Cancer Patients May Learn That Some Of The Best Cancer Hospitals Are Off-limits

The New York Post reported “An Associated Press survey found examples coast to coast. Seattle Cancer Care Alliance is excluded by five out of eight insurers in Washington state’s insurance exchange. MD Anderson Cancer Center says it’s in less than half of the plans in the Houston area. Memorial Sloan-Kettering is included by two of nine insurers in New York City and has out-of-network agreements with two more”

“Doctors and administrators say they’re concerned. So are some state insurance regulators. In all, only four of 19 nationally recognized comprehensive cancer centers that responded to AP’s survey said patients have access through all the insurance companies in their state exchange”.

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Mount Sinai Scientists Appear on CBS This Morning

In February, CBS This Morning had a segment on Mount Sinai’s novel use of fruit flies to screen for personalized cancer drugs. Ross Cagan, PhD, Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, discussed how his laboratory replicates a patient’s tumor and implants it in a fruit fly. Then his team tests an arsenal of 840 drugs—all approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for other uses—to see if they shrink the tumor.

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Colon Cancer Myths

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Here are the most common myths about this disease that I hear from my patients.

Myth:

“I feel fine, I have no pain or feel any lumps- there is no way for me to have colon cancer”

Reality:

Most patients who underwent screening colonoscopy and a colon cancer were found did NOT have any symptoms. Most importantly, those are the cases that are curable! By the time symptoms developed, unfortunately it is often already too late. 91% of patients with cancer that were detected early are alive and well 5 years after diagnosis. But only 37% of all colorectal cancer are diagnosed at this stage- we can do better, this is the most preventable cancer with screening.

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How to Boost Your Health with Allium Vegetables (Recipe Included!)

Allium vegetables comprise approximately 500 species, the most common including onions, leeks, garlic, chives, and shallots. They have been valued throughout history for their flavor as well as their medicinal properties. Rich in health-promoting flavanols and organosulfur compounds, alliums have increasingly attracted the interest of the medical community for their potential to play a part in preventing cancer.

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Melanoma in African Americans

Although skin cancer has a lower incidence in patients of color, it can occur. The most common type of skin cancer varies based on your ethnic background, with African Americans being most at risk for squamous cell carcinoma. However while melanoma is often associated with people who have blue eyes and blonde hair, it also occurs in people with darker skin tones.

For reasons that are unclear, melanomas in African Americans most commonly develop on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and nails. Unfortunately, when these melanomas are discovered they are more aggressive at the time of presentation. The overall five-year melanoma survival rate for African Americans is only 77 percent, versus 91 percent for Caucasians. Read more

Specialized Metastasis Cancer Care Available at Mount Sinai

Cancer patients with metastatic cancer, whose disease has spread to another area of the body beyond the initial site of the disease, require specialized care. At our Metastasis Center, we offer a unique approach to treating patients with metastatic cancer.

The core of our program is the personalized, concierge-style service we provide to patients. With this approach, patients can schedule an appointment to come to Mount Sinai for one day, during which a team of experts can conduct tests, review the patient’s treatment options, and provide consultation with the patient’s off-site doctors if necessary. A Clinical Nurse Navigator will work with each patient to personally tailor his or her visit and schedule all necessary appointments and tests. Remote consultations are also available.

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Mount Sinai Researchers Identify Mechanisms and Potential Biomarkers of Tumor Cell Dormancy

Oncologists have long puzzled over the fact that after cancer treatment, disseminated tumor cells are quick to grow and form secondary tumors in certain organs, while in other organs they metastasize more slowly. Such is the case with head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cells, which remain dormant when lodged in bone marrow but rapidly form tumors when they make their way into the lungs.

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