New Biomarker Discovered for Breast Cancer

p66ShcA Biomarker for Breast Cancer

p66ShcA Biomarker for Breast Cancer

Researchers have discovered a protein which may be able to act as a biomarker for the most dangerous forms of breast cancer.

The protein p66ShcA, has higher expression levels in metastatic breast cancers. By detecting this protein, doctors will be able to determine if the breast cancer has started to spread.

The research was published in the October issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology. According to the researchers:

We showed that elevated p66ShcA expression levels are strongly associated with expression of numerous epithelial to mesenchymal transition genes in all breast cancer subtypes,” lead study author Josie Ursini-Siegel of McGill University said in a press release. “Thus, p66ShcA may serve as one of the first prognostic biomarkers to identify poor outcome breasts cancers regardless of their molecular subtype.

Breast cancer usually kills by metastasizing to other parts of the body and killing the patient from cancer in those areas. Patients with metastatic breast cancer usually see the breast tumors expressing cancer cells to other organs via the bloodstream.

This biomarker could allow doctors to better determine the prognosis of patients and put them on the right course of treatment sooner. If a patient presents with this biomarker, doctors would know that the tumors may have metastasized and aggressive forms of treatment are needed.

New Insurance Laws Affecting Cancer Centers

Cancer Insurance Changes

Cancer Insurance Changes

In an alarming new development, it turns out that under the new health care program currently being rolled out by the Obama administration, some cancer hospitals are not included in the insurance coverage.

A number of doctors, hospital administrators and insurance regulators discovered the issue in recent months are are now spreading the word.

Associated Press recently reported on the exclusion of these hospitals. As an example of what they found – the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of the eight insurers in the Washington Insurance Exchange. The MD Anderson Cancer Center has indicated that it is available in only half of the plans in the Houston area and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering facility in New York is only included by two of the nine insurers!

Only four nationally recognized cancer centers contacted by Associated Press indicated that universal access was available to their treatment centers with all plans included their facilities in their coverage.

Insurance companies previously listed these prestigious cancer centers as a major selling point for their policies. Now they are more focused on keeping costs down so are stripping some of the more expensive elements from their policies.

The importance of this issue is that not only might people miss out on their preferred treatment center, they might in fact miss out on the best possible treatment for their illness, including access to medical trials of new cancer drugs.

For people who have a history of cancer in their family, they might be able to plan ahead and make sure their plan includes some of the more renowned cancer treatment centers. However for most people, to whom cancer is a horrible surprise – they might suddenly realize their insurance plan does not include the best outcome for them.

So what can you do to obtain the best insurance for your family? Shop around and read the fine print. Additionally, if you know where the best cancer treatment facility in your area is, you can contact them for a list of insurance plans that include their facility as a treatment location.

That all makes Barack Obama’s health care plan seem a bit lack luster right? Well the good news is that under he Affordable Health Care act insurers can no longer turn you away people with preexisting health problems, or charge them more for having those conditions before being insured. That is incredible news for people who have a history of dealing with cancer.

Because insurers are now being super competitive when it comes to price, they are trimming what they can. That means if you have very specific health care requirements or you are concerned about a particular ailment like cancer, you need to look at the policies in fine detail.

Insurance companies are required to be very clear with you about their policies as well, so ask as many questions as you need to, to get the assurances you need. Cancer survivors and anyone with a family history of cancer needs to pay particular attention to their policy.

If your workplace is choosing your insurance for you, it might be a problem you can’t easily solve.

Red Clover – Potential Cancer Treatment?

Red Clover

Red Clover

Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a common crop that has been grown by farmers for many hundreds of years. It is known by a number of other names including “Sweet Clover” and “Purple Clover”. The name comes from the distinctive color of the flower – a beautiful purple with hints of pink. The plant’s origin is believed to be from Western Africa, and from there it has traveled all over the world and is now found in many parts of Europe and the Americas.

The plant is commonly used as feed for cows, but there are also numerous herbal treatments for this amazing little plant.

In the last few centuries the plant has been used in many cultures for many medical purposes. It has been used in both China and Russia for many centuries. Most commonly it is used to treat respiratory infections like pneumonia and the common cold. It will clear your lung congestion very well a nd reduce your cough.

It has also been sued as a diuretic and a way to heal wounds. In the last 200 years doctors realised it might be effective in treating cancer. Red Clover has also been used to treat everything from acne to rashes, to osteoporosis – this is a very interesting little herb!

It has several benefits for your overall health as well.

Reduced Skin Irritations. If you suffer from a skin condition like psoriasis or eczema, red clover might be useful in reducing flare ups. When you add rec clover to lotions or oils it can soothe the affected area and reduce the appearance of inflammation.

The herb can also lower your cholesterol if ingested. Studies have shown that it can lower the bad cholesterol and raise levels of good cholesterol in the body. So if you are somewhat concerned about cholesterol levels, it could be very useful.

The herb can also help with the symptoms of menopause. So if you have the double whammy of high cholesterol and menopause, then the herb is a two birds with one stone treatment! Studies have demonstrated that when using red clover, women suffer less hot flashes and the naturally occuring estrogens that is contains have a positive effect in menopause treatment.

The isoflavones in Red Clover can also reduce the risk of osteoperosis. The herb helps increase bone density in women.

Now the one that we are really interesting in – Red Clover is currently being studied as a treatment for various cancers. The studies suggest that the high isoflavone content may be beneficial in the treatment of various cancers. However the high activity on the estrogen receptors means that it may not be suitable for some types of cancer including breast cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer. The stimulating effect that Red Clover has on blood flow arguably helps battle cancer as well.

As always, talk to your doctor before embarking on any kind of treatment!