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Breast Cancer - Palliative News

After Breast Cancer, Many in Appalachia Say No to Lifesaving Drugs

Posted 5 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 27, 2015 – About one-third of breast cancer survivors in the Appalachian region of the United States do not take potentially lifesaving drugs, even though their drugs are covered by insurance, a new study finds. The study included 428 breast cancer survivors in the Appalachian counties of Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. All of the women had Medicare Part D insurance that covers prescription medications. About 30 percent of the women did not follow through with their prescribed adjuvant hormone therapy, which reduces the risk of cancer recurrence, the University of Virginia researchers discovered. "Almost a third of the prescriptions for adjuvant hormone therapy were not filled, which is much, much higher compared to what we usually see in commercially insured populations," Rajesh Balkrishnan, of the department of public health sciences, said in a ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Aromasin, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Exemestane, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Nolvadex, Tamoxifen Hexal, Tamoxen, Genox, Teslac, Nolvadex D, Tamofen, Tamosin

Chemo May Worsen Quality of Life for End-Stage Cancer Patients

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Chemotherapy may worsen quality of life for some cancer patients who are nearing death, a new study finds. "Oncologists may presume there to be no harm in giving dying patients chemotherapy, but these data point to more harm than benefit," study author Dr. Holly Prigerson, from Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, said in a college news release. The research included more than 300 patients with advanced cancer who had about four months to live. Their average age was about 59. About half of the patients were receiving what's known as palliative chemotherapy when the study began. Palliative chemotherapy is generally given to people who have fewer than six months to live, according to the researchers. The hope is that palliative chemotherapy will ease symptoms and extend survival. But that wasn't the case for those patients who started the study with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Nausea/Vomiting - Chemotherapy Induced, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Hyperuricemia Secondary to Chemotherapy, Neutropenia Associated with Chemotherapy, Anemia - Chemotherapy Induced

U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 9 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – Soaring costs for cancer drugs are hurting patient care in the United States, a group of top oncologists claim. "High cancer-drug prices are affecting the care of patients with cancer and our health care system," Dr. Ayalew Tefferi, a hematologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., said in a Mayo news release. Tefferi and his colleagues made a number of recommendations on how to address the problem in a commentary published July 23 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices is one of the suggestions the team of 118 leading cancer experts offered as a possible solution. Along with their recommendations, the group also expressed support for a patient-based grassroots movement on change.org that is demanding action on the issue. "The average gross household income in the U.S. is about $52,000 per year. For an insured patient with ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Accutane, Prostate Cancer, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Lupron Depot, Femara, Tretinoin, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Rituxan, Colorectal Cancer, Lung Cancer, Zoladex

Breast Cancer Survivors Tend to Gain Weight: Study

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 15, 2015 – Among women with a family history of breast cancer, breast cancer survivors tend to gain more weight than women who are free of the disease, new research suggests. And that added weight might increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, as well as recurrence of the cancer, the researchers said. The researchers compared 303 breast cancer survivors with 307 women who were cancer-free. All were participants in a study of women with a familial risk of breast and ovarian cancer. They included women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations that can raise breast cancer risk. "We found that breast cancer survivors, especially those with chemotherapy [treatment], gained more weight compared to cancer-free women," said lead researcher Amy Gross, a doctoral candidate at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. The study was published July 15 in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Diabetes, Type 2, Weight Loss, Breast Cancer, Heart Attack, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Myocardial Infarction, Diabetes Mellitus, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance

More Breast Cancer Patients Opting for Lumpectomy: Study

Posted 17 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 17, 2015 – The percentage of women with early stage breast cancer who choose to have the breast-conserving surgery known as lumpectomy has risen slowly in recent years, new research shows. In 1998, slightly more than 54 percent of eligible women chose the surgery. But, the number had passed the 60 percent mark by 2011, according to study author Dr. Isabelle Bedrosian, an associate professor of surgical oncology at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "The big picture shows most women with early stage breast cancer are opting for breast-conserving surgery," she said. Previous research has found that mastectomy, where the entire breast is removed, was chosen as often as lumpectomy among women with early stage breast cancer who were candidates for lumpectomy and the radiation that typically follows it. Bedrosian views the new findings as good ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Doctors Can Influence End-of-Life Care

