Archive for the ‘BLADDER’ Category


Saturday, September 25th, 2010



The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has published a review regarding the long term adverse effects of Diabetes drug Actos to the body. According to the study, data acquired from patients taking Actos has shown more risk of getting bladder cancer. The extended consumption of the drug has shown significance in affecting a person’s susceptibility to bladder cancer.

The presence of unwanted side effects has been one of the primary issues surrounding the use of diabetes pharmaceutical drugs. Another diabetes drug, Avandia, has also been subjected to several debates by health professionals and FDA experts regarding its overwhelming side effects, including the increase of heart failure risk. But the lack of other quality options proven curative or beneficial to controlling diabetes keeps these drugs, including Actos, in the market.

FDA has yet to conduct further studies regarding Actos and its potential influence over bladder cancer risk.  The results may spell the difference between getting the red light, or the green light, with regards to consumption. However, early human and animal studies had linked Actos to the condition.  In fact, the agency had required Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the manufacturer of Actos, to conduct their own study regarding the potential risks brought about by the prolonged use of the drug, especially its influence over bladder cancer. The study is expected to last for 10 years.  Results on its 5th year reveals that intake of the drug did not show increased risk of getting bladder cancer. But when the researchers focused on the patients who had taken the highest dosage of the drug in their lifetime, a significant increase in bladder cancer risk was apparent. The increase in risk was observed in patients who had taken the drug for at least 24 months.

In their published statement, the FDA refused to assure the public that Actos increases the risk of bladder cancer. They advised patients who are taking Actos as a maintenance drug to stop taking the drug and seek consultation from their physicians or a medical professional for alternative ways to control their diabetes, especially if they are finding Actos an unsuitable option, and if they have been experiencing the probable onset of the proposed side effect.

A Closer Look at Diabetes

Diabetes of Diabetes Mellitus with an international symbol of a blue circle is not just one disease but is actually a group of metabolic diseases wherein the person’s body has high blood sugar levels. This is either caused by the body’s reduced capacity to produce insulin or the cells’ incapacitation to respond to insulin in controlling the body’s sugar level.

The usual symptoms of increased sugar levels in the body are increased thirst or polydipsia; frequent urination or polyuria; and increased hunger or polyphagia. The three classifications of diabetes are related to the reasons for the increased sugar level in the person’s body:

  • type 1 diabetes is when the person’s body is producing less insulin than what the body needs;
  • type 2 diabetes is when the cells in the person’s cells fail to respond to the insulin hormone that the body produces;
  • Type 3 diabetes is a special case in pregnant women who experience increased sugar levels during pregnancy.

Natural Methods of Preventing and Controlling Diabetes

Compounds that have been scientifically proven to contain curative and preventative qualities against chronic and degenerative diseases have been discovered to be found in natural sources like fruits and vegetables. People are beginning to be more aware and are now more open to the natural methods of preventing and curing diseases due to the overwhelming side-effects of pharmaceutical drugs to their bodies. In fact, most of the compounds used in pharmaceutical drugs are found in nature but the process and integration of other chemicals make the drugs harmful to the body. Medicines made entirely from natural substances have been flooding the market in synch with the rising demands for organic medicines. In the case of diabetes, the disease is finding powerful enemies in the form of innocent-looking fruits and plants.


There are many foods known to be potent against diabetes. A study conducted by Professor William Cefalu of the Center for the Study of Botanicals and Metabolic syndrome revealed that regular consumption of blueberries may increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin. Blueberry bioactives are thought to have positive effects in reinforcing the body’s sensitivity to insulin; thus, giving the cells more capacity to respond to the said hormone. The study consisted of a group of 32 obese individuals, who were insulin resistant but non-diabetic. The participants were asked to consume a smoothie containing blueberry bioactives for 6 weeks on a daily basis. 67 percent of the participants showed an increase of sensitivity to insulin by 10 percent while the rest of the group produced similar effects. Professor Cefalu also added that the study was the first of its kind to be conducted and the promising results will call for further research and experimentation.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd or bitter melon is a fruit endemic in Asian countries. It has unique bitter characteristics and has been proven to have high nutritional value. Clinical studies showed that bitter gourd contain compounds that are potentially effective in lowering concentrations of glucose in the body. The fruit’s protective properties such as the polypeptide-P and charantin act like insulin and supplement the insulin naturally produced by the body. The consumption of 50 to 60 milliliters of bitter gourd juice has shown positive effects in lowering down the body’s sugar level. Bitter gourd products have been an established supplement to insulin for diabetics.


