Tag Archives: ASCO

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

“Hope and Progress” takes an army – 30,000 of them!

As you may already have read, team members of Fight Colorectal Cancer which includes Staff, Board, Grassroots Action Committee (GAC) along with our Medical Advisory Board (MAB) have been in full swing at the Chicago 2013 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium. The American Society of Clinical Oncology® has been on top of their game with the distribution of material which we can barely keep up with! You can find a treasure chest of details here. This is by far the world’s largest organization of cancer specialists in one place at any time during the year. They are gathered to listen to scientific researchers present their latest findings, clinical specialists (oncologists, surgeons, radiologists,

Patient Involvement in Decision-Making: A long way to go

This week brings some excellent reading about why and how to educate patients so they can help make better decisions about their own care. What happens when patients get to read their own medical records? The Oct. 2nd  Annals of Internal Medicine published two editorials and results of a quasi-experimental trial of 100 primary care doctors who voluntarily provided 13,500 patient volunteers with access to their doctors’ notes for a year. To read details, read further, but some results in brief : patients loved being able to read their visit report, and 75% said they were more likely to take medicines as directed; doctors didn’t see increased patient anxiety, visits, or time demands. Meanwhile,

Choosing Wisely: What CancerTests and Treatments Do You Really Need?

Oncologists have joined eight other physician specialty organizations in the Choosing Wisely® campaign with a list of the Top Five Cancer-Related Tests, Procedures, and Treatments That Many Patients Do Not Need. Choosing Wisely asked each of the specialist groups to come up with a list of five things doctors and patients should question in order to improve evidence-based care, avoid tests or treatments that don’t help, and reduce the burden of health care costs. Here are the Top Five lists from the other groups. The American Society of Clinical Oncology  built the Top Five List for Oncology, based on work that ASCO’s Cost of Care Task Force has been doing

Fight Colorectal Cancer Headed for San Francisco and the 2012 GI Symposium

We’re getting ready for the 2012 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium next week at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Kim Ryan, Nancy Roach, and I will be there checking out the latest colon and rectal cancer prevention and treatment research and talking with leaders in the colorectal cancer field. Colon and rectal cancer is featured on Saturday, January 21, but we’ll also be looking at research results for cancers in the upper digestive tract, liver, and pancreas on Thursday and Friday, visiting exhibits, and meeting with members of the Fight Colorectal Cancer Medical Advisory Board.   Watch for our reports from the Symposium on the Fight Colorectal Cancer Research and Treatment

Doctors Urged to Talk Discuss Palliative Care

Soon after diagnosing a patient with advanced cancer, a doctor should begin discussing options for palliative care—the management of symptoms—according to a new policy statement from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).  ASCO also released a new, free guide called Advanced Cancer Care Planning for patients to help initiate those conversations.

Young People with Advanced Colorectal Cancer Do As Well with Chemotherapy as Older Patients

When colorectal cancer spreads to other parts of the body, young people under 50 who get chemotherapy benefit as much as those who are older. With drug combinations, there is no difference between those under 50 and those who are 50 and older in responding to chemotherapy, how long it takes before cancer gets worse, or in survival time.

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