Jul
01
2003

Beware Of Binges

In the June 16, 2003 issue of Time (page 73) an article appeared under the heading “Summertime booze”. A study from the Buffalo University showed that women, in particular, have to be conscious that drinking 3 or 4 drinks at one time on the weekend is not the same as drinking the same 3 to 4 drinks over the course of one week.

A study looking at the frequency of breast cancer in relation to drinking patterns found that the binge drinking women had a 80% higher breast cancer risk than the controls who drank 3 to 4 drinks at a time (but only one drink per day). Jo Freudenheim, the epidemiologist involved in this study, suggested that perhaps with the binge drinking alcohol’s toxic potential for breast cancer cells had been reached whereas with one drink at a time over one week this level was never encountered.

In another study from the Buffalo University liver toxicity as a result of alcohol exposure was examined. These researchers used blood tests to measure liver enzymes, which were leaking from the liver cells as a result of the toxic effect of alcohol. Both men and women were tested and various drinking patterns were also studied. Men who drink several drinks daily had the highest liver enzyme counts (reflecting the toxic effect of alcohol on the liver). However, women who drink only on weekends had even higher counts of the liver enzymes than men! Women who drank on an empty stomach had much higher liver enzymes in these studies than men where this effect did not show (with men it did not matter whether they drank with food or on an empty stomach).

Beware Of Binges

Beware Of Binges

The researchers concluded that binge drinking appears to affect women more than men. Generally speaking the higher the amount of alcohol consumed, the more toxic the effects on body cells and on the liver. Moderation may be in order.

Comments: These type of studies are particularly important in view of the fact of marketing techniques of the wine industry. Wine and alcoholic beverages are being portrayed as being a good source of bioflavonoids that are lowering cholesterol and would prevent or postpone heart attacks. Some of the data on cancer indicates that for ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer there may not be a safe low dose as even one drink per day can have a measurable effect on cancer risk. On the other hand, bioflavonoids are abundantly present in raw vegetables and fruit, so there is no panic about not getting enough heart attack preventing foods. Finally, a bit of common sense does not harm: alcohol is a cell toxin, so it should be diluted (nothing stronger than wine) and if you desire a drink, use it in moderation.

Link to chapter on alcoholism in Net Health Book:

http://nethealthbook.com/drug-addiction/alcoholism/

Last edited October 26, 2014

 

Mar
01
2003

Hyperthermic Chemotherapy For Colon Cancer

When colon cancer comes back (Duke stage D cancer) there often are seedlings of cancer cells in the peritoneal cavity, which in the past made surgery impossible. However, at Montreal’s Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital the surgical oncologist, Dr. Pierre Dubé, is using a brand new technique that allows to do surgery even in these difficult cases. It has been known for some time that cancer cells are heat sensitive.

At the time of the surgery all of the visible cancer is removed, like with ovarian cancer, using a cytoreductive surgery approach. At the end all invisible cancer cells are treated with a combination chemotherapy fluid that is introduced into the abdominal cavity and that is heated in a controlled manner. Heat probes measure the temperature and make sure the fluid is heated to 44°C (111°F). Other experiments have shown that at this temperature chemotherapeutic agents enter into the cancer cells faster, as they had been rendered more fragile by the heat. The end result is an increase in survival by 2 to 2 1/2 years. This is a breakthrough because in the past conventional combination chemotherapy for this group of advanced colorectal cancer patients achieved a remission (meaning “response rate”) of 0%. Now with this new technique there is a remission rate of 30% to 50%. Hyperthermic chemotherapy for colon cancer was pioneered at the Gustave Roussy Institute in Paris where Dr.Dubé was introduced to this technique. This was reported in the Jan. 14, 2003 edition of The Medical Post (page 7). According to Dr.Dubé about 10% of all colorectal cancer patients will need this type of surgical approach and about up to 25% of patients who develop cancer spread into the abdominal cavity (peritoneal carcinomatosis) would be potential candidates for this treatment modality.

Hyperthermic Chemotherapy For Colon Cancer

Hyperthermic Chemotherapy For Colon Cancer

Comments: Recently there has been a paper intitled “Factors predicting survival after intraperitoneal hyperthermic chemotherapy with mitomycin C after cytoreductive surgery for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis” by P.Shen et al. (Arch Surg – 01-JAN-2003; 138(1): 26-33). 109 patients with carcinomatosis of the abdominal cavity with different cancers were treated with cytoreductive surgery and hyperthermic chemotherapeutic solutions. With this procedure, after complete removal of gross cancerous disease, the 3-year survival rate achieved 68% versus 21% of those where gross cancer removal was not entirely possible.

Last edited October 25, 2014