Ryuichi Sakamoto has throat cancer, cancels all engagements
Published: 11 July 2014
Japanese musician Ryuichi Sakamoto, who shared an Oscar for Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor” score, announced on his site that he has been diagnosed with throat cancer and has canceled his upcoming performances to focus on his health. “I have decided to take time off of work in order to concentrate on treating it. I deeply regret causing so many people considerable inconvenience.” He said on his website.
Sakamoto, born in Tokyo, rose to fame as a member of the electronic pop band Yellow Magic Orchestra in the 1970s and 1980s. He also acted in and wrote the score for the 1983 film “Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence,” directed by Nagisa Oshima.
In early June the musician went for a checkup after feeling a strange sensation in his throat, and the diagnosis came toward the end of the month. Sakamoto’s daughter and musician Miu Sakamoto said on her Twitter account that her father was going to stay in the US for a while where he is based.
Sakamoto apologized for bowing out of his upcoming events, saying he would not be able to attend the First Sapporo International Art Festival, which starts later this month. He was also “deeply upset” at having to cancel a July 30 concert for the Park Hyatt Tokyo’s 20th anniversary, where he had planned to unveil new material. But he promised to return after a full recovery, according to his website.
Prostate cancer risk linked with vasectomies
Published: 16 July 2014
A new observational study suggests men who undergo a vasectomy may have an increased risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer. For over 24 years researchers tracked nearly 50,000 men and found those who had vasectomy were about 20 percent more likely to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer than those do not had the procedure.
No solid associations were established on the past studies linking vasectomies with prostate cancer because of confounding factors in the research. In the new study they found that 16 men in every 1,000 developed prostate cancer. About one in four reported having had a vasectomy. The result showed the risk of advance prostate cancer increased by 20 percent on men who underwent vasectomy compared to those who hadn’t. The researchers also said that the risk of dying from prostate cancer increased by 19 percent.
According to the researchers more work must be done before any strong links can be drawn between prostate cancer risk and vasectomies. Men should talk to their doctors about regular prostate specific antigen screening as they age.
Stereotactic Body Radiation Improves Lung Cancer Survival
Published: 16 July 2014
According to the results of a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology in Boston, Massachusetts, stereotactic body radiation for early-stage, inoperable non-small cell lung cancer yields high overall survival rates and low toxicity compared to conventional radiotherapy. It involves the very precise delivery of a large dose of radiation to a tumor while sparing normal tissue. It is delivered from multiple angles and planes, which allows the delivery of the larger dose. Sessions can be delivered over 2 to 2.5 weeks instead of the typical 8-9 week regimens associated with conventional techniques.
Lung cancer is a major cause of death worldwide, with over one million deaths per year. Non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is the most common type of lung cancer. Early-stage NSCLC is most often treated with surgical resection with or without the addition of radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Treatment of early-stage NSCLC patients who are unable to undergo surgery may include radiation therapy or observation.
Researchers from Japan evaluated the safety and efficacy of stereotactic body radiation therapy. After three years, the overall survival rate was 59.9 percent, compared to historical rates of 31-39 percent with conventional radiation. The researchers concluded that stereotactic body radiation therapy for inoperable stage I NSCLC is highly effective with mild toxicity. They suggest that it should become the new standard treatment, replacing conventional radiation therapy in this population.