Tag Archives: Cancer Awareness

May is Melanoma Awareness Month – Wear the Black Ribbon

Melanoma Awareness
Melanoma Awareness

Do you believe that melanoma is a “lesser” form of cancer? Maybe you think monitoring and removing moles is sufficient defense against this disease.

The truth is that immunotherapy for cancer is often needed to fight these tumors, which can be more serious than you realize. As people don black ribbons in May to support Melanoma Awareness Month, it’s a good time to present some facts that may surprise you.

  1. Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer.

While melanoma occurs less frequently than carcinoma, survival rates are much lower. The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one American dies of melanoma each hour, but the good news is that it’s highly treatable with early detection.

  1. Melanoma frequently affects young adults.

Some people mistakenly associate cancer with old age. In the case of melanoma, it’s the most common form of cancer among young adults between 25 and 29, and the second most common in ages 15 to 29.

  1. Melanoma can develop independent of moles and sun exposure.

Having a lot of moles may increase your risk for melanoma, but it can also occur in the absence of moles. Melanoma is sometimes found between fingers and toes, in the underarm, and other areas that get little or no sun exposure.

If you have been diagnosed with melanoma, Issels® offers immunotherapy for cancer that is tailored to meet the needs of your individual case. Contact us today for information about our cancer vaccines, gene-targeted therapies and other non-toxic treatments.

March is National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month

Kidney Cancer Awareness
Kidney Cancer Awareness

Have you recently noticed people sporting orange pins, t-shirts or bracelets? These colorful accessories demonstrate support of National Kidney Cancer Awareness Month, which occurs each March. While more than 50,000 new cases of kidney cancer were diagnosed last year, cutting-edge treatments such as cancer immunotherapy have made valuable inroads in defeating the disease.

Causes and symptoms of kidney cancer

Research has found that certain genetic factors, such as the hereditary disorders von-Hippel-Lindau disease and Birt Hogg Dube Syndrome, can increase the risk of kidney cancer. Scientists have managed to isolate the gene that carries VHL disease, which could lead to advancements in diagnosis and treatment.

Symptoms of kidney cancer often don’t present in the early stages of the disease, so it’s frequently discovered during testing for other conditions. Painless urination of blood is the most common symptom, occurring in more than 50 percent of patients.

Other symptoms include back pain, the appearance of an abdominal mass, or unexplained weight loss. Unfortunately, many of the symptoms are also characteristic of unrelated health conditions, complicating the matter of diagnosis.

What does the future hold?

Improvements in diagnosis and treatment have resulted in more than 200,000 kidney cancer survivors living in the U.S. today. Researchers continue to develop more sophisticated drugs for treatment, while specialized testing like PET scans are being evaluated as more effective means of diagnosis.

State-of-the-art cancer immunotherapy treatments at Issels® are tailored to meet each patient’s individual case. Visit our website for testimonials from survivors of kidney cancer, leukemia, melanoma and other forms of the disease.

Foundation Works to Create Pancreatic Cancer Awareness

Creating Awareness
Creating Awareness

Next week in November we celebrate Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month. Did you know that in the U.S. pancreatic cancer comprises just 3 percent of cancer cases, yet it accounts for 7 percent of fatalities? For those affected by the disease, information and support can be harder to find compared to more common forms of cancer.

When Herb Kosten passed away in 2003, his family decided to form an organization to provide support and awareness for pancreatic disease in the Memphis area. The foundation has also provided half a million dollars in research funding to a local university.

As the late Kosten’s brother Alan says, the family could find no information about pancreatic cancer besides what the doctor told them.

As proponents of individualized care and integrative immuno-oncology, we at Issels® support the idea that fighting cancer takes groundbreaking research as well as a holistic approach to patient care. In addition to funding research at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the Herb Kosten Foundation hosts a support group for patients and family members. As the only pancreatic cancer support group within hundreds of miles, this provides a major source of comfort and empowerment to people who need it.

Treatment for pancreatic cancer often involves a difficult surgery that takes an entire day and often leads to complications. With a mortality rate around 90 percent, those affected by the disease seek to rally awareness and support for additional research in the quest for a cure.

At the Issels® Center for Integrative Immuno-Oncology, we continue to seek and improve personalized non-toxic treatments for pancreatic cancer and other aggressive forms of the disease. Contact us today to find out about our non-toxic treatments that combine immunotherapy and other alternative options available.

