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Men don’t recognize their breast cancer until a late stage

Breast cancer in men is usually detected when the tumors are bigger, have spread and may be more aggressive, compared to diagnosis of the disease in women, concludes the largest study ever conducted of male breast cancer. The findings, presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, suggest both that breast cancer in men may have some important biological differences from the female disease, and that men are seemingly less aware than they should be that they can develop breast cancer.

Leptin could be another relevant indicator of breast cancer risk

Measuring a woman's leptin levels may offer an additional indicator of her risk of developing breast cancer, say researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Their small study, published in the Proceedings for the 2003 Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggests that because a woman's production of leptin may reveal her history of eating dietary fat, reading leptin levels may offer more prognostic information than just measuring body mass index and the amount of fat she currently eats.

Chemical cousin of vitamin A restores gene function in former smokers

Use of a Vitamin A derivative in former smokers restored production of a crucial protein believed to protect against lung cancer development, researchers have found. Although they don't have clear evidence that the three-month therapy using 9-cis retinoic acid (9-cis-RA) restored health to cells that were already precancerous, the researchers say the work demonstrates that "chemoprevention" of future lung cancer may be feasible. "The drug we used acts to reverse a genetic abnormality associated with development of lung cancer," says Jonathan Kurie, M. D., an associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. "The work is a proof of concept, suggesting that compounds like this may prove to have a protective effect against development of precancerous lesions."

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