Why cancerGO and Why Now? -Bridging the Gap in Cancer Conversations

Cancer conversations are often fragmented due to the sheer amount of information that needs to be communicated. Diagnoses, treatments, medications, and progress can all be tricky topics for many people involved in the cancer care process. Add to this the complexity of dealing with multiple healthcare providers and family members who may not understand what is going on or have entirely different opinions on how a patient should proceed with their care. Cancer conversations are so fragmented that there are endless lost opportunities to access care, cancer-related information, equipment or accessories, knowledge, and financial savings. Cancer makes these lost opportunities especially painful.

That’s where cancerGO comes in, A platform to help you stay connected with peer-to-peer support, access educational information and essential resources, and remain informed on the available clinical trials. The app is designed to be used by patients and their caregivers—so no matter where you are, you will have easy access to critical information anytime. And the best part? All this information is stored securely on cloud-based servers, which means it can be accessed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection!

With cancerGo, we are taking cancer conversations global! Our mission is to bridge the divide between cancer-affected patients, survivors, family members, and oncology professionals on one designated platform for cancer. We are determined to create a space where folks worldwide can connect to support one another’s journey.

We are thrilled to be extending the invitation and allowing users to connect with others facing cancer or who have experienced it before. We hope this movement will take off – starting conversations across continents and bringing people together in a shared effort to support one another through an arduous journey.

Thank you,

Vino Cherian & Pinaki Saha

How CancerGO benefits the caregiver

If you are a caregiver for someone with cancer, you know how difficult the experience can be. From helping them manage their treatment to providing emotional support, being a caregiver requires countless hours of commitment and dedication. Fortunately, there are resources available to give caregivers the assistance they need. One such resource is CancerGO, an app designed to provide comprehensive peer-to-peer support, educational tools, and resources to caregivers as they go through this challenging journey.

CancerGO also makes it easy for caregivers to connect with medical professionals and support groups to get the best possible outcome for their loved ones. Through its secure messaging system, users can quickly send messages directly to oncologists, nurse navigators, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals to get answers regarding diagnosis or treatment plans quickly and easily.

It is no secret that cancer is a physically and emotionally draining condition—for both patients and those caring for them alike—so having additional resources on hand can make all the difference when it comes time to cope with the stress or anxiety associated with the illness. With CancerGO’s expansive library of helpful articles on topics, caregivers have access to critical information that can help them better understand how best to support their loved ones during treatment. Additionally, users have access to support groups populated by people going through similar experiences, allowing them to establish meaningful connections with others who understand what they are going through.

Caregiving is one of life’s most challenging tasks – but fortunately, there is CancerGo that makes it easier than ever before! With complete access to connectivity with medical professionals and an extensive library of supportive resources, cancerGo provides everything caregivers need to ensure their loved ones receive the best care during this challenging time. So do not wait another minute – download cancerGo today and take advantage of all its unique features!

Why Oncologists should join the platform

The three words that stop any human being on its path is “You Have Cancer”! And this is the moment when sheer helplessness wrecks havoc on a patient’s mental and physical well-being. As an oncologist, connecting with cancer patients now matters more than ever.

Today, we invite you to join cancerGO.

cancerGo is a social network where oncologists democratize access to knowledge, interpret cancer therapeutics for a broader audience, and provide accurate cancer-related information to counteract misinformation. Cancer-related stigma leads to isolation, discrimination, and delay in early detection – you can help to end it!

We want to equip patients with the correct knowledge to fight cancer efficiently! When a trusted expert like yourself engages with affected individuals, providing guidance that could enlighten their understanding of their condition, it opens many possibilities for the patients and their loved ones. CancerGO delivers the ability to reach many such people effectively from the comfort of your mobile phone.

A few key benefits come with joining cancerGo as an oncologist. First, you can play a significant role in getting accurate cancer-related information OUT through a dedicated oncology platform with a dedicated audience. Second, you can connect immediately with other experts and peers globally to learn and disseminate information. And finally, you can advance your career by discussing publications, research, and broader issues, including healthcare policies and a plethora of cancer-care topics.

Again, I request that you download our mobile app and join the cancerGO network.

Together, we must fight to destigmatize cancer.

What You Should Know About Breast Implants and BIA-ALCL.

What is Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL)?

Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that can develop around breast implants. The lymphoma cells typically form a fluid-filled capsule with scar tissue around the implant. It is a rare condition, with less than 1000 cases diagnosed.

The exact cause of BIA-ALCL is unknown, but it is believed to be related to the type of implant surface. Textured implants, which have a rougher surface, have been associated with a higher risk of developing BIA-ALCL than smooth implants. The implant filling does not seem to impact the development of BIA-ALCL.

Symptoms

Symptoms of BIA-ALCL include:

  • Swelling or pain around the implant
  • Breast asymmetry or evenness
  • Lumps or masses in the breast or armpit
  • Redness or rash around the breast

For some, no symptoms may be present.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of BIA-ALCL is typically made through a biopsy of the affected tissue. The biopsy will be analyzed for the presence of the specific type of lymphoma cells that are seen in this disease.

