Cancer in the headlines, July 23



Mom searches China for donor to save her daughter’s life
Fifteen years ago, Sherrie Cramer adopted a malnourished baby from a Chinese orphanage who grew up to be Katie. Four years ago, the now 16-year old Katie developed leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant. Unfortunately, no match in the US can be found. Katie’s situation highlights a common problem facing ethnic minorities in the US. “The Asian American Donor Program says ethnic minorities overall have a 50 percent chance of finding a perfect match from the U.S. bone marrow donor registry of 8 million people, compared to an 80 percent chance for Caucasians.”

Annual report: US cancer death rates still declining
Death rates due to cancer are continuing to decline, according to Cancer Statistics, 2010, the annual cancer statistics report of the American Cancer Society’s (ACS). According to Dr. John R. Seffrin, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society and its advocacy affiliate, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):

“This report is yet more proof we are creating a world with more birthdays… We will build on our progress in the fight against cancer through laws and policies that increase access to cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment services, and with a sustained federal investment in research designed to find breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of the most deadly forms of cancer.”

Yet, the battle is far from over. There is still much work to be done and cancer continues to be a major health concern in the US.

The report is accoumpanied by Cancer Facts & Figures 2010 and is published in the ACS journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

FDA advisory panel votes against Avastin for advanced breast cancer
A US FDA advisory panel voted to withdraw the approval of the cancer drug bevacizumab (Avastin) for the indication of advanced breast cancer in combination with chemotherapy. New data from clinical trials indicate that Avastin does not seem to provide added benefit compared to treatment with chemo alone. Avastin is approved for other types of cancer as well and the panel’s recommendation does not apply to the other approved indications.

NY mulls indoor tanning rules, cites cancer risk
New York is on the move again in trying to improve its residents’ health. Next to smoking bans and the trans-fat free restaurant food, it is now looking into tanning salons. Current New York law bans “commercial indoor tanning for children under 14 and requires written parental consent for those from 14 up to 18.” Health advocates are pushing for stricter regulations, calling tanning beds “cancer chambers.”

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NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.
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