Although rare cancers don’t occur often, they can affect people of all ages and genders. Greater awareness of rare cancers may lead to earlier diagnosis and management, and potentially better survival rates. Consider these facts about soft tissue sarcomas, one type of rare cancer.
Understanding Rare Cancers
Four facts to know about one type of rare cancer, soft tissue sarcomas
(Family Features) Although rare cancers don’t occur often, they can affect people of all ages and genders.
A rare cancer is defined as fewer than 15 new diagnoses per 100,000 people per year, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Additionally, as noted by the American Cancer Society (ACS), the 5-year survival rate is lower for people diagnosed with a rare cancer than for people living with more common cancers. Greater awareness of rare cancers may lead to earlier diagnosis and management, and potentially better survival rates.
If you have recently been diagnosed with STS, it’s important to ask your doctor for more information about the specific sub-type you have. For example, if you received a diagnosis of undifferentiated sarcoma, ask your doctor for an integrase interactor-1 (INI1) test to see if you have a rare STS called epithelioid sarcoma (ES). (See sidebar for more on ES.)
Learning More About Epithelioid Sarcoma
A rare type of STS, epithelioid sarcoma (ES) accounts for less than 1% of all STS, which themselves account for approximately 1% of all cancers, according to research published in “Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine.” ES can present as a lump or sore on the skin.
Notably, more than 90% of ES tumors do not express the INI1 protein, which when present acts to suppress tumor growth. INI1 loss plays an important role in the diagnosis of ES, according to researchers with “The American Journal of Surgical Pathology.”
Data from the NCI indicates that approximately 150-200 people in the United States are diagnosed with ES each year. Research published in “The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology” found the disease often occurs in young adults in their 20s and 30s. Because most ES patients are adolescents and young adults, there is a gap in the unique psycho-social needs for this patient population, including resources for patients who miss school while undergoing treatments, as well as fertility considerations later in life.
If you or someone you love is living with ES, you can find resources, information and the real-life perspective of an ES survivor at ESsentialsforES.com.
Content courtesy of Epizyme, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
It's easy to assume the worst when hearing about cancer, but with one type, there's good news. There has been a marked decrease in deaths from skin cancer. This can be attributed to many things, such as better research and tougher treatments. These are the reasons why a world without skin cancer is looking more likely
We Know a Lot About It
A higher survival rate for people with skin cancer wouldn't be possible if there hadn't been so much done to better understand this disease. Not only do we know how to treat it, but we also know how to prevent it. There are exams that people can get for irregularities on their bodies, such as moles. When skin cancer is detected earlier, the chances of survival are far greater. We're still a long way from understanding everything about it and how to cure it, but the progress thus far is considerable. If you're looking to enter the medical world, a career in dermatology will put you on the front lines of the fight against skin cancer.
A single-use method of curing skin cancer across the board doesn't exist, but there's a mix of different approaches that can help people and more to come with new research. If something has been caught early enough, it could be removed with freezing. There also are surgical options. Mohs surgery has been proven to be more effective on some cancers. With this surgery, a doctor methodically removes pieces of skin, stopping once there are no signs of cancer. Other sorts of treatment for skin cancer include chemotherapy and radiation treatment. There's also immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of your immune system. This type of treatment can be especially helpful for anyone who's dealing with an especially difficult case of skin cancer that isn't taking to previously discussed methods of treatment.
Every May, Skin Cancer Awareness Month is commemorated. As with any other disease, awareness takes the stigma out of skin cancer while also helping those coping with it. You can do your part by giving money to skin cancer research, reading about this illness and speaking with people who have been diagnosed with it. Twenty percent of people can expect to be diagnosed with skin cancer by the time they turn 70, so awareness shouldn't be considered optional. Treating your skin right is the best way to fight skin cancer. This means using sunscreen constantly and avoiding harmful practices, like using tanning beds.
Although skin cancer hasn’t been completely eradicated yet, its days are numbers. Medical researchers are constantly discovering new and more effective ways to prevent and treat this disease. And as the research progresses, the number of cases will fall even further.
There is little information available about epithelioid sarcoma. Patients, advocates, doctors and researchers across the United States are aiming to educate people about this ultra-rare cancer and the unmet need for an effective, tumor-specific treatment. Consider these facts about ES.
The Rarest of the Rare
What to know about a cancer you may not have heard of
(Family Features) A woman celebrating her 40th birthday, a young boy starting second grade or a college grad about to begin his career. All three could develop a rare form of cancer known as epithelioid sarcoma (ES), a form of soft-tissue sarcoma.
What are Soft-Tissue Sarcomas and What is Epithelioid Sarcoma?
How Rare is Rare?
