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Bob Dole, the 1996 Republican presidential candidate, has advanced lung cancer.

Bob Dole, the former senator and 1996 Republican presidential candidate, announced Thursday that he had advanced lung cancer.

“Recently I was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer,” Mr. Dole said in a press release. “My first treatment will start on Monday. While I certainly have some hurdles to overcome, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges.

Mr. Dole, 97, represented Kansas in the Senate for more than 25 years, including 11 years as the Republican leader of the chamber. He gave up his post as majority leader to run for the White House in 1996, only to lose to President Bill Clinton by a wide margin, 379 to 159 electoral votes.

He has faced health challenges for decades, starting with a battlefield injury during World War II, during which he served as an army second lieutenant. He was hit by machine gun fire, which nearly killed him and permanently restricted his use of his right arm. He then supported the Americans with Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, and then pushed the United States to accede to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Mr Dole – the oldest former presidential candidate or president, a year older than former president Jimmy Carter – revealed his lung cancer diagnosis a day after the death of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh of the same disease.

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McConnell says ‘wacky lies’ spread by Marjorie Taylor Greene are ‘cancer’ on GOP

Senator Mitch McConnell said on Monday that the “wacky lies and conspiracy theories” embraced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene amounted to “cancer” of the Republican Party, issuing what was in effect a scathing rebuke to the Republican freshman from Georgia.

In a statement reported by The Hill, Mr. McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader, never named Ms. Greene, but he did refer to several of the far-fetched and bogus conspiracy theories she adopted and warned that of such statements prejudiced the party.

“Someone who suggested that no planes hit the Pentagon on September 11, that horrific school shootings were pre-staged, and that the Clintons crashed JFK Jr.’s plane doesn’t live in reality, ”McConnell said. “It has nothing to do with the challenges facing American families or the intense substantive debates that can make our party stronger.”

Last week, Republican House leaders were mostly silent as pressure mounted to respond to the cascade of problematic Ms Greene’s social media posts and videos that surfaced last week, in which she endorsed a seemingly endless array of conspiracy and violence theories. behavior, including the execution of Democratic leaders. At the same time, they are weighing calls from within their ranks by loyalists to former President Donald J. Trump to strip Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of her leadership position as punishment for her vote to impeach. Mr. Trump.

In a separate statement reported by CNN, Mr. McConnell weighed in on behalf of Ms. Cheney, who represents Wyoming’s only congressional district, calling her a “leader with deep convictions and the courage to act on it.”

Mr McConnell, who believes Mr Trump has committed uneasy crimes, has made it clear that he is ready to vote to condemn the former president for “inciting insurgency”, although he voted with the great majority of Republicans last week to dismiss the case as unconstitutional.

Mr McConnell’s twin statements were a rare step for Washington’s most powerful Republican to insert himself into an increasingly ugly intra-partisan feud.

They have stepped up pressure on Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the minority leader, who is due to meet with Ms Greene later this week amid calls from outside Republican groups and some members of his own party to revoke committee appointments. of Georgia’s first year. This leaves Mr McCarthy on uncomfortable middle ground after Ms Greene said over the weekend that she spoke to Mr Trump and received his support, essentially defining any action Republican leaders might take against she as defiant by proxy.

Ms Greene offered her own reply in response to Mr McConnell on Twitter, saying the party’s “real cancer” was “weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully.”

House Democrats said Monday they were prepared to unilaterally remove Ms Greene from her committees if Mr McCarthy does not act, pushing forward a measure to strip her of her assignments which will be considered by the Rules Committee. Room Wednesday.

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New analysis finds prostate cancer cells hidden in the body

After doctors discovered Dr Mark Samberg’s prostate cancer last spring, the 70-year-old retired urologist prepared to have his prostate removed. He knew the surgery would cure him, assuming the cancer was confined to the organ.

But her doctors had a nagging concern – the cancer cells seen on the biopsy were aggressive and may have already escaped her prostate. If that was the case, the operation would not cure him. The problem for Dr. Samberg, and for many men with aggressive prostate cancer, was this: If there are cancer cells outside the prostate, how do you find them?

