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.

Mar

18

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Nevada Football Shaves Its Head

by: cancercompass

University of Nevada football coaches and players celebrated St. Patrick's Day a little differently on Wednesday than most folks around the world.

Five Nevada football coaches and several Wolf Pack players got together and shaved their heads Wednesday to support and raise money for the children's cancer research organization - St. Baldrick's Day.

According to the organizations website, St. Baldrick's Day uses the donations made to fund more childhood cancer research grants than any other organization, except for the United States government.

Mar

18

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VA Hospital Receives Fine Regarding Radiation Doses

by: cancercompass

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission fined the Department of Veterans Affairs $227,500 after a VA hospital in Pennsylvania treated prostate cancer patients with incorrect doses of radiation.

"This substantial fine emphasizes the high significance of violations at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center that resulted in close to 100 of our nation's veterans receiving substandard treatments," NRC regional administrator Mark Satorius told the Associated Press.

The fine is the second largest the NCA has ever issued. The largest fine was $280,000, which was issued in two separate cases in 1987 and 1994, according to the AP.

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

Mar

17

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Study: New Intensive Radiation Therapy May Be Good for Lung Cancer

by: cancercompass

A new study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association found that patients with early stage, inoperable lung cancer who received stereotactic body radiation therapy doubled their rate of "tumor control" compared to conventional radiation therapy.

Stereotactic radiation therapy is a precise form of radiation therapy, which uses narrow beams of radiation directed at tumors from different angles.

This radiation therapy, in one to five treatments (instead of the conventional 20 to 30), delivered more than double the rate of tumor control than seen in prior studies of conventional radiation therapy.

According to Dr. Robert Timmerman, who published the study, "The primary finding and perhaps most exciting aspect to this prospective study was the high rate of primary tumor control."

Study findings indicate that the treatment controlled tumor growth for three years in 97.6 percent of patients.

"Primary tumor control is an essential requirement for the cure of lung cancer," says Timmerman.

Learn more about the cancer mentioned in this post by visiting our lung cancer information page.

 

Mar

17

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To Forgive Is to Heal

by Dana Demas

Could forgiveness help you? Forgiving another person for hurtful actions or words is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. It’s also one of the best. While you may feel that forgiveness lets the other person off the hook, it actually benefits you in powerful ways:

  • Helps reduce stress – and cortisol levels in your body, which has a cascade of effects on immune function, energy levels and your emotional well-being.
  • Lowers your blood pressure – yes, when you feel less angry your blood pressure goes down and your heart benefits.
  • Improves your mental health – you’ll feel more positive and more in control of your emotions.
  • Supports your relationships – you’ll bring more understanding and happiness to your relationships now, instead of revisiting the energy of the past.

Remember, to forgive does not mean to forget. It only means that you accept what happened, and then decide to put your health and happiness first. No one said it was easy, but life’s unfair moments offer potent opportunities for transformation – and healing.

Mar

16

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Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer on the Rise

by: cancercompass

According to an article published Monday in BusinessWeek, the most common type of skin cancer is on the rise.

Nonmelanoma skin cancer, the most common type of the disease, increased 14.3 percent from 2002 to 2006, according to the Archives of Dermatology.

Skin cancer is the most curable of all cancer types, with the exception of malignant melanoma.

"There’s an epidemic of skin cancer," Dr. Howard Rogers told BusinessWeek. Rogers is a dermatologist in Connecticut who headed the research published in the Archives of Dermatology. "Part of that is people continuing to have a lack of appreciation of the danger of going out in the sun."

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

Mar

15

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Study: Freezing Breast Tumors in Mice Stops Cancer From Spreading

by: cancercompass

According to a new University of Michigan study, freezing cancer tumors in the breast kills the cancer whilst generating an immune response that helps stop spreading of the cancer.

The process of freezing tumors is called cryoablation. During this study, mice with breast cancer were given two methods of the process: a rapid freeze technique, and a slower freezing technique.

