Saturday, January 29, 2011

Can an Aspirin a day help Prevent Cancer?

Could preventing cancer be as simple as popping an Aspirin a day?

According to an analysis of data on more than 25,000 volunteers who in trials took low-dose aspirin or a placebo in trials to lower their risk of heart disease, researchers found that the aspirin takers reduced their risk of dying from solid cancers by 21% vs. the placebo group during a five-year follow-up.

The results open the possibility that aspirin may become a powerful tool in the prevention of a variety of cancers.

This information is from the December 20, 2010 Time Magazine, Lab Report section.

Be sure to discuss with your doctor before taking any over the counter medications including Aspirin.

To your health

Friday, January 21, 2011

Get Financial Help with Cancer Treatments!

Even as new cancer treatments offer hope for some, their cost is out of reach for many. Tens of thousands of people seek help from drug companies and charities that provide free medicines or cover copays for people who can't afford it.

Here is a list (from the Associated Press on 9-27-10) of places to seek help:

Patient Advocate Foundation: 800-532-5274

CancerCare: 866-552-6729

Chronic Disease Fund: 877-968-7233

Healthwell Foundation: 800-675-8416

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: 877-557-2672

National Organization for Rare Disorders: 800-999-6673

Patient Access Network Foundation: 866-316-7263

Patient Advocate Foundation: 866-512-3861

Patient Services Inc.: 800-366-7741

As more and more people lose their jobs and can not get insurance and as the price of cancer drugs skyrocket, these services will be more in demand. If you need help with the cost of your treatment contact the companies above and see if they can help you. Who knows how long these programs will be available?

Good Health in the New Year to us all.

PS: be sure to check with your doctor about clinical trials and reduced drug cost for chemo drugs. I was able to get one of my medications replaced by the drug company to the hospital. If not it would have cost me about $50,000.00 ($5,000 per dose) at the hospital where I had my chemo treatments. If you need financial assistance be sure to talk to your local hospital Patient Assistance person also. They may know of some assistance that the doctor may not even know about. Never be afraid to ask.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blood Test To Spot Cancer to be studied.

According to an article by the Associated Press writer Marilynn Marchione a BLOOD TEST so sensitive that can spot a single cancer cell lurking among a billion healthy ones is moving one step closer to being available at your doctor's office.

Boston scientists who invented the test and health care giant Johnson & Johnson announced that they are joining forces to bring it to market. Four big cancer centers also will start studies using the experimental test this year.

Stray cancer cells in the blood mean that a tumor has spread or is likely to, many doctors believe. A test that can capture such cells has the potential to transform care for many types of cancer, especially breast, prostate, colon and lung.

Initially, doctors want to use the test to try to predict what treatments would be best for each patient's tumor and find out quickly if they are working.

"This is like a liquid biopsy" that avoids painful tissue sampling and may give a better way to monitor patients than periodic imaging scans, said Dr Daniel Haber, chief of Massachusetts General Hospital's cancer center and one of the test's inventors.

Ultimately, the test may offer a way to screen for cancer besides the mammograms, colonoscopies, and other less-than-ideal methods used now.

"There's a lot of potential here, and that's why there's a lot of excitement," said Dr Mark Kris, lung cancer chief at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He had no role in developing the test, but Sloan-Kettering is one of the sites that will study it this year.