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.

Sep

30

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Scientists Say New Microchip Can Detect Cancer

by: cancercompass

Using nanotechnology, University of Toronto researchers have built a microchip they say will detect early stage cancers, reports ComputerWorld.

Scientists say the chip, built with nanowires, can detect the type and severity of the disease by sensing trace amounts of cancer biomarkers. These biomarkers are biologic molecules that indicate the presence or progression of cancer.
 
This latest nanotechnology advancement was announced just one month after scientists at the Washington University School of Medicine said they created "nanobees." In an experiment involving mice, scientists were able to use nanobees to deliver bee venom called melittin to cancerous tumor cells.

Other advancements in nanotechnology announced earlier this year were made by MIT scientists, who say they used nanoparticles to deliver genes to kill ovarian tumors in mice. In addition, MIT scientists developed gold nanoparticles that kill cancerous tumors with heat without damaging the surrounding tissue.

 

Sep

28

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Scientists Discover 4 New Genetic Variations May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

Scientists from deCode genetics recently announced they have discovered four novel single-letter variations in the sequence of the human genome (SNPs) that may increase prostate cancer risk, reports Reuters.

The SNPs are located on chromosomes 3q21, 19q13 and 8q24, a region of the genome where deCode and other scientists have found risk factors for prostate, breast, colon and bladder cancer.

These findings, published in the journal Nature Genetics, were followed by a population-based analysis in Iceland of these and other published sequence variants linked with increased prostate cancer risk. The analysis suggests that by testing for these published SNPs it is possible to identify the 1.5 percent of men who are at more than 2.5 times the average risk for the disease.

Discuss this and other genetic research with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers at the CancerCompass Genetics Message Board.

 

Sep

25

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New Prostate Cancer Guide Includes Insights from R&B Singer & Cancer Survivor

by: cancercompass

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) has released Straight Talk for African-American Men and their Families, a guide aimed at educating African American men about their increased risk for prostate cancer.

The publication was produced in alliance with Charlie Wilson, famed R&B singer and recent prostate cancer survivor. The new guide includes personal thoughts from Wilson, in addition to entertainers D.L. Hughley and Snoop Dogg.

According to a PCF press release, African-American men are 1.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 2.4 times more likely to die from it than Caucasian men.

You can order a free copy of the guide online at www.pcf.org/charliewilson.

Discuss this new guide, as well as your own personal experiences at our Prostate Cancer Message Board.

 

Sep

24

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CDC Releases First Report on Cervical Cancer Vaccine Rates

by: cancercompass

While one in three teenage girls have received a vaccine against cervical cancer, rates vary between states, reports the Associated Press.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released the first report to show state-by-state rates for the Gardasil vaccine that targets the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus.

In that report, more than half of girls ages 13-17 in Rhode Island and New Hampshire got at least one dose of the three-shot vaccination. The lowest rates were in Mississippi, Georgia and South Carolina.

Are you considering having your teen vaccinated for cervical cancer? Share your thoughts about this and other cancer prevention methods at our Cancer Prevention Message Board.

 

Sep

23

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Cupcakes for a Cause Supports Kids Affected by Cancer

by: cancercompass

As part of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the six annual Cupcakes for a Cause Week runs September 21-27 to raise money for CancerCare for Kids.

CancerCare for Kids is a program that provides free, professional counseling and support services to children affected by cancer. Parents and children can purchase flowers and cupcakes, or bake and decorate their own virtual cupcakes to help kids with cancer find support.

Floral retailer 1-800-Flowers.com is teaming with local bakeries to sell specially designed products to support children with cancer. Bakeries will donate proceeds from cupcakes bearing the smiley face icon of the CancerCare for Kids program.

1-800-Flowers.com will donate one dollar per person, up to $1,000, for anyone who becomes a fan of their company Facebook page, as well as 10 percent of proceeds from its specially designed Cupcakes for a Cause collection. In addition, 1-800-Flowers.com will make a one dollar donation, up to $5,000, for every virtual e-Cupcake sent.

Visit Cupcakes for a Cause for a complete list of participating bakeries and florists nationwide.

 

Sep

22

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FDA Approves Blood Test to Inform Ovarian Cancer Patients' Surgical Options

by: cancercompass

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a blood test that helps ovarian cancer patients and their doctors decide what type of surgery should be done and who should perform the procedure, reports Reuters.

OVA1 helps detect ovarian cancer in a pelvic mass that is already known to require surgery. Despite negative clinical and radiographic tests for ovarian cancer, OVA1 helps identify women who will benefit from referral to a gynecological oncologist for surgery. If other test results suggest cancer, "referral to an oncologist is appropriate even with a negative OVA1 result," reports Reuters.

OVA1 tests the levels of five different proteins that change due to ovarian cancer. Results appear in a numerical score between 0 and 10 to indicate the likelihood that the pelvic mass is benign or malignant.

Reuters reports that the OVA1 test is intended for women 18 years and older who are already selected for surgery because of their pelvic mass. It is not intended for ovarian cancer screening and is not a definitive diagnostic tool for ovarian cancer. Also, this test should not replace other diagnostic and clinical procedures.

Share your thoughts about OVA1 or other lab tests at the CancerCompass Diagnostic Lab Tests Message Board.

 

Sep

21

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Difficult Cancer Prognosis Helps A Man Start Living

by: cancercompass

UK-based newspaper The Independent recently featured one man's story about finding hope after a difficult cancer prognosis.

The article highlights 49-year-old Bruce Beach's reaction to being diagnosed with rare neuroendocrine cancer known as the "quiet cancer." His doctors predict he has approximately 5 years left to live.

According to Bruce, the diagnosis made him realize he never truly lived until he was dying. In the last two months alone he has completed a source-to-sea quest down the River Thames in a canoe and taken a three-week road trip around Scandinavia and Europe on a vintage motorcycle. He has also raised money for charity, recorded an album with his band and is preparing to play at London's famous 100 Club, and formed a performing arts club for local artists and musicians.

Beach attributes his new lease on life to a change in his mind set. He told The Independent, "After the diagnosis I broke down twice. I didn't want to make a habit of it but that release of emotions really helped ... I decided to make the problem useful and then I started to see all sorts of opportunities."

Have you or someone close to you recently learned of a difficult cancer diagnosis? Share your experiences with cancer patients, survivors and caregivers at our Cancer Diagnosis Message Board.

 

Sep

18

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PCEC Offers Free & Low-Cost Prostate Cancer Screenings to U.S. Men

by: cancercompass

The Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC) is coordinating free or low-cost prostate cancer screenings for thousands of men across the United States during Prostate Cancer Awareness Week, Sept. 20 - 26.

For the past decade, PCEC has dedicated the third week of September to helping men detect prostate cancer early, when it's most treatable, reports Reuters.  To date the council has successfully scheduled more than three million screenings. This year they hope to perform more than 125,000 screenings at nearly 500 sites across the United States.

PCEC recommends 35-year-old men to have a baseline prostate health assessment, including a Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test and a Digital Rectal Exam (DRE) and to establish a screening schedule with doctors that works for them. It will take about 10 minutes for trained professionals to perform both PSA blood tests and DREs during Prostate Cancer Awareness Week.

Visit www.prostateconditions.org or call toll free 866-4PROST8 to find the screening site nearest you.

What are your experiences with prostate cancer screenings? Share your experiences with cancer prevention at our Cancer Screening Message Board.

 

Sep

17

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Research Suggests STI May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

New research suggests a common sexually transmitted infection called trichomoniasis could increase prostate cancer risk, reports The Washington Post.

As part of a large body of ongoing research called the Physicians' Health Study, doctors from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston analyzed blood samples from 673 prostate cancer patients. Compared to 673 men without prostate cancer, those with the infection were more than twice as likely to develop prostate cancer that was advanced when it was diagnosed a decade later, and nearly three times as likely to get a lethal case, according to findings published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

According to researchers, the sexually transmitted infection may increase prostate cancer risk by causing inflammation in the prostate gland. Trichomoniasis is specifically caused by a parasite called trichomonas vaginalis, which infects approximately 174 million people worldwide each year, making it the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection. According to the Washington Post report, three-quarters of infected men don't realize it.

Doctors say more research is necessary to confirm the results of this study.

What you think about this study? Share your thoughts and experiences at the CancerCompass Prostate Cancer Message Board.

 

Sep

16

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CancerCompass Community Shares Experiences, Hope on Message Board

by: cancercompass

Caregiver laylajay is asking for input from the CancerCompass community about breast cancer that has metastasized to the liver. She has conducted some research about her sister-in-law's condition, but would like to learn more about liver cancer from other patients, survivors or caregivers. Share your experiences.

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18-year-old Patient Icsjoshj has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease and is looking to establish a support system. He's curious what experiences others have had in fighting Hodgkin's and whether they can help him know what to expect. Share your thoughts.

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Caregiver Mel20 is looking for suggestions about pain medications that may provide a better quality of life for her 80-year-old mother, who has been diagnosed with Stage 1 Adencarcinoma. Share your experiences.

 

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