Digital News Report – On today’s ‘Dr. Oz Show,’ medical experts came on the show to discuss risk factors and prevention for several kinds of cancer. Symptoms, risks, and prevention tips were provided on pancreatic, brain, esophageal, liver, and melanoma cancers. Some cancers move quickly while others move more slowly.
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms
Pancreatic cancer is most likely to be missed early on in the disease. Dr. Oz said that 44,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed this year while 38,000 will die. Actor, Patrick Swayze died only 20 months after being diagnosed. The pancreas is located in a place where it is difficult to find by a physical exam. Warning signs are hard to detect and symptoms show up usually when it has already started to spread.
Symptoms can include pain in the stomach and in the back area. Other symptoms include unexplained weight loss and light colored stools.
Steve Standiford, MD, Chief of Surgery at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America and Elizabeth Jaffee MD , Co-Director, Skip Viragh Center for Pancreatic Cancer at John Hopkins University joined in on the discussion. Dr. Standiford said that you could know your risk for pancreatic cancer.
Dr. Jaffee said however that there is no effective pre-screen to test for the cancer. Symptoms usually show up after the cancer has already been growing, which makes it difficult to treat she explains.
Dr. Oz showed a pancreas that was normal compared to one with cancer. He also showed a graphic animation on how the pancreatic cancer forms. The tumors can grow and spread throughout the intestines and surrounding organs.
Risk factors for Pancreatic Cancer
1. Two or more family members that have been diagnosed with pancreatic, breast, or ovarian cancer. About 10 percent of pancreatic cancer is inherited from parents explained Dr. Jaffee.
2. More than one alcoholic drinks per day or more than 2 sodas per week increases the risk for pancreatic cancer. Dr. Jaffee said that pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas could lead to genetic damage in the organ’s cells, which could develop into cancer. One study suggested a link between high sugared soda drinks and pancreatitis.
3. Type 2 Diabetes increases the risk. Scientists still need to learn more about the association. Some diabetics make too much insulin, which could lead to pancreatic cancer.
Pancreatic Cancer Prevention
Cut fatty red meats and processed meats from the diet. Dr. Standiford said that studies have shown a link to pancreatic cancer and eating these foods. Increased saturated fats in the diet are also an increased risk for pancreatic cancer.
Add 2 servings of red and yellow vegetables to dinner. The compounds in these colorful vegetables are beneficial, but should be also included with other vegetables in the diet said Dr. Standiford.
Curcumin 750 MG Twice daily – This supplement might inhibit the growth and prevent pancreatic cancer in laboratory animals. Standiford said at least in theory in might help for humans.
Brain Cancer Symptoms
Neurosurgeon, John Boockvar MD, NY-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center said that 50 percent of patients that have brain tumors have headaches as a symptoms. He said that headaches that wakes up at night or in the morning. Seizures are another symptom related to brain cancer. Personality changes can also occur with a brain tumor depending on the location, explained Dr. Oz.
Headaches at night are more concerning; as you go to sleep at night, you build up more carbon dioxide and it expands the brain tissue explained Dr. Oz. The tumor crowds the brain and this extra pressure on the skull causes the headache.
Brain Cancer Risks
1. Over 50 years of age
2. Getting 3 or more CAT scans to head or neck area
3. Heavy Cellphone use – some studies have shown that heavier cell phone use is associated, while other studies have found no association. Use and earpiece with cell phone, the further away you are, the better off said Boockvar.
Brain Cancer Prevention
1. Use an earphone to keep the cell phone away from the head.
2. Keep a headache diary. Keep a two week diary to say where is the headache, when does it occur. Document if the headaches are different. Note if over-the-counter medications help with the headache.
3. Eliminate cooked ham, processed pork and fried bacon.
Esophageal Cancer Risk factors
Jonathan Aviv MD Otolaryngologist, ENT and Allergy Associates said that the a high acid diet, which includes caffeine, chocolate, alchol, breath mints, and raw garlic all increase acid production. These foods increase the risk for esophageal cancer.
Cigarette smoking the esophageal cancer perfect storm said Aviv. It increases loosens certain muscles, increases acid production, and it is a direct carcinogen.
Barrett’s Esophagus – Long-term acid reflux will chew away at the esophagus.
Esophageal Cancer Prevention
1. Give yourself at least three hours before your last meal and when you go to sleep.
2. Antacids – Proton Pump inhibitors, H2 blockers. Aviv said that they are extremely effective at eliminating acid. The downside is that it can affect how calcium is absorbed. He said diet is still very important in acid prevention.
3. Get a nasal esophagoscopy will help to diagnose the condition.
Liver Cancer Symptoms
Symptoms of liver cancer can include extreme fatigue, and severe anemia. Other symptoms include pain in upper abdomen and right shoulder, and jaundice.
Lorna Dove, MD, Medical Director, Center for Liver Disease & Transplantation NY-Prebyterian said that you can have a lot of liver disease and still feel good, but when the symptoms start to show up doctors often have less options available to treat the cancer.
Liver Cancer Risks
1. Obesity is associated with fatty liver and cirrhosis and liver cancer.
2. Chronic alcohol consumption – Dr. Dove said that heavy drinking could cause the liver to be inflamed. When it regenerates and repairs itself, it causes cirrhosis and scarring.
Liver Cancer Prevention
1. No added sugars and to not be obese.
2. Hepatitis B vaccine if they are kids. If you are over 40, you should ask your doctor for if a vaccination for this is right for you.
3. Blood tests to look for liver enzymes. In addition, ultrasounds can help diagnosis the cancer.
Melanoma Symptoms and Risks
Doctor Oz demonstrated a 10 second skin cancer test to use at home to determine if a mole might be of concern. Using a pencil eraser and the ABCDE test you can see if a mole should be checked out.
A – Asymmetrical – If you could fold the mole in half it would not be a mirror image of itself. If it is irregular in shape without symmetry, this could be skin cancer.
B – Border clearly defined or not. If the border is sharp and crisp there probably is not cancer. However if the edges are feathered or irregular this should be checked out for cancer.
C – Color is brown and consistent when it is not cancer usually. If the mole has variations in color you should be concerned.
D – Diameter – Dr. Oz said to take the pencil eraser on the pencil and see if you can cover up the mole entirely. If the mole is larger than the pencil eraser this could be a problem.
E – Evolution is how the mole changes over time. If the mole is changing, you might want to get it checked out.
Ellen Marmur MD, Vice Chair of Dermatologic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center said that people with light colored eyes and hair color have less melanin, which helps to protect the body from the sun. Dr. Marmur did say that she said that around 20 percent of her skin cancer patients have brown skin. So everyone has some risk for skin cancer.
Always seek a professional medical doctor for diagnosing cancer.
By: Robert Willaims