That's News

By Steve Barrett
Sunday, September 1, 2019

Tongue-Based Detection of Pancreatic Cancer

The unnoticed spread of pancreatic cancer makes effective treatment difficult. However, findings from a study in the Journal of Oral Microbiology may pave the way to earlier detection through the evaluation of differences in the tongue microbiome.

The tongue-coating microbiomes of 30 patients diagnosed with early stage pancreatic cancer differed starkly from those of 25 healthy patients, researchers discovered. Patients with pancreatic cancer had lower levels of haemophilus and porphyromonas bacteria and higher levels of fusobacterium and leptotrichia bacteria. This builds on earlier findings that microbiomes in other areas of the bodies of pancreatic cancer patients differ from those of people without the condition.

“This could potentially lead to the development of new microbiome-based early diagnostic or preventive tools for the disease,” lead author Lanjuan Li of China’s Zhenjiang University states in a news release.

Pancreatic cancer causes about 7% of cancer deaths in the U.S., although it represents only 3% of all cancers.

Researchers: Lung Cancer Among Nonsmokers Downplayed

Environmental factors contribute significantly to lung cancer rates worldwide among people who have never smoked, according to British scientists, but that is often lost in the focus on lung cancer’s association with smoking.

In a paper published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, researchers argue that clinicians do not sufficiently address factors such as secondhand smoke and the indoor burning of solid fuels for cooking. Consequently, people who never smoked may think they are not at risk for lung cancer and, as a result, are less likely to be diagnosed and receive treatment in a timely manner.

“For too long, having lung cancer has only been thought of as a smoking-related disease,” lead author Paul Cosford, Medical Director at Public Health England, states in a news release about the paper. “There is a need to raise awareness ... of the other risk factors, including indoor and outdoor air pollution.”

TV Viewing Linked to Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer

Americans may be at heightened risk for the onset of colorectal cancer prior to age 50 if they spend too much time watching television while sitting.

Among more than 89,000 American women in the Nurses’ Health Study II, two hours or more of daily sedentary TV viewing was linked to a 70% greater risk of developing colorectal cancer, according to research in JNCI Cancer Spectrum. This held true whether or not participants exercised and regardless of BMI.

“This study may help identify those at high risk and who might benefit more from early screening,” co-senior author Yin Cao, ScD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine, states in a news release. “The fact that these results were independent of BMI and physical activity suggests that being sedentary may be an altogether distinct risk factor for young-onset colorectal cancer.”