Analysis finds racial disparities in survival in kidney cancer | Rehabilitation program focuses on post-cancer recovery | Informed consent documents are often murky, study finds
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November 15, 2012
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Patient-Centered Cancer Care
Analysis finds racial disparities in survival in kidney cancer
White patients with renal cell carcinoma were more likely to survive at least five years than their black counterparts, according to a study in the journal Cancer. A higher prevalence of localized cancer, smaller tumors and less aggressive kidney cancer among black patients, however, should point to better prognosis. Differences in surgery rates and underlying health conditions could be among the factors behind the difference, researchers said. HealthDay News (11/12)
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Rehabilitation program focuses on post-cancer recovery
Harvard Medical School physician Julie Silver created the Survivorship Training and Rehabilitation, or STAR, program after her battle with cancer left her debilitated and sick from the treatment. She says cancer survivors need rehab to help reduce post-cancer pain, fatigue and other effects that damage their quality of life. "The conversation should have been, 'We're going send you to cancer rehab, help you get stronger. We're gonna try to decrease some of your pain, your fatigue. We're gonna try to get you back to taking care of your kids and eventually get you back to work to take care of your patients,' " Silver says. WBUR-FM (Boston) (11/12)
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Informed consent documents are often murky, study finds
Informed consent documents are often less clear about risks and complications of biopsies than they are about simple blood draws, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found. Cancer trial participants are rarely made aware that biopsies are often painful and have little or no therapeutic value, the researchers found. "I think a lot of patients understandably think that when they're volunteering for these studies they're giving tissue for what is cutting-edge science, and sometimes that's true, but not always," said McGill University bioethicist Jonathan Kimmelman, who was not involved in the study. Reuters (11/8)
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Emerging Trends, Products & Technologies
New smartphone app launched for patients with cancer
A free smartphone application has been launched by Rex Healthcare and SmartOnline to aid patients with cancer in tracking their medications and appointments as well as keeping in touch with other patients and their care team. "We saw more than 3,200 new cancer patients last year, and thousands more see us for routine check-ups after treatment is completed. All will benefit from the features of this app," said Lisa Schiller, marketing vice president at Rex. American City Business Journals/Raleigh/Durham, N.C./Triangle BizBlog (11/8)
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Cancer Research & Health Policy
Study links statins to reduced cancer-related deaths
Cancer patients receiving statins, a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs, were 15% less likely to die of cancer or of other causes than those who weren't taking the medications, according to a Danish study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. "Statin use in patients with cancer is associated with reduced cancer-related mortality," researchers said. "Our hypothesis is that by reducing cholesterol, you steal cholesterol from the proliferating cancer cells ... improving survival," lead researcher Stig Bojesen said. Reuters (11/7)
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Study: Smoking raises death risk after colorectal surgery
Smokers have a higher risk of death and complications following surgery for colorectal cancer or other digestive diseases, according to researcher Dr. Abhiram Sharma, who conducted the study while at the University of Rochester in New York. The study found smoking restricts blood flow and prevents oxygen from making its way to healing tissues. Sharma said it's never too late for smokers to improve their health by quitting. Yahoo/Reuters (11/9)
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Other News
Foundation News
Moving forward
Pain associated with cancer can last beyond treatment. To help survivors cope with this challenge and others, the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the American Society of Clinical Oncology teamed up to create Moving Forward, a series of videos that offer help and advice for living with the aftereffects of cancer treatment. To learn more, visit the LIVESTRONG blog.
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REV recap
This year’s REV took place on Oct. 18 in Austin, Texas. The goal of REV, a forum created by Genentech and the LIVESTRONG Foundation, is to generate an information and idea exchange that promotes teamwork, creative thinking and groundbreaking solutions. People from all over the world came to hear industry leaders and change makers speak, and hundreds shared their experience and thoughts on Twitter. Main issues at this discussion included: improving the data and research process, increasing the patient’s voice and creating new ways to connect people to work as a team against cancer. To learn more about this year’s REV, visit the LIVESTRONG blog.
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Every cancer has survival. There are always survivors... I just want people to remember that."
-- Beth S., cancer survivor
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The LIVESTRONG Foundation does not necessarily endorse the opinions that may be mentioned on this site, the articles are published for informational purposes and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site.
About the LIVESTRONG Foundation
The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides free cancer support services to help people cope with the financial, emotional and practical challenges that accompany the disease. Created in 1997 by cancer survivor and philanthropist Lance Armstrong, the Foundation is known for its powerful brand – LIVESTRONG–and for its advocacy on behalf of survivors and their families. With its iconic yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, the Foundation has become a symbol of hope and inspiration around the world. Since its inception, the Foundation has raised nearly $500 million to support cancer survivors and served 2.5 million people affected by the disease. For more information, visit
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