Cancer Awareness OCTOBER 2013 | SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO
THE COMOX VALLEY RECORD
Exciting new developments with
Vitamin C Fighting Cancer with Food How nutrition can reduce cancer risk
Kids and Cancer
Childhood cancers can vary depending on type
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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013 • COMOX VALLEY RECORD
Asbestos fibre is hidden hazard in home renovations
Fighting cancer with food
Few, if any, families can say they have never had an experience with cancer. Cancer is a potentially deadly disease with no cure. Though cancer may strike even the healthiest of persons, there are ways men, women and even children can reduce their risk. One such way is to consume certain foods that researchers feel can reduce cancer risk. Though precisely how these foods fight cancer remains a mystery, cancer researchers feel they can effectively lower an individual’s cancer risk when combined to form a healthy diet. • Beans: Beans boast numerous healthy attributes, and their potential to reduce cancer risk is one such attribute. Beans contain many phytochemicals
that researchers feel protect the cells from the type of damage that can ultimately make a person susceptible to cancer. Beans also have been shown to decelerate tumor growth and prevent tumors from releasing potentially harmful substances that can damage nearby cells. • Colourful fruits and vegetables: It may seem odd that a food’s colour can have an impact on cancer risk, but colourful fruits and vegetables contain more cancerfighting nutrients than fruits and vegetables that aren’t as flashy. • Foods with folate: Folate is a B vitamin that can reduce a person’s risk of developing several cancers,
HOPE Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than Despair. Jack Layton, 2011
including those of the colon, rectum and breast. Those who are fond of a healthy breakfast to begin their day may already be getting healthy doses of folate, which can be found in eggs, fortified breakfast cereals, orange juice, and strawberries, among other foods. • Grapes: Studies have shown that resveratrol, a key ingredient in grapes, may prevent the type of damage that triggers the production of cancerous cells. Though scientists are not yet comfortable saying grapes, or beverages like grape juice and wine, can reduce cancer risk, they believe that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of grapes
make them a healthy option. • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are widely beloved, and perhaps that love affair stems from the tomato’s role in fighting cancer. Though the reasons are unknown, tomatoes have been linked to lowering men’s risk for prostate cancer. • Water: Water may not qualify as a food, but it may protect people from bladder cancer. Potential cancer-causing agents in the bladder are diluted when drinking water. In addition, the more water you drink the more frequently you’re likely to urinate, which means cancer-causing agents have less time to come into contact with the lining of your bladder.
If your home was constructed or renovated prior to 1991, your plans to install new kitchen flooring or do a bathroom renovation could have deadly consequences for you, your family and your contractors. The hidden danger is asbestos, a fibre that was widely used in gypsum board, drywall mud, vinyl flooring, pipe wrap, vermiculite insulation, textured ceilings, stucco and other building products. So small that it can’t be seen with the naked eye, asbestos fibre is now recognized as the ‘Hidden Hazard’ and is the #1 occupational killer in B.C. Here is why: When products containing asbestos are disturbed during renovations the tiny fibres are released into the air. Unless appropriate hazardous materials protective clothing and a ventilator are worn, the tiny fibres will enter your lungs and penetrate your mesothelium – the thin membrane that surrounds the inner organs of the body.
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To Canadians who are on journeys to defeat cancer and to live their lives, I say this: Please don’t be discouraged that my own journey hasn’t gone as well as I had hoped. You must not lose your own hope. Treatments and therapies have never been better in the face of this disease. You have every reason to be optimistic, determined and focused on the future. Cherish every moment with those you love at every stage of your journey.
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Asbestos inhalation results in mesotheliomic cancer of the chest, abdomen, heart or lungs. While not a very common cancer, in 60-to-70 percent of diagnosed cases the individuals have been exposed to asbestos. Unfortunately, there are no screening methods for mesothelioma but this is one type of cancer than commonsense can prevent. If you choose to ignore the warning, be aware that by the time symptoms show up, and mesothelioma is diagnosed, the disease is often advanced and is rarely curable. If left undisturbed, asbestos poses no problem. However, your first step in any renovation – large or small – should be to call an asbestos remediation professional to test for the presence of asbestos and, if found, have it professionally removed. To learn more about mesothelioma, visit: http://www.bccancer.bc.ca/ PPI/TypesofCancer/Mesothelioma/default.htm.
