Cancer Clinical Trials See Shortage of Participants

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Despite widespread public awareness campaigns on behalf of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), it seems the majority of patients don’t know about the cancer clinical trials available to them.
Clinical trials are still the only means to test new cancer treatment and medication, but the AACR says fewer than five percent of cancer patients volunteer. The same report indicates that 75 percent would be willing to participate if they were informed of relevant clinical trials. What is responsible for the disconnect?
“There are some barriers to participating in clinical trials despite the possibilities. Insurance doesn’t always cover involvement in trials, and some physicians advise older patients against participating,” explains oncologist Dr. Stephen D. Nimer, the Leukemia Service Vice Chair of the Department of Medicine Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, “But a great deal of medical research refutes both of those objections.”
Nimer notes studies from the Journal of the American Medical Association showing that patients enrolled in trials don’t necessarily accrue higher treatment costs, as well as others evaluating the participation of elderly patients.
“Most patients diagnosed with cancer are 65 and older, yet that age group is extremely underrepresented in cancer trials. Evidence is growing that reasonably fit seniors can undergo aggressive chemotherapy just as well as younger adults,” says Nimer, who recently discussed treatment advances for myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) in an interview with Hildy Dillon from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
MDS causes immature blood cells to build up in bone marrow, leading to a shortage of red and white blood cells and platelets. The disease is often a precursor to certain leukemias.
New drug treatment alternatives for MDS may be on the
horizon — there are medications being explored in drugs in phase 3 clinical trials like rigosertib (ONO1910. Na) from Onconova Therapeutics, which is being tested in many centers around the world. The clinical trial, called ONTIME, is designed for MDS patients who haven’t responded to previous treatment.
Ask your doctor about clinical trials, especially if your cancer is advancing. Learn more about the MDS clinical trial with rigosertib at mdsclinicaltrial.com.

Resources to Help Family Caregivers

Every day, many Americans find themselves in an unexpected new role. They become a family caregiver for a loved one suffering from chronic pain.

Experts estimate that chronic pain affects millions of Americans. Pain can interfere with daily activities, causing patients to lean heavily on family and friends.

Providing care for a loved one experiencing chronic pain presents challenges, such as making sure your loved one reports pain to his or her healthcare provider. Even with chronic diseases and conditions, pain should be taken seriously by doctors and physicians.

Family Caregivers Face Pain Challenges

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Every day, many Americans find themselves in an unexpected new role. They become a family caregiver for a loved one suffering from chronic pain.
Experts estimate that chronic pain affects millions of Americans. Pain can interfere with daily activities, causing patients to lean heavily on family and friends.
Providing care for a loved one experiencing chronic pain presents challenges, such as making sure your loved one reports pain to his or her healthcare provider. Even with chronic diseases and conditions, pain should be taken seriously by doctors and physicians.
“Each person feels pain differently. Although it is a physical sensation, perceptions of pain are influenced by social, cultural and psychological factors,” said Suzanne Mintz, president and CEO of the National Family Caregivers Association. “It can be difficult to make sure your loved one’s pain is evaluated appropriately.”
Unfortunately, there’s little information and few resources available to help family caregivers cope with these problems. The National Family Caregivers Association has teamed up with the pain management education program Partners Against Pain to create Caregiver Cornerstones, a program providing information, encouragement and tools to family members. The four Caregiver Cornerstones are:
1. Learning about pain management. Taking an active role in helping to manage a loved one’s pain may help you feel more useful and worry less.
2. Caring for a person with pain. This includes making sure that patients receive proper assessment and follow their treatment plans.
3. Caring for yourself. Being a family caregiver can be a demanding job. Allow others to help provide a support system.
4. Advocating for all people in pain. The Cornerstones program strives to raise awareness about the importance of access to appropriate and effective pain care.
Find more information at www.partnersagainstpain.com.

