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Health News Results - 514

At-Home Gene Test for Breast, Ovarian Cancers Looks Effective

Screening for breast and ovarian cancer genes might be added to the list of medical tests that can be safely and effectively done from home, new research suggests.

The study looked at screening for BRCA1, BRCA2 and other gene mutations linked to an increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation have as much as a 7 in 10 chance of getting breast canc...

Drug Could Boost Survival From Lung Cancer Affecting Non-Smokers

MONDAY, June 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The drug Tagrisso could offer hope to patients battling a form of lung cancer that typically hits people with little or no history of smoking, a new trial finds.

Taken after surgery to remove the lung tumor, Tagrisso (osimertinib) greatly extended the average survival of people battling a non-metastatic form of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCL...

Protect Yourself From Sun to Prevent Skin Cancer

Headed to the beach or park for a little fresh air? Don't forget your sun protection, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) advises.

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States, affecting one in five Americans, but many don't protect themselves from harmful UV rays.

Sixty percent of respondents to an AAD survey said they had had such a bad sunburn their ...

Very Early-Stage Breast Cancer Ups Long-Term Odds for Invasive Tumors: Study

Women with cancerous cells in their milk ducts -- also known as DCIS -- are at a high risk for developing fatal breast cancer, British researchers report.

DCIS is short for ductal carcinoma in situ, an early form of breast cancer. With stepped-up breast screening, it has become an increasingly common diagnosis.

Though it's not immediately life-threatening, DCIS more than dou...

Prostate Cancer Drug Could Be 'Game Changing,' Researchers Say

For men with advanced prostate cancer, a new hormone therapy pill works better than standard injections -- and carries a much lower risk of heart attack or stroke, a clinical trial has found.

The drug, called relugolix, is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. If it gets the green light, however, it would be "game-changing," said Dr. Neal Shore, lead researcher on...

Hydroxychloroquine May Worsen Odds for Cancer Patients With COVID-19

As the evidence piles up that a malaria drug touted as a possible coronavirus treatment by President Donald Trump may instead harm patients, a new study shows the same might hold true for cancer patients with COVID-19.

Researchers found that cancer patients with COVID-19 who receive both hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin have a higher risk of death than those who aren...

'Major Financial Hardship' Hits Most Patients Battling Advanced Colon Cancer

A cancer diagnosis can deliver a double blow -- along with dealing with a serious health crisis, you also need to worry about how your treatment is going to affect your finances.

Nearly three out of four people with advanced colon cancer that spread to other parts of their bodies experienced major financial hardships within a year of starting treatment, a new study found.

...

Tumors Have Their Own Bacterial Colonies That Could Guide Cancer Care

The human body is teeming with bacteria, and a new study finds the same is true of many cancers -- raising questions about what role microbes might play in the diseases.

Researchers have already known that tumors in certain areas of the body -- like the gut -- harbor bacteria of their own. But the new research reveals that a range of cancers, including those of the breast, lungs, bone...

Child's Cancer Doesn't Raise Parents' Divorce Risk, Curb Plans for More Kids: Study

Having a child with cancer doesn't appear to affect parents' risk of splitting up or their plans to have more kids.

That's the conclusion of a Danish study that compared more than 12,400 parents of children diagnosed with cancer between 1982 and 2014 to nearly 70,000 parents whose kids were cancer-free.

Parents were followed until 10 years after a child's cancer diagnosis --...

With PSA Test Out of Favor, Cases of Advanced Prostate Cancer Are Rising

Prostate cancer screening guidelines have been evolving for more than a decade, but new research suggests that recommendations against routine prostate cancer testing may have come at a steep price -- more men getting diagnosed with advanced prostate cancers.

The study found that rates of advanced prostate cancers rose by about 5% per year through 2016.

There was some ...

Kids With Cancer Not at Greater Risk for Severe COVID-19

Children with cancer don't have a higher risk of being affected by COVID-19 or of having severe symptoms, a new study finds.

"We are encouraged by these latest findings that kids with cancer are not more endangered by COVID-19 and their symptoms are mild like in healthy children," said study leader Dr. Andrew Kung, chair of the pediatric cancer program MSK Kids at Memorial Sloan Kette...

Don't Delay If Cancer Symptoms Appear - Call Your Doctor

The coronavirus pandemic has many people putting off medical appointments, but if you have possible cancer symptoms, don't delay.

A small lump in a breast, blood in your stool or an odd-looking mole, for example, should not be ignored, according to experts at Cedars-Sinai Health System in Los Angeles.

"We're seeing a concerning trend that some cancer diagnoses are being de...

Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion Might Have Cut U.S. Cancer Deaths

Cancer death rates have declined more in U.S. states that expanded Medicaid after the Affordable Care Act than in those that didn't, a new study finds.

"This is the first study to show the benefit of Medicaid expansion on cancer death rates on a national scale," said lead author Dr. Anna Lee, a radiation oncology fellow at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

...

Drug Combo Offers Hope Against Advanced Bladder Cancer

A combination of chemotherapy and immunotherapy may slow the progress of metastatic bladder cancer and extend survival, a clinical trial suggests.

Current treatment for advanced bladder cancer is chemotherapy, but adding the immunotherapy drug atezolizumab (Tecentriq) appears to help more patients fight this disease. It strikes 81,000 Americans a year and kills 18,000.

"Th...

Pandemic Is Putting Cutting-Edge Cancer Research on Hold: Survey

COVID-19 has at least temporarily shut down more than half of cancer research, according to an American Cancer Society (ACS) survey.

The survey, conducted in early April, was completed by close to 500 cancer researchers who have received ACS funding. It revealed that:

  • 54% were working from home.
  • 32% were working both at home and in their lab.
  • ...

Breaks in Health Insurance Hurt Cancer Care, Survival

Health insurance disruptions are never a good thing, but for people with cancer it can lead to poor care and lower odds of survival, a new study finds.

This could prove ominous for the many Americans who have lost health insurance due to coronavirus-related layoffs.

"Our findings were consistent across multiple cancer sites, with several studies finding a 'dose-response' r...

Mammograms Do Save Women's Lives, Study Finds

There's good news for women: Getting a mammogram regularly can cut their odds of advanced and sometimes fatal breast cancers, a new study says.

European researchers tracked data from nearly 550,000 women in Sweden who were eligible for mammography screening.

The team compared rates of advanced and breast cancers that were fatal within 10 years after diagnosis for women who g...

Fewer Kids in Cancer Trials, Which Might Not Be a Bad Thing

There's been a sharp decline in the number of U.S. children taking part in cancer clinical trials over the past few decades, but researchers say that might be good news.

Why? Having more effective treatments available now may be one reason for that decrease, they explained.

The researchers, from the University of Colorado Cancer Center, analyzed national data and found that ...

When Booze Labels Carry Health Warnings, Drinking Declines: Study

If warning labels on cigarette packs discourage smoking, could warning labels on alcohol products discourage drinking? Researchers in Canada decided to find out.

In the study, which began in 2017, the researchers applied about 300,000 colorful, highly visible warning labels to 98% of alcohol containers in the largest liquor store in the Yukon, which has Canada's highest rate of a...

Could AI Help Doctors Map Out Treatments for Brain Cancers?

Artificial intelligence may reduce the need for glioma brain cancer patients to have biopsies to determine the best treatment for their tumors, researchers report.

Currently, it's common to remove glioma samples from patients and analyze them to select appropriate therapy.

But scientists have been testing imaging techniques that might be used instead of biopsies to assess gl...

Bacterial Blood Infections Tied to Heightened Colon Cancer Risk

There's an association between blood infections caused by certain types of bacteria and an increased risk of colon cancer, a new study finds.

"At this stage we are not sure if the bacteria are directly causing cases of colorectal cancer, or if the blood infection with these bacteria is itself caused by the cancer. It's an example of the question 'is this the chicken or the egg?'" said...

Parent or Sibling With Colon Cancer? You May Need Colonoscopy Earlier

If colon cancer runs in your family, screening at age 40 might help catch the disease at an early stage, or even prevent it, specialists say.

But a new investigation suggests that that advice is rarely heeded among those who go on to develop colon cancer before age 50.

"We need better public awareness of the importance of family history, and systems put in place to help make...

Welcome to the 'Smart Toilet' That Can Spot Disease

Few think of the toilet as a font of valuable information, outside what you might read while you're sitting on the throne.

But a "smart toilet" is being developed that will help track your health by analyzing your excretions, researchers say.

The toilet would be fitted with technology that can detect a range of disease markers in stool and urine, said Seung-min Park, a senio...

Breast Cancer Group Issues Treatment Guidelines for Coronavirus Pandemic

Guidelines for the prioritization and treatment of breast cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic have been released by a group of U.S. medical organizations.

"As hospital resources and staff become limited, it is vital to define which breast cancer patients require urgent care and which can have delayed or alternative treatment without changing survival or risking exposure to...

Blood Test Might Spot Pancreatic Cancer Early

Pancreatic cancer is known as a "silent killer" because it's often detected far too late. But there's hope a new blood test may be able to spot the most common type of pancreatic tumor in its early stages.

