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

Posted 18 hours ago 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, Diagnosis and Investigation, Gastric Cancer

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, Colorectal Cancer, Glucosamine, 5-HTP, Turmeric, Garlic, Cranberry, St. John's Wort, Creatine, Chondroitin, Green Tea, Valerian, Valerian Root, Tryptophan, CoQ10, Evening Primrose

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, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, 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, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Wilms' Tumor, Solid Tumors, Neoplasm of Bone, Peritoneal Cancer, Insulinoma, Giant Cell Tumor of Bone

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, Diagnosis and Investigation, Gastric Cancer, 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, Methadone, Percocet, Chronic Pain, Cancer, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Tylenol, Fentanyl, Morphine, Acetaminophen, Codeine, Lortab, Opana, Ibuprofen

Cancer's Heavy Financial Burden

Posted 8 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2016 – Many cancer patients can't afford to see their doctor or take the medications they've been prescribed, a new study finds. And the problem will likely only get worse as the cost of cancer treatments continues to rise, the study authors said. "You can prescribe the best drug in the world, but if patients can't afford it and they can't get it, then it won't be effective," said study author Dr. Greg Knight. He is chief fellow with the University of North Carolina School of Medicine's division of hematology and oncology. "We saw a significant portion of patients in our study who were stretching their prescriptions or not coming to the doctor's office," Knight said in a university news release. The researchers reviewed survey results from nearly 2,000 patients at the N.C. Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, N.C. The participants were all 18 and older, and had been ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Gleevec, Votrient, Brain Tumor, Tarceva, Melanoma, Avastin, Skin Cancer, Tasigna, Ovarian Cancer, Sutent, Endometrial Cancer, Herceptin, Afinitor, Sprycel, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced

Useless Treatments Common in Young, Terminal Cancer Patients

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – Three-quarters of young or middle-aged Americans with terminal cancer receive aggressive treatment during the last month of their lives, even though such care may provide nothing but misery, a new study estimates. An analysis of insurance records found that cancer patients often undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery in their final 30 days. One-third die in the hospital, while fewer than one in five use hospice care to ease their suffering, according to findings presented Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago. "Additional efforts are critically needed to improve end-of-life care for patients with terminal disease, to ensure that the care provided meets the goals and preferences of patients and their families," said lead researcher Dr. Ronald Chen. He is an associate professor of radiation oncology at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Gastric Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy

Global Recession May Have Contributed to Cancer Deaths

Posted 26 May 2016 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, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Stomach Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Gastric Cancer, Solid Tumors

Too Many Advanced Cancer Patients Lack Info About Their Disease

Posted 23 May 2016 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, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Brain Tumor, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Stomach Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Solid Tumors

Exercise May Cut Risk of 13 Cancers, Study Suggests

Posted 16 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 16, 2016 – Exercise may significantly reduce your risk for many types of cancer, including some of the most lethal forms of the disease, a large review suggests. Working out for even a couple of hours a week appears to shrink the risk of breast, colon and lung cancer, said researchers who looked at 1.4 million adults. "Those are three of the four major cancers that affect Americans today," said Marilie Gammon. She is a professor of epidemiology with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Gillings School of Public Health. And fitness buffs, take heart – your cancer risk appears to continue to decline as you rack up hours of physical activity, with no apparent upper plateau, said study lead author Steven Moore, an investigator with the U.S. National Cancer Institute. "The more activity, the more the benefit," Moore said. "As people did more, their risk continued to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Leukemia, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Multiple Myeloma, Endometrial Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Stomach Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Gastric Cancer, Osteolytic Bone Lesions of Multiple Myeloma, Urinary Tract Cancer, Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia

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, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Gleevec, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Xeloda, Tasigna, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Herceptin

'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, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Stomach Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Testicular Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Salivary Gland Cancer, Urinary Tract Cancer

Marriage May Be a Cancer Fighter

Posted 11 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 11, 2016 – A wedding band may be powerful medicine against cancer, a new study suggests. Married people seem to have a marked survival advantage, the researchers found: Single men with cancer had a death rate 27 percent higher than it was for married male patients, while the death rate for single female patients was 19 percent higher than their married counterparts. "The effects that we find were actually quite notable," said study author Scarlett Lin Gomez, a research scientist with the Cancer Prevention Institute of California. "They are comparable to some of the more clinical factors we often see that are associated with cancer prognosis, like stage of disease or certain types of treatment." What's more, this advantage appears to rely solely on the emotional bonds of matrimony, and not the financial advantages that marriage offers, Gomez said. "These patterns were very ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Urinary Tract Cancer

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