What You Should Know About Participating in a Cancer Clinical Trial

Learning you have cancer, or that cancer has returned, is shocking news. After you begin to wrap your mind around it your main focus is probably, “How can I beat this?” In most situations your oncologist begins treatments using established, proven cancer treatment protocols based on the specific type of cancer you have been diagnosed with. For some people, the most commonly effective cancer treatments don't work as expected, and in these cases your cancer specialist may recommend enrolling in a cancer clinical trial. Should you do this? Find out more about cancer research done right in your community.

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Categories: Cancer Research

Alcohol and Its Link to Cancer

It's fairly common knowledge that an occasional glass of red wine has been shown to boost heart health. Even beer has been linked to "some benefit against cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases. And, at least one study from by the European Journal of Cancer Prevention suggests alcohol could reduce the risk of Hodgkin lymphoma.

Before you pop a cork or tab and say, "Cheers, I'll drink to that!" there are risks you should be aware of. A growing body of evidence suggests a worrisome link between alcohol consumption and certain types of cancers.

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Risk

Colorectal Cancer and Young Adults: What You Need to Know

The Journal of the National Cancer Institute published in February that colorectal cancer in young adults has risen dramatically in generations born after 1950. Those currently between the ages of 18-27 have 2 times the risk of developing colon cancer and 4 times the risk of developing rectal cancer than people born in the 1950s were when they were between those ages.

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Categories: Cancer Prevention, Cancer Screening, Colorectal Cancer

Stereotactic Radiation Offers New Hope for Many Cancer Patients

About 60% of all cancer patients will be treated with radiation therapy at some point during their cancer care. However, what radiation therapy looks like has been undergoing a rapid transformation in recent years. Thanks to technological advances and research in radiation oncology, stereotactic radiation has taken its place as an advanced tool in today’s cancer-fighting arsenal. It has proven its ability to eradicate certain tumors with surgical precision, opening up new and effective treatments for patients who previously had little or no options.

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Categories: Cancer Treatment, Radiation Oncology

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.

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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:

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Categories: Palliative Care