Researchers found mice that underwent the rapid freezing technique had fewer tumors that spread, and improved their survival rates more so than the mice that underwent the slower process or surgery alone.

"Cryoablation has strong potential as a treatment for breast cancer. Not only does it appear effective in treating the primary tumor with little cosmetic concerns, but it also may stimulate an immune response capable of eradicating any cells that have traveled throughout the body, reducing both local and distant recurrence, similar to giving a breast cancer vaccine," stated lead researcher Michael Sabel, M.D., associate professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School, in a U-M press release.

Researchers are now partaking in a clinical trial using cryoablation for early stage breast cancer patients. These patients will undergo the rapid freezing method.

According to the press release, cryoablation is currently used for prostate, kidney, liver, and bone cancers.

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

Mar

12

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Cancer Patient Crashes During Iditarod Race

by: cancercompass

Iditarod racer and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma cancer patient, Pat Moon, crashed into a tree Tuesday in a remote gorge during the 1,049-mile Alaskan race.

Moon, who doesn't remember hitting the tree, broke his hand, sustained a concussion, and facial bruises.

He told the Chicago Sun-Times: "I’m just waiting for the deep unendingess of depression to kick in shortly. The realization that my life goal and dream came to a screeching halt because of a pine tree."

A Belgian musher named Sam Deltour discovered Moon, who was airlifted to Anchorage.

Although heartbroken that he couldn't finish the race, Moon plans to travel to Nome and greet the finishers. He also hopes to shake Deltour's hand, and race again next year, if his wife agrees to it.

"I saw parts of the world that no one else sees,” he continued. “That is a crazy part of the world and I got to see it behind an Iditarod-caliber dog team."

To learn more about the cancer mentioned in this post, please visit our non-Hodgkin's lymphoma information page.

Mar

11

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Say "I Do" for This Young Couple

by Dana Demas

Think breast cancer only affects older women? Think again.

Roughly five percent of breast cancers occur in women younger than 40 and a whopping 250,000 women living in the U.S. today were diagnosed before age 40.

I was inspired by a young breast cancer survivor’s story I came across at the Crate & Barrel website – Adrienne Harlow was diagnosed with breast cancer at 19, and her equally young boyfriend, Brad, stuck by her through treatment and recovery. They’re now engaged and have entered to win CB’s Ultimate Wedding Contest.

I couldn’t resist the idea of a happy ending for Adrienne and her fiancé. If you feel inspired too, Vote for this couple! And help give them their dream wedding.

Learn more about support resources for young women with breast cancer:
Young Survival Coalition

Mar

11

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Famous Tenor Undergoes Colon Cancer Surgery

by: cancercompass

Grammy Award winning Spanish tenor - Plácido Domingo, was released Monday after undergoing colon cancer surgery. His spokesperson said he is expected to fully recover, and hopes to return to the stage next month for Verdi’s “Simon Boccanegra” in Italy.

March is colon cancer awareness month. And just yesterday, to raise awareness of the disease, CBS Early Show anchor - Harry Smith, had the first ever live, televised colonoscopy.

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

Mar

10

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CBS Anchor Has Live Colonoscopy

by: cancercompass

Broadcast journalist Harry Smith followed the footsteps of his CBS colleague Katie Couric and had a colonoscopy live on television Wednesday morning.

Couric, who lost her husband to colon cancer in 1998, underwent an on-air colonoscopy 10 years ago. Reports claim that the televised procedure increased the number of colonoscopies by 20% that year.

Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Furthermore, March is colon cancer awareness month, and in order to help educate the public, Smith decided to have his colonoscopy on-air for all the CBS Early Show audience to see.

According to a CBS News article, Couric said, "Nothing breaks my heart more than hearing from people who say they were diagnosed with colon cancer because I know they're saying to themselves, 'If only. If only I had gotten screened, then I wouldn't be in this situation.' And that's what we're really trying to educate people about today."

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

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