MCA Staff Writers

MCA Staff Writers

Presenting Up-to-Date Mesothelioma Topics

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2 0 1 5 Jun 29

Men’s Health Month: Top 3 Cancers Affecting Men

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June is Men’s Health Month, a month-long observation and awareness campaign of the issues related to health in men of every age, genetic disposition, and background. Given that men are much less likely to get regular medical checkups than women, it’s important for everyone to be involved with educating the men in their lives about the health issues that can affect them.

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Mesothelioma treatment

Immunotherapy is a form of cancer treatment that uses a patient’s immune system to fight the disease. By manipulating the immune system as a whole or by utilizing components of the immune system, or cell proteins known as antibodies, doctors are able to target additional proteins that help cancer cells grow. The antibodies will bind to the targeted cancer cell proteins and will either stop the cancer cells from growing or will kill them.

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A current concern for physicians looking to improve cancer treatment is the need for better methods for monitoring the development of malignant tissues and tumors. This would help physicians be able to personalize treatment for patients on an individual level. As Dr. Heitzer of the Institute of Human Genetics in Graz, Austria states, “methods are needed for a rapid, cost-effective, and noninvasive identification of biomarkers at various time points during the course of [cancer] disease.”1

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HIPPA and cancer

HIPPA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and became law in 1996. This law protects your health information that is directly linked to you by your name, address, social security number, insurance identification number, etc. It gave physicians, hospitals, nurses and healthcare practitioners time to comply with the law.

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New, promising immunotherapy

Mesothelioma is diagnosed in about 3000 patients in the USA each year. For decades, only academic scientists and clinicians focused on finding effective treatments for mesothelioma. For rare diseases like mesothelioma, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) decided to provide incentives to companies that develop products for treatment of rare diseases through a program known as the Orphan Drug Designation program.

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Both smoking and asbestos irritate the lungs. Smoking is a well-known trigger for lung cancer. Chronic exposure to smoke (smoking) causes as many as 90% of lung cancers.1

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DNA

Doctors use information about each case of mesothelioma to help guide the treatment of each patient. Most commonly, doctors look at how far the mesothelioma has spread which is measured in the tumor-node-metastasis (TNM) stage and the type of tumor cell --epithelioid, biphasic, and sarcomatoid. However, even the same type of mesothelioma—epithelioid— can vary in its rate of growth or aggressiveness. Thus, other factors in mesothelioma must affect its aggressiveness.

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DNA

Many chemotherapy regimens can damage nerves that serve most of the body, called peripheral nerves. This damage, technically called chemotherapy-induced peripheral neurotherapy (CIPN), causes pain in about 60% of chemotherapy- treated patients.1 While it often begins after the later cycles, it can linger for years.

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