Month: August 2016

Empowering the Future of Precision Medicine

Hear insights from Jordi Rodón, MD, PhD, Clinical Oncologist and Director of the Research Unit for Molecular Therapy of Cancer at Vall d´Hebron in Barcelona, on the use of next-generation sequencing to empower the future of precision medicine in oncology drug development.

Illumina invites leading European scientists to present their latest research and perspectives on Genomics in Oncology.  

Click on the following link to view the video.  VIDEO 

The Power of Antioxidants

Certain foods are lauded for their antioxidant powers and we’re always told to eat more of these foods to help combat damaging free radicals in our bodies, but what are antioxidants and what is it they actually do?

First, What’s Up With These Free Radicals?

In order to understand what antioxidants are, first, we need to define free radicals.

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI): “Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that have the potential to harm cells.” They are created when a molecule (two or more atoms) or an atom either loses or gains an electron. Free radicals are formed naturally in the body and play an important role in many normal cellular processes, BUT, at high concentrations, free radicals can damage all major components of cells, including DNA. This cell damage, subsequently, contributes to the degenerative changes of aging, as well as may play a role in the development of age-related diseases and other health conditions, including cancer.

Enter Antioxidants!

Antioxidants are the answer to free radicals. They are chemicals, also sometimes referred to as micronutrients that interact with and neutralize free radicals, stopping them from causing harmful cell damage. Our bodies produce some antioxidants to deal with the free radical problem, but it’s less than we need. In order to obtain the level of antioxidants we need, we must rely on external sources, like diet, hence the push for eating antioxidant-rich foods. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, lycopene, and vitamins A, C, and E. Plant foods also have phytonutrients, which act as antioxidants.

Foods High in Antioxidants

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), conducted a detailed study and determined the total antioxidant content of more than 3100 foods, beverages, spices, herbs and supplements. Some of the general findings include the following:

Antioxidant-rich beverages include pomegranate juice, prepared green tea, grape juice, prune juice and black tea. Beverages containing the LEAST antioxidants include beer, soft drinks and ginger ale, with drinking water at the very bottom with no antioxidants (though water and proper hydration plays a crucial role in good health).

Among grains, barley, buckwheat, and millet flours are the flours with the highest antioxidant values, while the grain products containing the most antioxidants include crisp bread and whole meal bread with fiber.

The majority of dairy products are low in antioxidant content.

The average antioxidant content of berries and berry products is relatively high. Examples of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables are  artichokes, dried apples, lemon skin, flour made of okra, dried apricots dried plums, red and green chili, prunes, and curly kale. Examples of fruits and vegetables in the medium antioxidant range are red cabbage, dried mango, dried dates, paprika, black and green olives, red beets, plums, and guava.

For more detailed information of the NCBI study, visit

Taking Stock of the Fridge and Pantry

A healthy diet is an essential part to a healthy lifestyle. If you haven’t done so in a while, it would be a good idea to take a look at what you have in your refrigerator and your pantry, make a list of what you have, and decide whether it is lacking in antioxidant-rich foods. We are what we eat, so if we want to BE healthy, we need to EAT healthy!

Questions to ask your Oncologist

Receiving a cancer diagnosis is disheartening and overwhelming. Those feelings may never completely subside, but being well informed about your diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis, may help you find a sense of control that could help you through such a trying time. To be well-informed, there needs to be good, effective communication between you and your doctor starting with your very first appointment.

Communication Is A Two-Way Street

Good communication is the foundation of a good patient-healthcare provider relationship and can have a significant impact on the quality of care you receive, but good communication isn’t only your doctor’s responsibility. Effective communication is about both giving and receiving information. If you expect your doctor or anyone on their care team to answer your questions, you must be just as willing to answer theirs. Likewise, effective communication is based on understanding. Depending on the type and stage of your cancer, your doctor may not be able to give you a straight answer to one or more of your concerns. This does not necessarily mean that he or she is not knowledgeable. It may just be that there is no easy answer or even any answer. However, if you find that your healthcare team doesn’t have answers much of the time, it may be a good idea to get a second opinion.

Which Questions to Ask

Knowing you need information is the easy part. Knowing what questions you need to ask to get that information is more difficult, which is why the reveal23 team would like to pass on this very helpful list of Frequently Asked Questions, courtesy of City of Hope:

Can I get a copy of my diagnosis?
What stage of cancer do I have? What does that mean?
What kind of support do you have for me and my family?
What are my treatment options?
Which treatments do you recommend for me? Why?
Would a clinical trial be right for me? Can you help me find one?
What medical records should I bring to treatment?
What are the possible side effects and risks associated with each treatment?
Can anything be done to control the side effects?
What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?
How long is it going to take for me to recover from treatment?
Will I be able to go to school or work during treatment?
What are the chances of the cancer coming back?
Will I have more than one kind of treatment concurrently?
How will my treatment change over time?
How long will the treatment take?
Will I need to stay in the hospital? If so, for how long?
What should I do to prepare for treatment?
Can I go to and from treatment alone? Should someone else go along with me?
What can be done to help me feel more comfortable during treatment?
Can a family member be with me during treatment?
How will treatment affect my normal activities?
Should I get a second opinion?
How often should I have checkups during treatment?
What is the treatment likely to cost? Will my insurance cover the cost?
After treatment, what problems should be watched for? If I have questions during my treatment and my doctor is not available, who I can ask?

Never feel uncomfortable asking a lot of questions! It’s your life on the line.

Kit Registration

Who is taking this test?

Me Someone else
Get $15, find out how!