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History - Radiation Therapy News

Smokers May Be Prone to Risks From Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy

Posted 6 hours ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – Breast cancer patients who smoke have an increased risk for serious long-term complications from radiation therapy, a new study finds. "This research highlights that breast cancer patients who smoke need to be offered help and support in order to try and quit to minimize any risks from their treatment," Dr. Julie Sharp said in a Cancer Research UK news release. She's head of health information for the research and awareness charity based in the United Kingdom. "It's important to remember that modern-day radiotherapy techniques have been refined and improved to make sure it is targeted and effective while reducing the risk of side effects," Sharp added. British researchers looked at data from nearly 41,000 breast cancer patients. The information came from 75 different studies on radiation therapy for breast cancer. The researchers found that the long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Breast Cancer, Smoking Cessation, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer - Palliative, History - Radiation Therapy

Family History of Colon Cancer Calls for Earlier Screening

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 21, 2017 – If you've got a family history of colon or rectal cancers, you probably need to start screening for these conditions before you turn 50, a cancer expert says. People with a close relative who has had colon or rectal cancer have a greater risk of being diagnosed with these cancers too, said Dr. Walter Koltun, chief of colon and rectal surgery at the Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center in a hospital news release. "A significant portion of the population does have those risk factors," Koltun said. "And their risk goes up significantly depending on who has been affected." If more than one close relative has had colon or rectal cancer, your risk of getting such a cancer is 12 times greater, he added. People who are diagnosed with colon or rectal cancers at a young age are more likely to have a genetic trait that could increase their risk for the disease. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Crohn's Disease, Colonoscopy, Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, History - Radiation Therapy

Prostate Cancer Treatments Have Varying Side Effects, Study Shows

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 21, 2017 – The long-term side effects of different prostate cancer treatments vary – and knowing that may help men decide which one is right for them. That's the conclusion of two new studies published March 21 in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Both followed men who had early stage prostate cancer treated with "modern" approaches – including the latest surgical and radiation techniques. And both found that side effects sometimes persisted for up to three years. The specifics, however, varied. Many men had surgery to remove the prostate. Overall, they tended to have greater declines in their sexual function, versus men who chose radiation or "active surveillance." They were also more prone to urinary incontinence. On the other hand, men treated with radiation typically had more problems with bowel function. If they also received hormonal therapy, they ... Read more

Related support groups: Urinary Tract Infection, Bladder Infection, Prostate Cancer, Casodex, Xtandi, Bicalutamide, Danazol, Danocrine, Flutamide, History - Radiation Therapy, Eulexin, Nilutamide, Nilandron, Enzalutamide

Is Radiation Therapy Overused in Breast Cancer Care?

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 14, 2017 – More than half of older American women with early breast cancer may get more radiation therapy than needed, which significantly boosts medical costs, a new study indicates. Analyzing 2011 data on breast cancer patients, researchers estimated $164 million could have been saved by ordering a shorter radiation course. "Women who were eligible for shorter radiation courses or omission of radiation were still often receiving longer and more costly radiation courses," said study leader Dr. Rachel Greenup. She's an assistant professor of surgery at Duke University Medical Center Cancer Institute in Durham, N.C. However, Greenup and other experts said the study results might not be applicable to today because more women are receiving shorter courses of radiation than in 2011. For the study, Greenup's team used data on 43,000 breast cancer patients age 50 and older ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Nausea/Vomiting - Radiation Induced, Tamoxifen Hexal, History - Radiation Therapy, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon, Nolvadex, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D

Childhood Cancer Survivors Living Longer

Posted 28 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 28, 2017 – Children who survive cancer are living longer. And one reason may be that fewer childhood cancers are treated with radiation today than were 20 years ago, researchers suggest. Although the study can't prove a cause-and-effect link, the researchers found that as use of radiation in childhood cancers declined dramatically, so did the number of kids with cancers that returned. "The most ominous late effect of pediatric cancer treatment is a second [cancer]. This study shows efforts to reduce the late effects of treatment are paying off," said study leader Dr. Gregory Armstrong. He's with St. Jude Children's Research Hospital's Department of Epidemiology and Cancer Control in Memphis, Tenn. "The risk of second cancers for survivors increases with age, so it is good to see the reduction emerging early in survivorship while survivors are still young," Armstrong said ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Leukemia, History - Radiation Therapy, Neutropenia Associated with Radiation

