betrayed. It’s just horrific that somebody could exploit people for money. This is I think for them the most disturbing element, that for something as cheap as money he was just able to destroy people’s lives.”

Find out more

  • Dr Giles Yeo presents Horizon’s Clean Eating – The Dirty Truth, produced by Tristan Quinn, on BBC Two at 21:00 GMT, Thursday 19 January
  • In the UK, you can watch it on iPlayer after transmission

Young’s activities at the pH Miracle Ranch have not gone unnoticed by the authorities.

In 2011 the Medical Board of California began an undercover investigation after concerns were raised by a woman treated there.

Investigators were able to establish the prognosis of 15 cancer patients treated at the ranch – none of them outlived it.

One patient, Genia Vanderhaeghen, died from congestive heart failure – fluid around the heart – while being treated. Young told us he was “out of town” at the time.

According to an invoice we obtained, she had been given 33 intravenous sodium bicarbonate drips, each charged at $550 (£448), over 31 days. Some were administered by Young himself.

Robert O Young
Image captionRobert O Young

Last year Young was convicted of two charges of practising medicine without a license, and now faces up to three years in prison.

In court it was revealed that he is not a medical doctor and bought his PhD from a diploma mill.

We asked him if he felt remorse for what he had done. He said: “I don’t have remorse because of the thousands if not millions of people that have been helped through the [alkaline diet] programme.”

We asked Natasha Corrett to comment on the influence of Robert Young on Honestly Healthy. She told us: “We believe that our bodies should be fuelled with healthy and nutritious ingredients but we also believe that life is about having things in moderation.”


Dr. David Sidransky, paving the way to better cancer treatment

His name may not ring a bell to many of us but in the medical and pharmaceutical fields, Dr. David Sidransky is one of the most respected doctors especially in the early detection of cancer. He once graced the pages of Time Magazine acknowledging him as one of the top physicians and scientists in the United States of America.

For someone to devote his life into something that is not even for himself but for the good of other people and the industry he is a part of, it takes a lot of passion, interest and strong will.

Sidransky’s desire to discover and develop a new and better treatment for cancer started when he was just in the medical school. “I started doing all this probably in college where I started doing research. And when I got into medical school, I went specifically into a commission science program,” Sidransky said.

hf05-011916After gaining his degree he put up his own laboratory and never stopped his research, “When I was training for oncology I started my own lab to specifically find new treatments or better ways of predicting, which drugs work better on patients.”

Since 1994, Dr. Sidransky has been the Director of the Head and Neck Cancer Research Division at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Professor of Oncology, Otolaryngology, Cellular & Molecular Medicine, Urology, Genetics, and Pathology at John Hopkins University and Hospital.

He is also one of the most highly cited researchers in clinical and medical journals in the world, in the field of oncology during the past decade, with over 300 peer-reviewed publications. He has contributed more than 40 cancer reviews and chapters. Sidransky is a founder of a number of biotechnology companies and holds numerous biotechnology patents.

Sidransky is the recipient of a number of awards and honors, including the 1997 Sarstedt International Prize from the German Society of Clinical Chemistry, the 1998 Alton Ochsner Award Relating Smoking and Health by the American College of Chest Physicians, and the 2004 Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from the American Association of Cancer Research.

Described as “a creative, out-of-the box thinker with wide-ranging academic and business background and extensive contacts with the pharmaceutical industry, academia and government,” Sidransky is undeniably a very valuable asset to every company he’s worked with.

In 2007, he was appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Champions Oncology Inc. Champions Oncology was founded by some of the world’s most renowned specialists in the field of cancer diagnosis, treatment and research. Its team comprises seasoned oncology professionals passionately dedicated to accelerating oncology drug development, improving outcomes and extending lives with Personalized Oncology Solutions.

Champions Oncology recently partnered with Parkway Cancer Centre in Singapore to make Champions TumorGrafts® accessible to cancer patients at its three facilities in Singapore and network locations throughout South East Asia.

