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Doctors' Group Offers Ideas for Easing Cancer Costs

Posted 2 days 15 hours ago 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, Brain Tumor, Votrient, Anastrozole, Avastin

Most Breast Cancer Patients Have Help Choosing Treatments

Posted 12 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 10, 2017 – Most women who've been diagnosed with breast cancer don't go it alone. Many breast cancer patients depend on family and friends to help them make treatment decisions, get to doctor appointments and seek out other resources. A new study finds half of women rely on three or more people to help them through it. "People just diagnosed with cancer are often scared and overwhelmed. Having another person to help them process information is important," said study lead author Lauren Wallner, an assistant professor of general medicine and epidemiology at the University of Michigan. "Physicians need to recognize that women involve other people in their treatment decisions," she added in a university news release. "These people represent an important group to provide information about treatment options." For the study, the researchers surveyed about 2,500 women who had ... Read more

Related support groups: Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Evista, Megestrol, Zoladex, Tasigna, Megace, Herceptin, Sprycel

FDA Widens Access to 'Cooling Cap' to Stop Hair Loss in Cancer Patients

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 5, 2017 – More cancer patients may be able to ward off hair loss during chemotherapy treatment. A cooling cap approved in 2015 for use in breast cancer patients has won expanded approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The DigniCap Cooling System can now be used for patients with solid tumors, the FDA announced. The computer-controlled cap contains liquid that circulates and cools the scalp, narrowing blood vessels. This reduces how much of the chemotherapy drugs reach hair follicle cells, the FDA said. Cooling also decreases activity of hair follicles and slows cell division. The result: Chemo drugs don't affect them as much, according to the FDA. Hair loss is a common side effect of chemotherapy, especially during treatment of most solid tumor cancers. Hair may fall out all at once, little by little or become thin. It's usually temporary – and upsetting. ... Read more

Related support groups: Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Gleevec, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Evista, Megestrol, Zoladex, Tasigna, Megace, Herceptin, Sprycel

Many Women Mistaken on 'Side Effects' of Breast Cancer Drug

Posted 29 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 29, 2017 – Many women at high risk for breast cancer do not take the drug tamoxifen to prevent the disease, often because they confuse naturally occurring symptoms with side effects from the drug. That's the finding of a new study of nearly 4,000 women tracked for almost five years in the United Kingdom. One U.S. expert in breast cancer care wasn't surprised by the findings. "It is true that many women who take the drug are perimenopausal, and it appears that the symptoms the women experience may have nothing to do with the drug and are rather simply due to age," explained oncologist Dr. Stephanie Bernik. "This was already known by physicians, but it is always helpful to have a scientific report to back up the information you give a patient," said Bernik, who is chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. Tamoxifen is used to treat women with any ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Breast Cancer, Menopausal Disorders, Tamoxifen, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Atrophic Vaginitis, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Vaginal Dryness, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox

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

Is Radiation Therapy Overused in Breast Cancer Care?

Posted 14 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 14, 2017 – More than half of older American women with early breast cancer may get more radiation therapy than needed, which significantly boosts medical costs, a new study indicates. Analyzing 2011 data on breast cancer patients, researchers estimated $164 million could have been saved by ordering a shorter radiation course. "Women who were eligible for shorter radiation courses or omission of radiation were still often receiving longer and more costly radiation courses," said study leader Dr. Rachel Greenup. She's an assistant professor of surgery at Duke University Medical Center Cancer Institute in Durham, N.C. However, Greenup and other experts said the study results might not be applicable to today because more women are receiving shorter courses of radiation than in 2011. For the study, Greenup's team used data on 43,000 breast cancer patients age 50 and older ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Nausea/Vomiting - Radiation Induced, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, History - Radiation Therapy, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D

HRT Won't Lower Women's Alzheimer's Risk, Study Finds

Posted 16 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 – Women who use hormone therapy after menopause may not have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's, a new study suggests. However, there was some evidence that long-term use – over a decade – might be tied to a lower risk of the memory-robbing brain disease. But the results were far from definitive, the researchers added. The study is the latest to delve into the question of whether menopausal hormone therapy can benefit women's brains. Research so far has yielded conflicting findings. On one hand, a number of trials have found no brain benefits for women using hormone therapy, said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society. On the other hand, small trials have found that when hormone therapy is given after surgical menopause, women can see "cognitive benefits," said Pinkerton, who was not involved in the new study. On ... Read more

Related support groups: Plan B, Mirena, Nexplanon, Depo-Provera, Provera, NuvaRing, Sprintec, Implanon, Hot Flashes, Ortho Tri-Cyclen, Tri-Sprintec, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Yasmin, Loestrin 24 Fe, Plan B One-Step, Ortho Evra, Mononessa, TriNessa, Estradiol, Menopausal Disorders

Breast Density May Be Leading Indicator of Cancer Risk

Posted 2 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 – Women whose breasts are predominantly made up of more dense, glandular tissue face higher odds for breast cancer, a new study finds. The researchers added that, based on their study of 200,000 women, breast density may be the most important gauge of breast cancer risk, eclipsing family history of the disease and other risk factors. "The most significant finding in this study is the impact of breast density on development of breast cancer in the population," said study senior author Dr. Karla Kerlikowske. She is a researcher in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Still, not everyone is convinced that breast tissue density is the preeminent risk factor for breast cancer. Dr. Kristin Byrne is chief of breast imaging at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She believes that the numbers in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Fibrocystic Breast Disease, Body Imaging, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D

