Excess Zinc in Muscles Contributes to Wasting Syndrome in Cancer

Discovery could lead to treatments for this condition, cachexia

PSA Rising August 5, 2018 (NEW YORK, NY, June 6, 2018)—About one-third of all cancer deaths are caused not by the cancer itself but by cachexia—a debilitating muscle-wasting syndrome that affects an estimated 80 percent of advanced cancer patients. Cachexia is linked to reduced tolerance for cancer therapy, poor quality of life, and accelerated death, but there are no effective treatments and its cause is still largely unknown.

A new multicenter, internal study led by researchers at Columbia University Irving Medical Center suggests that an overload of zinc in patients’ muscles may be the culprit. The findings, published online June 6 in Nature Medicine, could pave the way for the development of drugs to treat or prevent muscle wasting in advanced cancer patients. Continue reading “Excess Zinc in Muscles Contributes to Wasting Syndrome in Cancer”

Palliative Care: Another Level of Support in the Cancer Journey

Palliative care supports well-being.Palliative care is appropriate at any stage of a cancer diagnosis and can be provided along with curative treatment

August 1, 2018 (Source, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey) When you or a loved one are diagnosed with cancer, it is normal to be overwhelmed by thoughts of prognosis, treatments, and potential complications. Patients wonder how their lives are going to change and whether their quality of life will ever return to normal. Pain and other symptoms, sometimes from the disease and sometimes from the treatments, can have a negative impact on one’s ability to maintain a satisfactory quality of life. Dealing with the diagnosis and learning how to live with cancer requires a team effort and support from a number of professionals.

Palliative care, sometimes referred to as supportive oncology services, is a specialized field of medicine focused on patients with serious illness. The goal is to help maximize quality of life through expert pain and symptom management, improved communication about goals of care and advance care planning, all while providing an extra layer of support while dealing with a serious illness. Ideally, the palliative care team works closely with the oncology team to help ensure that a patient’s quality of life is a focus as they and loved ones deal with all stages of cancer. Continue reading “Palliative Care: Another Level of Support in the Cancer Journey”