TumorGraft is a personalized approach (developed by Champions Oncology) to guide treatment decisions for cancer patients providing a highly focused, accelerated translational platform. With this technology, a sample of living tumor lifted from a cancer patient will be implanted to several immune-deficient mice, allowing the tumor to grow inside its new hosts but preserves the biological characteristics of the original human tumor.

When the tumor has already grown, oncologist will now test several drugs to treat the tumor and measures the response of each host (models) to the treatment it received.

With this technology, Sidransky said Champions Oncology envisions itself to become the company that can make patients and the right drugs work together. “So it’s not just about the models, the models are important part that helps bring new drugs to patients and pick the right drugs for the patients…we will bring different technologies and different things to make it more attractive for the patients and the pharmaceutical industry. We have a great technology but it is just one piece of the puzzle, and we want to put many pieces together to make an avenue where the patients and the drugs meet up.”

According to Sidransky many pharmaceutical companies come to them because of the efficacy and good outcome of TumorGraft. “The ‘value’ of our models is so much now, a lot of companies that develop new drugs come to us and test the drugs to our models.”

However, the cure for cancer is still a question that doesn’t have a straight and specific answer. “The problem with cancer is it’s hundreds of different diseases. We have several types of cancer that are almost completely curable. Breast cancer is almost curable and prostate cancer is almost curable, so it’s like a battle that we have to win one at a time,” Sidransky noted.

TumorGraft, according to Sidransky is the first step toward better and faster remedy for cancer and being a part of a company that has been paving the way to more efficient and effective medications for cancer Champions Oncology is planning to build a tumor bank with at least 5,000 to 10,000 tumors, which they can study.

“If we have this bank and have studied all the tumors in it, it will lessen the laboratory time spent testing the mice, thus, giving more time to test the drugs that will work better and faster.”

With his efforts together with the rest of the experts from Champions Oncology and Parkway Cancer Centre, Sidransky is optimistic that the battle against cancer will be easier.

“We will win the battle one at a time. We are on the way of making small step and this is one step to get better.”


Biosimilars create chances to improve sustainability and affordability of cancer treatmen

Biosimilars create opportunities for sustainable cancer care, says the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in a position paper published in ESMO Open. The document outlines approval standards for biosimilars, how to safely introduce them into the clinic, and the potential benefits for patients and healthcare systems.

“Biosimilars are an excellent opportunity to have good, valid drug options that improve the sustainability and affordability of cancer treatment in various countries,” said Professor Josep Tabernero, Chair of the ESMO Cancer Medicines Working Group, from the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital and Institute of Oncology (VHIO), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. “To do that we have to be sure that biosimilars follow appropriate manufacturing procedures, are clinically tested, and adhere to regulations from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).”

Optimal safety and efficacy is, critically, the shared responsibility of both the manufacturers and the regulatory bodies, states the paper.

Biosimilars are medicinal products derived from living organisms that contain a similar version of the active substance as the original biologic. They differ from generics, which are chemically synthesised and are identical copies of the original drug. Unlike generics, biosimilars require clinical studies to ensure that the manufacturing process is sound and does not differ from that of the originator biologic.

In Europe, price reductions for biosimilars are expected to range from 20% to 40%, and potential savings of €50-100 billion by 2020 have been forecast. The majority of monoclonal antibodies are set to come off patent by 2020, which will open the door for biosimilars and could dramatically change the oncology landscape.

“Biosimilars are must-have weaponry in financially sustaining healthcare systems on a global scale as well as significantly improving outcomes for an increasing number of patients throughout Europe and the rest of the world,” said ESMO President Professor Fortunato Ciardiello, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli in Naples, Italy.

In this position paper, ESMO tackles current issues surrounding definition, labelling, extrapolation, interchangeability, switching and substitution of biosimilars.

“ESMO calls for strict adherence to approval standards of biosimilars as well as their accelerated introduction into the clinic,” said Tabernero. “Aligned with ESMO´s mission to facilitate equal access to optimal cancer care for all cancer patients, and as clearly set out in its 2020 Vision, this paper provides a timely overview on where we are and the ‘where to next’ for biosimilar products and their respective regulatory approval processes.”

