Value the second opinion for cancer

Basics

A cancer diagnosis is often complex and unprecedented.  You don’t feel prepared and often feel undirected on where to go from here and how to prepare for the next steps. When we face major life decisions like buying a house or choosing a career, we explore several options. It includes reviewing the risks, benefits, and conducting thorough research before making a final decision. It’s no different when opting for a Value of the second opinion for cancer on treatment. 

The BMJ Quality & Safety healthcare journal published a study on diagnostic errors and estimated that approximately 10 million adults in the U.S. are misdiagnosed every year. Half of these misdiagnoses could potentially be harmful.Value of the second opinion for cancer Getting a second opinion reduces your risk of getting a wrong diagnosis and increases your chances of getting proper care.

Doctors also have varying treatment approaches, even when managing patients with a similar diagnosis. Some may take a conservative approach, while others may prefer aggressive treatment options. You have to decide which approach works best for you and your family. Value of the second opinion for cancer Seeing more than one doctor will give you more information from which to measure your options and make the best decision.

When you’re undergoing cancer treatment, it’s normal to wonder if another doctor could offer additional information or a treatment option. You might want to talk to another doctor about your test results, personal situation and to know a different take on it. Getting a second opinion can help to ensure your diagnosis and treatment plan.

What is a Second Opinion?

It is a review of the tests, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment plan recommendations given by the first oncologist. Either you or the referring physician can ask for a second opinion. You can get a second opinion by calling another leading oncologist’s office in your neighborhood to schedule an appointment. Do your research and check with insurance if your preferred doctor is in or out-of-network. Once you have that information call your preferred doctor’s office to schedule an appointment. They will ask you a couple of questions about your diagnosis, doctor preference, wait time, available appointment blocks, etc. Once your appointment is scheduled someone will follow up to sign the Release of Information form to get access to all your Electronic Medical Records. 

Why second opinion?

Reasons for getting a second opinion:

  • confirm your diagnosis, seriousness of cancer type and other potential treatment options.
  • hear from experts who have access to unique treatments, including clinical trials
  • better understand the typical advancement of this type of cancer
  • Know different views about managing the cancer
  • get the industry expert opinion on your type of cancer.
  • To confirm from other doctor on how aggressive of a treatment you want to go for especially in the beginning stages and prepare for their side effects
  • The first doctor is uncertain about the type or stage of cancer
  • If you are unable to make a decision from the treatment options given to you by your first doctor.
  • If you have difficulty communicating and resonating with your first doctor and their extended care giving team.
  • On the insistence of family members 
Importance of the second opinion

For the above-mentioned reasons, second opinions can be comprehensive or inclusive of every perspective including the time frame of treatment options especially when performed with a multidisciplinary team (including surgeons, oncologists, radiation therapists, and social workers).

Takeaway

A second opinion often brings peace and comfort in the treatment plan if not value and is thus critical for cancer patients. Cancer treatments have evolved tremendously in the recent past. Hence, cancers are now more treatable than they once were, especially with a timely designed treatment plan. You must understand the type of cancer and available treatment options. However, there are many options for treatment that are more complicated than in the past. Hence, we encourage you to seek more than one opinion about cancer treatment. Also, a second opinion helps to get additional information from someone who has probably written a leading new treatment advancement in your cancer type. Second opinions are a common practice in the area of complex medicine that has multiple treatment options available.

Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer (MBC)

know about treatment of metastatic breast cancer and hormone

For information about the Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer listed below, see the Treatment Option Overview section.

Hormone therapy

In postmenopausal women who have just been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer that is hormone receptor-positive or if the hormone receptor status is not known, may include:

  • Tamoxifen therapy.
  • Aromatase inhibitor therapy (anastrozole, letrozole, or exemestane). Sometimes cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor therapy (palbociclib, ribociclib, abemaciclib, or alpelisib) is also given.
  • An LHRH agonist
  • Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor therapy (ribociclib)

In women whose tumors are hormone receptor-positive or hormone receptor unknown, with spread to the bone or soft tissue only, and who have been treated with tamoxifen, treatment may include:

  • Aromatase inhibitor therapy.
  • Other hormone therapy such as megestrol acetate, estrogen or androgen therapy, or anti-estrogen therapy such as fulvestrant.
Targeted therapy for Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer

In women with metastatic breast cancer that is hormone receptor positive and has not responded to other treatments, options may include targeted therapy such as:

  • Trastuzumab, lapatinib, pertuzumab, or mTOR inhibitors.
  • Antibody-drug conjugate therapy with ado-trastuzumab emtansine.
  • Cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor therapy (palbociclib, ribociclib, or abemaciclib) which may be combined with hormone therapy.

