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Many Cancer Patients Skimp on Treatment Due to Cost

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 – The high cost of cancer care in the United States has led more than one-quarter of patients to cut back on some part of their treatment, a new survey reveals. Commissioned by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the report found that 27 percent of cancer survivors or close relatives of a cancer patient said they'd skipped doctor visits or taken other steps to reduce health costs. To save money, nearly one in 10 said they had avoided doctor appointments. Eight percent had refused treatment; postponed filling or not filled prescriptions; or skipped doses of prescribed medications. And 7 percent said they had cut pills in half, according to the survey of more than 4,000 adults. Such measures can jeopardize treatment success, ASCO says. "We should all be alarmed that Americans are potentially risking not only their health, but also their lives, due to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Votrient, Letrozole, Tarceva

Breast Cancer More Lethal for Blacks Than Whites

Posted 16 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 16, 2017 – Differences in insurance are a major reason why black women are more likely to die of breast cancer than white women in the United States, a new study contends. "We found that differences in insurance explained one-third of the total excess risk of death in non-elderly black women compared to white women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, while differences in tumor characteristics explained approximately one-fifth of the excess risk," lead study author Ahmedin Jemal, of the American Cancer Society (ACS), and colleagues wrote. In 2014, breast cancer death rates were 41 percent higher among black women than among white women in the United States, the researchers said. To learn more about this disparity, the investigators looked at information on more than 550,000 non-elderly women with early stage breast cancer. Black women were more likely to be uninsured ... Read more

Related support groups: Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Anastrozole, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Letrozole, Megace, Megestrol, Zoladex, Evista, Aromasin, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Casodex, Exemestane

Common Treatment for Early Prostate Cancer May Carry Heart Risk

Posted 25 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 25, 2017 – Because testosterone can help prostate tumors grow, men with prostate cancer are often given hormone-suppressing treatment. But new research suggests that delivering the treatment in prostate cancer's early stages may, in turn, hike a man's odds for another illness – heart failure. The treatment in question is known as androgen-deprivation therapy. The take-home message from the new study is that "patients with localized prostate cancer should be followed to minimize the health effects of androgen-deprivation therapy on the cardiovascular system," said study author Reina Haque. She's a researcher with the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research & Evaluation. Haque's advice? "Patients should consider [heart-healthy] lifestyle changes, and physicians should actively monitor the patient's health for early signs of heart disease," she said in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Testosterone, Prostate Cancer, AndroGel, Testim, Axiron, Androderm, Casodex, Depo-Testosterone, Xtandi, Testopel, Bicalutamide, Testopel Pellets, Fortesta, Testim 5 g/packet, Flutamide, Everone, Delatestryl, Testosterone Topical, Striant, FIRST-Testosterone

Alternative Medicine Alone as Cancer Treatment Linked to Lowered Survival

Posted 17 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 17, 2017 – People who choose alternative medicine over traditional cancer treatments for curable cancers have a higher risk of dying early, researchers report. "We now have evidence to suggest that using alternative medicine in place of proven cancer therapies results in worse survival," said study lead author Dr. Skyler Johnson from Yale School of Medicine and Yale Cancer Center. "It is our hope that this information can be used by patients and physicians when discussing the impact of cancer treatment decisions on survival," Johnson said in a school news release. Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple, is likely the most famous person who initially chose alternative medicine as a sole treatment. He eventually turned back to conventional medicine when the alternative medicine treatment didn't keep his pancreatic cancer at bay. But at that point, the cancer had ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Xeloda, Megestrol, Zoladex, Megace, Evista, Pancreatic Cancer, Hydroxyurea

Treatment Costs Can Be Another Blow to Cancer Patients

Posted 27 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 27, 2017 – The emotional and physical costs of cancer can be staggering. But the financial side of cancer is also a great burden, with many patients in the United States struggling to pay for treatment, new research reveals. "The current health law has greatly improved access to meaningful health coverage for cancer patients, survivors and all those with chronic diseases," Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, said in a network news release. "Yet costs remain a challenge for those facing cancer. Our country and our lawmakers should come together to find bipartisan solutions that begin to address patient costs without sacrificing the quality of coverage," he urged. Researchers surveyed financial navigators at 11 hospitals in nine states. Financial navigators – typically trained social workers or nurses – help cancer patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Letrozole, Skin Cancer, Tarceva

Doctors' Group Offers Ideas for Easing Cancer Costs

Posted 19 Jul 2017 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, Medroxyprogesterone, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Votrient, Letrozole

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, Anastrozole, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Letrozole, Tasigna, Megace, Zoladex, Megestrol, Evista, Sprycel, Herceptin

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, Anastrozole, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Letrozole, Tasigna, Megace, Megestrol, Zoladex, Evista, Sprycel, Herceptin

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, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Rituxan, Isotretinoin, Colorectal Cancer

