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Breast Cancer - Palliative News

Medicaid Cuts Tied to Delayed Breast Cancer Diagnoses

Posted 2 days 3 hours ago by

MONDAY, June 26, 2017 – As Congress takes aim at replacing "Obamacare," a new study says Medicaid cuts could boost the number of women diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer. The study looked at what happened after a budget crunch caused Tennessee to cut nearly 170,000 people from its Medicaid rolls in 2005. Within the next few years, the researchers found, late-stage breast cancer cases rose in low-income areas of the state. "We can't say that Medicaid disenrollment was the direct cause," said researcher Lindsay Sabik, an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh. But, she said, there was clearly a correlation. The findings come at a crucial time: Republicans in both houses of Congress have proposed legislation that would cut off federal funding for Obamacare's expansion of Medicaid. Medicaid is a government program that helps millions of low-income Americans pay their ... Read more

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

Mammogram Decision Hinges on Patient-Doc Talk, Ob-Gyn Group Says

Posted 6 days ago by

THURSDAY, June 22, 2017 – As the debate continues about the best time for mammograms, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is asking women to add their voice to the discussion. In updated guidelines on breast cancer screening for average-risk women, ACOG emphasized shared decision-making between a woman and her doctor about when to start mammography screening and how often to do it. "What is critically important is that the patient's value and preferences are factored into that decision-making process," said Dr. Christopher Zahn, ACOG's vice president of practice activities. The new guidelines, Zahn said, are "empowering women to be involved in that decision." ACOG recommends that women at average risk of breast cancer be offered screening mammography beginning at age 40. The decision about whether to start at that age, however, should be made by a woman and ... Read more

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

Asian Women Less Likely to Get Follow-up After Abnormal Mammogram

Posted 16 days ago by

MONDAY, June 12, 2017 – Asian women in the San Francisco area were less likely than white women to get follow-up tests following an abnormal mammogram result, researchers report. Women who receive suspicious mammogram results are urged to get checked in a timely manner to rule out breast cancer, which should be treated as early as possible to ensure the best possible outcomes, the study authors said. However, the researchers, led by Kim Hanh Nguyen and Dr. Leah Karliner of the University of California, San Francisco, explained that many population-based breast cancer studies don't include Asians or differentiate among individual groups of patients. "Rather than being a monolithic group, Asians are, in fact, very diverse in nationalities, language, immigration history, education, and economic background. Recognizing differences among Asians may help clinicians develop better rapport and ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Body Imaging

Drug Helps Fight Breast Tumors Tied to 'Cancer Genes'

Posted 4 Jun 2017 by

SUNDAY, June 4, 2017 – A twice-daily pill could help some advanced breast cancer patients avoid or delay follow-up sessions of chemotherapy, a new clinical trial reports. The drug olaparib (Lynparza) reduced the chances of cancer progression by about 42 percent in women with breast cancer linked to BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations, according to the study. Olaparib delayed cancer progression by about three months. The drug also caused tumors to shrink in three out of five patients who received the medication, the researchers reported. "Clearly the drug was more effective than traditional chemotherapy," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer for the American Cancer Society. "This is a group where a response is more difficult to obtain – a young group with a more aggressive form of cancer – and nonetheless we saw a close to 60 percent objective response rate," he said. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Lynparza, Olaparib

Pregnancy Doesn't Raise Odds for Breast Cancer's Return

Posted 4 Jun 2017 by

SATURDAY, June 3, 2017 – There's good news for younger breast cancer survivors: Pregnancy does not seem to increase the chances that their disease will return, researchers report. "Our findings confirm that pregnancy after breast cancer should not be discouraged, even for women with ER-positive [estrogen-sensitive] cancer," said study author Dr. Matteo Lambertini, a medical oncologist at the Institut Jules Bordet, in Brussels. Lambertini's group tracked outcomes for more than 1,200 breast cancer survivors. The research showed that those who became pregnant did not have any higher risk of cancer recurrence and death over an average of 10 years follow-up, compared to women who did not become pregnant. This was true even if the women had experienced estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors. ER-positive breast cancer is fueled by estrogen, and it was thought that increased levels of the ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Contraception, Breast Cancer, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation during Pregnancy/Lactation, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation

