Oral Rinse Could Help Detect Stomach Cancer

May 22nd, 2024

StethoscopeA new study reports that an oral rinse could someday provide early detection of stomach cancer.

Oral Rinse Test

Researchers found distinct differences in bacteria samples taken from the mouths of people with stomach cancer or precancerous stomach conditions, compared with samples from healthy patients. A simple oral rinse could pick up those bacteria as part of a quick and easy cancer screening.

For the study, researchers compared samples from 30 people diagnosed with stomach cancer, 30 people with conditions that increase the risk of stomach cancer and a control group of 38 healthy patients.

Researchers found little difference in the mouth bacteria of people with stomach cancer and those with precancerous stomach conditions. That suggests changes in a person's microbiome might occur as soon as a person’s stomach starts to undergo changes that can eventually turn into cancer, researchers said.

If this is true, an oral rinse test could give doctors and patients a way to head off stomach cancer.

Symptoms of Stomach Cancer

Signs and symptoms of stomach cancer may include:

  • Belly pain
  • Feeling bloated after eating
  • Feeling full after eating tiny amounts of food
  • Feeling very tired
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Nausea
  • Not feeling hungry when you expect to be hungry
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Vomiting

Stomach cancer doesn’t always cause symptoms in its early stages. Symptoms may not happen until the cancer is advanced.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America is here to keep you informed on the world of health. Learn more from IAA’s blog posts.

Gas Stoves may Cause Childhood Asthma

May 15th, 2024

LungsGas stoves found in more than 40 million homes in the United States are likely giving some children asthma, new research suggests.

Study Links Childhood Asthma to Gas Stoves

A new study suggests that around 50,000 current cases of pediatric asthma in the U.S. are linked to long-term exposure to nitrogen dioxide from gas and propane stoves.

Nitrogen dioxide forms when natural gas is burned at high temperatures. It is known to irritate airways and worsen respiratory issues.

The study suggests that the average yearly exposure to nitrogen dioxide from gas and propane stoves in U.S. homes may be close to the World Health Organization’s limit.

The researchers measured nitrogen dioxide inside more than 100 U.S. kitchens while stoves were on and monitored how nitrogen dioxide spread to other rooms after the stove turned off.

The team combined that data with information from a U.S. Energy Information Administration survey about how often people use their stoves and what indoor ventilation typically looks like. That yielded an overall estimate of annual exposure to nitrogen dioxide, which the researchers then used to calculate the approximate number of new asthma cases.

On average, the study found that gas or propane stoves account for a yearly exposure to nitrogen dioxide of around four parts per billion. The World Health Organization’s annual limit is 5.3 parts per billion for indoor and outdoor air combined.

The study was published in the journal “Science Advances.”

Childhood Asthma

In childhood asthma, the lungs and airways become easily inflamed when exposed to certain triggers.

Common childhood asthma symptoms include:

  • A whistling or wheezing sound when breathing out
  • Chest congestion or tightness
  • Shortness of breath

Childhood asthma is not different from asthma in adults, but children face unique challenges. It can lead to missed school days, hospital and ER visits.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America is here to keep you up to date on the world of health. Remember, with IAA one call does it all.

Plant-Based Food may Lower Emphysema Risk

May 8th, 2024

LungsA new study shows that current and former smokers may lower their risk for emphysema if they adopt a highly nutritional plant-based meal plan.

New Study

People with a history of smoking who adopted a plant-based meal plan had a 56 percent lower risk of developing emphysema, compared to those who ate more meat, researchers reported. The more veggies and fruits, the lower their risk.

For the study, researchers followed more than 1,700 participants in a long-term heart health study, all of whom were recruited between the ages of 18 and 30 and were followed for three decades.

Participants were all current or former smokers by year 20 of the study and had filled out questionnaires tracking their history. More than 1,300 of the participants had a CT scan at year 25 of the study to see whether they developed emphysema, among other health problems.

The results showed the risk of emphysema dropped 34 percent for each one-unit increase in participants’ plant-based intake score.