Incorporation of cinnamon to daily diet has shown benefits in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes; a condition where the cells are becoming tolerant to insulin. Cinnamon has been clinically proven to optimize the cell’s sugar consumption and half a teaspoon of cinnamon is the recommended daily dosage to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Healthy Diet and Exercise prevents Diabetes

What we put in our mouth and our lifestyle usually contribute to the diseases we develop. Diabetes can be effectively prevented through healthy diet and a healthy lifestyle. Studies have shown that diabetics usually have an unhealthy body mass index. The body’s blood sugar levels are primarily influenced by the food we eat and along with it, the lack of exercise is one of the reasons for the body’s failure to consume sugar properly.


Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, June 7th, 2010

Autism Finding Could Lead to

Simple Urine Test for the Condition

Science (June 5, 2010) — Children with autism have a different chemical fingerprint in their urine than non-autistic children, according to new research published tomorrow in the print edition of the Journal of Proteome Research.

The researchers behind the study, from Imperial College London and the University of South Australia, suggest that their findings could ultimately lead to a simple urine test to determine whether or not a young child has autism.

Autism affects an estimated one in every 100 people in the UK. People with autism have a range of different symptoms, but they commonly experience problems with communication and social skills, such as understanding other people’s emotions and making conversation and eye contact.

People with autism are also known to suffer from gastrointestinal disorders and they have a different makeup of bacteria in their guts from non-autistic people.

Today’s research shows that it is possible to distinguish between autistic and non-autistic children by looking at the by-products of gut bacteria and the body’s metabolic processes in the children’s urine. The exact biological significance of gastrointestinal disorders in the development of autism is unknown.

The distinctive urinary metabolic fingerprint for autism identified in today’s study could form the basis of a non-invasive test that might help diagnose autism earlier. This would enable autistic children to receive assistance, such as advanced behavioural therapy, earlier in their development than is currently possible.

At present, children are assessed for autism through a lengthy process involving a range of tests that explore the child’s social interaction, communication and imaginative skills.

Early intervention can greatly improve the progress of children with autism but it is currently difficult to establish a firm diagnosis when children are under 18 months of age, although it is likely that changes may occur much earlier than this.

The researchers suggest that their new understanding of the makeup of bacteria in autistic children’s guts could also help scientists to develop treatments to tackle autistic people’s gastrointestinal problems.

Professor Jeremy Nicholson, the corresponding author of the study, who is the Head of the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London, said: “Autism is a condition that affects a person’s social skills, so at first it might seem strange that there’s a relationship between autism and what’s happening in someone’s gut. However, your metabolism and the makeup of your gut bacteria reflect all sorts of things, including your lifestyle and your genes. Autism affects many different parts of a person’s system and our study shows that you can see how it disrupts their system by looking at their metabolism and their gut bacteria.

“We hope our findings might be the first step towards creating a simple urine test to diagnose autism at a really young age, although this is a long way off — such a test could take many years to develop and we’re just beginning to explore the possibilities. We know that giving therapy to children with autism when they are very young can make a huge difference to their progress. A urine test might enable professionals to quickly identify children with autism and help them early on,” he added.

The researchers are now keen to investigate whether metabolic differences in people with autism are related to the causes of the condition or are a consequence of its progression.

The researchers reached their conclusions by using H NMR Spectroscopy to analyse the urine of three groups of children aged between 3 and 9: 39 children who had previously been diagnosed with autism, 28 non-autistic siblings of children with autism, and 34 children who did not have autism who did not have an autistic sibling.

They found that each of the three groups had a distinct chemical fingerprint. Non-autistic children with autistic siblings had a different chemical fingerprint than those without any autistic siblings, and autistic children had a different chemical fingerprint than the other two groups.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 7th June 2010


Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Shedding Light on Bladder Cancer

Urologists Use Optics,

Chemistry to Catch Small Tumors

October 1, 2005 — Some bladder cancer tumors are so small, surgeons can’t see them. Urologist Edward Messing is using a new liquid dye that reacts to light to help him see all the small bladder tumors that might have been missed in conventional biopsies.

