Why Is Genetic Testing Important for Cancer Research?

It’s common for cancer patients and their families to feel helpless, as if their futures and those of their loved ones are entirely dependent on physicians and medications. Genetic testing is one way for cancer patients and their relatives to regain a sense of control over the disease, and make a valuable contribution toward improving its detection, treatment and prevention.

One of the most effective ways for cancer researchers to learn why a type of cancer occurs (an important step in discovering treatments) is to study the genes of patients and those who share their DNA profile.

Read More

Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Research, Cancer Risk, Genetic Testing, Lung Cancer

A Better Understanding of Clinical Trials

Many have heard of clinical research in the medical industry, but what goes into researching diseases like cancer and how are the results determined? What are clinical trials and who do they involve?

What are Clinical Trials?

Clinical trials are tests done by researchers to evaluate the safety of new therapies and how effective they are at treating certain diseases or conditions, such as cancer. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration), a government agency that regulates the use and testing of new drugs before they are released to the public, must evaluate and approve the safety of any new drugs. There are different types of clinical trials depending on the purpose of the drug or therapy:

Read More

Categories: Cancer Research

Exercise and Breast Cancer: The Benefits and How to Get Started

As a breast cancer patient or breast cancer survivor, it’s important to stay active – even if you don’t feel up to it.

In a recent study by Kerry Courneya, PhD, found that women with breast cancer that participated in a resistance training program during chemotherapy required less dosage and fewer delays in their chemotherapy treatments.  Of course, if you’re undergoing breast cancer treatment, you should first discuss exercise with your doctor. For most breast cancer patients, rigorous activity isn’t recommended, but regular moderate exercise, such as walking or strength training with light weights, can help you to feel better, and as strange as it may sound, you might even feel less tired than before you exercised.

Read More

Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Survivorship, Supportive Care

How to Reduce Your Risk of Developing Lung Cancer

New cases of lung cancer in Oregon were down by 3% between 2009 and 2013. That's great news! But as one of the most preventable types of cancer, there is more work to be done.

At Compass Oncology, we're participating in Lung Cancer Awareness Month by helping raise awareness of this often preventable disease. Lung cancer is the second most common type of cancer diagnosis in both men and women. We encourage you to educate yourself and join us in spreading the word about the prevalence of lung cancer and the best ways to reduce the risks of developing it.

Four Things You Can Do to Reduce the Risk of Lung Cancer

Read More

Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk, Lung Cancer

Targeted Therapies for Breast Cancer Treatment

While one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her lifetime, dramatic advances have been made in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the disease. We can now test each patient’s tumor for molecular and genetic changes. This allows us to understand the exact biologic process taking place and better choose the medications and therapies that are targeted directly for that cancer. Some call this personalized medicine, some call it precision medicine and some call it targeted therapy. Regardless of the name, the result is breast cancer has an excellent survival rate when caught early.

Read More

Categories: Breast Cancer, Cancer Treatment

Let’s Talk About End-of-Life Care

If you ask most Americans if talking to their loved ones about end-of-life care is important, not surprisingly 90% will say yes. What is surprising is how few people actually have the conversation. Why? Because it’s a tough conversation to start.

So let’s talk. The fact is Advance Care Planning is for everyone, not just those with life limiting illness. Whether you are young or old, in good health or ill, advance care planning is just good healthcare. It answers the central question of who will speak for you if you are unable to speak for yourself. It helps define the values that are most important to you and what medical treatments you would want. Without a plan your family and healthcare team may not know your wishes.

Read More

Categories: Palliative Care