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.

Aug

31

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Study Findings Suggest GLI1 Protein Could Mean Poor Prognosis

by: cancercompass

Research suggests elevated levels of the protein GLI1 (glioma-associated oncogene homolog 1) may point to more aggressive and advanced breast cancer tumors, reports HealthDay.

German researchers compared healthy breast tissue with 229 breast tissue samples taken from breast cancer patients. Greater likelihood of death, advanced cancer and an increased number of cancerous lymph nodes were found in patients with elevated levels of the GLI1 protein, according to the study.

Researchers say the study's findings, which were published in the journal BMC Cancer, may help doctors determine a patient's prognosis.

Discuss this post and share your personal experiences at the CancerCompass Breast Cancer Message Board.

 

Aug

31

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Study Reveals People More Likely to Have Bad Attitudes About Colon Cancer Screening

by: cancercompass

Research about colorectal cancer attitudes may help create strategies to get more people screened, reports Reuters.

A new study found men and people of South Asian descent were more likely to have less favorable perceptions of colon cancer screenings. Researchers noted that attitude is a key determining factor as to whether a person receives the testing. Encouraging these screenings improve the chances of detecting the disease in early stages, which in turn improves overall survival, reports Reuters.

To understand these reluctant attitudes, researchers surveyed 11,355 people. Overall findings were 14% of those surveyed had negative perceptions of colorectal cancer screening in general and 55% of people had the same opinion of a colonoscopy.

Men, older people and people of South Asian descent were more negative about colon cancer screenings, according to the study.

 

Aug

31

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Experimental Osteoporosis Drug May Help Fracture Risk in Prostate Cancer Patients

by: cancercompass

New research suggests an experimental osteoporosis drug called denosumab may help reduce fracture risk in patients with nonmetastatic prostate cancer.

A study published in The New England Journal of Medicine concluded Denosumab was associated with increased bone mineral density and reduced the incidence of new vertebral fractures in men receiving androgen-deprivation therapy for nonmetastatic prostate cancer.

The Food and Drug Administration advisory committee recommended the drug for women being treated for osteoporosis and men experiencing bone loss from prostate cancer treatments, reports the LA Times.  While the recommendation means the drug's makers, Amgen Inc., are one step closer to have denosumab approved, the FDA won't officially decide until October.

Researchers randomly assigned prostate cancer patients to receive either a subcutaneous 60 mg dose of denosumab or a placebo every six months for 36 months. Changes in bone mineral densities at the femoral neck and total hip were measured, along with any new vertebral fractures at 24 months and 36 months.

Overall findings suggest bone mineral density of the lumbar spin increased by 5.6% in the denosumab group as compared with a loss of 1%t in the placebo group. Significant differences between the groups were seen as early as 1 month and sustained throughout the 26 month period.

What are your thoughts about this drug? Share your thoughts about denosumab or your current cancer treatment experiences at our Prostate Cancer Message Board.

 

Aug

31

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Study Links Beer & Liquor Consumption With Increased Risk of Multiple Cancers

by: cancercompass

Drinking beer or liquor on a regular basis may increase the risk of several different cancers in men, reports Reuters.

Research published in Cancer Prevention and Detection analyzed the cancer risk of 3,600 Canadian men ages 35 to 70. Findings suggest the men who averaged at least one drink per day had higher risks for a variety of cancers than men who drank occasionally or not at all.

Specifically, beer and liquor consumption - not wine - heightened overall risks for being diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, stomach, colon, lungs, pancreas, liver and prostate.

Cancer risks only increased based on each man's lifetime alcohol consumption, according to the study.

 

Aug

31

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Study Finds Marital Separation Could Hurt Cancer Survivability

by: cancercompass

Married cancer patients tend to have higher survival rates than patients who divorce or are widowed after being diagnosed, reports HealthDay.

The journal Cancer published new research that suggests the stress of separation could affect the immune system's ability to suppress cancer.

 Nearly 3.8 million cancer patients were analyzed by investigators, who found even patients who never married faired better than those who separated. Specifically, separated spouses were about one-third less likely to survive for a decade, say researchers.

How are you managing the stress of a cancer diagnosis? Share your experiences with patients, survivors and caregivers at the CancerCompass Cancer Diagnosis Message Board.

