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How Many Mutant Genes Drive Cancer?

Posted 1 day 18 hours ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 20, 2017 – Depending on the cancer, between one and 10 genetic mutations are needed to trigger the development of tumors, a new study reports. "We have addressed a longstanding question in cancer research that has been debated since the 1950s: How many mutations are needed for a normal cell to turn into a cancer cell?" said study author Peter Campbell, with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England. "The answer is – a small handful," he added. "For example, about four mutations per patient, on average, drive liver cancers, whereas colorectal cancers typically require 10 or so driver mutations." The findings, culled from analyses of more than 7,600 tumors from 29 types of cancer, could help lead to more targeted therapies for treatment, the researchers said. The researchers explained that they developed a way to determine which genes are involved in cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Hepatic Tumor

Obamacare Widened Access to Cancer Care

Posted 2 days 15 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 19, 2017 – More U.S. cancer patients gained insurance they needed for their care under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), new research reveals. Researchers tracked government data on more than 858,000 adults aged 19 to 64 with a first-time cancer diagnosis. The uninsured rate fell from just over 5.7 percent between 2010-2013 to about 3.8 percent in 2014, when the ACA health insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion went into effect, the study found. Increases in coverage occurred for people with numerous types of cancer, those with early- and late-stage disease, and among different ethnic/racial groups, the study found. The finding has real implications for patients, the researchers say, as Congress wrestles with a potential repeal or replacement of Obamacare. "Policy changes that reduce Medicaid funding or weaken protections for individuals with pre-existing condition ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer

Weight-Loss Surgery May Curb Risk for Certain Cancers

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 17, 2017 – Weight-loss surgery could help some severely obese people reduce their risk for cancer by at least 33 percent, a new study suggests. The researchers examined medical data compiled by health insurance and health care delivery systems in the western United States, including Southern California, Northern California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado. The analysis included data on nearly 22,200 people who had weight-loss surgery between 2005 and 2012, and over 66,400 people who didn't have the surgery. More than 80 percent of the study participants were women. Within 3.5 years after their surgery, about 2,500 people had developed cancer, the findings showed. The study found that patients who'd had weight-loss surgery, compared with those who had not had the surgery, were one-third less likely to have developed cancer, particularly the types of cancer related to ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Surgery, Cancer, Weight Loss, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Breast Cancer, Prevention

Need Cancer Screening? Where You Work Matters

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 – Waiters, contractors and other employees of America's small businesses are more likely to miss out on cancer screening, mostly because of a lack of insurance, new research shows. "Workers employed at smaller organizations had substantially lower breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screening rates" compared to people working at larger corporations or organizations, American Cancer Society (ACS) researchers reported. And poorer insurance coverage accounted for much of these differences, said the team led by ACS researcher Stacey Fedewa. One breast cancer specialist who reviewed the findings said the issue is an important one, because mammograms, colonoscopies and other screens can save lives – not to mention health care dollars. So it's crucial to "find ways to ensure that workers in smaller companies have access to health care," said Dr. Stephanie Bernik, ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colonoscopy, Colorectal Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention

How to Talk to Someone With Cancer

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 – For people diagnosed with cancer, communication with family members plays a vital role in their health and well-being, according to an expert from San Diego State University. After studying this issue for a decade, communications professor Wayne Beach concluded that cancer patients benefit from continuous positive dialogue. "Cancer patients do cope and heal better depending on their communication within their families," Beach said in a university news release. "Without this proper communication, these patients don't heal as well or as long. Having a dysfunctional environment around you is not good – it's stressful." Patients and their loved ones cope better, he found, when they share stories, reminisce and talk about their hopes as well as their concerns. "How family members communicate when coping [with a diagnosis] is important," Beach said. "Patients have ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Testicular Cancer

