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Many Terminal Cancer Patients Remain in Denial

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – Nearly 10 percent of patients with terminal cancer don't want to know they're dying, which can make their final days more difficult, a new study finds. Unwillingness to face poor prospects can lead to unnecessary treatments and keep patients from making end-of-life plans, the researchers reported recently in The Oncologist. "Health care professionals should appropriately assess patients' readiness for prognostic information," said study leader Siew-Tzuh Tang, a professor at Chang Gung University School of Nursing in Taiwan. Doctors should respect patients' reluctance to confront their poor prognosis if they are not ready to know, "but sensitively coach them to cultivate their accurate prognostic awareness," Tang said in a journal news release. The study involved nearly 250 terminal cancer patients in Taiwan. They were questioned several times over their last ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention

Nerlynx Approved to Help Prevent Breast Cancer's Return

Posted 18 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 18, 2017 – Nerlynx (neratinib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help prevent HER2-positive breast cancer from returning. It's the first drug designed to prevent return of HER2-positive breast cancer, a genetic form of the disease that's particularly aggressive and can spread to other parts of the body, the agency said in a news release. The drug is meant for what's known as extended adjuvant therapy – given after initial treatment, to further reduce the risk that cancer will return. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States, the FDA said. The disease is projected to be diagnosed in more than 250,000 women this year, and more than 46,000 are likely to die of the disease, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Nerlynx, among a class of drugs designed to block enzymes that fuel cancer-cell growth, was ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Neratinib, Nerlynx

Most Breast Cancer Patients Have Help Choosing Treatments

Posted 10 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 10, 2017 – Most women who've been diagnosed with breast cancer don't go it alone. Many breast cancer patients depend on family and friends to help them make treatment decisions, get to doctor appointments and seek out other resources. A new study finds half of women rely on three or more people to help them through it. "People just diagnosed with cancer are often scared and overwhelmed. Having another person to help them process information is important," said study lead author Lauren Wallner, an assistant professor of general medicine and epidemiology at the University of Michigan. "Physicians need to recognize that women involve other people in their treatment decisions," she added in a university news release. "These people represent an important group to provide information about treatment options." For the study, the researchers surveyed about 2,500 women who had ... Read more

Related support groups: Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Megestrol, Zoladex, Evista, Megace, Tasigna, Sprycel, Herceptin

2 of 3 Americans Don't Have 'Advance Directive' for End of Life

Posted 7 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 7, 2017 – Most people don't like talking about dying, especially their own death. But it's important to let your loved ones know how you'd like your medical care handled when your "time" comes. Yet, new research found that two-thirds of American adults haven't completed an advance directive. That's a legal document that outlines a person's wishes if they become incapacitated and can't make their own health care decisions, particularly near the end of life. "Most experts agree that some form of written directives are a key component of advance care planning, and yet rates of completion are low and do not appear to be increasing," said study leader Dr. Katherine Courtright. She is an instructor at the University of Pennsylvania's Palliative and Advanced Illness Research Center. "We need to address common barriers to completing these important documents on a national level, ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Ankylosing Spondylitis, Colorectal Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Gastric Cancer

Dying May Not Be as Awful an Experience as You Think

Posted 7 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 6, 2017 – Does the very idea of death worry and frighten you? There may be reassurance from a new study that finds those fears might be exaggerated. In fact, the research shows, death is often described as a peaceful, "unexpectedly positive" experience by those who approach it. Death is one of life's guarantees, yet it's something people often avoid talking about, according to study author Kurt Gray. He's an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "There's almost an unspoken assumption that death is something to be avoided at all costs," Gray said. But his team found that the abstract concept of death may be scarier than the reality. To look at the question, the researchers first searched for blogs by people who were terminally ill with cancer or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease) – diseases where patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Breast Cancer, Agitation, Colorectal Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Psychiatric Disorders, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