According to the American Cancer Society, a rare cancer is defined as fewer than six new diagnoses per 100,000 people per year.
ES is an ultra-rare cancer. According to available epidemiology and case reports, it is estimated about 600 people are properly diagnosed in the U.S. and Europe each year.
What are the Most Common Types of ES and How Do They Impact Diagnosis?
Dealing with a Diagnosis?
For people faced with a sarcoma diagnosis, it’s important to get a second opinion from a sarcoma specialist. These specialists have extensive knowledge of STS and can determine what form of sarcoma one may have, what stage it is and the best course of treatment. The specialist may confirm the diagnosis with a physical examination, a scan or a tissue sample (biopsy) of the area.
It’s common to feel a range of emotions after a diagnosis of ES, according to Clear View Health Partners, including:
What Treatment Options are Available?
For patients with early stage ES, many elect to have surgery to remove the tumor, which may precede or be followed by radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatment, according to the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. If the cancer returns or spreads, a patient may undergo radiation therapy and chemotherapy. New treatment options are being studied through clinical research, which is why seeking a specialist in the field is important if one is faced with a diagnosis.
As with many cancers, early detection is important and can increase survival or successful treatment. Typically, the distal form of ES is associated with more favorable survival rates than the proximal form.
4 Things to Do to Address ES Today
1. Don’t ignore your bumps and lumps, see a doctor as soon as possible.
2. Learn more about epithelioid sarcoma and its symptoms.
3. Seek a second opinion.
4. Find support if you’re faced with a diagnosis.
An ES Diagnosis Journey
In the spring of 2008, Maria Voermans’ 4-year-old daughter requested an “airplane ride,” and as Voermans lifted the young girl up with her legs, she had to make an “emergency landing” because of some sudden and significant pain in her upper right thigh.
After a few months, the pain persisted. Voermans continued to jog and play sand volleyball, thinking nothing of it. At the recommendation of her primary care physician, she took some anti-inflammatories and tried to rest, which wasn’t easy to do as a single mother of two young children.
Two more months went by and her leg caused increasing problems. She could feel something in her leg, but never considered it a “lump” because it was not visible on the outside. Voermans took matters into her own hands and visited a sports medicine orthopedic specialist for further testing.
An MRI found a mass in her right leg and she was referred to one of the few musculoskeletal oncologists in Wisconsin, her home state. He ordered a biopsy, which on Voermans’ youngest daughter’s third birthday confirmed her worst fear: it was a rare form of cancer called proximal-type epithelioid sarcoma, and it was stage three. Her biggest concern was not living to experience future holidays, birthdays, graduations and other life milestones with her daughters.
Voermans underwent chemotherapy, radiation therapy and had surgery to remove the tumor. As of July 2018, Voermans reports the cancer has not returned.
Today, she’s a wellness coordinator supporting other people diagnosed with cancer who are undergoing treatment or post-treatment. She’s able to use her own cancer journey to provide empathy to others, and it’s brought satisfaction to the whole experience.
Content courtesy of Epizyme, Inc.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Doctor talking to man)SOURCE:
Melanoma is a skin cancer many of us are familiar with. But have you heard of a skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC)? If not, you might be surprised to learn that CSCC is actually one of the most common skin cancers in the world – even more common than melanoma with an estimated 700,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. annually. CSCC can also be a deadly skin cancer. Every year, an estimated 7,000 people in the U.S. die of CSCC.
(BPT) - Most of us look forward to the balmy breezes and cheerful sunshine brought about by spring and summer, especially those of us living in climates where winter is long, gloomy and bitterly cold. Yet as we get our shorts, polo shirts and swimsuits out of storage, it’s important to remind ourselves to stay sun smart and vigilant against skin cancer.
Melanoma is a skin cancer many of us are familiar with. But have you heard of a skin cancer called cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (CSCC)? If not, you might be surprised to learn that CSCC is actually one of the most common skin cancers in the world – even more common than melanoma with an estimated 700,000 new cases diagnosed in the U.S. annually.
CSCC can also be a deadly skin cancer. Every year, an estimated 7,000 people in the U.S. die of CSCC. And in the southern part of the U.S., the number of deaths from CSCC may actually be higher than deaths from melanoma.
“The good news is that CSCC is usually highly treatable when detected early,” notes Dr. Sunandana Chandra, a medical oncologist at the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center Northwestern University. “That’s why it is important to know about CSCC, so you can take the necessary precautions to protect yourself, know how to identify early signs of the cancer, and to understand your treatment options if it progresses. Being vigilant about your skin and reaching out to your doctor early with any concerns will allow you to consider more treatment options and possibly have better outcomes.”
