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The CTCA blog

Expanding cancer treatment options demand expertise from doctors

CTCA

The five-year survival rates for most cancers are rising, thanks to earlier diagnoses and an influx of more targeted, personalized treatments. But those advances are not reaching everyone who needs them, and studies show some cancer patients are not satisfied with the care they receive. Given the increasing complexity of treatment options, how can cancer patients have confidence that their medical team has the expertise they need?

The strange past and inspiring future of cancer treatment

CTCA

The history of the fight against cancer is filled with chapters both troubling and triumphant. For much of the past 150 years, doctors struggled to find ways to attack the malignancy without unduly injuring their patients. Cancer, after all, is a disease of damage to self. The question has always been: How to attack the tumor while leaving the healthy tissue unharmed?

Avoiding infections in the era of drug-resistant germs

CTCA

Protecting patients from hospital-borne infections is important in any setting. But it is especially critical for cancer patients, who face a number of challenges not just in fighting their disease but in avoiding additional illnesses that can complicate their prognosis. Some cancer treatments lower the body’s resistance to germs, for example, making patients more vulnerable to infection. Surgical wounds, catheters, and infusion access points like ports and PICC lines open additional pathways for bacteria to travel and penetrate the body’s defenses. Cancers such as leukemia, which originate in the bone marrow, attack the immune system. Chemotherapy treatments can shrink numbers of white blood cells, the body’s germ-fighting arsenal.

Study: Immunotherapy better than chemotherapy in some hard-to-treat lung cancer cases

CTCA

A new study concluded that immunotherapy is more effective than chemotherapy in extending the lives of some patients with advanced lung cancer. In the study, published Dec. 19 in The Lancet medical journal, researchers studied about 1,000 patients with non-small lung cancers who continued to battle tumors that had progressed despite having at least two rounds of chemotherapy.

Keeping a cancer diagnosis private: David Bowie isn't alone

CTCA

When the news broke late Sunday night that musical legend David Bowie had died at the age of 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer, fans around the world expressed not just grief but shock. Despite more than five decades on the world stage, under the glare of a public spotlight, the rock-and-roll icon managed to keep his cancer journey a secret from fans and friends alike, sharing it only with a handful of people in his inner circle.