Friday March 22, 2019

New Research Links Parenting Concerns to Advanced Cancer Risk in Women

"It appears to equally contribute to someone's assessment of their quality of life as some of the clinical variables we routinely ask about," Park added.

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Puberty
Representational image, Pixabay

Parenting concerns put mothers with advanced cancer at higher risk of psychological distress while decreasing their quality of life as well as day-to-day physical functioning, a study says.

The study, published in the journal Cancer, also suggested that mothers with metastatic cancer (those that spread to other sites in the body) had, on average, higher depression and anxiety scores than did the general population.

“Among women with metastatic cancer, their health-related quality of life is powerfully interlinked with their parenting concerns about the impact of their illness on their minor children,” said co-author Eliza Park, Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill in the US.

"Parenting-related factors contributed to the amount of variation you see in quality of life almost equally as something like your functional status," Park said.
Representational Image, pixabay

“It appears to equally contribute to someone’s assessment of their quality of life as some of the clinical variables we routinely ask about,” Park added.

For the study, the researchers conducted an online survey of 224 women who had stage IV solid tumour cancer — cancer that had metastasised or spread elsewhere in the body — and at least one child under the age of 18 years.

The researchers found that their emotional well-being scores were also lower than for all adults with cancer.

The researchers also determined a mother’s emotional well-being was significantly linked with whether she had communicated with her children about her illness and her concerns about how her illness will financially impact her children.

“Parenting-related factors contributed to the amount of variation you see in quality of life almost equally as something like your functional status,” Park said.

The findings point to a need for greater support for mothers with metastatic cancer, the researchers noted. (IANS)

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Researchers Discover Balance of Two Enzymes That May Help Treat Pancreatic Cancer

While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment

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Cancer
Cancer Ribbon. Pixabay

A new research has set the stage for clinicians to potentially use levels of a pancreatic cancer patient’s PHLPP1 and PKC enzymes as a prognostic and for researchers to develop new therapeutic drugs that change the balance of the two enzymes as a means to treat the disease.

The study, published on Wednesday in Molecular Cell, was led by Alexandra Newton, professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine, and Timothy Baffi, a graduate student in her lab, Xinhua news agency reported.

The new study built on the team’s work in 2015 that found the enzyme PKC, which was believed in previous studies to promote tumour growth, actually suppressed it.

The latest study took the investigation a step further by uncovering how cells regulate PKC activity and discovered that any time an over-active PKC is inadvertently produced, the PHLPP1 “proofreader” tags it for destruction.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

“That means the amount of PHLPP1 in your cells determines your amount of PKC,” Newton said. “And it turns out those enzyme levels are especially important in pancreatic cancer.”

The team observed 105 pancreatic cancer tumours to analyze the enzyme levels in each one. About 50 per cent of patients with low PHLPP1/high PKC lived longer than five-and-a-half years.

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While still in the earliest stages, Newton hoped this information might one day aid pancreatic diagnostics and treatment.

Pancreatic cancer is caused by the abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the pancreas, a large gland in the digestive system. It typically doesn’t show symptoms in the early stages. Sufferers tend to develop signs, such as back pain and jaundice, when it has spread to other organs. (IANS)