Weekly and Monthly Newsletter

Study shows low-dose chemotherapy regimens could prevent tumor recurrence in some cancers 

Conventional, high-dose chemotherapy treatments can cause the fibroblast cells surrounding tumors to secrete proteins that promote the tumors’ recurrence in more aggressive forms, researchers at Taipei Medical University and the National Institute of Cancer Research in Taiwan and University of California, San Francisco, have discovered. Frequent, low-dose chemotherapy regimens avoid this effect and may therefore be more effective at treating certain types of breast and pancreatic cancer.

New Cancer Database Could Be The Key To Finding A Cure 

An international collaborative among four major research networks aims to create a faster way to develop better treatments and cures. The Human Cancer Models Initiative should speed up advances in treatments, as researchers can use a database while investigating how to cure different cancers.

Find the Right Doctor and Triumph over Cancer

No one should be kept in the dark and simply believe “the doctor knows best” when it comes to an illness that has claimed the lives of so many. The right doctor treats you as a whole person − not just another appointment to rush through their exam room so they can get to the next file. There are many things to consider before you trust someone you do not know with your life.

The sexual aftermath of cancer treatment

From changes in body image to erectile dysfunction to excised bits and pieces, things just don’t quite work the same for many after a cancer diagnosis. The sad truth is along with saving your life (knock wood), cancer treatment can squelch your libido, make sex painful (or impossible), mess with your ability to orgasm and even render your private parts numb — and that goes for both men and women. It’s not a given and it’s all a matter of degrees, but it happens. A lot.

These Breast Cancer Symptoms Often Go Unnoticed 

Around 1 in 6 women eventually diagnosed with breast cancer initially go to their doctors with a symptom other than a lump, according to a new study conducted in England. Women who have a symptom of breast cancer other than lumps are also more likely to wait to see a doctor, compared with women who do have lumps, the researchers found. That might put them at risk of worse outcomes if the cancer isn’t caught quickly.

Help From Pets

My Chihuahua (in the picture) was a great comfort to me when I was undergoing chemotherapy. Many cancer patients report being helped by their pets. Some say they felt closer to their dogs than to humans throughout their journey—their dogs intuitively knew when they were sad or in pain and needed a buddy to be with, and never left their sides. And, unlike humans, they never said the wrong thing.

Dietary intakes of mushrooms and green tea combine to reduce the risk of breast cancer in Chinese women 

Chineses researchers concluded that higher dietary intake of mushrooms decreased breast cancer risk in pre- and postmenopausal Chinese women and an additional decreased risk of breast cancer from joint effect of mushrooms and green tea was observed. More research is warranted to examine the effects of dietary mushrooms and mechanism of joint effects of phytochemicals on breast cancer.

Holiday Depression and Breast Cancer

Seasonal depression and depression after breast cancer surgery or treatment are very real. Some people suffer symptoms and some don’t. For those of us who do find ourselves feeling down in the dumps for an extended period of time, it’s important to seek help.

No Cure Yet for Breast Cancer, but 3 Big Advances in 2016 

The biggest advance of 2016 in breast cancer has to be how a combination of targeted cancer drugs completely obliterated all signs of breast cancer in 11% of patients in only 11 days. Second, scientists found 93 genes whose mutations convert a normal breast cell into a cancer cell, and this list of genes will be handed over to the universities, the pharmaceuticals, the biotech companies to start developing new drugs. Another huge breakthrough this year brought us much closer to a blood test for breast cancer that could eliminate mammograms.

How New Technology Makes Locating Tumors Simpler Than Ever 

Unlike older systems that require radiation or wires to locate lesions, the SAVI Scout places a tiny staple-sized device known as a reflector into the targeted tissue up to one week before surgery. This saves time on operation day and eliminates the anxiety of seeing exposed wires protrude from under the skin, as was common with older procedures.

Vitamin D may increase survival for breast cancer patients 

Researchers looked at levels of the vitamin D biomarker 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) at the time of the diagnosis, and associated them with survival prognosis. They found that the lower the levels of 25OHD, the higher the levels of disease progression and death. Lower levels of 25OHD were associated with higher tumor stage and grade, and women with the highest levels of 25OHD had higher survival rates overall.
Levels of 25OHD also increased proportionally with vitamin D dietary and supplemental intake.

The Affordable Care Act and Cancer 

Cancer patients and survivors need to look at two parts of the plan that have made our lives much easier. Under ACA, insurance companies can no longer deny coverage because of preexisting conditions. Second, insurance companies are no longer allowed to place annual or lifetime caps on what they will pay.

Brain Training and Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment

An important new study on cancer-related cognitive impairment—often called “chemobrain”—was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In the study, cancer survivors were able to reverse symptoms of cognitive impairment at home by adding computerized brain exercises to their standard care. Study participants who used the brain exercises reported less cognitive impairment, stress, fatigue, and anxiety/depression immediately after training and six months later.

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