Tag Archives: Skin Cancer

People of Color Can Still Get Skin Cancer and Melanoma – What to Know

People of Color Can Still Get Skin Cancer and Melanoma - What to Know
People of Color Can Still Get Skin Cancer and Melanoma – What to Know

A commonly-held misconception is that people of color have little risk of developing skin cancer. It’s true that melanoma occurs less frequently, but the consequences of skin cancer among African Americans are more serious than most realize.

How Melanoma Affects People of Color

Data from a study published last July in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology showed that people of color are most likely to be diagnosed with melanoma in its later stages, resulting in worse prognoses and lower overall survival rates.

Many believe that the higher percentage of melanin in darker skin protects from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays. A recent survey revealed that 63 percent of African Americans never use sunscreen, despite the fact that they actually can be susceptible to sunburn.

Causes and Warning Signs of Melanoma

Genetics and environmental factors also play a role in the development of melanoma, as they did with iconic reggae singer Bob Marley. The Jamaican native died at the age of 36 from acral lentiginous melanoma (ALM), a form of cancer that appears on the palms of hands and the soles of feet.

Dr. Martitza I. Perez, senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation, recommends that people of all ethnicities watch for the warning signs of melanoma:

• A sore or growth that doesn’t heal

• An ulcer or scaly red patch that crusts or bleeds

• Moles that are asymmetrical, larger than a pencil eraser, or display any sign of change

Cutting-Edge Immunotherapy for Cancer at Issels®

Our immunotherapy for cancer treatments have been effective against melanoma and many other types of tumors. Contact us to learn more.

National Cancer Institute Launches Mole vs Melanoma Info Site

Are You at Risk for Skin Cancer?
Are You at Risk for Skin Cancer?

It’s important to understand the difference between common moles that often occur on the skin and melanomas. To the untrained eye, the two can look very similar, and they can result in people either worrying unnecessarily about the condition of their skin or overlooking skin irregularities that require immediate medical attention.

At Issels®, we’ve worked with many people who have been diagnosed with melanoma, and immunotherapy has been shown to be a very promising alternative to traditional cancer treatments. Even so, identification remains a serious challenge, and the National Cancer Institute has come up with a tool to help.

The Moles to Melanoma Tool

The Moles to Melanoma tool from the National Cancer Institute provides individuals with pictures that help to understand the three types of moles that can appear on the human body. They are:

  • Common Moles
  • Dysplastic Nevi (or DN)
  • Melanoma

Common moles are those that are non-cancerous, and their characteristics are not a cause for concern. Dysplastic Nevi moles are those that aren’t cancerous, but that possess qualities that would cause doctors to keep an eye on them for any changes that could indicate melanoma. Finally, melanoma is characterized by moles that fit into the ABCDE category of identification.

Are You Concerned About Melanoma?

If your family has a history of melanoma, or if you have moles that cause you to be concerned, this tool can be very useful for you. However, it’s important to remember that no diagnostic tool should ever take the place of a professional diagnosis from an experienced physician.

At Issels, melanoma can be treated with non-toxic melanoma immunotherapy. Contact us to learn more.

Drug Combo for Melanoma May Prove to be a Silver Bullet for This Cancer

Birth Control Pills
New Drug Concoction for Melanoma

Encouraging news from successful immuno-oncology treatments for cancer: a recent study shows that a particular combination may notably prolong life for patients with melanoma. British researchers are studying the effects of two drugs — ipilimumab and nivolumab — to see if one or both drugs works best for patients with inoperable melanoma or metastatic melanoma.

As immuno-oncology drugs, both medications work by delivering antibodies that train the immune system to kill cancer cells.

Melanoma Immunotherapy Results

The results so far show that nivolumab alone may deliver better outcomes than ipilimumab alone. When taken together, patients have survived even longer. For individual patients, the results can vary depending on the presence of a certain protein, PD1.

A breakdown of the outcomes for patients with advanced and difficult melanoma:

  • Patients taking only ipilimumab have survived 2.9 months
  • Patients taking only nivolumab have survived 6.9 months
  • Patients taking the combination have survived 11.5 months
  • The blind, controlled study is still ongoing, so results may evolve

Nivolumab specifically targets cancer cells by attaching to the PD1 protein. For patients whose tumors carry PD1, treatment with nivolumab alone may be as effective as the combo. If the PD1 protein is not present, however, the combo has been performing better than ipilimumab alone.

