7 cancer research breakthroughs at Sydney

3 February 2017
For World Cancer Day on 4 February, we take a look at the cancer breakthroughs coming out of health and medical research at the University.

This year, eight million people worldwide will die of cancer, which is equivalent to the entire population of New York. Of those people, half will be of working age (30 – 69 years old). With such concerning figures, cancer is the world’s most deadly and costly disease.

World Cancer Day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. The initiative aims to educate and raise awareness of the disease and prompts individuals and governments across the globe to take action.

Find out what our leading researchers are discovering in the fields of cancer prevention and treatment, and listen to related talks held as part of the University of Sydney’s Sydney Ideas program.

1. Training program helps 'chemo brain' symptoms

An online learning program may help cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced neurological problems, University of Sydney research reveals.

Compared to participants who received standard care, those assigned to the online program – ‘Insight from Posit Science’ - had less cognitive symptoms immediately following the intervention and at six months.

Read the full article here.

2. Health benefits for ‘Weekend Warriors’

Physical activity patterns of just one or two sessions a week may be enough to reduce deaths from all causes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, regardless of adherence to exercise guidelines, research by University of Sydney academics reveals. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

Read the full article here.

3. Vitamin B3 derivative cuts risk of new skin cancers

Research from the University of Sydney found that a year of treatment with nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3, significantly lowered the risk of common, non-melanoma skin cancer in high-risk patients.

Read the full article here.

4. Knowing risk factors could help catch melanomas

University of Sydney research has pinpointed a set of risk factors that could help doctors tailor skin examinations and catch melanoma at an early stage. 39 percent of patients were defined as higher risk due to family history, multiple primary melanomas or having lots of moles.

Read the full article here.  

5. Sex after cancer treatment difficult for survivors

Changes to sexual wellbeing can leave cancer survivors feeling less confident and less at ease with intimacy. To address these issues, the University of Sydney and Cancer Council NSW have developed a world-first online resource, called Rekindle, to improve the sexual wellbeing of all cancer survivors, and their partners.

40 percent of all cancer survivors experience negative sexual changes after treatment, with this percentage dramatically rising to over 90 percent in survivors treated for 'below the belt' cancer types, including prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and cervical cancer.

Read the full article here.

6. Food waste could prevent prostate cancer

Could the humble orange peel hold the key to preventing prostate cancer? This is just one of the possibilities that could emerge from research now underway at the University of Sydney involving food waste. 

Read the full article here.

7. Nanoscale 'diamonds' can light up cancers in scans

Physicists from the University of Sydney have devised a way to use diamonds to identify cancerous tumours before they become life threatening.

Read the full article here.

This article was edited on 2 February 2018.

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