Drug Extends Lives of Patients With Advanced Prostate Cancer: Studies

Posted 4 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, June 3, 2017 – Men with advanced prostate cancer might be able to avoid chemotherapy by taking an additional anti-testosterone pill along with standard hormone therapy, a pair of new clinical trials show. The drug, abiraterone (Zytiga), lowered patients' risk of death by nearly 40 percent when added to standard androgen deprivation therapy, both studies found. Abiraterone also appeared to more than double the average time it took for a man's prostate cancer to progress, one of the studies reports. Doctors currently combine the chemotherapy drug docetaxel with hormone therapy to treat patients with advanced prostate cancer, where the cancer has spread to the bone or other parts of their body, the researchers said. Abiraterone now offers a reasonable alternative to chemotherapy for these men, said Dr. Sumanta Kumar Pal, an expert with the American Society of Clinical Oncology ... Read more

Related support groups: Testosterone, Prostate Cancer, AndroGel, Testim, Axiron, Zytiga, Androderm, Casodex, Depo-Testosterone, Xtandi, Testopel, Bicalutamide, Testopel Pellets, Fortesta, Testim 5 g/packet, Flutamide, Everone, Delatestryl, Abiraterone, Striant

Prostate Cancer Treatments Have Varying Side Effects, Study Shows

Posted 21 Mar 2017 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, Flutamide, Nilutamide, Danocrine, Eulexin, History - Radiation Therapy, Nilandron, Enzalutamide

'Chemo Brain' Lasts for Months in Many Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted 11 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 – "Chemo brain" – the mental fog common after breast cancer treatment – can persist for six months, new research shows. The finding comes from one of the largest studies to date to look at chemotherapy-related thinking problems that plague many women treated for breast cancer. Those problems can include memory lapses, attention issues and difficulty processing information. When researchers compared hundreds of U.S. women six months after chemotherapy ended with hundreds of healthy women, they found more than one-third of the chemotherapy group had a decline in thinking scores versus less than 15 percent of the others. "The bottom line is, this is a real problem, patients are having difficulties and we need to acknowledge it is one of the difficulties of treatment," said Dr. Patricia Ganz. Ganz is director of cancer prevention and control research at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Anastrozole, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Letrozole, Zoladex, Megestrol, Megace, Evista, Herceptin, Aromasin, Mild Cognitive Impairment

Study Casts More Doubt on Value of Mammograms

Posted 10 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2017 – Mammograms frequently detect small breast tumors that might never become life-threatening, causing women to receive treatment they likely don't need, a new Danish study finds. About one in every three women between the ages of 50 and 69 who was diagnosed with breast cancer wound up having a tumor that posed no immediate threat to her health, the researchers reported. At the same time, mammography did not reduce the number of advanced breast cancers found in women in the study. "This means that breast screening is unlikely to improve breast cancer survival or reduce the use of invasive surgery," said study author Dr. Karsten Juhl Jorgensen, deputy director of research for the Nordic Cochrane Center at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. "It also means that breast screening leads to unnecessary detection and treatment of many breast cancers." Dr. Otis Brawley, chief ... Read more

Related support groups: Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Megace, Megestrol, Zoladex, Evista, Herceptin, Aromasin, Casodex, Exemestane, Eligard

Intense Chemo Offers Little Benefit for Early Breast Cancer: Study

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – A more intense type of chemotherapy offers little benefit over standard chemotherapy for women with high-risk early breast cancer, European researchers report. Known as tailored dose-dense chemotherapy, the treatments are given over a shorter period of time without increasing the overall dose. It has been suggested as a way to improve the effectiveness of the treatment for early breast cancer. However, the European study did not find a difference in recurrence-free survival or overall survival after five years of follow-up. The investigators did find that the dose-dense group had better event-free survival, defined as the time to any breast cancer relapse, cancer in the opposite breast, other malignant growths or death from any cause. Despite the results, a U.S. breast cancer expert said there is still a role for the approach in certain women. Researchers from ... Read more

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

Can Hormonal Rx for Prostate Cancer Raise Dementia Risk?

Posted 13 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2016 – The risk of dementia might be doubled for prostate cancer patients who are treated with testosterone-lowering drugs, a new study suggests. Men who underwent androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) had close to an 8 percent risk of developing dementia within five years of treatment, compared with a 3.5 percent risk for prostate cancer patients who didn't receive the therapy, researchers discovered. "People who got ADT in our study had twice the risk of developing dementia, compared to people who didn't," said lead researcher Dr. Kevin Nead. He is a radiation oncology resident at the University of Pennsylvania who conducted the research while at Stanford University in California. But, the study only found an association between ADT and dementia risk, not cause and effect. And men undergoing androgen therapy shouldn't stop the treatment based on these findings, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Prostate Cancer, Casodex, Xtandi, Bicalutamide, Flutamide, Nilutamide, Nilandron, Eulexin, Enzalutamide

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