When Is ‘No Treatment’ the Best Treatment?

The swift, lethal nature of brain cancer — and the terrible decisions it forces families to face — has been in the news recently, with three of its victims forcing us to think about choices we hope we never have to make. There was, of course, the well-publicized death of Brittany Maynard, 29, diagnosed with the most common and deadly form of brain cancer — glioblastoma. Doctors don’t know what causes these insidious growths, according to the National Brain Tumor …

Former ‘Good Morning America’ Host Joan Lunden Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Joan Lunden, one of TV’s most celebrated talk show hosts and news anchors, revealed June 24 that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. “I heard those words that every woman fears and never wants to hear: ‘You have breast cancer,’ ” Lunden, 63, told Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, a show Lunden cohosted from 1980 to 1997. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter  Lunden learned the diagnosis after a tumor was identified in an ultrasound exam …

Multiple Myeloma: ‘Incurable, But Highly Treatable’

Former NBC news anchor Tom Brokaw has been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the bone marrow that has seen remarkable progress in its treatment in the last 15 years. The veteran news anchor, 74, stepped down in 2004, but has remained with the network as a special correspondent. He said in a statement that his doctors were very encouraged with his progress and he remains “very optimistic about the future and look forward to continuing my life, my …

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 …

Hot Sauce to Cold Caps: 5 Things You Should Know

Five health news stories from the past week you should know about:   1. Do you cook with hot sauce? Be careful which brand you choose. A new study by University of Nevada Las Vegas of 25 imported brands found four from Mexico with high levels of lead. The brands include El Pato Salsa Picante, Castilo Salsa Habanera, Salsa Picante de Chile Habanero and Bufalo Salsa Clasica, reports NBC News. Lead can affect the body’s organs and is especially risky for …

Sequester Fallout: Where Will Medicare Patients Get Chemo?

With Medicare cuts from the sequester kicking in this week, cancer doctors warn that they may be forced to stop offering chemotherapy in their offices and clinics. A survey of 331 oncology practices by the Community Oncology Alliance found that 72 percent planned drastic measures like not taking new Medicare patients, not seeing any Medicare patients without supplemental insurance or sending away everyone in the program who needs chemotherapy. “I hate the idea of people battling cancer worrying about anything,” said …