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What is cancer?

Cancer is a disease of the body's cells. Normally, the body's cells divide in an orderly way, allowing the body to grow and to heal after an injury.

Occasionally some cells act in abnormal way, sometimes forming a lump called a tumour. Tumours can be benign (not a cancer) or malignant (a cancer). Benign tumours do not spread to other parts of the body.

Experts Outline Cancer, Diet Evidence

Thu Sep 12, 2002

By EMMA ROSS, AP Medical Writer

LONDON (AP) - Wading through 30 years of confusing and sometimes contradictory studies on cancer and diet, experts have summarized the state of scientific knowledge: alcohol is bad, obesity is bad and lots of fruits and vegetables are good.

Poor diet is thought to account for about 30 percent of cancer in the developed world and about 20 percent in poor countries, and scientists have long sought to determine what foods cause or ward off cancer.


Living With Brain Tumors

Tue Sep 17, 2002

TUESDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthScoutNews) -- A national symposium for brain tumor patients, survivors, their families and health-care professionals will be held this weekend at the Boston Marriott Quincy Hotel.

The event is the fifth national symposium of The Brain Tumor Society, and it offers direct access to experts from across the country.


Breast Cancer Gene Linked to Other Cancers

Tue Sep 17, 2002

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Mutations in the BRCA1 gene are known to increase a woman's risk of developing breast and ovarian cancer. The results of two new studies suggest these mutations could be associated with other types of cancers, as well.

But the absolute risk of other malignancies, such as colon and prostate cancer, conferred by BRCA1 mutations appears to be small, according to the findings published in the September 18th issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.


Doctors Freezing Away Tumors

Mon Sep 9, 2002


Robin Imhof watched, fascinated, as her doctor stuck a needle into the dime-sized lump in her breast and pumped freezing gas through it. On a nearby ultrasound monitor, a round image gradually turned lighter and lighter — her noncancerous but extremely painful tumor being encased in a ball of ice.

It didn't hurt — the cold itself was anesthetic even as it froze the growth to death. No hospital stay, stitches or scar.


New Technique Tested Against Cervical Cancer

Thu Sep 5, 2002

LONDON (Reuters) - British scientists have devised a new technique that kills cervical cancer cells without harming healthy ones, which could improve treatment for the deadly disease.

The technique, called RNA interference, wipes out the deadly cells by silencing genes in a virus that contributes to the illness.

"Our work has identified a novel agent with major therapeutic potential for the treatment, and possibly also the prevention, of human cervical cancer," Professor Jo Milner, of the University of York, said Thursday.


Healthy Diet May Not Prevent Prostate Cancer

Thu Sep 5, 2002

By Alison McCook

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - A diet that is low in fat and full of fiber, fruits and vegetables is a good idea in general, but it may not protect men against developing prostate cancer, US researchers report.

These findings appear on the tail of previous research that demonstrated that a high-fat diet is linked to an increased risk of advanced prostate cancer.


Australia Tan Implants May Help Prevent Skin Cancer

Thu Sep 5, 2002

By Sophie Hares

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Sun-worshippers may be able to get that bronze tan without baking for hours in potentially lethal rays, and fight skin cancer at the same time, if a new drug implant hits the market in few years time.

Designed to allow sun-free tanning and help prevent skin cancer, implants using the drug melanotan are being developed by a biotech firm in sunny Australia, which has the world's highest rate of skin cancer.



Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.

Professor Environmental and Occupational Medicine, University of Illinois School of Public Health, Chicago and Chairman, The Cancer Prevention Coalition.   Website:

The major cancer "charities" are comprised by the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) and the Cancer Research Campaign (CRC), under the umbrella organization of the Coordinating Committee on Cancer Research.