Treatment

Treatment for BIA-ALCL typically involves the removal of the implant and the surrounding capsule. In some cases, additional chemotherapy or radiation therapy may be recommended.

It is important to note that BIA-ALCL is not a type of breast cancer and does not increase the risk of breast cancer.

 

Cholangiocarcinoma – An Overview of Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

What is Cholangiocarcinoma?

Cholangiocarcinoma, also known as bile duct cancer, affects the bile ducts, which are the tubes that carry bile from the liver to the small intestine. Cholangiocarcinoma is a relatively rare form of cancer but can be very aggressive.

Risk Factors

Although there isn’t one specific cause of cholangiocarcinoma, some known associated risk factors exist.

  • Increasing age
  • Male sex
  • Having a history of cirrhosis, or scarring, of the liver
  • Having a history of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), which is a chronic inflammation of the bile duct
  • Family history of cholangiocarcinoma

Symptoms

The exact symptoms of cholangiocarcinoma may vary from each person. Some common side effects can include:

  • Jaundice, a yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes
  • Itching of the skin
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Dark urine

Diagnosis

If someone presents to their healthcare provider with the above symptoms, an evaluation of the cause of these symptoms can include imaging studies. Studies such

MRI, CT scan, or ultrasound can picture the liver and bile ducts to look for abnormalities.

A specialized scan called an endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) can be done. This procedure uses an endoscope (a long, flexible tube with a camera on end) and X-ray imaging to visualize the bile ducts and take samples for testing.

Ultimately a biopsy, in which a small sample of tissue is taken from the suspected tumor, is done to confirm the diagnosis of cholangiocarcinoma.

Treatment

The treatment plan will vary depending on the stage and location of cancer, as well as the overall health of the patient. Treatment options for cholangiocarcinoma include:

  • Surgery: Surgery to remove the tumor is the primary treatment for cholangiocarcinoma. The type of surgery will depend on the location and stage of cancer.
  • Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells. It may be given alone or in combination with surgery.
  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be given alone or in combination with radiation therapy.
  • Palliative care, which focuses on relieving symptoms and improving quality of life, is often necessary for advanced cases of cholangiocarcinoma.

 

Cholangiocarcinoma is a rare but aggressive cancer that forms in the bile ducts. If you think you may be at risk for developing this disease, speak with your doctor about steps you can take to lower your risk. There are also treatment options available if you are diagnosed with cholangiocarcinoma. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, patients can often achieve remission or slow the progression of their disease.

Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia (MEN): Types, Symptoms, Treatments & More

What is Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN)

Multiple endocrine neoplasia (MEN) Is a group of inherited disorders that affect the endocrine glands, which are the glands that produce hormones. There are several types of MEN, but the most common are MEN type 1 and MEN type 2.

MEN type 1 is caused by a mutation in the MEN1 gene. This disease affects the parathyroid, pancreas, and pituitary glands.

Symptoms

Symptoms of MEN type 1 include hyperparathyroidism (overactive parathyroid glands), pancreatic tumors, and pituitary tumors. These tumors can cause symptoms such as:

  • Kidney stones
  • Bone thinning
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Bone pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Unintentional weight loss

MEN type 2 is caused by a mutation in the RET gene. This disorder affects the parathyroid, thyroid, and adrenal glands. Symptoms of MEN type 2 include hyperparathyroidism, medullary thyroid cancer, and pheochromocytoma (tumors of the adrenal gland). These tumors can cause symptoms such as:

  • Lumps in the neck
  • Trouble breathing
  • Hoarse voice
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Headaches
  • Sweating
  • High blood pressure

Other types of MEN include MEN type 3, which affects the pituitary, parathyroid, and enteropancreatic endocrine cells, and MEN type 4, which affects the thyroid and parathyroid glands.

Diagnosis

MEN is typically made through a combination of genetic testing, imaging tests, and hormone level tests.

Blood tests may be needed to check for the level of calcium and hormones in the blood. Urine tests may be needed to also look for hormone levels.

Imaging tests such as CT or MRI can look for the presence of any tumors or other abnormalities.

Treatment for MEN depends on the type and severity of the disorder, as well as the symptoms that are present. Treatment options include surgery to remove tumors, radiation therapy, and hormone replacement therapy.

MEN1 is a genetic disorder passed down in families. While there is no cure, treatments are available to manage the symptoms and prevent complications. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with MEN1, talk to your doctor about the best treatment options. People with this condition can lead long and healthy lives with proper care and management.

Retinoblastoma – The Rare Eye Cancer

What is Retinoblastoma?

Retinoblastoma is a rare type of eye cancer that develops in the retina. The retina is the part of the eye that converts light into signals the brain uses to see. It is most commonly diagnosed in children under the age of 5, but can also occur in older people.