FDA Widens Access to 'Cooling Cap' to Stop Hair Loss in Cancer Patients

Posted 5 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – More cancer patients may be able to ward off hair loss during chemotherapy treatment. A cooling cap approved in 2015 for use in breast cancer patients has won expanded approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The DigniCap Cooling System can now be used for patients with solid tumors, the FDA announced. The computer-controlled cap contains liquid that circulates and cools the scalp, narrowing blood vessels. This reduces how much of the chemotherapy drugs reach hair follicle cells, the FDA said. Cooling also decreases activity of hair follicles and slows cell division. The result: Chemo drugs don't affect them as much, according to the FDA. Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy, especially during treatment of most solid tumor cancers. Hair may fall out all at once, little by little or become thin. It's usually temporary – and upsetting. ... Read more

Related support groups: Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Megestrol, Zoladex, Evista, Megace, Tasigna, Sprycel, Herceptin

Many Women Mistaken on 'Side Effects' of Breast Cancer Drug

Posted 29 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 29, 2017 – Many women at high risk for breast cancer do not take the drug tamoxifen to prevent the disease, often because they confuse naturally occurring symptoms with side effects from the drug. That's the finding of a new study of nearly 4,000 women tracked for almost five years in the United Kingdom. One U.S. expert in breast cancer care wasn't surprised by the findings. "It is true that many women who take the drug are perimenopausal, and it appears that the symptoms the women experience may have nothing to do with the drug and are rather simply due to age," explained oncologist Dr. Stephanie Bernik. "This was already known by physicians, but it is always helpful to have a scientific report to back up the information you give a patient," said Bernik, who is chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Tamoxifen is used to treat women with any ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Breast Cancer, Menopausal Disorders, Tamoxifen, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Atrophic Vaginitis, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Vaginal Dryness, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex D, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon, Nolvadex, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen

Medicaid Cuts Tied to Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnoses

Posted 26 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 – As Congress takes aim at replacing "Obamacare," a new study says Medicaid cuts could boost the number of women diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. The study looked at what happened after a budget crunch caused Tennessee to cut nearly 170,000 people from its Medicaid rolls in 2005. Within the next few years, the researchers found, late-stage breast cancer cases rose in low-income areas of the state. "We can't say that Medicaid disenrollment was the direct cause," said researcher Lindsay Sabik, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh. But, she said, there was clearly a correlation. The findings come at a crucial time: Republicans in both houses of Congress have proposed legislation that would cut off federal funding for Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid. Medicaid is a government program that helps millions of low-income Americans pay their ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Mammogram Decision Hinges on Patient-Doc Talk, Ob-Gyn Group Says

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – As the debate continues about the best time for mammograms, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is asking women to add their voice to the discussion. In updated guidelines on breast cancer screening for average-risk women, ACOG emphasized shared decision-making between a woman and her doctor about when to start mammography screening and how often to do it. "What is critically important is that the patient's value and preferences are factored into that decision-making process," said Dr. Christopher Zahn, ACOG's vice president of practice activities. The new guidelines, Zahn said, are "empowering women to be involved in that decision." ACOG recommends that women at average risk of breast cancer be offered screening mammography beginning at age 40. The decision about whether to start at that age, however, should be made by a woman and ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Asian Women Less Likely to Get Follow-up After Abnormal Mammogram

Posted 12 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 12, 2017 – Asian women in the San Francisco area were less likely than white women to get follow-up tests following an abnormal mammogram result, researchers report. Women who receive suspicious mammogram results are urged to get checked in a timely manner to rule out breast cancer, which should be treated as early as possible to ensure the best possible outcomes, the study authors said. However, the researchers, led by Kim Hanh Nguyen and Dr. Leah Karliner of the University of California, San Francisco, explained that many population-based breast cancer studies don't include Asians or differentiate among individual groups of patients. "Rather than being a monolithic group, Asians are, in fact, very diverse in nationalities, language, immigration history, education, and economic background. Recognizing differences among Asians may help clinicians develop better rapport and ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Body Imaging

Drug Helps Fight Breast Tumors Tied to 'Cancer Genes'

