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Home > Health Conditions > Head and Neck Cancer.

Head and Neck Cancer

Click here for my experience with head and neck cancer.

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  • Index-based dietary patterns and risk of head and neck cancer in a large prospective study - Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Jan 8 - "We prospectively evaluated the association between 2 index-based dietary patterns [ie, the Healthy Eating Index-2005 (HEI-2005) and alternate Mediterranean Diet Score (aMED)] and risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma ... included 494,967 participants from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health study (1995-2006) ... Higher HEI-2005 scores were associated with reduced risk of HNC in men [HR: 0.74 (95% CI: 0.61, 0.89) for highest compared with lowest quintiles ... High aMED scores were also associated with lower HNC risk in men (HR: 0.80; 95% CI: 0.64, 1.01; P-trend = 0.002) and women (HR: 0.42"
  • Bitter Melon Extract May Have Potential to Fight Head, Neck Cancer - Science Daily, 11/18/13 - "In this study, the bitter melon extract treatment suppressed the head and neck cancer cell growth in the mouse model, reducing the growth of the tumor ... bitter melon extract regulated several pathways that helped reduce the head and neck cancer cell growth in the animal model. After a period of four weeks, Ray found that the growth and volume of the tumor had reduced ... Ray's initial research found that treatment with this natural substance halted the breast and prostate cancer cell growth, eventually stopping them from spreading" - See bitter melon extracts at iHerb.
  • Fatty acids could aid cancer prevention and treatment - Science Daily, 8/1/13 - "new research from scientists at Queen Mary, University of London ... In vitro tests showed omega-3 fatty acids induced cell death in malignant and pre-malignant cells at doses which did not affect normal cells, suggesting they have the potential to be used in both the treatment and prevention of certain skin and oral cancers" - See Mega Twin EPA at Amazon.com and Jarrow Max DHA at Amazon.com.
  • Treatment with Metformin is Associated with Higher Remission Rate in Diabetic Patients with Thyroid Cancer - J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013 May 24 - "complete response (CR) ... progression free survival (PFS) ... Tumor size is smaller in patients treated with metformin suggesting inhibition of tumor growth by the drug. Among diabetics, absence of metformin therapy is an independent factor for decreased likelihood of CR and increased risk of shorter PFS" - See metformin at IAS.
  • Nutrient-based dietary patterns of head and neck squamous cell cancer: a factor analysis in Uruguay - Cancer Causes Control. 2013 Mar 27 - "The first pattern (meat-based pattern) was positively associated with squamous cell cancer of the head and neck (OR 2.85, 95 % CI 1.81-4.15), whereas the third pattern (fruit-based) was strongly protective (OR 0.43, 95 % CI 0.27-0.63)"
  • Pretreatment dietary patterns, weight status, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma prognosis - Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 Dec 26 - "Consumption of a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, fish, poultry and whole grains and being overweight before diagnosis with head and neck cancer are associated with a better prognosis"
  • Caffeinated coffee may reduce the risk of oral cancers - Science Daily, 12/10/12 - "Cancer Prevention Study II, a prospective U.S. cohort study begun in 1982 by the American Cancer Society ... 26 years of follow-up ... consuming more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was associated with a 49 percent lower risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer death relative to no/occasional coffee intake (RR 0.51, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.40-0.64). A dose-related decline in relative risk was observed with each single cup per day consumed ... Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and contains a variety of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other biologically active compounds that may help to protect against development or progression of cancers"
  • Metformin may lower risk for oral cancer development - Science Daily, 3/31/12 - "administration of metformin reduced the size and number of carcinogen-induced oral tumoral lesions in mice and significantly reduced the development of squamous cell carcinomas by about 70 to 90 percent" - See metformin at IAS.
  • (-)-Epigallocatechin gallate induces Fas/CD95-mediated apoptosis through inhibiting constitutive and IL-6-induced JAK/STAT3 signaling in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells - J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Feb 7 - "These findings provide that EGCG may be useful in the chemoprevention and/or treatment of HNSCC" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Grape seed extract kills head and neck cancer cells, leaves healthy cells unharmed - Science Daily, 1/27/12 - "Nearly 12,000 people will die of head and neck cancer in the United States this year and worldwide cases will exceed half a million ... grape seed extract both damages cancer cells' DNA (via increased reactive oxygen species) and stops the pathways that allow repair (as seen by decreased levels of the DNA repair molecules Brca1 and Rad51 and DNA repair foci) ... we saw absolutely no toxicity to the mice ... the grape seed extract killed the cancer cells but not the healthy cells" - See grape seed extract at Amazon.com.