In women with mbc that is HER2/neu positive, treatment may include:

  • Targeted therapy such as trastuzumab, trastuzumab deruxtecan, pertuzumab, ado-trastuzumab emtansine, or lapatinib.
  • Targeted therapy with tucatinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor used with trastuzumab and capecitabine

In women with metastatic breast cancer that is HER2 negative, with mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, and who have been treated with chemotherapy, include:

  • Chemotherapy for Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer
  • Targeted therapy with a PARP inhibitor (olaparib or talazoparib)

In women with metastatic breast cancer that is hormone receptor-negative, has not responded to hormone therapy, has spread to other organs or has caused symptoms, treatment may include:

  • Chemotherapy with one or more drugs
Chemotherapy and immunotherapy for Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer

In women with mbc that is hormone receptor negative and HER2 negative, treatment may include:

  • Chemotherapy and immunotherapy (atezolizumab)
Surgery
  • Total mastectomy for women with open or painful breast lesions.
  • The Surgery to remove cancer that has spread to the brain or spine.
  • To Surgery to remove cancer that has spread to the lung.
  • Surgery to repair or help support weak or broken bones.
  • Surgery to remove fluid that has collected around the lungs or heart.
Radiation therapy
  • Radiation therapy to the bones, brain, spinal cord, breast, or chest wall to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
  • Strontium-89 (a radionuclide) to relieve pain from cancer that has spread to bones throughout the body.
Other treatment options

Other treatment options for metastatic breast cancer include:

  • Drug therapy with bisphosphonates or denosumab to reduce bone disease and pain when cancer has spread to the bone. (See the PDQ summary on Cancer Pain for more information about bisphosphonates.)
  • Antibody-drug conjugate therapy with sacituzumab govitecan for certain patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer.
  • A clinical trial of high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant.
  • Clinical trials testing new anticancer drugs, new drug combinations, and new ways of giving treatment.

All You Need to Know About Bladder Cancer

Know All You Need to Know About Bladder Cancer

What Is Bladder Cancer?

Bladder Cancer is it starts when cells that form the structure of the bladder start to grow out of control. As more cancer cells develop, they will form a tumor and, with time, spread to other parts of the body.

bladder anatomy

The bladder is a hollow organ within the lower pelvis. It’s flexible, muscular walls that will stretch to carry urine and squeeze to send it out of the body. The bladder’s main job is to store urine. Urine is liquid waste made by the two kidneys then carried to the bladder through 2 tubes called ureters. Once you urinate, the muscles within the bladder contract and urine are forced out of the bladder through a tube called the urethra

What are Bladder Cancer Risk Factors?

A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease like cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. you’ll change some risk factors, like smoking or weight; others, like your age or case history, you can’t.

But having a risk factor, or maybe many doesn’t mean that you simply will get the disease. many of us with risk factors never get bladder cancer, while others with this disease may have few or no known risk factors.

Still, it’s important to understand the danger factors for bladder cancer because there could also be belongings you can do this might lower your risk of getting it. If you’re at higher risk due to certain factors, you would possibly be helped by tests that would find it early, when treatment is presumably to be effective.

Many risk factors make an individual more likely to develop bladder cancer.

Smoking

Smokers have a 3 times higher risk of getting bladder cancer compared with non-smokers. So, if you smoke cigarettes/cigars/marijuana, the biggest action you can take to decrease your cancer risk is quit smoking. Smoking causes about half of all bladder cancers in both men and ladies.

Workplace exposures

Several industrial chemicals are linked with bladder cancer. Chemicals called aromatic amines, like benzidine and beta-naphthylamine, which are sometimes utilized in the dye industry, can cause bladder cancer.

Workers in other industries that use certain organic chemicals also may have a better risk of bladder cancer. Industries carrying higher risks include makers of rubber, leather, textiles, and paint products also as printing companies. Other workers with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer include painters, machinists, printers, hairdressers (probably due to heavy exposure to hair dyes), and truck drivers (likely due to exposure to diesel fumes).

Cigarette smoking and workplace exposures can act together to cause bladder cancer. So, people that smoke who also work with cancer-causing chemicals have an especially high risk of bladder cancer.

Certain medicines or herbal supplements

According to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the use of the diabetes medicine pioglitazone (Actos®) is linked with an increased risk of bladder cancer. The danger seems to be higher when higher doses are used.

Dietary supplements containing aristolochic acid (mainly in herbs from the Aristolochia family) are linked with an increased risk of urothelial cancers, including bladder cancer.

Arsenic in beverage

Arsenic in beverages can the increase risk of bladder cancer. Because contaminated water is the most likely source for arsenic exposure, your risk of arsenic-related bladder cancer depends on your water source.

Not drinking enough fluids

People who drink tons of fluids, especially water, every day tend to possess lower rates. This could be because they empty their bladders more often, which could keep chemicals from lingering in their bladder.

Chemotherapy or radiation therapy

Taking the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®) for a long time can irritate the bladder and increase the risk of bladder cancer. If you are taking this drug, make sure to drink plenty of fluids to help protect the bladder from irritation.

Your risk of developing bladder cancer is also higher if you have ever received radiation to the pelvis.

Who treats bladder cancer?

