Lung Cancer Patients Whose Tumour Has Spread to the Brain Could Be Spared Radiotherapy

Excerpt:

“Patients with non-small cell lung cancer which has spread to the brain could be spared whole brain radiotherapy as it makes little or no difference to how long they survive and their quality of life according to a Cancer Research UK-funded clinical trial published today in The Lancet(link is external).

“Around 45,500 people are diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK every year and an estimated 85 per cent of cases are non-small cell lung cancer. Up to 30 per cent of patients with non-small cell lung cancer have the disease spread to the brain.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


Psychological Effects From ADT a Growing Challenge in Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) can be associated with significant psychological effects in patients with prostate cancer.

“Additionally, these side effects—which include depression, Alzheimer disease, and coronary disease—are often underreported by patients, according to Heather Jim, MD.

“ ‘It is really important for the clinician to let [patients] know that a lot of men experience this. Let’s get them help and try to help them feel better,’ said Jim, who discussed these significant events in her lecture at the 2016 OncLive State of the Science Summit on Genitourinary Cancers.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


Brigham Docs Test New Way to Treat Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital are testing a tumor-destroying technology they say could spare prostate cancer patients the sometimes devastating and life-altering consequences of standard treatments.

“ ‘We have patients who need to be treated, and the current treatment modalities have side effects,’ said Dr. Adam Kibel, chief of urology at the hospital. ‘This could provide an avenue to cure patients, and at the same time maintain quality of life.’ ”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


Patients with Low Risk Prostate Cancer on Active Surveillance Experience Good Quality of Life

Excerpt:

“Active surveillance (AS) has become an increasingly important alternative to surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment for men diagnosed with low risk prostate cancer. However, what is the impact of AS on health related quality of life (HRQoL) in patients selected or opting for this conservative form of disease management? New research published in The Journal of Urology found that patients on AS who were tracked for three years experienced similar HRQoL as men without prostate cancer, both clinically and psychologically.

“The majority of men diagnosed with prostate cancer have low risk disease and face a difficult decision between having the disease managed conservatively through AS or undergoing definitive therapy. These results can help guide physicians and patients through this decision-making process.”

Go to full article.

Do you have questions about this story? Let us know in a comment below. If you’re wondering whether this story applies to your own cancer case or a loved one’s, we invite you to use our Ask Cancer Commons service.


Super ASK Patient: Community Kindness Helps a Family Face Lung Cancer


Update:  We are deeply saddened to report that Michael passed away on July 20, 2016. It is a privilege to continue to share his story and keep his memory alive.

In October of 2014, Michael Hrabal’s wife Hazel urged him to go to the doctor for a small but persistent cough. The doctor prescribed cough medicine, but it didn’t help, and by the end of the month Michael had been diagnosed with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.

“It was kind of shocking that this little cough turned out to be cancer,” says Michael, who was 57 years old at the time and living north of New York City with Hazel and their son Andrew. This was actually his second time facing cancer; he’d been treated for kidney cancer 15 years earlier, but had remained cancer-free until the new diagnosis. Continue reading…


Active Surveillance for Prostate Cancer Can Give Men Good Quality of Life

“Choosing ongoing monitoring instead of immediate curative treatment (surgery or radiotherapy) leads to a better overall quality of life for men with low-risk prostate cancer. In fact, the Quality of life (QoL) is about the same as for men who do not have cancer. These are the findings of a new long-term study comparing Active Surveillance, immediate curative treatment, and a reference group of men without cancer, presented at the European Association of Urology Congress in Munich.

“Prostate cancer is the most common male cancer, with around 400,000 new cases every year in Europe. Most  are treated quickly by  -radical prostatectomy (RP) – or radiotherapy (RT), but both treatments can show significant and distressing side effects, most commonly incontinence, or erectile dysfunction. One alternative which is increasingly considered for patients with less-aggressive cancers is to delay or avoid initial treatment, but instead keeping the patient under Active Surveillance (AS), meaning that the cancer is regularly monitored, with the option of switching to curative treatment if the condition of the tumour changes. Now a new study has examined whether AS actually helps prostate cancer patients to live a better quality of life in the long term.”


More Women With Cancer in One Breast Are Having Double Mastectomies. That Might Not Be a Good Idea.

“For years, doctors and researchers have been concerned about a surprising trend: More and more women with early-stage cancer in one breast were choosing to have double mastectomies to reduce the risk of cancer in the other.

“Many of the patients said they thought an aggressive approach would help their quality of life by lessening their worries about future cancer and making them more comfortable with their bodies.

“But new evidence released Monday shows that the surgery doesn’t improve peace of mind or quality of life very much.”


Radium-223 Improves QoL Over Placebo in CRPC

“Analyses from the phase III ALSYMPCA trial showed that treatment with the alpha-emitting radiopharmaceutical radium-223 resulted in quality-of-life (QoL) improvements over placebo in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) and symptomatic bone metastases.

“ ‘Patients with CRPC and bone metastases often present with symptoms such as pain fatigue, anorexia, and, rarely, spinal cord compression, contributing to rapid and significant deterioration in health-related QoL and mortality,’ wrote study authors led by Sten Nilsson, MD, PhD, of Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm.

“The ALSYMPCA trial found that radium-223 prolonged overall survival (OS) as well as time to first symptomatic skeletal event by significant periods. The trial included prospective QoL measurements using the EuroQoL EQ-5D and the Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy–Prostate (FACT-P). The results from these tests were published online ahead of print in Annals of Oncology.”


Intermittent Hormonal Therapy Proves to be Viable in Prostate Cancer

“With no significant difference between intermittent and continuous androgen-deprivation therapy, patients with prostate cancer may experience an improvement in their quality of life with the former.

“Androgen-deprivation therapy may be an effective treatment in prostate cancer, though its side effects may result in a loss of quality of life for patients. Allowing low-risk patients to take breaks between treatments—a practice known as intermittent hormonal therapy, or a ‘hormone holiday’—may combat these challenges without impacting survival.

” ‘Intermittent hormonal therapy has been growing in popularity over the years. Patients who receive hormone therapy often have side effects, and giving them so-called “hormone holidays” may improve quality of life. Over the years, there has really been a lot of trials and experimental work that laid the groundwork for this going back 20 years,’ said Leonard G. Gomella, MD, in an interview with Targeted Oncology.”