Diabetes Pill (Metformin) Improves Survival in Patients with Deadly Pancreatic Cancer





 

New research suggests that the diabetes medication metformin significantly improves survival in patients with deadly pancreatic cancer.



 

 

DIABETES PILL (METFORMIN) IMPROVES SURVIVAL IN PATIENTS WITH DEADLY PANCREATIC CANCER

Despite the many recent advances in cancer treatment, pancreatic cancer remains one of the most lethal of all forms of cancer.  An aggressive form of cancer which frequently spreads before patients are even aware that they have the disease, pancreatic cancer remains highly resistant to cure even with aggressive surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, diabetes is a known risk factor for pancreatic cancer (as are obesity and smoking).  In my book, I also discuss preliminary research evidence suggesting that metformin, a common oral medication used to treat diabetes, may actually have anti-cancer properties in diabetic patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (and, perhaps, in other types of cancer, and in non-diabetic patients, as well).  Now, another newly published clinical research study adds further weight to the hypothesis that metformin may indeed improve survival among diabetic patients diagnosed with this dreaded form of cancer.  This new study appears in the current issue of the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

In this study, the outcomes of 302 patients with pancreatic cancer were studied.  Among these patients, 117 were taking metformin, while 185 patients were not taking metformin for their diabetes.  In this retrospective clinical study, the two-year survival rate among the patients taking metformin was 30 percent, while the two-year survival among the patients receiving other types of treatment for their diabetes was only 15 percent.  In fact, the patients who took metformin experienced a 36 percent overall lower risk of death when compared to the patients who were not taking metformin for their diabetes.  (Of note, metformin appeared to prolong life only in those pancreatic cancer patients with cancers that had not yet spread, or metastasized, outside of the pancreas.)

A major limitation of this study is, of course, its retrospective nature.  However, there are currently over 100 ongoing prospective clinical research trials looking at the use of metformin in pancreatic cancer, as well as in colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and other types of cancer (and in both diabetic and non-diabetic cancer patients).  Based upon the available, and encouraging, retrospective data linking metformin with increased survival among pancreatic cancer patients (including the data reported by this study), I have started to selectively place some of my pancreatic cancer patients on metformin, in addition to their other standard pancreatic cancer therapies, given the dismal outcomes typically associated with this form of cancer.  I will, therefore, be very interested to see the results of ongoing prospective, randomized metformin clinical studies in patients with pancreatic cancer, once this data becomes available.

As metformin is a prescription drug used, specifically, to treat diabetes, this medication should only be prescribed by your physician for the treatment of diabetes at this time.


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.




Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.

 


 




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Vitamin D Improves Cancer Survival



 

New research shows that higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood increase survival among colorectal cancer patients.


 

VITAMIN D IMPROVES CANCER SURVIVAL

As I discuss in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, there is a large body of research evidence available to suggest that low Vitamin D levels may be associated with a higher risk of developing cancer.  However, the vast majority of published Vitamin D research has been focused on the use of Vitamin D to prevent cancer, while there is almost no data available linking Vitamin D levels in the blood with survival rates after a person has been diagnosed with cancer.  Now, a newly published prospective clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, suggests that low Vitamin D levels in the blood of patients undergoing treatment for colorectal cancer may, in fact, be associated with poorer survival when compared to patients with higher blood levels of this hormone-like vitamin.

This new study was part of the large and ongoing European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.  Altogether, 1,202 EPIC study volunteers were diagnosed with colorectal cancer between 1992 and 2003.  As with all EPIC study volunteers, Vitamin D levels in the blood were checked when each participant joined the study.  Additionally, extensive dietary, lifestyle and medical history information was obtained from each study volunteer.

Among these 1,202 EPIC study volunteers who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, 541 died during an average study observation period of 73 months, and 444 of these deaths were directly caused by colorectal cancer.  The findings of this study were highly significant, and strongly suggest that higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood, prior to the onset of cancer, are associated with better survival in patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer.  When comparing patients who had the highest Vitamin D levels with the patients who had the lowest levels, the patients with the highest Vitamin D levels were 31 percent lesslikely to die specifically from colorectal cancer, and 33 percent less likely to die from any cause.  Similarly, increased calcium intake prior to being diagnosed with colorectal cancer also appeared to reduce the risk of death due to colon or rectal cancer.  (Like Vitamin D, increased calcium intake has also been shown to reduce the risk of developing colorectal cancer.)

