Considering entering a clinical trial? Do your homework, breast cancer consumer representative says

People considering entering a clinical trial should not be put off from all studies by some with financial ties between researchers and pharmaceutical companies, a long-time trial advisor says.

For more than 20 years, Linda Reaby has sat as a ‘citizen representative’ on the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group and in more recent years advised the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study.

Clinical trials are used to investigate the safety of new medicines and medical devices and assess such products “efficacy” – or to what extent they actually work – before seeking government approval to put a medicine on the market.

It …

First it was da Vinci. Now Mona Lisa has arrived at Royal Adelaide. The Mona Lisa robot takes prostate biopsies through only two needle punctures.

First it was da Vinci. Now Mona Lisa has arrived in ­Adelaide.

The Mona Lisa robot takes prostate biopsies through two needle punctures in the delicate perineal area between the scrotum and the anus.

Numerous samples can be extracted from the same two puncture holes, whereas previous methods required 24 to 40 needle punctures or a probe inserted through the rectum.

The $300,000 machine fuses MRI and ultrasound information for accuracy to within 1mm. It is overseen by surgeons watching 3D images.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital is the only hospital in South Australia trialling the machine to see if it provides more accurate …

A number of studies indicate the importance of social support to the psychological well-being of patients.

A number of studies indicate the importance of social support to the psychological well-being of patients. Both social isolation and loneliness are associated with increased mortality. Women with fewer social ties to friends, family, community or religious groups were 43 per cent more likely to see their breast cancer return and 64 per cent more likely to die from breast cancer according to a study recently published in the journal Cancer (Read more). CanCare Patient Navigator’s help patients get the right support at the time they need it most. They ‘walk alongside’ a person with cancer, helping them with some …

“Everyone knows about breast cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer. But when they told me what I had I said ‘pancreas? What’s that?'” said Mrs Thompson, 56.

Trish Thompson will tell you she’s a very lucky woman.

A pain in her side sent her to Liverpool Hospital one night in June. Doctors diagnosed her with pancreatic cancer. They caught it early, and they could cut it out.

Pancreatic cancer is dwarfed by the awareness campaigns of other cancers with high incidence rates, but the oft-forgotten condition has the poorest survival rate of them all, with less than seven per cent of patients still alive five years after diagnosis.

The low number of cases and the large proportion of inoperable tumours mean many NSW hospitals have little experience performing pancreatectomies.

“Everyone knows about breast cancer, lung …

Loneliness may sabotage breast cancer survival, study finds

Loneliness may impede long-term breast cancer survival, a new study suggests. In the years after treatment, women who don’t have strong social ties are more likely to have their cancer return or die from it than women with friends and a support network, the researchers found.

Reviewing data on nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients, the researchers linked isolation with a 40 percent higher risk of cancer recurrence compared to socially connected women. These solitary women also had a 60 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer and a 70 percent increased risk of dying from any cause, the study found. …

Obesity Linked With Prostate Cancer Death

Overweight and obese men appear to have greater risks of dying from prostate cancer (PCa) than normal weight individuals following primary treatment with radical prostatectomy (RP), a new study finds. Although radiation and androgen-deprivation therapy were equally or more likely in these patients, salvage treatment did not confer a survival advantage.

“This does not imply obesity causes more aggressive PC[a]. Rather, obesity may be associated with other factors such as poor diet or lack of exercise, which we could not adjust for, which may explain this association,” Adriana Vidal, MD, of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues wrote …

Australian-first procedure gives hope for prostate cancer patients

AN Australian-first nerve grafting procedure is giving hope to the 7000 Australian men suffering the most common side effect of prostate cancer surgery each year.

The surgical removal of the prostate glands, a radical prostatectomy, is a curative procedure for most of the 10,000 Australian men who undergo this each year.

While life saving, the surgery can damage nerves and reduce sexual function in 70 per cent of men regardless of whether it’s performed as keyhole surgery, as an open procedure or by robots. Read more… 

New mammogram technique 30 per cent more accurate in predicting breast cancer

A new technique for interpreting mammograms has been found to be 30 per cent more accurate at predicting breast cancer, researchers say.

Key points:

The new interpreting technique focuses on bright spots that show up in mammograms
Researchers gathered data from 350 women with breast cancer and about 1,000 women without cancer
One researcher says the new technique could “change mammographic screening across the world”

Currently, one in 12 Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.

The new technique, which focuses on bright spots that show up in a mammogram, could transform routine screening …

More women likely to have breast cancer screening after death of Rebecca Wilson

Cancer does not discriminate but community awareness of it does.

The luminous trail left by sports journalist Rebecca Wilson, who died from breast cancer on Friday, will include a new march of women to screening clinics, jolted by the reminder of their mortality.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women, with 300 cases per 100,000 women, but survival rates are high when it is detected early.

The latest report card on breast screening from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed the proportion of women aged 50 to 69 getting screened remained steady around 54 per cent between 2010 …

The 2016 Boyer Lectures: Health inequalities and the causes of the causes

There are large inequalities in health within and between countries. The first 2016 Boyer Lecture looks at the social determinants of health: the conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work; and inequities in power and resources. Listen now …

Join Our Mailing List