Risk factors

Risk factors for retinoblastoma include:

  • Having a family history
  • Inherited genetic mutations
  • Exposure to chemicals during pregnancy
  • Radiation exposure to their father

Symptoms

Symptoms of retinoblastoma can include:

  • A white pupil in photographs
  • Eye redness or pain
  • A crossed eye or lazy eye
  • Vision loss
  • Bulging of the eye
  • Bleeding in the eye

Diagnosis

Any of the above symptoms noted in children should be reported to their healthcare provider quickly. This can lead to prompt evaluation with specialized eye exams and vision tests.

Other imaging studies may be used and can include ultrasound and MRI.

For most cancers, performing a biopsy to get a tissue to test for the presence of cancer cells is done. However, this can be a very risky procedure for retinoblastoma. Because of this, it is often diagnosed by eye exams and other imaging tests.

Treatment

Treatment for retinoblastoma depends on the stage and location of cancer, the patient’s age, and overall health. Treatment options include eye-saving treatments such as:

  • Laser therapy
  • Cryotherapy (killing cancer cells by freezing them)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

Other, more invasive treatment options can include surgical removal of the affected eye (enucleation) or removal of the entire eye and surrounding tissue (exenteration).

Retinoblastoma is a rare eye cancer that can affect children of all ages. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for the best possible outcome. If you or your child have any symptoms of retinoblastoma, please see an ophthalmologist immediately.

Understanding Neurofibromatosis (NF): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

What is Neurofibromatosis (NF)?

Neurofibromatosis (NF)  is a genetic disorder affecting nerve cell growth and development. It is characterized by the development of benign tumors called neurofibromas on nerve tissue and other symptoms.

There are three types of neurofibromatosis: NF1, NF2, and Schwannomatosis. NF1 is the most common type of neurofibromatosis and is caused by a mutation in the NF1 gene. The condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner, meaning that an affected individual has a 50% chance of passing the mutation on to each of their children.

NF2 is caused by a mutation in the NF2 gene. The condition is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner. Schwannomatosis is caused by a mutation in either the SMARCB1 or LZTR1 gene. It is also inherited in an autosomal dominant manner.

Symptoms

Each type of neurofibromatosis can have somewhat different symptoms. Some of these symptoms can include:

  • Skin pigment changes
  • Multiple cafe-au-lait spots on the skin
  • Multiple neurofibromas (tumors that develop along nerves) in multiple areas of the body
  • Bone abnormalities
  • Pain
  • Weakness

The tumors associated with neurofibromatosis are non-cancerous (benign), but some may have an increased cancer risk. Where the neurofibromas develop and how large they become can lead to other symptoms.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of neurofibromatosis is based on clinical symptoms and evaluation of the tumors. Genetic testing can confirm the diagnosis. Imaging studies such as MRI or CT scans can also be used to evaluate the size and location of tumors.

Treatment

Treatment for neurofibromatosis depends on the type and severity of the symptoms. In some cases, no specific treatment may be needed other than observation.

For others, surgery may be used to remove tumors causing pain or other problems.

In 2020, medication was approved to treat NF1 in children over 2 with certain types of tumors. The medication, Koselugo, works by blocking an enzyme the tumors need to grow.

 

NF can be a mild condition or one that causes severe disability. There is currently no cure, but treatments are available to manage symptoms and help people with NF live full lives. With early diagnosis and treatment, most people with NF have a good prognosis. If you or someone you know has signs or symptoms of NF, make an appointment with your doctor.

Understanding Medulloblastoma – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments Explained

What is Medulloblastoma?

Medulloblastoma is a type of cancerous brain tumor. It is a tumor that grows quickly in the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination. Medulloblastoma is most commonly found in children, but adults can experience this as well.

Symptoms

The symptoms of medulloblastoma can vary depending on the size and location of the tumor, but common symptoms include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness and loss of balance
  • Changes in vision
  • Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty walking
  • Seizures
  • Learning and memory problems

Diagnosis

A diagnosis of medulloblastoma is usually made when someone presents to their healthcare team with the above symptoms. To start the evaluation, imaging studies will likely be ordered. These scans, such as CT or MRI scans, can help see the tumor in the brain. Additional testing may also be done to determine the tumor’s stage and check for the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

Ultimately, a tumor biopsy will need to be done to determine what the tumor is. The biopsy may be done as part of the surgical treatment or before surgery in a separate procedure.

Treatment

Treatment for medulloblastoma typically involves a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Surgery is usually the first line of treatment to remove as much of the tumor as possible.

Radiation therapy is used to destroy any remaining cancer cells after surgery and to prevent the tumor from coming back.

Chemotherapy kills cancer cells that may have spread to other body parts.

Medulloblastoma is a type of brain cancer that can be difficult to treat. However, with new advancements in medical technology, more options are available for treatment than ever before.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with medulloblastoma, it is important to seek the best possible treatment option and have a robust support system throughout the process.

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