Hormonal Drug Boosts Survival After Prostate Cancer's Return: Study

Posted 1 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 2017 – When prostate cancer recurs after surgery, treatment with both radiation and a testosterone-suppressing drug can extend some men's lives, a new clinical trial finds. In a nearly 20-year study, researchers found that the combination therapy cut the risk of death from prostate cancer in half, compared to radiation alone. And that translated into better overall survival, the researchers reported in the Feb. 2 New England Journal of Medicine. After 12 years, just over 76 percent of men who'd received radiation and the hormonal drug bicalutamide (Casodex) were still alive. That compared with just over 71 percent of those who'd received radiation alone. Not all patients benefited from extra treatment, though – including those with "lower-risk" prostate cancer that, despite recurring, appeared less aggressive. And the testosterone-blocking drug carried expected side ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Transurethral Prostatectomy, Casodex, Bicalutamide, History - Radiation Therapy, Genitourinary Surgical and Other Conditions

Childhood Cancer Survivors Living Longer But Not Always Better

Posted 8 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 7, 2016 – Despite three decades of advancements in treating children with cancer, patients who survive into adulthood don't report better physical or mental health than their counterparts who were treated years ago, researchers report. Adults treated as children in the 1990s were more likely to report poor general health and anxiety than adults treated as children in the 1970s, the researchers said. That's not what the researchers had expected to find. After all, patients are living longer today than in past generations. More than 80 percent of children diagnosed with cancer are alive at least five years after their diagnosis, the U.S. National Cancer Institute says. And there have been significant efforts to minimize the toxic side effects of cancer treatments. Proton therapy limits radiation damage to healthy tissue, while limb-sparing surgery has largely replaced ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Psychiatric Disorders, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, History - Radiation Therapy

Cancer Patients in Poorer Countries Often Go Without Radiation

Posted 2 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 29, 2016 – Many cancer patients in low- and middle-income nations who would benefit from radiation treatment don't receive it, a new study finds. "In Ghana and the Philippines, for example, about eight in 10 cancer patients who need radiation therapy will not receive needed treatment," said study co-author Dr. Elena Fidarova, a researcher at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Austria. She and her colleagues analyzed data from nine nations: Costa Rica, Ghana, Malaysia, the Philippines, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Tunisia and Uruguay. Overall, about five out of 10 cancer patients in these countries require radiation therapy to shrink tumors and kill cancer cells. But up to half of them do not have access to it, the researchers found. In individual nations, the rates of patients who can benefit from radiation therapy but do not receive it ranged from 18 to 82 ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Bladder Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy

New Type of Radiation Treatment May Up Survival for Older Lung Cancer Patients

Posted 26 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2016 – Cutting-edge radiation therapy seems to provide a significant survival advantage for older people with early stage lung cancer who aren't strong enough for surgery, a pair of new studies suggests. The therapy is called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and it's been available for about a decade. The first study reviewed national cancer data and found that survival rates for older lung cancer patients treated with radiation therapy increased dramatically between 2004 and 2012. Those are the years during which SBRT use became widespread in the United States, said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Farach, a radiation oncologist at Houston Methodist Hospital. A second study based on Veterans Affairs cancer treatment data appears to corroborate the national findings, directly linking increased use of SBRT with improved survival rates in elderly patients. Farach ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

More Breast Cancer Patients Should Get Radiation, New Guidelines Say

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – New guidelines issued by three leading cancer organizations suggest that more breast cancer patients should get radiation therapy after a mastectomy. Overall, the guidelines say there's enough evidence to show radiation treatment after a mastectomy decreases the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and that even women with smaller tumors and three or fewer lymph nodes involved can benefit from the therapy. "The new guidelines say there is clear evidence that the benefit of [post-mastectomy radiation therapy] extends to women with limited lymph node involvement," said Dr. Stephen Edge. He is vice president for health care outcomes and policy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. Edge was co-chair of the panel that developed the new guidelines. One radiation treatment expert welcomed the updated recommendations. "The guideline is timely," said Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Surgical Prophylaxis, History - Radiation Therapy

