healtheo360 Wellness Blog

healtheo360 and VOI Collaborate to Create Global Cancer Information Network

Posted by healtheo360 on Dec 1, 2015 10:25:31 AM

NEW YORK and ENCINO, Calif., Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- healtheo360®, a web portal for people living with chronic health conditions, and Vital Options International, a cancer communication, education and advocacy organization, today announced the launch of the Cancer Collaborative, a global information network providing live treatment news, policy updates, and support services to patients and caregivers via healtheo360's Internet, social media and broadcast channels.

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Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer (Infographic)

Posted by healtheo360 on Jul 24, 2015 3:54:34 PM

 

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HPV Vaccination Program in England a Success

Posted by healtheo360 on Apr 15, 2014 12:17:10 PM

MONDAY, April 14, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- A sharp drop in the number of young women infected with the two strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) most likely to cause cervical cancer occurred in England after the 2008 launch of a national vaccination program there, a new study shows.

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Four Ways to Get Your Vitamin D from Food and Sun

Posted by healtheo360 on Apr 12, 2014 12:09:55 PM

loongar/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- Spring is here, and there’s no better time to work vitamin D into your daily routine.

The so-called sunshine nutrient is crucial for healthy bones and it might even stave off the country’s top killers: cancer and heart disease.

Sure, you could pop a supplement. But why not get your vitamin D the old-fashioned way: from good food and a bit of sun? Your body and wallet will thank you.Here's how:

Get a Boost at Breakfast for Vitamin D

Breakfast is a great time to get your vitamin D fix. Morning favorites like eggs, cereal, milk, yogurt and orange juice are packed with the nutrient. In fact, a bowl of cereal with milk and a cup of fortified OJ can deliver up to 75 percent of your recommended daily intake, according to the National Institutes of Health. Better yet: Make it brunch and take it outside. The late morning sun will up your dose of vitamin D.

Soak Up Some Sun for Vitamin D -- But Not Too Much

It’s true: sunlight converts chemicals in your skin into vitamin D. But don’t overdo it, because the same UV rays that work vitamin magic also raise the risk of skin cancer. Fifteen minutes of direct sunlight to the face, arms, back or legs three times a week is enough, according to the NIH. So cover up, find shade or slather on some sunscreen beyond that.

Feast on Fish for Vitamin D

Breakfast foods are good but nothing beats fish for vitamin D. Just three ounces of salmon packs a whopping 112 percent of your recommended daily intake, according to the NIH. Throw it on the barbecue outside for an added boost of vitamin D. Too busy to cook up salmon? Canned cooked tuna is an easy alternative with almost 40 percent of your recommended daily intake.

Stir Up a Smoothie for Vitamin D

Why not drink your vitamin D? Most milk is fortified with vitamin D, delivering nearly a third of your recommended daily intake. And yogurt packs a cool 20 percent. Toss in some fruit and voila: a delicious, nutritious treat.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Woman's Own Immune System Helps Fight Cancer

Posted by healtheo360 on Apr 8, 2014 2:12:40 PM

Bhakpong/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At first, Candace Brown didn’t think too much of the large, lumpy bruise that spontaneously appeared on her leg about a year ago. But when it didn’t heal after a couple of weeks, she decided to get it checked out. Even though her primary care physician told her not to worry, she pushed for a biopsy. The “bruise” was diagnosed as a skin melanoma.

Doctors told the 44-year-old teacher and mother of two that the cancer had already spread to her lungs and lower intestine, a prognosis she said left her feeling terrified and bewildered. When she was told her condition had a five-year survival rate, she stopped listening.

“I refused to hear it,” Brown recalled. “I decided I would do my own research and see what was out there for me that could help.”

Almost immediately, Brown caught a lucky break. A quick review of clinicaltrials.gov, a website run by the United States National Library of Medicine, found a study for a new approach to treating melanoma at the Georgetown University Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. Brown lives in Maryland, so the trial was being held right in her own backyard.