The Food and Drug Administration has now approved a test to locate prostate cancer cells wherever they are. Exuberant cancer specialists have said the test will change the treatment of patients nationwide.

“It’s the most exciting thing about prostate cancer of my life,” said Dr. Kirsten Greene, director of the urology department at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

The test relies on a radioactive tag attached to a molecule that lodges in prostate cancer cells that have spread to other places in the body and can seed new tumors. Once labeled, clusters of cells appear as bright spots on PET scans.

At this time, the FDA approval only applies to tests performed at the University of California at San Francisco and the University of California at Los Angeles, which have conducted clinical trials. But several companies hope to market similar tests soon.

“It’s absolutely fabulous,” said Dr Oliver Sartor, professor of medicine at Tulane University School of Medicine. When he learned the test had been approved, he said, he danced in his office “and toasted the imaginary champagne”.

Now, specialists hope to use this technique to kill cancer cells, not just find them. The idea is to attach a radioactive drug to the molecule that searches for prostate cancer cells. The molecule will deliver the drug directly to these cells and, hopefully, the radiation will destroy the cancer. Experiments have already started at UCSF and UCLA

The road to the new test has been long. Almost 30 years ago, researchers discovered that prostate cancer cells carried a unique protein on their surface called the prostate-specific membrane antigen, or PSMA.More recently, researchers discovered small molecules that could concentrate on the PSMA

Scientists speculated that radioactive tracers attached to these molecules could make prostate cancer cells visible on PET scans. In 2010, researchers at the University of Heidelberg in Germany published the first images of prostate cancer cells located in this way.

Over the past four years, studies of approximately 1,000 patients by Dr. Jeremie Calais, nuclear physician at UCLA, and Dr. Thomas Hope, nuclear physician at UCSF, have shown that the analysis detected with precision prostate cancer cells anywhere in the body. before treatment and even after treatment, when cancer may come back.

Research has led to treatment changes for most patients, including decisions to recommend targeted radiation therapy, guided by scans, rather than chemotherapy or androgen-blocker therapy, treatments that impact everyone. body.

Dr Hope described two situations in which PET scans can transform treatment decisions.

Most men find out they have prostate cancer when a simple blood test reveals high levels of prostate specific antigen, or PSA. The next step is a prostate biopsy and removal of the cancer cells for examination to see how aggressive they appear.

Men often have MRI scans to see if the capsule surrounding the prostate has been punctured – a sign that the cancer has come out. And doctors consider how high the PSA levels are. The higher they are, the more cancer there is in the body and the more it spreads.

The second scenario occurs after a man has had his prostate removed or destroyed by radiation. If the patient’s PSA levels start to rise months or years later, the cancer the doctors thought it cured had already spread elsewhere in the man’s body.

In either case, “we know they have the disease, but we don’t know where it is,” said Dr. Hope. The new analysis seems able to show doctors where to look. Researchers are currently conducting studies to see if these treatment revisions ultimately extend the lives of patients.

Dr. Samberg, who lives in Sacramento, was one of the participants in the UCSF trial. Before her scheduled prostatectomy, the exam revealed cancer cells in her bones and lymph nodes. “It was shocking,” he said.

Without the new test, doctors would have removed Dr Samberg’s prostate and found he still had cancer when his PSA levels started to rise. In such a case, doctors usually irradiate the area where the prostate was – the prostate bed, which is the site of remaining cancers a little more than half the time.

For Dr. Samberg, this procedure, like the prostatectomy, would not have helped. “Standard therapy for me would fail,” he says. Instead, the discovery that her cancer was in her bones and lymph nodes pointed to targeted radiation therapy, hormone therapy and, more recently, immunotherapy.

“I am in complete remission,” said Dr Samberg. “I hope this will make a difference in the long run.”

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‘MasterChef Junior’ star Ben Watkins dies of cancer at 14

Ben Watkins, a young rising kitchen star who appeared in season six of “MasterChef Junior,” died Monday of a rare form of cancer, his family said. He was 14 years old.

