METHODS: We carried a review of medical records of breast and lung cancer patients hospitalized in years 2003 and 2009 at Penang General Hospital, a public tertiary care center in Penang Island, north of Malaysia. Patients with hypercalcemia (defined as a calcium level above 10.5 mg/dl) at the time of cancer diagnosis or during cancer treatment had their medical history abstracted, including presence of metastasis, chemotherapy types and doses, calcium levels throughout cancer treatment, and other co-morbidity. The mean calcium levels at first hospitalization before chemotherapy were compared with calcium levels at the end of or at the latest chemotherapy treatment. Statistical analysis was conducted using the Chi-square test for categorical data, logistic regression test for categorical variables, and Spearman correlation test, linear regression and the paired sample t tests for continuous data.
RESULTS: Of a total 1,023 of breast cancer and 814 lung cancer patients identified, 292 had hypercalcemia at first hospitalization or during cancer treatment (174 breast and 118 lung cancer patients). About a quarter of these patients had advanced stage cancers: 26.4% had mild hypercalcemia (10.5-11.9 mg/dl), 55.5% had moderate (12-12.9 mg/dl), and 18.2% severe hypercalcemia (13-13.9; 14-16 mg/dl). Chemotherapy lowered calcium levels significantly both in breast and lung cancer patients with hypercalcemia; in particular with chemotherapy type 5-flurouracil+epirubicin+cyclophosphamide (FEC) for breast cancer, and gemcitabine+cisplatin in lung cancer.
CONCLUSION: Chemotherapy decreases calcium levels in breast and lung cancer cases with hypercalcemia at cancer diagnosis, probably by reducing PTHrP levels.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Patients who were treated with adjuvant taxane-based chemotherapy for early breast cancer stages I, II or III from 2007-2011 in UMMC were identified from our UMMC Breast Cancer Registry. The TRD and FN rates were then determined retrospectively from medical records. TRD was defined as death occurring during or within 30 days of completing chemotherapy as a consequence of the chemotherapy treatment. FN was defined as an oral temperature >38.5°C or two consecutive readings of >38.0°C for 2 hours and an absolute neutrophil count <0.5x109/L, or expected to fall below 0.5x109/L.
RESULTS: A total of 622 patients received adjuvant chemotherapy during this period. Of these patients 209 (33.6%) received taxane-based chemotherapy. 4 taxane-based regimens were used namely the FEC-D, TC, TAC and AC-PCX regimens. The commonest regimen employed was the FEC-D regimen accounting for 79.9% of the patients. The FN rate was 10% and there was no TRD.
CONCLUSION: Adjuvant taxane-based chemotherapy in UMMC for early breast cancer has a FN rate of 10%. Primary prophylactic G-CSF should be considered for patients with any additional risk factor for FN.
METHODS: Clinicopathological data were retrieved from the archived formal pathology reports for surgical specimens diagnosed as invasive ductal carcinoma, NOS. Microvessels were immunohistochemically stained with anti-CD34 antibody and quantified as microvessel density.
RESULTS: At least 50% of 94 cases of invasive breast ductal carcinoma in the study were advanced stage. The majority had poor prognosis factors such as tumor size larger than 50mm (48.9%), positive lymph node metastasis (60.6%), and tumor grade III (52.1%). Higher percentages of estrogen and progesterone receptor negative cases were recorded (46.8% and 46.8% respectively). Her-2 overexpression cases and triple negative breast cancers constituted 24.5% and 22.3% respectively. Significantly higher microvessel density was observed in the younger patient age group (p=0.012). There were no significant associations between microvessel density and other clinicopathological factors (p>0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Majority of the breast cancer patients of this institution had advanced stage disease with poorer prognostic factors as compared to other local and western studies. Breast cancer in younger patients might be more proangiogenic.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: This review involves 6 cohort studies of dietary patterns and their association with colorectal cancer. An exploratory or a posteriori approach and a hypothesis-oriented or a priori approach were employed to identify dietary patterns.
RESULTS: The dietary pattern identified to be protective against CRC was healthy, prudent, fruits and vegetables, fat reduced/diet foods, vegetables/fish/poultry, fruit/wholegrain/dairy, healthy eating index 2005, alternate healthy eating index, Mediterranean score and recommended food score. An elevated risk of CRC was associated with Western diet, pork processed meat, potatoes, traditional meat eating, and refined grain pattern.
CONCLUSION: The Western dietary pattern which mainly consists of red and processed meat and refined grains is associated with an elevated risk of development of CRC. Protective factors against CRC include a healthy or prudent diet, consisting of vegetables, fruits, fish and poultry.
OBJECTIVE: To assess teachers' knowledge and perception of HPV, cervical cancer and HPV vaccine prior to commencing a school-based HPV vaccination program in a multiethnic, predominantly Muslim country. Factors associated with acceptability of the vaccine were identified.
METHOD: A bilingual questionnaire was applied to 1,500 secondary school teachers from 20 urban schools in Malaysia. Data collected were analyzed using SPSS version 17.
RESULTS: 1,166 questionnaires were returned. From this group, 46.1% had never heard of HPV while 50.9% had never had a pap smear. However, 73.8% have heard of the HPV vaccine with 75% agreeing to have it. 96% considered themselves religious with 79.8% agreeing to have the vaccine.
CONCLUSIONS: A national school-based HPV immunization program can be implemented effectively in a multiethnic, cultural and religious country despite limited knowledge of HPV-related pathology among teachers. In addition, the perception that religion has a negative influence on such a program is unwarranted.