These new findings from the landmark prospective EPIC public health study are highly significant, in my view, as they are among the first data available to show that, in addition to its known cancer prevention activity (as I discuss in detail in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race), higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood may also reduce the risk of dying in patients who develop colorectal cancer.  (I should note that I have also been studying potential links between Vitamin D levels in the blood and survival in patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and I expect to report our institution’s findings within the next 12 months.)

As always, I strongly recommend that you check with your physician before initiating any new dietary supplements, including Vitamin D, as excessive intake of this hormone-vitamin can lead to kidney injury, GI tract ulcers, calcifications throughout the body, and other serious health complications.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.



Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 
















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Prostate Cancer: Watchful Waiting Versus Surgery (Prostatectomy)

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“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



 

PROSTATE CANCER: WATCHFUL WAITING VERSUS SURGERY (PROSTATECTOMY)

As I have observed in previous columns, the optimal management of patients with prostate cancer is the subject of ongoing debate among prostate cancer experts. Most of the accepted treatments for prostate cancer carry a considerable risk of long-term complications, and determining precisely which patients will benefit from aggressive treatment, versus those who are not likely to benefit, has proven to be a very difficult clinical problem.

We know that for many men, and elderly men in particular, prostate cancer often grows very slowly, and often does not result in any major complications (including death) either with or without treatment. On the other hand, more than 32,000 American men died from more aggressive forms of prostate cancer in 2010. For selected men who develop less aggressive, indolent, forms of prostate cancer, “watchful waiting” may be more appropriate than subjecting these men to aggressive surgery or radiation treatment for their cancers. At the same time, men with potentially more aggressive cancers should, obviously, consider prostatectomy (surgical removal of the prostate gland) or radiation therapy to treat their disease. Unfortunately, we are still not able to predict how aggressively any individual patient’s prostate cancer will behave over time, nor are we able to accurately predict whether or not some other cause of death is more likely to occur rather than death due to prostate cancer.This inability to accurately predict the future likelihood of dying from prostate cancer, either with or without treatment, for individual patients has made it very difficult to accurately advise patients whether or not they might be candidates for “watchful waiting” rather than recommending aggressive prostate cancer treatment. However, a newly published prospective, randomized clinical research trial from Sweden, which appears in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, may help doctors and their patients to make a more informed decision regarding the management of early-stage prostate cancer.

In this study, 695 men with early-stage prostate cancer were randomly assigned either to “watchful waiting” or radical prostate surgery (prostatectomy). These two groups of men were then followed for an average of about 13 years, and the clinical outcomes in each group, including death due to prostate cancer, were compared. Among the men in the “watchful waiting” group, the estimated risk of death due to prostate cancer was 21 percent, as compared to a 15 percent risk of death due to prostate cancer among the men who underwent prostatectomy. This difference in cancer-specific survival was equivalent to a 38 percent reduction in the relative risk of dying from prostate cancer with prostatectomy, and an absolute reduction in the risk of death of more than 6 percent.

The findings of this clinical research study are similar to other recent studies that have also linked prostate cancer treatment, in otherwise healthy men, with improved survival when compared to “watchful waiting” alone, and especially for men with early-stage prostate cancer that is still confined within the prostate gland itself. While “watchful waiting” may still be appropriate for some very elderly or very ill patients, the findings of this study, and others like it, still appear to favor active treatment for early prostate cancer in most otherwise healthy men.


For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, including strategies to reduce your risk of prostate cancer and other cancers, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race. For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!


On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Saturated Fat, Trans-Fats, and Premature Death in Breast Cancer Survivors

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



SATURATED FAT, TRANS-FATS, AND

PREMATURE DEATH IN BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS

As I discuss in detail in my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” obesity and increased dietary fat intake have both been linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer and other types of cancer.  Moreover, obesity and lack of exercise have also been clearly associated with an increased risk of recurrent breast cancer, and death due to breast cancer, among women who have previously been diagnosed with this common form of cancer.  However, the impact of diet, alone, on the risk of premature death among women previously diagnosed with breast cancer, has not been well studied.

