If your November was feeling hairier than normal, you or someone in your life may have been participating in No Shave November. Participants in the no-shave.org cancer awareness program stop normal shaving and grooming and donate the money they would have spent to combat hair to combat cancer instead. No Shave November has been around awhile, but in 2009 a family in the Chicago area took it to the next level when they used the tradition to start conversations and encourage donations to charitable organizations. The family-run group has raised more than $2 million and become a nationwide phenomenon. Put your razors down and click here to learn more.
Anything that can bring awareness to cancer is a good thing. The more we learn, the better equipped we are to prevent and treat the disease, and the results of a new study might be something we all want to learn about. The study, reports cancer.gov, may explain how some brain cells help spread cancer to the brain. Astrocytes are a brain cell that can activate a growth protein, known as PPAR-gamma, in cancer cells, which helps the cancer cells metastasize to the brain. Interestingly enough, in some studies PPAR-gamma stops the spread of cancer, and drugs designed to stimulate PPAR-gamma are being developed to treat some cancers. The research suggests that each microenvironment in the body could have an affect on whether or not cancer spreads. It is the brain’s fatty environment that might be the reason the PPAR-gamma proteins promote growth in the brain, but stops it in other areas of the body. Researchers are using this new information to further study metastasis, the role of astrocytes and PPAR-gamma in cancer growth and how they can be used to prevent the spread of the disease. More information can be found here.
More brain cancer research this month gives hope to treating deadly childhood brain cancers, reports medicalxpress.com. Researchers have found a drug combination that works together to kill cancer cells of the brain cancers called diffuse midline gliomas (DMG). The drugs panobinostat and marizomib worked more effectively together than they did on their own, and the studies revealed new ways for scientists to treat these cancers and other related diseases. Learn more here.
Treatment is great, but prevention should be the focus of cancer research says Azra Raza an oncologist, and professor of medicine, and director of the Myelodysplastic Syndrome Center at Columbia University, New York. In an interview with theguardian.com she discusses her book, The First Cell – And the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the Last, in which she asserts that the focus of cancer research should be on preventing cancer cells rather than destroying them. The interview and her perspective on the treatment of cancer are interesting and worth considering. You can read the interview here.
One last thing to mention this month before you run away into the hustle and bustle of December: you might want to actually run away. That’s right, sciencedaily.com reports that running is linked to a significantly lower risk of early death, and you don’t have to be a hard and fast runner to get the results. Any amount of running will do. Studies showed that any amount of running pointed to a 27 percent lower risk of death from all causes, a 30 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, and a 23 percent lower risk of death from cancer. Even people who ran only once a week or less for short periods of time at a slow pace showed significant health and longevity benefits. Get more information here, and check back next month for more Notable News. Until then, gotta run!
Jennifer Lessinger is a professional writer and editor who learned the value of patient empowerment during her struggle with a hard-to-diagnose and complex endocrine disorder.