The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on May 20, 1998 · Page 16
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 16

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Salina, Kansas
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Wednesday, May 20, 1998
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Page 16
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C4 WEDNESDAY. MAY 20, 1998 HEALTH THE SALINA JOURNAL T BREAST CANCER Smoking may cut breast cancer risk Study indicates that smoking affects hormone believed to trigger breast cancer By LEE BOWMAN Scrippj Howard News Service Cigarette smoking appears to cut the risk of developing breast cancer by half among women who carry a genetic predisposition for the disease, research shows. The study, to be published today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that protection from breast cancer increased with the duration and amount smoked over the years. "The risk reduction associated with up to four pack-years (a pack year equals a pack a day smoked for a year) of smoking was 35 percent and for greater than four pack-years of smoking was 54 percent," the researchers said. But they emphasized that their study only considered the effect on breast cancer in a small group of women and should not be viewed as an endorsement of smoking. "Our research may lead to the development of medication that reduces breast cancer risk, without any of the many drawbacks of smoking, first for women with the genetic predisposition, and perhaps later for all women," said Dr. Steven Narod, head of breast cancer research at Women's College Hospital, Toronto, and coordinator of the study. The scientists believe smoking influences the metabolism of the female sex hormone estrogen, which is thought to act as a breast can- T PROSTATE CANCER "Our research may lead to the development of medication that reduces breast cancer risk, without the drawbacks of smoking." Dr. Steven Narod breast cancer researcher cer trigger. They speculate that by reducing the levels of estrogen circulating in the body, smoking might result in women with the gene mutation having less estrogen exposure. If future study can unravel just what chemicals in cigarette smoke make this happen, it might form the basis of a new drug. Only one out of every 250 women have one of the inherited mutated genes, BRCA1 or BR- CA2, that heightens the risk of breast cancer, particularly early in life. While the normal function of the genes is still not understood, 80 percent of the women with one of the mutations will develop breast cancer by age 70. But the mutations are responsible for only 2 percent to 4 percent of the more than 180,000 breast cancers that will be diagnosed this year, and a similar proportion of the nearly 44,000 deaths. Hereditary breast cancer mainly strikes women before menopause, and researchers believe the interaction between genes, hormones and environmental factors such as smoking combine to trigger disease. The incidence of breast cancer in BRCA1 carriers peaks at about age 45, while the risk for women without the mutations continues after menopause. The international research team knew from earlier studies that smoking tends to reduce the effects of the female sex hormone estrogen and decreases the risk of uterine cancer, which is also connected to hormone levels. Also, women who smoke tend to reach menopause earlier. They decided to look at the smoking habits of a group of breast cancer patients who carried one of the mutated genes compared with the smoking patterns of a group of women the same age who also had the mutated gene, but no breast cancer. The method is called a matched case-Control study. There were 186 women in each of the groups, selected from hundreds who had undergone genetic screening at a dozen cancer centers in the United States and Canada. The women's smoking history was obtained from lifestyle questionnaires they completed when genetic tests were done. The association with smoking held up even when other risk factors, such as age, reproductive history and geographic location, were taken into account. "This study should not cause women to take up smoking or continue the smoking habit, because the adverse health effects of tobacco are overwhelming," said Dr. Paul Kleihues, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon, France, which took part in the study. YOUR ARE A|[ ART & FRAME SHOPPE PI 227 SOUTH SANTA FE - SALINA FIRST DOOR NORTH OF FIRST BANK #*** BEST SERVICE. FINEST WORK. RELIABLE' QUALITY. HONEST PRICES **** BEAUTIFUL SELECTIONS. HELPFUL ADVICE. USER FRIENDLY.WRITTEN ^ ESTIMATES. GUARANTEED WORK ****. BROWSERS WANTED LOOK US OVER If MASTER CAED, VISA, AMERICAN EXPRESS AND CHALLENGING JOBS ACCEPTED! CARRY & LARRY MARTIN (785) 823-8663 iSsSiSb Tests could replace biopsies j^lood test for prostate "cancer might reduce need for many biopsies By BRENDA C. COLEMAN The Associated Press : CHICAGO — A new blood test for prostate cancer could eliminate 120,000 needless biopsies a year in the United States, researchers say. "By eliminating these" biopsies, you're not only going to save money, but you're going to spare men the anxiety of a false alarm and the discomfort of going through an unnecessary procedure," said Dr. William Catalona, director of urologic surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He is lead author of a study published in today's Journal of the American Medical Association. The new test, approved by the government in March, measures blood levels of "free" prostate-specific antigen, a protein produced TAIDS by the prostate gland. The traditional PSA test, used since the early 1990s, measures the protein in a different form, when it is bound chemically to another substance. The new test does not replace traditional PSA testing; it is given as a follow-up when the traditional PSA test yields uncertain results. Previously, the only way to resolve the uncertainty was to do a biopsy, even though only 25 percent of men in the uncertain range have prostate cancer. The study found that when 25 percent or less of circulating PSA was chemically free, cancer was present 95 percent of the time. The lower the percentage of free PSA, the more aggressive the cancer. Free-PSA testing could eliminate the need for about one-fifth of all prostate biopsies performed in the United States each year, Catalona said. At about $1,200 for a biopsy vs. $65 for a free-PSA test, the new procedure could save $136 million a year. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among U.S. men and the second deadliest, behind lung cancer. The prostate, a walnut-size gland that secretes ejaculatory fluid, is under the bladder. This year, 184,500 U.S. men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 39,200 men will die from it, the American Cancer Society estimates. Traditional PSA testing alone could reduce deaths from prostate cancer by more than two-thirds if used routinely, recent research indicates. However, one troubling aspect of traditional PSA testing has been the needless biopsies it has led to. A spokesman for the American Urological Association said the new test will be a useful addition to prostate-cancer detection. However, "there are other factors that might increase risk of cancer being present" and might necessitate a biopsy, said the spokesman, Dr. Mark S. Austenfeld, a urologist in Kansas City, Mo. IIVAL Carnival open at 5 p.m. on WED, THU, & FRI NOON on SAT, SUN & MON Gibson Store Parking Lot May 20-25 $10 Ride Wristbands with this ad (Reg. $12) SAT - Noon-9 p.m. SUN -Noon-9 p.m. MON - Noon-9 p.m. One discount coupon is required for each wristband purchase. Hemophiliacs to get funds By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — The House voted Tuesday to grant $100,000 each to hemophilia sufferers who contracted the HIV virus in the 1980s because of tainted blood supplies. The measure provides $750 million for the 7,200 hemophiliacs who came down with the AIDS- causing virus after receiving contaminated blood-clotting products. The grants go to the families of those who are deceased. The bill is named after Ricky Ray, a 15-year-old Florida boy who died of hemophilia-associated AIDS in 1992. Half of all American hemophiliacs were infected with HIV before protections were put in place for the national blood supply. ; •" "I know my budget conscious ; colleagues may balk at this expen- . diture but when an extreme crisis hits an American community we should as a nation respond to that community's need and that's what this bill does," said Rep. Henry Hyde, R-I11. The pharmaceutical industry already has set up a private fund to provide $100,000 to hemophilia sufferers who came down with HIV and their families. REPLACEMENT WINDOWS When you think of windows...think of Wayne! 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