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Breast Cancer - Palliative News

Many Hospice Workers Lack Their Own End-of-Life Directives

Posted 7 days ago by

THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2017 – They deal with death and dying every day, but many hospice care workers haven't outlined their own end-of-life wishes for medical care, researchers say. For the study, investigators analyzed survey responses from about 900 hospice care providers. Only 44 percent had completed an advance directive outlining their wishes for medical care if they're unable to communicate those wishes themselves. The findings seem surprising, the researchers said, given that hospice care workers regularly see the consequences of not providing medical directions in advance. "Advance directives are associated with fewer hospital deaths, fewer intensive care admissions and fewer life-prolonging measures, as well as better quality of life for patients at the end of life," said study author Terry Eggenberger. She's an associate professor in the Florida Atlantic University College of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Diabetes May Be Driving High Rates of Breast Cancer in Black Women

Posted 8 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2017 – Type 2 diabetes may increase the risk for an aggressive type of breast cancer among black women in the United States, a new study finds. Researchers from Boston University analyzed data from more than 54,000 black women who were cancer-free at the start of the study. During the next 18 years, 914 women were diagnosed with estrogen receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer and 468 with estrogen receptor negative (ER-) breast cancer. Women with type 2 diabetes were 43 percent more likely to have developed ER- breast cancer, but had no increased risk for ER+ breast cancer. The study found that the increased risk for ER- cancer was not attributable to their weight. "While we observed no association for the most common type of breast cancer, the type that is responsive to estrogens, women with diabetes were estimated to be at increased risk of developing estrogen ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Breast Cancer, Diabetes Mellitus, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Risk of Breast Cancer's Return Can Linger for Decades

Posted 15 days ago by

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 8, 2017 – Women treated for early stage breast cancer still face a substantial risk of recurrence up to 20 years later, a large, new study shows. Cancer experts say the findings should help inform women's treatment decisions. Specifically, the researchers followed women with estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer, which means the hormone helps fuel the cancer's growth. Standard treatment includes hormonal therapy – with drugs that block estrogen's effects – to help prevent a return of the cancer. All of the women in the study, nearly 63,000, were scheduled to receive the typical five years of hormonal therapy. Researchers found that while the women remained cancer-free for those five years, the risk for recurrence over the next 15 years was still significant. It was greatest for women whose initial cancer had spread to multiple lymph nodes near the breast by the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon, Soltamox, Tamone

Why Many Breast Cancer Patients Short-Circuit Their Treatment

Posted 17 days ago by

MONDAY, Nov. 6, 2017 – Many breast cancer patients skip recommended treatment after surgery because they lack faith in the health care system, a new study indicates. A patient survey found those who reported a general distrust of medical institutions and insurers were more likely to forgo follow-up breast cancer treatment, such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or radiation. Trust or distrust of their own doctors did not emerge as a factor. "If we want more women with breast cancer to complete their treatment, we'll need to deal with their beliefs about the health care system – and I do think we can modify those beliefs," said study lead author Lorraine Dean. She's an assistant professor of epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. Dean's team surveyed more than 2,700 patients in Florida and Pennsylvania after breast cancer surgery. More than 30 percent disregarded their doctor's ... Read more

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

Even Advanced Breast Cancer Patients Gain From Exercise

Posted 2 Nov 2017 by

THURSDAY, Nov. 2, 2017 – For women with advanced breast cancer, a well-planned exercise program might have a big impact on their quality of life, a small study suggests. Though cancer treatment can extend the lives of women with advanced breast cancer, many patients experience pain, fatigue and a reduced ability to carry out normal daily activities. The study involved 15 women, aged 34 to 68, who were undergoing treatment for advanced breast cancer and were not exercising. Seven continued to receive normal care, and eight were assigned to a 12-week exercise program that included an hour of exercise twice a week, including aerobic and resistance training. Compared with those in the normal-care group, women who exercised showed significant improvements in heart health, pain, fatigue, emotional well-being and the ability to do daily tasks. "This is a small group of patients, but the ... Read more