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Exciting developments with Vitamin C Rudy Sanchez Contributor It is a well-known fact that taking Vitamin C has positive health effects, but which form you take and what you combine it with may increase its benefits. Recent developments in the pharmacokinetics of Vitamin C come from two separate studies from England. The first study shows that liposomal Vitamin C, which is fat soluble Vitamin C, has been shown to achieve blood plasma levels in excess of those reached by intravenous infusion of Vitamin C. The second piece of exciting news comes from research findings on the effect of a combination of lysine and Vitamin C. The findings show beneficial regression of atherosclerosis in coronary and retinal arteries. A study by Dr. Hickey and colleagues compared the blood plasma levels of high doses of regular oral Vitamin C, intravenous
min C blood levels of 280mg/L. Vitamin C, and liposomal VitaDr. Hickey’s findings open the min C. Liposomal Vitamin C is prepared by combining Vitamin C door to more research on the effects of liposomal Vitamin C in (which is normally water-soluble) cancer therapies, either alone or with a fat-soluble phospholipid, in conjunction resulting in a with alpha-lipoic fat-soluble oral Vascular health acid and Vitamin Vitamin C. The K. Liposomal maximum blood is dependent on Vitamin C is plasma levels collagen, which is already available after taking lipothe glue that holds in an oral dosage somal Vitamin coronary cells together form and has C was 400mg/L, proven benefits 200mg/L after that form healthy in increasing taking oral vessel walls. energy, reducing Vitamin C, and drug withdrawal 240mg/L after symptoms, and reducing toxins in taking intravenous Vitamin C. In the body. addition to this, plasma concenThe second study, by Dr. Sydtrations of Vitamin C incremenney Bush, involved taking retinal tally increased when liposomal photographs. Dr. Bush and colVitamin C was taken more freleagues discovered the reduction quently. of retinal atherosclerosis after Perhaps the most interesting patients took a combination of part of Dr. Hickey’s study linked lysine and Vitamin C in a powder liposomal Vitamin C with cancer therapy. In vitro studies showed a form. Vascular health is dependent 50 per cent cell death of Burkitt’s lymphoma cells at liposomal Vita- on collagen, which is the glue
that holds coronary cells together that form healthy vessel walls. Vitamin C is required by the body to make the collagen. Lysine forms fibres that make the collagen stronger, similar to what rebar will do to support a concrete wall. The effect of combining Vitamin C and lysine promotes the production of strong collagen: think of rebar-reinforced cell walls. This combination of Vitamin C and Lysine is now available in a powder form which can be mixed with water. These studies have revitalized interest in Vitamin C and its therapeutic uses beyond treating the common cold. Next time you think about taking Vitamin C, consider the form that you ingest it in and whether combining it with other supplements will increase its effectiveness. Rudy Sanchez, B. Sc. Pharm., RPH, is founder/owner of Marigold Natural Pharmacy in Courtenay.
Nutritious food a friend to cancer survivors
Advocacy is a significant part of many cancer survivor’s lives. Cancer survivors often become strong supporters of cancer research so one day others won’t have to endure the disease. Whether they’re supporting cancer charities that fund cancer research, spreading the word about cancer prevention in their communities or participating in events aimed at raising awareness about cancer, cancer survivors are a source of inspiration to their friends, family members and neighbors. But as much as cancer survivors tend to do for others, they should also take steps to ensure their own health. Diet is a great way to do just that. A healthy meal can provide the nourishment cancer survivors need as they get back in the swing of things and continue their lives going forward.
