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: Moderate Alcohol Consumption May Increase Breast Cancer Recurrence

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, female breast cancer survivors who drink moderately may increase their risk of breast cancer recurrence – particularly women who are postmenopausal and overweight.

Researchers studied nearly 2,000 participants diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer between 1997 and 2000.

"For those patients who really want to enjoy their wine and are thin, you can assure them that a little bit of wine with dinner is not going to make a dramatic difference in their breast cancer risk. But for those who are overweight/obese, you can ask them to control their alcohol intake," Dr. Paula Klein, medical oncologist and breast cancer specialist, told HealthDay.

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our breast cancer information page.

Aug

30

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A Connections Cure

by Dana Demas

A life-changing experience like cancer can make or break relationships. Some friends or family become supportive in ways you never imagined possible. Others are surprisingly absent or simply not comforting like they once were. Usually, it’s nothing personal. It’s just life, twisting and turning, and shaking up your relationships in the process.

As things change, you may discover that connecting with other cancer patients, families and caregivers is comforting.  You have something in common and building a new relationship can seem almost effortless.

Social media offers many opportunities for making these kinds of connections – helping you understand you don’t have to face cancer alone, and offering some unique benefits:

  • Share your experience with others – Many people with cancer share similar frustrations, fears and challenges.  An online community, like a message board or a Facebook group, can help you make sense of your experiences and transform your experience of cancer. These networks are available anytime, and they may feel less stressful than face-to-face interactions. You reach out for the support you need, when you need it.
  • Explore treatment optionsEddie Dwyer, a 28-year-old colon cancer survivor, travels from Florida to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia, where he feels he found better treatment options. He has taken to Facebook, Twitter and a daily blog to share his treatment experience – part of the hospital’s “real time” campaign to share their patients’ daily journeys through cancer.
  • Keep family and friends up to dateJenny Scott started a blog when her infant daughter, Allie, was diagnosed with leukemia. She shared her feelings, and also updates about her daughter’s treatment, which meant she didn’t have to return as many phone calls and emails. This can be a particularly draining part of cancer to manage. If you don’t have a blog, sites like caringbridge.org allow you to set up a free webpage to keep family and friends informed.

 

Aug

30

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Study: Esophageal Cancer Rate Doubles in UK

by: cancercompass

According to a new study from Cancer Research UK, esophageal cancer rates have doubled in men over 25 years old in the last 25 years. Women's rates have increased only 8 percent during that same period.

"One basic issue is that men's diets are worse than women's. They tend to eat more fatty foods and less fruit and veg. Both of those things increase reflux disease, where acid comes up from the stomach," Janusz Jankowski, esophageal cancer expert at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, told BBC News.

Esophageal cancer survivor Larry Rees was interviewed by BBC News after undergoing a "radical" surgery that removed part of his esophagus and stomach. Rees stated that he no longer can indulge in three course meals. Rather, he must graze all day - eating small amounts of food very slowly.

What are your thoughts regarding this large increase in esophageal cancer? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

To learn more about the cancer featured in this article, please visit our esophageal cancer information page.

Aug

27

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Sheryl Crow Imaging Center Opens

by: cancercompass

Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow joined forces with the Pink Lotus Breast Cancer Center and to open the Sheryl Crow Imaging Center.

Pink Lotus Breast Cancer Center was founded by Crow's breast cancer surgeon Dr. Kristi Funk. Crow underwent a lumpectomy and radiation therapy, and has been cancer-free ever since.

"The Sheryl Crow Imaging Center is a state of the art digital screening and diagnostic imaging center located inside of every Pink Lotus Breast Center. Named after singer, songwriter and breast cancer survivor Sheryl Crow, the Sheryl Crow Imaging Center features the latest advancements in digital screening and diagnostic imaging technologies available," as stated on the Pink Lotus website.

To learn more about the cancer featured in this article, please visit our breast cancer information page.

Aug

26

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Adolescent Cancer, Marriage, and a Baby Made Three

by: cancercompass

A heart-warming article published Wednesday in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution highlights how cancer brought two young people together, which later led to marriage, and a baby born only three weeks ago.

Kevin Skelly was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia at the young age of 4, and Kelly Skelly was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma during her first year of high school.

The two met as teenagers at Camp Sunshine in 1996. Located in Casco, Maine, Camp Sunshine is a retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses.

“The first time I saw her we were in arts and crafts and I was like, ‘Whoa!’” Kevin Skelly told the AJC. “I’ve got to find a way to meet her.”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

If you have a few minutes, please take the chance to read this heart-warming article about how something as devastating as cancer brought happiness to two survivors. Do you or someone you know have a story like this? Please share it in the comments section.

To learn more about the cancers featured in this article, please visit our leukemia information and non-hodgkin's lymphoma information pages.

Aug

26

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Study: Breast Cancer Tests May Increase Cancer Risk

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in the monthly journal Radiology, breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) and positron emission mammography (PEM), two diagnostic tests used to find breast cancer, may increase one's risk of developing fatal cancer.

"A single breast-specific gamma imaging (BSGI) or positron emission mammography (PEM) examination carries a lifetime risk of inducing fatal cancer greater than or comparable to a lifetime of annual screening mammography starting at age 40," Dr. R. Edward Hendrick, the study's author and clinical professor of radiology at the University of Colorado-Denver, noted in a written statement.

According to the study, one BSGI exam has a lifetime attributable risk of 20–30 times higher than digital mammography in 40-year-old women. And one PEM exam has a 23 times higher lifetime attributable risk than that of digital mammography.

To learn more about the cancer featured in this article, please visit out breast cancer information page.

Aug

24

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40-Year-Old Cancer Survivor Learns to Play Hockey

by: cancercompass

As a teenager growing up in Erie, PA., Eric Naughton became a diehard Pittsburgh Penguins fan when his father installed an antenna originally intended to watch the Canadian broadcasts of the 1986 FIFA World Cup. Because they were Canadian broadcasts, Naughton was also able to watch Hockey Night in Canada.

"I always wanted to play as a kid and never could because it was too expensive and then as I kind of grew up you kind of start thinking, 'Oh, these guys they have 10 years of skating on me. How am I ever going to be able to learn to play hockey?' so you just kind of blow it off thinking you can never do it," Naughton told Yahoo! Sports last month.

After learning that he had Hodgkin's lymphoma back in 2007, the now 40-year-old cancer survivor is pursuing his dream and learning to play the sport he always wanted to play but never had the chance.

A filmmaker in Los Angeles, Naughton is also shooting a documentary about his journey titled: Life, Cancer and the Pursuit of Hockey. His story will conclude with him playing at the Pittsburgh Penguins fantasy camp in February 2011

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our hodgkin's disease information page.

Aug

23

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JetBlue Airways’ eBay Fundraiser Benefits American Cancer Society

by: cancercompass

JetBlue Airways’ "All You Can Jet" (AYCJ) pass program allows travelers to enjoy unlimited travel for 30 days for a one-time fee.

The AYCJ packages include: AYCJ-7, which is 30 days of unlimited travel valued at $699 and AYCJ-5, which is 30 days of unlimited travel - but excludes Fridays and Sundays - valued at $499.

Those two packages are now up for auction on eBay where the highest bidder wins and all proceeds will benefit the American Cancer Society.

"We were proud to be the first airline to sell tickets to flights on eBay," Robin Hayes, executive vice president and chief commercial officer for JetBlue Airways, stated in a news release. "The success from our eBay auction in 2008 and the resounding response of last year's All You Can Jet pass made the coupling of the two a natural choice for us. Plus, we welcome any opportunity we get to work with organizations like the American Cancer Society and its vital work with the shared goal of helping those in need."

The auction opened Monday, August 23rd at 9 a.m. and closes Thursday, August 26th at 9 a.m.

Will you be participating in this JetBlue auction to benefit the American Cancer Society?

Aug

20

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HPV Vaccine Co-Founder Claims Boys Should Get Vaccinated

by: cancercompass

The HPV vaccine protects against the human papillomavirus, which causes cervical cancer. Cervical cancer is cancer of the cervix, and only females have cervixes. So why would HPV vaccine co-founder Dr. Doug Lowy suggest that boys get the vaccine, too?

In an NPR article published Friday, Lowy said that although boys don't get cervical cancer they can transmit it, and vaccinating them would reduce the amount of HPV.

NPR also interviewed Dr. Matt Daley. Daley suggests that more girls need to be vaccinated. According to the article, only 11 percent of girls get all three doses of the HPV vaccine.

Daley thinks girls should be vaccinated in schools, not in a doctor’s office.

"Kids are there, and they are there every day," Daley told NPR. "They are a captive audience."

What are your thoughts about the possibility of boys getting the HPV vaccine? Would you allow your young son to be vaccinated? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

To learn more about the cancer featured in this post, please visit our cervical cancer information page.

Aug

19

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Study: 1,800-year-old Chinese Brew Combats Intestinal Damage

by: cancercompass

According to a new study published in Science Translational Medicine, Huang Qin Tang, an 1,800-year-old four-herb Chinese medicinal formula, lowers gastrointestinal toxins caused by irinotecan - a chemotherapy drug.

"Irinotecan reduces tumor growth by itself but if you combine with PHY906, it will further reduce tumor growth," Yung-Chi Cheng, lead author at the Yale University School of Medicine, told Reuters. PHY906 is the laboratory name of Huang Qin Tang.

The ancient concoction has been used to treat symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting. The formula contains peonies, a flower called skullcap, licorice and fruit from a buckhorn tree.

What are your thoughts regarding this new study?

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