In a small study, the test also appeared to be able to accurately identify the stage of pancreatic cancer in patients -- helping to determine the most appropriate treatment, researc...

Low-Dose Aspirin Might Lower Odds for Digestive Cancers

Low-dose aspirin may reduce the risk of several types of digestive tract cancers, according to a team of researchers in Europe.

For the new study, the researchers analyzed 113 studies investigating colon/rectal ("bowel"), head and neck, esophageal, stomach, liver, gallbladder, bile duct and pancreatic cancers in the general population. The studies were published up to 2019.

...

High-Fiber Diets May Lower Odds for Breast Cancer

Whether she gets it from fruits, beans, grains or vegetables, dietary fiber appears to at least slightly lower a woman's risk for breast cancer, a comprehensive new review finds.

The review covered data from 20 different trials involving millions of women. It found that high levels of total fiber consumption "was associated with an 8% lower risk of breast cancer," compared to low ...

In Nonsmokers, COPD May Up Lung Cancer Risk

Nonsmokers with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have a greater risk for lung cancer, a new study indicates.

In fact, their risk is similar to that of smokers without chronic lung disease, researchers found.

COPD includes respiratory conditions that narrow the airways, such as bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking is the leading cause of both COPD and lung cancer.

Blood Test Could Spot 50 Different Cancers

A simple blood test for dozens of cancers is in the works.

Researchers say their test can detect more than 50 kinds of cancer at early stages and pinpoint their location in the body.

"If these findings are validated, it will be feasible to consider how this test might be incorporated into a broader cancer screening strategy," said lead researcher Dr. Michael Seiden, preside...

COVID-19 May Force Some Cancer Patients to Delay Treatment

Early findings involving cancer patients from Wuhan, China -- the original epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic -- suggest that many contracted the coronavirus while undergoing treatment in the hospital.

That could mean that this vulnerable population might need to discuss delaying cancer care to help minimize their odds of infection, the study authors said.

"We propose that a...

Coping With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Everyone is learning to deal with the threat of the new coronavirus, but for people with cancer, the virus is even more concerning.

Cancer can increase people's risk of catching the coronavirus. It increases the odds of complications from the infection, too.

"Patients with cancer are at a higher risk, especially if treatment is active or recent. It's hard to give a one-siz...

New Drug Helps Shrink Inoperable Tumors in Kids

A new trial confirms that the drug selumetinib shrinks tumors in children suffering from neurofibromatosis type 1.

The condition is characterized by changes in skin coloring and the growth of tumors along nerves in the skin, brain and other parts of the body. The tumors cause disfigurement, limitations on strength and range of motion, and pain.

The tumors are hard to treat,...

U.S. Sees Big Drop in Deaths From Melanoma

New treatments for melanoma have dramatically reduced deaths from this often fatal skin cancer.

Leaders of a new study report that the death rate from aggressive melanoma that spread to other organs plummeted 18% between 2013 and 2016, after jumping 7.5% between 1986 and 2013. The figures apply to white Americans, the group that accounts for nearly all cases of melanoma in th...

Who's Most at Risk From Coronavirus?

As the coronavirus pandemic continues its relentless spread around the world, the greatest worry has been for older people. But experts stress that age is not the sole determinant of risk for severe illness or death.

"The elderly and people with chronic diseases have the highest risk. If you're not sure if you're at a higher risk, talk to your doctor," said Dr. Susan Bleasdale, a spo...

Minorities Less Likely to Get Recommended Lung Cancer Imaging

Black and Hispanic Americans are less likely than whites to receive recommended lung cancer imaging, a new study claims.

PET-CT imaging is recommended because it provides doctors the best possible picture of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which helps determine the best treatment for the patient.

The University of Colorado Cancer Center study examined PET-CT use and outc...

Prostate Cancer Leaves Detectable 'Fingerprint' in Blood: Study

A test that can detect the genetic "fingerprint" of prostate cancer in blood could improve diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of the disease, researchers say.

The test checks for prostate cancer DNA in blood in order to provide the earliest evidence that prostate cancer is active.

This could help doctors monitor tumor behavior, determine if cancer has spread ("metastasized"...

Weight-Loss Surgery May Lower Colon Cancer Risk

Obesity increases the risk for colon cancer, but weight-loss surgery may bring the risk back to normal, French researchers report.

People who are obese have a 34% higher risk of colon cancer than the general population, but any type of bariatric (weight-loss) surgery can bring their risk back in line, according to the authors of a new study.

"People aged 50 to 75 are...

Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall in U.S., Report Says

U.S. death rates from cancer continued falling from 2001 to 2017 -- dropping an average 1.5% a year, a new report shows.

The annual decline was slightly larger among men (1.8%) than women (1.4%), according to the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer.

The report is prepared by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; the U.S. National Can...

For People With Hepatitis, Daily Aspirin Might Lower Liver Cancer Risk

People with hepatitis B or C are at greater risk for liver cancer, but a low-dose aspirin a day might significantly lower that risk, a new study suggests.

Over a median of nearly eight years of follow-up, 4% of those taking low-dose aspirin developed liver cancer, compared with 8.3% of those not taking the drug, researchers found.

"It's not clear how aspirin works ...

Low-Dose Chest Scans Don't Appear to Harm DNA

Low-dose chest CT scans don't appear to damage human DNA, a new study shows.

The U.S.-based National Lung Screening Trial, conducted between 2002 and 2010 and involving more than 53,000 heavy and former smokers, revealed that these chest scans can significantly cut lung cancer deaths compared to chest X-rays. They do so by finding cancers at an earlier stage, researchers explained.

Gene Tests May Guard Older Breast Cancer Patients Against Other Tumors

A significant number of older women with breast cancer may have genetic mutations that put them at risk of additional cancers, particularly ovarian cancer, a new study finds.

The researchers said that as many as one in 40 postmenopausal women with breast cancer before age 65 has a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.

Currently, the guidelines emphasize genetic testing in ...

Lose Weight, Lower Prostate Cancer Risk

Here's more motivation for men to shed pounds if they're overweight: It could lower their risk for advanced prostate cancer.

Researchers analyzed data from 15 studies that included a total of nearly 831,000 men, including nearly 52,000 who'd been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Having a BMI (body mass index -- an estimate of body fat based on height and weight) above the ran...

Radiation Treatments Need to Take Breast Size Into Account: Study

Breast size should be considered when positioning a breast cancer patient during radiation therapy, researchers say.

Even at low doses, radiation targeted at breast tumors can also affect nearby organs such as the heart and lungs, so patients are positioned lying face down to protect the heart and lungs as much as possible, the researchers explained.

However, breast size may...

Dual Method May Boost Accuracy of Prostate Cancer Diagnosis

Adding MRI to a standard tissue biopsy appears to enhance the accuracy of a prostate cancer diagnosis, new research finds.

The study, led by researchers at the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI), found that combining the two methods cut the rate of "underdiagnosis" by more than half, compared to use of either MRI or biopsy alone.

"With the addition of MRI-targeted biopsy t...

Fish Oil May Help Prevent Heart Disease, But Not Cancer: Study

Every day, millions of Americans pop a fish oil supplement -- rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids -- in hopes it'll improve their health.

A big new data review suggests they may be half right: The supplements may slightly reduce a person's risk of heart disease, but they won't ward off cancers.

In fact, men who took the supplements actually had a slight uptick in their ris...

Sleepy Seniors Have Higher Health Risks

If you're over 65 and sleeping well at night, yet find yourself nodding off during the day, you may have a higher risk of developing new medical conditions like diabetes and cancer.

New research found that people who were excessively tired during the day had about twice the risk of being diagnosed with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes or cancer.

"Healthy people, withou...

For Black Americans, Exercise Brings Real Boost to Life After Cancer

Regular exercise can benefit black cancer survivors' physical and mental health, but most don't get the recommended amount of activity, a new study says.

Cancer survivors should get at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity a week, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

For most cancers, black patients have a higher risk of dying from their diseas...

Drug Shows Promise Against Aggressive Breast Cancer

The immunotherapy drug Keytruda might offer a new treatment option to women with an aggressive form of breast cancer, a clinical trial suggests.

The study found that for women with "triple-negative" breast cancer, adding Keytruda to standard chemotherapy improved their odds of responding.

And in the months afterward, women treated with the drug were less likely to see their ...

Female Firefighters Face Higher Exposure to Carcinogens

Female firefighters are exposed to chemicals that may be linked with breast and other types of cancer, researchers say.

Compared to women working in offices, female firefighters in San Francisco are exposed to higher levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). These chemicals are used in firefighting foam and uniforms, grease- and water-resistant coatings and in fabrics, fur...

Breast Cancer Care Far From Home for Rural Patients

As rural hospitals and specialty care units close, a new study shows that some breast cancer patients are forced to travel long distances for their treatments.

University of Minnesota researchers found that those living in rural parts of the United States travel three times as far as urban women for radiation therapy.

The study, led by Ph.D. student Colleen Longacre, analy...

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