Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quest Diagnostics Show Support For the Cancer Testing

A new effort in urging women to be proactive in cancer prevention.  The American Cancer society is promoting the "Choose You® movement for women's health. Quest Diagnostics has decided to be a large part of this undertaking. The following information was released in the news.

Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), the world's leading provider of diagnostic testing, information and services, today announced its national presenting sponsorship of the American Cancer Society Choose You® movement, which encourages women nationwide to live well today and stay well tomorrow. In support of the Choose You movement and in recognition of National Women's Health Week May 13 – 19 sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health, Quest Diagnostics will offer 10,000 vouchers for free screenings to women at May Choose You events around the country, beginning today in New York City.
"One in three women will get cancer in her lifetime. But a significant number of cancer deaths could be prevented if people maintained a healthy weight through diet and regular exercise, avoided tobacco products and had their regular health checks," said Kimberly Wright, Director, Mission Solutions and Tools, at the American Cancer Society. "We're proud to have Quest Diagnostics as our Choose You national presenting sponsor, and we greatly value their partnership as we work together to empower women to get active, manage their health, and stay well."
An American Cancer Society survey finds that 40 percent of women said they would be more physically active in their free time if it felt less like work and more like play. In response, Choose You is issuing a challenge to women: Choose play in May and help the Society inspire 100,000 acts of physical activity. To get the challenge started, a series of Choose You pop-up "play teams" will be hitting the streets of New York (May 1), Los Angeles (May 11) and Washington, DC (May 22), inviting passers-by to get active with nostalgic childhood toys, including the '80s famed Skip It, hula hoops, hoppity-hop balls and double Dutch jump ropes. Today the Choose You team launched the movement by encouraging women to play midday through late afternoon in New York's Times Square.
"Choose You is an important and growing women's health initiative, and it made great sense in 2012 for Quest Diagnostics to continue and strengthen our support of the women touched by this American Cancer Society movement," said Laure Park, Quest Diagnostics' Corporate Citizenship Officer. "Whether you're a family member, healthcare provider, co-worker or friend, we hope you'll join us – this month and throughout the next year – in encouraging the women in our lives to prioritize a healthy lifestyle, get out and play, and make time for their regular health checks.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Facts about Ovarian Metastastis From the Colon

According to the Mayo Clinic, "Symptoms of ovarian cancer are nonspecific and mimic those of many other more common conditions, including digestive and bladder disorders." Colon cancer may also spread to the lymph nodes, bones, lungs and liver. There are particular signs and symptoms that the cancer has spread to the ovaries.

Abdominal Discomfort

  • Patients with colon cancer that has spread to the ovaries may have already been experiencing pain, fullness or bloating in the abdomen from the colon cancer and may not realize the cancer has spread. Patients may also experience persistent indigestion, gas or nausea as well as changes in bowel habits, such as constipation. One may lose their appetite or quickly feel full after a meal.

Pelvic Discomfort

  • Women may experience pain during intercourse, lower back pain and general pelvic discomfort. According to the Mayo Clinic, patients may also experience changes in bladder habits, including a frequent need to urinate as well as changes in menstruation (more bleeding, much less bleeding or erratic bleeding).
The following is an abstract from a Colorectal Medical Journal


Objective  To improve management of ovarian metastasis through assessment of clinicopathological features and treatment outcomes associated with ovarian metastasis from colorectal cancer.
Method  We recruited 103 subjects who were diagnosed with ovarian metastasis and subjected to surgery between June 1989 and December 2005. Clinical and pathological variables were evaluated. Survival and its associated factors were analysed with a median follow-up of 31 months after ovarian surgery (range 1–129 months).
Results  The mean age at diagnosis was 46 years (range 14–72 years), synchronous ovarian metastasis occurred in 74 patients and metachronous in 29 patients. The primary tumour was more commonly associated with the colon rather than the rectum (84/1608, 5.2%vs 19/1534, 1.2%, < 0.001). Combined metastases occurred in 69 patients (67%). Complete resection was achieved in 34 (33%) patients without other metastases. The estimated 5-year disease free survival and overall survival rate were 40.1% and 26.6%, respectively. From univariate analysis, lymphovascular invasion (35.6%vs 12.8%, = 0.034), combined metastasis (50.9%vs 15.6%, = 0.0035) and bilaterale ovarian metastasis (36.4%vs 10.6%, = 0.015) were identified as significant poor prognosis factors, and from multivariate analysis combined metastasis and bilaterale ovarian metastasis were significant (= 0.034 and = 0.015, respectively).
Conclusion  This study suggests a role for regular follow-up computed tomography scans within 6 months postoperatively and tumour marker assays for the early detection of ovarian metastasis in premenopausal women after primary surgery, especially in colonic patients with poor prognostic factors.