ROCHESTER, N.Y.–The earlier the better, when it comes to detecting cancer. Now, doctors are shedding new light on detecting the deadly disease. Currently, 400-000 people suffer from it while 60,000 more will find out they have it, and bladder cancer usually strikes more than once.

Larry Sylvan, a cancer survivor, says, “At nine months it was back.” He knows what it’s like to battle bladder cancer. Sylvan’s doctor, Edward Messing, says, “The surgery was successful; I got everything I could see.” The doctor’s key word — see; some bladder cancer tumors are so small, surgeons can’t see them.

Dr. Messing, a urologist at the James P. Wilmot Cancer Center in Rochester, N.Y., says, “Before it was sort of blind guessing.” A new photo-sensitizer, a liquid dye inserted into the bladder, improves detection of those small tumors. Under ordinary light, everything looks fine, but when the florescent light is turned on, the entire background looks blue, except where the tumor is — that shows up bright red.

Jerry Gulette was one of the first patients to use the dye. He’s battled bladder cancer time and time again. Dr. Messing says, “I had seen maybe four, five tumors when I cystoscoped him with the white light. And when we turned on this pink light there were 12 or 13.”

More than 94 percent of the people diagnosed with bladder cancer will survive it if it’s caught in the early stages. That’s why this new procedure is so critical for those diagnosed.



BACKGROUND: Urologists use a liquid dye to more easily find tiny cancers in the bladder that could grow after surgery.

HOW THE LIQUID DYE HELPS: The liquid dye helps identify all the tiny tumors in the bladder that can remain after a major surgery is done. The dye, called a photosensitizer, reacts with light to make the cancerous tissue look bright red during an examination. The photosensitizer even detects a rare form of bladder cancer that is hard to detect because it lies almost flush against the walls of the bladder.

HOW THE BLADDER WORKS: The bladder stores urine, which is produced when the kidneys filter urea, a waste product of proteins, from the blood. The bladder is a hollow organ made of muscle, connected to the kidneys by the ureters, and empties through the urethra. Adults eliminate about a quart and a half of urine each day. The amount depends on many factors, especially the amounts of fluid and food a person consumes and how much fluid is lost through sweat and breathing.

WHAT IS BLADDER CANCER? About 90 percent of bladder cancers begin in the cells lining the bladder. Cancer that is confined to the lining of the bladder is called superficial bladder cancer and is sometimes removed by scraping away the cancerous cells with a small wire loop.

In some cases, cancer that begins in the transitional cells spreads through the lining of the bladder and invades the muscular wall of the bladder. This is known as invasive bladder cancer. Invasive cancer may grow through the bladder wall and spread to nearby organs.

To register for clinical trials in your area call:
Cancer Information Service
1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237)
TTY at 1-800-332-8615

Bladder Cancer Overview

The bladder is a hollow organ in the lower abdomen (pelvis). It collects and stores urine produced by the kidneys.

  • As it fills with urine, the muscular wall of the bladder stretches and the bladder gets larger.
  • When the bladder reaches its capacity of urine, the bladder wall contracts, although adults have voluntary control over the timing of this contraction. At the same time, a urinary control muscle (sphincter) in the urethra relaxes. The urine is then expelled from the bladder.
  • The urine flows through a narrow tube called the urethra and leaves the body. This process is called urination, or micturition.

Cancer occurs when normal cells undergo a transformation whereby they grow and multiply without normal controls.

  • As the cells multiply, they form an area of abnormal cells. Medical professionals call this a tumor.
  • As more and more cells are produced, the tumor increases in size.
  • Tumors overwhelm surrounding tissues by invading their space and taking the oxygen and nutrients they need to survive and function.
  • Tumors are cancerous only if they are malignant. This means that, because of their uncontrolled growth, they encroach on and invade neighboring tissues.
  • Malignant tumors may also travel to remote organs via the bloodstream or the lymphatic system.
  • This process of invading and spreading to other organs is called metastasis. Bladder cancers are most likely to spread to neighboring organs and lymph nodes prior to spreading through the blood stream to the lungs, liver, bones, or other organs.

Of the different types of cells that form the bladder, the cells lining the inside of the bladder wall are most likely to develop cancer. Any of three different cell types can become cancerous. The resulting cancers are named after the cell types.