  • Vitamin or mineral supplement intake and the risk of head and neck cancer: Pooled analysis in the INHANCE consortium - Int J Cancer. 2011 Dec 15 - "To investigate the potential role of vitamin or mineral supplementation on the risk of head and neck cancer (HNC), we analyzed individual-level pooled data from 12 case-control studies ... A decreased risk of HNC was observed with ever use of vitamin C (OR=0.76, 95% CI=0.59-0.96) and with ever use of calcium supplement (OR=0.64, 95% CI=0.42-0.97). The inverse association with HNC risk was also observed for 10 or more years of vitamin C use (OR=0.72, 95% CI=0.54-0.97) and more than 365 tablets of cumulative calcium intake (OR=0.36, 95% CI=0.16-0.83), but linear trends were not observed for the frequency or duration of any supplement intake. We did not observe any strong associations between vitamin or mineral supplement intake and the risk of head and neck cancer"
  • Diet and the risk of head and neck cancer: a pooled analysis in the INHANCE consortium - Cancer Causes Control. 2011 Oct 29 - "We investigated the association between diet and head and neck cancer (HNC) risk using data from the International Head and Neck Cancer Epidemiology (INHANCE) consortium. The INHANCE pooled data included 22 case-control studies with 14,520 cases and 22,737 controls ... An inverse association was observed for higher-frequency intake of fruit (4th vs. 1st quartile OR = 0.52, 95% CI = 0.43-0.62, p (trend) < 0.01) and vegetables (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.49-0.90, p (trend) = 0.01). Intake of red meat (OR = 1.40, 95% CI = 1.13-1.74, p (trend) = 0.13) and processed meat (OR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.14-1.65, p (trend) < 0.01) was positively associated with HNC risk"
  • Primary component in curry spice kicks off cancer-killing mechanisms in human saliva - Science Daily, 9/12/11 - "Curcumin, the main component in the spice turmeric used in curry, suppresses a cell signaling pathway that drives the growth of head and neck cancer ... The inhibition of the cell signaling pathway also correlated with reduced expression of a number of pro-inflammatory cytokines, or signaling molecules, in the saliva that promote cancer growth ... it not only affected the cancer by inhibiting a critical cell signaling pathway, it also affected the saliva itself by reducing pro-inflammatory cytokines within the saliva ... To be effective in fighting cancer, the curcumin must be used in supplement form. Although turmeric is used in cooking, the amount of curcumin needed to produce a clinical response is much larger. Expecting a positive effect through eating foods spiced with turmeric is not realistic" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.
  • Curcumin compound improves effectiveness of head and neck cancer treatment, study finds - Science Daily, 5/19/11 - "A primary reason that head and neck cancer treatments fail is the tumor cells become resistant to chemotherapy drugs. Now, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that a compound derived from the Indian spice curcumin can help cells overcome that resistance ... When researchers added a curcumin-based compound, called FLLL32, to head and neck cancer cell lines, they were able to cut the dose of the chemotherapy drug cisplatin by four while still killing tumor cells equally as well as the higher dose of cisplatin without FLLL32 ... Typically, when cells become resistant to cisplatin, we have to give increasingly higher doses. But this drug is so toxic that patients who survive treatment often experience long-term side effects from the treatment" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.
