Tag Archives: cancer care

Big Money – Drugs and the Global Cost of Cancer

Big Money In Cancer Drugs
Big Money In Cancer Drugs

While drugs that fight cancer are becoming more effective, this improvement comes at a steep cost. Cancer costs reached $100 billion last year, after increasing around $5 billion every year since 2009.

Most of these expensive treatments take place in the US, Britain, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, although the US far exceeds other countries in terms of overall cancer costs.

The US spends roughly $42.5 billion, which makes up about 40 percent of cancer treatment costs in the world. Most of these costs come from treating rare forms of cancer with specialized drugs. Although these drugs have improved patients’ chances of surviving cancer, most insurance companies don’t cover much or any of the costs. This makes these drugs too expensive for many patients to afford.

Despite the increasing costs of treating cancer, India is taking an effective approach to making these drugs affordable for many patients. The country is placing 12 cancer drugs on the National List of Essential Medicines, which puts a cap on their prices. With the price cap in place, more cancer patients are able to afford getting treatment. Cancer drugs on this list must cost the same as the average price for all brands.

For example, a brand that normally costs in the thousands in India typically could only end up costing in the hundreds, based on the average price of all other brands. Thanks to this approach, cancer costs are kept under control and in a price range that more patients can afford. Other countries would benefit from studying this innovative approach that India has taken.

Expensive medications aren’t the only ways to fight cancer. At Issels®, we offer nontoxic forms of cancer treatment, such as immunotherapy. Contact us to learn more about our treatments some of which may be covered by your insurance program.

Guard Your Bones While in Cancer Treatment

Thyroid Cancer
Guard Your Bones

Traditional cancer treatment is brutal on the human body and weakens the immune system. Patients often accept it as a lessor evil that is necessary to combat cancer. They may not know specifically how their cancer can spread or the importance of taking steps to strengthen and protect their bones after a cancer diagnosis. That is why at Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology, we provide individualized immunotherapy protocols and all the information you need to make informed treatment decisions.

Watch for bone metastases symptoms

Contact your doctor if you develop any new symptoms like bone pain, numbness, or weakness.

Prevent falls

Many cancer medications can make you weaker and light-headed, increasing the risk of you falling and fracturing a bone. Always use handrails on stairs; consider using a walker and getting a professionally installed handrail for your shower.


Talk to your doctor about how much exercise you can and should being doing. Low impact exercises like walking or swimming can build strength and improve your balance and coordination to help you prevent falls.

Bone medications

Discuss available bone medications with your doctor. Medications can strengthen bones, decrease or delay fractures of people with bone metastases, and relieve pain associated with bone cancer.


Be sure your doctor is aware of any dietary supplements you take. This is especially important when you are treated for bone metastases. Some risky interactions can occur when supplements are combined with bone strengthening medications.

For more information on our non-toxic cancer treatments, contact Issels® Integrative Immuno-Oncology. You can receive the latest news on cancer research and advancements in treatment methods directly to your inbox by signing up for our free e-Newsletter.

Tips for Beating Fatigue Triggered by Cancer Treatment

Talk to Your Care Team About Fatigue
Talk to Your Care Team About Fatigue

Fighting cancer is a full-time job that consumes every available bit of your energy. While your treatment is designed to assist you, it can intensify your feelings of fatigue. Lack of energy seeps into your emotional state, making it difficult to maintain a positive attitude.

You don’t have to resign yourself to feeling tired. Enlist the help of your support network in following these suggestions to rebuild your stores of energy.

• Let your healthcare provider know about your fatigue. He has experience dealing with the situation so he can offer ideas that have successfully helped other patients.

• Exercise may sound counterintuitive, but it’s a great way to boost your energy along with your strength and emotional state of mind. It doesn’t have to be a formal workout. A short walk or any other physical activity is beneficial.

• Follow a nutritional diet to keep your system in balance and build your strength.

• If you are having difficulty sleeping at night, spend time relaxing before you go to bed. Make your room as comfortable as possible and follow a regular sleeping schedule so your body adapts.

• Cancer treatment can make you feel isolated and alone. If you haven’t already, join a support group. Knowing that others have experienced similar fatigue is comforting.

