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Immune-Focused Drug, Opdivo, May Be New Weapon Against Advanced Melanoma

Posted 10 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 11, 2017 – New research suggests that Opdivo – a drug that works with the immune system to fight melanoma – is more effective than the current standard of care for patients who've had surgery to remove advanced tumors. The international study was funded by Opdivo's maker, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and included more than 900 patients with stage III and stage IV melanoma. Patients were treated at 130 medical centers across 25 countries. All underwent surgery for their cancer before they began treatment with either Opdivo (nivolumab) or Yervoy (ipilimumab), the drug that's the current standard of care. Both drugs are "immunotherapies," which work by boosting the immune system's ability to spot and destroy tumor cells. After a year of treatment, 71 percent of patients in the Opdivo group were alive without any recurrence of the disease, compared with 61 percent of those treated ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Opdivo, Melanoma - Metastatic

Moles Not Most Likely Spot for Melanomas

Posted 29 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 29, 2017 – Contrary to what you might think, moles are not the most likely place for a deadly melanoma to develop, a new analysis shows. In fact, a review of 38 previously published medical studies involving more than 20,000 melanomas showed that only 29 percent of the skin cancers started in moles patients already had, while 71 percent arose as new lesions on the skin. "Patients and physicians should be aware that skin without moles is more at risk than moles to develop a melanoma," said lead researcher Dr. Riccardo Pampena. He is with the dermatology and skin cancer unit at Arcispedale Santa Maria Nuova, Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico at Reggio Emilia in Italy. Melanomas that arise on their own also tend to be more aggressive than melanomas associated with moles, suggesting the two types of malignancies might be different, Pampena added. Regardless, ... Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Diagnosis and Investigation, History - Skin Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Minor Skin Conditions, Minor Skin Irritation

How Safe and Effective Is Your Sunscreen?

Posted 11 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 – It may be easier than ever to find sunscreen with all the right stuff, but be sure to read the label or you could still get burned. Most sunscreens sold at major U.S. retailers and their websites now offer broad-spectrum protection, are water-resistant and have an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or higher as the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends, a new study found. But more than a third of sunscreens sold by several of the nation's largest retailers fell short. Forty-one percent of sunscreens did not meet all three recommendations, researchers from the University of Miami and University of Michigan reported. Tanning and bronzing products, in particular, tended to be lacking, the researchers said. In a follow-up to a 2014 study, the researchers checked more than 470 sunscreens available at big pharmacy websites to see if they met the AAD ... Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Sunscreen, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Prevention of Sunburn, History - Skin Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Coppertone, Deeptan

Cancer Takes Financial Toll, Even With Insurance

Posted 10 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 10, 2017 – Many cancer patients in the United States are shocked by their out-of-pocket costs for care – with some spending one-third of their income on treatment, a new study finds. The study looked at the financial toll of cancer treatment on people who have health insurance. The vast majority in the study had private insurance or Medicare coverage; the rest were on Medicaid, the government insurance program for poor Americans. Despite that, the study found, patients typically spent nearly $600 a month on their treatment. Overall, 16 percent said they were facing "high or overwhelming financial distress." Those patients were spending nearly one-third of their monthly income on cancer care. Dr. Yousuf Zafar, the senior researcher on the study, used the term "financial toxicity." "Oncologists talk about the toxicities of cancer treatment. But there can also be a ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Skin Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Stomach Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Choriocarcinoma

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, Prostate Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, Lupron Depot, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Brain Tumor, Letrozole, Tarceva, Megestrol

Melanoma Isn't the Only Serious Skin Cancer

Posted 27 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 27, 2017 – A type of skin cancer called squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is increasingly common in the United States, so people need to be alert for signs of the disease, an expert says. About 700,000 new cases of this skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. "While other skin cancers may be more lethal, they're less common than squamous cell carcinoma," said Dr. M. Laurin Council, an assistant professor of dermatology at Washington University in St. Louis. This type of cancer is highly treatable when detected early, "so it's important for people to know the signs of this disease and keep a close eye on their skin," Council added in a news release from the American Academy of Dermatology. Possible signs of squamous cell carcinoma include a pink or white bump; a rough, scaly patch; or a sore that won't heal, ... Read more

Related support groups: Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Sunscreen, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Prevention of Sunburn, History - Skin Cancer, Deeptan, Coppertone

FDA Expands Approval of Yervoy (ipilimumab) to Include Pediatric Patients 12 Years and Older with Unresectable or Metastatic Melanoma

Posted 25 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

PRINCETON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE) July 24, 2017 --Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY) today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded the indication for Yervoy (ipilimumab) injection for intravenous use to now include the treatment of unresectable or metastatic melanoma in pediatric patients 12 years of age and older. Yervoy was evaluated in two trials of pediatric patients: a dose-finding study in 33 patients aged two to 21 years with relapsed or refractory solid tumors and an open-label, single-arm trial in 12 adolescents (ages ranging from 12 to 16 years) with previously treated or untreated, unresectable Stage 3 or 4 malignant melanoma. The overall safety profile of Yervoy in children and adolescents was consistent with the safety profile in adults, and similarities in disease between adult and pediatric patients 12 years and older allow for ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Yervoy, Ipilimumab