So what do you need to know about CSCC? Here are three important tips:
If you think you or someone you know may have CSCC, contact a doctor and visit SkinCancer.org.
(BPT) - You've heard of detox diets and ridding your body of toxins, but did you know the same is possible for your skin? Environmental toxins and pollutants not only cause breakouts, but also bring out a dull, less vibrant looking complexion.
"Stressors from your environment and lifestyle can cause redness, irritations and premature aging," says Claire Larsen, skin category manager for LifeSpa at Life Time Fitness. "Proper skincare goes beyond simply washing your face before you go to bed. Detoxing your skin can help prevent oily and itchy skin, and even age spots and wrinkles."
Larsen offers her expert tips for detoxifying your skin and flaunting a natural glow year round:
1. Cut out acne causing foods.
Often, what you eat will show up on your face and body. Forehead breakouts are usually due to eating foods your body has trouble breaking down, like refined sugars, carbs, wheat and dairy. Between the brow breakouts are linked to the liver, so try cutting down on alcohol and fatty foods, and adding in liver supporting herbs such as dandelion root, milk thistle seed or yellow dock root. No matter what you do, always be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
2. Identify hormone imbalances.
Track the timing, location, shape, size and sensation of your breakouts. Hormonal acne tends to flare up at predictable times and is likely located beneath the cheekbones and along the jawline. It's also typically deep, cystic and sensitive. Talk to your dermatologist or health care provider if you think you might have hormonal related breakouts.
3. Notice how your routine affects your skin.
Are you noticing temple breakouts? It could be from the products in your hair. Make sure you're thoroughly cleansing your face each morning and night, making sure to concentrate on your hair line. It's also important to regularly change your sheets and pillowcases. Studies show you should wash your bedding once every week.
4. Use detoxifying products.
Serums with vitamins C and E, like Vivierskin(R) CE Peptides Serum, help to neutralize free radicals before they can damage the collagen and elastin in your skin. Products with antioxidants will fight against the toxins and pollutants your skin faces every day. Additionally, a detoxing bath containing Epsom salt, like mio's Liquid Yoga Bath Soak, will help to clean out your pores.
5. Try a skin detox treatment.
When your skin feels like it needs some extra TLC, head to the spa for a HydraFacialMD(R). LifeSpa's HydraFacial service deep cleans with vortex extractions and a mild chemical peel while also infusing lots of hydration. A lymphatic drainage can be added for a special focus on detoxification and an LED light treatment can also help with the clarity and smoothness of your skin.
6. Get your sweat on.
When you get your heart beating and your skin sweating, it's easier for your body to release toxins. Try to work up a sweat at least three days a week. You could even consider trying out a hot yoga class or heated spa session to encourage the sweat beads to fall.
If you notice a problem with your skin, a detox may be just the solution you've been searching for. Try these tips to purify your skin so you can radiate confidence, or book an appointment online or at your local LifeSpa, the nation's largest spa operator, for a personalized skin analysis with a certified esthetician.
The new prescription drugs: Are they really the solution for toe and foot fungus? Or do they just come with a high price?
(BPT) - About 35 million Americans suffer from toe, finger, and athlete's foot fungus, but some treatments aimed at curing the infection have failure rates as high as 93.5 percent. What's the remedy?
People experiencing the discomfort and embarrassment of fungus want a cure - but unfortunately, that's notoriously difficult to achieve. As the experts at the Mayo Clinic explain, fungal infections are typically caused by dermatophyte fungi that thrive in warm and moist conditions. The risk of reinfection can be reduced by occasionally wearing open-toe footwear and discarding old shoes, which can harbor fungi that cause reinfection. Infected areas can be thickened, brittle, ragged, distorted, and dull, combined with pain, itching and burning, and a foul odor. Toe, finger, and foot fungus can be potentially serious for diabetics or people with poor circulation, but every sufferer wants to be rid of it.
Why is fungus so hard to kill? One major reason is that the nail isn't the source of the problem. It's a common misconception that the ugly, even painful, nails are infected - but it's the nail bed beneath, and the skin around the nail, where the fungi actually live. It takes time for an anti-fungal treatment to root out the infection, and reinfection rates are high.
Some fungus sufferers head to their kitchen and bathroom cabinets for a cure, trying out suggestions such as apple cider vinegar and mentholated ointment. Other people seek out a prescription drug treatment, including pills, paint-on medications, and even lasers. Prescription products only cure the problem at the site of the nail, and do nothing to prevent reinfection. These prescriptions may not be covered by insurance, and mean regular pharmacy visits, trips to the doctor, and co-payments, at the very least. Besides the cost, paint-on prescription drugs treat the nail - and only the nails at that!