• Sometimes you just have to accommodate your tiredness and take a rest. After a while you’ll find a balance and know when to keep going and when to relax.

Our healthcare providers consider fatigue and other factors of your individual case to personalize your course of treatment. Contact us to learn more about the resources we offer to help you win your fight.

Is the Price of Cancer Care Killing Patients?

Stack of Money
Is the price of cancer care too high?

Fighting cancer involves full concentration of a patient’s physical, mental and emotional resources. Keeping a positive frame of mind is one of the most effective weapons in the battle. Sadly, patients are increasingly distracted by concern over the financial toll of their survival.

It’s not unusual for a full round of chemotherapy to cost $100,000. Medication can run into the thousands just for one month’s supply. Considering the fact that these treatments are only a fraction of the total medical care required by cancer patients, it’s clear that the dollars involved go well beyond any investment undertaken by most people.

We consider life to be priceless, but cancer patients are forced to consider the literal value of gaining an extra year, month, or even week. They conduct a debate with themselves whether or not it’s worth the gamble of leaving their families with no financial resources.

Since not all treatments are covered, healthcare insurance is often only a partial solution at best. Far too many people exist in the grey area where they are above the threshold of qualifying for assistance but not well-off enough to afford the exorbitant costs of medical care.

This quandary also puts healthcare providers in a difficult situation. Not only do they have to weight the risks and benefits of potential treatments, they have to consider the economic hardship they could mean for patients.

Our caring staff at Issels® work with you every step of the way to develop a personalized course of alternative cancer treatment to fit your individual needs. Please contact us to learn more about our services.


The Tumor Micro Environment Plays a Role in the Spread of Liver Cancer

Tumor Studies
Tumor Studies

Despite recent advancements in cancer treatments, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is one of only a few forms that has seen a steady increase in occurrences over the past few years. Scientists have identified a significant difference in this form that could hold the key to reversing that trend.

What is HCC?

HCC is the most common form of liver cancer. Close to 750,000 new cases are reported worldwide each year and it ranks as the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. In addition, large numbers of patients develop metastases or suffer from reoccurrence of the tumors.

HCC’s Link to Liver Diseases

While most cancers arise within relatively healthy tissues, HCC most frequently develops in livers that are chronically diseased due to hepatitis, inflammation or cirrhosis. This hepatitis-B virus (HBV)-associated HCC creates a microenvironment that contributes toward tumor growth.

Three scientists from the United States and China teamed up for a report on the topic that was published in the Beijing-based National Science Review. The article is a summary of the complex interaction in the HBV-associated HCC microenvironment and how it impacts the onset, progression and metastasis of the cancer.

What Does the Future Hold?

HBV in effect acts as a traffic cop for the intricate network of cells that make up the microenvironment. Scientists are encouraged that this function can be harnessed to help create a more effective treatment for HCC.

Many of the patients receiving our alternative cancer treatment have experienced remission of liver cancer as well as several other forms. Please contact us for more information about the Issels® difference.

Will In-Home Cancer Tests Be the Future?

In Home Cancer Treatment
In Home Cancer Treatment

Cancer research remains in the news keeping providers, patients, friends and family members up-to-date with current information. At Issels® website, you’ll find a plethora of information about cancer treatments and cancer testing.

A piece of important news was released on August 11, 2014 of interest to doctors and patients who want, or need, to test for colon cancer. According to an article published by HealthDay, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of an at-home colorectal cancer test based on DNA from a stool sample.

This is a giant leap forward in providing an additional option for testing besides the traditional colonoscopy or the use of fecal immunochemical testing (FIT). It was noted in a news release by director Alberto Gutierrez of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health, that the test detected more cancers meaning the test exhibits a high accuracy rating due to the testing of blood and additional testing for abnormal DNA.

Another piece of good news is the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will be reviewing the possibility of providing coverage, nationwide, of the Cologuard test for people ages 50-85 with no symptoms of the disease and those at an average risk for getting the disease.

Having the option of a noninvasive test would support the fight against the disease as more Americans would be more inclined to use it versus having an invasive colonoscopy that should be done every 10 years starting at age 50.

For information about our many services focused on the health and well being of our patients, contact us by email, or for both patients in the U.S. and abroad, call us.