He continued:

The paper highlights a number of areas that should be carefully considered by all stakeholders including prescribers, pharmacists, nurses, patients, reimbursement bodies, and manufacturers. Importantly, it also outlines a number of directions that will need to be collectively followed to guarantee the highest safety and efficacy standards of these medicines and ensure that all patients, irrespective of geographical borders, can access the very best evidence based treatments.

“Biosimilars give us the chance to make treatment options for cancer more affordable everywhere,” the ESMO President said. “This ESMO position paper sets out a series of principles that should be fulfilled to ensure that the biosimilars that reach the market are of good quality, safe and effective. Clinicians are starting to ask questions about how to incorporate biosimilars into their daily practice and until now they did not have an authoritative source of information. This paper serves to educate practising physicians on this complex topic.”


UC President Janet Napolitano Undergoing Cancer Treatment

Janet Napolitano, seen in 2015, was diagnosed with cancer in late August, according to the University of California. The school said that she is nearly done with her course of treatment.

Janet Napolitano, seen in 2015, was diagnosed with cancer in late August, according to the University of California. The school said that she is nearly done with her course of treatment. PHOTO: LENNY IGNELZI/ASSOCIATED PRESS

University of California President Janet Napolitano has been hospitalized for side effects related to treatment she is undergoing for cancer, the university system said Tuesday.

Ms. Napolitano was diagnosed with cancer in late August, the school said, and is nearly done with her course of treatment. A spokeswoman declined to specify what kind of cancer Ms. Napolitano has, citing privacy concerns.

Ms. Napolitano underwent a mastectomy in 2000. While announcing this latest health development, the school said she “had a previous diagnosis of cancer that was successfully treated.”

Before taking the helm of the University of California system, among the nation’s largest public university systems, Ms. Napolitano served as Secretary of Homeland Security under President Barack Obama between 2009 and 2013. She was governor of Arizona for six years before that.

According to the university system, doctors expect her to be discharged in the next day or so and return to her normal duties “at full capacity very soon.”

The school said that other than the current hospitalization, Ms. Napolitano has been working “without interruption or impact.”

Ms. Napolitano’s announcement comes about a year after Cornell University disclosed that its then-president, Elizabeth Garrett, had been diagnosed with colon cancer. She announced her diagnosis in early February of last year and died about a month later.

Write to Melissa Korn at [email protected]


Prostate cancer treatment: New hope for patients suffering symptoms of DEADLY disease

Prostate cancer: Men with a raised PSA can have an MRI scan before a biopsyExperts said the the scans could reduce the number of men undergoing unnecessary biopsies for prostate cancer.

A report, published in British medical journal The Lancet, estimates an MRI could help 27 per cent of men avoid an unwarranted biopsy, during which a small sample of tissue is removed from the body for examination.

Adding an early MRI scan could also reduce the number of men who are diagnosed with a cancer that later proves harmless by 5 per cent, researchers found.

Angela Culhane, chief executive for Prostate Cancer UK, praised the findings as a ‘huge leap forward’ for the ‘notoriously imperfect’ diagnostic processes currently used.

Prostate cancer: Some men with no cancer or harmless cancers are sometimes given the wrong diagnosisGETTY

Prostate cancer: Some men with no cancer or harmless cancers are sometimes given the wrong diagnosis

he results from the (trial) make it clear that giving men with raised PSA an mpMRI scan before a biopsy can help increase the number of aggressive cancers detected whilst reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies for men

Angela Culhane

“The results from the (trial) make it clear that giving men with raised PSA an mpMRI scan before a biopsy can help increase the number of aggressive cancers detected whilst reducing the number of unnecessary biopsies for men.”

“This is the biggest leap forward in prostate cancer diagnosis in decades with the potential to save many lives.”

They found a specific form of scanning MRI scan can provide detailed information about the cancer, such as how well-connected to the bloodstream it is. Experts said this could in turn help distinguish between aggressive and harmless types of cancer.