A pelvic examination and imaging including CT scan[39] and trans-vaginal ultrasound are essential. Physical examination may reveal increased abdominal girth and/or ascites (fluid within the abdominal cavity). Pelvic examination may reveal an ovarian or abdominal mass. The pelvic examination can include a Rectovaginal component for better palpation of the ovaries. For very young patients, magnetic resonance imaging may be preferred to rectal and vaginal examination.
To definitively diagnose ovarian cancer, a surgical procedure to take a look into the abdomen is required. This can be an open procedure (laparotomy, incision through the abdominal wall) or keyhole surgery (laparoscopy). During this procedure, suspicious areas will be removed and sent for microscopic analysis. Fluid from the abdominal cavity can also be analysed for cancerous cells. If there is cancer, this procedure can also determine its spread (which is a form of tumor staging).


Ovarian cancer staging is by the FIGO staging system and uses information obtained after surgery, which can include a total abdominal hysterectomy, removal of (usually) both ovaries and fallopian tubes, (usually) the omentum, and pelvic (peritoneal) washings for cytopathology. The AJCC stage is the same as the FIGO stage. The AJCC staging system describes the extent of the primary Tumor (T), the absence or presence of metastasis to nearby lymph Nodes (N), and the absence or presence of distant Metastasis (M).[43]
  • Stage I — limited to one or both ovaries
    • IA — involves one ovary; capsule intact; no tumor on ovarian surface; no malignant cells in ascites or peritoneal washings
    • IB — involves both ovaries; capsule intact; no tumor on ovarian surface; negative washings
    • IC — tumor limited to ovaries with any of the following: capsule ruptured, tumor on ovarian surface, positive washings
  • Stage II — pelvic extension or implants
    • IIA — extension or implants onto uterus or fallopian tube; negative washings
    • IIB — extension or implants onto other pelvic structures; negative washings
    • IIC — pelvic extension or implants with positive peritoneal washings

 Advanced Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian adenocarcinoma deposit in the mesentry of the small bowel
  • Stage III — peritoneal implants outside of the pelvis; or limited to the pelvis with extension to the small bowel or omentum
    • IIIA — microscopic peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis
    • IIIB — macroscopic peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis less than 2 cm in size
    • IIIC — peritoneal metastases beyond pelvis > 2 cm or lymph node metastases
  • Stage IV — distant metastases to the liver or outside the peritoneal cavity
                                   Testimonial of Patient with Colon Cancer that Metastasized to Ovary

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Learn About Thymoma and Thymic Cancer

The thymus is a specialized organ of the immune system which is also the lymph system.  It is a small organ that lies under the breast bone. The thymus produces white cells which fight off infections in our body.

The thymus is composed of two identical lobes and is located anatomically in the anterior superior mediastinum, in front of the heart and behind the sternum.
Histologically, the thymus can be divided into a central medulla and a peripheral cortex which is surrounded by an outer capsule.  The cortex and medulla play different roles in the development of T-cells.  Cells in the thymus can be divided into thymic stromal cells and cells of hematopoietic origin (derived from bone marrow resident hematopoietic stem cells).  Developing T-cells are referred to as thymocytes and are of hematopoietic origin.  Stromal cells include thymic cortical epithelial cells, thymic medullary epithelial cells, and dendritic cells.
The thymus provides an inductive environment for development of T-lymphocytes from hematopoietic progenitor cells.  In addition, thymic stromal cells allow for the selection of a functional and self-tolerant T-cell repertoire.  Therefore, one of the most important roles of the thymus is the induction of central tolerance.
The thymus is largest and most active during the neonatal and pre-adolescent periods.  By the early teens, the thymus begins to atrophy and thymic stroma is replaced by adipose (fat) tissue.  Nevertheless, residual T lymphopoiesis continues throughout adult life.

There are different types of tumors of the thymus. Thymoma and thymic carcinoma are tumors that affect the surface thymus. Thymoma tumors look almost like the normal tissue and does not spread beyond the thymus. The thymic tumor cells are very different from the thymus tissue and spread rapidly through the body.

                                                         Encapsulated Thymoma

                              Tumor cells in lymphoepithelioma-like thymic carcinoma have large, round, vesicular nuclei with prominent nucleoli. The tumor cells are positive for keratin and many cases contain EBV genome 

Tumor cells in lymphoepithelioma-like thymic carcinoma have large, round, vesicular nuclei with prominent nucleoli. The tumor cells are positive for keratin and many cases contain EBV genome.  

Possible signs of thymoma and thymic carcinoma include a cough and chest pain.

Sometimes thymoma and thymic carcinoma do not cause symptoms. The cancer may be found during a routine chest x-ray. The following symptoms may be caused by thymoma, thymic carcinoma, or other conditions. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur:
  • A cough that doesn't go away.
  • Chest pain.
  • Trouble breathing

 The diagnosis is determined through chest x-rays, MRI scans and CT scans

Stages of Thymoma and Thymic Carcinoma

Tests done to detect thymoma or thymic carcinoma are also used to stage the disease.
Staging is the process used to find out if cancer has spread from the thymus to other parts of the body. The findings made during surgery and the results of tests and procedures are used to determine the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.
There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.
The three ways that cancer spreads in the body are:
  • Through tissue. Cancer invades the surrounding normal tissue.
  • Through the lymph system. Cancer invades the lymph system and travels through the lymph vessels to other places in the body.
  • Through the blood. Cancer invades the veins and capillaries and travels through the blood to other places in the body. 
                                        Professor Michael Bakker Discusses Thyoma

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