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What’s New in Cancer Research

The theme of the 2011 ASCO Annual Meeting, “Patients. Pathways. Progress.” was borne out in the scientific sessions at McCormick Place in Chicago in both the news that came out of the meeting and in the attitudes and philosophies espoused by this year’s presenters and honorees. It is impossible to summarize all of the new science and clinical updates presented at the Meeting — the largest oncology meeting in the world — but this article highlights a few of the presentations that particularly illuminate the collective theme of the meeting.

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Air Travel During Cancer Treatment

by Donald J. Melancon

When you are undergoing cancer treatment, traveling probably presents a special challenge because your energy levels and immune system are likely diminished by chemotherapy or radiation. The follow­ing ideas may help you limit exposure to infections and save your limited strength during times of travel.

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Surfing the Web for Cancer Information

by Janet Teixeira, LCSW

The Internet can be a tremendous source of informa­tion for people with cancer, but it can also instill fear and pessimism that can have a negative effect on a person’s ability to cope with and beat this disease.

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Obtaining Your Medical Records

It is a good idea to have a copy of your medical records. For example, medical records are generally requested for a second opinion. However, the laws for obtaining records vary by state. Many states allow medical records to be released directly to the patient. Other states require that medical records be sent directly to the consulting physician.

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Advancements in Fertility Preservation Provide New Options for People with Cancer

Many young people who’ve just learned that they have cancer also are told that the therapies that may save their lives could rob them of their ability ever to have children. Infertility caused by chemotherapy and radiation affects a sizable population: Of the 1.5 million people diagnosed with cancer in 2009, nearly 10 percent were still in their reproductive years.

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Genetic Testing

by Angela R. Bradbury, MD, Colleen Burke Sands, MPH,
and Linda Patrick-Miller, PhD

Thousands of women have had BRCA testing to evaluate their risk for breast and ovarian cancer. After testing, many people and their doctors are able to make decisions about their healthcare. But another decision – if and when parents should tell their children – is less clear.

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ASCO Releases Sixth Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has released Clinical Cancer Advances 2010: ASCO’s Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer, a critical review of the year’s most important clinical cancer research.

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Physical Symptoms Prevalent No Matter What Stage of Cancer

Twenty-two physical symptoms associated with cancer – symptoms often unrecognized and undertreated – are prevalent in all types of cancers, regardless of whether the person is newly diagnosed, undergoing treatment, or is a cancer survivor, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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