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Radiation Rx for Prostate Cancer Can Cause Financial Pain: Study

People diagnosed with cancer often have many concerns, including "financial toxicity," the hardship and stress associated with the cost of treatment.

New research found that for men with early-stage prostate cancer, choices about initial treatments can be a source of stress. And the cost is a big reason why.

"Cost of treatment and the associated financial burden could be an importan...

Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer May Raise Heart Risks

Hormone therapy can be a lifesaver for men with prostate cancer, but it also appears to put some at increased risk of heart problems, a new study reports.

Long-term androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) increased the risk of heart-related death nearly fourfold in a group of prostate cancer patients, and also caused their heart fitness to decrease, researchers found.

There is one import...

Cancer Radiation Can Safely Proceed During COVID-19 Pandemic: Study

Cancer patients who need radiation therapy shouldn't let fear of COVID-19 delay their treatment, one hospital study suggests.

Over six days in May, during the height of the pandemic in New Jersey, surfaces in the radiation oncology department at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J., were tested for COVID-19 before cleaning.

Of 128 samples taken in...

Can Women With Early Breast Cancer Skip Post-Op Radiation?

Instead of weeks of radiation following a lumpectomy, a new study shows that many women with early breast cancer do just as well with only a single dose of targeted radiation that is given during their surgery.

"Breast cancer outcomes, in terms of cancer coming back, breast cancer survival, dying from breast cancer, being mastectomy-free, being free of disease elsewhere in the body, a...

Delaying Prostate Cancer Radiation Won't Lower Survival Odds

The coronavirus pandemic has caused many to put off medical procedures, but a delay in radiation treatment for prostate cancer doesn't appear to affect survival, a new study shows.

Researchers found that men with intermediate- or high-risk localized prostate cancer receiving radiation and hormone therapy who delay radiation while staying on hormone therapy didn't face worse outcomes....

New Guidelines Could Double Number Eligible for Lung Cancer Screening

CT scans have been proven to help spot lung cancer early and save lives. Now, updated expert recommendations could double the number of Americans who are eligible for the yearly screening.

The recommendations -- from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) -- would expand the definition of "high risk" for lung cancer. That's expected to not only increase the number of people ...

UV Light Won't Treat COVID-19 -- But It Might Disinfect Medical Gear

Supplies of personal protective equipment remain scarce across the United States, especially the N95 respirator masks that health care workers use to protect themselves from the new coronavirus.

To help extend the useful life of available equipment, researchers and hospitals are turning to a long-known, if little-used, means of disinfection -- ultraviolet radiation.

"It's ge...

Could Cellphone, Microwave Radiation During Pregnancy Raise ADHD Risk?

Pregnant women exposed to high levels of radiation from cellphones, microwaves and Wi-Fi may be increasing their baby's risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study suggests.

Called MF (magnetic fields) nonionizing radiation, these waves are in the air all around people. They also come from cellphone towers, high-tension electrical wires, electric appliances,...

Coping With Cancer During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Everyone is learning to deal with the threat of the new coronavirus, but for people with cancer, the virus is even more concerning.

Cancer can increase people's risk of catching the coronavirus. It increases the odds of complications from the infection, too.

"Patients with cancer are at a higher risk, especially if treatment is active or recent. It's hard to give a one-siz...

U.S. Exposure to Medical Radiation Drops Dramatically

There's been a large decrease in Americans' exposure to medical radiation, according to a new study.

Between 2006 and 2016, medical radiation exposure among U.S. patients fell by 20%, reversing a steep, quarter century-long rise.

The number of diagnostic and interventional radiology exams remained largely unchanged, even though the U.S. population jumped about 23 million...

Radiation Treatments Need to Take Breast Size Into Account: Study

Breast size should be considered when positioning a breast cancer patient during radiation therapy, researchers say.

Even at low doses, radiation targeted at breast tumors can also affect nearby organs such as the heart and lungs, so patients are positioned lying face down to protect the heart and lungs as much as possible, the researchers explained.

However, breast size may...

Breast Cancer Care Far From Home for Rural Patients

As rural hospitals and specialty care units close, a new study shows that some breast cancer patients are forced to travel long distances for their treatments.

University of Minnesota researchers found that those living in rural parts of the United States travel three times as far as urban women for radiation therapy.

The study, led by Ph.D. student Colleen Longacre, analy...

Roll Up Your Sleeve and Donate Blood for Cancer Patients

Many people don't realize that cancer patients are in constant need of blood supplies.

Chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer can damage the body's ability to produce healthy blood cells and cause potentially life-threatening conditions. Blood transfusions help provide critical clotting factors, proteins and antibodies.