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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013 • COMOX VALLEY RECORD
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Childhood cancers can vary depending on the type A cancer diagnosis is never welcome news. But such news is even more difficult when delivered to a child. Adding to that heartbreak is the fact that childhood cancers are often more aggressive than adult cancers. Cancers of the lung, breast and colon, while relatively common among adults, are rarely diagnosed in children or adolescents. Childhood cancers are rare, so while the average man or woman might be familiar with lung or colon cancer, that familiarity does not typically extend to childhood cancers. The following is a brief rundown of some childhood cancers. For more extensive information about the various types of childhood cancers, visit the Canadian Cancer Society website at www.cancer.ca.
Lymphomas are classified as Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s, which is the more common lymphoma in children. Lymphomas are often characterized by swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin, and additional symptoms may include, but are not limited to, swelling of the face, abdominal pain, unexplained fever, and difficulty breathing.
Brain cancers ity to prevent infection and carry oxygen, which causes blood clots. So a child with leukemia is susceptible to infection and bruising and will commonly appear very pale. The most common leukemias in children are acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or ALL, and acute myeloid leukemia, or AML.
Lymphomas Childhood lymphomas
are cancers that develop in the lymph system, where a fluid called lymph is carried. Lymph contains white blood cells that help fight infections. When a malignancy develops in the lymph system, which connects lymph nodes in the neck, armpit and groin with the spleen, thymus and parts of the tonsils, it can spread throughout the rest of the system before it is even detected.
Brain cancers are the second most common type of cancers in children. Many different types of brain tumors can develop in children, which can make it difficult for those unfamiliar with pediatric brain tumors to understand them. The process of classifying these tumors is evolving, but many brain tumors are currently named for the type of cell where the tumor origi-
Leukemias occur when abnormal white blood cells, known as leukemia cells, are produced in the bone marrow. These cells are cancerous and, unlike normal white blood cells, they are unable to function as immune cells. As the abnormal cells continue to populate the bone marrow, they begin to push out normal white and red blood cells and platelets. This compromises the body’s abil-
nated and the location of the tumor itself. That location can affect treatment, as the tumor may be inaccessible or located in such a place that can jeopardize a developing brain upon surgical removal of the tumor. Location of the tumor may also dictate symptoms, as where a tumor is located may be reflected in behavior exhibited by the child. Seizures not related to fever, persistent vomiting without a known cause, progressive weakness or clumsiness, walking and balance problems, vision problems,
and headaches that wake a child up at night or appear early in the morning are just a few of the potential indicators of brain tumors. Since children are unlikely to report symptoms of brain tumors, adults must be especially observant and aware of the signs of pediatric brain tumors. A childhood cancer diagnosis is never easy to receive. But adults who understand childhood cancers may be in a better position to recognize and help youngsters battling the disease.
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Receiving a cancer diagnosis can be a devastating moment in a person’s life. While many cancers are treatable, a cancer diagnosis is still a life-changing moment that leaves many people asking themselves if there was something they could have done to prevent getting cancer. It’s easy to take a reactionary approach to a cancer diagnosis, but many people might not know they can take a proactive approach to reduce their risk of developing cancer in the first place. Though the following tips can’t guarantee you will never receive a cancer diagnosis, they can help you reduce that risk considerably. • Maintain a healthy weight. Numerous studies have indicated that being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing certain cancers. Uterine, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers have all been linked to being overweight or obese. Speak to your physician about a plan to help you lose weight and then maintain that weight. Your doctor should be able to provide insight on nutrition and how you should approach exercise if it’s been awhile since exercise was a part of your daily routine. • Avoid tobacco or quit smoking. Cigarette smoking is responsible for a majority of cases of lung cancer. Smoking causes about 90 per cent of lung cancer deaths in men and roughly 80 percent of lung cancer deaths in women. Men who smoke are nearly 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer than men who don’t, while women who smoke are 13
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times more likely to develop lung cancer than women who avoid smoking tobacco. Smoking also increases a person’s risk of developing other cancers, including cancer of the larynx, mouth and throat, kidney, esophagus, bladder, and pancreas. Smokers who quit smoking will see their cancer risk reduce dramatically the longer they go without smoking. • Steer clear of secondhand smoke. Even if you don’t smoke you might be putting yourself at risk if you allow others around you to smoke in your presence. Statistics show exposure to secondhand smoke can increase a person’s risk of developing lung cancer by as much as 30 per cent. That’s because the concentration of many toxic and cancer-causing chemicals is higher in secondhand smoke than
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the smoke inhaled by smokers. • Reduce alcohol consumption. A 2007 study from the World Health Organization revealed that daily consumption of 50 grams of alcohol, or about 1.8 ounces, doubles or triples a person’s risk of developing mouth, voice box or throat cancers. In addition, many studies have linked alcohol consumption to a heightened risk of primary liver cancer and an increased risk of breast cancer. Also, a variety of studies have linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk of colorectal cancer. Men and women do not have to wait until a cancer diagnosis to start living healthier. Adopting a proactive approach can greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer and a variety of other health issues as well.