Busting 4 Myths About Wallpapers

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Wallpaper can be a beautiful addition to the home, but some common misconceptions deter people from buying the product. Before purchasing wallpaper, consider the following information from the Wallcoverings Association:
MYTH 1: Wallpaper is not a good choice for kitchens and baths.
The truth: Kitchens are in fact ideal places to decorate with wallcoverings. They look great, and the protective coating on most wallpapers make them washable; many are even scrubbable, so maintenance is a snap.
Because today’s wallpapers can mimic any surface — tile, stone, metal — and are designed to coordinate with cabinetry and appliances, they’re an affordable way to update a kitchen. Wallpaper is the best way to spruce up guest bathrooms where there’s no shower, and even in bathrooms with a tub or shower, most wallpapers work well. Just use the proper adhesive according to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure it stays put.
MYTH 2: Wallpaper is a hassle to hang and remove.
The truth: Today’s high-performance, easy-hang wallpaper (many known as “non-wovens”) are easy to hang and remove — a great alternative to ordinary paint. Installation is quick and requires less patching and sanding, fewer coats and less waiting time between steps than paint. When it’s time to redecorate, most wallpapers come off easily.
MYTH 3: You get tired of wallpaper very quickly.
The truth: People are often so pleased with their selection that on average, they keep the same pattern up for many years (paint has about a three-year life span). And there’s a vast selection, whether you want to highlight one wall with an attention-getting wallpaper or give an entire room a beautiful look.
MYTH 4: Wallpaper is a big commitment.
The Truth: If you fear commitment, self-adhesive, temporary wall décor products are great options. These peel-and-stick products can be mixed, matched and layered, and they’re repositionable and removable, therefore perfect for rentals or dorm rooms.
Nor is wallpaper off-limits if you live in a rental. Many lease agreements stipulate that walls must be in move-in condition when the lease is up. Fortunately, today’s easy-hang wallpapers may protect walls from everyday scratches and gouges, so landlords will likely grant permission. No special removal tools are required; simply tug at a corner, and entire sheets are down in minutes without marring walls.
Tips courtesy of the Wallcoverings Association www.wallcoverings.org.

7th Heaven Mom Advocates Prescription Drug Safety

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – If used moderately and as directed, prescription medicines help ease many health conditions and cure others. But some people don’t know the risks of keeping medications unsecured in the home, especially medications that have a high potential to be abused, such as stimulants, tranquilizers and pain relievers.
Easy-to-find medicines can be abused by anyone entering a home, especially teens and young adults. Catherine Hicks, 7th Heaven star and parent advocate, is working with Safeguard My Meds to teach Americans what they can do to help prevent prescription medicine abuse and potential addiction.
Government statistics show that 70 percent of people age 12 and older who abused prescription pain relievers say they got them from a friend or relative.
“As the parent of a teenager, I know how important this issue is. Every day, more than 2,500 teenagers abuse prescription medicine for the first time, and they don’t even need to leave the house to do it,” says Hicks.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that 20 percent of teens have taken prescription drugs without a doctor’s order. Hicks says certain simple steps can make a huge difference:
* Keep medication in a locked container out of reach of visitors, children and pets;
* Keep a list of medicines at home;
* Never share prescription drugs with anyone or mix them;
* Talk to your local pharmacists about the best way to store and get rid of old medicines;
* Tell friends and family to keep their medications secure.
“When we keep prescription medicine in our homes, we need to keep those medicines safe,” says Keith Hodges, pharmacist and executive committee member of the National Community Pharmacists Association. “We can all make a difference by storing and disposing of our medicine in the right way.”
Safeguard My Meds is a free resource offered by the National Community Pharmacists Association and Purdue Pharma L.P. Vis- it www.safeguardmymeds.org.

4 Wallpaper Myths Debunked

Wallpaper can be a beautiful addition to the home, but some common misconceptions deter people from buying the product. Before purchasing wallpaper, consider the following information from the Wallcoverings Association:

    MYTH 1: Wallpaper is not a good choice for kitchens and baths.