 

Aug

31

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CancerCompass Members Share Experiences

by: cancercompass

Maintaining quality of life is an important factor for patients and family members when considering cancer treatment options. Caregiver tisha55 discusses how her husband's GBM has spread despite consistent treatment, and wonders whether a more aggressive treatment option is the right decision. Share your experiences.

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CancerCompass member hapsood wonders if a PET scan can effectively detect oral cancers. Join the conversation.

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Caregiver Shashikanth shares how her brother's thyroid cancer was detected without showing any signs or symptoms. Doctors are suggesting Lu-177-Dotatate therapy and she wonders whether anyone has experience with this treatment option. Share your thoughts.

 

Aug

26

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Research Suggests Jogging May Trump Fishing in Preventing Cancer

by: cancercompass

Research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests more physical forms of exercise may reduce cancer risk, reports NY Times Columnist Gretchen Reynolds.

Doctors studied the health of a group of 2,560 middle-aged men over a period of 17 years. All the participants were cancer-free and living in eastern Finland.

At the study's end, 181 men died of cancer and researchers discovered the more physically-active men were least likely to develop cancer, particularly of the gastrointestinal tract and the lung. Strenuous activities like jogging proved more protective than less exhausting activities like fishing, according to researchers.

Discuss your experiences with exercise as a preventative measure against this disease at the CancerCompass Cancer Prevention Message Board.

 

Aug

26

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Low-Dose Estrogen May Help Breast Cancer Relapse Says Study

by: cancercompass

Researchers are suggesting a very low dose of estrogen might help women fighting breast cancer prevent a reoccurrence, reports Reuters.

Dr. Matthew Ellis of Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and colleagues studied 66 women with advanced breast cancer who were treated with an aromatase inhibitor that blocks estrogen. Some of these drugs include Pfizer's Aromasin, Novartis's Femara and AstraZeneca Plc's Arimidex. Women taking part in the study all experienced a relapse after treatment with these estrogen blocking drugs.

Doctors gave the women estradiol, a form of estrogen, in both high and very low doses. Both doses helped 30% of the women, with the lower dosage being more tolerable, according the study's findings.

Also, Reuters explains the treatment was not always permanent. In that 30% of women helped by the estrogen, the tumors did in fact start growing again. One-third of these women were helped by being placed back on an aromatase inhibitor instead of chemotherapy which is often more toxic and less tolerable.

What treatments has your doctor placed you or a loved one on to fight breast cancer relapse? Share your experience with members of the CancerCompass Breast Cancer Discussion Board.

 

Aug

20

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Research Suggests Better Breast Cancer Detection Rates with Digital Mammography

by: cancercompass

Researchers suggest performing digital, instead of film, mammography has increased breast cancer detection rates, reports Reuters Health.

Despite these findings, up to 70% of screening facilities continue to use film-screen mammography, which projects a breast image onto film. Digital mammography, by contrast, takes an electronic image that is stored in a computer. Doctors are able to manipulate digital images and use software that helps detect any abnormalities.

Doctors Fred S. Vernacchia and Zachary G. Pena, of the San Luis Diagnostic Center in San Luis Obispo, California analyzed data on 4,838 mammography screenings taken the year before the center converted to digital mammography and on more than 21,500 screenings taken over the subsequent 3 years.

Cancers detected prior to the switch to digital mammography averaged between 4.1 to 4.5 cancers per 1,000 women screened, whereas after the switch doctors found 7.9 cancers per 1,000 women imaged.

What's your opinion about breast cancer screening? Share your experiences with breast cancer survivors, patients and caregivers discussing prevention methods at the CancerCompass Message Boards.

 

Aug

20

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WCRF Suggests Parents Choose Processed Meat Alternatives

by: cancercompass

The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) warns that parents should choose poultry, fish, low-fat cheeses and hummus over processed meats such as salami and ham in their children's lunch boxes, reports the Guardian UK. Not doing so could increase a child's risk of developing poor eating habits that could lead to a cancer diagnosis.

WCRF specifically states that if Britain residents were to eat no more than 70g of processed meats -- the equivalent of three servings of bacon -- a week, about 3,700 fewer people per year would receive a bowel cancer diagnosis in the country.

Scientific evidence that suggested processed meat consumption increased bowel cancer risk in adults led the WCRF to suggest that children should also avoid it.

 

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