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Cancer Takes Financial Toll, Even With Insurance

Posted 12 days ago 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, Testicular Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Choriocarcinoma

For Holocaust Survivors, Raised Risk of Cancer

Posted 10 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 10, 2017 – Holocaust survivors face an increased risk for cancer, a new study finds. The study included more than 152,600 survivors of the World War II genocide who were followed for more than 45 years. The researchers compared whether these survivors received compensation for their suffering and whether they were born in Nazi-occupied countries. Cancer was diagnosed in 22 percent of compensated survivors and 16 percent of the others, the findings showed. Compensated survivors were 6 percent more likely to develop any type of cancer; 12 percent more likely to have colorectal cancer; and 37 percent more likely to have lung cancer. In addition, the investigators found that people born in occupied countries had an 8 percent higher cancer risk. Their risk of colorectal cancer was also 8 percent higher, and their risk of lung cancer was 12 percent higher. Female holocaust ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation

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, Prostate Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Rituxan, Gleevec, Isotretinoin

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, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic

Smoking Rates Drop After Global Tobacco Treaty

Posted 22 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 22, 2017 – After 180 countries agreed to a global tobacco control treaty in 2005, there was a 2.5 percent decrease in smoking worldwide during the next decade, a new study shows. All of the participating countries agreed to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC). Signing countries committed to introducing policies such as high tobacco taxes and smoke-free public spaces. They also agreed to warning labels, advertising bans, and support for smoking cessation services. "The study provides strong evidence that the FCTC has led to a significant increase in the implementation of tobacco control measures," said study co-author Geoffrey Fong, professor of psychology and health studies at the University of Waterloo in Canada. He and his colleagues reviewed data from 116 countries that signed the treaty and 10 that didn't. Overall, smoking ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD

Nasal Swab Shows Promise in Confirming Lung Cancers

Posted 27 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 27, 2017 – Lung cancer remains by far the leading cancer killer because it is so often caught too late. But researchers now say it may someday be possible to quickly confirm the disease after a CT scan, by using a simple nasal swab. The key is DNA-based "biomarkers" in the nasal passages that appear to reveal whether a lung lesion is cancerous or not. "Nasal gene expression [production] contains information about the presence of cancer," explained study co-author Marc Lenburg. He believes the nasal swab "might aid in lung cancer detection." The researchers said the test might help doctors spare some patients expensive and risky follow-up procedures. Lenburg is professor of medicine at Boston University and made his comments in a university news release. He and his colleagues published their findings Feb. 27 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. As the ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Respiratory Tract Disease, Diagnosis and Investigation

Cancer Survivors Gain From Web-Based Health Care

Posted 10 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 – Online- and phone-based health care offers a number of benefits for cancer survivors, British researchers report. The new study looked at previous research on cancer survivors' experiences with online and phone health contacts – what the researchers call telehealth. The review found that patients liked the flexibility and convenience of this method of staying in touch with their care providers because they could do so in a familiar, comfortable setting and with minimum disruption to their lives. The perceived anonymity of telehealth reduced patients' sense of vulnerability and some said they were more comfortable raising concerns in this setting than in face-to-face appointments. Negative aspects of telehealth mentioned by patients included not being able to meet their health care providers in person, while other patients said they couldn't use the service due ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Head and Neck Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Testicular Cancer, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, Wilms' Tumor, Solid Tumors

Too Few Current, Former Smokers Screened for Lung Cancer

Posted 2 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 – Most current and former smokers in the United States don't get screened for lung cancer even though they're at increased risk for the deadly disease, a new study reveals. The findings highlight the need to educate doctors and at-risk patients about lung cancer screening, according to the American Cancer Society researchers. Their analysis of federal government data found that the proportion of eligible current and former smokers who underwent lung cancer screening in the past 12 months remained low – 3.3 percent in 2010 to 3.9 percent in 2015. The researchers calculated that of the 6.8 million current and former smokers eligible for lung cancer screening in 2015, only 262,700 received it. "The reasons for the low uptake in screening are probably varied, and likely include lack of knowledge among both smokers and doctors as to screening recommendations, as well ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Nicotine, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Nicorette, Nicoderm CQ, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Nicotrol Inhaler, Commit, Habitrol, Nicorelief, Nicorette DS, Nicotrol NS, ProStep, Nicotrol TD

Many With Advanced Lung Cancer Don't Get Treatments That Might Help

Posted 20 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 20, 2017 – Many U.S. patients with late-stage lung cancer do not receive treatments that could prolong their lives, a new study finds. Researchers at the University of California, Davis Comprehensive Cancer Center analyzed 1998-2012 data from the U.S. National Cancer Database. They found that more than one in every five patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) – by far the leading form of the disease – did not undergo any treatment. That included chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery, the researchers said. Many of the untreated patients were women, elderly, minorities, low-income and uninsured, according to the research team. The researchers found that the number of untreated patients with late-stage NSCLC even rose slightly during the study period. The reasons why some patients went untreated remain unclear, the researchers said. "We were able to identify a ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Cancer, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Malignant Pleural Effusion, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

