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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, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Letrozole, Tarceva, Megestrol

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, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Votrient, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Letrozole

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, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Rituxan, Isotretinoin, Colorectal Cancer

Half Report Severe Side Effects From Breast Cancer Therapy

Posted 24 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 24, 2017 – About half of early stage breast cancer patients experience severe side effects from their treatment, a new study finds. "It's in patients' best interest to receive their treatments on time and on schedule, whenever possible, to give them the best possible outcome," said study author Dr. Steven Katz. He's professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan. "Unscheduled care for toxicities [side effects] – including clinic visits, emergency department visits and hospital stays – are expensive, inconvenient and disruptive to both doctors and patients. We need to avoid them whenever possible," Katz said in a university news release. For the study, researchers surveyed almost 2,000 early stage breast cancer patients an average of seven months after diagnosis. The women were asked to rate the severity of seven common treatment side effects: ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Fluorouracil, Efudex, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Carac, Herceptin, Taxol, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Taxotere, Carboplatin, Cyclophosphamide, Cytoxan, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Paclitaxel, Doxorubicin, Adriamycin, Fluoroplex, Surgical Prophylaxis, Breast Cancer - Palliative

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, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Rituxan, Isotretinoin, Colorectal Cancer, Votrient

Less Chemo for Obese Ovarian Cancer Patients Linked to Worse Survival Rates

Posted 6 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 6, 2015 – Ovarian cancer patients who are overweight or obese are often given lower doses of chemotherapy per pound of body weight, but this may reduce the odds of survival, a new study suggests. "There is a lot of uncertainty in what proper chemotherapy dosing levels should be for overweight and obese patients, based on concerns that using the full dose based on weight or body size could be too toxic," study author Dr. Elisa Bandera, an epidemiologist at Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, explained in an institute news release. "Our study is the first to evaluate the impact of dose reduction in survival after an ovarian cancer diagnosis in normal weight, overweight and obese women," Bandera said. "We found that for each body mass index category, ovarian cancer patients with dose reduction experienced a poorer survival rate." The study involved 806 women with ovarian ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Ovarian Cancer, Taxol, Carboplatin, Paclitaxel, Carboplatin Novaplus, Paraplatin, Onxol

Drug-Coated Balloon Catheter Approved

Posted 13 Oct 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 13, 2014 – The first drug-coated balloon catheter designed to clear narrowed or blocked arteries in the thigh and knee has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Lutonix 035 Drug Coated Balloon Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty Catheter has a balloon coated with the drug paclitaxel, which may help prevent re-narrowing of the affected artery after the clearing procedure, the FDA said. The device is approved to clear vessels clogged by Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD), which causes hardening and narrowing of the arteries and limits distribution of oxygen-rich blood. Symptoms may include leg pain, skin ulcers or gangrene. The device was evaluated in clinical studies involving more than 500 people. In one study after six months, about 72 percent of those treated with the Lutonix device did not require additional treatment for PAD, compared to nearly ... Read more

Related support groups: Peripheral Arterial Disease, Taxol, Paclitaxel, Onxol

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, Levaquin, Flagyl, Lupron, Keflex, Medroxyprogesterone

Fine-Tuning Breast Cancer Treatments: What Works Better?

Posted 3 Jun 2013 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 3 – Two common schedules used for the chemotherapy paclitaxel (Taxol) are equally effective at controlling breast cancer, but fewer side effects are found with the weekly regimen rather than every two weeks, according to a new study. The estimated five-year progression-free survival rates were the same for both groups, said Dr. G. Thomas Budd, who led the study. While 82 percent of the group treated weekly had progression-free survival five years later, 81 percent of the every two weeks group did. However, "for the weekly group, overall the side effects seem fewer, particularly the aches and pains," said Budd, a professor of medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western University, in Ohio. He is due to present his findings Monday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, in Chicago. In another study, also to be ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Taxol, Paclitaxel, Onxol

Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Accutane, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Rituxan, Isotretinoin, Votrient, Claravis, Anastrozole, Letrozole

FDA Medwatch Alert: Hospira Injectable Drug Products: Recall - Visible Particulates from Defective Glass Vials

