Cancer Still Top Killer, But Death Rate Is Dropping

En español I The good news about the cancer death rate over the past 20 years is that it’s dropped 20 percent, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society. The report, published in the American Cancer Society’s journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, says the decline translates to roughly 1.3 million people who avoided dying from the disease between 1991, when the death rate hit its peak, and 2010. Much of that progress, notes the report, …

Be Aware of “Breast Cancer Awareness” Scams

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – time to think pink. But also take a clue from those theme-hued ribbons and other merchandise. Your desire to support the search for a cure for the second-biggest cause of cancer death among women can be the perfect opening for charity scammers. The same thing can happen when natural disasters and other in-the-news events prompt the opening of hearts and wallets. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter There are lots of legitimate …

Every Invasive Breast Tumor Needs This Test

Women who have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer – meaning a tumor in the tissue, not in a duct – must be tested for the HER2 gene and protein, according to new guidelines from two expert groups. The HER2 test can indicate whether a tumor is aggressive and fast-growing. If the test shows a tumor is HER2-positive, meaning it has an extra copy of the HER2 gene or high levels of HER2 protein, a woman can be treated with …

Ginseng Helps Patients Fight Cancer Fatigue

High doses of pure American ginseng, taken by cancer patients and survivors for just two months, brought marked improvement in the severe fatigue often experienced both during and after chemotherapy, a new study has found. Cancer-related fatigue, experienced by up to 90 percent of cancer patients,  is a profound tiredness that is not relieved by sleep or rest. “It can significantly impact the ability of people to accomplish the things they are used to doing every day,” lead researcher Debra …

Helping Chronically Ill People Made Simple

Simple is better, many people say. Sarah LaFave certainly took a simple idea and transformed it into something that makes life better for lots of folks. She connects energetic college students with people who are chronically ill and need help with everyday chores. Discussion: Where do you go to get some extra help? Genius, huh? LaFave launched her program, Lori’s Hands, while a nursing student at the University of Delaware in Newark in 2009. “There’s no trick to it, nothing complicated about …

The Jolie Effect: More Women Consider Cancer Gene Test

Sometimes all it takes is one celebrity’s simple, powerful story to help women realize the health options they have. A new Harris Interactive/HealthDay survey estimates that about 6 million women nationwide said they would seek medical advice on having preventive surgery to lower their cancer risk thanks to movie star Angelina Jolie’s announcement in May that she had undergone a preventive double mastectomy. Jolie, 38, said that she also planned to have her ovaries removed after a test revealed that …