Research & Treatment News articles

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What the Government Shutdown Means for Colorectal Cancer

What the Government Shutdown Means for Colorectal Cancer

After 15 days, most of us have seen at least one way the government shutdown is impacting our country. Some have friends and family members on furlough who’ve finally had time to paint their bathrooms. Others’ vacation plans are ruined since national monuments and parks are closed. But the ripples of the shutdown go beyond closings, halted jobs and a growing annoyance with our country’s leaders. The shutdown is impacting cancer patients and researchers across the globe and hope for a cure. The Government and Cancer Research Last week the Washington Post ran a front-page story about a beautiful young mom whose treatment for sarcoma is halted because of the

Generic Xeloda Now Available

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first generic version of Xeloda (capecitabine), an oral chemotherapy pill used to treat metastatic colorectal cancer. Kathleen Uhl, M.D., acting director of the Office of Generic Drugs in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, says “Generic drugs are important options that allow greater access to health care for all Americans. This medication is widely used by people living with cancer, so it is important to have access to affordable treatment options.” Teva Pharmaceuticals will be the new manufacturer of the generic capecitabine. Availability of the generic on the market has yet to be determined. Read the release from

You got Science in our RATS Boot Camp . . .

What happens when you combine colorectal cancer survivors and a scientist? You get a force to be reckoned with! The RATS program was started by Fight Colorectal Cancer founder Nancy Roach and our late Director of Research Kate Murphy over 6 years ago, as a way to work hand in hand with the scientific community across the country. In 2012, Dan Dixon joined our advocacy efforts and has embraced the idea that survivors can be trained to participate in and and be a part of the research discussions. Bringing his own institution on board the University of Kansas Cancer Center higlighted our partnership and the good work we are doing

IS IT TRUE? Oral Hygiene Impacts Colon Cancer?

Did everyone see the buzz about oral hygiene and colon cancer? Here’s a quick report from Cleveland’s newspaper The Plain Dealer about the research uncovered at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Dental Medicine: … Research, published online today in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, explains how the bacterium [gingivitis-causing bacteria] may turn on tumor growth in the colon, and also identifies a way to prevent its action. The researchers also hope their work will lead to a diagnostic tool that will help identify those at risk of colon cancer earlier in the disease’s progression. Read the full article about Colon Cancer and Oral Bacteria. So – is it true? Can

Screening for Prevention vs. Early Detection | Response to JAMA Article

The July 29, 2013 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) includes an opinion piece titled, “Over diagnoses and treatment of cancer? An opportunity for improvement.”  The authors highlight the growing body of literature and a growing depth of understanding as it relates to cancer prevention and early detection. They call for an open dialogue between patients and the medical community. Fight Colorectal Cancer couldn’t resist weighing in on this issue. Colorectal cancer is a “Crown Jewel” of cancer screening The article (which can be read in full here) discusses what we’ve learned from data about cancer incidence (number of diagnoses) and cancer mortality (number of deaths). 

You don’t have to be a scientist to get involved in research

Remember the feeling of being a young freshman student walking the halls lined with senior lockers? Sweaty palms. Knocking knees. It was intimidating to be surrounded by upper classman. As a cancer survivor, sometimes the research process can feel similar to the “good” ole’ days of high school. Especially if you don’t love chemistry. But as Florence, a survivor and advocate can attest, if you give it a little time — research can be for ANYONE. Although it may not come easy for you at first, when you slow down and take small steps, you too will begin to see that research isn’t always as complex or difficult as it

Stage II Colon Cancer – Chemo or No Chemo?

A brief in a running series from 2013 ASCO® conference: Prognostic Tests – to use or not use . . .  or rather  … To treat or not to treat? New studies for stage II colon cancer patients contemplating chemotherapy . by: Nancy Roach One of the toughest decisions for patients with stage II colon cancer is whether or not to receive chemotherapy after surgery. In a perfect world, there would be a test that could predict whether or not the cancer will reoccur and research to predict which treatment will help each patient at risk. For now, each patient’s decision is based on a wide variety of factors. Tests to

Experts Issue Practice-Changing Advice: Stop giving calcium/magnesium for oxaliplatin-caused neuropathy

For patients getting the common FOLFOX chemotherapy for colorectal cancer, many oncologists add intravenous calcium and magnesium, hoping to decrease the neuropathy (nerve damage) associated with oxaliplatin-based drugs. But this week, experts at the 2013 ASCO meeting (American Society of Clinical Oncology), announced strong evidence that the calcium/magnesium does no good in either preventing or decreasing neuropathy—and it should no longer be part of routine treatment. Neuropathy affects cancer treatment Oxaliplatin-based chemotherapy (e.g. FOLFOX, with Eloxatin®) is one of the most commonly used drugs for people having high-risk stage II, or stages III or IV colorectal cancer. But far too often after patients have had many doses of FOLFOX over

Clinical Conundrum: When, how to treat colorectal cancer in the elderly

Even as scientists plumb deep into cells and molecules to understand cancer, there are many immediate and “real-life” questions that researchers and clinicians are discussing at the 2013 annual ASCO meeting (American Society of Clinical Oncology). One of the biggest puzzles for colorectal cancer is how to best treat the elderly, especially those with stages II or III (non-metastatic) cancer. It’s a huge question: today, 40 percent of colorectal cancer patients are elderly, and by the year 2030, more than 70 percent of non-inherited colorectal cancer will be among those 65 or older. Currently, 70 years old is the median age at diagnosis, with fully 40 percent of diagnoses made

ACA Mandates Insurance Coverage for Clinical Trials

By January 1, all insurers will be required to cover routine care for patients enrolled in clinical trials. (Typically any experimental care is provided at no cost to the patient.) “This should be seen as a step forward for the U.S. oncology community,” wrote Dr. Y-Ning Wong in the ASCO Daily News from the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s meeting in Chicago. “However, patients and providers must remain vigilant about the law’s implementation.” Currently there is a patchwork of state laws; as of January  2014, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates a federally required minimum that all private insurers must cover at least the usual care when patients enroll in a

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