In this Saturday, March 30, 2019 photo provided by the American Association for Cancer Research, Billy Foster speaks during the organization's annual meeting in Atlanta. The jazz pianist and radio show host from Gary, Indiana had a cancerous kidney removed in 1996, but in 2007 learned the disease had spread to his lungs, liver and brain. He joined a study testing an experimental drug that helped him for five years until the company abandoned it. "It wasn't working for enough people but it was saving my life," Foster said. His doctor persuaded the company to keep making the drug for him for another year, long enough for a new drug to come out that seems to be keeping his cancer in check. (Scott Morgan/AARC via AP)

People living with incurable cancers urge more research

April 03, 2019 - 5:00 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — Millions of people are living longer with cancers that have spread widely and are considered incurable. Now, there's a push for more research on what it's like to live with the disease, not just how to treat it.

At a cancer conference that ends Wednesday in Atlanta, long-term patients and survivors said researchers should involve them earlier in planning studies and pay more attention to what side effects, risks and lifestyle changes they're willing to accept. They also want more advice on handling other health concerns such as high cholesterol.

Two patients at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore described their cancer treatments in Wednesday's New England Journal of Medicine. They say guidelines often assume the disease is in remission, but many patients now live for years with advanced cancer.

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