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Many Cancer Patients Skimp on Treatment Due to Cost

Posted 24 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 – The high cost of cancer care in the United States has led more than one-quarter of patients to cut back on some part of their treatment, a new survey reveals. Commissioned by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the report found that 27 percent of cancer survivors or close relatives of a cancer patient said they'd skipped doctor visits or taken other steps to reduce health costs. To save money, nearly one in 10 said they had avoided doctor appointments. Eight percent had refused treatment; postponed filling or not filled prescriptions; or skipped doses of prescribed medications. And 7 percent said they had cut pills in half, according to the survey of more than 4,000 adults. Such measures can jeopardize treatment success, ASCO says. "We should all be alarmed that Americans are potentially risking not only their health, but also their lives, due to ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Fluorouracil, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Votrient, Letrozole, Tarceva

Fewer Uninsured Cancer Patients After Medicaid Expansion

Posted 27 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 27, 2017 – States that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act halved the number of uninsured cancer patients, a new U.S. study finds. This matters because "uninsured cancer patients are more likely to go without needed care and treatment, such as radiation therapy or surgery to remove tumors," said study lead author Dr. Fumiko Chino. She is a radiation oncology resident at the Duke University School of Medicine. Chino and her colleagues analyzed the records of more than 197,000 cancer patients ages 18 to 64. All were newly diagnosed with cancer between 2011 and 2014 and received radiation as part of their treatment. The percentage of uninsured patients fell 52 percent on average in states that expanded Medicaid, while Medicaid enrollment rose from 15 to 18 percent. Medicaid is the publicly funded insurance program for the poor. In states that did not expand ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Brain Tumor, Skin Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Solid Tumors

New Guideline Aims to Help Doctors Diagnose Head, Neck Masses

Posted 12 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 – Neck masses are common in adults, but the cause is often hard to pinpoint. Now, doctors have a new guideline to help them make that call. The guideline from the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery dovetails with a rise in head and neck cancers related to the sexually transmitted human papilloma virus (HPV). "A neck mass may indicate a serious medical problem. It does not mean the patient has cancer, but it does mean they need more medical evaluation to make a diagnosis," said Dr. M. Boyd Gillespie, assistant chairman of the group that developed the guideline. In an academy news release, he called the new guideline "an important instrument for the early diagnosis and treatment." A neck mass – an abnormal lump – can be any size and can be due to a number of reasons. It can be a sign of viral or bacterial infection. A neck mass could ... Read more

Related support groups: Bacterial Infection, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, Human Papilloma Virus, Gardasil, Viral Infection, Head and Neck Cancer, Diagnosis and Investigation, Deep Neck Infection, Human Papillomavirus Vaccine, Human Papillomavirus Prophylaxis, Cervarix, Solid Tumors, Salivary Gland Cancer, Gardasil 9

Many May Get Hospice Care Too Late

Posted 12 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 12, 2017 – Despite a growing list of debilitating symptoms during the final months of life, most seniors never receive end-of-life hospice care – or they delay doing so until their last few weeks of life, new research finds. "The main message is that the duration of hospice is very short," explained lead study author Dr. Thomas Gill. This, despite the fact that his team "documented high rates of distressing symptoms well before the start of hospice." Gill is the director of the Yale University Program on Aging. "Since hospice is designed to help alleviate distressing symptoms – including pain, nausea and anxiety, among others – our findings suggest that health care providers might need to consider discussing referrals to hospice sooner with older persons who are approaching the end of their lives," Gill added. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Dementia, Prostate Cancer, Alzheimer's Disease, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Lewy Body Dementia, Solid Tumors

FDA Clears Expanded Use of Cooling Cap to Reduce Hair Loss During Chemotherapy

Posted 6 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

July 3, 2017 – Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the expanded use of a cooling cap, DigniCap Cooling System, to reduce hair loss (alopecia) during chemotherapy. This is the first cooling cap cleared by the agency for use in cancer patients with solid tumors. “We are pleased to expand the use of this product for cancer patients with solid tumors to potentially minimize chemotherapy-induced hair loss,” said Binita Ashar, M.D., director, Division of Surgical Devices, in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “Managing the side effects of chemotherapy is a critical component to overall health and quality of life.” Hair loss is a common side effect of certain types of chemotherapy and is commonly associated with the treatment of most solid tumor cancer. Hair may fall out entirely, gradually, in sections, or may become thin. Hair loss due to cancer treatmen ... Read more

Related support groups: Taxotere, Docetaxel, Solid Tumors, Idamycin, Idamycin PFS, Idarubicin, Docefrez

'Couch Potatoes' May Face Higher Risk of Kidney, Bladder Cancers

Posted 15 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 – Add greater risk of kidney and bladder cancer to the long list of why a lifetime of sitting on the sofa isn't good for your health, a new study suggests. Specifically, lifetime recreational inactivity was associated with a 73 percent increased risk of bladder cancer and a 77 percent increased risk of kidney cancer. The findings add to growing evidence that inactivity may be a significant risk factor for cancer, the researchers said. "We hope that findings like ours will motivate inactive people to engage in some form of physical activity," said study senior author Kirsten Moysich. She is a professor of oncology at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. "You don't have to run marathons to reduce your cancer risk, but you have to do something – even small adjustments like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking around the block a couple of ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Cancer, Weight Loss, Renal Failure, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Chronic Kidney Disease, Bladder Cancer, Solid Tumors, Urothelial Carcinoma