Twist Out Cancer Allows Cancer Patients to Share Their Stories

Sharing Their Stories
Sharing Their Stories

As a cancer patient, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone as you fight the illness. Community support can relieve your loneliness and provide inspiration from the encouragement of others. A young woman’s refusal to be marginalized led to the creation of Twist Out Cancer, an online social network allowing members to form positive connections.

One woman’s story

Jenna Benn Shersher was a 29-year-old woman dealing with a rare form of lymphoma that affects fewer than 300 people in the United States. Although her compromised immune system kept her isolated, she decided to proactively reach out for companionship.

Since treatment prevented her from enjoying her favorite pastime of dancing, Jenna posted a video of herself twisting in her room to Chubby Checker songs. She invited viewers to join her on the “dance floor,” and it took only days to receive responses from thousands of people, many of whom shared their own dance videos.

Giving back to the community

After completing treatment, Jenna wanted to use her experience to benefit other cancer patients seeking companionship. Twist Out Cancer is a website devoted to creating bonds through the sharing of thoughts, stories and experiences.

Anyone touched by cancer is encouraged to create their own page highlighting the personal “twist” they use to cope with the disease. One young woman recently issued a challenge to others to “Kiss Away Cancer” by posting selfies of their smooches with family, friends or even passers-by.

At Issels® we look beyond cancer to see the unique individual that you are. Our treatments are personalized to meet your particular needs. Visit our website to learn more about our non-toxic immunotherapy methods.

Joan Luden Poses Bald to Promote Breast Cancer Awareness

The Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon
The Pink Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon

Former Good Morning America co-host Joan Luden shocked many fans when she recently posed bald on the cover of People magazine to promote cancer awareness. In an interview on Today, Joan, who lost her hair while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, told fans, “We’re losing our hair in order to live and survive.”

Not an Easy Decision

While talking about her cancer journey and decision to bare her bald head in public, Joan admitted to Hoda Kotb that she was initially reluctant to pose for the magazine. “You just are never prepared for it,” she said about losing her hair during chemo. “You feel less like a woman. You feel less feminine. You feel less beautiful. You feel kind of embarrassed. You feel kind of like the ugly duckling. You lose a part of your sense of yourself.”

One More Loss

In the grand scale of things, you would think hair loss would be a small matter for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. But you have only to think how it feels to find a few gray hairs or notice a little thinning on top to realize how important our hair is to our appearance and sense of self. Its sudden loss during cancer treatment can be devastating to someone already struggling with the fear and loss that accompany cancer diagnosis.

A Better Solution

Non-toxic alternative cancer treatment offers a kinder, gentler way to combat cancer. Issels integrative immunotherapy works with your body to fight cancer. Our alternative cancer treatment battles cancer without the horrendous side effects, pain and embarrassing hair loss typical of chemotherapy. Find out more about the benefits of integrative immunotherapy at Issels.com.

Valerie Harper Special Puts Spotlight on Cancer

A New Way to Fight Lung Cancer
A New Way to Fight Lung Cancer

Actress Valerie Harper will share her battle with cancer in an NBC prime time documentary to air later this year. Valerie won viewers’ hearts in the 1970s as feisty Rhoda Morgenstern, first on the Mary Tyler Moore Show and then on the spinoff Rhoda. First diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009, a recurrence spread to her brain. In March, the 73-year-old actress was diagnosed with leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, a rare and terminal cancer of brain membrane.

Hoping to encourage other cancer victims to keep fighting, Valerie granted documentary camera crews unprecedented access to her daily struggle with cancer. The camera follows Valerie as she discusses traditional and alternative cancer treatments with doctors, undergoes experimental treatments and weathers cancer’s ups and downs with her husband and daughter.

“I can’t say it’s terminal,” Valerie has said. “I’m saying it’s incurable so far, but we’re all terminal. No one is getting out of this alive. The key is, don’t go to the funeral until the day of the funeral.”

Cancer research has made tremendous leaps just in the past decade. New genetic research is expanding our understanding of cancer and how it attacks the body, holding promise for the development of new and more efficient cancer treatment and delivery systems. However, it is our body’s own immune system that most cancer experts believe holds the ultimate key to developing a cure for cancer. A proven treatment protocol, immunotherapy is believed to offer the most promising path to a cancer cure.

For more than 60 years, Issels Integrative Oncology has been a leader in the use of immunotherapy to treat cancer. Click here to review our cancer case studies.