Delaying Chemo After Lung Cancer Surgery? Better Late Than Never

Posted 6 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Jan. 6, 2017 – Lung cancer chemotherapy that's been delayed due to slow recovery from surgery can still provide real benefit to patients, a new study suggests. The study involved thousands of patients with non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLC), which comprise about 90 percent of all lung tumors. Lung cancer remains the leading cancer killer in the United States. As the study authors explained, chemotherapy is a standard part of treatment for people who've already had surgery to treat tumors that are larger than 4 centimeters (about 1.5 inches) or that have spread to the lymph nodes. Typically, this post-surgical chemotherapy begins within six weeks of the surgery. However, not all patients are able to tolerate chemotherapy so quickly after their operation, including those who develop surgical complications. So, a team led by Dr. Daniel Boffa, from the Yale School of Medicine, ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

Smoking Wreaks Genetic Havoc on Lungs, Study Warns

Posted 4 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Nov. 4, 2016 – Smoking is linked to significant genetic damage in the lungs and other organs of the body, according to new research. "This study offers fresh insights into how tobacco smoke causes cancer," said co-lead author Ludmil Alexandrov, the Oppenheimer Fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. "Our analysis demonstrates that tobacco smoking causes mutations that lead to cancer by multiple distinct mechanisms," he said in a Los Alamos news release. "Tobacco smoking damages DNA in organs directly exposed to smoke as well as speeds up a mutational cellular clock in organs that are both directly and indirectly exposed to smoke." In the study, researchers from Los Alamos, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England and other institutions analyzed more than 5,000 cancer tumors from smokers and nonsmokers. Cancer is caused by mutations in the DNA of a cell, ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

New Type of Radiation Treatment May Up Survival for Older Lung Cancer Patients

Posted 26 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 26, 2016 – Cutting-edge radiation therapy seems to provide a significant survival advantage for older people with early stage lung cancer who aren't strong enough for surgery, a pair of new studies suggests. The therapy is called stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT) and it's been available for about a decade. The first study reviewed national cancer data and found that survival rates for older lung cancer patients treated with radiation therapy increased dramatically between 2004 and 2012. Those are the years during which SBRT use became widespread in the United States, said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Farach, a radiation oncologist at Houston Methodist Hospital. A second study based on Veterans Affairs cancer treatment data appears to corroborate the national findings, directly linking increased use of SBRT with improved survival rates in elderly patients. Farach ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

14 Genes That May Affect Cancer Treatment

Posted 31 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31, 2016 – Researchers say they've identified 14 genes that may help determine whether a cancer treatment could help a patient. The researchers also say the findings suggest it could be possible to help people avoid unnecessary cancer treatments that won't likely benefit them. "The history of cancer treatment is filled with overreaction," said principal investigator Gary Karpen, a senior scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, Calif. "It is part of the ethics of cancer treatment to err on the side of overtreatment, but these treatments have serious side effects associated with them. For some people, it may be causing more trouble than if the growth was left untreated," Karpen said in a Berkeley Lab release. However, there has not been a reliable way to determine which early stage cancer patients will respond to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

Smog May Shorten Lives of Lung Cancer Patients

Posted 5 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 5, 2016 – Air pollution may shorten the lives of lung cancer patients, a new study suggests. Researchers led by Sandrah Eckel, who's with the department of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, analyzed data from more than 352,000 people in California who were diagnosed with lung cancer between 1988 and 2009. Higher exposure to the pollutants nitrogen dioxide, ozone and airborne particles was associated with an increased risk of early death. The association was strongest in patients with early stage disease, particularly adenocarcinoma, which accounts for 80 percent of lung cancer cases, the researchers said. Early stage patients with greater exposure to pollutants survived on average 2.4 years compared to 5.7 years for those with low exposure, the study found. The study was published online Aug. 4 in the journal Thorax. Since this ... Read more

Related support groups: Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

Do Too Many Lung Cancer Patients Miss Out on Surgery?

Posted 21 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 21, 2016 – Many patients with advanced lung cancer might live longer if treated surgically, but few go that route, new research indicates. A study of U.S. patients with late-stage non-small cell lung cancer found only 11 percent underwent surgery – and 27 percent got no treatment at all. Yet surgery, either alone or with other treatments, prolonged survival by as much as 41 months, researchers said. "We were surprised by the findings, but they have to be considered with caution," said study lead author Dr. Elizabeth David, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of California, Davis Medical Center, in Sacramento. "Surgery is not appropriate for every patient with stage 3 or 4 lung cancer," she noted. "We just need to make sure that appropriate patients are evaluated by surgeons, and we are working on ways to make that easier." At stages 3 and 4, the cancer ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy, Bronchogenic Carcinoma

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