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TUESDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2013 • COMOX VALLEY RECORD
Check your pet for signs of cancer
Cancer is a rapidly changing area in human health care and the same is true in small animal practice. Pets are considered part of the family so many owners are willing to consider a variety of treatments if it can cure their pet or significantly improve their quality of life. Symptoms of cancer are vague and can occur in animals of any age, but it is more common in older dogs. Certain breeds have an increased risk of cancer including Boxers, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Scottish Terriers. Often owners will notice a lump on their pet, or symptoms such as weight loss, lethargy, exercise intolerance, and coughing.
However owners must bear in mind that many other diseases can cause these vague symptoms and a trip to your veterinarian is always recommended if you have concerns about your pet’s health. If your pet has a new mass or growth, your veterinarian will perform a complete physical examination and assess for the presence of any additional masses and to look for evidence of metastasis or cancer spread. It is important to check the tumor’s size, fixation to surrounding tissue (invasiveness), rate of growth and ulceration. Your vet will
also check your pet’s lymph nodes to see if they are enlarged. A complete cancer workup may also include a blood test and X-rays to assess for malignancy. If your pet has been diagnosed with cancer, your veterinarian can help you make treatment decisions based on the type of cancer and how advanced it is. Some types of cancer can be cured with surgery alone; other times pets will require chemotherapy or radiation to treat the cancer. Some important considerations include the overall health of your pet,
CANCER IS A rapidly changing area in human health care and the same is true in small animal practice. the potential to improve survival or quality of life, how will treatment affect your pet, how aggressive is the cancer, how expensive is the treatment; and the ultimate
question that vets and owners need to answer “Is this the best course of action?” There are no easy answers when it comes to treating cancer, but your
veterinarian will help guide you to make an informed decision that is right for your pet. – Van Isle Veterinary Hospital
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Cancer recurrence a difficult message to receive A cancer recurrence can be difficult news to receive. But past experience battling the disease can help men and women as they begin their fight anew. A cancer diagnosis is never welcome news, especially when it comes unexpectedly. Cancer patients may undergo treatment for weeks or months, all the while hoping that treatment will ultimately prove effective. But cancer can return even when it is successfully treated, and the prospect of that return understandably induces concern. The risk of recurrence is different for each person and typically depends on a host of factors. The type of cancer, how much time has passed since treatment, the type of treatment received, and how well a person has
been taking care of himself or herself since treatment ended can all influence a person’s risk of recurrence. Eating right, exercising and seeing the oncologist for follow-up visits are key to good health. But the Canadian Cancer Society notes that nothing can be done to guarantee your cancer won’t recur. Cancer recurrence is defined as the return of cancer after treatment. The same type of cancer may return in the same area of the body, such as breast cancer returning in the same breast. In some instances, the cancer may return
elsewhere in the body. But it is still referred to as a breast cancer recurrence, even if the next incidence is elsewhere. The length of time between the first bout of cancer and the next can vary. When cancer gets worse, this is called a progression. Sometimes it can be difficult to discern whether a recurrence is truly a recurrence or a progression. When only a short amount of time has lapsed since the initial diagnosis, then chances are the cancer is a progression. After cancer goes into remission, a doctor usu-
ally sets up a schedule of follow-up appointments to check for cancer recurrence. A local recurrence, or one in the same spot as before, may be easy to treat. Many advancements have been made regarding the treatment of cancer. However, for many cancers, a recurrence at a distant site
can mean the chance for successful treatment is not very likely. Learning of a recurrence can be devastating, especially after working so hard and suffering through so much to push cancer into remission. Focusing on the future and not growing discour-
aged about beginning the battle anew are keys to fighting cancer again. But this time you will know what to expect and can plan accordingly. A recurrence of cancer can be treated successfully, and maintaining a positive outlook can make it easier to fight cancer once again.
