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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, Tarceva, Megestrol

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

Posted 20 Jul 2017 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, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Votrient, Tarceva, Avastin, Tasigna, Pancreatic Cancer, Sutent, Sprycel, Afinitor, Nexavar, Stomach Cancer, Carboplatin, Cisplatin, Cytoxan

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, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Femara, Lupron Depot, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Votrient, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, 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, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Megestrol, Evista, Zoladex, Megace, Tasigna, 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, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Megestrol, Evista, Zoladex, Megace, Tasigna, 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, Rituxan, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin, Colorectal Cancer

Gleevec Keeps a Leukemia in Check for More Than a Decade: Study

Posted 9 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 8, 2017 – The cancer drug Gleevec appears to keep chronic myeloid leukemia at bay a decade into treatment – with no signs of additional safety risks, a new study finds. Gleevec – known generically as imatinib – was hailed as a "wonder drug" when it was introduced in 2001 for treating chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). CML is a type of blood cancer that strikes about 5,000 Americans each year, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI). Before Gleevec, a CML diagnosis "amounted to a death sentence," the institute said. Now, most cases can be controlled, with either Gleevec or related drugs that have been developed since then. The new findings offer more evidence that the early "hype" around Gleevec was correct, said lead researcher Dr. Andreas Hochhaus, of Jena University Hospital in Germany. Of more than 500 CML patients given Gleevec as their initial ... Read more

Related support groups: Leukemia, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML), Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), Tasigna, Sprycel, Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Imatinib, Dasatinib, Nilotinib, Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, Acute Myeloblastic Leukemia

Cancer Drug Shows Early Promise for Parkinson's Disease

Posted 13 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 12, 2016 – A drug used to treat leukemia has shown initial signs of promise for advanced cases of Parkinson's disease, researchers are reporting. Experts stressed that the study was small, and primarily designed to see whether the drug – called nilotinib (brand name Tasigna) – is even safe for Parkinson's patients. It did appear "relatively safe" among the dozen patients studied, said Dr. Charbel Moussa, the senior researcher on the work. One patient had to withdraw from the study because of heart complications. But the drug was "well tolerated" in the remaining patients, according to Moussa, an assistant professor of neurology at Georgetown University Medical Center, in Washington, D.C. Plus, he said, there were hints of benefit. The researchers found signs that the drug boosted the brain's production of dopamine, a chemical that helps regulate movement. It also ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Leukemia, Tasigna, Nilotinib, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Parkinson's Disease Psychosis

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

U.S. Pays Highest Prices for Cancer Meds: Study

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – The United States pays the highest prices in the world for generic and brand-name cancer drugs, a new study has found. However, as the world's wealthiest nation, the United States is better able to pay for those pricey drugs than poorer countries with somewhat lower medication prices, added study lead author Dr. Daniel Goldstein. People in China and India are much less able to afford cancer drugs than Americans, he said, even though U.S. monthly drug prices are about three to six times higher in the United States. That doesn't mean America came out on top in overall drug affordability, however. Developed nations such as Australia, England and Israel had the "best deal" in the world on cancer drugs, thanks to government programs that regulate drug pricing, the study found. "America is the wealthiest nation, but its drug prices are significantly higher – so much ... Read more

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

'Precision' Cancer Treatment May Extend Lives

Posted 20 May 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 19, 2016 – "Precision" cancer treatment that's guided by genetic clues from the patient's own tumor appears to outperform traditional chemotherapy, a new research review finds. Patients given precision – or personalized – treatment experienced a tumor shrinkage rate six times that attained by regular chemotherapy. But, that only happened if doctors used genetic information to choose the appropriate targeted therapy, said lead researcher Maria Schwaederle. Those patients also experienced nearly double the length of time before their cancer resumed growing, according to the analysis of nearly 350 clinical trials. "It is not just that the therapies are better, but that targeted therapies must be given to the right patients," said Schwaederle, who's with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine's Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy. She will present ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin, Colorectal Cancer, Claravis, Tarceva, Xeloda, Skin Cancer, BCG, Tasigna, Revlimid, Sprycel, Hydroxyurea, Zytiga

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

Could a Lung Cancer Drug Work Better With Coke?

Posted 13 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 12, 2016 – Patients with the leading form of lung cancer may be able to look to Coca-Cola Classic to solve a common medicinal challenge, new research suggests. As the Dutch scientists explain it, the effectiveness of the powerful lung cancer drug Tarceva (erlotinib) depends on the pH level of the stomach. But many people on Tarceva must also take a proton pump inhibitor heartburn medication – such as Nexium or Prilosec – which raises stomach pH to more alkaline levels. That higher pH can lower the absorption rate for Tarceva, cutting its effectiveness in fighting non-small-cell lung cancer, research suggests. One prior study involving healthy volunteers found the use of Prilosec lowered blood concentrations of Tarceva by 61 percent. What to do? In the new study, researchers led by Dr. Roelof van Leeuwen, of Erasmus MC Cancer Institute in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, ... Read more

Related support groups: Omeprazole, Nexium, Prilosec, Pantoprazole, Protonix, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Tasigna, Sprycel, Esomeprazole, Prilosec OTC, Iressa, Dasatinib, Nilotinib, Erlotinib, Gefitinib, Protonix IV, Nexium 24HR, Nexium IV, Omesec

U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Soaring costs for cancer drugs are hurting patient care in the United States, a group of top oncologists claim. "High cancer-drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. Tefferi and his colleagues made a number of recommendations on how to address the problem in a commentary published July 23 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the suggestions the team of 118 leading cancer experts offered as a possible solution. Along with their recommendations, the group also expressed support for a patient-based grassroots movement on change.org that is demanding action on the issue. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with ... Read more

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

Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

Related support groups: Depo-Provera, Provera, Amoxicillin, Metronidazole, Doxycycline, Clindamycin, Cephalexin, Azithromycin, Penicillin, Methotrexate, Bactrim, Cipro, Ciprofloxacin, Accutane, Augmentin, Flagyl, Levaquin, Lupron, Keflex, Medroxyprogesterone

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Nilotinib Patient Information at Drugs.com