March 7, 2011 |
Men of a certain age have heard the pitch many times: If they care about their health, they really should get their PSA checked. The simple blood test, men are told, can help uncover hidden cases of prostate cancer and potentially save their lives. More than 20 million American men get their PSA measured each year. Doctors often include the test as a routine part of checkups for men older than 40, and many insurance companies flat-out require it. Cancer awareness campaigns frequently tout PSA tests as an important weapon against the disease, something like a male version of mammograms.
January 12, 2011 |
Here’s some good news about the health of Americans: Life expectancy is increasing, and the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the number of senior citizens (those age 65 or older) will grow from 40 million in 2009 to 70 million in 2030. The incidence of most kinds of cancer has been decreasing since the mid-1990s. Patients are surviving longer after being diagnosed with cancer. And here’s the bad news: Since cancer disproportionately strikes senior citizens, the total number of Americans diagnosed with cancer is projected to rise.
November 29, 2010 |
Skin cancer rates are rising in the United States despite the well-known warnings to use sunscreen and avoid excessive sun exposure. There may be another tool to guard against non-melanoma skin cancers, however. A study released Monday shows the painkiller celecoxib -- or Celebrex -- helped prevent skin cancers in patients with precancerous lesions. Celebrex is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (or NSAID) that is used most often for arthritis pain. Researchers have long pondered its potential effectiveness as a cancer therapy.
November 5, 2010 |
Advanced CT imaging can reduce deaths from lung cancer by 20% among heavy smokers by detecting tumors at an earlier stage when they are more treatable, according to results released Thursday from the first study to compare the value of CT scans and regular chest X-rays for lung cancer screening. The long-awaited results of the trial involving more than 53,000 former and current heavy smokers were so conclusive that the study was terminated ahead of schedule last week and letters were sent to all the participants advising them of the results.
October 28, 2010 |
For many women, the fight against breast cancer is public, with support from friends and family and frequent discussions with healthcare professionals about side effects and treatment. But part of that fight is intensely private -- rarely more so than when it affects their sex life. Certain chemotherapy drugs send women into early menopause within a few months. That, coupled, with hair loss and disfiguring mastectomies, leave some breast cancer survivors struggling to be intimate again, a new study finds.
October 25, 2010
Robert Benmosche, AIG’s chief executive, is reportedly undergoing what’s been termed "aggressive chemotherapy," but what is aggressive chemotherapy? Details are scant about Benmosche’s condition at the moment, much less his type of cancer – or treatment. ALSO: AIG’s agrees, in principle, to repay taxpayer money But the National Cancer Institute says this about how often – and how long – a patient receives chemotherapy: "Treatment schedules for chemotherapy vary widely.
September 10, 2010
Asian Americans are known to have disproportionate numbers of liver cancers because of the high incidence of hepatitis B in that population, but new data indicate that Laotian Americans and Hmong Americans have even higher numbers and are more than twice as likely as other Asian Americans to die of it. Moreover, the disease tends to be diagnosed in those two groups at a late stage when it has already spread and they are less likely to receive treatment, UC...
September 1, 2010 |
A growing body of evidence suggests that the widely used diabetes drug metformin can reduce the risk of cancer, researchers said Wednesday. A study in mice exposed to tobacco carcinogens shows that the drug can reduce the development of lung tumors by more than 70%, and results from a small clinical trial in Japan suggest it can reduce rates of colorectal tumors in humans. The National Cancer Institute is now organizing a clinical trial to test the drug in people who smoke, and other trials are testing it against breast and prostate cancer.
August 19, 2010
It's a classic chicken/egg conundrum. Men with a family history of prostate cancer are thought to be more likely to develop the disease themselves, so it is recommended they get screened for the disease more often. But frequent screenings make it more likely a prostate tumor will be found -- including tumors that are not dangerous. So are those men with a father or brother with the disease more likely to have a tumor diagnosis because of genetics -- or because they are more likely to be screened?
August 11, 2010
Most physicians are reluctant to prescribe the drug finasteride to prevent prostate cancer in older men with elevated risk of the disease, despite evidence that the drug can reduce risk by about a quarter, researchers said Tuesday. "There are no other proven ways of reducing yours risk of prostate cancer -- this is the only one," Dr. Ian M. Thompson of the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, told Bloomberg. Its use could reduce new diagnoses by "tens of thousands," he said.