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.

Jun

26

Permalink Comment RSS (1)

Hodgkin's Lymphoma Diagnosis Motivates Teen

by: cancercompass

17 year old Emily White, this year's valedictorian at Lewisville High School in Texas, used her cancer experience as motivation to become a better student.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Emily was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma when she was in 8th grade.  Following a year of chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Emily beat the disease and has now been in remission for nearly 5 years.

In addition to graduating at the top of her senior class this spring, Emily scored a perfect ACT score, was named a Presidential Scholar, and earned a National Merit Scholarship.

According to the Dallas Morning News, Emily was always a good student, but her battle with cancer "became an academic turning point for Emily, who went from being a good student to a stellar one."

How has a battle with cancer changed your life? Share your experiences at the CancerCompass Message Board.

 

Jun

26

Permalink Comment RSS (0)

Air Pollution Increases Cancer Risk for Americans

by: cancercompass

Exposure to toxic air pollution is increasing the risk of developing cancer for all U.S. residents, reports The New York Times.

The National Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) was released this week by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Based on data from the assessment, the EPA estimates that all 285 million Americans have a cancer risk of greater than 10 in a million from air toxins. The average cancer risk for Americans is 36 in a million based on 2002 pollution levels.

Mobile emissions account for 30% of the overall cancer risk, reports the EPA assessment, drawing particular attention to benzene, a carcinogen from burning oil and coal. Benzene is also found in motor vehicle exhaust. Industry emissions account for approximately 25% of the overall risk. Background pollutants, including carbon tetrachloride, account for the remaining 45%. The source of these background pollutants is unknown.

The EPA is already working on an assessment that focuses on 2005 emissions data.

 

Jun

26

Permalink Comment RSS (0)

New Message Board Discussions: Share Your Cancer Experience

by: cancercompass

The level of cancer treatment can vary from country to country depending on resources available to physicians. Caregiver friends4ever is asking for advice on whether her friend, who has been diagnosed with pancreatic and liver cancer, should seek cancer treatment in her native country. Join the conversation.

---

Knowing what's "normal" after specific cancer fighting procedures is difficult for patients who are undergoing treatment for the first time. Patient nvrimgnd discusses his excessive bleeding six weeks after a Low Anterior Resection (LAR surgery). Share your experience.

---

Waiting for confirmation that radiation treatments are truly working is an anxious, hopeful time for many cancer patients. Caregiver Brete updates the CancerCompass community about the initial success of radiation treatments for GBM. Share your thoughts.

 

Jun

17

Permalink Comment RSS (0)

Boy Teams with Cleveland Indians to Beat Pediatric Cancer

by: cancercompass

A young boy looks to beat pediatric cancer on the kickball field.

Quinn Clarke, 9, partnered with the Cleveland Indian Charities to start "Kick It," a fundraising campaign that in two weeks has already raised $20,000 for pediatric cancer research, reports USA Today.

Quinn beat Rhabdomyosarcoma, a malignant tumor of the soft tissue, at age 2 only to be diagnosed last year with a rare triton tumor that's not treatable, reports USA Today. That's when he approached his mother about wanting to cure pediatric cancer through kickball. And his mother obliged by incorporating kickball into Flashes of Hope, a non-profit organization they started seven years ago.

Kick It began in Cleveland and is now in 36 other cities, including Houston and Washington D.C. Kids can register teams online from July to September.  Teams are then chosen to play in five games following the Cleveland Indians' games at Progressive Field in August and September.

 

Jun

11

Permalink Comment RSS (1)

DNA Stool Testing May Screen For Multiple Cancers

by: cancercompass

Performing DNA testing of a person's stool may accurately screen for a variety of cancers found in the pancreas, stomach, bile ducts and esophagus, reports U.S. News & World Report.

Doctors have approached cancer diagnosis one organ at time; however with testing DNA from stool samples, doctors could screen multiple organs to possibly detect cancers earlier, say Mayo Clinic researchers who conducted a recent study on the procedure.

The test works by checking patient stool for the DNA of cells regularly shed from the surface of several types of tumors.

Findings from the study report the test found 65% of esophageal cancers, 62% of pancreatic cancers, 75% of bile duct and gallbladder cancers and 100% of stomach and colorectal cancers.  The test found both early-stage and late-stage cancers successfully.

 

Jun

11

Permalink Comment RSS (0)

Paxil May Help Cancer-Related Memory & Cognitive Issues

by: cancercompass

A National Cancer Institute-supported study suggests Paxil, an antidepressant, may help mental impairments that occur in some cancer patients.

Reporting on the study, Megan Rauscher at Reuters quotes Dr. Pascal Jean-Pierre from the University of Rochester, New York, a researcher conducting the study. Pascal says memory and cognitive function are impacted by cancer and its treatment.  

Because these cancer-related impairments share networks in the brain with depression, Jean-Pierre and colleagues analyzed the effects of Paxil in nearly 800 cancer patients age 22 to 87.

"Significant differences" were found between the patients' reported memory problems after their first round of chemotherapy treatment prior to Paxil and after four cycles of chemo with Paxil, reports Reuters.

Researchers say this study warrants further investigation into using Paxil with chemotherapy treatments.

How have chemotherapy treatments affected your memory and cognitive skills? Share your experiences at the Cancer Treatment Message Board.

 

Jun

11

Permalink Comment RSS (0)

New Tests Improve Pancreas & Bile Duct Cancer Detection

by: cancercompass

According to a recent Forbes report, researchers at Mayo Clinic have developed tests that can more easily identify pancreatic and bile duct cancers.

Results from a study published in the June issue of Gastroenterology claim the new tests "more than doubled the detection rate" of bile duct and pancreatic cancers. Nearly 500 people took part in the study, with the tests increasing cancer detection rates from 20% to 43%.

How are the new tests different from traditional testing for tumors in the bile duct and pancreas? According to Forbes:

"The new testing procedure starts with an endoscopic procedure in which the doctors brush off cells from the duct for study. Traditional cytology is then performed to look for abnormally shaped cells, a search repeated with the additional use of digital image analysis and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The latter procedure uses colored probes visible with a fluorescence microscope to seek abnormal cells."

Discuss your experiences with pancreatic and bile duct cancer detection methods at the Cancer Diagnosis Message Board.

 

Jun

04

Permalink Comment RSS (0)

Study Suggests Alimta Drug Extends Life for Lung Cancer Patients

by: cancercompass

Eli Lilly and Co's drug Alimta is helping advanced lung cancer patients manage their disease for longer lives, reports Reuters.

At the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting, doctors discussed research confirming Alimta's benefit for the nonsquamous type of non-small cell lung cancer.  The findings of this research specifically suggest patients with this type of lung cancer lived five months longer using Alimta than those randomly assigned a placebo.

Common side effects were fatigue and low white blood cell counts. There were no drug-related deaths in the study. According to Reuters, Alimta "is approved for use in combination with chemotherapy as an initial treatment for advanced nonsquamous non-small cell lung cancer."

Talk with advanced lung cancer patients about this and other therapies by joining the conversation at our Lung Cancer Message Board.

 

Jun

04

Permalink Comment RSS (0)

Researchers Link Menopause Treatment to Increased Lung Cancer Death Risk

by: cancercompass

Researchers have linked hormone replacement therapy to an increased risk of lung cancer, reports ABC News.

During the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting, Dr. Rowan Chlebowski of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles said using estrogen and progestin leads to a 59% increase in death risk if women develops non-small cell lung cancer.

These findings are a part of the Women's Health Initiative, which originally linked hormone replacement therapy with increased risk of breast cancer, stroke and blood clots. Despite this, Dr. Chlebowski reports 15% of post menopausal women continue to use this therapy combination, which amounts to 25-30 million prescriptions written yearly.

Managing menopause symptoms without increasing cancer and stroke risk is difficult. Share your experience with alternative methods that work in reducing the many symptoms associated with menopause. Help breast cancer survivors, patients and their caregivers currently supporting one another at both the Cancer Compass Breast Cancer Message Board and the Lung Cancer Message Board.

 

Jun

04

Permalink Comment RSS (0)

Share Hope: Recent CancerCompass Message Board Posts

by: cancercompass

Acupuncture is sometimes used in combination with traditional cancer treatments to relieve symptoms associated with cancer. Patient Jeffrey1 is asking if any CancerCompass community members have had experience with acupuncture being beneficial for BAC (bronchioloalveolar carcinoma). Share your experience.

---

Living far away from a family member who is losing their fight with cancer can be difficult for both the long distance caregiver and the patient. Caregiver EduardoNJ talks about his father-in-law's fight with stomach cancer as he and his wife struggle with living so far from him. Share your thoughts.

---

Trusting your instincts about your body can be difficult when your physician says otherwise. Member Babies discusses her emergency room visit after a LEEP procedure, in an effort to help others trust their instincts when something feels wrong. Share your experience.

 

We care about your feedback. Let us know how we can improve your CancerCompass experience.