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Welcome to the Cancer Health Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people who have any type of cancer, their friends and family and others with questions about living with cancer. Check in frequently to read what others have to say, post your comments, and hopefully learn more about how you can reach your own health goals.

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Topics - iana5252

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There are two things most people believe about lung cancer, says Jamie Studts, PhD, co-leader of the Cancer Prevention & Control Program at the University of Colorado (CU) Cancer Center: Those who suffer from it most likely caused it by using tobacco, and the prognosis for surviving the disease is poor.

While neither of those things is strictly true, the common perception of lung cancer means that those who survive it often do so alone, without the sense of community and togetherness that is the norm for many survivors of breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and other cancers.

That’s why, when he served as professor of behavioral science at the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center, Studts led the development of an intervention to help support lung cancer survivors through their survivorship journey.

Read more:

Nearly half of people in treatment for breast cancer use cannabis to alleviate common therapy-related problems, such as pain, anxiety, insomnia and nausea, but many do not discuss this usage with their doctor, according to an article in U.S. News and World Report about new study findings published in the journal Cancer.

Cannabis, or marijuana, is the product of a family of plants that also produces hemp. For centuries, many groups of people have used cannabis medicinally. But the herbal remedy, which is legally available in many states for specific illnesses, has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat cancer patients.

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Do you agree? Disagree?

Physical activity, including a variety of exercises, may improve sexual dysfunction in people being treated for prostate cancer, according to results published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Sexual dysfunction, a common side effect of prostate cancer treatment, is known to impact quality of life. Treatments like prostatectomy (surgery to remove all or part of the prostate), external beam radiation therapy, brachytherapy (internal radiation) and hormone therapy can all lead to sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction and loss of sexual desire, in a substantial proportion of people with prostate cancer. Previous research has found that physical activity has been linked to improved sexual function in prostate cancer patients.

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A new study suggests that excess consumption of fructose can promote both obesity and colorectal cancer.

Conducted largely in mice, the study found that large amounts of the sweetener, which is present in both table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), increased how long both normal and cancer cells in the intestines live.

In normal mice, this increased cell survival led to more nutrients being absorbed, leading to weight gain. And in mice prone to develop cancer, the increased cell survival led the animals to develop larger tumors and more anemia, a common tumor-related complication.

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A novel cancer drug that mimics a virus helps the immune system identify and target tumors that might otherwise be missed by immunotherapy. These findings were published in Science Translational Medicine. 

“In some patients, tumors escape the immune system through mutations in genes involved in the interferon signaling pathway,” coauthor Anusha Kalbasi, MD, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), said in a press release. “This is a critical pathway because it normally allows tumors to increase their antigen presentation, an intricate machinery that makes tumors visible to T cells.”

Called BO-112, the new drug resembles the double-stranded RNA structure found in certain viruses that can stimulate an immune response. Once inside a tumor, BO-112 has the ability to alert the immune system and kick-start a protective response to attack cancer cells. 

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When Sandra Lee was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy in 2015, the stress of it caused her to lose weight. But the celebrity cook decided to gain back the weight, according to Today.com.

“I gained weight on purpose,” said the 53-year-old, who is in remission. “I actually worked at it with my doctor as I was borderline underweight.” She gained 10 pounds, including muscle she put on as result of exercise, and feels and looks great.

Lee was recently named one of People magazine’s “Most Beautiful” honorees. “Loving your body and yourself is super important,” she said. “Our bodies are a gift and our lives are a gift and they’re both to be cherished every single day.”


A new study finds disruptions in health insurance coverage are common in the United States and are associated with poorer cancer care and survival. The study appears in JNCI: The Journal of the National Cancer institute.

For years, experts have known that lack of health insurance coverage is associated with poor access and receipt of cancer care and survival in the United States. Meanwhile, disruptions in coverage are common among low-income populations and little is known how these disruptions can affect cancer care, from prevention and screening to diagnosis, treatment and survival.