As part of the study more than 570 men with suspected prostate cancer – those found to have elevated levels of the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) protein in their blood or other symptoms – were given an MRI scan followed by two types of biopsy.

Prostate cancer: MRI scans could prevent the need for biopsiesGETTY

Prostate cancer: MRI scans could prevent the need for biopsies

Researchers found the MRI scan correctly identified 93 per cent of aggressive cancers, while most commonly used biopsy type only diagnosed about half.

Dr Hashim Ahmed, of the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (UCLH), said the current biopsy test could be inaccurate because tissue samples were selected at random.

“This means it cannot confirm whether a cancer is aggressive or not and can miss aggressive cancers that are actually there,” he said.

”Because of this, some men with no cancer or harmless cancers are sometimes given the wrong diagnosis and are then treated even though this offers no survival benefit and can often cause side effects.”


Prostate cancer: Men with a raised PSA can have an MRI scan before a biopsy

“On top of these errors in diagnosis, the current biopsy test can cause side effects such as bleeding, pain and serious infections.”

The organisation was already working with clinical experts and professional bodies to investigate how a rollout of the MRI scan method may unfold, she said.

The Medical Research Council said an approximate 100,000 men every year in the UK undergo a type of biopsy – with about 66 per cent found to have no cancer or no life-threatening cancer.

The study was conducted by researchers from a range of institutions, including University College London, and funded by bodies including the UK Department of Health.


Cancer treatment for transplant patients discovered

Kenar D. Jhaveri, MD, and Richard Barnett, MD, Feinstein Institute for Medical Research scientists and Northwell Health Department of Internal Medicine nephrologists, published a Letter to the Editor in the New England Journal of Medicine, which profiles a novel drug combination with the potential to help prevent rejection of a donor kidney in transplant patients undergoing cancer treatment. The novel drug combination allows the rapidly emerging cancer therapies called immune checkpoint inhibitors to be incorporated into a transplant patient’s cancer treatment regimen. This observation shows promise for people undergoing cancer therapy who have also had a kidney transplant.

The goal of any course of cancer treatment is to prevent and/or kill future growth of malignant cells. Sometimes this can be challenging as some cancer cells “trick” the immune system into thinking they are healthy cells. Doctors are seeing promise in a group of drugs called immune checkpoint inhibitors, which activate the immune system to attack the cancer. While effective in most cancer patients, this course of treatment has been less successful in kidney transplant patients because if the immune system is activated, it causes the patient’s body to start rejecting their donor kidney. Dr. Jhaveri and Dr. Barnett observed during the treatment of a patient living with cancer who had a kidney transplant that the combination of steroids and sirolimus, an immunosuppressant that has anti-cancer properties, could prevent a patient’s body from rejecting the organ during cancer treatment with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

In the case that Drs. Jhaveri and Barnett outline in their Letter to the Editor, they observed the treatment of a 70 year-old Caucasian male who received a kidney transplant in 2010 and recently underwent treatment for small bowel cancer which had spread to the liver. The patient was given prednisone, a steroid, and an immunosuppressant (sirolimus) prior to incorporating an immune checkpoint inhibitor (nivolumab). The patient’s kidney did not experience any rejection and the cancer regressed as well. In addition, the patient was able to receive the full benefit of this immunotherapy, which attacked the cancer cells without having an effect on the transplant organ. Eight months later, the patient is enjoying his day-to-day life and able to fight his cancer without any rejection of his transplanted kidney.

“In reviewing this patient’s case, I think we might have found a novel strategy of using pre-emptive steroids and sirolimus to mitigate organ rejection in transplant patients receiving cancer treatment involving PD-1 inhibitors,” said Dr. Jhaveri, associate chief of the Division of Kidney Diseases and Hypertension in Northwell Health’s Department of Internal Medicine. “This letter highlights the use of a novel regimen and may give the patients with a kidney transplant and cancer hope of treating the cancer while keeping the kidney and thereby avoiding dialysis.”

