New website promises to be one-stop shop for cancer patients

Patients now have access to an interactive one-stop shop website for cancer information, with data on survival rates, screening and treatment.
Cancer Australia CEO Professor Helen Zorbas said the new National Cancer Control Indicators (NCCI) website was a unique, national resource bringing reliable national data together for the first time.

“It helps illuminate the cancer landscape. The data on the website will enhance our understanding, stimulate enquiry and inform future direction in cancer control — whether that’s in research or policy or clinical care,” Professor Zorbas said.

The NCCI website was designed for policymakers, governments, cancer organisation, researchers and health professionals….

A breakthrough vaccine for breast and gastric cancer is in trials

A VACCINE that treats one of the most common forms of breast cancer is being developed by an Aussie company and one day it could be used to prevent cancer.

The therapy stimulates the body’s own immune system to fight the cancer and studies have showed it produced improved survival rates in mice.

The vaccine will help the one in four women whose breast cancer over expresses the HER2 protein as well as HER2 gastric cancer patients.

Over 1 million cases of gastric cancer are diagnosed each year, mostly in Asia, and the five year survival rate is just 30 per cent.

Trials in …

Breakthrough’ breast cancer drugs approved

Two new ‘breakthrough’ breast cancer drugs have been approved, giving new hope to women with previously untreatable breast cancer.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has given the go-ahead for palbociclib and ribociclib to be used on the NHS in England.

Palbociclib had previously been refused because its cost was judged to be too high in comparison to its effectiveness.

The drugs have been shown to slow down advanced cancer for at least 10 months, delaying the need for chemotherapy. Read more… 

Prostate cancer nurse to be added to cancer centre staff.

The Central Coast Cancer Centre at Gosford Hospital will be funded by the Federal Government to provide a prostate cancer nurse for the area.
The federal seat of Robertson is the latest location to receive Coalition Government funding for prostate cancer nurses in the community.
Federal Member for Robertson, Ms Lucy Wicks, joined with local prostate cancer support group representatives on Monday, October 30, to announce that the new prostate cancer nurse would be based at the Central Coast Cancer Centre.
According to Ms Wicks, funding for the national prostate nurses program was doubled in the 2017 federal budget, committing a further $5.9 …

Rare Cancer: Decision to remove healthy stomach daunts family fearful of mutation

Jemma Caprioli is preparing to undergo radical surgery to remove what could be her perfectly healthy stomach.

When she was about 20 years old, Ms Caprioli and her older brother learned they carried a genetic mutation for a rare and aggressive cancer that killed 12 members of their family, including their much-loved uncle months earlier.

Their mother had also developed microscopic traces of the stomach cancer known as hereditary diffuse gastric cancer (HDGC), and had her stomach removed almost immediately.

“My brother and I were so young when we found out we had this mutation … it’s a very daunting thing to be forced to confront,” Ms Caprioli said. …

Former Australian of the year to trial new cancer treatment

Former Australian of the Year Ian Frazer is close to starting clinical human trials on a new vaccine that could be used to treat head and neck cancer.

Admedus Immunotherapies is working with Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital on the breakthrough, which is based on the use of Professor Frazer’s human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.

Professor Frazer said HPV-associated cancers made up 20 per cent of all people diagnosed worldwide.

“Unfortunately, conventional treatments are not always successful,” he said in a statement on Sunday.

“Harnessing the immune system is a new way to treat these virus-associated cancers.”

Admedus Immunotherapies chief executive Neil Finlayson said the new HPV …

$187,000 to $6.30: Turnbull government subsidy gives hope to cancer sufferers

A breakthrough leukaemia and lymphoma drug that normally costs $187,000 per treatment will become easily affordable under a new $460 million Turnbull government subsidy.

Ibrutinib, known as Imbruvica, will cost patients $38.80 a script – or $6.30 for concessional patients – once it is listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from December 1.

The drug will be available to all eligible patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL).

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will announce the listing on Monday, saying the drug – considered significantly more effective than many of the treatments already available through the PBS – will change …

Breast cancer breakthrough: New genetic markers discovered

SCIENTISTS have discovered dozens of new genetic markers that increase a woman’s breast cancer chances, paving the way for the possibility of more effective screening, better treatments and risk-reduction medications.

Queensland scientist Georgia Chenevix-Trench, one of the leaders of the international collaboration which uncovered the 72 new markers, said that combined with existing knowledge, the research could eventually contribute to a predictive breast cancer test for women.

Providing doctors with a better understanding of breast cancer risk may change the advice they give to individual women about the age they should start mammograms and how often they have them. Read …

Debunking links between menopausal hormone therapy and cancer

Women are enduring the crippling effects of menopause ­unnec­essarily because of fear and ignor­ance of the benefits of menopausal hormone therapy, the Australasian Menopause Society says.

The experts blame a flawed study by the US Women’s Health Initiative study, published in 2002, for setting off a mostly unfounded scare about the link between MHT and breast cancer. The media story spread like wildfire and pharmaceutical companies stopped distributing MHT and GPs stopped prescribing it.
Clinical associate professor Sheila O’Neill chaired this month’s 21st AMS congress in Sydney that set out to explore the ­research around menopause, ­debunk the …

Urgent action needed to help GPs prescribe fewer antibiotics: study

A Queensland academic has called for monitoring of antibiotic resistance rates in the community, new targets and help for GPs to reduce how much of the drug they prescribe.

About 1600 people die directly from antibiotic resistance in Australia every year, according to a piece published in the latest Medical Journal of Australia.

The authors, led by Bond University academic Professor Chris Del Mar, said the situation would get steadily worse until 2050, when deaths from currently treatable infections would overtake total cancer deaths.

The antibiotic resistance crisis would also pose serious problems for now routine high-technology medical care.

Without reliable antibiotics, procedures such as chemotherapy, bone …

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