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Global Recession May Have Contributed to Cancer Deaths

Posted 22 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 26, 2016 – The 2008 global economic crisis has been linked to a sharp rise in deaths from cancer, a new study reports. Unemployment and cuts in public health-care spending were associated with more than 260,000 additional cancer deaths by 2010. Most of those deaths – 160,000 – were in the European Union, the researchers said. The study included 70 countries and a total of more than 2 billion people, according to the report published online May 25 in The Lancet. "Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide, so understanding how economic changes affect cancer survival is crucial," lead author Dr. Mahiben Maruthappu, of Imperial College London, said in a journal news release. "We found that increased unemployment was associated with increased cancer mortality, but that universal health coverage protected against these effects. This was especially the case for treatable ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Stomach Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Testicular Cancer, Solid Tumors

Too Many Advanced Cancer Patients Lack Info About Their Disease

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 23, 2016 – Many patients battling advanced cancer lack basic information about their prognosis or treatment, meaning they can't make informed decisions about their care, a small new study suggests. "These were people with highly lethal metastatic cancers that had progressed after at least one prior line of chemotherapy; their life expectancy was approximately four months from our interview," said lead researcher Dr. Holly Prigerson. She is a professor of geriatrics at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. "We were astonished to learn that only 5 percent of this sample had sufficient knowledge about their illness to make informed decisions about their care," Prigerson said in a Weill Cornell news release. The findings highlight the need for doctors to improve communication with these patients, she said. In the study, Prigerson's team compared 178 advanced cancer patients' ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Stomach Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Testicular Cancer, Solid Tumors

Home Remedy For Skin Cancer May Cause Damage, Mask New Growth

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 23, 2016 – Despite the promise of an "easy and natural" treatment for skin cancer, home remedies such as black salve can actually make things worse, new research shows. People use black salve with the hope that it will remove skin cancers. But, this purported therapy contains corrosive ingredients that can destroy the skin's top layer while cancer continues to grow underneath, the researchers explained. "There is a misperception that black salve 'draws the cancer out,' when, in fact, it just indiscriminately damages anything it touches," study co-author Dr. Mark Eliason, a dermatologist at the University of Utah, said in a news release from the American Academy of Dermatology. "One of the reasons black salve treatment is so dangerous is that many users have no idea how harmful it can be." For the study, the researchers interviewed people who used black salve. They found ... Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, History - Skin Cancer, Minor Skin Irritation

'Precision' Cancer Treatment May Extend Lives

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – "Precision" cancer treatment that's guided by genetic clues from the patient's own tumor appears to outperform traditional chemotherapy, a new research review finds. Patients given precision – or personalized – treatment experienced a tumor shrinkage rate six times that attained by regular chemotherapy. But, that only happened if doctors used genetic information to choose the appropriate targeted therapy, said lead researcher Maria Schwaederle. Those patients also experienced nearly double the length of time before their cancer resumed growing, according to the analysis of nearly 350 clinical trials. "It is not just that the therapies are better, but that targeted therapies must be given to the right patients," said Schwaederle, who's with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine's Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. She will present ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Isotretinoin, Claravis, Tarceva, Xeloda, Tasigna, Revlimid, Skin Cancer, BCG, Sprycel, Herceptin, Hydroxyurea

Melanoma Drug Boosting Survival for Many, Study Shows

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – A new drug for advanced melanoma is dramatically shifting the odds in favor of patients, extending survival for many and even curing some. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) helped keep four in 10 patients with advanced melanoma alive three years after starting treatment, according to the results of a new clinical trial. The drug also caused complete remission in 15 percent of patients, and many remained cancer-free even after they quit taking Keytruda, said Dr. Caroline Robert, head of the dermatology unit at the Institut Gustave-Roussy in Paris, France. Keytruda already has scored one very high-profile success – it's one of the drugs taken by former President Jimmy Carter, 91, in his successful battle last year against melanoma that had spread to his brain. However, the drug comes with a hefty price tag – an estimated $12,500 a month. Prior to the advent of targeted ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Keytruda, History - Skin Cancer