Posted 18 Jul 2012 by Drugs.com

Including certain lots of the following products: carboplatin cytarabine paclitaxel methotrexate [Posted 07/16/2012] ISSUE: Hospira and FDA notified healthcare professional of a nationwide recall of certain injectable drug products, due to visible particles embedded in the glass located at the neck of the vial. There may be potential for product to come into contact with the embedded particles and the particles may become dislodged into the solution. In the event in which particulate matter could be injected into a patient, there may be the potential for patient injury where medical intervention may be required. Signs and symptoms might include bleeding, bruising, inflammation, itching, rash, chest pain and respiratory symptoms. See the Press Release for a listing of affected product lot numbers and expiration dates. BACKGROUND: These products were distributed nationwide to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Taxol, Carboplatin, Paclitaxel, Cytarabine, Cytosar-U, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Cytosar, Trexall, Rheumatrex Dose Pack, Carboplatin Novaplus, Paraplatin, Tarabine PFS, Folex PFS, Onxol

'Uncertainty' Remains Over Supply of Key Cancer Drugs

Posted 4 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 4 – John Mahan, a 58-year-old Nashville firefighter battling a gastrointestinal cancer, couldn't believe what he was hearing last July. His doctor had just told him that his clinic had run out of injectable fluorouracil (5-FU), the generic chemotherapy Mahan needed to keep his tumor at bay. "My initial reaction was, 'you've got to be kidding, right?'" he said. Unfortunately, the news was all too real. Mahan was switched to another drug, capecitabine. Taken in pill form, it had the same anti-cancer effectiveness as 5-FU but with more onerous side effects. "It made me feel bad, weak," Mahan said, "just run down, feeling tired all of the time, loss of appetite." At a Monday news briefing at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago, Mahan spoke on behalf of the thousands of cancer patients who have been hit hard by the recent nationwide ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Methotrexate, Fluorouracil, Colorectal Cancer, Lymphoma, Xeloda, Taxol, Capecitabine, Head and Neck Cancer, Paclitaxel, Hodgkin's Lymphoma, Adrucil, Methotrexate LPF Sodium, Trexall, Rheumatrex Dose Pack, Folex PFS, Onxol

New 'Personalized' Drugs Show Promise Against Melanoma, Lung Cancer

Posted 4 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 4 – There's more encouraging news from the brave new world of "personalized" cancer care, with three drugs showing promise against some of the most common cancers. Two studies to be presented Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago focus on drugs that treated advanced melanoma, while a third study looks at a gene-targeted chemotherapy for a subset of lung cancers. All of the drugs seemed effective in these phase 3 trials. Already, targeted medications such as these "are of use in the metastasis [cancer] setting," said ASCO spokeswoman Dr. Sylvia Adams, who moderated a press briefing Sunday on the new trials. "In advanced lung cancer, advanced melanoma, [targeted therapies] are the standard of care," said Adams, an assistant professor in the department of medicine at NYU's Langone Medical Center in New York City. In the past, ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Taxol, Paclitaxel, DTIC-Dome, Dacarbazine, Onxol

Older Drug for Advanced Breast Cancer Beat Newer, Pricier Meds

Posted 4 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 4 – Even in the field of cancer treatment, sometimes newer isn't necessarily better. That may be the case for patients with advanced breast cancer, who appeared to fare better in a new study when they took an older drug, Taxol (paclitaxel), instead of two newer and more expensive rivals. Both of those newer medications, Abraxane and Ixempra, failed to outperform Taxol in terms of either survival without progression of disease or the level of the most noxious side effects, the study of almost 800 breast cancer patients found. "These data suggest that similar patients may be appropriately treated with weekly paclitaxel [Taxol]," said study author Dr. Hope Rugo, director of breast oncology and clinical trials at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of California, San Francisco. She spoke at a news briefing Sunday at the American Society of ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Taxol, Paclitaxel, Abraxane, Ixempra, Onxol, Paclitaxel Protein-Bound, Ixabepilone

Antidepressant Cymbalta Might Ease Chemo-Linked Pain

Posted 4 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 4 – Cancer patients on certain chemotherapies often experience a painful tingling in their extremities called peripheral neuropathy, and a new study suggests the antidepressant Cymbalta may be the first treatment to work against the condition. In the small study, 59 percent of patients who'd experienced peripheral neuropathy said that they gained relief after taking Cymbalta (duloxetine), compared to 39 percent who took a "dummy" pill. Taking Cymbalta daily "decreases chronic chemotherapy-induced neuropathy and pain severity in the majority of patients who take it and it improves function and quality of life," said study author Ellen Lavoie Smith, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan's School of Nursing. She said the drug is also "very well tolerated" by most patients. Smith spoke at a news briefing Sunday at the annual meeting of the American Society of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cymbalta, Cancer, Peripheral Neuropathy, Duloxetine, Taxol, Paclitaxel, Onxol

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