Many Terminal Cancer Patients Remain in Denial

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 19, 2017 – Nearly 10 percent of patients with terminal cancer don't want to know they're dying, which can make their final days more difficult, a new study finds. Unwillingness to face poor prospects can lead to unnecessary treatments and keep patients from making end-of-life plans, the researchers reported recently in The Oncologist. "Health care professionals should appropriately assess patients' readiness for prognostic information," said study leader Siew-Tzuh Tang, a professor at Chang Gung University School of Nursing in Taiwan. Doctors should respect patients' reluctance to confront their poor prognosis if they are not ready to know, "but sensitively coach them to cultivate their accurate prognostic awareness," Tang said in a journal news release. The study involved nearly 250 terminal cancer patients in Taiwan. They were questioned several times over their last ... Read more

Related support groups: Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Cancer, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention

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

Health Tip: Protect Your Eyes During Summer

Posted 18 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

-- To prevent skin damage, you apply sunscreen. But how can you protect your eyes from the summer sun's glaring rays? The American Academy of Ophthalmology advises: Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet (UV) light. Look for glasses labeled as "100% UV protection." Styles that wrap around your head may offer added protection. Wear a hat with a wide-brim. Keep yourself and your kids out of direct sunlight during peak local hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Your eyes always need dalight protection – even on cloudy days and during winter. Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Sunscreen, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Prevention of Sunburn, History - Skin Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Deeptan, Coppertone

Smart Steps for Sun Protection

Posted 17 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 17, 2017 – You know you're supposed to slather on a high-SPF sunscreen before going out in the sun, but these five steps will help you double up on that protection. First, it's important to know that there are two types of harmful ultraviolet rays. UVA rays cause lasting skin damage and aging. UVB rays cause sunburn along with skin damage. Both can lead to skin cancer, so your sunscreen should protect against both. Look for the word "broad-spectrum" on the label. Next, you want to check out the ingredients. Sun protection products may contain chemical and/or physical sunscreens. Most products use chemical sunscreens, like oxybenzone, that absorb damaging UV rays. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are physical sunscreens. They sit on the skin and reflect and diffuse UV rays. They also work right away, unlike chemical sunscreens – it can take 30 minutes before they're ... Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Sunscreen, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Prevention of Sunburn, History - Skin Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Coppertone, Deeptan

Cancer Deaths Higher in Rural America, CDC Reports

Posted 6 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 6, 2017 – Cancer death rates are declining overall in the United States, but they are higher and falling more slowly in rural America, a new federal government report shows. "While geography alone can't predict your risk of cancer, it can impact prevention, diagnosis and treatment opportunities – and that's a significant public health problem in the U.S.," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, published July 6, is the first to detail cancer differences and death rates in urban and rural America. Part of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, it found: Cancer death rates were higher in rural areas – 180 deaths for every 100,000 people, compared to 158 per 100,000 in urban areas. Cancer death rates fell 1 percent a year in rural America, compared with 1.6 percent in urban areas. Overall ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Sunburn, Human Papilloma Virus, Skin Cancer, Cervical Dysplasia, Hepatitis B Prevention, Prevention of Sunburn, Hepatitis B Prophylaxis, History - Skin Cancer, Vaccination and Prophlaxis

Do Blacks, Hispanics Get Low Quality Hospice Care?

Posted 6 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – Hospice quality varies, with blacks and Hispanics often getting less desirable end-of-life care, a new study finds. Researchers surveyed thousands of caregivers whose loved ones died in hospice care. They found that minority patients were more likely to receive care in poorer quality hospices than white patients. They also said that family caregivers of black and Hispanic hospice patients were less likely to receive adequate emotional and religious support. "Our findings highlight the need to ensure that blacks and Hispanics have access to high-quality and culturally competent hospice services," said study lead author Rebecca Anhang Price, a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corp. "This is particularly important as people from these groups increase their use of hospice services," she added in a RAND news release. The report wasn't all bad news for ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Skin Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Can You Recognize the Signs of Skin Cancer?

Posted 28 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 – With skin cancer the most common type of cancer in the United States, you should learn to spot its early signs, a cancer doctor says. "Early detection is key. When detected early, most skin cancers may be effectively treated and are often curable," said Dr. Jeffrey Farma, a surgical oncologist at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "Individuals play an important role in early detection," Farma said in a center news release. "By being familiar with your own skin markings, like moles, freckles and blemishes, you're likely to notice any changes." His recommendation: Have your skin checked yearly by a physician or dermatologist, and check your own skin for signs of skin cancer by using a mirror every month. Using the ABCDE rule of skin cancer can help identify potential problems, including the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, he said. A for ... Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Sunscreen, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Prevention of Sunburn, History - Skin Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Coppertone, Deeptan

Protect Your Skin From the Summer Sun

Posted 27 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 27, 2017 – Lots of people like that sun-kissed look on their skin, but experts caution against any tanning at all. "There's no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanning is a sign of skin damage," said Dr. Ross Levy, chief of dermatology at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, N.Y. He explained that "sunlight contains ultraviolet rays that trigger changes in the DNA of skin cells. Most of the time the body's immune system tracks down these mutations and repairs them, but occasionally the damage is missed and skin cancer takes hold. The more sun you are exposed to, the greater your risk." To protect your skin from the sun's damaging rays, wear long-sleeve shirts, pants and a wide-brimmed hat. At the pool or beach, wear a swim shirt or rash guard that is rated for sun protection. Limit your time outdoors when the sun is directly overhead and its rays are strongest, ... Read more

Related support groups: Basal Cell Carcinoma, Sunburn, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Sunscreen, Melanoma - Metastatic, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Prevention of Sunburn, History - Skin Cancer, Coppertone, Deeptan

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