Since the nail itself isn't actually infected, fungus could remain hidden beneath the nail and on the skin, even after this treatment. The best way to treat the underlying condition is to connect with your pharmacist or doctor, who will tell you that the fungus must be removed from the skin around and beneath the nail, as well as on other areas of the toes, fingers, and feet.
One over the counter product that has been the #1 pharmacist-recommended brand for over 18 years is Fungi-Nail(R) Toe & Foot(R). It treats the underlying fungal infection, helping to eliminate it and reduce the chance of reinfection - and kills the fungus on contact, as well as working to soothe and heal irritated skin. At less than $20, one bottle if used as directed, might be enough to eliminate the infection and continued treatment can allow for the regrowth of healthy, new tissue, allowing sufferers to spend less time and money fighting fungus.
Overall, each fungus sufferer is different, and what may work for one person may not work for someone else. The best and first thing to do to win the battle against fungus? Talk to your pharmacist.
About Kramer Consumer Healthcare
Kramer Consumer Healthcare provides high value, high quality self-care products in specialty categories and segments. Kramer is proficient in developing and marketing national consumer brands that are unique and fill specific, unmet consumer needs.
As innovators, Kramer has helped to open important over-the-counter consumer markets, focusing on growing, yet underserved consumer segments.
Kramer Consumer Healthcare is nationally certified as a Minority Business Enterprise and a Women's Business Enterprise.
(BPT) - While magazines make summer beauty look simple, in reality it's anything but. From bloat to breakouts, summer is wrought with beauty challenges.
The experts at the Mayo Clinic offer advice on eight of the most common beauty and health concerns of summer.
1. Maintaining a healthy (natural) glow
While tanning beds offer a quick-fix to achieving a golden glow, they also cause exposure to damaging UV radiation which can cause premature aging as well as increase the risk of skin cancer. If you'd like a sun-kissed glow without the risk, consider using a sunless tanning product. Whether in the form of a lotion, spray or done as a professional service at a salon, sunless tanning offers a safe alternative to both tanning beds and sunbathing.
2. Ingrown hairs
Swimsuit season often means shaving more frequently, which can result in painful and unsightly ingrown hairs. These hairs grow out of the skin slightly and then curl back underneath the skin. To avoid ingrown hair, use a lubricating shave gel followed by a sharp, single-blade razor. Shave in the direction of hair growth and avoid pulling the skin taut.
It's easy to get lost in the fun of the summer sun. Avoid sunburn by dressing in light layers and using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Remember, sunscreen generally stays at original strength for three years. If you do get sunburn, take a cool bath or apply a clean towel dampened with cool tap water. Then apply moisturizer, aloe vera lotion or gel or a low-dose hydrocortisone cream.
Ice cream, hot dogs and fried goodies are cornerstones of traditional summer festivals. Unfortunately, too much of these types of foods can leave you feeling bloated and sluggish. Fight bloat by eating fresh foods grown locally, such as carrots, tomatoes, melons and berries. Want a healthier cool treat? Try freezing grapes for a no-guilt sweet dessert.
5. Cracked nails
Pool chemicals, hot sun, gardening and building sand castles can all cause cracked nails. To protect nails, keep fingernails dry, clean and rub moisturizer into the nail beds and cuticles. Consider applying a nail hardener to add a protective layer against summer elements. If brittle nails persist, ask your doctor about biotin, a nutritional supplement that may help strengthen weak fingernails.
6. Healthy, hydrated skin
Staying hydrated is a summer must, but skin hydration isn't as simple as drinking water. Dehydrated skin feels rough and loses elasticity. To maintain proper hydration, avoid prolonged exposure to dry air or chlorinated water. When bathing, use a gentle cleanser instead of soap and avoid using skin care products that contain alcohol. Moisturize immediately after cleansing. Also try incorporating antioxidant-rich foods into your diet such as spinach, blueberries or salmon.
Sunshine and heat can cause the body to sweat. This combo clogs pores and can lead to acne. Some chemical treatments can leave the skin more sun-sensitive, so natural treatments such as tea tree oil, azelaic acid and even green tea extract are a smart choice in reducing inflammation. Another potential cause for acne can be outdated cosmetics. Make sure the products you use are kept clean to avoid bacterial buildup and avoid using them past their expiration date - six months is a good rule of thumb.
8. Beautiful legs
From swimsuits to shorts, summer is the time most people show off their legs. This can be uncomfortable for some when faced with common leg woes such as spider veins and varicose veins. Several options are available to combat these issues which range from sclerotherapy and laser surgery, to more advanced techniques such as vein-stripping. To learn more, visit mayoclinic.org to find out what treatment is best for you.
To discuss these and any other persistent skin or summer-related health concerns, make an appointment with Mayo Clinic Dermatology today.
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