Related support groups: Fatigue, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Health Tip: Being a Cancer Caregiver

Posted 27 Oct 2017 by

-- Helping to care for a person with cancer may involve issues ranging from understanding medication side effects and communicating with family to providing information to a patient's doctor to help determine if a treatment is working. The American Cancer Society offers this advice for cancer caregivers, recognizing they may feel overworked and under-appreciated: Always respect your feelings and those of the patient. Use "I" statements, rather than "you" statements. For instance, say, "I need a break" instead of "You never help me!" Focus on the present rather than bringing up past patterns or issues. Offer comforting assertions, such as: "I want to be here for you to help you get through this. You're not alone." Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Joan Lunden's Breast Cancer Journey: 'You Feel So Vulnerable'

Posted 26 Oct 2017 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2017 – Joan Lunden – co-host of "Good Morning America" for nearly two decades and a long-time health advocate – is now also a breast cancer survivor. By sharing her experience, Lunden hopes she can help other women facing a frightening cancer diagnosis. "It's so shocking when you hear you have cancer, and you feel so vulnerable," said Lunden, 67. Lunden never missed an annual mammogram to check for breast cancer. But each year, she said the process was "nerve-racking" because she has dense breast tissue that can make it difficult to distinguish healthy breast tissue from tumor tissue. Many women with dense breast tissue, particularly those with risk factors for breast cancer such as a family history, are advised to get additional testing – an MRI or sometimes an ultrasound. When Lunden went in for an ultrasound, she received shocking news. "I had an aggressive, ... Read more

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

Breast Cancer More Lethal for Blacks Than Whites

Posted 16 Oct 2017 by

MONDAY, Oct. 16, 2017 – Differences in insurance are a major reason why black women are more likely to die of breast cancer than white women in the United States, a new study contends. "We found that differences in insurance explained one-third of the total excess risk of death in non-elderly black women compared to white women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer, while differences in tumor characteristics explained approximately one-fifth of the excess risk," lead study author Ahmedin Jemal, of the American Cancer Society (ACS), and colleagues wrote. In 2014, breast cancer death rates were 41 percent higher among black women than among white women in the United States, the researchers said. To learn more about this disparity, the investigators looked at information on more than 550,000 non-elderly women with early stage breast cancer. Black women were more likely to be uninsured ... Read more

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

More Women Choose Breast Reconstruction After Mastectomy

Posted 13 Oct 2017 by

FRIDAY, Oct. 13, 2017 – Over five years, the proportion of U.S. breast cancer patients opting for breast reconstruction after mastectomy grew by about two-thirds, a new government report shows. An analysis of patient data shows breast reconstruction followed 40 percent of breast-removal surgeries in 2014 – up from less than one-quarter in 2009, according to the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Among age groups, women aged 65 and older accounted for the largest increase in breast reconstructive surgery – 140 percent. "This type of information is essential for policymakers and health systems seeking to keep pace with important trends in clinical care," Gopal Khanna, agency director, said in an AHRQ news release. The overall increase during the study period was 65 percent, researchers said. While reconstruction procedures increased in all insurance groups, the ... Read more

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

Breast Cancer Screenings Still Best for Early Detection

Posted 12 Oct 2017 by

THURSDAY, Oct. 12, 2017 – Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States, and routine screenings remain the most reliable way to detect the disease early, a breast cancer expert says. "Breast cancer can be treated more successfully if detected in its early phases, while it is small and has not yet spread," said Dr. Kathryn Evers, director of mammography at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia. "With today's state-of-the-art treatment options and less extensive surgery, patients are experiencing better outcomes." Older age is a leading risk factor for breast cancer. Most women are diagnosed after the age of 50. Having certain mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes also predispose women to the disease. And there are some lifestyle-related risk factors that can be controlled, such as hormone therapy after menopause, obesity, alcohol intake ... Read more

