Cancer Blog

Here's our collection of cancer-related stories. We sift through a variety of stories and share the issues that we think matter to cancer patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and survivors. Learn about current events in the cancer community, human interest stories, and promising technology and treatment advances. Tell us what you think in the Comments section at the bottom of each post.

Note: The information contained in this service is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in the service is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment of any illness, condition or disease.

Apr

30

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Researchers Discover Imaging Analysis Helps Predict Patient Outcomes

by: cancercompass

A new imaging analysis method will make it easier to monitor tumor blood volume over time, reports the University of Michigan in a recent press release announcing the development of a parametric response map.

The parametric response map was used to measure blood volume and flow in 44 patients with high-grade glioma.

According to U-M researchers, standard magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol was used to "monitor changes over time in tumor blood volume within individual voxels of the image, rather than a composite view of average change within the tumor."

This allowed researchers a better view of specific areas with blood flow changes, which helped researchers predict patient outcomes.

U-M researchers believe this technique could be useful with other imaging methods, such as PET and CT scans.

 

Apr

30

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Walnuts Reduce Breast Cancer Risk in Mice

by: cancercompass

Researchers have discovered walnuts reduce breast cancer risk in mice, reports Reuters.

Investigators from Marshall University School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, found that feeding mice a human equivalent of a handful of walnuts per day significantly reduced breast cancer risk in mice bred to develop the disease. Reuters reported on the study from a summary presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual meeting in Denver.

Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and phytosterols are all walnut ingredients that have individually impeded cancer growth, according to researchers.

Researchers found the mice that ate walnuts had fewer and smaller breast tumors.  In addition, the walnut-eating mice that did develop breast cancer did so later than other mice studied.

Discuss walnuts and other foods with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers interested in the benefits of a healthy diet. Visit the Cancer Nutrition Message Board.

 

Apr

30

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New Message Board Discussions: Share Your Cancer Experience

by: cancercompass

Caregivers often look for ways to ease treatment burdens for family members fighting cancer.  Learning from the experiences of cancer patients undergoing similar treatments can help.  Caregiver Smith7007 is looking to hear from rectal cancer patients who have experienced problems similar to her father's issues since undergoing surgery more than a year ago. Share your thoughts.

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Problems sleeping may prevent both cancer patients and their caregivers from a restful night's sleep.  James2334 is asking for advice about how to help his father, who is fighting Glioblastoma, get the rest his needs. Join the discussion.

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Maintaining quality of life while fighting cancer is an important part of a patient's overall treatment.  Cancer patients who are frequent travelers, or who just love to travel, may feel that it's important to continue to travel in order to maintain quality of life.  Melissa W, a 31-year-old lung cancer patient, has set a goal for herself to travel to New Zealand.  She's interested in thoughts or feedback about her plans. Share your thoughts.

 

Apr

23

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Lung Cancer Patient Marries Fiancé Where Hope of Fighting Disease Began

by: cancercompass

Philadelphia Daily News Columnist Ronnie Polaneczky celebrated spring and its new beginnings with a heart-warming story of a lung cancer patient who was finally able to marry his fiancé of three years.

Dave Williams recently married Pam Dooden at the chapel inside the Eastern Regional Medical Center of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. The Pennsylvania cancer hospital is where Williams began cancer treatment in December. 

Williams and his new bride chose CTCA as a wedding location because the hospital gave them hope after local doctors exhausted treatment options.

Share your personal experiences and find support by connecting with other cancer patients, survivors and caregivers at the Cancer Compass Lung Cancer Message Board.

Cancer Compass is sponsored by Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

Apr

23

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Susan G. Komen for the Cure Awards $7.8 Million in Breast Cancer Research Grants

by: cancercompass

Susan G. Komen for the Cure has awarded $7.8 million in breast cancer research grants to Thomas Jefferson University and the University Of Pennsylvania School Of Medicine, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal.

These particular grants will support research to further an understanding of which types of breast cancer affect which patients, in order to provide more tailored therapies.

The Philadelphia Business Journal said these grants are part of a $60 million portfolio of research grants that Komen for the Cure, of Dallas, Texas, is investing worldwide.

Join our Research and Clinical Trials Discussion Board to discuss these new breast cancer research grants or your current experience with clinical trials.

 

Apr

23

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Study: HPV Testing for Cervical Cancer Reduces Advanced Cases in Rural India

by: cancercompass

Researchers, say human papillomavirus (HPV) testing for cervical cancer helped reduce the number of advanced cases and deaths from this disease in women living in a high-risk area of rural India.

The New England Journal of Medicine recently published the study, which involved 131,746 healthy women ages 30-59. In 1999 these women were split into four groups; each group was randomly assigned to undergo HPV testing (34,126 women), cytologic testing (32,058 women), VIA (34,074 women) or standard care (31,488 women). Those with positive screenings for precancerous lesions or cancer received appropriate treatment.

