Cancer and an Old Wonder Drug

by Sheldon S. Zinberg, M.D.

A recent study by the Macmillan Cancer Support found that only 20% of patients who have gone through cancer treatment are properly informed as to the very important benefits of exercise. You might say, “Don’t give me more bull about exercise and don’t try to tell me that exercise cures cancer.”  Well, exercise doesn’t cure cancer, but it sure looks like it helps to prevent it; and that makes it a Wonder Drug.

Here are some real examples shown in this study.  Exercise has been shown to reduce the recurrence of bowel cancer by 50%, and reduce the risk of recurrent breast cancer by more than 33%. While multiple studies have shown similar results, this new research shows that the message is still not being passed on to cancer patients. Why? Because according to Jane Maher, Chief Medical Officer, “It’s easier to tell patients to take it easy and rest.”  That simply re-enforces the myth that resting is always the right thing to do. It’s a myth that has to be broken by health care providers when advising patients who have been afflicted by cancer.

A Boomer Nightmare -- Liver Cancer

You Can and Must Fix It!

By Sheldon S.Zinberg, M.D.

Many boomers and even some seniors are harboring a potentially deadly disease and don’t even know it.  It’s called Hepatitis C.  It’s a very sneaky disease because it can be slowly progressive without producing significant symptoms; and end up causing liver cancer–one of the fastest-growing causes of cancer death.  Aside from being the leading cause of liver cancer, Hepatitis C is a real killer, leading to cirrhosis, liver failure, and many liver transplants. The good news is that Hepatitis C can be treated with newer medicines; but first, it has to be diagnosed by a screening blood test.

Most of us know that there are different types of viral hepatitis caused by different viruses. The two kinds that most boomers and seniors are familiar with are Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B—but the alphabet of liver viruses is growing and growing.

An Aspirin a Day? – An Apple a Day Might Be Safer

by Sheldon S. Zinberg, M.D.

Previously, I described the potential virtues of an aspirin a day in terms of decreasing the growth of certain cancers and also decreasing the mortality rate associated with cancer – particularly colon cancer. However, I emphasized that “aspirin is not a cure-all”. Again, it’s important to appreciate that aspirin therapy is not for everyone. You must check with your doctor before going on a regular regimen of a baby aspirin daily or every other day.

Is it an Apple a Day or an Aspirin a Day??

What Will Keep the Doctor Away?

by Sheldon S. Zinberg, M.D.

“Doctor!!! I hurt all over and I can’t go to sleep.”
“Now that makes two of us,” said the doctor. “Do you realize it’s 1:00am?”
“Yes,” the patient respond, “But I still hurt all over.”
“Well, take some aspirin and call me in 8 hours.” replied the doctor.

This used to be and still might be a joke; but the value of an age-old drug (aspirin) is being newly appreciated. We’ve all known how aspirin has been used to treat fevers, swollen joints, headache, pain, and even more recently vascular disease (including heart attacks and stroke prevention). But now we are being increasingly informed that aspirin is good for cancer. Well…a study published in the March 21, 2012, edition of the prestigious journal, Lancet, seems to think so.  

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