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

Double Mastectomy Increases Time Spent Off Work

Posted 9 Oct 2017 by

MONDAY, Oct. 9, 2017 – Working women who choose an aggressive treatment for breast cancer are likely to miss a significant amount of time before returning to the job. That's the conclusion of a study that focused on approximately 1,000 women in Georgia and Los Angeles who had to decide between various options for dealing with their cancer diagnosis. More than 60 percent of the women, aged 20 to 79, chose a lumpectomy, a relatively less aggressive intervention. One-third chose chemotherapy, while 16 percent had one breast removed (a unilateral mastectomy), the study authors said. Another 23 percent had both breasts removed (a bilateral mastectomy), which is considered the most aggressive option. Nearly 85 percent of the women had been working full-time prior to their diagnosis. Those who chose a bilateral mastectomy with breast reconstruction were eight times more likely to miss over a ... Read more

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

Breast Cancer's Decline May Have Saved 322,000 Lives

Posted 3 Oct 2017 by

TUESDAY, Oct. 3, 2017 – New research finds the number of American women who've lost their lives to breast cancer has fallen precipitously in the past 25 years, with more than 322,000 lives saved in that time. Overall, advances in care have led to a 39 percent drop in breast cancer deaths of between 1989 and 2015, according to new research from the American Cancer Society (ACS). One specialist who works with breast cancer patients daily was heartened by the news. "Early screening and better treatments are finally starting to pay off with better outcomes," said Dr. Stephanie Bernik, chief of surgical oncology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. However, the ACS was quick to point out that not every segment of Americans benefited equally. Despite some closure of the racial "gap" in breast cancer survival, black women are still more likely to die of the disease than their white peers, ... Read more

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

Verzenio Approved for Advanced Breast Cancer

Posted 29 Sep 2017 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 29, 2017 – Verzenio (abemaciclib) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat women with certain advanced forms of breast cancer, the most common cancer in the United States. More than 250,000 women are projected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year, and more than 40,000 will die of the disease, the U.S. National Cancer Institute estimates. Verzenio is designed to block substances called cyclin-dependent kinases that are thought to spur the growth of cancer cells. The drug is approved for hormone receptor-positive and HER2-negative forms of advanced or spreading breast cancer that have been treated with a therapy that changes a person's hormones (endocrine therapy). "Verzenio provides a new targeted treatment option for certain patients with breast cancer who are not responding to treatment, and unlike [similar drugs], it can be given as a ... Read more

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

Mastectomy Study Confirms 'Jolie Effect'

Posted 25 Sep 2017 by

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2017 – Actress Angelina Jolie's decision to undergo breast removal to reduce her risk of breast cancer has led other women to do so, a new study shows. The findings show that celebrities can influence the health care decisions of the general public, said study author Art Sedrakyan, a professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City. In early 2013, Jolie announced her decision to have the preventive surgery to have both breasts removed due to her elevated genetic risk for breast cancer. Researchers sought to determine the impact of that news by analyzing 2004-2014 data on risk-reducing mastectomy in New York State and New South Wales in Australia. In New York, they found the number of women undergoing the procedure nearly doubled – rising from 3.3 bimonthly cases per 1 million 20 months before Jolie's announcement to 6.3 cases per 1 million 20 months after her ... Read more

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

Breast Cancer Radiation 'Less Scary' Than Thought

Posted 25 Sep 2017 by

MONDAY, Sept. 25, 2017 – Radiation therapy for breast cancer is actually "less scary" than anticipated, nine out of 10 patients say after treatment. A survey of 300-plus breast cancer patients also found that more than 80 percent said the side effects of radiation were better than expected. "The word radiation itself sounds frightening and is associated with many negative news stories," said lead researcher Dr. Narek Shaverdian, of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). But over the last 20 years, significant advances have been made, said Shaverdian, chief resident in radiation oncology at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine. "These changes allow us to spare critical organs, create an individual radiation plan for each patient, and also deliver radiation in more convenient schedules," he explained. Shaverdian and his team surveyed patients who had received radiation while ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Nausea/Vomiting - Radiation Induced, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, History - Radiation Therapy

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