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Confronting Cancer as a Senior Adult

by Amy MacKenzie, MD, and Andrew E. Chapman, DO, FACP

Making treatment decisions can be challenging. Meeting with multiple specialists to discuss everything from chemotherapy to sur­vivorship plans is an overwhelming part of the cancer experience for anyone diagnosed with cancer. However, if you’re a senior adult, you also have a unique set of challenges to consider as you work with your healthcare team to plan your treatment.

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A Clinical Trial System for the Era of Precision Cancer Medicine

by Jeffrey Abrams, MD

The National Cancer Institute has the largest oncology clinical trials program in the world, supporting, fully or in part, 3,775 active clinical trials and enrolling more than 35,000 clinical trial participants annually. Yet, as a di­rector of NCI-supported clinical trials, I know that behind every statistic is a person, each of whom brings his or her own motivations and hopes to the table when deciding whether to participate in a clinical trial.

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Should You Consider Genetic Counseling and Testing?

by Ellen T. Matloff, MS, CGC, and Karina L. Brierley, MS, CGC

Genetic counseling and testing have become integral tools in the fight against cancer. The results can provide important informa­tion to help guide appropriate surgical decisions, treatment, surveillance, and prevention strategies for an individual and his or her entire family. Awareness and availability of cancer genetic coun­seling and testing, criteria for insurance coverage of testing, and available test­ing options have expanded rapidly in the past decade. Therefore, even cancer survivors who did not previously have the chance to undergo genetic counsel­ing and testing, or who tested negative in the past, may now be candidates for these services.

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Hope for the Future

by Laxmi A. Kondapalli, MD, MSCE

With cancer survival rates steadily increasing, what was once considered a “terminal illness” now allows people to imagine a life after cancer with expectations beyond survival. However, some of the new life-saving treatments contributing to increased survival can negatively affect fertility, causing delays in child­bearing or even compromising a person’s ability to have children in the future. Fortunately, over the last several decades, the emergence of the medical discipline of oncofertility and the development of new fertility preservation techniques have made the dream of building a biological family a reality for many cancer survivors.

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ASCO’s Latest “Top Five” List Details Cancer Tests and Treatments That Are Routinely Performed Despite Lack of Evidence

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has issued its second “Top Five” list of opportunities to improve the quality and value of cancer care. Published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the list was released as part of the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign to encourage conver­sations between physicians and cancer survivors and is aimed at curbing the use of certain tests and procedures that are not supported by clinical research.

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Commit to Quit

by Danielle Peereboom, MPH, Jody Nicoloso, BA, and Frank Leone, MD, MS

Many smokers who have been diagnosed with cancer continue to smoke, though they may not understand why.. Is this the situation you’re finding yourself in? Have you ever wondered why you don’t have the will­power to just stop already? The answer can be found by examining the addictive effect of nicotine on the brain.

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Managing Incontinence for Men with Cancer

A lot of men have incontinence after treatment for prostate cancer, but it can happen after being treated for other cancers too. If you have this problem, you are not alone. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you are having trouble controlling your urine. There are ways to help.

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Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer Shows a Decrease in Overall Cancer Deaths

The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer has shown that death rates for lung cancer, which accounts for more than one in four cancer deaths, are dropping at a faster pace than in previous years. The report was coauthored by researchers from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.

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