However, a newly published clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the journal Breast Cancer Research & Treatment, strongly suggests that unhealthy dietary habits may significantly increase the risk of death in women who have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer.

In this prospectively conducted study, 4,441 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1987 and 1999 were followed for an average of 7 years, and were evaluated using a previously validated 126-item food frequency questionnaire that was administered immediately following the diagnosis of breast cancer.  The clinical outcomes of these 4,441 women were then adjusted for other known risk factors for breast cancer recurrence, including age at breast cancer diagnosis, menopausal status, smoking history, stage of breast cancer at diagnosis, alcohol intake history, prior use of hormone replacement therapy, obesity, and exercise history.  After these other known breast cancer recurrence factors were adjusted for, the impact of diet on death due to breast cancer recurrence, as well as death due to any cause, was then calculated.

When compared to women with the lowest average dietary intake of saturated fat, breast cancer survivors with the highest levels of intake of these unhealthy fats were 41 percent more likely to die from any cause during the course of this study.  Similarly, a high level of trans-fat intake was associated with a whopping 78 percent increase in the risk of death from any cause.  (While it failed to reach statistical significance in this relatively small prospective clinical study, an increased risk of death due to breast cancer recurrence was also associated with increasing levels of saturated fat and trans-fat intake, as well.)

 

In summary, this study of more than 4,000 breast cancer survivors revealed a striking increase in the risk of premature death among women who consumed large amounts of saturated fat and trans-fats in their diet.  Importantly, this increased risk of premature death was not limited to death caused by breast cancer recurrence, alone, but from multiple different causes of death.  Regarding the link between the intake of unhealthy fats and death due specifically to breast cancer recurrence, the same disturbing trend was observed, although this particular association did not quite reach accepted standards of statistical significance.  (A larger version of this study will, therefore, be necessary to tease out the relationship between unhealthy dietary fats and death due to breast cancer recurrence, specifically; although the findings of this relatively small prospective clinical study are suggestive that such a link likely exists.)

 

For a complete discussion of the impact of diet, including dietary fats, on cancer risk, and the role of diet and healthy fats in cancer prevention, as well as other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

 

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books!  On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list! 



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:   Texas Blues Jam



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!)  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





 

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Mammograms Save Lives in Women with Family History of Breast Cancer

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Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”




MAMMOGRAMS SAVE LIVES IN WOMEN WITH

FAMILY HISTORY OF BREAST CANCER

 

While the debate about whether or not routine screening mammograms can save lives continues in some circles, the clinical research evidence supporting mammograms as a lifesaving cancer screening exam continues to accumulate.  Now, a newly published public health study, which appears in The Lancet Oncology, examines the survival benefit associated with routine screening mammograms in women who have a family history of breast cancer.

In this large multicenter prospective clinical research study, which was performed in the UK, 6,710 women between the ages of 40 and 42 were enrolled in this study, and were followed for an average of about 4 years.  These women, who had at least some family history of breast cancer, underwent annual screening mammograms as part of this clinical research study.  This study used two important control groups to assess the impact of regular annual screening mammograms on the risk of mortality in these young women.  The first control group consisted of women who were at average risk for breast cancer (these women, themselves, served as the control group for the enormous UK Age Trial, which included more than 106,000 patient volunteers, and which recently reported a 10-year follow-up of its results).  The second control group, against which these 6,710 women with an intermediate familial risk of breast cancer were compared, included young women from another large public health study that was performed in the Netherlands.

Among the 136 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer during the relatively brief course of this ongoing study, 77 percent were diagnosed by screening mammography, while 21 percent were diagnosed when they presented with a new breast lump (or with other clinical signs or symptoms of breast cancer).  (Another 2 percent of patients failed to attend their scheduled screening mammograms, and subsequently developed clinical signs or symptoms of breast cancer.)

In this study (and as other studies have shown, even among women who are at average risk of developing breast cancer), breast cancers that were detected by annual screening mammograms were significantly smaller in size, and significantly less likely to be associated with the spread of cancer to the lymph nodes.  In addition to these very important breast cancer prognostic factors, women who were diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of annual screening mammograms had much less aggressive appearing tumors under the microscope when compared to women who were diagnosed with breast cancer only after a lump, or other signs of breast cancer, appeared.

