Saturday, February 27, 2010

FDA Approves New Cancer Medication

Patients suffering from kidney cancer received a hopeful boost recently as the U.S.Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new treatment called Votrient (pazopanib).  The drug is approved for patients in advanced renal cell carcinoma, a form of cancer that affects the lining of small tubes within the kidney.

Prior to approval, a study evaluated the efficacy and safety of Votrient by examing 435 patienst who were taking the drub.  Those involved lived an average of 9.2 months post-treatment and those who did not take Votrient lived for 4.2 months.

Cancer of the kidneys unfortunately affects more than 40,000 people every year and the inclusion of Votrient as a viable treatment medication can offer patients another choice to fight the cancer and have more chance for survival.  Taken orally, the drug interferes with angiogensis, the path new vessels undergo that makes it necessary for the growth and survival of tumors.

Although there is much optimism surrouning the approval, patients can have significant side effects when taking the drug, such as:

Vomiting and nausea

Fatigue and weakness


High blood pressure

Loss of Appetite


Arrhythmia irrigularities

Patients who are candidates for Votrient should receive a thorough physical examination by a medical doctor that includes blood and liver function tests due to the fact the drug can cause liver toxicity in some cases.  At that time, the doctor-patient relationship can determine the best course of action.

By providing FDA alerts, interactions and up-to-date drug side effects about prescription and over the counter medications, we can ensure an environment where patients have the best knowledge on their medical treatment and health.

The following post has been written by:

Jesse Herman
Social Media Manager

Kidney Cancer Patients In Alberta, Canada

I have recently connected with a patient living in the province of Alberta, Canada who is about to undergo a nephrectomy and who would like to contact other patients/caregivers from that province for support and information.

Please forward your email to and I will pass it along to the above individuals.

Thanks so much for reaching out to others in need!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Information Superhighway

I am always astounded by the amount of information that is available here on the internet about cancer.  If any person has access to this media, then there is no reason why they should not be informed and in touch with others to share concerns and to obtain whatever information they can on their type of cancer.  If you subscribe to various email updates as I do, you should be receiving daily updates, as well as checking out new chat forums and any upcoming seminars that you can directly log into right here on the web or attend via telephone conferencing.

I received a telephone call just yesterday about an individual who has recently been diagnosed with cancer.  My first advice for anyone with this type of diagnosis is to first and foremost "find out your TYPE of cancer".  This is pertinent to say the least, as you can only be treated properly by knowing what type of cancer you have.

Next step would be to find all of the info you can on that particular type of cancer.  How?  Well, you do a search on your type of cancer through one of the Internet search engines, such as Google.  Try to narrow it down by adding words in your search such as + treatment or +medical oncologist or + chat forums/blogs......the skies the limit,  and the more precise you are with your search terminology, then the better the results will be.  My first website lead was which will provide information on all types of cancer, as well as allow you to post questions/answers on their forum and interact with other cancer patients.  There may be a national website in the country where you live, developed speciafically for your type of cancer such as with kidney cancer, there is

You should check out any chat forums as well to see if you can connect with other patients/caregivers who have the same type of cancer and who can share what they have learned with you.  A good place to begin is to check out and enter your type of cancer again into their search engine.  In order to chat in any of these forums, you will need to register.

Some search engines offer email alerts on all types of information that will be emailed directly to you.  For instance, with Google, there is a feature entitled Google Alerts.   You will find this at  and then follow the instructions to receive the latest updates.  All of the other search engines such as Bing, Altavista, Yahoo all offer the similiar features so as you can see, the possibilities are endless if you subscribe to any number of them.  You really don't need email overflow though, as usually just subscribing to one of these alerts will provide the same updates.

Once you find other bloggers who post on your type of cancer, then check out their blog lists, which will allow you to find many others who post information on your particular type of cancer.

Yes, the Internet is most definitely an Information Highway when used properly.  One important thing to remember though when you are discovering all of this new information, is to NOT let it overwhelm you.  You will read the good news along with the bad about your type of cancer, but always keep in mind that each and every cancer patient is different with regards to the way he/she reacts to particular drugs, each has different side effects (i.e. and you won't be getting every single side effect that might be listed/maybe you won't have any side effects) and each individual's medical history is very different.  

This information highway can be an invaluable resource for any cancer patient.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Great Kidney Cancer Connection

I've recently discovered another great forum where kidney cancer patients can interact with other patients and caregivers to obtain information and support.