Instead of chemotherapy, the trial relied on something called immune-checkpoint blockade, a form of immunotherapy. Patients receive medicine that trains their own immune system to rally against cancer with the aid of specialized proteins known as monoclonal antibodies.

Dr. Michael Atkins, the medical oncologist who led the trial and who is also the deputy director of the Lombardi Center, explained that patients are often unable to battle cancer because tumors successfully block the body’s immunoresponse to them. When this happens, tumors can continue spreading and growing without any resistance from the body’s healthy cells. Immune-checkpoint blockade aims to rouse the immune system so it has the strength to do an end run around cancer’s blocking techniques and fight against the disease.

“The antibodies take the brakes off the immune system’s response to a tumor,” Atkins explained. “They unblock the reaction that stops the immune system’s natural attack on invading cancer cell so the body can fight the cancer.”

Brown was accepted into the trial which used a combination of two immune-stimulating drugs, drugs PD1 inhibitor and ipilumumab, to ramp up the body’s natural defense mechanisms. Every few weeks for three months, she endured a five-hour session hooked up to an intravenous drip which she said was similar to chemotherapy but with fewer side effects. In the first part of the trial two drugs were delivered into her bloodstream, then in later sessions just the ipilumumab.

Brown’s initial scan at the end of the trial revealed that most of the tumors had shrunk in size. Many of them were gone. The follow up scan done several weeks after the trial was completed showed no discernable signs of cancer. When Brown saw the scans, they brought tears of relief and joy.

“After the first scan I was dubiously optimistic, but after the second scan, I was overwhelmed. It felt like I was being given a second chance,” she said.

Atkins cautioned that, although Brown seems to be one of the lucky ones, it’s too soon to tell whether her cancer is gone forever. It’s also too early to say whether immunotherapy will be the miracle breakthrough in cancer treatment that everyone hopes for. About half the patients in the trial saw no improvement.

“The next step will be to determine why it isn’t effective for certain patients and figure out a way to make it work for them. Right now therapies use a patient’s own immune system to recognize a tumor, but they can’t yet be customized for each unique immune system or cancer,” he said.

Currently, at least seven drug companies are testing some form of immunotherapy for treating cancer. Atkins said he expected several drugs to be approved for wider use by the end of this year and several more by the end of next year.Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Report: Alzheimer's Far More Likely than Breast Cancer in Women over 60

Posted by healtheo360 on Mar 29, 2014 10:20:31 AM

Women age 60 and older have a 1 in 6 chance of getting Alzheimer's disease in their lifetime, and are twice as likely to develop Alzheimer's compared with breast cancer, according to a report from the Alzheimer's Association.

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Woman Says FedEx Lost Her Breast Cancer Sample

Posted by healtheo360 on Mar 28, 2014 10:17:20 AM

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Marline Van Duyne almost underwent chemotherapy without knowing whether she was among the 80 percent of people with her type of breast cancer who don’t need it.

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Supplements No Guard Against Country’s Top Killers

Posted by healtheo360 on Mar 23, 2014 3:32:18 PM

Sorin Popa/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The millions of Americans who take daily supplements may be doing nothing to cut their risk of cancer and heart disease, according to updated guidelines released Monday by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

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Topless Bar Tops Bucket List for Jake Stoneking with Brain Cancer

Posted by healtheo360 on Mar 13, 2014 11:11:43 AM

KATU/ABC News(WEST LINN, Ore.) -- Jake Stoneking's bucket list seems quite reasonable. A hunting trip, a tattoo and a trip to the local topless bar: all doable in the 19-year-old's hometown of West Linn, Ore.

"He put stuff on there that he knows can happen," said Jake's dad, Todd Stoneking. "We know the time's coming. We know it's coming. But he's doing pretty good and we can still do a lot of things."

Jake Stoneking has medulloblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer. He was diagnosed at the age of 14 after a string of unbearable headaches.