Prostate Cancer Treatments: Different Choices for Different Men

Posted 15 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 14, 2016 – A large, decade-long study offers new insights into the treatment dilemmas that many men diagnosed with prostate cancer face: What to do next? The research finds that for certain men, death rates from prostate cancer were roughly the same over several years regardless of whether they chose to be monitored – called "watchful waiting" – or underwent radiation or had their prostate removed. But the findings don't prove that "watchful waiting" is always the best choice. Men who were otherwise largely healthy and chose to be monitored were twice as likely as the others to see their cancer spread over the 10-year study period. "The healthier you are and the longer your life expectancy, the more risk you're taking with surveillance," said Dr. Anthony D'Amico, a professor of radiation oncology at Harvard Medical School. He wrote a commentary accompanying the ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Prostate Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy, Genitourinary Surgical and Other Conditions

Some Brain Cancer Patients Have Radiation Options: Study

Posted 26 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 26, 2016 – For some brain cancer patients, pinpoint radiation of tumors, known as stereotactic radiosurgery, appears to do less damage to mental abilities than whole brain radiation, a new study finds. Neither technique cures cancer that has spread to the brain, but both temporarily stop tumors from growing and equally extend survival, researchers said. Stereotactic radiosurgery is nonsurgical radiation that precisely targets tumor areas. When just a few lesions exist, this directed type of radiation appears to provide a better quality of life by not altering short-term memory and thinking skills, the study found. "We now have a better understanding of the toxicity of whole brain radiation, and we know that the toxicity of whole brain radiation is worse for patients than the recurrence of their cancer," said lead researcher Dr. Paul Brown, from the department of radiation ... Read more

Related support groups: Brain Tumor, Glioblastoma Multiforme, Malignant Glioma, History - Radiation Therapy, Angioblastoma

Radiologists Don't Face Higher Risk of Radiation-Related Death: Study

Posted 19 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 19, 2016 – Radiologists who graduated from medical school after 1940 are not at greater risk of death from chronic exposure to low levels of radiation, a new study reports. The researchers, from the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), credited improvements in radiation protection, safety equipment and monitoring. Led by Amy Berrington de Gonzalez, chief of the NCI's Radiation Epidemiology Branch, the team analyzed records from the American Medical Association (AMA) Physician Masterfile. This database was created in 1906 and includes information about more than 1.4 million U.S. doctors, residents and medical students. The researchers compared rates of cancer and death among almost 44,000 radiologists and nearly 65,000 psychiatrists who graduated from medical school between 1916 and 2006. Psychiatrists were selected because they were unlikely to be exposed to radiation ... Read more

Related support groups: History - Radiation Therapy

Patient Positioning Might Hamper Accuracy of Breast MRI

Posted 22 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 2016 – There's evidence that the position a woman is placed in during her pre-surgical breast MRI could influence – for better or worse – the scan's accuracy. The small study, from radiologists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, suggests that MRI images taken before breast cancer surgery could provide incorrect data if the patient is placed face-down during the scan. In contrast, "supine [face up] MRI before surgery may provide surgeons with more detailed and accurate information, and could lead to effective tumor removal," lead researcher and radiologist Dr. Eva Gombos said in a hospital news release. A breast MRI is commonly performed before breast cancer patients undergo breast-conserving lumpectomy, to help the surgeon see the size, shape and location of the tumor. "The real benefit of breast MRI in a patient with breast cancer is preoperative ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, History - Radiation Therapy

Do Too Many Lung Cancer Patients Miss Out on Surgery?

Posted 21 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 – Many patients with advanced lung cancer might live longer if treated surgically, but few go that route, new research indicates. A study of U.S. patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer found only 11 percent underwent surgery – and 27 percent got no treatment at all. Yet surgery, either alone or with other treatments, prolonged survival by as much as 41 months, researchers said. "We were surprised by the findings, but they have to be considered with caution," said study lead author Dr. Elizabeth David, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, in Sacramento. "Surgery is not appropriate for every patient with stage 3 or 4 lung cancer," she noted. "We just need to make sure that appropriate patients are evaluated by surgeons, and we are working on ways to make that easier." At stages 3 and 4, the cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

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