AMAS cancer test


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For men living with a diagnosis of prostate cancer, the news that the P.S.A. test does more harm than good has been unsettling and confusing.

After all, that is the test that first led to their diagnosis -- and, often, a painful and traumatic course of treatment.

And now they tell us it doesn't work?
A prostate biopsy more than doubles the risk of being hospitalized for infections and other medical problems within the following month, a new study reports.

Researchers examined Medicare records of 17,472 men, average age 73, who had prostate biopsies and those of 134,977 matched controls selected on a random day. Then the scientists compared hospitalization rates in the two groups over the next 30 days. Among the controls, 2.9 percent were hospitalized; the rate among the biopsied patients was 6.9 percent. Excluding men hospitalized for prostate cancer treatment made no difference in the results -- it was biopsy alone, not treatment, that led to hospitalization.

Smokers have much higher odds of developing bladder cancer than previously believed, and the changing makeup of cigarettes may be a factor, new research shows.

While cigarettes are more typically associated with lung cancer, researchers have known for years that smoking also raises the risk of bladder cancer among both men and women. Previous studies based on people who smoked prior to the 1990s had put the risk for smokers at about three times the risk seen among nonsmokers.

But in a new study, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, a team of scientists at the National Cancer Institute used a larger population group and more recent data, following a half million people between 1995 and 2006. They found that current smokers were four times as likely to develop bladder cancer compared with people who never smoked, and former smokers had 2.2 times the risk.

A chemical in the blood could one day help doctors spot early signs of ovarian cancer, research suggests.

A US team found a marker antibody in the blood of women with ovarian cancer, but not in healthy ones.

Ovarian cancer is hard to detect at an early stage, which means it can remain hidden until it is advanced and very difficult to treat.

For the last decade cancer research has been guided by a common vision of how a single cell, outcompeting its neighbors, evolves into a malignant tumor.

Through a series of random mutations, genes that encourage cellular division are pushed into overdrive, while genes that normally send growth-restraining signals are taken offline.

With the accelerator floored and the brake lines cut, the cell and its progeny are free to rapidly multiply. More mutations accumulate, allowing the cancer cells to elude other safeguards and to invade neighboring tissue and metastasize.

Scientists have discovered how cancerous cells can "elbow" their way out of tumours, offering clues for new drugs to prevent cancers spreading.

They say they have identified a protein called JAK which helps cancerous cells generate the force needed to move.

The BBC posted an article on July 19th about a study linking Obesity to certain types of breast cancer.

Obesity is the biggest driving force behind the most common form of breast cancer in older women, say researchers.

Alcohol and then cigarettes are the next largest culprits, according to Cancer Research UK.

One in eight women in the UK develop breast cancer in their lifetime, data shows, and the majority of these tumours are "hormone sensitive" meaning their growth is fuelled by hormones.

An interesting article from the BBC about a study which made a like between a specific gene and hormone therapy resistant breast cancer:

A gene has been linked to 70% of hard-to-treat breast cancers which are resistant to hormone therapies, in US research.  The study published in Nature used a new technique which tested hundreds of genes at once, rather than one at a time.  Scientists said there was "a lot of potential for significant impact" if drugs could be developed.  Cancer Research UK said it would be interesting to see where the study led.

A study released last week from Harvard's School of Public Health showed a lower risk of prostate cancer for coffee drinkers. 

Articles were published in a number of newspapers including the New York Times.

Oncolab occasionally receives messages from patients telling their stories about how the AMAS test has helped them.  Below is one of those stories:

"What are you worried about?" the doctor said to me in his cavalier manner, "It's just a cyst." He was the head of Urology at a major LA hospital center.  The CT scan, MRI and Ultrasound just presented a cyst ... but did not identify it to be cancerous. My cousin told me about the AMAS test.  I called Oncolab, ordered the kit, took it to a local hospital lab and had it drawn and prepared, then I shipped it back to Oncolab. The results came back in a couple of days positive for [anti-malignin] antibodies to cancer. I saw my family doctor who sent me to a Urologist.  This Urologist took me very seriously and addressed the fact that he could not tell me one way or the other from the films alone if this cyst was or was not malignant and "That is dangerous", he said. "This could very well be a malignancy".  He sent me to the Cleveland Clinic where I was told to get it out as soon as possible.  The cyst and the lower lobe of my left kidney were removed laparoscopically. 

The AMAS test was right it was malignant. Type 1 Renal Cell Carcinoma. 
(Kidney Cancer)  The AMAS test saved my life.  I am very grateful for this test. I have continued to take the test over the years to make sure that I am cancer free. Thank you Oncolab!  All Physicians should be made aware of and use this very helpful diagnostic tool.  
-Debra Armani



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