Cancer and Health Policy: Some Things I’m Watching

Issues to watch in cancer and health policyThe last month has been full of discussion about where we’re headed as a country following the November 2016 election.

Health care policy is a big part of that discussion. There’s been much opining on what the leadership in Congress will likely be seeking to do. Right now, we are mostly faced with a huge amount of uncertainty.

Discussions of health care issues are often presented in ideological terms. But here’s the thing about cancer: once you’ve had to deal with it, you’re perspective changes. Whether you identify with Republicans, Democrats–or neither–you realize that many of the things that matter most are the same for everyone.

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Charity Review: Stand Up To Cancer

Reviewing the charity, Stand Up To Cancer--its mission, key financials and what it reports about how donations are used.Many of us are interested in donating to organizations that support or conduct cancer research. But figuring out which organizations will make the most effective use of our contributions isn’t always an easy task.

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.

This post is the first in an occasional series in which we’ll take a look at individual charities that focus primarily on cancer research–their history, mission, financial profiles and results reporting. We’ll start with Stand Up To Cancer, a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Continue reading

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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