This news reminds us an aspect of cancer treatment some of us would rather put out of our heads….all cancer patients should take careful notes on their planned treatments and ask their doctors about the long-term consequences of therapy.
The new agent is a hybrid of an old monoclonal antibody, Herceptin, that’s chemically attached to DM1, a traditional kind of chemotherapy. The preliminary results of this randomized trial are encouraging. …It’s hard to know how this promising, likely expensive, intravenous drug will fit in with others for patients with Her2+ breast cancer.
Few forms of invasive breast cancer warrant no treatment unless the patient is so old that she is likely to die first of another condition, or the patient prefers to die of the disease….“Mammograms Spot Cancers That May Not Be Dangerous,” said WebMD, yesterday. This is feel-good news, and largely wishful.
In this new climate of shame, it’s easy to imagine a girl might feel really, really bad about herself simply for being sexually active.
My take is that periodic colonoscopy has the potential to halve the number of deaths from colon cancer in the general population…As to how colonoscopy relates to fecal blood testing as a screening method at the population level, and the optimal start and frequency of either test, those remain uncertain.
Counterfeit vials were sold and distributed to more than a dozen offices and medical treatment facilities in the U.S. This event, which seems to have affected a small number of patients and practices, should sound a big alarm.
Methotrexate has been used in cancer wards for over 50 years. And like other beyond-patent meds, it’s become less profitable to manufacture MTX compared to much costlier new agents.
All of this meshes with my experience – knowing women who’ve had breast-conserving surgery and then got mixed information about the results and what to do next. You’d think lumpectomy would be a standard procedure by now, and that decisions about what to do after the procedure, surgically speaking (let alone decisions about chemo, hormonal treatments and radiation) would be straightforward in most cases.
Yesterday the AMA news informed me that cyberchondria is on the rise. So it’s a good moment to consider the term’s meaning and history. Cyberchondria is an unfounded health concern that develops upon searching the Internet for information about symptoms or a disease. A cyberchondriac is someone who surfs the Web about a medical problem […]
Tomorrow the American Society of Clinical Oncology* will host its 9th annual GI Cancers Symposium. Bloomberg and the LA Times have already reported findings of a paper, still in abstract form, to be presented on Saturday. The drug of interest is regorafenib, a pill that loosely inhibits quite a few kinases – enzymes critical in […]
This week the ACS released its annual report on Cancer Facts and Figures in the U.S. The journal Cancer analyzes and considers the data in a helpful article. Some of the key and mainly positive findings have been covered elsewhere: Between 1990 and 2008, death rates from cancer in the U.S. declined rather steadily, overall, by […]
Under the radar, over the holiday week, the NEJM published a report on transfusion requirements in older adults who surgical hip repair. The main finding is that most patients, including the elderly and those at risk for cardiac complications of the procedure, don’t benefit from getting so many red blood cell transfusions as is commonly […]
The author is saddened to learn that Christopher Hitchens died late yesterday evening at the age of 62, roughly a year and a half after receiving a diagnosis of esophageal cancer. He was a prolific and articulate man; I respected him for his words. His essays on the language and cancer might be of particular […]
Dr. Donald Berwick left his position last week as head of CMS. He said this, as quoted in the WSJ’s Washington Wire, yesterday: “Maybe a real death panel is a group of people who tell health care insurers that is it OK to take insurance away from people because they are sick or are at […]
There’s a ton of BC and women’s health news this week. But yours truly is, among other things, not in San Antonio where is the 34th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. NTW, quite a few major news outlets are covering this business closely and carefully, as are some bloggers I know. Upon reading the […]
Today’s breaking breast cancer news is on Avastin. The FDA has just announced, formally, that it will rescind approval for the drug’s use in people with metastatic breast cancer. Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg writes this her statement: I know I speak on behalf of the many physicians that have been involved with this issue here […]
Yours truly, the author of Medical Lessons, is listening to music while she writes. A live version of the Stones’ “Silver Train” has just come on, and she’s happily reminded of something that happened 30 years ago. Distracting? Yes. Calming? Yes. Paradoxically helps to keep me on track? Yes. My iPod keeps my mind from […]
Yesterday’s Washington Post Sports has a clip from CNN, 20 years ago, when basketball star Magic Johnson announced on TV that he had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The date was Nov 7, 1991. “Where were you when Magic made his announcement? What were your thoughts on Johnson and HIV/AIDS that day and how […]
On Alcohol and Breast Cancer, Guilt, Correlations, Fun, Moderation, Doctors’ Habits, Advice and Herbal Tea
Few BC news items irk some women I know more than those linking alcohol consumption to the Disease. Joy-draining results like those reported this week serve up a double-whammy of guilt: first – that you might have developed cancer because you drank a bit, or a lot, or however much defines more than you should have imbibed; and second – now that […]
Some of the more understandable discussion comes from women with metastatic disease whose tumors were missed by screening mammography. Notably, neither paper quotes an oncologist.