In short, YES. It’s the only way treatment is advanced in diseases like multiple myeloma and has resulted in FDA approval of six drugs for myeloma treatment in the last 11 years...with more coming.  We don’t have a cure yet, but I’ve seen survival averages double, even triple since I was diagnosed 20 years ago.  And how did these therapies come about? Myeloma patients participating in clinical trials. In short, there are three phases of clinical trials: I-determine maximum tolerated dosage; II-determines if the new treatment works; and III-compares new treatment to standard of care.  There are trials for all...

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I had recently retired and started to get busy with my projects when I paused briefly for a routine physical—no worries, just a quick in-and-out and back to the fun stuff. But wait. There’s more—like the doctor bringing me back in to his office, and closing the door. “We have confirmed that you have cancer. It’s not curable. It’s called multiple myeloma, and you probably have three, maybe four years left,” he said. It was March 8, 2012. Well, the next couple of days were mostly a blur of trying to figure out just what this was all about, this...

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Susan Bottega and her husband, Bob As I listened to Esther tell her story, my own came flooding back to me. My husband was always the "tough guy"—nothing was too heavy for him...literally. He was very "old school"—wanted to be the "man" of the family—and I should be the "weaker woman." Well, that never really existed—maybe only in his head. I'm an RN with many years of experience. One might think that is an advantage, but it also has its inherent difficulties. It robs you of the time to take in what is dealt to you—you instantly know where you...

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El doctor Javier Cortés, jefe del programa de Cáncer de Mama en el Hospital Vall d'Hebron (Barcelona), explica las nuevas opciones de tratamiento en pacientes con cáncer de mama metastásico. También comenta los futuros tratamientos que están en desarrollo para pacientes de cáncer de mama con la mutación BRCA.

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Interviewing a cancer researcher at the ESMO 2014 Congress I was worried about wasting away. But I am happy to tell Ringo, Paul and George that today I am 64 and feeling strong, vibrant, and not headed to living in a cottage and sitting by the fire. Too much to do! I am writing this from Madrid and the ESMO – European Society for Medical Oncology—2014 Congress, and I am happy to report there’s a lot of positive energy here. Not every new medicine being studied is panning out. Today we heard about some studies that washed out. No benefit. But...

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Basta con echar un vistazo al hashtag #ESMO14 para hacerse una idea de la indignación de los defensores de pacientes (Patient advocates) y periodistas con el Congreso de la Sociedad Europea de Oncología Médica (ESMO). La razón: se les ha prohibido el acceso a las conferencias en las que se anuncian las últimas novedades en investigación sobre el cáncer. Pueden estar presentes en el congreso, pero no tienen acceso al conocimiento. Las críticas las dirigen a ESMO, pero la Sociedad que agrupa a los oncólogos europeos afirma no ser responsable de esta situación. Las autoridades de la comunidad autónoma y...

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Una encuesta de Patient Power a cerca de 700 pacientes de cáncer de Estados Unidos muestra que la información online puede llevar a buscar segundas opiniones y a cambios en el tratamiento La encuesta realizada por Patient Power junto con la consultora Aptel Research con 697 pacientes de cáncer de Estados Unidos muestra que un número importante confían en las comunidades de pacientes online como primera fuente de información veraz y actualizada. Entre esta muestra de pacientes: -       El 86% afirma que la información de salud que encuentran en Internet les ayuda a estar al día de nuevos avances y...

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View along my 6-day camino with new friends in France Last year, my wife, Esther, and my 20-year-old-daughter, Ruthie, took 15 days and walked along Spain’s famous “Camino de Santiago de Compostella.” This is the walk Catholic pilgrims have taken for hundreds of years from France, across Spain, and to the Atlantic coast. These days, most people who do it are not Catholic but rather walking as part of their own thoughtful journey—a break from the travails of daily life. I was envious of Esther and Ruthie’s camino (camino means "path" in Spanish). And while I met them for a...

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Dear Tom (I am calling you that instead of “Mr. Brokaw" because, like millions of Americans, I feel like I know you personally), I read that you have announced you have cancer, multiple myeloma, and that you and your doctors are optimistic. At 74, no one knows how much time they have left, but I am writing to tell you as a two-time cancer survivor myself, and a medical journalist who covers myeloma, that this is truly a “good time” to have this cancer. It was a lot tougher for your peer, Peter Jennings of ABC, who died of lung...

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A recent article by Bill Keller in The New York Times told the story of a woman fighting advanced cancer in New York. Bill raised the question of whether we cancer patients should see ourselves in a war with constant or recurring battles or see it differently. He wondered if, when cancer appears to be getting the best of us, we should step back, recognize our mortality and not always make the most aggressive choice. This is all part of a shift. Are we fighting a “war on cancer” or are we chipping away at its ravages, as a society...

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Page last updated on April 25, 2019