Saturday, May 28, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Thyrogen Shortage Presents Tough Choices for Patients With Thyroid Cancer

This is a scary story.  Click on the headline below to learn why:

Thyrogen Shortage Presents Tough Choices for Patients-
NYTimes.com

This qoute caught my attention:  "Thyrogen joins a number of other cancer drugs that have recently fallen into short supply, including Cytarabine, a chemotherapy agent used to treat several types of leukemia."

Scary stuff!  I would likely die in the next year or two without a variety of anti-bone marrow cancer drugs which are currently available to treat my multiple myeloma.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Thursday, May 26, 2011

BREAKING PROSTATE CANCER NEWS: Two New Prostate Cancer Treatments Revealed Today: Zytiga And The Yunzi Mushroom...

Click-on the headline link below to read about two different brand new prostate cancer treatments--one traditional chemo, the other made from a natural compound which shows promise in a pre-clinical setting:

New Prostate Cancer Treatments Today: Zytiga And The Yunzi Mushroom-
Medical News Today

Interesting! Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Chicago Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita has oral cancer

I met Stan Mikita back in Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, when I was in grade school.  My best friend, Kevin, was a star junior hockey player.  Mr. Mikita used to come and watch games from time to time--standing out in the cold alongside a small, neighborhood rink.

I was disheartened to hear about Stan Mikita's cancer diagnosis.  Here is a link to a short article with some details:
Chicago Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita has oral cancer

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Cancer Costs: Expensive Drugs and Abandoned Prescriptions

Reporter Katherine Hobson with the Wall Street Journal, makes some excellent points and asks some important, relevant questions in her May 20th Health Blog post:

Cancer Costs: Expensive Drugs, Abandoned Prescriptions - Health Blog - Wall Street Journal

Simply click-on the headline link above to access her insightful post.  I had often wonder if there wasn't a risk in giving patients chemotherapy drugs to take at home, without supervision.  Turns-out I was right to be concerned!

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

More Breast Cancer Research News...

Scientists Find New Drug Target in Breast Cancer

ScienceDaily (May 23, 2011) — Researchers have identified a new protein involved in the development of drug resistance in breast cancer which could be a target for new treatments, they report May 22 in the journal Nature Medicine.

Read all about it by going to: 
LMTK3 on the oestrogen receptor has a crucial role in the development of drug resistance against anti-oestrogen drugs

Clinicians/researchers rarely receive public gratitude or notoriety.  All I can say is:  "Thanks for all you do--and keep on searching!"

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Saturday, May 21, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: AstraZeneca/Exelixis Cancer Drugs Show Promise Amid Slew Of Data - WSJ.com

New ovarian cancer drug to be featured at annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in early June.  Click-on headline link below to read the release:

AstraZeneca, Exelixis Cancer Drugs Show Promise Amid Slew Of Data -
WSJ.com

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Most Women Would Sacrifice Healthy Breast Again After Living That Way Following Breast Cancer...

Insightful story about the choices some breast cancer survivors are forced to make:

Most Cancer Survivors Would Sacrifice Healthy Breast Again: Study -
US News and World Report
breast self exam illustration
This is a very good read.  Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

FDA Approves Experimental Prostate Cancer Drug, Zytiga

I have noticed a number of new prostate cancer therapy approvals lately.  Like my bone marrow/blood cancer, multiple myeloma, it seems prostate cancer advances are accelerating.

This is very good news of course, as long as researchers continue to push for a cure.  Otherwise, many of us will live longer in a chronic, constantly medicated state.

Chronic beats dying--unless you can't afford the treatment needed to keep you alive--or you feel so bad from taking a number of different chemotherapy drugs you aren't sure you want to keep living.

But I digress!  Here is a headline link to the article.  Simply click-on the headline and read all about it:
FDA Approves Prostate Cancer Drug

By Bill Hendrick
WebMD Health News
Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Colonoscopy Still Best Alternative at Spotting Cancer in Seniors

Click-on the headline link below to read all about it:

Colonoscopy Better Than Alternative at Spotting Cancer in Seniors: Study -
US News and World Report


Couldn't resist including this flattering photo to accompany the relatively good news.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Friday, May 6, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Florida House Unanimously Passes Umbilical Cord Blood Banking Education Bill

I received this good news email from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society yesterday:

Dear Pat,

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s legislative success in Florida continues! On Wednesday, May 4, the Florida state House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation (SB 702) that increases awareness and education of the benefits of umbilical cord blood banking.

The bill, championed by LLS’s Florida chapters, requires the Florida Department of Health to post on its website resources regarding umbilical cord blood banking and requires the department to encourage certain healthcare providers to give information about umbilical cord blood banking to their pregnant patients.
The bill, which cleared the relevant committees in the House and Senate without any opposition, also unanimously passed the Florida Senate in April and now moves to the governor’s desk for his signature! As soon as LLS learns of when Gov. Rick Scott plans to sign the bill into law, we will relay that information on to our advocates.

Congratulations and thanks are in order for Liberty Partners, LLS’s lobbying partner in Florida, and LLS’s Florida advocates and staff who contributed to the bill’s success.

I must admit I am a bit surprised this passed.  Florida has moved so far right since the 2010 elections, I would have never thought a bill like this could have passed.  Just goes to show that the LLS must have done a superlative job educating legislators about the merits and potential of chord blood transplants.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: New Prostate Cancer Drug Approved Today

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today gave the green light for abiraterone acetate to be used in combination with prednisone for the treatment of “castration-resistant” prostate cancer in patients who have received prior docetaxel chemotherapy.

Click the headline link below to read all about it:

Health News - Prostate Cancer Patients to Benefit from Drug Discovered at The Institute of Cancer Research

The article doesn't specifically address how long using this new therapy might extend a patient's life expectancy.  But if you click-on the FDA link in the text above, it takes you to the original, detailed press release which states median life expectancy is extended by about four months.  Here is an explanation of how abiraterone acetate works:
"By inhibiting the pathways involved in the production of testosterone, abiraterone blocks its generation in all tissues, including in the cancer itself. This means the drug has potential to treat patients with the castration-resistant aggressive form of the disease."

Living four months longer doesn't seem like a lot--unless it's you fighting for your life.  Then this could be a really big deal.

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat