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Risk of More Aggressive Early Breast Cancers Rises With Age, Study Finds

Posted 27 Oct 2015 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 27, 2015 – While experts know the chances of finding a type of early stage breast cancer known as DCIS increase with age, a new study from Germany shows these cancers are more likely to be aggressive when discovered in older women. "DCIS detection rates increase with age, mostly due to a rise of DCIS high- and intermediate-grade [tumors]," said Dr. Stefanie Weigel, a researcher at University Hospital Muenster in Germany. These tumors, she said, are lesions that "carry a higher risk for transition to aggressive cancers than DCIS low-grade." DCIS, or ductal carcinoma in situ, is an early stage cancer that is potentially invasive. It is confined within the milk ducts and a common finding on mammography. Treating DCIS is controversial, because some cases may never progress and cause problems during a woman's lifetime. Weigel's team aimed to look at the link between age at ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Breast Cancer, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Femara, Lupron Depot, Anastrozole, Zoladex, Evista, Megace, Megestrol, Aromasin, Letrozole, Casodex, Lupron Depot 3.75 mg, Exemestane, Eligard

For Unexplained Infertility, Breast Cancer Drug No Better Than Standard Treatment

Posted 23 Sep 2015 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 23, 2015 – A breast cancer drug that is sometimes used to treat infertility may reduce a couple's risk of having a pregnancy with multiple babies – but it might also slightly lower their chances of having a baby at all, a new clinical trial suggests. The study did not find the cancer drug letrozole (Femara) more effective than standard fertility drugs for women with unexplained infertility. In research reported last year, letrozole actually improved birth rates among women who were infertile due to polycystic ovarian syndrome compared to a widely used fertility drug called clomiphene (Clomid). In contrast, the new study focused on women age 40 and younger whose infertility had no clear cause. "For them, we can't say that letrozole is as good as standard drugs when it comes to your chances of going home with a baby," said lead researcher Dr. Michael Diamond, professor ... Read more

Related support groups: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Clomid, Female Infertility, Femara, Letrozole, Ovulation Induction, Clomiphene, Serophene, Primary Ovarian Failure, Follicle Stimulation, Milophene

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

Posted 27 Jul 2015 by

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, Aromasin, Letrozole, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Exemestane, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Tamoxifen Hexal, Soltamox, Tamone, Emblon, Tamoxen, Genox, Teslac, Nolvadex D

Certain Generic Meds May Help Older Patients With Early Breast Cancer

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by

THURSDAY, July 23, 2015 – There's more evidence that two classes of inexpensive generic drugs reduce the risk of death in postmenopausal women with early breast cancer, a pair of new British studies find. The two classes of drugs – called aromatase inhibitors and bisphosphonates – can also be used together to increase the benefits and reduce some side effects, according to the authors of the studies published July 23 in The Lancet. Aromatase inhibitors include drugs such as anastrozole, letrozole and exemestane, while bisphosphonates include drugs such as zoledronic acid. The two new studies "provide really good evidence that both of these inexpensive generic drugs can help to reduce breast cancer mortality in postmenopausal women," Richard Gray, the University of Oxford lead statistician for both studies, said in a journal news release. The studies were released by The Early Breast ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Fosamax, Arimidex, Femara, Boniva, Alendronate, Anastrozole, Reclast, Actonel, Aromasin, Letrozole, Zometa, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Exemestane, Aclasta, Atelvia, Ibandronate, Zoledronic Acid, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Risedronate

U.S. Oncologists Decry High Cost of Cancer Drugs

Posted 23 Jul 2015 by

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 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, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Femara, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Lung Cancer, Rituxan, Colorectal Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma

Too Few Prostate Cancer Patients Get Bone-Strengthening Meds: Study

Posted 3 Dec 2014 by

TUESDAY, Dec. 2, 2014 – Many men on hormone therapy for prostate cancer aren't getting bone-strengthening drugs they may need, new Canadian research contends. Hormone therapy, which suppresses male hormones called androgens, helps stop cancer cells from growing. But one consequence of the treatment is weakening of the bones, which can lead to fractures. To reduce this risk, men can be given oral bisphosphonates, such as Fosamax, or an intravenous treatment once a month or once a year with similar drugs, such as Reclast. "There seems to be a clear mismatch between Canadian guidelines regarding bisphosphonate usage in men undergoing hormone therapy for prostate cancer and actual clinical practice," said lead researcher Dr. Shabbir Alibhai, a senior scientist at the University Health Network in Toronto. While the low rates of bisphosphonate prescriptions may be appropriate for patients ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Depo-Provera, Accutane, Lupron, Prostate Cancer, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Fosamax, Arimidex, Femara, Tretinoin, Boniva, Lupron Depot, Claravis, Alendronate, Isotretinoin, Anastrozole, Zoladex, Reclast, Actonel

Medicines Are Biggest Culprit in Fatal Allergic Reactions: Study

Posted 10 Oct 2014 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 9, 2014 – Although food allergies have garnered a lot of attention lately, a new study reports that medications are actually the biggest cause of sudden deaths related to allergy. Over a little more than a decade, nearly 60 percent of the allergy-related deaths were caused by medications, while less than 7 percent were caused by food allergies, the study found. "Medications can be dangerous," said study researcher Dr. Elina Jerschow, director of the Drug Allergy Center at Montefiore Medical Center and assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City. While research from other countries has reported medications as a major culprit in anaphylaxis-related deaths, Jerschow said, the problem has been less defined in the United States. One reason is that there is no national registry for anaphylaxis deaths, she said. The study was ... Read more

Related support groups: Provera, Amoxicillin, Depo-Provera, Doxycycline, Metronidazole, Clindamycin, Cephalexin, Penicillin, Methotrexate, Bactrim, Azithromycin, Cipro, Accutane, Ciprofloxacin, Augmentin, Levaquin, Lupron, Flagyl, Keflex, Zithromax

Breast Cancer Drug May Help Women Fight a Leading Cause of Infertility: Study

Posted 10 Jul 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, July 9, 2014 – Women with polycystic ovary syndrome have a better chance of getting pregnant if they take a breast cancer drug instead of the currently preferred medication, a new study suggests. Polycystic ovary syndrome – the most common cause of female infertility in the United States – causes higher than normal levels of the male hormone androgen, infrequent periods and small cysts on the ovaries. It affects 5 to 10 percent of reproductive-age women, according to background information in the study. Currently, doctors typically prescribe clomiphine (Clomid) to boost fertility for women with polycystic ovary syndrome. However, this new study suggests the drug letrozole (Femara) results in better ovulation, conception and birth rates. "We found a simple and comparatively safe and vastly more effective treatment for [polycystic ovary syndrome]," said lead researcher Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, Clomid, Female Infertility, Femara, Letrozole, Clomiphene, Serophene, Milophene

Exercise Might Ease Joint Pain Caused by Breast Cancer Drugs

Posted 12 Dec 2013 by

THURSDAY, Dec. 12, 2013 – Exercise might help breast cancer survivors relieve the joint pain that is a side effect of their medications, researchers say. A new study included patients who were taking aromatase inhibitor drugs, such as Arimidex (anastrozole), Femara (letrozole) and Aromasin (exemestane). Five years of treatment with these drugs is recommended for survivors who had stages 1, 2 or 3 hormone receptor-positive breast cancers. This form of the disease accounts for nearly 70 percent of newly diagnosed breast cancer cases. Nearly half of those who take these medications, however, experience joint pain and stiffness. These side effects are the most common reason patients stop taking the drugs, the study authors said in an American Association for Cancer Research news release. In this study, breast cancer survivors who were taking aromatase inhibitors and had joint pain were ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Arimidex, Femara, Anastrozole, Aromasin, Letrozole, Exemestane, Testolactone, Teslac

Cancer Chemotherapy Tied to Slight Rise in Risk for Leukemia

Posted 14 Feb 2013 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 14 – Chemotherapy can be a lifesaver for thousands of cancer patients, but a new study suggests that it might slightly raise the odds for a type of leukemia later in life. Over the past 30 years, the risk for acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has increased for patients who underwent chemotherapy for certain forms of cancer, particularly non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the new study found. On the other hand, the researchers from the U.S. National Cancer Institute said other cancer survivors may have a reduced risk for AML due to a change in chemotherapy agents that occurred decades ago. One expert not connected to the study stressed that cancer patients need to put the findings into perspective. "It's important to realize that the risk of developing acute myeloid leukemia related to prior chemotherapy is small and increases with the number of chemotherapy treatments given over time," ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Accutane, Lupron, Tamoxifen, Medroxyprogesterone, Arimidex, Femara, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Gleevec, Fluorouracil, Rituxan, Claravis, Isotretinoin, Votrient, Tarceva, Avastin