Now, the American Red Cross and the American C...

Radiation Treatment Is Hard on the Heart

Radiation therapy that targets cancers in the chest area can tax the heart and trigger high levels of fatigue, breathing problems and a reduced ability to exercise, a new study suggests.

However, doing more physical activity before undergoing radiation therapy may help reduce these problems, the researchers added.

"This study suggests that when a patient is treated wi...

Acupuncture May Ease a Common Side Effect of Cancer Treatment

Dry mouth can be a troubling side effect of radiation therapy, but acupuncture may ease its symptoms, a new study suggests.

Of 339 patients getting radiation for head and neck cancer in the United States and China, those who had acupuncture had fewer symptoms of dry mouth (xerostomia) than those who didn't have acupuncture.

Patients who had fake acupuncture (placebo) had a...

Radiation of Just Part of the Breast Can Stop Cancer's Return

A long-term study comparing two types of radiation treatment for early breast cancer found that accelerated partial breast radiation (APBI) appeared to do as well as standard whole breast radiation for keeping cancer at bay.

The study looked at 10-year recurrence rates. The findings mean the partial breast procedure may offer women another choice for treating early-stage breast cance...

Radiation for Head and Neck Cancer May Cause Problems Years Later

Ten years after radiation treatment for head and neck cancer, some patients may develop problems speaking and swallowing, a new study finds.

These problems are related to radiation damage to the cranial nerves, the researchers explained. The condition is called radiation-induced cranial neuropathy.

"We had always thought that radiation did not damage cranial nerves because t...

Radiation Right After Surgery Might Not Help Prostate Cancer Patients

In the largest investigation of its kind, researchers conclude that subjecting prostate cancer patients to radiation therapy immediately after surgery doesn't give them an advantage in staying cancer-free.

The finding stems from a review of four studies that together tracked outcomes for more than 3,500 prostate cancer patients from multiple countries.

If the findings help c...

Can Aspirin Help Tackle Some Cancers?

MONDAY, Sept. 23, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Low-dose aspirin may improve survival odds for patients battling head/neck and lung cancer, two new studies suggest.

The first reviewed data on 460 patients with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) or early stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

That study concluded that taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug su...

Radiation Rx Might Ease a Dangerous Irregular Heart Beat

A new technique that uses a targeted high dose of radiation seems to prevent recurrence of a potentially deadly heartbeat for at least two years, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report.

This irregular rhythm, called ventricular tachycardia (VT), occurs when the heart's lower chambers start to beat uncontrollably fast. Once it starts, it can kill ...

High-Dose Radiation a Game Changer in Fighting Deadly Prostate Cancer

In what might be a major breakthrough, researchers report that high doses of radiation dramatically prolonged survival in men battling an advanced and aggressive form of prostate cancer.

This particular type of cancer occurs when tumors resurface and spread to a number of areas beyond the prostate among patients who were in remission following radiation, surgery or chemotherapy. Gene...

More CT, MRI Scans Being Used, Despite Calls to Cut Back

Despite efforts from medical groups to cut down on the overuse of CT scans and MRIs for safety reasons, their use has instead increased, a new study shows.

"Medical imaging is an important part of health care and contributes to accurate disease diagnosis and treatment, but it also can lead to patient harms such as incidental findings, overdiagnosis, anxiety and radiation exposure that...

Childhood Cancer Survivors Struggle With Heart Troubles

The treatments that childhood cancer patients receive often save their lives, but they also make survivors prone to heart troubles, a new study finds.

For the study, researchers examined heart disease rates in nearly 7,300 childhood cancer survivors (diagnosed at an average age of 7) and a "control group" of more than 36,000 people without cancer in the province of Ontario, Canada.

Pregnant Women Exposed to More Risky CT Scans

Use of risky CT scans during pregnancy has risen significantly in North America in the past two decades, a new study finds.

"It's important to quantify exposure to ionizing radiation because it can cause cancer and birth defects, and should be kept to a minimum, especially during pregnancy," said co-lead author Marilyn Kwan. She's a senior research scientist at Kaiser Permanente North...

Hurricanes Can Hurt Survival Odds Among Those With Cancer

When a hurricane strikes, as tropical storm Barry did this weekend in Louisiana, most people worry about the immediate health dangers such a storm poses.

But new research suggests that the interruptions in radiation therapy caused by power outages may also lower the chances of long-term survival among lung cancer patients.

"While we could not analyze every potentially expla...

Sperm Seems to Survive Just Fine in Space, Study Shows

The reality of humans getting reproductive help in space just got a little bit closer.