Go to and then you will need to "register" in order to access the forum.  Once you have that completed, then type "Kidney Cancer Online Chat Support" in the search area and you are there!  It is a forum that is hosted by kidney cancer patient  allenpa  and caregiver  Leigh_Allen.  If anyone is presently on Afinitor, then you will most definitely obtain alot of information about side effects and what works best in treating them by chatting with other patients on this forum.

This particular chat forum is available 24/7, with scheduled chats 7:00 - 10:00pm EST and I strongly encourage you to check it out!

It is only through communication with others, that we all become more informed about cancer. 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I Believe in the Power of "You" and "I"

I've been battling a terrible flu/cold recently and have not been up to writing my usual posts.  Today though I think the worse has passed and now that I look back, my sick days have been a good opportunity for me to reflect on a few topics that I want to write about over the next few days.  I want to express a sincere "Thank You" to all of my regular viewers for taking the time to continue to check into the blog, despite not seeing new posts.  I've got to say, that you are a very loyal group of viewers and I really appreciate this.

The song that I have added today "I BELIEVE" sung by Nikki Yanofsky has been chosen as CTV's theme song for Vancouver's 2010 Olympics.  The music is inspiring....... but it's lyrics are even more inspirational.  I'm going to add the lyrics below and although they do reflect upon those Olympic athelets who train endlessly to attain their goals, the more I read those lyrics, I thought about cancer patients who face their own adversities and who need to hear the words in this song of

"now nothing can stop me"

A continuing theme throughout this song as well, are the words

I Believe in the Power of You and I

I remember when I first began this blog back in late August of 2008.  A friend advised that once I started the blog, it would have to be a total commitment on my part and not something that I could suddenly stop doing as others would be counting on me.  As I've written many times before, my sole purpose for establishing it, was to locate other cancer patients and caregivers  in order to obtain information and support and to have a resource available where other cancer patients and caregivers could interact and create that special community of support during difficult times.  Well, it turned out my friend was right, as many others depend on reading my posts to help them find information, but more than that, YOU and I are making such a difference for cancer patients like my husband and so many others.  None of us have power alone, but  working together  most definitely is rewarding for all of us!!!

There comes a moment when my heart must stand alone
On this lonely path Ive chosen
like a house thats not a home
sometimes when I feel Ive had enough
and I feel like giving up
you willed me to be all I can be
now nothing can stop me
I believe in the power that comes
From a world brought together as one
I believe together well find
I believe in the power of you and I

This is the moment we have dreamed of all our lives
Well be the change we wish from others
Well stand tall for what its right
And in my hearts therell be no doubt
The arms of the world will come reaching out
And embrace me to be all I can be
Now nothing can stop me
I believe in the power that comes
From a world brought together as one
I believe together well fly
I believe in the power of you and I

I believe the time is right now
Stand tall and make the world proud
I believe together well fly
I believe in the power..
I believe in the power that comes
From a world brought together as one
(Of you and I)
I believe together well fly
I believe in the power of you and I
I believe the time is right now
(Oh you and I)
Stand tall and make the world proud
I believe together well fly (Together well fly)
I believe in the power of you and I
(I believe in the power of you and I)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Very Informative Website

One of my regular viewers has provided me with the link to a very informative website for kidney cancer patients.  I want to thank her sincerely for passing this information along to me, as I can then pass it along to you for your viewing.  There are so many great blogs and websites out there with an abundance of information for patients, caregivers, as well as oncologists to keep up-to-date on the most recent advances there is on kidney cancer.  The website of which I am referring to today is

What makes this particular website a little different from many others, is the fact that it is managed and supervised by one of our leading urologists in the country,

Dr. Anil Kapoor, MD, FRCSC
McMaster - SJH Kidney Cancer Centre(KCC)

His professional affiliations and awards are listed on the site for your review

You will acquire indepth knowledge about kidney cancer, the warning signs, symptoms, along with the most up-to-date treatment and technological advances.  There is also a listing of clinical trials that are taking place at McMaster University-St. Joseph's Healthcare Kidney Cancer Centre along with present options available for kidney cancer patients.  Contact information is provided via email or telephone.

I trust you will take time to check out this very informative site.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Been away for a few days due to my husband presently in hospital...doing much better now.  I should be back here again early next week.
A note for those who may not already have contributed to the Cyberknife Campaign in Ottawa, as per my previous post:

Apparently, it's much easier to keep track of the donations that are made directly from this blog and via Karen if you choose the "In Honor or Celebration Donation" area, rather than "General Donations" and enter Karen's name...if you have already made your donation, it will still be ok.  Thanks to everyone for your support!

Thanks to all for checking in!