Updates from ASCO and ESMO 2021 Add to Successes in Hodgkin Lymphoma Research and Treatment

Updates from ASCO and ESMO 2021 Add to Successes in Hodgkin Lymphoma Research and Treatment By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH In 1832 Sir Thomas Hodgkin described a morbid condition of the glands and spleen which in 1865 was named Hodgkin disease by Samuel Wilkes. It was a fatal disease. Yet it has become, as this Inspire patient describes, highly treatable.1 my first oncologist, trying to reassure me and make me feel better, told me that if someone said to him it was DEFINITE that he had to get cancer, but he could choose what kind, he would, [...]

Impressive Advances in Treating Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

Impressive Advances in Treating Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL) is the most prevalent form of adult leukemia, with about 20,000 new diagnoses per year in the United States alone.1  While it can occur at earlier ages, it is primarily a disease of older adults, with 70 years as the average age at diagnosis. Most of those who are diagnosed have no symptoms.2 CLL is often discovered when patients have a regular CBC test, and the findings indicate that the white blood cell (WBC) count is elevated. Under a microscope, the [...]

Undertreated Psoriasis Patients Need Answers

Undertreated Psoriasis Patients Need Answers By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH A 2021 study concluded that psoriasis continues to be a common inflammatory disease, affecting more than 7.5 million adults in the US alone --  3.0% of the US adult population.1  By far the most common form (80% of cases)2 is plaque psoriasis, which intermittently creates patches of scaly and itchy skin, often on the scalp, knees, or elbows, but there are multiple distinct types with different presentations. The inflammation that creates psoriasis is also linked with an increased risk for other conditions, by a process that is [...]

Born Since 1990? Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer Just Went Up

Born Since 1990? Your Risk of Colorectal Cancer Just Went Up By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD MSPH The age at which people at average risk of colon cancer should start being screened used to be 50.2 In May 2021, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force lowered it to 45. It’s been lowered because the age at which people are being diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) is going down even as the survival rate of people with CRC over 50 is improving.1 My son, he’s 28, was diagnosed in September 2019 with stage 4 rectal cancer, the tumor was [...]

Positive News for Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Positive News For Triple Negative Breast Cancer By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Almost 150,000 patients and caregivers have interest in, have joined communities, have searched and posted about breast cancer and advanced breast cancer on Inspire. Almost 22,000 posts have been written about breast cancer research. There has been intense interest in finding medications that can penetrate the 10-20% of breast cancers that don’t respond to the medications that target three hormone and protein receptors on the tumor cell’s surface. When a breast tumor cell lacks the receptors for estrogen, progesterone, or HER-1 or -2 on the [...]

The Life Changing Diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The Life Changing Diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD MSPH ​​ I've had UC for 4 years also. Diagnosed with a colonoscopy after 5 months of diarrhea, losing 1/3rd of my otherwise normal weight and enough blood to require a 2-pint transfusion. Pausing a conversation to use the restroom is biologically necessary, but can be socially awkward. People living with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) find themselves saying “Excuse me” many more times a day than they would like and experience pain with symptoms nobody enjoys talking about. The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases [...]

“I need to breathe” — Living with Asthma: Patient Experiences, Old Challenges, New Drugs

"I need to breathe" — Living with Asthma: Patient Experiences, Old Challenges, New Drugs By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD MSPH Earlier this month, the American Lung Association (ALA), Inspire’s partner for the “Living with Asthma” online community, announced that it is looking for patient panelists to participate in a PFDD (Patient-Focused Drug Development) meeting on Pediatric Asthma, to be held virtually on 9/20/2021. “The meeting will consist of an overview of pediatric asthma, an explanation of the Food and Drug Administration’s PFDD meeting process, and two panel sessions,” explained Annette Eyer, the ALA’s National Assistant Vice President [...]

Out of Nowhere: Kidney Cancer

Out of Nowhere: Kidney Cancer By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD MSPH Of the estimated 1.9 million cancers diagnosed each year in the US, around 4 percent are kidney cancers, the most common are renal cell carcinomas (RCC). Around 76,000 new cases will occur in the US in 2021, 48,0000 in men and 27,000 in women. Kidney cancer can occur at any age, but is most likely to be diagnosed between the ages of 55 - 75.1,2,3 Out of the Blue Patients and caregivers describe sudden and unexpected diagnoses of kidney cancer: My husband was just newly diagnosed [...]

Cancer, COVID, and Vaccinations: The Patient Perspective at ASCO 2021

Cancer, COVID, and Vaccinations: The Patient Perspective at ASCO 2021 By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH Inspire is presenting the results of two separate surveys during the American Society of Clinical Oncology® (ASCO) virtual conference being held June 4-8. Chosen from the more than 5,400 abstracts submitted for the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting, the studies focus on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and reactions to the vaccine among patients with cancer. Inspire’s cancer community Inspire has almost one million members who are patients with cancer and their caregivers. In the last 15 years, over three million posts (3,555,105) have been [...]

Promising New Therapies for Treating Atopic Dermatitis

Promising New Therapies for Treating Atopic Dermatitis By Kathleen Hoffman, PhD, MSPH People who do not have atopic dermatitis (AD), also called eczema, can have the simple experience of having an itch relieved by scratching. For people with atopic dermatitis, this is a heavenly fantasy. For AD sufferers, the symptom most of them have in common is areas of skin with unrelenting itching, burning, or otherwise painful discomfort. I am absolutely miserable with eczema on my face. ... I think I have it under control, and then ,bang, there it goes again - the unbearable itching, stinging, [...]