Cancer needs new name, doctors say

  • Updated: August 3, 2013 - 4:10 PM
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pooping it up: Nightengale excrement is used to exfoliate.

Photo: Mary Altaffer • Associated Press,

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cancer needs new name, doctors say

Low-risk growths in the breast, prostate and elsewhere should no longer be named cancer and screening efforts to spot them should be cut back, a panel convened by the U.S. National Cancer Institute said.

A three-decadelong emphasis on the early identification of tumors was based on the idea that cancerous cells always spread and eventually kill, the researchers wrote in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The approach has led to the detection and toxic treatment of millions of people who may never have had any symptoms from indolent lesions. “By recognizing that cancer is not one disease, but a number of different diseases, we can individualize our treatment,” said Laura Esserman, director of breast care at the University of California, San Francisco’s cancer center.

Lung cancer is a disease that merits screening for high-risk patients, a separate panel of doctors said. Smokers 55 and older should get imaging scans each year to detect lung cancer when it is small and can be treated, the new recommendations said.

Bloomberg News

Here’s the poop on facial beauty

Bird poop for beauty?That’s what goes into facials at a luxury spa where the traditional Japanese treatment using imported Asian nightingale excrement mixed with rice bran goes for $180 a pop.

About 100 women and men go into the Shizuka New York skin care salon each month to get the treatment, which is promoted as a way to keep the face soft and smooth using an enzyme in the poop to exfoliate the skin.

Spa owner Shizuka Bernstein, a Tokyo native, has been offering what she calls the Geisha Facial for about five years. The treatment, while relatively rare in the United States, is no secret in Japan, where it was first used in the 1600s by actors and geishas. Dr. Michele Green, a dermatologist, said, “I don’t think it’s any different than, say, an apricot scrub or a mask.”

A common misconception is that any old bird poop is used. Bern­stein said only droppings from birds of the nightingale species are used because they live on seeds, producing the natural enzyme that is the active ingredient. “We don’t do Central Park facials,” she said, “because those birds eat garbage.”

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