Posted 4 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, June 4, 2017 – A twice-daily pill could help some advanced breast cancer patients avoid or delay follow-up sessions of chemotherapy, a new clinical trial reports. The drug olaparib (Lynparza) reduced the chances of cancer progression by about 42 percent in women with breast cancer linked to BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, according to the study. Olaparib delayed cancer progression by about three months. The drug also caused tumors to shrink in three out of five patients who received the medication, the researchers reported. "Clearly the drug was more effective than traditional chemotherapy," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. "This is a group where a response is more difficult to obtain – a young group with a more aggressive form of cancer – and nonetheless we saw a close to 60 percent objective response rate," he said. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Lynparza, Olaparib

Drug Xeloda Prolongs Survival for Some Breast Cancer Patients

Posted 31 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 31, 2017 – A drug called Xeloda can extend the lives of some women whose breast cancer is not wiped out by standard treatment, a new clinical trial finds. Oncologists said the results are "practice-changing." "This drug is already approved, and we've been using it for a long time in cancer treatment," said Dr. Stephen Malamud, an oncologist at Mount Sinai in New York City. Xeloda (capecitabine) is a pill, so it's easy to take and is "much less toxic" than standard chemotherapy, noted Malamud, who was not involved in the new research. "Most importantly," he said, "it extended overall survival in this study." In 1998, Xeloda was approved in the United States for advanced breast cancer that had spread to distant sites in the body. The new trial, done in Japan and South Korea, tested the drug for a different group of patients. It focused on 910 women whose breast tumors were ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Xeloda, Herceptin, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Capecitabine, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Yoga, Meditation May Ease Some Breast Cancer Symptoms

Posted 19 May 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 19, 2017 – The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can come with a lot of anxiety, depression and other symptoms that affect quality of life. But mind-body therapies, such as yoga or meditation, may help ease these troubling concerns, a new study suggests. The researchers reviewed previous studies done on 80 integrative therapies. "We have good evidence that [some] mind-body therapies – such as meditation, yoga, relaxation – can provide benefit to breast cancer patients during and after treatment," said study researcher Heather Greenlee. She's an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "And we do have evidence that acupuncture is very useful in managing pain," she added. Evidence about dietary supplements and botanicals, however, are lacking when it comes to helping symptoms and side effects, she said. Greenlee ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Cancer, Major Depressive Disorder, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Dysthymia, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Male

More U.S. Women Living Longer With Advanced Breast Cancer

Posted 18 May 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 18, 2017 – The number of U.S. women living with the most advanced stage of breast cancer has been rising since the 1990s, a new study finds. Researchers say that treatment advances, allowing more breast cancer patients to survive longer, are one likely reason. The general aging of the U.S. population is another. Right now, the study estimated, close to 155,000 U.S. women are living with metastatic breast cancer – cancer that has spread beyond the breast to distant sites in the body. That is up from roughly 105,000 in 1990. Breast cancer experts said the figures are actually the first estimates of how many U.S. women are living with metastatic disease. A number has been hard to come by, they said, because there is no national system that tracks cancer recurrences: Since U.S. women are typically diagnosed with earlier-stage breast cancer, most metastatic cases would – ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Body Imaging

More Cancers Caught Early Since Obamacare

Posted 18 May 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 18, 2017 – More cancers have been spotted in their early stages since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the law of the land, new research finds. Finding breast, colon, cervical and lung cancers early greatly improves the odds of successful treatment, said study author Xuesong Han. She's the strategic director of health policy and health care delivery research at the American Cancer Society. "We wanted to see if the introduction of the ACA affected the diagnosis of these cancers," she said. Although the increase in early-stage cancer diagnosis was only 1 percent, it's a significant increase that includes thousands of patients whose cancer might not have been found until it was too late for effective treatment and potential cure, Han noted. The increases in diagnosis of lung and cervical cancer were mostly among people on Medicaid, she said. A large part of the ACA is ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer

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