  • Urothelial carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma): This is by far the most common type of bladder cancer in the United States. The so-called transitional cells are normal cells that form the innermost lining of the bladder wall. In transitional cell carcinoma, these normal lining cells undergo changes that lead to the uncontrolled cell growth characteristic of cancer.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma: These cancers originate from the thin, flat cells that typically form as a result of bladder inflammation or irritation that has taken place for many months or years.
  • Adenocarcinoma: These cancers form from cells that make up glands. Glands are specialized structures that produce and release fluids such as mucus.
  • In the United States, urothelial carcinomas account for more than 90% of all bladder cancers. Squamous cell carcinomas make up 3%-8%, and adenocarcinomas make up 1%-2%.

Only transitional cells normally line the rest of the urinary tract. The kidneys, the ureters (narrow tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), the bladder, and the urethra are lined with these cells.

  • However, these three types of cancer can develop anywhere in the urinary tract.
  • If abnormal cells are found anywhere in the urinary tract, a search for other areas of abnormal cells is warranted. For example, if cancerous cells are found in the bladder, an evaluation of the kidneys and ureters is essential.

Bladder cancers are classified (staged) by how deeply they invade into the bladder wall, which has several layers. Many physicians subdivide bladder cancer into superficial and invasive disease. Superficial bladder cancer is limited to the innermost linings of the bladder (known as the mucosa and lamina propria). Invasive bladder cancer has at least penetrated the muscular layer of the bladder wall.

  • Nearly all adenocarcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas are invasive. Thus, by the time these cancers are detected, they have usually already invaded the bladder wall.
  • Many urothelial cell carcinomas are not invasive. This means that they go no deeper than the superficial layer (mucosa) of the bladder.

In addition to stage (how deep the cancer penetrates in the bladder wall), the grade of the bladder cancer provides important information and can help guide treatment. The tumor grade is based on the degree of abnormality observed in a microscopic evaluation of the tumor. Cells from a high-grade cancer have more changes in form and have a greater degree of abnormality when viewed microscopically than do cells from a low-grade tumor. This information is provided by the pathologist, a physician trained in the science of tissue diagnosis.

  • Low-grade tumors are less aggressive.
  • High-grade tumors are more dangerous and have a propensity to become invasive.

Papillary tumors are urothelial carcinomas that grow narrow, finger-like projections.

  • Benign (noncancerous) papillary tumors (papillomas) grow projections out into the hollow part of the bladder. These can be easily removed, but they sometimes grow back.
  • These tumors vary greatly in their potential to come back (recur). Some types rarely recur after treatment; other types are very likely to do so.
  • Papillary tumors also vary greatly in their potential to be malignant (invasive). A small percentage (15%) do invade the bladder wall. Some invasive papillary tumors grow projections both into the bladder wall and into the hollow part of the bladder.

In addition to papillary tumors, bladder cancer can develop in the form of a flat, red (erythematous) patch on the mucosal surface. This is called carcinoma-in-situ (CIS).

  • Although these tumors are superficial, they are high-grade and have a high risk for becoming invasive.

Of all types of cancer, bladder cancer has an unusually high propensity for recurring after treatment. Bladder cancer has a recurrence rate of 50%-80%. The recurring cancer is usually, but not always, of the same type as the first (primary) cancer. It may be in the bladder or in another part of the urinary tract (kidneys or ureters).

Bladder cancer is most common in industrialized countries. It is the fifth most common type of cancer in the United States-the fourth most common in men and the ninth in women.

  • Each year, about 67,000 new cases of bladder cancer are expected, and about 13,000 people will die of the disease in the U.S.
  • Bladder cancer affects three times as many men as women. Women, however, often have more advanced tumors than men at the time of diagnosis.
  • Whites, both men and women, develop bladder cancers twice as often as other ethnic groups. In the United States, African Americans and Hispanics have similar rates of this cancer. Rates are lowest in Asians.
  • Bladder cancer can occur at any age, but it is most common in people older than 50 years of age. The average age at the time of diagnosis is in the 60s. However, it clearly appears to be a disease of aging, with people in their 80s and 90s developing bladder cancer as well.
  • Because of its high recurrence rate and the need for lifelong surveillance, bladder cancer is the most expensive cancer to treat on a per patient basis.

Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 4th May 2010