Nearly 1.7 million Americans every year get a diagnosis that would chill any of us...
"You have cancer."
A physician friend of mine delivers this three-word phrase over and over to patients every week.
When talking with her, you can almost feel her pain and the emotional toll it takes. When she's "on-call covering the service" for a week at a time, she has to schedule a massage at the end of the week just to physically recharge herself.
And of course, that's nothing compared with the trauma newly diagnosed patients suffer. Getting a cancer diagnosis can devastate people. It changes their whole world.
Cancer kills nearly one in four Americans, making it the second-most common cause of death after heart disease. That's nearly half-a-million Americans dying from cancer each year.
Virtually everyone has at some point watched a spouse, family member, or a close friend struggle with the disease. And if you haven't yet, you will.
But navigating the ins and outs of treatment options can confuse anyone. That's why today I want to urge you to investigate clinical trials for yourself or a family member if you receive the cancer diagnosis.
When you look for the best place for treatment, make sure you're looking for places nearby that are conducting clinical trials. Many of the most impressive results in cancer research have come from these cutting-edge trials.
Some people avoid clinical trials, thinking they're expensive or dangerous. Others think clinical trials are only for people with advanced-stage cancer or whose bodies don't respond to standard treatments. Clinical trials actually test the effects of cancer treatments on patients.
There are four phases of clinical trials...
Phase I – Researchers test the drug or treatment to determine dosage, safety, and side effects. This phase is done on healthy people, not those with disease.
Phase II – The drug or treatment is tested for effectiveness and continues to be reviewed for safety.
Phase III – The drug or treatment undergoes further testing for effectiveness and side effects and is compared with current drugs or treatments.
Phase IV – Researchers test the drug or treatment for long-term use after it has been licensed and marketed.
Clinical trials are a crucial part of developing new drugs and treatments.
Clinical trials provide benefits for participants as well. They give patients access to new drugs along with the best doctors and treatment centers. And – depending on the trials – patients may receive financial compensation.
Clinical trials do, of course, come with some risks that you should consider... The drugs could trigger unexpected side effects. Also, your health insurance may not cover the trial, or the drugs may not work for you. But more often than not, the drug costs are included in the trial, and your odds of better responses are better than current therapies.
But clinical trials are just one piece of the full treatment picture. If you want to find the best treatment centers based on type of cancer, check with the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The NCI was founded in 1937 and makes up one part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NCI is responsible for conducting cutting-edge cancer research, providing funding for other research projects, and educating doctors and the public about cancer diagnosis and treatments.
The NCI has 69 "Designated Cancer Centers" in the U.S. These state-of-the-art centers are often leaders in advancements in cancer detection and treatment.
The NCI also has 54 highly specialized treatment and clinical-trial centers that focus on specific types of cancer – called Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) – spread across 20 states. It organizes the list by "organ" locations. For example, if you're looking for SPOREs for liver cancer, you'd look under "Gastrointestinal" in the organ-location list.
If you have one of the five deadliest cancers, you definitely want to get to a SPORE location. I've put together information about these cancers, SPORE centers, and how to get enrolled in a clinical trial in my book, The Living Cure. And next week you can get a free copy when you attend my cancer webinar...
On Wednesday, November 15, I'll be discussing these topics and more on the latest breakthroughs in cancer research with my colleague, Dave Lashmet. Dave writes the Stansberry Venture Technology newsletter. He's got his finger on the pulse of the cancer-drug pipeline and which companies to watch. The live webinar is only open to folks who pre-register, so make sure to reserve your seat today.
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Here's to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,
Dr. David Eifrig and the Retirement Millionaire Daily Research Team
November 9, 2017