Thomas McGinn, MD, MPH, center head for the Feinstein Institute’s Merinoff Center for Patient-Oriented Research and chair of Northwell Health’s Department of Internal Medicine, said: “This work will be important as the use of these cancer agents increases. I commend the authors on a bold and innovative approach in management of a very tough clinical situation.”

“Important discoveries begin with a novel observation,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institute. “I hope that the medical science community now will build on Dr. Jhaveri’s discovery so that patients with cancer who must also undergo a kidney transplant can benefit.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Northwell Health. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Big Drop in Prostate Cancer Treatment in Recent Years in US

Treatment rates for prostate cancer have declined significantly since the US Preventive Services Task Force first sounded the alarm about harms from routine use of prostate-specific antigen testing in 2008 (for older men) and again in 2012 (for all men), a new study concludes.

However, among men diagnosed with the disease, treatment rates have changed very little, the researchers report.

The study, which was published in the January issue of Health Affairs, is the first population-level analysis of curative prostate cancer treatment rates.

“Treatment rates were actually decreasing prior to the task force’s first recommendation in 2008, and that probably highlights the fact that physicians were already thinking about ways to minimize overdiagnosis and overtreatment,” lead author Tudor Borza, MD, research fellow, Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation, the University of Michigan Health System, Ann Arbor, told Medscape Medical News.

“So that in part is responsible for the 42% decline in the treatment rates we saw over the study interval,” he commented.

“But the largest drops in treatment rates occurred following recommendations made in 2008 and then again in 2011 to 2012, so this makes us think that screening recommendations certainly have had a significant overall impact on treatment for prostate cancer across the population as a whole,” he added.

National Sample of Men

Investigators carried out a retrospective study of a national sample of men covered by Medicare to assess whether treatment of newly diagnosed prostate cancer had changed between 2007 and 2012.

The sample was restricted to fee-for-service beneficiaries aged 66 years and older. Patients in Medicare managed care plants were excluded.

“We aimed to assess trends in both the population-based rate of treatment (which is sensitive to changes in both diagnosis and treatment patterns) and the rate of treatment among diagnosed men (which is sensitive to changes in treatment patterns only),” Dr Borza and colleagues write.

More than 67,000 patients with newly diagnosed prostate cancer were identified, almost three quarters of whom (72%) received curative treatment within a year of their being diagnosed.

Most men were younger than 75 years at the time of their diagnosis, although close to 16% were at least 80 years of age or older.

Approximately one third of men who underwent treatment received radiation therapy followed by surgery and brachytherapy, the researchers report.

In real numbers, curative treatment rates per 1000 men decreased from 4.3 in 2007 to 2.5 in 2012, the team reports, which is a 42% reduction in treatment rates for newly diagnosed prostate cancer during that period. The largest decreases in curative treatment rates at the population level were seen between 2007 to 2008, during which time the rates dropped 15%, and again between 2011 to 2012, during which time they declined by 21%.

“By comparison, over the same time period, the rate per 1000 diagnosed men decreased by only 8%, from 718 to 659,” researchers add. The largest decrease in treatment rates among men diagnosed with prostate cancer was 3.5%, which occurred between 2011 and 2012. Continue Reading


Sun Worshipper Reveals Red, Blistered Face After Skin Cancer Treatment

Photo: Getty Images
Tanning in the sun and in tanning beds raises the risk of skin cancer. (Photo: Getty Images)

You’ve heard for years that you should wear sunscreen regularly and avoid tanning as much as possible to lower your risk of developing skin cancer. One woman also heard the warnings and chose to ignore them — and now she’s sharing what can happen when you do.

Margaret Murphy is posting on her Facebook page a series of selfies of her red, blistering face, which, she says, show the results of skin cancer treatment. The 45-year-old says that she spent more than a decade tanning in Greece while using sunscreen and regularly visited tanning beds. As a result, Murphy developed precancerous cells on her face.

“Unfortunately, all this lovely tanning has a price to pay cause now I have precancerous cells on my face and have started treatment to remove them,” Murphy wrote on Facebook.

