National Cancer Survivors Day

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Top Cancer Research Advances of 2009

The American Society of Clinical Oncology has released its report Clinical Cancer Advances 2009: Major Research Advances in Cancer Treatment, Prevention and Screening, an independent assessment of the most significant clinical cancer research studies of the past year, including 15 major advances. The report also makes policy recommendations for increasing investment in cancer research funding, accelerating progress in clinical cancer research, and ensuring that Americans with cancer receive high-quality care.

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Why Do I Need Chemo if I’m Cancer-Free?

by Richard C. Frank, MD

No one really wants to meet with an oncologist if they don’t have to. People who undergo cancer surgery, of course, hope that the surgeon will come to their bedside after the operation and say, “Well, that’s it. I got everything; you’re cured.” In reality, many people will hear something like this: “The surgery went very well. I got all the cancer. But you should meet with an oncologist in case you need chemotherapy.” All told, nearly a third of people with cancer undergo cancer treatment after surgery as part of a plan to cure their cancer.

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National Cancer Institute
Annual Progress Report 2009

by John E. Niederhuber, MD, Director, National Cancer Institute

Cancer survivors face a special challenge and a unique opportunity this year, for a number of reasons. The United States and, in fact, the world is struggling to right a financial system in turmoil, and far, far too many of our fellow citizens are unemployed or under-employed. The number of those around us who lack health insurance, including many people with cancer and cancer survivors, may now have eclipsed 50 million. Even comparatively wealthy communities in the United States are struggling to support those in need. Those survivors who need expensive medicines are challenged, now, more than ever, to find a way to pay for those drugs.

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Fertility & Cancer

by Kutluk Oktay, MD, and Kenny Rodriguez-Wallberg MD, PhD

As cancer survival rates continue to improve, many young adults will face infertility after being cured from their malignant diseases. Fertility is a critical component of quality of life for cancer survivors. Given the significant impact of cancer treatments on fertility, fertility preservation should be a natural extension of cancer care.

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Chronic Cancer Pain Management

by Patricia Ringos Beach, MSN, RN, AOCN, ACHPN

All pain is not created equal, but chronic cancer pain can be controlled and relieved. By controlling your pain, you free up energy to focus on enjoying your life.

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Understanding Bisphosphonates in Cancer Care

by Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, FACP

Bone health is significant at multiple points in the cancer journey. Cytotoxic chemotherapy may be directly harmful to osteoclasts, the cells that make bone, thereby promoting bone loss. Combined with poor oral intake, decreased physical activity, and increased body mass index, bone health is assaulted on multiple fronts by cancer therapy.

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Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • Which chemotherapy would you recommend for me and why?
  • Are there other treatment options I should consider?
  • How many treatments will I receive?
  • How long will each treatment take?
  • What types of side effects should I know about?
  • What are the signs of a serious side effect?
  • When can I call you?

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Beware of Online Cancer Fraud

While health fraud is a cruel form of greed, fraud involving cancer treatments can be particularly heartless – especially because fraudulent information can travel around the Web in an instant. “Anyone who suffers from cancer, or knows someone who does, understands the fear and desperation that can set in,” says Gary Coody, RPh., the national health fraud coordinator and a consumer safety officer with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Regulatory Affairs. “There can be a great temptation to jump at anything that appears to offer a chance for a cure.”

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