Monthly Archives: March 2011

Hot dog! Headlines Can Be Deceiving.

By Colleen Doyle, MS, RD

Did you hear the one about the hot dog and the rotisserie chicken? Recent news reports suggest that, at least when it comes to cancer, the hot dog may be the better choice.

But don’t reach for the mustard and relish just yet.

Researchers at Kansas State University, with funding in part from the American Meat Institute and the National Pork Board Check-off, tested the heterocyclic amine (HCA) levels of a variety of popular ready-to-eat meat products: hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, pepperoni and rotisserie chicken. HCAs are chemicals that are formed in meats when they are cooked at very high temperatures. Studies show that these chemicals can damage DNA and cause cancer in animals. It’s not clear how much they may contribute to cancer risk in people. Even so, the American Cancer Society recommends cooking meats with methods that create fewer HCAs, such as baking or poaching.

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The hot dog study results, published in Meat Science, the journal of the American Meat Science Association (who knew?), found that pepperoni had the lowest levels of HCAs, followed by hot dogs and deli meat. Bacon and rotisserie chicken came next. And then came the headlines: “Good News for Meat Lovers: Most Ready-to-Eat Meat Products Contain Very Few Cancerous Compounds,” and “Hot Dogs for Better Health?… Continue reading →

Is Cancer Screening Going to the Dogs?

By Ted Gansler, MD, MBA

There’s been a lot of news lately about cancer-sniffing dogs after a new study by Japanese researcher Hideto Sonoda and his colleagues was published in the medical journal Gut. So we couldn’t help but wonder, is that possible?

 

If you haven’t heard about it, the recent study suggests that specially-trained dogs can identify the scent of volatile chemicals (those that evaporate into the air at room temperature) present in colon cancer. [more]

 

In the study, a Labrador sniffed breath samples and stool samples from patients who were known to have colon cancer, which had been identified by colonoscopy and biopsy. The dog correctly recognized cancer-related scents in 91% of the breath samples and 97% of the stool samples. And amazingly, when the dog was allowed to sniff breath and stool samples from patients who didn’t have colon cancer, the dog incorrectly “diagnosed” only 1% as malignant. This study adds to a small number of other published articles showing similar results for bladder, lung, and breast cancers, and to a recent conference presentation regarding prostate cancer.

 

In addition to these experimental studies, there have been several anecdotal reports of patients whose pet dogs seemed attracted to or upset by skin and breast cancers.… Continue reading →

Never Tested for Colon Cancer? What’s YOUR Excuse?

By Durado Brooks, MD, MPH

Embarrassing!  Painful!  Disgusting!!

 

These are some of the words that come to mind for lots of folks when they think about getting tested for colorectal cancer. Let’s face it – this involves a part of the body and bodily functions that people don’t talk about in polite conversation. Hopefully I can convince you that they (and you) need to get past this attitude and get on with testing.

Cancers of the colon and the rectum (the last sections of the digestive system) are extremely common.  In fact, they’re the third most common cancer in US men and women. The good news is the rates of this disease have been falling steadily over the past 20 years, and a big part of the decrease is directly related to testing for colorectal cancer.  You see, not only can testing help find the disease early, when it’s highly treatable, but testing can actually help to prevent the disease! That’s because most colorectal cancers start as a small, non-cancerous growth called a polyp. Finding and removing these polyps stops cancer before it starts. 

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You’d think that with these proven benefits people would be lining up to get tested – yet 4 out of every 10 adults who should get tested are missing out on this possibly life-saving opportunity.… Continue reading →

Welcome to the Expert Voices blog!

Welcome to the Expert Voices blog, the newest resource from the American Cancer Society for anyone interested in cancer. On this blog, you can regularly spend a few minutes with the experts who really know about staying well and getting well when it comes to cancer. Expert Voices will give you more than the statistics: it will give you insight. And because it’s from the American Cancer Society, it will all be scientifically-based, credible, and accurate.

We hope you will participate in the conversation and add a comment to our posts. (Please see our comment policy for more information.) You can learn more about Expert Voices policies from our FAQ.

Thank you for visiting the American Cancer Society Expert Voices blog!… Continue reading →