Based upon the findings of this newly published study, young women with even an intermediate risk of breast cancer, based upon having one or more relatives with breast cancer, were 20 percent less likely to die within 10 years when compared with a poorly screened, or unscreened, average-risk population of young women.  Moreover, this survival advantage appeared to be directly related to annual screening mammograms, once all other breast cancer risk factors among these three populations of women had been considered.

 

For a complete discussion of the compelling scientific evidence linking routine screening mammograms with a decreased risk of death due to breast cancer, please see the extended clinical section on breast cancer in my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.

  

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GIVE THE GIFT OF HEALTH THIS HOLIDAY SEASON!  For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores! 

On Thanksgiving Day, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com Top 100 Bestseller’s List for Kindle e-books!



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


 

Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

Texas Blues Jam


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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Aspirin & Breast Cancer Survival

March 28, 2010 by  
Filed under Weekly Health Update

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers” 


ASPIRIN & BREAST CANCER SURVIVAL

 

Breast cancer tumors, like many other types of cancer, produce increased amounts of chemicals called prostaglandins.  As with many other types of cancer, prostaglandins are thought to play an important role in the growth and spread of breast cancer. 

Aspirin belongs to a class of drugs known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).  Like other NSAIDs, aspirin is able to block the activity of the prostaglandin-producing enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX).  Moreover, previous research has indicated that, in addition to decreasing prostaglandin production in the body, aspirin also reduces the levels of estrogen in the body (approximately 90 percent of breast cancers are stimulated to grow in the presence of estrogen).

Previous research on aspirin as a breast cancer prevention drug has resulted in contradictory findings (although aspirin and other NSAIDs have clearly been shown to reduce the incidence of colorectal polyps and colorectal cancer, and other cancers as well).  However, a newly published study, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, adds weight to prior evidence that the regular intake of aspirin may significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and the risk of death due to recurrent breast cancer.

The enormous Nurses’ Health Study is a prospective public health research study that began in 1976 with more than 120,000 female nurses in the United States.  Every 2 years, this huge cohort of women completes detailed personal questionnaires regarding diet and lifestyle factors related to cardiovascular disease and cancer.  Between 1976 and 2002, more than 4,000 nurses participating in this study were newly diagnosed with breast cancer.  The researchers conducting this landmark study then analyzed the incidence of breast cancer recurrence, and the risk of death, among these 4,164 breast cancer patients as a function of their aspirin intake.  (Other cancer-associated diet and lifestyle risk factors were also analyzed, as well.)

In this huge prospective public health trial, regular aspirin intake was found to significantly reduce the risk of death due to breast cancer.  Taking aspirin 2 to 5 times per week was associated with a 71 percent reduction in the relative risk of death due to breast cancer, while 6 to 7 days of aspirin use per week was associated with a 64 percent reduction in the relative risk of cancer-associated death.  Importantly, this apparent aspirin-associated reduction in the risk of death due to breast cancer recurrence was observed in women with both early-stage and more advanced breast cancers, in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, in both obese and non-obese women, and in women with estrogen-sensitive and estrogen-resistant tumors. 

While this study’s primary weakness is that (like most epidemiological studies) the collected data was primarily based upon patient questionnaires, the Nurses’ Health Study continues to be a carefully conducted prospective study with very stringent data quality controls in place.   

To summarize the important findings of this study:  Among women previously diagnosed with breast cancer, taking aspirin for 2 or more days per week was associated with a significant reduction in the risk of both breast cancer recurrence and death due to breast cancer.  (As always, I recommend that you discuss the potential risks and benefits of regularly taking aspirin, or any other new medication, with your doctor before making such changes.)

 

To learn more about the potential role of NSAIDs in cancer risk reduction, look for the publication of my new landmark book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in the spring/summer of this year.


Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg



I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would like to take this opportunity to thank the nearly 120,000 new and returning readers who visited our premier global health information website last month.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can. 



In view of the extreme devastation and human misery brought about in Haiti and Chile by the recent earthquakes, Weekly Health Update asks our tens of thousands of caring readers to give generously to established charities that are currently working in those countries to assist the injured, the ill, and the homeless.  There are many such legitimate charities, including the following two:

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.imcworldwide.org/haiti


 

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