Posted 8 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 – Doctors appear to have a strong influence on whether or not dying patients enroll in hospice care, a new study finds. Researchers reviewed information on nearly 199,000 cancer patients in the United States who were eligible for hospice care because they were dying. The average age was 78. The information was gathered between 2006 and 2011. Two-thirds enrolled in hospice care. Those who chose hospice were more likely to be women, white and to live in higher income areas. The investigators found that patients were more likely to enroll in hospice care if their doctor had a high number of patients in hospice care. The researchers accounted for patient, hospital and geographic factors associated with hospice care. They found that patients were 27 percent more likely to enroll in hospice care if their doctor was in the top 10 percent of doctors using hospice care ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Scoring System May Predict Patient's Risk of Death in Next Year

Posted 8 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 8, 2015 – A fairly simple scoring system appears to accurately estimate patients' risk of dying within a year of hospitalization, a new study finds. Researchers said the tool could be useful in comparing hospitals' quality of care in a more accurate way. But it's not clear if it can be used on a personal level, to help manage a patient's end-of-life care. "My hunch is, this could be developed to use on the front lines, in routine practice," said lead researcher Dr. Carl van Walraven, of the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. However, he added, that hasn't been proven yet. In theory, having an objective way to estimate a patient's prognosis could aid a discussion about where to go next with treatment. And the new tool could potentially be used that way, agreed Dr. Robert Arnold, medical director of the Palliative and Supportive Institute at the University of ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation

Exercise May Blunt a Woman's Risk of Lung and Breast Cancer: Studies

Posted 2 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 2, 2015 – Physical activity may reduce a woman's risk of lung or breast cancer, a pair of new studies suggest. Women seem less likely to either develop or die from lung cancer if they engage in physical activity, and the benefits increase the more a woman stays on the move, Stanford University researchers found. "We saw that as levels of physical activity increase, risk of lung cancer decreased," said lead author Ange Wang, a medical student at Stanford. Even active smokers enjoyed some protective benefit from lung cancer, when compared with couch potatoes who smoked, the researchers said. Meanwhile, a French study found that women may reduce by as much as one-third their risk of developing breast cancer by engaging in vigorous physical exercise. But that benefit did not extend to those who had ever taken hormone replacement therapy. Both studies were presented Monday at ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Microgestin Fe 1/20, Loestrin 24 Fe, Breast Cancer, Estradiol, Premarin, Estrace, Lo Loestrin Fe, Ethinyl Estradiol, Junel Fe 1/20, Lung Cancer, Prempro, Vivelle, Vagifem, Estrace Vaginal Cream, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Climara, Necon 1/35, Microgestin 1/20, Microgestin FE 1.5/30

New Drug Keeps Common Breast Cancer Under Control Longer: Study

Posted 30 May 2015 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, May 30, 2015 – Adding a new drug called Ibrance (palbociclib) to standard hormone therapy helped keep a common type of breast cancer under control measurably longer than the hormone therapy alone, a new study shows. "Palbociclib stops cancer cells from growing," said study author Dr. Nicholas Turner, team leader at the Institute of Cancer Research in London, England. Adding the drug was so effective that the trial was stopped early so that those who were in the "control" group (taking an inactive placebo) could also be offered the drug. The findings are to be published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, to coincide with a planned presentation Saturday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago. Pfizer, the drug's maker, helped fund the study. Turner's team randomly assigned 521 women to get either Ibrance plus the standard hormone ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Palbociclib, Ibrance

Are 2nd Breast Cancer Surgeries Always Necessary?

