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Insured, But Still Barred From Top-Tier Cancer Centers

Posted 2 days 9 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – Choosing a cheaper health plan could cost you access to cream-of-the-crop cancer doctors and facilities, a new study reports. Less-expensive "narrow network" health plans are much less likely to cover treatment by doctors at centers affiliated with the U.S. National Cancer Institute, said study lead author Laura Yasaitis. "We found that the narrower networks were more likely to systematically exclude NCI-affiliated physicians," said Yasaitis, a postdoctoral researcher with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "The oncologists they included in their networks were about half as likely to be NCI-affiliated as those they excluded." NCI-Designated Cancer Centers are the nation's top-flight facilities for cancer care, and studies have shown that patients treated at these centers tend to have better outcomes, Yasaitis said. Access to these centers is ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Head and Neck Cancer, Gastric Cancer

More Patients OK'd for Cancer Trials Under Obamacare: Study

Posted 2 days 9 hours ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – The Affordable Care Act has enabled more privately insured patients to enroll in clinical trials for new cancer treatments, a new study contends. Speedy approvals are important for patients who want to participate in clinical trials, said study author Dr. David Hong. He's deputy chair of investigational cancer therapeutics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Since 2000, Medicare, the publicly funded insurance program for seniors, has covered routine costs of clinical trial participation. But coverage for patients with private insurance differed by insurer and state, the researchers noted. Under the ACA, or Obamacare, however, private insurers had to cover "standard of care" costs of clinical trial participation as of 2014. For this study, the researchers analyzed more than 2,400 patient referrals to the Clinical Center for Targeted Therapy at ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Votrient, Tarceva, Avastin, Tasigna, Pancreatic Cancer, Sutent, Sprycel, Afinitor, Nexavar, Stomach Cancer, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan

Many Terminal Cancer Patients Remain in Denial

Posted 3 days ago 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

Doctors' Group Offers Ideas for Easing Cancer Costs

Posted 3 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – New cancer drugs routinely cost $100,000 a year or more, and older cancer drugs are rising in price, too. Now, the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has some suggestions for easing patients' money woes. The proposals include allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, legalizing the importation of drugs, and adopting bundled, or group, payment programs. In the new policy statement, ASCO also says it supports creation of a panel of "stakeholders" in health care to determine the effectiveness of its proposals. Such a group might also outline a uniform approach for assessing the value of drugs. "In what, undoubtedly, is one of the most difficult times in their lives, individuals with cancer should be focused on getting the best care possible, not worrying about financial strain on their families," said Dr. Clifford Hudis. He's CEO of ASCO, a leading ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Votrient, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Letrozole

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

Posted 15 days ago 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

Do Blacks, Hispanics Get Low Quality Hospice Care?

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – Hospice quality varies, with blacks and Hispanics often getting less desirable end-of-life care, a new study finds. Researchers surveyed thousands of caregivers whose loved ones died in hospice care. They found that minority patients were more likely to receive care in poorer quality hospices than white patients. They also said that family caregivers of black and Hispanic hospice patients were less likely to receive adequate emotional and religious support. "Our findings highlight the need to ensure that blacks and Hispanics have access to high-quality and culturally competent hospice services," said study lead author Rebecca Anhang Price, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corp. "This is particularly important as people from these groups increase their use of hospice services," she added in a RAND news release. The report wasn't all bad news for ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Skin Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Gastric Cancer

Big Gap in Cancer Deaths Between Rich, Poor Countries

Posted 22 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 21, 2017 – Over the past few decades, death rates linked to cancer and heart disease have declined in most developed nations, thanks to more effective prevention strategies, early detection and greater access to quality health care. But the same isn't true for poorer counties where the number of people dying from cancer has either remained unchanged or continues to rise, researchers report. The international team of researchers assessed the impact that cancer has had on the life span of people between 40 and 84 years old from 1981 to 2010, and compared it to the effects that heart disease has had on life expectancy over the same time period. The scientists analyzed cancer death rates from national databases of 52 countries that belong to the World Health Organization. They considered deaths for all cancers combined, and also looked specifically at the deaths rates for ... Read more

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

Publicly Funded Cancer Trials Gained Americans 3 Million More Years

Posted 6 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 6, 2017 – Public-funded trials have significantly extended the lives of people diagnosed with cancer, according to new research. SWOG, the clinical trials network funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), has involved more than 200,000 patient volunteers. These trials have led to approval of 14 new cancer drugs and more than 100 changes to cancer care standards. All told, the clinical trials studied extended life by 3.34 million years, the study found. SWOG estimates the dollar return on investment from federal funding at $125 for each year of life gained. "A lot of people with cancer have lived longer because of the therapies tested in our publicly funded trials," study leader Joseph Unger said in a SWOG news release. He is an assistant member of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Cancer Prevention Program in Seattle. "At the same time, the cost of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Rituxan, Isotretinoin, Colorectal Cancer

FDA OKs First Cancer Drug by Genetic Type, Not Organ of Origin

Posted 24 May 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 24, 2017 – Many new cancer drugs target genetic "biomarkers" that are specific to tumors – wherever in the body they may appear. So on Tuesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that, for the first time, it had approved a cancer drug based on disease genetics rather than the body part where the cancer originated. The drug, Keytruda (pembrolizumab), is targeted to what are called "mismatch repair genes," and its approval means it can be used to fight tumors with these genes wherever they appear – in the colon, pancreas, stomach, ovaries or other body sites. "This is an important first for the cancer community," Dr. Richard Pazdur, acting director of the Office of Hematology and Oncology Products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. "Until now, the FDA has approved cancer treatments based on where in the body ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Keytruda, Gastric Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation

FDA Warns 14 Companies on Bogus Cancer 'Cures'

Posted 25 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 25, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday posted warning letters to 14 companies that are selling more than 65 fake cancer treatments. The bogus products include pills, capsules, powders, creams, teas, oils and treatment and diagnostic kits. They're most commonly marketed and sold without FDA approval on websites and social media platforms, the FDA announcement of its action said. The treatments are frequently advertised as "natural" and often falsely labeled as dietary supplements, the agency added. "Consumers should not use these or similar unproven products because they may be unsafe and could prevent a person from seeking an appropriate and potentially lifesaving cancer diagnosis or treatment," said Douglas Stearn. He is director of the Office of Enforcement and Import Operations in the FDA's Office of Regulatory Affairs. "We encourage people to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Melatonin, Fish Oil, Lovaza, Glucosamine, Colorectal Cancer, 5-HTP, Turmeric, Garlic, Cranberry, Chondroitin, Creatine, Valerian, St. John's Wort, Green Tea, Tryptophan, CoQ10, Evening Primrose, Lysine

Survival Continues to Improve for Most Cancers

Posted 31 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 31, 2017 – Overall cancer death rates in the United States continue to fall, but racial gaps persist, a new report says. Death rates fell between 2010 and 2014 for 11 of the 16 most common cancers in men and for 13 of the most common types in women, including lung, colon, prostate and breast cancers. However, death rates rose for cancers of the liver, pancreas and brain in men and for the liver and uterus in women. And improvements in cancer survival weren't equal for all Americans. "While this report found that five-year survival for most types of cancer improved among both blacks and whites over the past several decades, racial disparities for many common cancers have persisted, and they may have increased for prostate cancer and female breast cancer," said Dr. Lynne Penberthy. She's associate director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Research ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic

Another Study Ties Obesity to Certain Cancers

Posted 1 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2017 – Carrying extra weight increases the risk of a number of cancers, a new review reports. Additional pounds appear to particularly influence the risk of cancers related to the digestive organs or those driven by hormonal abnormalities, according to the review's European authors. The evidence is so strong at this point that important organizations such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer describe "excess body weight as an important cause of cancers," said Susan Gapstur. She's vice president of epidemiology at the American Cancer Society. The new evidence review was led by Maria Kyrgiou, of Imperial College London's Department of Surgery and Cancer. The review found that a jump in a person's body mass index (BMI) of 5 was associated with a higher cancer risk in the esophagus, bone marrow, biliary tract system, pancreas and kidneys. BMI is a rough ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Cancer, Weight Loss, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Wilms' Tumor, Solid Tumors, Peritoneal Cancer, Giant Cell Tumor of Bone, Neoplasm of Bone, Insulinoma

Can Breath Test Detect Stomach Cancers Earlier?

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 – A breath test to detect stomach and esophageal cancers shows promise, researchers say. The test measures five chemicals in the breath. It was 85 percent accurate in detecting these cancers in more than 300 patients, the new study found. Each year, 1.4 million cases of cancer of the stomach and esophagus (the tube leading from the throat to the stomach) are diagnosed worldwide. Both tend to be diagnosed at a late stage and the five-year survival rate for the two cancers is 15 percent, the researchers said. Findings from the study were presented Monday at the European Cancer Congress (ECC). "At present the only way to diagnose esophageal cancer or stomach cancer is with endoscopy. This method is expensive, invasive and has some risk of complications," study author Dr. Sheraz Markar said in an ECC news release. Markar is from Imperial College London in England. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Salivary Gland Cancer, Head Imaging

1 in 4 Seniors Doesn't Discuss End-of-Life Care

Posted 31 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 31, 2016 – More than one-quarter of American seniors have never discussed end-of-life care, a new study finds. "Despite decades of work to improve advance care planning, over a quarter of older adults have still not engaged in any type of discussion or planning for their end-of-life preferences or plans," said lead author Krista Harrison, a geriatrics research fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. The researchers looked at more than 2,100 Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older. Data from the group included self-reported age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, income, self-rated health, number of chronic conditions, disability in activities of daily living, and dementia. The researchers found that 60 percent of the beneficiaries said they'd had discussions on end-of-life care, 50 percent on power of attorney, and 52 percent on other advanced directives. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Colorectal Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Cervical Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Gastric Cancer

New Guidelines Issued for Cancer Patients' Post-Treatment Pain

Posted 29 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 – More people are surviving cancer, but many are left with persistent pain after treatment. New guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommend that doctors routinely screen for such pain. The guidelines also advise doctors to consider the use of non-traditional treatments for pain. These include hypnosis, meditation and medical marijuana where it's legal. ASCO also cautioned doctors to assess patients' risk for overuse of opioid painkillers. "Many oncologists and primary care physicians are not trained to recognize or treat long-term pain associated with cancer," guideline panel co-chair Judith Paice said in an ASCO news release. "This guideline will help clinicians identify pain early and develop comprehensive treatment plans, using a broad range of approaches," she said. Advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment have led to a record ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Tramadol, Percocet, Methadone, Cancer, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Tylenol, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen

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