“Undergoing acupuncture significantly reduced joint pain related to treatment with aromatase inhibitors (AIs) in postmenopausal women with early-stage breast cancer compared with both sham acupuncture and no treatment at all, according to data from the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) S1200 trial presented at the 2017 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held December 5–9.”
“Mixed results have been reported with the use of shiitake mushrooms or extract in cancer, with reduced side effects associated with chemotherapy in those with advanced gastrointestinal cancer and no benefit in treating those with prostate cancer.”
“Hair loss—one of the most-feared side effects of cancer treatment—may have met its match. Scientists have known since the 80s that cooling a person’s scalp can prevent significant hair loss during chemotherapy. A cooling device called DigniCap was approved for women with breast cancer by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015. This cap was tested in a clinical trial at UCLA led by Dr. Sara Hurvitz, director of hematology and oncology breast cancer program at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Two studies published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the cap was effective; results showed that women lost less than 50 percent of their hair. The trial Hurvitz participated in paved the way for physicians to help people with cancer overcome one of the most visible signs of treatment.”
“Adding the cheap antipsychotic drug olanzapine to conventional anti-vomiting medicine can help prevent nausea in cancer patients, according to a new test of 380 volunteers.
“During the first 24 hours after chemotherapy, 74 percent of patients receiving the drug along with their chemotherapy reported no nausea. That compares to 45 among those getting placebo. The benefits continued for five days as the drug therapy continued.
” ‘I was overjoyed that the results were statistically significant’ because it was the first study to look at nausea alone, said chief author Dr. Rudolph Navari of the Indiana University School of Medicine in South Bend.”
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“The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the first single-dose intravenous NK1 receptor antagonist, fosaprepitant dimeglumine (Emend), for the treatment of nausea and vomiting that can accompany the use of moderately and highly emetogenic chemotherapy. The drug is approved in combination with other antiemetics.
“ ‘Despite significant advances in supportive care, nausea and vomiting has remained a challenge for many cancer patients undergoing moderately emetogenic chemotherapy—and has historically required multi-day antiemetic therapy,’ said Stuart Green, vice president, clinical research, Merck Research Laboratories, in a statement. ‘Today’s approval of an expanded indication for Emend for injection means that physicians now have a new single-dose intravenous option, combined with other anti-vomiting medicines, for the prevention of delayed nausea and vomiting in these patients.’ “
“Heart medication taken in combination with chemotherapy reduces the risk of serious cardiovascular damage in patients with early-stage breast cancer, according to results from a new landmark clinical trial.
“Existing research has shown some cancer therapies such as Herceptin greatly improve survival rates for early-stage breast cancer, but come with a fivefold risk of heart failure—a devastating condition as life-threatening as the cancer itself.
“A new five-year study, led by researchers at the University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services and funded by the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) and Alberta Cancer Foundation, shows that two kinds of heart medications, beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, effectively prevent a drop in heart function from cancer treatment.”
“Hair loss is one of the most despised side effects of chemotherapy, and now breast cancer patients are getting a new way to save their locks.
“The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it would allow marketing of the DigniCap to chill patients’ scalps—using a cap connected to a cooling machine—as they receive chemo. A study found it significantly reduced hair loss.
“The near-freezing temperature is supposed to reduce blood flow in the scalp, making it harder for cancer-fighting drugs to reach and harm hair follicles.”
“Participation in a mindfulness-based stress reduction program yields robust and sustained improvement in cancer-related cognitive impairment, a prevalent and potentially debilitating condition that affects attention, memory and executive function in survivors, according to a new study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine.
“Although cancer-related cognitive impairment, sometimes referred to as chemo brain or post-cancer cognitive fuzziness, is common among survivors—disrupting social relationships, work ability, self-confidence, and quality of life—clinicians have few treatment options to offer. Cognitive deficits have been seen to persist for more than a decade following cancer treatment for many survivors.
” ‘Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial of Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction for Breast and Colorectal Cancer Survivors: Effects on Cancer-related Cognitive Impairment,’ published online in advance of print in the Journal of Cancer Survivorship, is the first randomized clinical trial to evaluate the effects of mindfulness-based stress reduction, known as MBSR, on fatigued breast and colorectal cancer survivors, the majority of whom had been treated with chemotherapy.”
In 2013, Lyndsay Sung noticed something new on the edge of her right breast. “I felt something weird—an odd thickening along the rib,” she recalls. At the time, her son was only a year old, so she thought it might have been related to breastfeeding. But then she felt it again in September 2014. Lyndsay knew she was at risk for breast cancer because her grandmother had had it, and she also knew her breasts from years of self-exams. So she went to see her family doctor. Continue reading…