New Drug Regimens May Slow Advanced Breast Cancer

Posted 5 Dec 2012 by

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 5 – An experimental cancer drug may delay the progression of some advanced breast cancers, while a double dose of an existing cancer drug could help women live longer, according to separate studies reported Wednesday. In one study, of nearly 200 women, researchers tested the effects of adding the experimental drug – known for now as PD 0332991 – to Femara (letrozole), a hormonal therapy already used to treat certain breast cancers. They found that women on the combination had a much longer "progression-free survival" – the time a cancer patient lives with the disease without it getting worse. For women on the combination therapy, that period was typically 26 months, versus less than eight months among women given Femara alone. "That's a dramatic difference," said lead researcher Dr. Richard Finn, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, Los ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Femara, Letrozole

Breast Cancer Drug Linked to Sexual Problems in Older Women

Posted 28 Sep 2012 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 – Postmenopausal women treated for breast cancer with drugs known as aromatase inhibitors have high rates of sexual problems, which is an important and underestimated issue, according to a new study from Sweden. Nearly three-quarters of these women reported insufficient lubrication, 56 percent had pain during intercourse, half said their sexual interest was low, and 42 percent were dissatisfied with their sex life. These percentages are much higher than for postmenopausal women who weren't treated for beast cancer, according to researchers Dr. Juliane Baumgart and colleagues at Orebro University and Uppsala University. The study was published online this month in Menopause and appears in the February 2013 print issue of the journal. Women taking tamoxifen for breast cancer treatment also had low sexual interest and more pain with intercourse, but had far fewer problems ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Arimidex, Femara, Anastrozole, Aromasin, Letrozole, Exemestane, Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder, Testolactone, Teslac

Anti-Estrogen Treatment Shrank Lung Tumors in Mice

Posted 9 Jan 2012 by

MONDAY, Jan. 9 – Combination drug treatment that targets estrogen production significantly reduced the number of tobacco carcinogen-related lung tumors in mice, a new study shows. "Anti-estrogens have been shown to prevent breast cancer in some women," Jill Siegfried, a professor in the department of pharmacology and chemical biology at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, said in an American Association for Cancer Research news release. "If anti-estrogens can prevent lung cancer as well, this would be a major advance, because these drugs are safe to give for long periods and there are no approved ways to prevent lung cancer," she added. Most lung cancers have a type of estrogen receptor that makes tumors grow when they're exposed to estrogen. In addition, aromatase, an enzyme in the lung, produces estrogen. Siegfried and her team found that blocking this estrogen receptor ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Arimidex, Femara, Lung Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Anastrozole, Aromasin, Letrozole, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Exemestane, Faslodex, Fulvestrant, Teslac, Testolactone

Side Effects Cause Many Older Women to Drop Breast Cancer Drugs

Posted 12 Dec 2011 by

MONDAY, Dec. 12 – Severe side effects may be key to why so many older breast cancer patients stop taking drugs that can help prevent a tumor's return, a new study finds. The research also revealed a large gap between what these breast cancer patients tell their doctors about drug side effects and what they actually experience, according to the study authors from Northwestern University in Chicago. Their study included 686 postmenopausal women with estrogen-sensitive breast cancer who were asked about their symptoms before treatment with estrogen-blocking drugs called aromatase inhibitors, which include medications such as Arimidex, Aromasin and Femara. The women were tracked at three, six, 12 and 24 months after starting treatment. After three months, about one-third of the patients had severe joint pain, 28 to 29 percent had hot flashes, nearly one-quarter had decreased libido, 15 to ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Arimidex, Femara, Anastrozole, Aromasin, Letrozole, Exemestane, Testolactone, Teslac

Femara May Beat Tamoxifen at Preventing Breast Cancer's Return

Posted 24 Oct 2011 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 21 – The breast cancer drug letrozole, marketed as Femara, may be more effective than tamoxifen at preventing the return of breast cancer and improving survival among older women with hormone-sensitive breast cancers, a new study reports. In the study, published online Oct. 21 in The Lancet Oncology, the researchers updated data from an ongoing study of about 8,000 women, which compares the two drugs alone as well as the use of both Femara and tamoxifen sequentially. Femara outperformed tamoxifen in terms of breast cancer recurrence and survival, the study found. Moreover, giving Femara alone to women was more effective than giving it sequentially following tamoxifen. The new study was partially funded by Novartis, the drug company that makes Femara. The hormone estrogen feeds hormone-sensitive cancers, and blocking it may help stave off a recurrence. Femara is part of a ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, Anastrozole, Aromasin, Letrozole, Exemestane, Tamoxifen Hexal, Soltamox, Tamone, Emblon, Tamoxen, Genox, Teslac, Nolvadex D, Tamofen, Tamosin, Testolactone, Nolvadex

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