Scientists in Spain report frozen sperm samples subjected to space-like gravity conditions were as viable as those that remained on Earth, a finding that could eventually lead to sperm banks in space.

The results "open the possibility of safely transporting [sperm] to space and considerin...

Statins May Lower Risk of Stroke After Cancer Radiotherapy

Radiation treatment for cancer can damage the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk for a stroke or heart attack. But a new study suggests cholesterol-lowering drugs can significantly reduce that risk.

The researchers reported that taking statins may lower the risk of a stroke after radiation treatment by 32%.

"Our study demonstrated that statin therapy could be f...

'Double-Edged Sword': Lung Cancer Radiation Rx May Raise Heart Attack Risk

Radiation treatment for lung cancer can help extend lives, but it might also raise a patient's odds for heart attacks and heart failure, a new study shows.

Many patients may have no choice but to accept the risk: For about half of people diagnosed with the number one cancer killer, radiation remains the only viable treatment, the research team noted.

"This is alarming data -...

'Focused' Radiation Could Lighten Treatment Burden for Early Breast Cancer

Wendy Lybarger lived an hour's drive from the hospital where her breast cancer would be treated, so she was looking forward to a heaping helping of hassle.

For as many as six weeks, she'd have to travel there every weekday to receive radiation treatments after surgery to remove the small lump in her breast.

But then her doctor offered her another option -- more focused and f...

Testicular Cancer Treatment Unlikely to Trigger Birth Defects

New research should reassure dads-to-be who've had testicular cancer that treatment with radiation or chemotherapy doesn't raise the risk of fathering babies with birth defects.

"Our research set out to investigate whether treatment for the most common cancer among young men leads to a higher risk of fathering a child with a birth defect and we saw no increased risk associated with ca...

AHA News: Regular Low-Level Radiation Exposure Raises High Blood Pressure Risk

Prolonged exposure to low-dose radiation -- like the type emitted by X-ray machines and CT scanners -- can increase the risk of developing high blood pressure, a key contributor to heart disease and stroke, a new study has found.

Researchers examined the health records of more than 22,300 workers at the Mayak Production Association, a large-scale nuclear facility in Russia. The emplo...

Device Spots Lymphedema Early in Breast Cancer Patients, to Help Stop It

An easy-to-use, noninvasive device can detect early signs of the cancer complication known as lymphedema, a new study reports.

Lymphedema is the buildup of fluid in the body's tissues when a part of the lymph system is damaged, as can happen in cancer care, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The fluid causes swelling, usually in the arms or legs, and can b...

Red Tape Means Many Cancer Patients Get Radiation Treatments Late

When you are fighting cancer, time is of the essence, but new research shows that insurance approvals for lifesaving radiation treatment are often delayed.

The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) surveyed nearly 700 radiation oncologists and found that 93% said prior authorization-related delays by insurance companies affect their patients, while 31% said the avera...

One High Dose of Radiation May Be Enough for Early Prostate Cancer

Treating men with low-risk prostate cancer with just one high dose of radiation may be safe and effective, British researchers report.

Therapy for prostate cancer typically involves low-dose radiation given over several days or weeks. Conversely, high-dose radiation is given once through a set of tiny tubes inserted directly into the tumor.

"For low-risk patients, a single ...

Study Supports Radiation for Early, Hormone-Driven Breast Cancer

For women with hormone-driven breast cancer, adding radiation to hormone therapy might keep their cancer from coming back for up to a decade, a new study finds.

Breast cancer didn't come back in the same breast for 97.5% of women who had radiation therapy plus hormone therapy compared to just over 92% of women who had hormone therapy alone, the researchers said.

In ...

With Weeks to Live, Many Cancer Patients Try Useless Treatments

Learning you have a cancer that looks imminently terminal is tough news to swallow.

And new research indicates that when given just one month to live, a significant number of patients still opt for aggressive and often costly interventions, despite little evidence to suggest they'll help.

A study of just over 100,000 patients in the United States found that the urge to under...

Many Cancer Patients Take Alternative Meds But Don't Tell Their Doctors

One out of every three U.S. cancer patients uses alternative or complementary therapies, but many keep that info from their doctors, a new study finds.

That's a real concern, the study's lead author said, especially when it comes to supplements and cancer radiation therapy.

"You don't know what's in them," said Dr. Nina Sanford, assistant professor of radiation oncology at U...