FDA Approves Keytruda (pembrolizumab) as First Cancer Treatment for any Solid Tumor with a Specific Genetic Feature

Posted 25 May 2017 by Drugs.com

May 23, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today granted accelerated approval to a treatment for patients whose cancers have a specific genetic feature (biomarker). This is the first time the agency has approved a cancer treatment based on a common biomarker rather than the location in the body where the tumor originated. Keytruda (pembrolizumab) is indicated for the treatment of adult and pediatric patients with unresectable or metastatic solid tumors that have been identified as having a biomarker referred to as microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H) or mismatch repair deficient (dMMR). This indication covers patients with solid tumors that have progressed following prior treatment and who have no satisfactory alternative treatment options and patients with colorectal cancer that has progressed following treatment with certain chemotherapy drugs. “This is an important f ... Read more

Related support groups: Keytruda, Pembrolizumab, Solid Tumors

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, Skin Cancer, Melanoma, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Pancreatic Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention

Zejula Approved for Certain Female Cancers

Posted 28 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 28, 2017 – Zejula (niraparib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat adult women with recurring cancers of the ovaries, fallopian tubes or abdominal wall (peritoneum) whose tumors have shrunk in response to platinum-based chemotherapy. Citing the National Cancer Institute, the FDA said in a news release that more than 22,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with these cancers this year, and more than 14,000 will die of these diseases. Zejula is designed to block an enzyme involved in repairing damaged DNA. The thought is that by blocking this enzyme, cancer cells would die and slow down or stop tumor growth, the FDA said. The drug was evaluated in clinical studies involving 553 people with any of these recurring cancers who had had their tumors shrunk by at least two doses of platinum-based chemotherapy. The average progression-free ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Zejula, Solid Tumors, Peritoneal Cancer, Niraparib

Another Study Ties Obesity to Certain Cancers

Posted 1 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 1, 2017 – Carrying extra weight increases the risk of a number of cancers, a new review reports. Additional pounds appear to particularly influence the risk of cancers related to the digestive organs or those driven by hormonal abnormalities, according to the review's European authors. The evidence is so strong at this point that important organizations such as the International Agency for Research on Cancer describe "excess body weight as an important cause of cancers," said Susan Gapstur. She's vice president of epidemiology at the American Cancer Society. The new evidence review was led by Maria Kyrgiou, of Imperial College London's Department of Surgery and Cancer. The review found that a jump in a person's body mass index (BMI) of 5 was associated with a higher cancer risk in the esophagus, bone marrow, biliary tract system, pancreas and kidneys. BMI is a rough ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Cancer, Weight Loss, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Wilms' Tumor, Gastric Cancer, Solid Tumors, Insulinoma, Peritoneal Cancer, Giant Cell Tumor of Bone, Neoplasm of Bone

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

Benign 'Toothlet' Tumor Found in 255 Million-Year-Old Fossil

Posted 8 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Dec. 8, 2016 – A fossil of a distant ancestor of today's mammals – which include humans – shows evidence of a benign tumor of the jaw, scientists report. The finding pushes back by hundreds of millions of years the advent of these "toothlet" tumors, called odontomas, says a team from the University of Washington in Seattle. The researchers discovered the compound odontoma tumor in the fossilized jaw of a gorgonopsian, a precursor to mammals that lived 255 million years ago. The fossil was unearthed in Tanzania in 2007. Previously, the earliest known evidence of odontomas was in fossils of creatures living less than 1 million years ago. According to the research team, gorgonopsian were distant mammal relatives and the top predators in the pre-dinosaur Permian era when they existed. These animals ranged in size from 2 feet to 10 feet in length, and were known as the "saber ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Solid Tumors

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, Skin Cancer, Melanoma, Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Salivary Gland Cancer, Solid Tumors

Archeological Finds Push First Known Cancer Back 2 Million Years

Posted 29 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 – Researchers report that they have unearthed the earliest evidence of bone tumors and cancers, dating back almost 2 million years. The discoveries challenge the belief that cancer is a disease of modern life, the study authors said. "Modern medicine tends to assume that cancers and tumors in humans are diseases caused by modern lifestyles and environments. Our studies show the origins of these diseases occurred in our ancient relatives millions of years before modern industrial societies existed," said researcher Edward Odes. He is a doctoral candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in Johannesburg, South Africa. First, a 1.7-million-year-old foot bone with cancer was found at the Swartkrans cave in South Africa. The exact species is unknown, but it is a hominin, or bipedal human relative, the researchers said. Scientists also found a benign tumor ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Diagnosis and Investigation, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Solid Tumors, Solid Tumors, Osteogenic Sarcoma

Cancer Patients, Doctors Often Disagree About Prognosis

Posted 15 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 15, 2016 – Cancer patients and their doctors often hold different opinions about the patient's chances for survival and how long he or she might live, according to a new study. And, in many cases, patients are unaware there's any misunderstanding. "First, some patients might know the doctor's prognosis estimate but the patient chooses to disagree, often because they believe other sources. And second, some patients think that their doctor agrees with their opinion about prognosis but, in fact, the doctor doesn't," said study co-author Dr. Ronald Epstein. He is a professor of family medicine, psychiatry and oncology at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York. For the study, researchers asked 236 patients with advanced cancer about their prognosis. The 38 doctors who treated them independently said they would "not have been surprised" if their patients died ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Ovarian Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Stomach Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Testicular Cancer, Solid Tumors

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