'Sunscreen' Gene May Guard Against Skin Cancer

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – Scientists say they've identified a so-called "sunscreen" gene that may help protect against skin cancer. They say the finding potentially could lead to new drugs to prevent the disease. The investigators pinpointed the ultraviolet-resistant gene after analyzing data from 340 people with melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer, and conducting laboratory experiments. "If we understand how this UV-resistant gene functions and the processes by which cells repair themselves after ultraviolet damage, then we could find targets for drugs to revert a misguided mechanism back to normal conditions," said study senior author Chengyu Liang. Liang is an associate professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine. Cell damage from exposure to UV radiation causes more than 90 percent of melanoma skin ... Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Diagnosis and Investigation, History - Skin Cancer, Prevention of Sunburn

Severe, Untreated Sleep Apnea Linked to Aggressive Melanoma

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 16, 2016 – Sleep is key to immune function and health, and a new study finds that may be especially true for patients battling melanoma. The study found that severe, untreated cases of sleep apnea – interruptions in nighttime breathing – are linked with more aggressive melanomas. "This is the first large, prospective multicenter study that was specifically constructed to look at the relationship between sleep apnea and a specific cancer," explained study author Dr. Miguel Angel Martinez-Garcia, from La Fe University and Polytechnic Hospital in Valencia, Spain. "While more research is needed, this study shows that patients in the study had markers of poor prognosis for their melanoma. It also highlights the importance of diagnosing and treating sleep apnea," Martinez-Garcia said in a news release from the in a news release from the American Thoracic Society (ATS). One ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Apnea, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Obstructive Sleep Apnea/Hypopnea Syndrome, History - Skin Cancer

How Your Car Side Window May Be Harming Your Skin, Eyes

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 12, 2016 – The front windshield of your car probably shields you from the sun's UV-A rays as you drive, but the same may not be true for side windows, a new study finds. Experts have long known that prolonged exposure to ultraviolet A (UV-A) rays can raise the odds for skin cancer and cataracts. And with the long hours many Americans drive each day, one researcher in California wondered how much sun protection today's cars might offer. To find out, Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, of the Boxer Wachler Vision Institute in Beverly Hills, analyzed the ultraviolet protection provided by the glass in 29 cars from 15 different automobile manufacturers. Boxer Wachler measured levels of ambient UV-A radiation behind the front windshield and behind the driver's side window of the cars, which were produced between 1990 and 2014. While windshield windows tended to offer good protection ... Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, History - Skin Cancer, Prevention of Sunburn

Health Tip: Identifying an Ordinary Mole

Posted 16 days ago by Drugs.com

-- If you're trying to figure out if you have an ordinary mole or a skin patch that could be cancerous, the American Academy of Dermatology offers these tell-tale signs of an ordinary mole: It's generally only one color, commonly brown, pink, red, blue, black or flesh-colored. It's symmetrical, meaning one side is shaped the same as the other. It's flat or only slightly raised from the skin. It seldom changes in appearance. If you have an unusual patch of skin that doesn't fit these descriptions, visit a dermatologist without delay. Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, History - Skin Cancer, Minor Skin Irritation, Minor Skin Conditions

Could Talk Therapy Ease Chemo-Related Memory Issues?

Posted 2 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 2, 2016 – A type of psychotherapy might help cancer survivors deal with the long-term thinking problems some experience after chemotherapy, researchers say. It's estimated that about half of those who undergo chemotherapy for cancer develop what's often called "chemo brain." For instance, they may have trouble following conversations or remembering the steps in a project, according to background notes with the new study. Although usually mild, these changes can affect quality of life, job performance and relationships, said the researchers from the Eastern Maine Medical Center and Lafayette Family Cancer Center in Bangor, Maine. The researchers developed a cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) program called Memory and Attention Adaptation Training to help cancer survivors prevent or manage these memory problems. Their study involved 47 breast cancer survivors who underwent ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Fluorouracil, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Melanoma, Xeloda, Tasigna, Skin Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea

Some Smart Yet Easy Ways to Shield Yourself From Skin Cancer

Posted 28 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 28, 2016 – One in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in their life, but it can be treated and cured if detected early, a dermatologist says. "Knowing your own skin is the key to discovering skin cancer early on. See a dermatologist for a skin check if you notice a spot, mole or lump on your body that is changing, growing or bleeding," said Dr. Mark Lebwohl. He is chair of the dermatology department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and May 2 is Melanoma Monday. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer. Lebwohl described in a school news release how to prevent and detect skin cancer. Apply a sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher to all exposed skin whenever you're outdoors. Do this throughout the year and even on cloudy days. Reapply about every two hours. Wear long-sleeved ... Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Sunscreen, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, History - Skin Cancer, Coppertone, Prevention of Sunburn, Deeptan

'You've Got Cancer' Can Take Devastating Mental Toll

Posted 28 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 28, 2016 – A cancer diagnosis is dreaded by all, and a new study details the psychological damage it often leaves in its wake for patients. The Swedish study found much higher rates of anxiety, depression and even drug and alcohol abuse for those who've been told "you have cancer," compared to healthier people. Cancer doctors weren't surprised, and noted that some patients are more prone to this type of distress than others. "For people that are barely keeping their lives in order, a cancer diagnosis can tip them over the edge," said Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. In the study, a team led by Dr. Donghao Lu, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, compared outcomes for more than 304,000 cancer patients against more than 3 million cancer-free people in Sweden. The investigators found that risks of anxiety, ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Major Depressive Disorder, Breast Cancer, Paranoid Disorder, Prostate Cancer, Agitation, Psychosis, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Agitated State, Dysthymia, Skin Cancer, Depressive Psychosis

Drug Shows Promise Against Rare, Aggressive Skin Cancer

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – A newer drug that boosts the immune system's ability to kill tumor cells may help people with a rare, aggressive form of skin cancer, a preliminary study suggests. The intravenous drug, marketed as Keytruda, is already used to treat some advanced cases of melanoma, another dangerous form of skin cancer. The new study tested it against a skin tumor called Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). Most people have probably never heard of the cancer, but MCC is deadlier than melanoma, said Dr. Paul Nghiem, a professor of medicine at the University of Washington, who led the new study. When the disease reaches an advanced stage, chemotherapy is an option – but not a good one, Nghiem said. "Chemotherapy will often shrink the cancer," he said. "But it comes back quickly, and even angrier." Plus, chemo can take a toll on the immune system. "And that's a very bad idea in these ... Read more

Related support groups: Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Keytruda, History - Skin Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma

'Palliative Care' Gets a Bad Rap, Study Finds

Posted 19 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 19, 2016 – The term "palliative care" triggers negative feelings among many cancer patients, and needs "rebranding," researchers say. The stigma surrounding palliative care can mean patients wait too long to receive supportive care that improves their quality of life, said researchers at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center in Toronto. This new study shows there's a "branding issue," said principal investigator Dr. Camilla Zimmermann, head of palliative care for the hospital and the University Health Network. Palliative care "is not something to be afraid of or that is stigmatizing, but is helpful even while patients are receiving life-prolonging therapies," Zimmermann said in a network news release. She and her colleagues analyzed interviews with 48 patients who had advanced cancer and an estimated survival of between six and 24 months. Half the patients received early ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Stomach Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Head and Neck Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Salivary Gland Cancer, Urinary Tract Cancer

Sunscreen Delays Melanoma in Mice, Researchers Say

Posted 18 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, April 17, 2016 – Applying 30 SPF sunscreen to mice before they were exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) radiation delayed the development of melanoma, researchers report. The study results suggest that mice can be used to identify and develop new and more effective ways to prevent the most dangerous of skin cancers, the investigators said. "Over the past 40 years, the melanoma incidence rate has consistently increased in the United States," said lead investigator Christin Burd. She is an assistant professor in the department of molecular genetics and the department of molecular virology, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University's cancer center. "Sunscreens are known to prevent skin from burning when exposed to UV sunlight, which is a major risk factor for melanoma," Burd said in a university news release. "However, it has not been possible to test whether sunscreens ... Read more

Related support groups: Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, History - Skin Cancer

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