"He had a tumor removed about the size of a golf ball," Todd Stoneking said, recalling the 12-hour surgery in 2009 followed by months of radiation and chemo. "It pretty much took him down to nothing."

Once a 140-pound wrestler with "six-pack abs," Jake Stoneking withered to 104 pounds throughout the grueling treatment as he re-learned how to walk and eat, according to his dad.

"We thought it was gone," Todd Stoneking said of the tumor in Jake Stoneking' cerebellum – the brain center for balance and coordination. "They did scans every three months for a year to make sure it was gone. After that they did them every six months, and then once a year. We found out in February it was back."

Back with a vengeance, the tumor stretches from Jake Stoneking's brain to the bottom of his spinal cord, where his nerves are "matted" with cancer, according to his dad.

"The doctor told us he'd have three months," Todd Stoneking said, adding that Jake Stoneking is taking two experimental chemo drugs that could buy him an extra year. By Tuesday, the drugs were starting to take their toll.

"They said he would drop down really low Tuesday and then start feeling better Thursday," Todd Stoneking said. "They're going to do two rounds, and if it starts shrinking with these two treatments, they'll go ahead and keep treating him for up to 12 months."

Jake Stoneking started his bucket list when one night he couldn't sleep, according to his dad.

"He was up late, thinking, 'I want to do this, I want to do that,'" said Todd Stoneking. "We're knocking 'em off as fast as we can and we're adding them in between."

So far Jake Stoneking has checked five items off the 17-item list, including a helicopter ride and a visit to Jiggles – the local topless bar. Still left on the list: hunting a black bear, laughing until he cries and getting "Stoneking" tattooed on his back.

"It's bittersweet," said Todd Stoneking, explaining how friends are rallying to help Jake check off the rest of Jake's bucket list. "Some 19-year-olds die in car crashes and their parents wish they could have one more day. We're getting lots of one more days."

Todd Stoneking said that Jake Stoneking is not only his son, he's his best friend.

"It'd be easier if he wasn't," he said through tears. "He's an awesome kid. And I'm not just saying because he's mine. There's something about him, his infectious smile.

"I know what they mean now about heartache," he added with a shaky voice. "It just aches."
ABC Entertainment News | ABC Business News

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Advanced Cervical Cancer: Trial Therapy Offers New Hope

Posted by healtheo360 on Mar 12, 2014 11:15:15 AM

Keith Brofsky/Thinkstock(RIO DE JANEIRO) -- Researchers have made great strides in early detection and prevention for cervical cancer, the third-most common cancer in women, including the HPV vaccine. But with all the progress, there are still thousands of women with advanced disease, and the five-year survival rate for late-stage cervical cancer is 15 percent. That number may now climb dramatically, if the results of a trial for Erlotinib, now in its second phase, proves typical.

The standard care for advanced cervical cancer is chemo-radiation and Cisplatin, a nonspecific drug. Erlotinib, the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, is a type of biologic medication targeting growth receptors in the cancerous cells -- they can’t grow and cancer recedes.

For the study, which is published in the journal Cancer, Brazilian researchers at the Instituto de Cancer in Rio de Janeiro conducted a small trial in 36 women with Stage II and III cervical cancer (which now has a survival rate of 40 percent). After 77 weeks of treatment, all but two patients saw a complete disappearance of the cancer. At two and three years out, 92 percent and 80 percent of women survived, respectively.

Side effects of Erlotinib were generally manageable with patients experiencing mostly rashes and diarrhea.

According to the study authors, this is the first study to show that a target agent has promising activity against locally advanced cervical cancer. Still, more research is needed as the data presented in the trial is only preliminary.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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healtheo360 Wellness Blog

Information & Resources for Patients, Caregivers, Family and Friends

healtheo360 offers you content that is useful, digestible, and easy on the eyes. We update this blog regularly with infographics and artilces covering topics that matter to our community members. So read on, enjoy, and share!

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