Murphy is sharing daily photos of her skin during the four-week topical treatment prescribed by her dermatologist, to try to raise awareness of the dangers of tanning. “I heard all the warnings years ago and closed my eyes and ears to it all,” she wrote. “Maybe someone will open their eyes to this if it’s closer to home.”

For now, Murphy says, the treatment is “quite painful and gruesome as the weeks go on but, on the good side, it should get rid of the cells and treatment is only for a month.” She notes that she’s not looking for sympathy; she just wants people to be smarter about sun safety.

Gary Goldenberg, MD, medical director of the dermatology faculty practice at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells Yahoo Beauty that sun exposure and tanning beds are closely linked with skin cancer. “It’s clear that UV damages cellular DNA and causes skin cancer,” he says.

New York City dermatologist Doris Day, MD, author of the upcoming book Skinfluence, agrees. “Anybody with enough sun exposure over enough time will eventually develop skin cancer,” Day says.

According to the American Cancer Society, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. More than 5.4 million basal and squamous cell skin cancers are diagnosed each year, the organization says, and an estimated 76,380 cases of melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — were diagnosed in 2016.

Murphy’s treatment isn’t rare — Day says she prescribes something similar “all the time.”

Dermatologist Jill Waibel, MD, medical director and owner of Miami Dermatology & Laser Institute, tells Yahoo Beauty that there are several treatment options available to patients with precancerous cells. Those include cryotherapy (which freezes off pre-skin cancers), medical photodynamic therapy (PDT), and topical medications.

There are several topical medications, including Efudex (5-FU), Tolak, Solareze gel, and Aldara, Waibel says, which are essentially topical types of chemotherapy prescribed by a dermatologist. “These creams are effective in treating certain skin problems such as pre-skin cancers and other conditions that could be cancerous,” she says.

Creams are used to treat sun-damaged cells in order to prevent their developing into skin cancer that would need to be surgically removed, Goldenberg explains. Blistering is common with some of these topical medications, Day says, but it will eventually clear up — and lower a person’s skin cancer risk. “The good news is that your skin is always repairing itself,” Day notes.

To lower your risk of developing precancerous skin cells, Day recommends wearing sunscreen daily and getting regular skin checks by your dermatologist. (The American Academy of Dermatology recommends asking your doctor how often you should get your skin checked based on your individual risk. However, many recommend annual checks.)

And finally, experts agree that you should limit sun exposure as much as possible. “It’s life and death,” Day says. “It’s really important to get this message out.”

Read More:

98% of Millennial Women Know Skin Cancer Is Deadly. So Why Are They Still Tanning?

Here’s How Israel Reduced Skin Cancer Rates. Could the Same Approach Work Here?

Bride’s Wedding Photo Revealed Early Warning of Skin Cancer


Breast Cancer Treatment 2017: Drug May Halt Metastasis In Triple-Negative Tumors

A class of drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating certain types of cancer may also prevent triple-negative breast cancer from spreading, according to a study published in Nature Communications.

Several breast cancer treatments target what are known as receptors in cancer cells, including estrogen, protesterone, and the HER-2/neu gene, however, the triple-negative form doesn’t have these receptors, so the treatments don’t have targets, and aren’t effective, according to the Mayo Clinic, which conducted the research. Triple-negative breast cancer does have CDK 4/6, which regulates a protein known as SNAIL which is linked to cancer metastasis. A class of drugs that inhibits CDK 4/6 could also stop triple-negative breast cancer from spreading.

Researchers tested the drugs in several different triple-negative breast cancer models, including one type where a tumor was implanted into a mouse with a weak immune system to see which drug, or drug combination, would be most likely to work for a human patient.

Read: Mystery Of How Breast Cancer Spreads Now Solved: Two Different Stem Cell States Required For Metastasis

Could a class of drugs already approved for use also prevent the spread of triple-negative breast cancer?Photo courtesy of Pixabay

According to the study’s senior author, Zhenkun Lou, Ph.D., there are few scientific findings on preventing cancer metastasis — a leading cause of death from the disease. The discovery, if corroborated, could mean new ways to use drugs known as CDK 4/6 inhibitors, which could potentially prevent the spread of many other cancers with a high level of the SNAIL protein, according to a news release from the Mayo Clinic.

