Cancer Prevention, Detection, and Chemotherapy
In the United States, there are some 1.25 million new cancer cases expected in 2006 and 550,000 deaths. Six million Americans have, or have had, a cancer. The types are lung, tongue, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, bladder and cervix. Passive smoking in our area constitutes 53,000 deaths per year and 4000 lung cancer cases. So this is a real problem, this passive smoking and, as you know, there’s been a little bit of discussion of it in the papers recently. Not only do you have the passive smoking causing problems in terms of cancers but it also affects esophageal and patients who are having problems with shortness of breath as you are well aware.
When we talk about cancer control we want to tell them to stop and that’s very important. You know, most of us say, “Well, what’s the use of talking to them about it? They’re not going to do anything anyhow.” That’s not true. They really do pay attention to you folks and they will modify things. They can try Nicorette gum. Some of them like the patches. Either one of them we’ll find often they’ll tell you, “Well, it works the best if I just quit.” Then we have to educate children as to this. Get them out of cigarettes and all the problems related to that.
As far as most important areas to look at, diet is the most important and education of patients and families into prudent dietary habits is probably the second most cancer preventive activity. When we talk about this, we talk about a high fat diet. As you know that’s bad. That increases breast and colorectal. There are some recent studies that suggested adequate calcium and vitamin D reduce the incidence of cancer of the colon and of the rectum and this occurs throughout life.
Beta-carotene foods decrease the lung cancers and there’s a couple of studies that don’t really believe that, particularly from over in Sweden and those countries – Finland where the data they have suggests that it really doesn’t help much. In fact, it might make it worse.
The beta-carotene foods, of course, are being studied in lung cancer and head and neck cancers but as you know beta-carotene foods are toxic. They cause dryness, cheilosis, liver dysfunction and a rise in our lipids. All the kind of things we don’t want our people to have…