METHODS: This hospital based case control study conducted in the Western part of Nepal covered a total of 93 cancer patients with or without alcohol intake and smoking habits, along with 94 age, sex and habit-matched individuals serving as controls. Plasma thiobarbituric acid reacting substances (TBARS), total antioxidant activity (TAA), vitamin C, α-tocopherol and erythrocyte reduced glutathione (GSH) were estimated and compared.
RESULTS: The TBARS level was found to be significantly higher (p≤0.001) in all types of cancer patients when compared to controls, being aggravated in alcoholics with a smoking habit. No statistical significance (p≥0.05) was observed in the level of vitamin C and α-tocopherol. GSH and TAA level were significantly decreased (p≤0.001) in all the groups except those who consumed both branded as well as homemade alcohol and non-alcoholics without smoking habit.
CONCLUSION: Alcohol, irrespective of its commercial brand, increases oxidative stress in all types of cancer patients. This is even higher when alcohol intake is combined with a smoking habit. Decreased TAA and GSH are major risk factors for cancer development.
METHODS: The Singapore Prostate Cancer Study is a hospital-based case-control study of 240 prostate cancer incident cases and 268 controls conducted in Singapore between April 2007 and May 2009. Detailed information on outdoor activities in the sun, skin colour, sun sensitivity and other possible risk factors were collected in personal interviews. Cases were further classified by Gleason scores and TNM staging. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using unconditional logistic regression analysis, adjusted for age, ethnicity, education, family history of any cancers, BMI and skin colour.
RESULTS: We found that prostate cancer risk was increased in subjects with black/dark-brown eyes (OR 5.88, 95%CI 3.17-10.9), darker skin colour e.g. tan/dark brown/black (OR 7.62, 95%CI 3.41-17.0), frequent sunburn in lifetime (OR 4.30, 95%CI 1.7-11.2) and increased general sun exposure in adulthood per week (OR 2.03, 95%CI 1.09-3.81). The increased risk was consistent for high grade tumours and advanced stage prostate cancers.
CONCLUSION: The findings from this study suggest that excessive sun exposure is a risk factor for prostate cancer in Asians.
METHODS: This retrospective study covered all NPC patients who underwent radical IMRT treatment at the Penang General Hospital from June 2011 to February 2012. Patients of any age and stage of disease with histologically proven diagnosis were included. Information was collected on patient demographics, clinical stage, treatment received, including any neoadjuvant and/or concurrent chemotherapy, acute toxity and completion of IMRT within the OTT.
RESULTS: A total of 26 NPC patients were treated with IMRT during the study period; 88.5% had stage III/IV disease. 45.2% received neo-adjuvant chemotherapy while 50.0% were given concurrent chemo-irradiation. All patients completed the treatment and 92.3% within the 7 weeks OTT. Xerostomia was present in all patients with 92.3% having grade 2. Severe grade III/IV acute toxicity occurred in 73.1% of patients, the commonest of which was oral mucositis (57.6%). This was followed by dysphagia which occurred in 53.8%, skin reactions in 42.3% and weight loss in 19.2%. However, haematological toxicity was mild with only one patient having leucopaenia.
CONCLUSION: IMRT treatment for NPC is feasible in our center. More importantly, it can be delivered within the 7 weeks OTT in the majority of patients. Severe grade 3/4 toxicity is very common (73.1%) and thus maximal nutritional and analgesic support is required throughout the treatment.
METHODS: The cross sectional study was conducted from June to September 2011 at three public tertiary hospitals with the EORTC QLQ C-30 questionnaire in addition to face to face interview and review of medical records of 100 respondents.
RESULTS: The mean age was 57.3 (SD 11.9) years with 56.0% are males and 44.0% females, 62% of Malay ethnicity, 30% Chinese, 7% Indian and 1% Sikh. Majority were educated up to secondary level (42%) and 90% respondents had CRC stages III and IV. Mean global health status (GHS) score was 79.1 (SD 21.4). Mean scores for functional status (physical, emotional, role, cognitive, social) rangeds between 79.5 (SD 26.6) to 92.2 (SD 13.7). Mean symptom scores (fatigue, pain, nausea/vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, insomnia, dyspnoea, loss of appetite) ranged between 4.00 (SD 8.58) to 20.7 (SD 30.6). Respondents role function significantly deteriorates with increasing stage of the disease (p=0.044). Females had worse symptoms of pain (p=0.022), fatigue (p=0.031) and dyspnoea (p=0.031). Mean insomnia (p=0.006) and diarrhea (p=0.024) demonstrated significant differences between age groups.
CONCLUSION: QOL in CRC patients in this study was comparable to that in other studies done in developed countries. Pain, fatigue and dyspnoea are worse among female CRC patients. Given that functions deteriorates with advanced stage of the disease at diagnosis, a systematic screening programme to detect cases as early as possible is essential nationwide.
OBJECTIVE: To assess Syrian women's level of knowledge and determinants of good knowledge of cervical cancer, HPV infection and its vaccines.
METHODS: A cross sectional survey was undertaken among mothers with daughters in sixth grade classes enrolled in primary schools in Aleppo city, Syria. Samples were selected through cluster sampling and data collected using a self-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS: Less than a third of the mothers had heard of HPV infection and vaccines against cervical cancer and levels of knowledge were generally low. Good knowledge was associated with high education level, higher family monthly income, having few--less than four children, positive history of cervical cancer screening, and working or having relatives working in the medical field. The main source of information was television and few reported health care providers as a source of knowledge on HPV infection and vaccine.
CONCLUSION: Since knowledge of HPV infection and its connection with cervical cancer and its vaccine are low, more efforts must be made to educate Syrians prior to introduction of any HPV vaccination programme. Public health efforts must focus on educating mothers, the public as well as health care providers.