The findings were published in “Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Journal of the COPD Foundation.”

Emphysema Facts

Emphysema develops over time and involves gradual damage of lung tissue. The gradual damage causes the air sacs to rupture and create one big air pocket instead of many small ones. This reduction in the lung surface area traps air in the damaged tissue and prevents oxygen from moving through the bloodstream. Additionally, the blockage causes the lungs to slowly overfill and makes breathing increasingly more difficult.

Signs and symptoms of emphysema take years to develop, but once they start, they generally include shortness of breath, coughing with mucus, wheezing, and chest tightness.

Over three million people in the United States have been diagnosed with emphysema.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America knows that healthy meals can go a long way. Learn more from IAA’s blog posts.

New Tests Make Headlines

May 1st, 2024

Test tubes with blood in themNew tests to detect diseases are in the works according to researchers. Read on to learn more.

Multiple Sclerosis Antibodies

An early marker of multiple sclerosis could help doctors learn who will develop the disease, a new study says.

In every 1 in 10 cases of MS, the body will begin to produce a distinctive set of antibodies in the blood, years before symptoms begin to appear, researchers reported.

The antibody pattern was 100% predictive of a MS diagnosis, researchers found. Every patient who carried this set of antibodies went on to develop MS.

For this study, researchers screened blood samples taken from 250 MS patients collected before and after their diagnosis and compared them to blood samples of healthy people.

Researchers hope these antibodies will someday form the basis of a simple blood test to screen for MS.

The research was published in the journal, “Nature Medicine.”  

New Test for Prostate Cancer

Researchers may have developed a urine test which will determine the aggression level of prostate cancer. Currently, an invasive biopsy is the only way to figure this out.

Prostate cancer’s level of aggression is measured on the Gleason score, with tumors scoring a Gleason Grade Group 2 (GG2) or higher are more likely to grow and spread than those rated Grade Group 1 (GG1).

The new test was found to be effective in spotting tumors with a GG2 score and was 100% effective in detecting GG1 tumors.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America is here to keep you up to date on the world of health. Tune into IAA’s blog post to learn more.

Pancreatic Cancer in the News

April 24th, 2024

StethoscopePancreatic cancer has been making headlines. Read on to see what researchers have to say about this disease.

Vaccine for Pancreatic Cancer

A pancreatic cancer vaccine has continued to protect a small group of patients from having their cancer come back three years after receiving the shot, a new study says.

Eight patients have not had their pancreatic cancer recur for three years after their immune systems responded to the vaccine, researchers reported.

Even after successful surgery, only about 12 percent of patients are alive five years after diagnosis, according to the American Association of Clinical Oncology.

The mRNA-based vaccine teaches the immune system to identify and attack cancer cells, using 20 unique proteins exclusively present in a patient’s tumor. The vaccine is specially made for each patient, based on the specific mutations found in their cancer.

The research team compared eight patients who responded to the vaccine with eight patients who did not. All had undergone surgery to remove their cancer.

Those who did not respond to the vaccine had an average recurrence-free survival rate of 13 months, results show. But those whose immune systems did learn from the vaccine have remained cancer free for three years, researchers said.

Blood Test for Pancreatic Cancer

A blood test appears capable of detecting early-stage pancreatic cancers with up to 97 percent accuracy, a new study reports.

The test looks for eight small RNA particles and eight larger DNA markers shed by pancreatic cancers which together create a genetic “signature” for the disease, researchers said.

An earlier trial of this blood test in 95 patients from the United States and Japan found a detection rate of 98 percent.

This latest trial involved 523 people with pancreatic cancer and 461 healthy people.

The blood test detected:

  • 93 percent of pancreatic cancers among U.S. participants
  • 91 percent of pancreatic cancers among South Koreans participants
  • 88 percent of pancreatic cancers among Chinese participants

Pancreatic cancer often does not cause symptoms until the disease is advanced.

What IAA has to Say

Insurance Administrator of America is here to keep you up to date in the world of health.  Remember, with IAA one call does it all.