  • Cumulative Coffee Consumption and Reduced Risk of Oral and Oropharyngeal Cancer - Nutr Cancer. 2011 Mar 31:1 - "Tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, and higher intake of bacon and deep-fried foods were directly related to disease; the inverse was observed to family income and salad intake. Coffee consumption and tobacco smoking were partially correlated (Spearman correlation coefficient 0.14 among cases, 0.31 among controls). When adjusted for all covariates, a cumulative coffee consumption higher than 18.0 daily liters × year during lifetime was indicated to be protective against disease (adjusted odds ratio 0.39, 95% confidence interval 0.16-0.94, P = 0.037). This observation may have pharmacological implications for clinical medication of these cancers and is relevant to programs aimed at reducing the burden of disease"
  • Epigallocatechin-3 Gallate Inhibits Invasion, Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, and Tumor Growth in Oral Cancer Cells - J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Mar 9 - "Epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) is critical for the progression, invasion, and metastasis of epithelial tumorgenesis. Here, we provided molecular evidence associated with the antimetastatic effect of green tea polyphenol epigallocatechin-3 gallate (EGCG) in an oral squamous cell culture system by showing a nearly complete inhibition on the invasion (P < 0.001) of squamous cell carcinoma-9 (SCC-9) cells via a reduced expression of matrix metalloproteinase-2 (P < 0.001) and urokinasetype plasminogen activator (P < 0.001). EGCG exerted an inhibitory effect on cell migration (P < 0.001), motility (P < 0.001), spread, and adhesion (P < 0.001). We performed Western blot to find that EGCG inhibited p-focal adhesion kinase (p-FAK), p-Src, snail-1, and vimentin, indicating the anti-EMT effect of EGCG in oral squamous cell carcinoma. EGCG was also sufficient to inhibit phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate-induced cell invasion and matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression, as evidenced by its inhibition on the tumor growth of SCC-9 cells in vivo via cancer cell xenografted nude mice mode. These results suggested that EGCG could reduce the invasion and cell growth of tumor cells, and such a characteristic may be of great value in developing a potential cancer therapy" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Coffee Drinking Associated With Reduced Oral Cancer Risk - Medscape, 10/19/10 - "Drinking coffee is associated with a 36% reduction in the risk for cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx"
  • Coffee and cancers of the upper digestive and respiratory tracts: meta-analyses of observational studies - Ann Oncol. 2010 Oct 13 - "oral cavity/pharynx (OP) and larynx, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) and esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC), comparing the highest versus the lowest categories of coffee consumption, using random-effects models ... For OP cancer, the pooled RR was 0.64 (95% CI 0.51-0.80) for highest versus lowest coffee drinking, based on a total of 2633 cases from one cohort and eight case-control studies, with no significant heterogeneity across studies. The RRs were 0.61 (95% CI 0.41-0.89) for European, 0.58 (95% CI 0.36-0.94) for American and 0.74 (95% CI 0.48-1.15) for Asian studies, where coffee consumption is lower. The corresponding RRs were 1.56 (95% CI 0.60-4.02) for laryngeal cancer (732 cases from three case-control studies), 0.87 (95% CI 0.65-1.17) for ESCC (2115 cases from one cohort and six case-control studies) and 1.18 (95% CI 0.81-1.71) for EAC (415 cases from three case-control studies)"
  • Perioperative arginine-supplemented nutrition in malnourished patients with head and neck cancer improves long-term survival - Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Sep 29 - "Plasma arginine concentrations are lower in patients with cancer, which indicates that arginine metabolism may be disturbed in these patients. Arginine supplementation has been associated with positive effects on antitumor mechanisms and has been shown to reduce tumor growth and to prolong survival. Furthermore, the prognosis of patients with head and neck cancer remains disappointing. Insufficient intake frequently leads to malnutrition, which contributes to high morbidity and mortality rates ... The group receiving arginine-enriched nutrition had a significantly better overall survival (P = 0.019) and better disease-specific survival (P = 0.022). Furthermore, the arginine-supplemented group had a significantly better locoregional recurrence-free survival (P = 0.027). No significant difference in the occurrence of distant metastases or occurrence of a second primary tumor was observed between the groups" - See L-arginine products at Amazon.com.