Obesity Linked to 13 Types of Cancer

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 3, 2017 – There's a link between obesity and 40 percent of all the cancers diagnosed in the United States, health officials reported Tuesday. That doesn't mean too much weight is causing all these cancer cases, just that there's some kind of still-to-be explained association, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, the study findings suggest that being obese or overweight was associated with cancer cases involving more than 630,000 Americans in 2014, and this includes 13 types of cancer. "That obesity and overweight are affecting cancers may be surprising to many Americans. The awareness of some cancers being associated with obesity and overweight is not yet widespread," Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC deputy director, said during a midday media briefing. The 13 cancers include: brain cancer; multiple myeloma; cancer of the esophagus; ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Colorectal Cancer, Brain Tumor, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Stomach Cancer

The Cold Truth About Cold Cuts

Posted 28 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 28, 2017 – They may seem like an easy solution for lunch, but pre-packaged sliced meat and processed deli counter options aren't just short on nutrition, they also pose health risks, health experts say. If you often rely on them, it's time to reconsider what you put between your sandwich bread or toss into a salad. Processed meats have been preserved by smoking, curing and/or salting. Many have added chemical preservatives – like sodium nitrate – that have potential health risks. As with bacon and hot dogs, cold cuts like pastrami, salami, ham and corned beef are also high in high-calorie saturated fat – bad for your heart, bad for your waistline and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), a colorectal cancer risk. Eating just two slices of ham a day can raise that risk by 18 percent, the WHO says. While some packaged lunch meat brands state that they're ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Colorectal Cancer

Fewer Uninsured Cancer Patients After Medicaid Expansion

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – States that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act halved the number of uninsured cancer patients, a new U.S. study finds. This matters because "uninsured cancer patients are more likely to go without needed care and treatment, such as radiation therapy or surgery to remove tumors," said study lead author Dr. Fumiko Chino. She is a radiation oncology resident at the Duke University School of Medicine. Chino and her colleagues analyzed the records of more than 197,000 cancer patients ages 18 to 64. All were newly diagnosed with cancer between 2011 and 2014 and received radiation as part of their treatment. The percentage of uninsured patients fell 52 percent on average in states that expanded Medicaid, while Medicaid enrollment rose from 15 to 18 percent. Medicaid is the publicly funded insurance program for the poor. In states that did not expand ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Skin Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Solid Tumors

Cancer Distress May Lead to Missed Appointments

Posted 25 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2017 – Seriously distressed cancer patients appear to miss more appointments and have more hospital admissions during treatment, a new study finds. The U.S. National Comprehensive Cancer Network describes severe distress as "a mix of anxiety and depressive symptoms." About one-third of cancer patients have significant distress, it says. "We know that having cancer is stressful, which means that we have a responsibility to consider a patient's mental well-being when planning a course of action with them," said study author Justin Anderson. "Focusing on the 'whole patient' allows oncologists to deliver the best possible treatment," added Anderson, a medical student at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine. The study included 54 patients aged 32 to 85 undergoing radiation therapy. Fifteen percent reported severe distress; 29 percent described moderate ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer

Where It's Legal, One-Quarter of Cancer Patients Use Medical Pot

Posted 25 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2017 – If you legalize medical marijuana, a sizable number of cancer patients will sign up, a new Washington state survey suggests. One-quarter of cancer patients in Washington use marijuana, researchers found. But the study also revealed it can be a challenge to get information about the drug from health care providers. "Cancer patients desire but are not receiving information from their cancer doctors about marijuana use during their treatment, so many of them are seeking information from alternate nonscientific sources," said study author Dr. Steven Pergam of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. Marijuana is reported to ease symptoms related to cancer treatment, and U.S. cancer patients will have greater access to medical pot as acceptance and availability of marijuana increases nationwide, Pergam's team said. Currently, recreational marijuana is ... Read more

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

Survey: 9 of 10 Americans Take Cancer Prevention Steps

Posted 22 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Sept. 22, 2017 – About 95 percent of Americans take some action to prevent cancer, according to a new survey. Three-quarters of respondents said they don't smoke; 74 percent limit their alcohol consumption; 72 percent stick to a healthy diet; and 90 percent are aware of their family's cancer history, the survey found. Women are far more likely than men to take all three preventive steps and more – discussing risk and prevention with their health care provider, getting the recommended amount of sleep, and undergoing recommended cancer screenings. The fourth edition of the Mayo Clinic National Health Checkup also reported that 62 percent said they or a loved one had been diagnosed with cancer. Sixty-one percent are concerned that they will develop cancer during their lifetime. Despite the concern, many respondents have an optimistic attitude: 78 percent expect a cure for cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Breast Cancer, Smoking Cessation, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer

Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Raise Cancer Risk in Kids

Posted 21 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 21, 2017 – Children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) face an increased risk of cancer, a new study claims. The risk persists into adulthood, and is especially elevated for gastrointestinal cancers, the researchers added. The "extent and duration of chronic inflammation might be the main driving mechanisms underlying the increased risk of cancer," the researchers suggested. The international team, led by Dr. Ola Olen, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, compared about 9,400 patients in Sweden who were diagnosed with IBD before age 18 to a control group of nearly 93,000 people without IBD. The risk of cancer up to an average age of 30 was 3.3 cases per 1,000 person years among those with IBD. That compared with 1.5 cases per 1,000 person years in the control group. So, the overall risk of cancer among people with IBD is still low, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Crohn's Disease, Colitis, Ulcerative Colitis, Colorectal Cancer, Crohn's Disease - Maintenance, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis - Active, Crohn's Disease - Acute, Ulcerative Colitis - Maintenance, Lymphocytic Colitis, Pseudomembranous Colitis, Allergic Colitis, Noninfectious Colitis, Enterocolitis

Cancer Treatment Can Affect Your Food Preferences

Posted 19 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 19, 2017 – Cancer therapies often change patients' sense of taste, which may affect what they like to eat, according to a nutrition expert. "Increased taste sensitivities are more common than a muting of taste," said Catherine Carpenter, professor of clinical nutrition at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. "Usually, the type of taste sensitivity encountered is one of a metallic nature." Changes in tastes often influence a person's food preferences, but treatment may affect individuals differently, Carpenter noted in a university news release. "If anything, patients tend to prefer bland foods rather than spicy foods," she said. "It's important to remember that preferences may vary depending on the cancer and type of treatment. You cannot lump all cancer patients into one dietary regimen." After treatments, such as chemo or radiation therapy, a nutritionist can help ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Oral and Dental Conditions, Xerostomia, Fluorouracil, Colorectal Cancer, Xeloda, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Hydroxyurea, Mercaptopurine, Hydrea, Capecitabine, Dacogen, Gemcitabine, Gemzar, Alimta, Decitabine, Cladribine, Cytarabine

FDA Approves Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb), a Biosimilar to Avastin

Posted 17 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

September 14, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb) as a biosimilar to Avastin (bevacizumab) for the treatment of multiple types of cancer. Mvasi is the first biosimilar approved in the U.S. for the treatment of cancer. “Bringing new biosimilars to patients, especially for diseases where the cost of existing treatments can be high, is an important way to help spur competition that can lower healthcare costs and increase access to important therapies,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “We’ll continue to work hard to ensure that biosimilar medications are brought to the market quickly, through a process that makes certain that these new medicines meet the FDA’s rigorous gold standard for safety and effectiveness.” Mvasi is approved for the treatment of adult patients with certain colorectal, lung, brain, kidney and cervical cancers ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Avastin, Cervical Cancer, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Bevacizumab, Mvasi

Mvasi Is First Biosimilar Drug Approved for Cancer

Posted 14 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 14, 2017 – The first biosimilar drug to treat cancer has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Mvasi (bevacizumab-awwb) was found to be biosimilar to the anti-cancer drug Avastin, the FDA said Thursday in a news release. Avastin was approved in 2004. Biosimilar drugs are typically derived from living organisms and are approved after manufacturers demonstrate that the medications are "highly similar" to already approved drugs, the agency said. Mvasi is approved to treat certain cancers of the colon, lung, brain, kidney and cervix, the FDA said. "Bringing new biosimilars to patients, especially for diseases where the cost of existing treatments can be high, is an important way to help spur competition that can lower healthcare costs and increase access to important therapies," said FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. He pledged new biosimilar drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Avastin, Cervical Cancer, Bevacizumab, Mvasi

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