Drug Xeloda Prolongs Survival for Some Breast Cancer Patients

Posted 31 May 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, May 31, 2017 – A drug called Xeloda can extend the lives of some women whose breast cancer is not wiped out by standard treatment, a new clinical trial finds. Oncologists said the results are "practice-changing." "This drug is already approved, and we've been using it for a long time in cancer treatment," said Dr. Stephen Malamud, an oncologist at Mount Sinai in New York City. Xeloda (capecitabine) is a pill, so it's easy to take and is "much less toxic" than standard chemotherapy, noted Malamud, who was not involved in the new research. "Most importantly," he said, "it extended overall survival in this study." In 1998, Xeloda was approved in the United States for advanced breast cancer that had spread to distant sites in the body. The new trial, done in Japan and South Korea, tested the drug for a different group of patients. It focused on 910 women whose breast tumors were ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Xeloda, Herceptin, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Capecitabine, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Yoga, Meditation May Ease Some Breast Cancer Symptoms

Posted 19 May 2017 by

FRIDAY, May 19, 2017 – The diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer can come with a lot of anxiety, depression and other symptoms that affect quality of life. But mind-body therapies, such as yoga or meditation, may help ease these troubling concerns, a new study suggests. The researchers reviewed previous studies done on 80 integrative therapies. "We have good evidence that [some] mind-body therapies – such as meditation, yoga, relaxation – can provide benefit to breast cancer patients during and after treatment," said study researcher Heather Greenlee. She's an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. "And we do have evidence that acupuncture is very useful in managing pain," she added. Evidence about dietary supplements and botanicals, however, are lacking when it comes to helping symptoms and side effects, she said. Greenlee ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Cancer, Major Depressive Disorder, Breast Cancer, Dysthymia, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Breast Cancer - Male, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer

More U.S. Women Living Longer With Advanced Breast Cancer

Posted 18 May 2017 by

THURSDAY, May 18, 2017 – The number of U.S. women living with the most advanced stage of breast cancer has been rising since the 1990s, a new study finds. Researchers say that treatment advances, allowing more breast cancer patients to survive longer, are one likely reason. The general aging of the U.S. population is another. Right now, the study estimated, close to 155,000 U.S. women are living with metastatic breast cancer – cancer that has spread beyond the breast to distant sites in the body. That is up from roughly 105,000 in 1990. Breast cancer experts said the figures are actually the first estimates of how many U.S. women are living with metastatic disease. A number has been hard to come by, they said, because there is no national system that tracks cancer recurrences: Since U.S. women are typically diagnosed with earlier-stage breast cancer, most metastatic cases would – ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Body Imaging

More Cancers Caught Early Since Obamacare

Posted 18 May 2017 by

THURSDAY, May 18, 2017 – More cancers have been spotted in their early stages since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) became the law of the land, new research finds. Finding breast, colon, cervical and lung cancers early greatly improves the odds of successful treatment, said study author Xuesong Han. She's the strategic director of health policy and health care delivery research at the American Cancer Society. "We wanted to see if the introduction of the ACA affected the diagnosis of these cancers," she said. Although the increase in early-stage cancer diagnosis was only 1 percent, it's a significant increase that includes thousands of patients whose cancer might not have been found until it was too late for effective treatment and potential cure, Han noted. The increases in diagnosis of lung and cervical cancer were mostly among people on Medicaid, she said. A large part of the ACA is ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Cervical Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer

Could Tai Chi Ease Insomnia in Breast Cancer Survivors?

Posted 12 May 2017 by

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 – For breast cancer survivors who struggle with sleep, a new study suggests that tai chi might calm their restless nights. Researchers found this slow-moving form of meditation was as good as talk therapy and more effective than medication in treating insomnia and reducing the risk for sleep loss-related health issues, including depression, fatigue and a weakened immune system. "Breast cancer survivors often don't just come to physicians with insomnia. They have insomnia, fatigue and depression," said study leader Dr. Michael Irwin. He directs UCLA's Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, in Los Angeles. "And this intervention, tai chi, impacted all those outcomes in a similar way, with benefits that were as robust as the gold standard treatment for insomnia [talk therapy]," Irwin added in a UCLA news ... Read more