  • Dietary Antioxidant and Mineral Intake in Humans Is Associated with Reduced Risk of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma but Not Reflux Esophagitis or Barrett' Esophagus - J Nutr. 2010 Aug 11 - "We found that overall antioxidant index, a measure of the combined intake of vitamin C, vitamin E, total carotenoids, and selenium, was associated with a reduced risk of EAC [odds ratio (OR) = 0.57; 95% CI = 0.33-0.98], but not BE (OR = 0.95; 95% CI = 0.53-1.71) or RE (OR = 1.60; 95% CI = 0.86-2.98), for those in the highest compared with lowest category of intake. Those in the highest category of vitamin C intake had a lower risk of EAC (OR = 0.37; 95% CI = 0.21-0.66; P-trend = 0.001) and RE (OR = 0.46; 95% CI = 0.24-0.90; P-trend = 0.03) compared with those in the lowest category. Vitamin C intake was not associated with BE, and intake of vitamin E, total carotenoids, zinc, copper, or selenium was not associated with EAC, BE, or RE. In conclusion, the overall antioxidant index was associated with a reduced risk of EAC. Higher dietary intake of vitamin C was associated with a reduced risk of EAC and RE. These results suggest that antioxidants may play a role in the pathogenesis of RE and EAC and may be more important in terms of progression rather than initiation of the disease process"
  • Genistein induces growth inhibition and g2/m arrest in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells - Nutr Cancer. 2010 Jul;62(5):641-7 - "These findings provide new insights into the potential intervention of NPC with genistein"
  • Coffee may protect against head and neck cancers - Science Daily, 6/22/10 - "participants who were regular coffee drinkers, that is, those who drank an estimated four or more cups a day, compared with those who were non-drinkers, had a 39 percent decreased risk of oral cavity and pharynx cancers combined"
  • Coffee cuts risk of head, neck cancers - MSNBC, 6/22/10 - "Overall, the risk of developing head and neck cancers was 12 percent lower in people who drank coffee compared with those who didn't ... And the more coffee consumed, the lower the cancer risk. In those who gulped more than four cups a day, for instance, the risk was reduced by more than a third ... Besides caffeine, coffee contains more than a thousand chemicals ... the compounds cafestol and kahweol may be protective against carcinogens that would normally damage our genes"
  • Zinc in cancer prevention - Nutr Cancer. 2009 Nov;61(6):879-87 - "Zinc not only improves cell mediated immune functions but also functions as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Oxidative stress and chronic inflammation have been implicated in development of many cancers. In patients with head and neck cancer, we have shown that nearly 65% of these patients were zinc deficient based on their cellular zinc concentrations. Natural killer (NK) cell activity and IL-2 generation were also affected adversely ... Zinc status also correlated with number of hospital admissions and incidences of infections. NF-kappa B is constitutively activated in many cancer cells, and this results in activation of antiapoptotic genes, VEGF, cyclin DI, EGFR, MMP-9 and inflammatory cytokines. Zinc inhibits NF-kappa B via induction of A-20. Thus, zinc supplementation should have beneficial effects on cancer by decreasing angiogenesis and induction of inflammatory cytokines while increasing apoptosis in cancer cells. Based on the above, we recommend further studies and propose that zinc should be utilized in the management and chemoprevention of cancer" - See Jarrow Zinc Balance at Amazon.com.
  • Oral health and risk for head and neck squamous cell carcinoma: the Carolina Head and Neck Cancer Study - Cancer Causes Control. 2010 Jan 5 - "squamous cell carcinoma of head and neck (SCCHN) ... Routine dental visits were associated with 30% risk reduction (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.53, 0.87). CONCLUSIONS: These data provide support for a possible modest association of periodontal disease, as measured by self-reported tooth loss indicators, but not tooth loss per se, with SCCHN risk" - Interesting because I survived neck cancer with about a 1 in 10 chance of survival (it will be 5 years next month, click here).  I've been getting my teeth cleaned every three months for about twelve years.
  • Indoleamine 2,3-Dioxygenase, an Immunomodulatory Protein, Is Suppressed by (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate via Blocking of gamma-Interferon-Induced JAK-PKC-delta-STAT1 Signaling in Human Oral Cancer Cells - J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Nov 24 - "In this study, (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), the major constituent of green tea, is found to significantly inhibit the expression of IDO in human oral cancer cell lines ... This study indicates that EGCG is a potential drug for immune and target therapy to enhance cancer therapy by increasing antitumor immunity" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Green Tea Shows Promise As Chemoprevention Agent For Oral Cancer - Science Daily, 11/5/09 - "Green tea extract has shown promise as cancer prevention agent for oral cancer in patients with a pre-malignant condition known as oral leukoplakia ... more than half of the oral leukoplakia patients who took the extract had a clinical response ... The extract's lack of toxicity is attractive" - See green tea extract at Amazon.com.
  • Citrus fruit and cancer risk in a network of case-control studies - Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Oct 24 - "The ORs for the highest versus lowest category of citrus fruit consumption were 0.47 (95% confidence interval, CI, 0.36-0.61) for oral and pharyngeal, 0.42 (95% CI, 0.25-0.70) for esophageal, 0.69 (95% CI, 0.52-0.92) for stomach, 0.82 (95% CI, 0.72-0.93) for colorectal, and 0.55 (95% CI, 0.37-0.83) for laryngeal cancer"
  • Curcumin May Inhibit Nicotine-induced Activation Of Head And Neck Cancers - Science Daily, 10/4/09 - "HNSCC cells were pre-treated with curcumin and then nicotine was introduced. The results of the studies showed that the curcumin was able to block the nicotine from activating cancer ... Although nicotine itself has not been shown to be carcinogenic, it has been shown to encourage the cancer-forming process" - See curcumin products at Amazon.com.
