Tag Archives: Cancer

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.

Five Cancer Caregiver Tips for the Holidays

Grandparents posing with grandchildren
Take Time to Enjoy Your Caregivers This Holiday

Holidays are often a bittersweet occasion for cancer patients and their caregivers. It’s a time of celebration with friends and family, but it can also create nostalgia and even sadness over the memories of previous illness-free holidays.

If you are a caregiver, it’s important for both you and your loved one that you maintain an emotional and physical balance. These tips will keep things in perspective so you avoid feeling overwhelmed.

• Be honest about your feelings. It’s natural to feel a sense of loss based on the realities of cancer. However, burying those emotions will serve only to intensify them, not eliminate them. Share your thoughts with someone you trust, whether it’s a family member or counselor.

• Modify your expectations. You probably demand more of yourself than anyone else does. Scale back your activities or ask for help when it’s needed.

•Create new traditions. Sharing time with friends and family is the focus of the holidays, no matter what form it takes.

•Ask your loved one about his or her preferences for celebrating the holiday. You may be projecting your own anxieties on them, and you’ll discover that their wishes are simpler than you anticipated.

• Give yourself a pat on the back. You’re making every effort to create a special holiday for your loved one and he or she appreciates it more than you know.

As a caregiver for a cancer patient, you should have your own support system for advice and encouragement. Subscribe to our e-newsletter for medical updates and helpful tips on cancer care.

Three Tips to Understanding your Cancer’s Prognosis

Understanding Cancer
Understanding Cancer

Cancer is the giant bugaboo that eventually invades everyone’s life if they live long enough. Still, if caught early and treated agressively, a prognosis of cancer is not necessarily an untimely death sentence. Here are the most important things to know about your prognosis once you have defintively been diagnosed with cancer:

It is Fact Based

Though it may mystify the patient to some extent, a doctor’s cancer prognosis is thoroughly grounded in his own and his peer’s medical experience. The doctor will look at such things as the type and location of the cancer, its metastatic stage – that is, how much it has actually spread – and the cancer’s grade – how abnormal it looks and how likely it is to spread even more.

It’s Mostly Statistics

While Mark Twain facetiously opined that there are “lies, damn lies and statistics,” the actual truth is that stats really do tell you a lot about your prognosis. By analyzing various factors such as the specific characteristics of the patient’s disease, the available treatment options and any other health issues, the doctor will make an educated guess as to what will happen.

It is Not Completely Certain

While your prognosis is your doctor’s “best guess” as to the likely course and outcome of your disease, it is by no means 100% certain. Remaining positive throughout the process is always the best medicine.

As you can see, a prognosis is as much art as it is science and the best doctors combine both when making a prognosis. For more detailed information, please contact us at Issels® or you can reach us directly at 1-888-437-7357.

Tips for Telling Your Family You Have Received a Diagnosis of Cancer

Telling Your Family Of Your Diagnosis
Telling Your Family Of Your Diagnosis

Discussing cancer with your family is akin to walking in an emotional mine field. Once you make it known you have been diagnosed with cancer, you must be prepared to navigate carefully in response to different reactions.

What to Do

Take time to come to terms with how you feel. If you’re angry and afraid, that’s okay. Don’t hold it in. It’s important to have someone you trust to talk to that will listen and be supportive.

Don’t attempt to go through it alone. Decide who you will tell, first, and how much information you want to initially share. The news will have a decided effect and those you tell may not react in the same way. You’ll need to be prepared, as best as possible, for addressing each individual.

Discussing your condition, within your comfort zone, is beneficial. By talking about it, you can move forward with a plan of action.

Don’t be afraid to let people know the limits you’re willing to discuss your condition. Repeating the same information over and over can become tiring and emotionally draining for you. Delegate a friend or family member to relay the news to others.

While you may not want to talk to your closest family members, it’s important that you talk to someone. If you’re not ready to let your family know of your condition, join a cancer support group where you can discuss your feelings, ask questions, and get advice from others.

Keep your daily routine as near normal as possible and encourage and support your family in doing the same.

Contact Issels Integrative Oncology Centers for any questions or information about available treatments.

Is Cancer Inevitable? Immunotherapy May Change the Answer – Part III

Cancer Immunotherapy
Cancer Immunotherapy

Cancer risk increases with age, but why that is true and whether we can change that is the complex question we have been discussing in our previous two posts. For a long time, the relationship between cancer and age was assumed to be a simple matter of living long enough for mutations to accumulate and trigger cancer development. Now, new cancer research from the University of Colorado Cancer Center shows that tissue changes that occur with aging, not accumulated mutations, allow the development of age-related cancer.

Colorado researchers found that by the time we reach our teens and stop growing, our bodies have already accumulated most of the mutations we will ever have, refuting the argument that mutations increase with age. They also found many mutations in healthy tissue, refuting the argument that more mutations cause cancer. Further, they argue that if mutations were the key cause of age-related cancer, our immune system should have developed better protections against mutations; but it hasn’t.

As our “tissue landscape” begins to deteriorate with age, those changes erode our ability to fight off cancer, as well as other diseases. The Colorado team didn’t take their findings further, but what if our bodies could “rejuvenate” aging cells and return them to the disease-fighting strength of our youth? Issels’ more than 60 years of experience with cancer treatments including integrative immunotherapy has shown us that boosting the body’s immune system has tremendous power to fight cancer. Perhaps taking steps to “supercharge” our immune system as we age could have similar benefits for preventing cancer.

WHO Predicts Worldwide Cancer Increase

Cancer Research
Cancer Research

Researchers are making progress in combating cancer, particularly in the United States and other industrialized nations where medical treatment is readily available. But in the rest of the world, cancer is on the rise, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO). As developing countries adopt modern lifestyles, cancer rates are increasing. According to WHO, cancer cases worldwide could surpass 19 million by 2025.

Between 2008 and 2012, cancer diagnoses worldwide grew from 12.7 million to more than 14 million and deaths from cancer rose from 7.6 to 8.2 million. By the end of the next decade, WHO expects the number of people diagnosed with cancer to begin approaching the 20 million mark, which would be a significant jump over the current worldwide cancer growth rate.

As developing countries become more industrialized, smoking, obesity and longer life spans are contributing to an increased risk of cancer, according to a BBC News health report. Lung cancer, primarily from cigarette smoking, poses the greatest risk, accounting for 13% of total cancer cases, or about 1.8 million diagnoses, worldwide. WHO also cited a significant rise in the global number of breast cancer cases; noting that breast cancer has become the most common cancer among women in 140 countries.

“Breast cancer is also a leading cause of cancer death in the less developed countries of the world. This is partly because a shift in lifestyles is causing an increase in incidence and partly because clinical advances to combat the disease are not reaching women living in these regions,” Dr. David Forman of WHO’s International Agency for Research told BBC News.