“Our Ben came home to be with his mother this afternoon after a year and a half battle with cancer,” said Donna Edwards and Anthony Edwards, Ben’s maternal grandmother and uncle. , in a statement posted Monday on a GoFundMe page. called # Love4Ben. “Ben suffered more than his share of his fourteen years on this Earth, but we are comforted that his suffering is finally over and that in the end, Ben knew he was loved by so many people,” said said the family.

Trent McCain, the organizer of the GoFundMe campaign and the family’s lawyer, said in a statement that Ben was an inspiration. “I have seen the humanity and kindness up close with the outpouring of love and support that Ben has received over the past three years,” said Mr. McCain.

Ben appeared on Fox’s “MasterChef Junior” in 2018 at the age of 11. He was one of six Chicago-area children to appear on the program that year.

In the show’s first episode, which had 40 contestants aged 8 to 13 competing for 24 slots and a chance to win a $ 100,000 prize in the final, Ben landed the last white apron of the night. by making a peach cobbler with whipped cream and caramel sauce.

Ben made the show’s top 18 and became a fan favorite, especially as viewers learned about his family history.

In September 2017, Ben’s father, Michael Watkins, shot and killed Ben’s mother, Leila Edwards, before committing suicide in Gary, Indiana, according to the Chicago Tribune. Ben’s grandmother and uncle became his legal guardians.

By this time, Ben had expressed his aspirations to be a chef and dreamed of having his own restaurant, much like his father, who had opened Big Ben’s Bodacious Barbecue & Deli in Gary. The restaurant, The Tribune noted, was named after Ben.

Ben had also worked at his father’s restaurant, the newspaper said, running the cash register, taking orders and selling his own cookies, brownies, cinnamon buns and banana bread. He attributed his pastry skills to his mother, saying, “My mother taught me everything she knew. Or I just picked it up while looking at it.

A statement on the show’s Instagram account said Ben had a “remarkably positive attitude” and was a “great role model” for chefs of all ages.

Gordon Ramsay, the famous chef and host of “MasterChef Junior”, said in a press release Tuesday that Ben was a talented home cook and a strong young man. “Your young life has seen so many tough turns, but you have always persevered,” said Ramsay.

Shortly after his 13th birthday, Ben was diagnosed with angiomatoid fibrous histiocytoma, his family said. The disease is a rare soft tissue tumor that appears most often in children and young adults, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

Mr Edwards, Ben’s uncle, told The Tribune in August that doctors two years ago thought that a growing tumor in Ben’s neck was malformed lymph nodes. “But even after the treatment, the tumor continued to bleed,” he says.

In late July, Ben began chemotherapy treatment for tumors in his lung, spine and shoulder, The Tribune reported.

Ben’s family and community rallied around him.

Family friend Katie Clark told the newspaper that like his mother, Ben could light up a room. “He’s polite, outgoing, intelligent, funny and remained that way even as a teenager, which is not always the case with children entering this phase of life,” she said.

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Colon cancer screening should start earlier, at age 45, US committee says

Adults should start routine colorectal cancer screening at age 45, instead of waiting until age 50, a US task force recommended on Tuesday, reflecting the sharp rise in colon cancer numbers and rectum in young adults.

The US Preventive Services Task Force’s proposal has yet to be finalized. His advice on screening and preventive care services is followed by doctors, insurance companies and policy makers.

Although the vast majority of colorectal cancers are still found in people aged 50 and over, 12% of the 147,950 colorectal cancers that will be diagnosed this year – or 18,000 cases – will be found in adults under 50, according to a study. from the American Cancer Society. The incidence of colorectal cancer, which declined steadily for people born from 1890 to 1950, has increased for every generation born since the middle of the 21st century.

Many early-onset cancers are diagnosed in people as young as their 20s and 30s who will not be covered by the draft recommendation. For example, Chadwick Boseman, the actor who has appeared in “Black Panther” and other films, died in August at age 43 of colon cancer diagnosed several years earlier. Still, cancer advocates hailed the task force’s proposal as a major breakthrough, saying it has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives.