  • Coffee may protect against oral cancers - MSNBC, 1/6/09 - "drinking coffee lowers the risk of developing cancer of the oral cavity or throat ... cancer of the mouth, pharynx and esophagus .... Compared with people who did not drink coffee, those who drank one or more cups per day had half the risk of developing these cancers ... the reduction in risk included people who are at high risk for these cancers, namely, those who were current drinkers and/or smokers at the start of the study"
  • As Head And Neck Cancer Risks Evolve, More Treatment Options Emerge - Science Daily, 9/10/08 - "a compound from green tea enhances the effects of a FDA-approved drug (erlotinib) against head and neck cancer cells in animals, suggesting that it could work similarly in humans. The results are published in the September issue of International Journal of Cancer ... More than two-thirds of patients come to doctors with locally and regionally advanced disease, and their prognoses are dismal ... But head and neck cancers are potentially curable when diagnosed at an early stage" - Note:  I took about 8 capsules of green tea extract per day when I had my neck cancer.  Maybe that's one of the things that save me.
  • Fruit and vegetable intake and head and neck cancer risk in a large United States prospective cohort study - Int J Cancer. 2007 Dec 18 - "Results from this large prospective observational study are consistent with previous case-control studies and support the hypothesis that total fruit and vegetable intake is associated with reduced risk of head and neck cancer"
  • Glycemic index, glycemic load and thyroid cancer risk - Ann Oncol. 2007 Oct 19 - "Compared with the lowest tertile, the ORs in subsequent tertiles were 1.68 and 1.73 for GI, and 1.76 and 2.17 for GL. The OR for highest tertile of GI compared with lowest one was 1.70 for papillary and 1.57 for follicular thyroid cancer. The ORs for GL were 2.17 for papillary and 3.33 for follicular thyroid cancer ... Our study shows that high dietary levels of GI and GL are associated with thyroid cancer risk"
  • Avocados May Help Prevent Oral Cancer, Study Shows - Science Daily, 9/4/07 - "Nutrients taken from avocados are able to thwart oral cancer cells, killing some and preventing pre-cancerous cells from developing into actual cancers"
  • Vitamin E: Friend or Foe During Radiation Therapy? - Physician's Weekly, 7/16/07 - "Not only did it show that vitamin E supplementation was of no benefit to patients, but it was also associated with a nearly 40% increased risk of death when compared to study counterparts who received a placebo. Vitamin E, despite what patients may think, appears to be much more harmful for patients who have head and neck cancer who are receiving radiation therapy"
  • Eat Your Fruits And Vegetables: One Extra Serving Per Day May Lower Your Risk Of Head And Neck Cancer - Science Daily, 4/16/07 - "participants who ate six servings of fruit and vegetables per day per 1000 calories had 29 percent less risk for head and neck cancer than did participants who consumed one and a half servings per 1000 calories per day"
  • Flavonoids and laryngeal cancer risk in Italy - Ann Oncol. 2007 Mar 19 - "Significant inverse relations were found for the highest versus the lowest quintile of intake for flavan-3-ols (OR = 0.64), flavanones (OR = 0.60), flavonols (OR = 0.32) and total flavonoids (OR = 0.60)"
  • Folic Acid May Fight Throat Cancer - WebMD, 6/12/06 - "Every eight hours, participants took oral supplements containing five milligrams (mg) of folic acid ... The participants' laryngeal leukoplakia didn't progress to cancer during the study. In addition, 12 patients (28%) had a "complete response," meaning the laryngeal leukoplakia faded away" - See iHerb folic acid products.
  • Cottonseed Drug May Help in Head, Neck Cancer - WebMD, 7/21/05
  • Compound From Chinese Medicine Shows Promise In Head And Neck Cancer - Doctor's Guide, 5/6/05
  • A randomized trial of antioxidant vitamins to prevent second primary cancers in head and neck cancer patients - J Natl Cancer Inst. 2005 Apr 6;97(7):481-8 - "alpha-Tocopherol supplementation produced unexpected adverse effects on the occurrence of second primary cancers and on cancer-free survival"
  • Honey May Help Patients Undergoing Head And Neck Radiation - Intelihealth, 4/15/03

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