Based on your treatment options, you would possibly have different types of doctors on your treatment team. These doctors could include:

Urologists: surgeons who concentrate on treating diseases of the urogenital system and male genital system
Radiation oncologists: doctors who treat cancer with radiotherapy
Medical oncologists: doctors who treat cancer with medicines like chemotherapy and immunotherapy
You might have many other specialists on your treatment team also, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, nutrition specialists, social workers, and other health professionals.

How can Ankr help?

Ankr is a cancer education and navigation platform developed by a team of cancer experts and patients. Ankr helps you learn about treatment options for bladder cancer, how can pancreatic cancer be cured, and helps you navigate through your chemotherapies and other treatments. By using Ankr, you can prevent and manage side effects and avoid an ER visit!

Get started now by signing up on the myAnkr website or by downloading the Ankr – Cancer Companion app on your phone.

Pancreatic cancer – Warning Signs & Risk Factors

Pancreatic cancer – 4 Warning Signs and 7 Risk Factors You Need to Know

What is Pancreatic cancer?

Pancreatic cancer begins within the tissues of your pancreas — an organ in your abdomen that lies behind the lower part of your stomach. Your pancreas releases enzymes that aid digestion and produce hormones that help manage your blood glucose.

Several sorts of growths can occur within the pancreas, including cancerous and noncancerous tumors. The foremost common sort of cancer that forms within the pancreas begins within the cells that line the ducts that carry digestive enzymes out of the pancreas (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma).

Pancreatic cancer is seldom detected at its early stages when it’s most curable. this is often because it often doesn’t cause symptoms until after it’s spread to other organs.

The cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of cancer within the body, determines treatment options and features a strong influence on the length of survival. Generally, if the cancer is found only within the part of the body where it started, it is localized (sometimes mentioned as stage 1 or 2). If it’s spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier a pancreas cancer is caught, the higher chance an individual has of surviving five years after being diagnosed.

Pancreatic cancer treatment options are chosen based on the extent of cancer. Options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or a mixture of those.

4 Warning Signs of Pancreatic Cancer are

Weight loss – Within one year of diagnosis, 73.5% of pancreatic cancer patients lost at least 5% of body weight according to one study. A number of factors may cause weight loss in people with pancreatic cancer. Weight loss might happen as cancer consumes the body’s energy. Nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatments or a tumor pressing on your stomach may make it difficult to eat. Or your body may have difficulty processing nutrients from food because your pancreas isn’t making enough digestive juices.

Loss of Appetite – This can happen due to inflammation caused by cancer itself, or blockage of organs like the bile duct, stomach, or small bowel due to cancer growth.

Jaundice – Most people with pancreatic cancer (and nearly all people with ampullary cancer) will have jaundice as one of their first symptoms. Jaundice is caused by the buildup of bilirubin, a dark yellow-brown substance made in the liver. 

Nausea – Nausea, and vomiting in patients with pancreatic carcinoma may be at least partially due to malabsorption and abnormal gastrointestinal motility. The use of anti-nausea medications and pancreatic enzymes may relieve symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of carcinoma often don’t occur until the disease is advanced. Some other warning signs include:

  • Abdominal pain that radiates to your back
  • Light-colored stools
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Itchy skin
  • New diagnosis of diabetes or existing diabetes that’s becoming harder to regulate
  • Blood clots
  • Fatigue

7 Risk Factors for Pancreatic Cancer are

Age – The risk of developing pancreatic cancer increases with age. 70% of patients diagnosed with this cancer are older than 65 years. Other risk factors, especially any family history of inherited cancer syndrome, can cause cancer to occur at a younger age.

Smoking – Smoking may cause about 20-30 percent of all exocrine pancreatic cancer cases. The risk of developing pancreatic cancer increases with age. Most people who develop pancreatic cancer are older than 45. In fact, 90% are older than 55 and 70% are older than 65. However, adults of any age can be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Obesity – Obese people have a 20% increased risk of developing pancreatic cancer according to multiple studies. Losing weight can help decrease your risk if this applies to you.

Family history – Risk increases if multiple first-degree relatives had the disease or if any were diagnosed under 50.

Diet – A diet high in red and processed meats may increase risk and one high in fruits and vegetables may decrease risk. Once diagnosed, patients typically do best with healthy fats (such as olive oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds), and should avoid greasy, fried, and heavy foods.

Diabetes – Long-standing (over 5 years) diabetes increases risk and up to 80% of pancreatic cancer patients present with either new-onset type 2 diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance.

Gender -Slightly more men are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer than women. This may be due, at least in part, to higher tobacco use in men, which raises pancreatic cancer risk.

How can Ankr help?

Ankr is a cancer education and navigation platform developed by a team of cancer experts and patients. Ankr helps you learn about treatment options for pancreatic cancer, how can pancreatic cancer be cured, and helps you navigate through your chemotherapies and other treatments. By using Ankr, you can prevent and manage side effects and avoid an ER visit!

Get started now by signing up on the myAnkr website or by downloading the Ankr – Cancer Companion app on your phone.