When Do Women Need a Mammogram? New Guideline Tries to Clarify

A group representing U.S. family doctors issued updated mammography guidelines Monday, adding to an ongoing debate over how early and how often women should be screened.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) now recommends a mammogram every other year for women ages 50 to 74 who are at average risk for breast cancer and have no symptoms.

That advice does not apply to wome...

Baby Monkey May Offer Hope to Preserving Fertility of Kids With Cancer

She's cute, and perhaps a medical breakthrough.

Scientists say they have used frozen testicular tissue to achieve the birth of a healthy baby monkey named Grady -- a success they hope to eventually translate to childhood cancer survivors whose treatment has left them infertile.

Infertility is a potential side effect of the chemotherapy and radiation used to treat various can...

Hormonal Therapy for Prostate Cancer Might Raise Depression Risk

Hormonal treatment can help control prostate cancer but may increase a man's risk of depression, a new study by Danish researchers suggests.

Male hormones, such as testosterone, are known to fuel the growth of prostate tumors. So doctors use drugs to reduce hormone production. But that can bring on tough side effects, such as incontinence or impotence.

The new study found ...

Newborn Heart Problems Surged After Fukushima Nuke Disaster: Study

There was a significant increase in the number of infants in Japan who had surgery for complex congenital heart disease after the nuclear accident in Fukushima, a new study finds.

The disaster happened in March 2011 after a tsunami and earthquake hit the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, causing a meltdown and release of radioactive materials.

Researchers analy...

Radioactive Chemo Meds Might Threaten Crematorium Workers: Study

Deceased people who are cremated after having been treated with radioactive medications might be a health hazard to crematory operators, a new case study shows.

An Arizona crematorium became contaminated with radiation following the cremation of a man who received "radiopharmaceutical" treatment two days before he died, according to a research letter published Feb. 26 in the Journ...

Testicular Cancer Treatment Doesn't Always Doom Fertility

Young men diagnosed with testicular cancer often worry that treating the disease may jeopardize their chances of having children, but new research should ease their minds.

In the study, sperm counts rebounded in men who received one course of chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery for early-stage testicular cancer.

It was known that several rounds of chemotherapy or...

Are Primary Care Doctors Prepared to Discuss Cancer Treatment?

Many primary care doctors feel ill-equipped to discuss cancer treatment options with patients, according to a new study.

Researchers surveyed 517 primary care doctors who had 1,077 female patients diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer.

Doctors were asked if they had discussed surgery, radiation or chemotherapy options with their patients; how comfortable they were doing s...

Radiation Doses From CT Scans Vary Widely

CT scans diagnose many serious conditions and illnesses, but they expose patients to levels of radiation that aren't always consistent and may be harmful, a new study finds.

The large differences in the doses of radiation patients are exposed to appear to be caused by who is doing the scanning and not differences in patients or equipment, researchers found.

It should be poss...

Fewer Early Stage Breast Cancer Patients May Need Lymph Node Removal: Study

For many breast cancer patients, removal of lymph nodes in the armpit area is a common procedure, due to worries that the tumor has spread to these tissues.

But the operation can also bring the difficult long-term side effect of lymphedema, a painful arm swelling.

Now, new Dutch research suggests that for early stage breast cancer patients, radiating the lymph nodes may brin...

Skin Creams May Be OK During Cancer Radiation Therapies, Study Finds

Countering standard advice, a new study finds that skin creams are safe to use in moderation for cancer patients receiving radiation treatment.

"Patients are routinely advised not to apply anything on the skin prior to treatment," explained radiation oncologist Dr. Lucille Lee, of Northwell Health Cancer Institute in Lake Success, N.Y.

According to Lee, who wasn't involved i...

Deep Space Travel May Damage GI Tract, Animal Study Shows

Deep space travel has been shown to harm astronauts' eyes, muscles, hearts and immune systems. Now, new animal research suggests that venturing beyond Earth's protective atmosphere could also damage their gastrointestinal tracts.

"We have documented the effects of deep space radiation on some vital organs, but we believe that similar damage responses may occur in many organs," explain...

Radiation for Childhood Brain Tumor Can Hinder Memory

Radiation therapy for the most common childhood brain tumor can cause memory problems, new research suggests.

Specifically, it can leave young survivors struggling to create memories of recent personal events, the small study found. But survivors' ability to recall ones that happened before radiation wasn't affected.

"There are some known cognitive effects from radiation tre...

Childhood Brain Tumor Treatment May Hamper Adult Survivors

More than half of adults who survived childhood brain and spinal cord cancers don't live fully independent lives, a new study finds.

Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., assessed more than 300 survivors in areas such as employment, marital status, ability to drive, independent living and need for help with routine or personal care needs.

"...