While ipilimumab has been approved in the U.S. and European Union, the newer drug nivolumab has only been approved for trials. The promising results of the drug for PD1-positive patients, and the possibility that it creates a “one-two punch” with other immunotherapy treatments, gives hope that patients with melanoma will soon have access to the drug.

Visit Issels® for more information about immuno-oncology and our currently available treatments.

Promising New Treatments Use Molecular Cancer Classifications for Melanoma

Cancer Treatment in Tijuana
Preventing Melanoma

In a groundbreaking effort that could lead to improved strategies even for stage four melanoma treatment, researchers have gathered national data to better determine cancer risk of four major molecular subtypes of cancer. What does this mean for your cancer treatment efforts? Issels® wants you to know.

Improved classification of data = better treatment.
Broken down by age, race/ethnicity, poverty level, and other factors, the data gathered will help researchers more accurately determine the degree of risk, and cancer patients better understand health implications based on their breast cancer subtype, as each of the four major molecular subtypes responds differently to treatment and has varying survival rates.

More access = better treatment.
Also improving strategies for stage four melanoma treatment, the data gathered has been recorded by cancer registries nationwide, making widely available medically important information to guide therapeutic strategies for these cancer subtypes.

Faster identification = better treatment.
The new diagnostic categories identified by researchers will further support the prevention and treatment of multiple types of cancer, as well as monitor their incidence and outcomes, providing further necessary data for the use in stage four melanoma treatment.

Promising findings = a better future for you.
The findings, as well as the statistical analysis of the most common types of cancer, were reported in “The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975-2011,” which also confirmed encouraging trends in cancer mortality among men, women, and children alike, reflecting the progress made over the years in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment.

Struggling with stage four melanoma treatment? Issels® help you on the path to recovery. Contact us today.

Google’s Nano-Pill to Detect Cancer

Nano Pills To Detect Cancer
Nano Pills To Detect Cancer

It might seem like it’s too good to be true, but what Google is doing is far from science fiction. They’re working on developing a nano-pill that can detect cancer, as well as other diseases and illnesses. The nano-pill is still being worked on, but the folks at Google are confident that they have the knowledge and capability they need to make their newest idea a reality. 

How does it work?

The nano-pill works by releasing nano particles into the body that are drawn to cancer cells like a magnet. The particles latch on and any information that’s gathered about the cancer cells is sent to a sensor. The best part is that people can begin to get treatments before they would normally have them under traditional detection methods. 

According to a recent article on Wired.com, it’s relatively easy for academic researchers to pinpoint what might work best for such a project, but it takes a team of qualified engineers, scientists and technicians to design the hardware for such a product. That’s where Google comes in, and they’ve brought their best team members to the table. 

Of course, the challenge is going to be in the clinical trials. Some trials have begun on artificial human limbs, but there is still much research to be done before the nano pill is ready to take the next step. It might be a few years before it hits the market. 

Non-traditional cancer treatments are what we specialize in, here at Issels®. If you’ve been looking for alternative cancer treatments for yourself or a loved one, please contact us. We would love to talk with you about our options.

Melanoma Treatment Breakthrough with Immunotherapy

A Break Trough in Immunotherapy
A Break Trough in Immunotherapy

Immunotherapy continues to prove itself an effective weapon in the fight against cancer. Recent studies show that treatment can produce lasting remission in patients suffering with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Leading pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb conducted testing of nivolumab, a member of a new class of immunotherapies. Its purpose is to disable a protein called PD-1 which restricts the body’s own immune system from attacking cancer cells.

Phase 1 of the trial involved 107 advanced melanoma patients whose cancer had spread to other areas despite treatment with traditional drugs. These patients received nivolumab via intravenous infusions during alternating weeks for periods of up to 96 weeks.

Median life expectancy for people with advanced melanoma is one year. Follow-up studies after treatment with the nivolumab found that 62 percent of the patients were alive, with 43 percent surviving after two years. Researchers are encouraged by the fact that the immunotherapy continued to show positive results even after treatment concluded. The data also suggests that therapy during earlier stages can be even more effective.

Bristol-Myers is continuing Phase 3 trials with nivolumab that focus on other forms of cancer such as lung and kidney cancer. In some cases, testing is using a combination therapy including ipilimumab, another of the new immunotherapies that works on disabling a different cell receptor.

Issels natural cancer treatment is based on more than 60 years of successful experience using integrative immunotherapy. Patients receive personalized protocols created to address their unique needs. Please contact us to learn more about our treatment centers and programs.