News and Blog

Study finds PSA test for prostate cancer has long-term benefits

PSA test for prostate cancer offers long-term benefits, study finds

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September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and it’s common to hear public service announcements reminding men to get a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Afterall, prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among American men and early detection is the best prevention.

However, recent recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) cast doubt on whether the potential risks associated with PSA screening are worth the reward. Now though, new research suggests those risks may be exaggerated.

The long-term benefits of the PSA test for prostate cancer may outweigh any potential harm according to a recent paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). While current guidelines advise patients and physicians to determine the value of routine PSA screening on a case-by-case basis, researchers suggest that perceptions of PSA tests as ineffective are based on overstated harms and point to evidence showing that screenings can reduce death rates and prevent metastatic disease.

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Good self-care is important to overall health and wellness for cancer patients

Wellness for cancer patients: 4 keys to self-care

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Living with cancer comes with a lot of fear, anxiety and uncertainty. Whether you’re recently diagnosed, undergoing treatment, or a survivor, it’s important to practice self-care. By taking steps to address your overall physical and mental health, you’ll be better equipped to cope with the roller coaster of emotions you experience as a cancer patient.

Since August is National Wellness Month, this article will focus on wellness for cancer patients by sharing four components of good self-care.

  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Stress Management
  • Social Support

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Woman showing support for her friend with cancer

5 compassionate ways to support a friend with cancer

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There’s no question it’s tough to hear the news that one of your friends has been diagnosed cancer. Once the initial shock has worn off, many of us have a gut reaction to immediately offer our help and support. However, there are certain “dos” and “don’ts” when it comes to helping cancer patients. In this article, we’ll share five compassionate ways to support a friend with cancer.

  1. Check with them first
  2. Include them
  3. Treat them the same
  4. Offer specific ways to help
  5. Talk about other things

Before you reach out to your friend, make sure you’ve taken time to process your own feelings first. Do some research and learn about their diagnosis. Try to think about things from your friend’s perspective. Understanding their situation and coming to terms with your own emotions will help make things more comfortable for both of you.

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Prostate cancer patients can choose watchful waiting or active surveillance if they wish to forgo immediate treatment

Prostate Cancer: Watchful Waiting vs. Active Surveillance

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About one out of every nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, making it the second most common cancer in American men, behind only skin cancer.1 However, due to advances in cancer screening awareness and early detection, most men will not die from prostate cancer. In fact, many men who are diagnosed with an early-stage, low-grade cancer may need little to no immediate medical treatment. Instead, they can choose from two different methods of monitoring their prostate cancer: watchful waiting or active surveillance.

For men with prostate cancer, the goal of cancer management methods like watchful waiting and active surveillance is to avoid the side effects caused by cancer treatments like surgery or radiation therapy.

Both watchful waiting and active surveillance are ways of monitoring the cancer for changes, but the reasons for choosing one method over the other are different:

  • Watchful waiting is better for men who can’t undergo curative treatment. It is meant to manage symptoms by controlling the cancer, but is not intended to cure it.
  • Active surveillance is better for men who would benefit from curative treatment should the cancer become more aggressive.

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Delaying cancer screening tests during COVID puts patients at risk

Delayed cancer screenings in COVID era put patients at risk

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When the COVID-19 pandemic began, life as we knew it came to an abrupt halt. That included routine healthcare visits, as many providers postponed appointments and cancer screening tests that were deemed “non-essential.”

In the United States alone, an estimated 22 million cancer screening tests were disrupted by COVID-19 from April to June 2020. As a result, about 80,000 patients could be at risk for delayed or missed diagnoses.

The IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science recently published these estimates as part of its report on shifts in healthcare demand, delivery and care during the COVID-19 era. In this article, we’ll look at how diagnostic procedures for some of the most common cancers are impacted. We’ll also share some tips to help you move forward with your cancer-related care in a timely and safe manner.

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Sarcoma Awareness Month is in July

Sarcoma Awareness Month: Shining light on the ‘forgotten cancer’

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When you mention the word “cancer,” most people think of more common cancers like breast, lung and prostate cancer. However, July is designated as Sarcoma Awareness Month. It’s an opportunity to help raise awareness about a disease that’s often considered the “forgotten cancer.”

Sarcoma is a cancer of the body’s connective tissues. It begins in bone or soft tissues like fat, cartilage or muscle, and can affect both children and adults. Sarcoma Awareness Month raises awareness of a disease that’s relatively rare. This helps advocacy groups, who are often hindered by the fact that many people don’t even know this type of cancer exists. The public’s lack of awareness and understanding of sarcoma makes it much more challenging to secure funding for research and treatment development.

In this article, we’ll help you develop a better understanding of what sarcoma is, why we have Sarcoma Awareness Month, how you can help the cause, and how proton therapy can help treat sarcoma patients.

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CDC guidelines for visiting doctor during coronavirus pandemic

CDC announces guidelines for safely visiting your doctor during coronavirus pandemic

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced new guidelines to help you stay safe when visiting your doctor or getting a prescription filled. In this article, we’ll outline some of the most important takeaways to help you stay safe during healthcare-related trips. More specifically, we’ll also share how those tips can be applied for people who are dealing with cancer.

As local governments loosen coronavirus restrictions and more businesses re-open their doors, it’s important for people to continue practicing preventive actions in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. These new guidelines from the CDC are designed to help you make an informed decision on when it’s appropriate to venture out of your home, and how to protect yourself and others when you do decide to go out.

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Proton therapy cancer treatment significantly lowers the risk of second cancer compared to IMRT and 3DCRT

Proton Therapy significantly lowers risk of second cancer

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X-ray (also called photon) therapy has long been known to cause the development of potentially deadly new cancers in patients who undergo radiation therapy to treat their cancer. However, research shows that patients who choose proton therapy for cancer treatment have a significantly lower risk of developing a second cancer later in life.

In a  comprehensive study published last month in Cancer, the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, researchers at Stanford University found that patients who were treated with x-ray therapy developed more than three times as many new cancers as patients treated with proton therapy.1

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