Disruptions can be caused by gaps in coverage, or transitions between types of coverage (e.g., public and private) or between specific health insurance plans.


Off Topic Forum / Prefer talking on Facebook?
« on: December 04, 2019, 02:14:36 pm »
Check out our new Facebook Group "The Future of Cancer Care"

A place where people affected by cancer can learn about new treatments and care options, including those related to quality of life issues.


Cancer Health was in Chicago for ASCO 2019, a big cancer doctor gathering held in June every year. Read all our coverage from Editor in Chief Bob Barnett and Science Editor Liz Highleyman here...


This news came out of ASCO, a big cancer doctor gathering in Chicago held in June every year. Here's some of Cancer Health's coverage of the news.


The PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) offered improved response rates for people with advanced liver cancer, although survival improvements did not meet statistical thresholds, according to research presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting this week in Chicago. Another study showed that pairing Opdivo (nivolumab) with a different type of immunotherapy improved outcomes considerably.

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of cancer that originates in the liver, is often detected late and is difficult to treat. Liver cancer generally does not respond well to traditional chemotherapy. Keytruda and Opdivo, as well as a handful of targeted therapies that interfere with cell growth and blood vessel development, have recently been approved to treat this cancer.

Keytruda and Opdivo are PD-1 checkpoint inhibitors that help the immune system fight cancer. PD-1, a checkpoint protein on T cells, helps regulate immune function. Some tumors can hijack PD-1 to turn off immune responses against them. Drugs that block the interaction between PD-1 and its binding partner, known as PD-L1, can release the brakes and restore T-cell activity. Yervoy is a different type of checkpoint inhibitor that blocks CTLA-4, which turns off immune responses by suppressing T-cell replication.


This news came out of ASCO, a big cancer doctor gathering in Chicago held in June every year. Here's some of Cancer Health's coverage of the news.


An experimental therapy designed to target mutated KRAS proteins showed good activity in a small Phase I study of people with lung cancer, colon cancer and other solid tumors, researchers reported this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago.

If these results are confirmed in larger trials, this could be good news for patients because KRAS mutations occur more frequently in lung tumors than other mutations—such as ALK, BRAF and EGFR—targeted by existing drugs. Likewise, only a small proportion of colorectal cancer is targetable by existing medications.

Researchers have identified several so-called driver mutations that contribute to the development of cancer. Mutations involving KRAS, a signaling protein that regulates cell multiplication, are the most common genetic variations in lung cancer. But to date, no medications have been able to successfully target these mutations.

“KRAS has been a target of active exploration in cancer research since it was identified as one of the first oncogenes more than 30 years ago, but it remained undruggable due to a lack of traditional small molecule binding pockets on the protein,” David Reese, MD, executive vice president of research and development at Amgen, said in a company press release. “AMG 510 seeks to crack the KRAS code by exploiting a previously hidden groove on the protein surface.”


This news came out of ASCO, a big cancer doctor gathering in Chicago held in June every year. Here's some of Cancer Health's coverage of the news.


The checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) continues to be a safe and effective treatment for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), leading to an improvement in overall survival at five years, according to long-term follow-up data presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) annual meeting in Chicago.

In the KEYNOTE-001 study, which began enrollment at the dawn of the immunotherapy era, nearly a quarter of people who had not previously been treated with chemotherapy and about 15% of treatment-experienced patients were still alive five years later, reported Edward Garon, MD, of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles. In contrast, people treated with chemotherapy historically had a five-year survival rate of around 5% before the arrival of immunotherapy.

“The uniformly negative outlook that has been associated with a diagnosis of advanced non-small-cell lung cancer is certainly no longer appropriate,” Garon said. “The fact that we have patients on this trial that are still alive after seven years is quite remarkable. We also have evidence that most patients who are doing well after two years on pembrolizumab live for five years or more.”


Cancer can take a toll on more than your day-to-day health—it can also drain your finances. The following organizations offer financial help when you need it most, because no one should have to decide between medical treatment and everyday needs.


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