Related support groups: Sleep Disorders, Insomnia, Fatigue, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Drowsiness, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Hypersomnia, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Hope for 1st Drug Against Lymphedema, a Cancer Complication

Posted 10 May 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, May 10, 2017 – Many cancer patients, especially those who've undergone breast cancer treatment, experience painful, swollen limbs, a condition called lymphedema. Now researchers say they've found an underlying mechanism that could eventually lead to the first drug therapy for the debilitating condition. The findings come from research in mice and human cells. However, there's already a clinical trial underway to see whether these lab discoveries will translate into a new lymphedema treatment. It's estimated that 10 million Americans have lymphedema, said Dr. Stanley Rockson, one of the senior researchers on the study. "Even though many people might not recognize the term, it's a very common condition," said Rockson, a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine in Stanford, Calif. People with lymphedema have excess fluid buildup in parts of the body, usually the arms ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Ketoprofen, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Orudis, Ketoprofen/lidocaine, Ketamine/ketoprofen/lidocaine, Actron, Orudis KT, Nexcede, Vopac, LidoProfen, Oruvail

Misunderstood Gene Tests May Lead to Unnecessary Mastectomies

Posted 13 Apr 2017 by

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 – Close to half of breast cancer patients who chose to have a double mastectomy after genetic testing didn't actually have the gene mutations known to raise the risk of additional cancers, a new survey found. "That was a bit surprising, because we wouldn't typically expect that surgery to be conducted for women if they don't have a risk-causing gene mutation," said lead researcher Dr. Allison Kurian. She is an associate professor of medicine, health research and policy at Stanford University. The finding suggests that many women and their doctors aren't interpreting the results of genetic testing properly, she added. There are known genetic mutations that increase future risk of cancer, the most notorious of which are BRCA 1 and 2. But genetic tests also often detect mutations of uncertain significance, Kurian explained. The genes are not normal, but the ... Read more

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

Mammogram Guidelines Have Changed, But Are Doctors Listening?

Posted 10 Apr 2017 by

MONDAY, April 10, 2017 – Four of five doctors still recommend annual mammograms for women in their early 40s, despite guideline changes that have pushed back the age for yearly breast cancer screening, a new survey shows. Overall, 81 percent of physicians surveyed said they suggest annual mammograms for women aged 40 to 44, while more than two-thirds recommend regular mammograms for women aged 75 or older. "Gynecologists were, in general, more likely to recommend routine mammograms," added lead researcher Dr. Archana Radhakrishnan, an internist with Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. These practices run counter to guidelines issued by the American Cancer Society, which recommends annual screening starting at 45 and screening every other year from age 55 onward, researchers said in background notes. The doctors also are ignoring the advice of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Body Imaging

'Right-to-Try' Laws: A Patient's Best Last Chance or False Hope?

Posted 6 Apr 2017 by

THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 – The Trump administration may have failed in its initial effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but some activists hope White House support will prove valuable in changing another piece of federal health care policy. Vice President Mike Pence campaigned on his support for a federal "Right-to-Try" law that would provide terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs, outside the standard clinical trial process. Pence met with proponents of the proposal in February, and President Donald Trump has voiced his support for Right to Try. Advocates say the law is needed because drug companies are reluctant to provide experimental medications to desperate patients, even in the 33 states that have passed their own Right-to-Try legislation. "We have heard that pharmaceutical companies feel it is just too risky for them to use this path outside of the FDA's ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Survival Continues to Improve for Most Cancers

Posted 31 Mar 2017 by

FRIDAY, March 31, 2017 – Overall cancer death rates in the United States continue to fall, but racial gaps persist, a new report says. Death rates fell between 2010 and 2014 for 11 of the 16 most common cancers in men and for 13 of the most common types in women, including lung, colon, prostate and breast cancers. However, death rates rose for cancers of the liver, pancreas and brain in men and for the liver and uterus in women. And improvements in cancer survival weren't equal for all Americans. "While this report found that five-year survival for most types of cancer improved among both blacks and whites over the past several decades, racial disparities for many common cancers have persisted, and they may have increased for prostate cancer and female breast cancer," said Dr. Lynne Penberthy. She's associate director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Research ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Renal Cell Carcinoma, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Melanoma, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic

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