Many Breast Cancer Survivors Don't Get Life-Extending Therapy

Posted 2 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 – Hormonal therapies such as tamoxifen, or a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, can reduce the likelihood that women diagnosed with certain breast cancers will experience a recurrence of their disease. However, a new study finds these treatments – used in breast cancers that are responsive to hormones such as estrogen – are too seldom utilized or often used incorrectly. According to the research team, if all U.S. breast cancer survivors who needed them followed recommendations for hormone therapy, that could mean almost 15,000 lives saved over a decade. Unfortunately, these drugs are "still underused, and in some cases, misused – offered to patients who lack [estrogen] hormone receptors" on their tumor cells, explained study senior author Dr. Dezheng Huo. He's associate professor of public health sciences at the University of Chicago. As the ... Read more

Related support groups: Nausea/Vomiting, Hot Flashes, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Aromasin, Exemestane, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Soltamox, Tamone, Emblon, Tamoxen, Genox

'Chemo Brain' Lasts for Months in Many Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted 11 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 – "Chemo brain" – the mental fog common after breast cancer treatment – can persist for six months, new research shows. The finding comes from one of the largest studies to date to look at chemotherapy-related thinking problems that plague many women treated for breast cancer. Those problems can include memory lapses, attention issues and difficulty processing information. When researchers compared hundreds of U.S. women six months after chemotherapy ended with hundreds of healthy women, they found more than one-third of the chemotherapy group had a decline in thinking scores versus less than 15 percent of the others. "The bottom line is, this is a real problem, patients are having difficulties and we need to acknowledge it is one of the difficulties of treatment," said Dr. Patricia Ganz. Ganz is director of cancer prevention and control research at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Evista, Zoladex, Megestrol, Megace, Herceptin, Aromasin, Afinitor

Study Casts More Doubt on Value of Mammograms

Posted 10 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2017 – Mammograms frequently detect small breast tumors that might never become life-threatening, causing women to receive treatment they likely don't need, a new Danish study finds. About one in every three women between the ages of 50 and 69 who was diagnosed with breast cancer wound up having a tumor that posed no immediate threat to her health, the researchers reported. At the same time, mammography did not reduce the number of advanced breast cancers found in women in the study. "This means that breast screening is unlikely to improve breast cancer survival or reduce the use of invasive surgery," said study author Dr. Karsten Juhl Jorgensen, deputy director of research for the Nordic Cochrane Center at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. "It also means that breast screening leads to unnecessary detection and treatment of many breast cancers." Dr. Otis Brawley, chief ... Read more

Related support groups: Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Evista, Zoladex, Megestrol, Megace, Herceptin, Aromasin, Casodex, Exemestane, Eligard

Tamoxifen May Get Blamed for Unrelated Symptoms

Posted 9 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 – Some high-risk women who take tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer may mistake naturally occurring nausea and vomiting for side effects of the drug and stop taking it, a new study finds. Previous research has shown that taking tamoxifen can reduce the risk of breast cancer by more than 30 percent in high-risk women, and the preventive effects last more than 20 years, the study authors said. But a study of women taking tamoxifen in the United Kingdom found that one-third didn't continue the treatment for the recommended five years. Those who experienced nausea and vomiting were more likely to stop taking the drug than those without such symptoms, the findings showed. However, women who were taking an inactive placebo and had the same symptoms were equally likely to stop. That suggests that some symptoms triggered by other causes were being mistaken for side effects ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D

Intense Chemo Offers Little Benefit for Early Breast Cancer: Study

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – A more intense type of chemotherapy offers little benefit over standard chemotherapy for women with high-risk early breast cancer, European researchers report. Known as tailored dose-dense chemotherapy, the treatments are given over a shorter period of time without increasing the overall dose. It has been suggested as a way to improve the effectiveness of the treatment for early breast cancer. However, the European study did not find a difference in recurrence-free survival or overall survival after five years of follow-up. The investigators did find that the dose-dense group had better event-free survival, defined as the time to any breast cancer relapse, cancer in the opposite breast, other malignant growths or death from any cause. Despite the results, a U.S. breast cancer expert said there is still a role for the approach in certain women. Researchers from ... Read more

Related support groups: Depo-Provera, Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Evista, Zoladex, Megestrol, Megace, Herceptin, Aromasin, Casodex, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant

More Evidence Tamoxifen, Other Meds Help Limit Breast Cancer's Spread

Posted 6 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 – Treatment with tamoxifen or another class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors does cut breast cancer patients' risk of developing cancer in their other breast, a new study finds. Some breast cancers rely on estrogen to help them grow, and drugs like tamoxifen or the aromatase inhibitors (which include anastrozole) have long been prescribed to certain breast cancer survivors. Tamoxifen blocks estrogen receptors in the breast cells to hamper cancer growth. Anastrozole stops estrogen production in fat tissue, which makes small amounts of the hormone. According to background information in the new study, about 5 percent of breast cancer patients develop cancer in their other breast (contralateral breast cancer) within 10 years after their initial breast cancer diagnosis. Prior clinical trials had concluded that tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors reduce this risk, ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Aromasin, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Exemestane, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Testolactone, Soltamox, Tamone, Emblon, Tamoxen, Genox

Tamoxifen OK for Breast Cancer Patients Without Uterine Abnormalities: Study

Posted 22 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 – For most women, taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen doesn't increase their risk of uterine cancer, a new study suggests. For women who don't already have precancerous abnormalities in the uterine lining (endometrium), the risk is small, according to the Loyola Medicine study. The researchers said a pretreatment ultrasound may ease women's concerns. "Many women who would benefit from taking tamoxifen fail to do so because they fear getting endometrial cancer," first author Dr. Ronald Potkul said in a Loyola news release. "Our study found that for women who did not have endometrial abnormalities when they began taking tamoxifen, there was a very low rate of developing pre-malignant conditions." Potkul is chairman of obstetrics and gynecology and director of gynecologic oncology for the Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill. The study, funded by ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Endometrial Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D

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