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tuesday, October 22, 2013 • COMOX VALLEY RECORD
Remember Movember: To talk openly about prostate cancer.
Its detection, diagnosis & treatment options a public informational evening presented by
Dr. Will Tinmouth and Dr. Aaron Clark, Urologists 7:30 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2013 Rotary Hall, Florence Filberg Centre 411 Anderton Avenue, Courtenay Sponsored by Prostate Cancer Canada Network - Comox Valley Funded by Forbidden Plateau Barbershop Chorus
This info-ad is placed by the Prostate Cancer Canada Network - Comox Valley and sponsored by the Forbidden Plateau Barbershop Chorus
Prostate Cancer Canada is dedicated to supporting prostate cancer researchers on the verge of an early-stage research breakthrough with the Movember Discovery Grants program. This program allows both junior investigators at the start of their research career and more established investigators to pursue new important directions in prostate cancer research. Each recipient of the Movember Discovery Grant will receive up to $200,000 in funding over a two-year term. This year (2013), PCC was pleased to announce that 40 grant recipients have been funded. Prostate Cancer Canada saw a 23% increase in the number of applications received, with a total funding envelope of close to $8 million in support of innovation. With the addition of the Movember Discovery Grant funds, Prostate Cancer Canada has more than quadrupled mission investment since last year.
The Month for Mustache Team Competition! Igniting the Discovery Spark through Movember research funding
“What is particularly remarkable about the grant recipients this year is the breadth of topics covered. For example, for the first time ever, research grants studying survivorship have been funded. This highlights the importance of improving quality of life for survivors,” says Rocco Rossi, President and CEO of Prostate Cancer Canada. This year also saw a more geographically varied pool of recipients, with funding flowing outside of established centres of prostate cancer research. The spread in the funding allocation indicates that talented investigators from across the country are choosing to specialize in prostate cancer research. “It is the enthusiasm and dedication of Canadian Mo Bros and Mo Sistas that allows for the funding of vital research like the Movember Discovery Grants,” comments Pete Bombaci, National Director, Movember Canada. “It is one idea, one spark, that can help make a large scale impact on prostate cancer and we are honoured that Mo dollars raised from coast to coast are helping to make this happen.” The Movember Discovery Grants epitomize innovation in prostate cancer research and focus on a broad range of topics, from basic biological science to population health. To keep up-to-date on research progress, visit us at prostatecancer.ca or follow us on social media.
Thank You to Movember PCC would like to recognize the Movember Foundation as the sole funder of this program this year. For information about additional prostate cancer research underway, visit prostatecancer.ca.
About Prostate Cancer Canada Prostate Cancer Canada raises funds for the development of programs related to awareness and public education, advocacy, support of those affected, and research into the prevention, detection, treatment and cure of prostate cancer. For more information visit prostatecancer.ca and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
About Movember During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in Canada and around the world. With their Mo’s, these Mo Bros and supporting Mo Sistas raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health issues. Since its inception as a charity event in 2004, over 2 million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas have raised almost $300 M for its causes with official Movember campaigns taking place in 21 countries. For more information, please visit movember. com - @movemberCA - facebook. com/movembercanada or contact email@example.com
Prostate Canada Cancer Network Comox Valley