The truth: Kitchens are in fact ideal places to decorate with wallcoverings. They look great, and the protective coating on most wallpapers make them washable; many are even scrubbable, so maintenance is a snap.

"Sandwiched" Caring for Kids and Parents? Here’s Help!

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – On one hand, you have aging parents less able to care for themselves every day. On the other, your own children with schedules so difficult you can’t find a spare minute. And you’re caught in between.
You’re not alone. You’re part of the over 20 million Americans “sandwiched” in between generations, caring for both your own children and your parents.
As a “sandwiched” caregiver, you often bear the brunt of the financial and emotional strain that occurs when the needs of your aging parents must be balanced with those of your children.
If you are faced with this situation, an abundance of resources are available to help when you can’t always be there:
* Eldercare Services: The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging’s mission is to help older persons, and those with disabilities, live with dignity and choices in their own homes and communities as long as possible. A variety of tools may be found at www.n4a.org.
* Mom’s Meals: Mom’s Meals brings convenience and good nutrition to independent seniors by preparing, packaging and shipping fresh-made, ready-to-eat meals directly to a customer’s door. Whether still in their own home, homebound after a health crisis, or even in an assisted living facility, these meals are created by chefs and dietitians to meet the nutritional needs of seniors, and include options for low-sodium, low-fat or low-carb diets. Visit www.momsmeals.com or call 866-971-6667.
* National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers: Having difficulty assessing your parents’ medical needs and finances? Check out www.caremanager.org. It will help you identify local programs and services to meet those needs.
* National Association for Home Care & Hospice. If your parents have become unable to fully care for themselves, yet they would prefer to remain independent, home health care may be the answer. The site www.nahc.org helps navigate the options.

Five Tips for Frugal Pet Owners

For many pet owners and their pets, money is no object. But expenses like food, grooming, routine vet care, toys and kenneling can add up quickly, making it difficult for budget-conscious pet owners to afford their shaggy partners.

According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, the average annual cost of keeping a dog exceeds $1,200. For frugal pet owners who want to provide the best possible care to their furry friends while keeping costs low, here are five tips:

In Down Economy, Cities Reach Out to Gay Tourists

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<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – As a stagnant economy has many Americans rethinking travel plans, cities are marketing to new travel demographics — including gay and lesbian tourists.

Unlike other travel brackets, gay travel has remained steady despite the economic recession. Gay and lesbian couples travel more often and spend more money while on vacation than straight couples. According to a 2006 study conduced by the U.S. Travel Association, gay men spend about $800 per trip. Straight men spend $540.

Cities are heeding the trend. In 2003, Philadelphia launched its $300,000 a year “Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay” marketing campaign. Now, the city ranks as America’s 13th largest gay and lesbian travel destination. Southwest Airlines is currently working with the city to attract even more gay and lesbian visitors.

In addition to Philadelphia, Miami, with its historic art deco hotels, beaches and happening nightlife, continues to draw gay and lesbian vacationers. But as the gay tourism market becomes more competitive, the city is working to draw new visitors. In April 2009, the city held a Gay Pride Festival to celebrate gender rights and sexual equality. Twenty thousand visitors showed up to enjoy a parade and the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus and to wave rainbow-colored flags.

“In the past few years, other cities like Key West have cut into Miami’s gay tourism,” says Frederic S. Richardson, CEO of MOD Hospitality (www.eastcoastventures.com), which owns the Astor and Clinton hotels — two of the top-ranked hotels in South Beach. “It’s time that Miami reasserts itself as one of the gay cultural centers of the world.”

Chicago, which hosted the 2006 Gay Games — a quadrennial athletic and cultural event — continues to pursue gay and lesbian tourists. The Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau writes a quarterly newsletter directed toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender travelers, and plans to host an International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association board meeting.

“Chicago, frankly, is just now catching up to other cities who have been aggressively wooing the pink dollar,” said Mark Theis, executive vice president of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau, in an interview with the the Chicago Tribune. “We want people to know how gay-friendly we are and the wealth of attractive assets we have.”