After 8 years of research, fewer women in the HPV testing group were diagnosed with advanced cervical cancer compared to the standard care group. More deaths were also reported in the standard care group than in the HPV tested group. There was no significant reduction in the number of advanced cancers or deaths observed in either the cytologic or VIA tested groups, as compared with the standard care group.

Discuss your personal experiences with cervical cancer testing in the Cancer Diagnosis Message Board. Or find other cervical cancer patients, survivors and caregivers at the Cervical Cancer Message Board.

 

Apr

21

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Diabetic Breast Cancer Patients at Higher Risk for Chemo-Related Toxicities

by: cancercompass

Diabetic breast cancer patients have a higher risk for chemotherapy-related toxicities than non-diabetic patients undergoing the same treatment, reports a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center reviewed 70,781 patient records from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results - Medicare Database to identify men and women ages 66 and older who were diagnosed with clinical stages I, II, or III breast cancer between 1992 and 2002.

Of the participants, 20.36% (14,414) had diabetes, and among the people who received chemotherapy (11,826), 21% were diabetic.

Researchers found that diabetics receiving chemotherapy were less likely to receive anthracyclines and taxanes, and that diabetes increased a patient's odds for being hospitalized for any cause, including those associated with chemotherapy, which include toxicity, infection, fever and neutropenia.

Diabetic and non-diabetic patients who did not receive chemotherapy had similar breast cancer specific mortality, but diabetic patients who did receive chemotherapy had higher breast cancer specific mortality than non-diabetic patients.

 

Apr

21

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Research Finds Vitamin D Deficiencies in Breast Cancer Patients

by: cancercompass

Researchers at Columbia University found vitamin D deficiency was a prevalent factor among women with breast cancer.

Investigators conducted the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, because vitamin D deficiency is a known risk factor for increased breast cancer risk and decreased survival rates from the disease. Study authors noted the purpose of their research was to determine the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency in premenopausal women at the beginning of adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer compared to vitamin D supplementation after one year.

Study participants included 103 premenopausal women in breast cancer stages I, II and III who received adjuvant chemotherapy and participated in a one-year zoledronate intervention trial. All patients were prescribed 400 IU of vitamin D3 and 1,000 mg of calcium carbonate daily. Bone mineral density measurements and blood tests were taken at the baseline of months 6 and 12.  Vitamin D deficiency was defined when blood tests revealed serum 25-OHD less than 20 ng/mL.

Researchers found 74% of women were vitamin D deficient; it was slightly less common in white women (66%) as compared with black (80%) and Hispanic (84%) women. After one year of vitamin D supplementation, less than 15% of white and Hispanic women, and no black women had sufficient levels of vitamin D.

Study authors concluded the current dietary recommendations for vitamin D are too low and that optimal dosing has yet to be determined.

Discover what breast cancer patients are saying about vitamin D on our Breast Cancer Discussion Board and the Supplements Discussion Board.

 

Apr

17

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Cancer Survivors Find Emotional Support from Kayaking Adventures

by: cancercompass

Outdoors group First Descent recently made the news for providing emotional support through kayaking adventures for adult cancer survivors.

The Dallas Morning News relayed the story of a 25-year-old thyroid cancer survivor who found confidence and the ability to "conquer anything" after her first kayaking trip with the group.

First Descent founder Brad Ludden says this girl's experience is part of the magic of kayaking, which he considers a "life-changing sport."

First Descent is a non-profit organization that provides all expenses paid kayaking trips with on-site medical care for cancer survivors ages 18-39. Summer trips begin in June and are offered in Wisconsin, Montana, Washington, Colorado, Idaho and Wyoming.

Emotional support is important whether you are a cancer survivor, patient or caregiver.  Find support and encouragement from people who are fighting or have fought cancer.  Use the Cancer Compass Emotional Discussions Message Board to connect with others.

 

Apr

17

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New Studies on the Effects of Exercise on Breast & Ovarian Cancer Patients Receive Funding

by: cancercompass

The U.S. National Cancer Institute is funding research to test theories that exercise along with traditional medical treatments can improve overall survival, as well as the mental and physical condition of ovarian and breast cancer patients.

Forbes reported a Yale professor received $7 million in federal grants for two such studies. The first will see whether moderate aerobic exercise after ovarian cancer treatment affects a woman's body composition, quality of life and any hormone production that could be linked to her ovarian cancer prognosis. The second study will test whether exercise counters any negative side effects from the hormone therapies used to treat women recovering from breast cancer.

Learn what cancer survivors are saying about the effects of after treatment, and join them in the After Treatment Side Effects Discussion Board. Also, connect with other women fighting cancer at the Breast Cancer Discussion Board and the Ovarian Cancer Discussion Board.

 

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