The panel stressed that healthcare providers should especially encourage black men and women to get tested at age 45, due to the high rates of the disease and higher death rates in African American communities.

“This is probably the best news for colorectal cancer patients and survivors that I can remember over the past 10 or 20 years,” said Michael Sapienza, CEO of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, an advocacy group. “We have been fighting for this for so long. This is a huge victory for our community and a milestone for the colorectal cancer community and for cancer care.

Doctors who treat cancer patients also praised the recommendation, saying it would draw attention to concerns about early-onset colon and rectal cancer and encourage primary care physicians and clinicians. young adults to consider warning signs such as rectal bleeding and changes in stool. The committee refused to lower the screening age when it last updated its recommendation in 2016.

“Lives will be saved,” said Dr. Kimmie Ng, director of the Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Center at the Dana-Farber Institute in Boston. “We will prevent cancers in young people, catch them at an earlier stage when they are more likely to be cured, and hopefully improve survival rates.

Dr Scott Kopetz, a gastrointestinal medical oncologist at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, agreed. “One in three patients we see now is under 50,” he said. “It’s a major problem.”

Some critics, however, said the draft recommendation was long overdue and fell far behind data showing an increase in colorectal cancer in young adults. The American Cancer Society recommended in 2018 starting routine screening at age 45, after its own researchers reported a sharp increase in the disease in adults as young as 20 and 30, including a particularly sharp increase in rectal cancers.

Jim Nauen, 54, of Newton, Mass., Learned he had stage 3 rectal cancer at age 49 after his doctor urged him to have a colonoscopy before he was 50. but the procedure detected a tumor the size of a baseball.

“If I had been screened at 45, nobody can say specifically, but it could be just a polyp that would have been zapped and we would all have gone our way, or maybe stage 1 cancer. Mr. Nauen said. Instead, he underwent three surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Younger patients say their complaints are often dismissed by doctors. According to a report from the Alliance Against Colorectal Cancer, 81% of young adults with colorectal cancer surveyed said they had at least three symptoms of cancer before being diagnosed, while more than half were in pain. diagnosed and said they had hemorrhoids, anemia, irritable bowel syndrome or even mental health issues.

Kim Newcomer, 47, who runs the Never Too Young program for the alliance, said she learned she had advanced rectal cancer at 35 but had to fight to have a colonoscopy and that a doctor had told her at one point that she had a “woman hysteria.” She said the recommendation was “a step in the right direction, but there is always more to be done”.

The task force bases its recommendation on scientific evidence, and Dr Alex Krist, a family physician at Virginia Commonwealth University who chairs the task force, said a review of the evidence indicated that the greatest benefits would come from the screening adults aged 45 to 75 years. , not younger adults.

“The risk of developing colon cancer for a 45-year-old today is the same as for a 50-year-old in the past,” Dr. Krist said.

The recommendation of the task force, a group of independent experts appointed by the Department of Health and Social Services, is a draft proposal. The next step is for the committee to release the draft for review, solicit public comment for a period of four weeks, and then develop the final recommendation. Although the committee, which gives ratings to its guidelines, gave the new recommendation a “B”, meaning that there is high or moderate certainty of the benefits, most private insurance plans must fully cover. services that receive an “A” or Grade “B”, without patient co-payment, once the recommendation is approved. (For those aged 76 to 85, the committee did not change its recommendation for patients to discuss the risks and benefits of screening with their healthcare provider.)

Although people often think of a colonoscopy when they think of screening for colon cancer, the task force recommended choosing direct visualization tests such as colonoscopies as well as tests to identify signs of cancer at from stool samples. Stool-based tests are not invasive and can be done at home, but should be done more frequently. Colonoscopies are invasive tests that carry some risk, but can be done every 10 years.

The recommendation to step up screening is an anomaly for the task force, which canceled screening for certain reproductive cancers in women more than ten years ago. In 2009, the panel said women should delay their first Pap smear until the age of 21 and be tested less frequently than they had in the past. That same year, the committee recommended that women start routine mammograms at age 50, rather than 40, and get them every two years, rather than once a year.