Posted 30 May 2015 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, May 30, 2015 – Thousands of breast cancer patients in the United States might be spared a second surgery if more tissue was removed during initial breast-conserving, partial mastectomy surgery, a new study suggests. Partial mastectomy, often called lumpectomy, aims to conserve breast tissue and stops short of a full mastectomy. More than half of the nearly 300,000 women in the United States diagnosed with breast cancer each year undergo this type of surgery, according to researchers from the Yale Cancer Center in New Haven, Conn. However, after the procedure, 20 percent to 40 percent of these patients still have cancer cells at the edges of the areas where tissue was removed. That often means a second surgery, to ensure that no cancer remains. The new study was led by Dr. Anees Chagpar, an associate professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine, and included 235 patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Family History of Breast Cancer Doesn't Worsen Patient's Prognosis: Study

Posted 20 May 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 20, 2015 – Breast cancer patients who have a family history of the disease often worry that their outlook is worse and their chances for recurrence is higher. But a new British study of nearly 3,000 women treated for breast cancer suggests those fears may be unwarranted – at least for women 40 and younger. Patients whose close relatives had experienced breast or ovarian cancer – which also raises breast cancer risk – had no greater risk of their cancer returning over roughly six years of follow-up, regardless of tumor type, than women without a family history, the researchers said. "A family history of breast cancer does not in itself mean that the outcome will be worse from breast cancer," said study researcher Dr. Ramsey Cutress, an associate professor in breast surgery at the University of Southampton. About one-quarter of breast cancers are thought to be ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Ovarian Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer

Nursing Homes Using Hospice Care More, But at a Cost

Posted 6 May 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 6, 2015 – More nursing home residents are opting for hospice care as they near death, choosing comfort and reassurance over medical interventions aimed at squeezing out every possible extra day of life. But while hospice care has proven effective in providing peace to the dying, it's also more expensive than previously thought, according to a new study published in the May 7 New England Journal of Medicine. Medicare costs for nursing home residents receiving hospice care increased an average of almost $6,800 per patient between 2004 and 2009, said study lead author Pedro Gozalo, a research associate professor of health services, policy and practice at Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, R.I. This runs counter to the idea that hospice should cost less than traditional care because doctors aren't using expensive procedures to prolong life, Gozalo said. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy as Good as Full Breast Removal: Study

Posted 1 May 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, May 1, 2015 – Women with early stage breast cancer who chose to preserve the nipple during a mastectomy had similar survival or recurrence rates to women who underwent full breast removal, a new study found. "Nipple-sparing surgery is oncologically safe in carefully selected women with early stage breast cancer," said Dr. Lucy De La Cruz, a researcher at the University of Miami. She was scheduled to present her findings Thursday at the American Society of Breast Surgeons annual meeting, in Orlando, Fla. Studies presented at medical meetings are considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal. In nipple-sparing surgery, the nipple and the darkened area around the nipple – the areola – are left in place. The breast tissue is taken from underneath the nipple area, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Although the nipple area is preserved, blood flow ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Chemo for Breast Cancer Erases Woman's Fingerprints

Posted 16 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 15, 2015 – A 65-year-old breast cancer patient ran into an unexpected problem with her bank: She was denied a transaction because her fingerprints had disappeared. Reporting in the April 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors in Mexico said the woman's unusual case was due to the effects of chemotherapy for an advanced breast cancer that had spread to the lungs. A chemotherapy side effect called "hand-foot syndrome" appears to be tied to the fingerprint loss, wrote Drs. Yanin Chavarri-Guerra and Enrique Soto-Perez-de-Celis, of the Institute of Medical Science and Nutrition in Mexico City. They described the syndrome as "characterized by redness, swelling, and pain on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet." The patient in question experienced hand-foot syndrome that was so bad it interfered with everyday tasks, the two physicians said. "Loss of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Avastin, Xeloda, Capecitabine, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Bevacizumab

Advances in Breast Cancer Care May Not Be Reaching Older Women

Posted 8 Nov 2011 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 8 – New research finds older U.S. women have higher odds of dying from breast cancer than younger women, suggesting that older patients may not be benefiting as much from advances in breast cancer care made over the past three decades. Researchers analyzed U.S. government data from 1980 to 2007. They found that breast cancer death rates were stable throughout the 1980s for women aged 20-64 but rose for women 65 and older. Between 1990 and 2007, the largest decrease in breast cancer death rates occurred in women aged 20-49 (2.4 percent per year), helped by widespread availability of mammography and the use of hormonal therapy and adjuvant chemotherapy, according to the researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. At the same time, the smallest decrease in breast cancer deaths was seen among women aged 75 and older (1.1 percent per year). "Given the ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer - Palliative

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