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Related terms: Carcinoma, Malignant Disease, Malignant Tumor

Report Shows Progress in America's War on Cancer

Posted 7 hours ago by

MONDAY, March 30, 2015 – America is making slow but steady progress against cancer, with a continuing decline in cancer deaths, according to a new report. The overall cancer death rate fell an average 1.5 percent per year between 2002 and 2011, representing improved survival for men, women and children, the report found. The rate of new cancer cases also declined an average 0.5 percent a year during that period. Experts say the promising figures reflect success in both treating and heading off cancer in the body's four most vulnerable sites – the lungs, colon, breasts and prostate. "These numbers reflect a combination of factors that include prevention, early detection and improved treatment," said report co-author Ahmedin Jemal, vice president of surveillance research for the American Cancer Society. However, the new report also found that cancer rates are rising for some rarer forms ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer

Connection Between Diabetes, Advanced Breast Cancer Detected in Study

Posted 1 day 10 hours ago by

FRIDAY, March 27, 2015 – Women with diabetes may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, a new study from Canada shows. "Our findings suggest that women with diabetes may be predisposed to more advanced-stage breast cancer, which may be a contributor to their higher cancer mortality," Dr. Lorraine Lipscombe, a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Women's College Hospital in Toronto, said in a hospital news release. She and her colleagues said that breast cancer screening and detection methods may need to be modified for women with diabetes in order to reduce their risk of being diagnosed with advanced cancer. The researchers analyzed data from more than 38,000 women ages 20 to 105 who were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer between 2007 and 2012. Nearly 16 percent of the women had diabetes. Women with diabetes were 14 percent ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Cancer

Midlife Fitness May Be a Real Cancer Fighter for Men

Posted 5 days ago by

THURSDAY, March 26, 2015 – Fit middle-aged men appear less likely to develop lung and colon cancer in later life than their out-of-shape peers. And if they do develop cancer, they are more likely to beat it, a new study suggests. Nearly 14,000 men underwent treadmill tests at midlife and had their medical records reviewed at age 65 or older. Researchers found that the fitter guys had roughly half the risk for lung and colon cancer compared with unfit men. Their risk for death from these cancers was about one-third lower. "Men who are physically fit are expected to have lower levels of [cancer-related] sex hormones, enhanced immunity and lower inflammation," said lead researcher Dr. Susan Lakoski, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Vermont. "These effects may act together to inhibit cancer as well as risk of dying from cancer or heart disease," she said. The ... Read more

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Health Tip: Cancer Treatment Makes Foodborne Illness a Bigger Concern

Posted 8 days ago by

-- People being treated for cancer are more vulnerable to foodborne illness and its serious complications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration explains why: Radiation, chemotherapy and other cancer treatments can weaken your immune system. Cancer itself also may compromise your immune system. A weaker immune system means you are more susceptible to infection, including foodborne illness. Foodborne infection may extend your illness, potentially leading to complications and hospitalization. To avoid contracting a foodborne illness, you need to be careful when handling, preparing and eating foods, the FDA says. Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Traveler's Diarrhea, Campylobacter Gastroenteritis, Salmonella Gastroenteritis

Obesity Raises Women's Cancer Risk by 40 Percent, Study Finds

Posted 14 days ago by

TUESDAY, March 17, 2015 – Obesity takes a huge toll on health, and a new British study finds that obese women have a 40 percent higher risk for cancer than thinner women. Overall, the Cancer Research UK study found that obese women have about a one in four risk of developing a weight-related cancer in their lifetime. Those include cancers of the bowel, gallbladder, uterus, kidney, pancreas and esophagus, as well as post-menopausal breast cancers. Among obese British women, 274 in every 1,000 will develop a weight-associated cancer in their lifetime, compared with 194 in 1,000 healthy weight women, the study found. There are a number of possible ways that obesity can increase cancer risk in women, including one that's linked to fat cells' production of hormones, especially estrogen, which is believed to fuel cancer development, according to Cancer Research UK. However, everyone can ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer

FDA OK of 1st 'Biosimilar' Drug May Mean Cheaper Options for Patients

Posted 6 Mar 2015 by

FRIDAY, March 6, 2015 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the nation's first "biosimilar" drug, a move that could lead to more affordable medications for Americans who take cutting-edge biologic drugs. This first drug, Zarxio, is considered by the FDA to be a strong stand-in for a cancer drug called Neupogen, which was originally approved in 1991. Both Zarxio and Neupogen help cancer patients by increasing white blood cell counts and staving off harmful infections. People with cancer often experience a decrease in white blood cells, either because of the cancer itself or the cancer treatments. Biologic drugs – innovative medications derived from living organisms – are paving the way for improved treatment of a number of conditions, most notably cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. But biologic drugs also tend to be pricey. To combat these high costs, the ... Read more

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Be Wary of Websites Selling Genetic Cancer Tests: Study

Posted 5 Mar 2015 by

THURSDAY, March 5, 2015 – Websites that offer personalized genetic cancer tests tend to overstate their supposed benefits and downplay their limitations, a new study says. And many sites offer tests that have not been proven to be useful in guiding cancer treatment, according to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute team that analyzed 55 such websites. "We wanted to see if consumers are getting a balanced picture of benefits and limitations of these services," said study first author Dr. Stacy Gray in an institute news release. She is a medical oncologist and investigator at the Dana-Farber Center for Outcomes and Policy Research in Boston. "We found a lot of variation. Some of the information is good, but all of it needs to be looked at critically by consumers and health care providers," she said. In general, "the benefits of these personalized cancer products are reported much more ... Read more

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First 'Epigenomes' Map Highlights How Genes Spur Health, Disease

Posted 18 Feb 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 18, 2015 – In what may be a big step forward in human biology, scientists are issuing the first comprehensive map of "human epigenomes" – the range of chemical and structural shifts that determine how genes govern health. The new map is the result of years of work by an international consortium of researchers. Experts say the new data will help scientists better understand how genetic disruption affects a wide range of illnesses, including autism, heart disease and cancer. "The DNA sequence of the human genome is identical in all cells of the body, but cell types such as heart, brain or skin cells have unique characteristics and are uniquely susceptible to various diseases," researcher Joseph Costello, of the University of California, San Francisco, explained in a university news release. He said that epigenomic factors effectively "allow cells carrying the same DNA to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Heart Disease, Autism

Cancer Patients Prefer Care That Includes Their Input

Posted 12 Feb 2015 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 – Cancer patients who let their doctors make all the decisions are less likely to rate their care as excellent compared to patients who participate in their medical decisions, a new study suggests. "We found that patients with lung or colorectal cancer who felt more involved in decision making about their treatments had higher perceptions of the quality of the care they received and of communication with their physicians," said study author Dr. Kenneth Kehl, an oncology fellow at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The Institute of Medicine has urged doctors to share decision making and take patient preferences into account as a way to improve the overall quality of care, the researchers noted. But whether shared decisions actually improve medical care is something this study cannot answer, Kehl said. "If, for example, we had assessed ... Read more

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Cancer Patients Rarely Request Unneeded Tests, Treatments: Study

Posted 12 Feb 2015 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 – Despite some doctors' claims to the contrary, cancer patients rarely request unnecessary tests or treatments, a new study finds. Researchers surveyed 34 oncologists, 11 oncology fellows and 15 nurse practitioners immediately after visits with cancer patients at three Philadelphia hospitals between October 2013 and June 2014. Only 440 of the 5,050 visits (about 9 percent) included patient requests for tests or treatments, the investigators found. Of those, health care providers complied with 365 of the clinically appropriate requests. In addition, there were 50 demands for unnecessary tests or treatments, and health care providers complied with only seven of those demands. About half of the patient requests were for medical imaging tests, nearly 14 percent were for laboratory tests and about 5 percent were for genetic tests or chemosensitivity tests, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation

Some Stroke Survivors May Face Heightened Cancer Risk, Study Shows

Posted 12 Feb 2015 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 – Older adults who survive a stroke may have a higher-than-average risk of developing cancer in the next few years, a new study suggests. Researchers followed nearly 3,700 ischemic stroke survivors who were started out cancer-free. Over two years follow-up, 2 percent were newly diagnosed with cancer. The researchers determined their risk of a cancer diagnosis was 40 percent higher than the norm for older U.S. adults. Experts said it's not clear why the risk was elevated. That's likely because the study wasn't designed to discover a cause. It was only designed to look for a link between these conditions. But the association may have something to do with risk factors that underlie both stroke and certain cancers, such as smoking or unhealthy eating habits. Another potential culprit is chronic, low-grade inflammation – which is believed to contribute to both heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Ischemic Stroke

Problems Spotted in Clinical Trials Can Go Unreported, Study Says

Posted 9 Feb 2015 by

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 – Medical journals and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rarely report violations of scientific conduct that federal regulators unearth during spot inspections of clinical trials, a new analysis shows. In a study published in the Feb. 10 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, a review of FDA inspection reports between 1998 and 2013 revealed nearly 60 clinical trials in which regulators had uncovered violations serious enough to earn the agency's most severe classification – "official action indicated," or OAI, said study author Charles Seife, a professor at the Arthur L. Carter Institute of Journalism at New York University. Seventy-eight articles were published based on data from these trials. But only three of them mentioned the violations that regulators found, Seife and a team of graduate students determined. The violations included fraud, incompetence or ... Read more

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Researchers Identify 8 Signs of Impending Death

Posted 9 Feb 2015 by

MONDAY, Feb. 9, 2015 – Researchers say they have identified eight specific physical signs that strongly indicate that someone with advanced cancer is entering the last days of life. The investigators focused on telltale signs that a patient has, at most, just three days to live. The hope is that this information will help family members and other caregivers better handle an impending death, as well as be more prepared for choices that may have to be made during end-of-life care. "I think the bottom line is that our study identified several classical signs that can be observed by the bedside by doctors, nurses and even family caregivers, which may help them to determine with confidence that the patient has entered the final days of life," said study lead author Dr. David Hui. He is an assistant professor in the department of palliative care and rehabilitation medicine at the University ... Read more

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Americans Confused About Cancer Risks

Posted 4 Feb 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 4, 2015 – Fewer than half of Americans are aware that some major lifestyle factors can affect their cancer risk, a new survey suggests. Instead, many people worry about cancer-causing claims that aren't back by scientific evidence – such as stress or hormones in foods, according to the survey done by the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). "About half of cancer deaths in the U.S. could be prevented through lifestyle choices – like not smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight," said Alice Bender, associate director of nutrition programs for the AICR. But based on the new survey, many Americans don't realize that. The survey results were released Wednesday to coincide with World Cancer Day, and experts said they highlight a troubling lack of public awareness. Among over 1,100 U.S. adults polled, only a ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer

Bacteria May Help Battle Cancer, Study Suggests

Posted 1 Feb 2015 by

SATURDAY, Jan. 31, 2015 – Bacteria may offer a new way to treat cancer, a small, preliminary study suggests. Researchers injected a weakened strain of Clostridium novyi-NT bacteria spores into tumors in six patients. The bacteria grew in the tumors and killed cancer cells, the investigators reported. C. novyi-NT, which lives in soil, is a close relative of the bacteria that causes botulism. Before injecting C. novyi-NT into the patients, the researchers weakened it by removing its dangerous toxin. Five of the six patients are still alive, while one died from unrelated causes several months after receiving the bacteria injection, according to the study to be presented Saturday at the annual Symposium on Clinical Interventional Oncology in Hollywood, Fla. Research presented at medical meetings should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. "When tumors reach ... Read more

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