Cancer and COVID-19: Latest Helpful Resources

Coping with Cancer and COVID-19In my most recent post, I shared links to a number of articles and sites that provide information on cancer and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the last two weeks, much more information has been published on a variety of sites to help inform those of us who are dealing with cancer in this difficult time.

Here are links to several more resources that seem especially helpful, along with a brief description of what’s covered in each.

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Cancer and Coping With the COVID-19 Crisis: Helpful Resources

Cancer and Coping with the COVID-19 CrisisThese are stressful and uncertain times, as the world races to try to curtail the spread of the coronavirus and to develop a vaccine to prevent it.

While the crisis is overwhelmingly on our minds, cancer isn’t going away. Those currently dealing with cancer have no choice but to continue to deal with it in the best way possible right now.

In this post, I’m sharing links to a number of articles and sites that provide relevant information on cancer and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading

Charity Review: Cancer Research Institute

The Cancer Research Institute is a nonprofit that works to advance cancer treatment by investing in cancer immunology research.Like many of us, I’ve long felt that one of the best ways to help in the fight against cancer is by making a donation to a charity that conducts or funds cancer research.

This post is the fourth in a series in which we’re taking a look at high quality charities that support cancer research as their main focus.  In this post, we’ll review the Cancer Research Institute, including its mission and approach, history, notable financial facts and results reporting. Continue reading

A Role for Progesterone in Breast Cancer Treatment?

New research sheds light on the role of progesterone in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer.Back in August 2015, I wrote about an article in the journal Nature on some interesting new discoveries about the role of the hormone progesterone in hormone receptor-positive breast cancer

The research suggested that adding progesterone to standard treatment with tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor could increase the effectiveness of treatment for this subtype of breast cancer, while possibly also lowering toxicity.

Those findings are now going to be investigated in three clinical trials, according to a recent report by Cancer Research UKContinue reading

10 Things We Learned About Progress Against Cancer in 2016

A review of cancer research developments in 20162016 was not a year for big breakthroughs in cancer research and improving access to quality care. And yet, it was a year in which many of the issues that need to be addressed if we want to ever see those breakthroughs were front and center.

Those issues include the need for collaborative research and sustained research funding, finding ways to make immune system treatments safer and effective for more patients and addressing the problem of outrageously high drug prices.  Continue reading

Charity Review: Breast Cancer Research Foundation

Reviewing the charity, Breast Cancer Research Foundation--its mission, financials and what it reports about how donations are used.Many of us are interested in making donations in support of cancer research. But figuring out which organizations will make the most effective use of our contributions isn’t always an easy task. This post is the second in a series in which we’re looking at individual charities that focus primarily on cancer research.

Making a choice based on value for our money means considering factors such as how an organization uses the money it raises, its financial health, and how transparent it is about what has been accomplished with the contributions it has received.

In this post, we review the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, including its mission and approach, history, notable financial facts and results reporting. Continue reading

Cancer Clinical Trials: Why Don’t More of Us Participate?

Why don't more cancer patients participate in clinical trials?A recent study got me thinking again about one of the central issues around clinical trials — why don’t more of us participate?

Less than 5 percent of adult cancer patients overall participate in clinical trials, and the rate is even lower for patients from minority populations.

Some of the concerns that keep people from joining clinical trials arise from misperceptions about how clinical trials work. But often patients don’t know to ask about clinical trials and their doctors don’t mention them.

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Metastatic Breast Cancer: How Can We Accelerate Progress?

Genomic studies will play an important role in precision medicine for metastatic breast cancer.For a long time, there has been a critical need for research that is focused specifically on metastatic breast cancer. That means understanding what causes metastasis and how we can intervene to shut down this process even after it has started. Although a true “cure” may not be possible, the question is whether we can treat the disease in such a way that patients live for a very long time with good quality of life.

That should not be so far-fetched an idea. HIV/AIDS not long ago was usually fatal, and now this disease can be managed as a chronic condition with a combination of drugs that patients take for the rest of their lives. Could something like this be possible for breast cancer that has become metastatic?

There have been some amazing advances in the treatment of metastatic melanoma and metastatic lung cancer using immune system therapies. Why have we not seen similar advances in treating metastatic breast cancer?

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Clinical Trials: How Can Patients Benefit More?

Sharing of data from clinical trials could help accelerate progress against cancer.These days the media hype around cancer “breakthroughs” seems to have reached a new high. There have been advances, but there is still such a long way to go before we can say we have real breakthroughs that are changing the outlook for most patients.

There are likely many reasons why progress is so slow. But one thing that would almost certainly make a big difference is if there were true collaboration among researchers conducting clinical trials.

Clinical trials are expensive and time consuming. Patients in clinical trials have chosen to participate not just for their own benefit but also to make a contribution for the greater good. And yet, the knowledge we as a society draw from many clinical trials is often incomplete or even nonexistent.

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Review of “The Death of Cancer” by Vincent T. DeVita Jr. and Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn

The Death of CancerThe title of this book certainly got my attention and made me curious about what the author had to say. Is the “death” of cancer, or the end of cancer as a deadly disease, really possible? Can we actually win the war on cancer, which has been pronounced a failure by many?

Dr. Vincent T. DeVita Jr. joined the National Cancer Institute as a new doctor during the 1960s. There, he worked directly on some of the most important developments in cancer research coming out of that decade, including the development of a cure for Hodgkin’s lymphoma using combination chemotherapy, a treatment approach that was viewed as exceedingly radical at the time. Continue reading