“These findings may provide a new treatment for the prevention of cancer metastasis,” said study co-author Matthew Goetz, M.D., in the release. “Mayo Clinic is now developing new studies that will focus on the role of CDK 4/6 inhibitors and their potential to inhibit cancer metastasis in women with triple-negative breast cancer who are at highest risk for cancer metastasis.”

Read: Breast Cancer 2016: Everything You Need To Know

About 12 percent of women in the U.S. will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime, according to In 2017, about 40,610 women in the U.S. are expected to die from the disease.

Source: Liu T, Yu J, Deng M, Yin Y, Zhang H, Luo K, Qin B, et al. CDK4/6-dependent activation of DUB3 regulates cancer metastasis through SNAIL1. Nature Communications . 2017.

See Also:

Spread Of Metastatic Breast Cancer Reversed With New Drug

Metastatic Breast Cancer Stabilized By 98.5% With New Radiation Therapy


Mother in funding push to get `miracle´ son cancer treatment in Germany

A mother has shared photographs of her “miracle” son in his hospital bed as part of a fund-raising appeal for potentially life-saving cancer treatment.

Former Manchester City ball boy Elliott Fernandez, 19, from Denton, Greater Manchester, was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of soft tissue cancer and suffered a massive bleed on the brain after his first dose of chemotherapy.

He underwent emergency surgery which left him on life support and dialysis but he defied doctors and learned to eat and walk again.

Elliott with Joe Hart (Family handout/PA)

Elliott with Joe Hart (Family handout/PA)

The teenager was a ball boy at Manchester City for nine years and placed the ball on the corner spot which led to Edin Dzeko’s injury-time equaliser in the dramatic 2012 Premier League title-clinching 3-2 victory.

Last year he met his idol Sergio Aguero, who went on to score the winner in the above match, and also boss Pep Guardiola who spoke to him about his days as a ball boy at Barcelona.

Over Christmas, Mr Fernandez suffered a relapse and his mother, Beverley Clarke Fernandez, decided to launch an appeal on fundraising website GoFundMe towards paying for treatment in Germany .

She wrote on the fundraising page: “Physiotherapy got him back on his feet and he then spent a further six weeks in intensive rehab physio and was eventually allowed home where the physio continued and with the love and support of his friends and family he even got back into the gym.

“He went from strength to strength even managing to pass his first year computer science university course, while going through gruelling chemo. After four cycles there was no evidence of the disease and we were elated.

The family is hoping Elliott can have treatment in Germany (Family handout/PA)

The family is hoping Elliott can have treatment in Germany (Family handout/PA)

“As you can imagine, we were devastated when on his next scan the beast had returned and he was placed on a clinical VIT trial which again worked for four of six cycles and then it reared its ugly head again – affecting his liver and spine.

“He has been in hospital over Xmas and New Year with hydrocephalus and two weeks ago we were told there was nothing further they could do for this hero as they say he can’t have any further chemo. He was given two days at the most. But Elliott is still here and fighting he defies all odds!

Elliott learned to walk again after earlier treatment (Family handout/PA)

Elliott learned to walk again after earlier treatment (Family handout/PA)

“His strength and determination is immeasurable and I am so proud of him my heart bursts. We have continued to treat him with alternative therapy organic food, juicing, turmeric, cannabis oil and the doctors are astounded!

“A clinic in Germany is willing to treat him but we first need a private scan and of course we need to get him there. His own oncologist is not willing to scan him again until he is mobile again and we just do not have the time.

“He´s my only baby and IVF at that, so was a miracle from day one! He so deserves the chance to realise all the dreams he has, the kindest most thoughtful boy you could ever have the pleasure of knowing. I’m a single mum so every little bit of help or knowledge out there would be precious. He’s my hero and always will be.”

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