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Experimental Gene-Targeted Drug Hits Cancer Where It Lives

Posted 4 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, June 3, 2017 – An experimental drug that targets a specific gene mutation can battle a range of advanced cancers in adults and children, researchers are reporting. The genetic abnormality is known as a TRK fusion, and it's found in only a small percentage of all cancers. So the drug, called larotrectinib, is no panacea. But researchers found that among 50 patients with TRK fusions, 76 percent saw their cancer regress after starting larotrectinib – regardless of their age or type of cancer. For most of those patients – 79 percent – the response has lasted at least one year, according to lead researcher Dr. David Hyman. "There are few therapies that have had that kind of success for patients like these," said Hyman, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Dr. William Oh, an oncologist who was not involved in the study, agreed. "A 76 percent ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Keytruda, Head and Neck Cancer, Pembrolizumab, Salivary Gland Cancer

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, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, 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

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

Worldwide Cancer Rates Up More Than One-Third in Past Decade: Report

Posted 4 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Dec. 3, 2016 – Cancer cases rose 33 percent worldwide in the past 10 years, a new study shows. In 2015, there were 17.5 million diagnoses and 8.7 million deaths in the world from the disease, the researchers found. The rise in cancer cases was mainly due to population aging and growth, along with changes in age-specific cancer rates, according to the Global Burden of Disease Cancer Collaboration study. The lifetime risk of developing cancer was one in three for men and one in four for women, the researchers said. Prostate cancer was the most common type of cancer in men (1.6 million cases), and tracheal, bronchus and lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer death in men. Breast cancer was the most common cancer for women (2.4 million cases), and the leading cause of cancer death in women. The most common cancers in children were leukemia, other neoplasms, non-Hodgkin ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Lymphoma, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Salivary Gland Cancer, Solid Tumors

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, Percocet, Methadone, Cancer, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Chronic Pain, Tylenol, Opana, Ibuprofen, Naproxen

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, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Xeloda, Skin Cancer, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Tasigna, Pancreatic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer

'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

Head and Neck Cancers May Be Linked to Hepatitis C

Posted 13 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 13, 2016 – Hepatitis C may increase the risk for certain types of head and neck cancers, researchers say. Hepatitis C is a serious liver infection caused by a virus. It's the most common bloodborne infection in the United States, affecting as many as 3.5 million people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many are unaware they have the infection. "What we are trying to make all understand is that this is an infection that has consequences – and it's an infection we can cure," said study leader Dr. Harrys Torres, an associate professor of infectious diseases at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. It's already known that people with hepatitis C have a significantly higher risk of liver cancers and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to the researchers. Antiviral drugs cure more than 90 percent of hepatitis C cases, and ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Hepatitis C, Head and Neck Cancer, Salivary Gland Cancer

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, Tretinoin, Fluorouracil, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Rituxan, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin

Blood, Saliva Tests May Spot Head and Neck Cancers Early

Posted 24 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 24, 2015 – Scientists report they've found DNA from head and neck cancer tumors in patients' blood and saliva samples, a development that potentially could lead to early diagnosis of these malignancies. Although not yet ready for real-world use, such tests could also help in planning and monitoring treatment, the Johns Hopkins University researchers said. "Tumor DNA has potential to be used as a marker for screening, early detection, monitoring during treatment and surveillance after cancer treatment," said lead researcher Dr. Nishant Agrawal, an associate professor of otolaryngology head and neck surgery. "In the near future, there will be a noninvasive test that can be used to monitor cancer," Agrawal said. This preliminary study involved fewer than 100 patients. "More study is necessary to validate the findings in larger groups of patients and healthy people, improve ... Read more

Related support groups: Head and Neck Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Salivary Gland Cancer, Head Imaging

'Wake-Up' Cigarette May Raise Risk for Lung, Mouth Cancers

Posted 5 Apr 2013 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 5 – People who smoke a cigarette as soon as they wake up in the morning are more likely to develop lung and oral cancer than other smokers, a new study reveals. Penn State researchers analyzed data from nearly 2,000 adult smokers who took part in the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The participants provided blood samples and information about their smoking behavior. The investigators found that about 32 percent of the participants smoked their first cigarette of the day within five minutes of waking. Among the others, 31 percent smoked within 6 to 30 minutes, 18 percent smoked within 31 to 60 minutes, and 19 percent smoked more than an hour after waking. People who had a cigarette immediately after waking had higher levels of NNAL – a byproduct of a tobacco-specific cancer-causing substance called NNK – in their blood than those who smoked a half ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Lung Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Salivary Gland Cancer

Cancer Patients Should Ask Doctors to Use Simple Terms

Posted 28 Sep 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 28 – Cancer patients are often faced with many difficult-to-understand treatment choices that can have serious side effects and even mean the difference between life and death. That's why it's crucial that patients insist doctors use plain language in explaining the options, advised Angela Fagerlin, an associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School and a researcher at the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center. "People are making life and death decisions that may affect their survival and they need to know what they're getting themselves into. Cancer treatments and tests can be serious. Patients need to know what kind of side effects they might experience as a result of the treatment they undergo," Fagerlin said in a university news release. She and her colleagues outlined a number of tips to help patients get the information they need ... 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, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer, Isotretinoin

Fewer Cancer Patients May Be Depressed Than Thought

Posted 20 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 20 – The rate of depression among cancer patients may be lower than previously believed, a new study indicates. An international team of researchers analyzed 94 studies involving more than 14,000 patients and found that about one-sixth of cancer patients suffer depression and about one-third have a more widely defined mood disorder. Only modest rates of depression and anxiety occurred in cancer patients in the first five years after diagnosis, which suggests that depression is not inevitable in these patients, the researchers said. Only when it was combined with other mood disorders was depression common, occurring in 30 percent of hospitalized cancer patients. The study is published online Jan. 19 in The Lancet Oncology. Rates of depression and anxiety were not significantly different between patients receiving palliative care (care designed to ease pain and increase ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant

1 in 5 Cancer Survivors Suffers Chronic Pain, Study Finds

Posted 20 Jan 2011 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 19 – More than 40 percent of cancer survivors experience pain, and the risk is highest among black and female patients, finds a new study. Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System surveyed nearly 200 U.S. cancer survivors and found that 43 percent had experienced pain since their diagnosis, and 20 percent suffered chronic cancer-related pain at least two years later. Among white patients, the most significant source of pain was cancer surgery (53.8 percent), and among black patients the greatest source of pain was cancer treatment (46.2 percent), according to the report. In addition, the study found that compared to men, women had more pain, more pain flare-ups, more disability due to pain and were more depressed because of pain. The authors also noted that black patients were more likely to report greater severity of pain and more pain-related ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Cervical Cancer

Demand for Radiation Therapy Predicted to Exceed Supply

Posted 21 Oct 2010 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 21 – Over the next decade, the growth in demand for radiation therapy in the United States will be 10 times greater than the increase in new radiation oncologists, a difference that could affect cancer patients' access to treatment, according to a new study. Between 2010 and 2020, the number of patients requiring radiation therapy will increase 22 percent but the number of full-time radiation oncologists entering the workforce will increase just 2 percent, said researchers at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and colleagues. They based their predictions on projections that this year 3,943 radiation oncologists will treat an estimated 470,000 patients in the United States. The large increase in demand for radiation therapy will be partly due to growing numbers of older adults and minorities, groups in which certain types of cancers are more ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Cervical Cancer

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