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Breast Cancer - Palliative News

Delirium Common in Cancer Patients Seen in ER

Posted 1 day 22 hours ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 25, 2016 – Delirium is fairly common, yet often missed, in advanced cancer patients who visit emergency departments, a new study says. Delirium is a serious disturbance in thinking and awareness, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. Researchers looked for delirium in 243 advanced cancer patients seen at an emergency department. The patients were between the ages of 19 and 89. The researchers found that 22 patients – 9 percent – had delirium. Eighteen had mild delirium and four had moderate delirium. Ten percent of the 99 patients older than 65 had delirium, compared with eight percent of the 144 patients younger than 65. This suggests that advanced cancer patients of all ages should be considered at high risk for delirium, the researchers said. ER doctors failed to diagnose delirium in nine (41 percent) of the patients with delirium, the study said. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Even High-Fat Mediterranean Diet Good for You: Review

Posted 8 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 19, 2016 – Even a high-fat Mediterranean diet may protect against breast cancer, diabetes and heart disease, a new review finds. "If you adhere to a Mediterranean diet, you will probably have fewer heart attacks and strokes, and will be less likely to develop breast cancer and less likely to develop diabetes," said study leader Dr. Hanna Bloomfield. She is a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota and associate chief of staff for research at the Minneapolis VA. Connie Diekman, director of university nutrition at Washington University in St. Louis, said that the findings are a good reminder that focusing on your overall dietary pattern – and not single foods or nutrients – is the key to health. "The impact of the Mediterranean diet on health has always been demonstrated to be due to the plant food pattern, and this study again appears to support that ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Breast Cancer, Weight Loss, Insulin Resistance, Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes Mellitus, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

'Liquid Biopsy' May Show Whether Cancer Drugs Are Working

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 13, 2016 – Researchers have developed a blood test that might allow doctors to know quickly whether a cancer drug is working. The technique is in the early stages of testing, and not ready for "prime time," scientists said. But they were also hopeful that the research will help advance the use of so-called liquid biopsies in treating cancer. Doctors have long used invasive biopsy procedures to get tumor samples, study them, then use the information to make treatment decisions or monitor a patient's response to treatment. But those procedures can be uncomfortable and carry some risks, like bleeding and infection, said Dr. Erica Mayer, a breast cancer expert with the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Plus, she noted, some tumors are difficult to reach, and some patients are not healthy enough to have an invasive biopsy. So there's been "great interest," Mayer ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Tarceva, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Adriamycin, Doxorubicin, Diagnosis and Investigation, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Body Imaging, Adriamycin PFS, Adriamycin RDF

Innovative Trials Produce Promising Breast Cancer Drugs

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 7, 2016 – An innovative set of clinical trials have identified two drugs that could provide a fighting chance for women with advanced breast cancer. The drugs, neratinib and veliparib, both appear effective in helping women diagnosed with stage 2 or 3 breast cancer, researchers report. These are the first two drugs to come out of the I-SPY clinical trials, a research effort intended to streamline drug testing by better guiding treatments to those who would most benefit from them, said one of the study authors, Dr. Laura Esserman. She is director of breast cancer care at the University of California, San Francisco's Comprehensive Cancer Center. The results: Neratinib halted the spread of cancer in 56 percent of women with HER2-positive, hormone-receptor-negative breast cancer, compared with 33 percent of a control group receiving standard chemotherapy alone. Veliparib ... 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

Why Breast Cancer Survivors Should Exercise

Posted 19 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 8, 2016 – Excessive stress can lead to memory problems among breast cancer survivors, but exercise can help, according to new research. "We found moderate to vigorous physical activity actually benefits women psychologically and that, in turn, helps their memory," said the study's lead author, Siobhan Phillips. She is assistant professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. Post-cancer memory issues are often attributed to chemotherapy or radiation treatments, known as "chemo brain." However, the new study findings suggest "these self-reported memory problems may be in part emotionally related," Phillips said in a university news release. "These women are frightened, stressed, fatigued, tapped out emotionally and have low self-confidence, which can be very mentally taxing and can lead to perceived memory problems," she ... Read more

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

Gene Tied to Breast Cancer Raises Uterine Cancer Risk Too

Posted 1 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 – Women with a gene mutation known as BRCA1 have an increased risk for a deadly form of uterine cancer, a new study finds. The BRCA1 gene mutation is already well known for significantly increasing the risk of breast and ovarian cancers. In fact, the risk is so high that some women consider having both breasts, as well as their ovaries, removed to prevent breast and ovarian cancers, the researchers noted. This latest study is the first to find a conclusive link between the mutation and a slight increase in the odds of developing an aggressive uterine cancer, the researchers said. The study authors looked at data from nearly 1,100 U.S. women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations. The women were from the United States and the United Kingdom. Their health was followed for a median of about five years. BRCA2 also raises the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, according to ... Read more

Related support groups: Abnormal Uterine Bleeding, Breast Cancer, Uterine Bleeding, Ovarian Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Video May Aid End-of-Life Decision-Making

Posted 30 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 30, 2016 – Watching a video about end-of-life care options may help patients with advanced heart failure choose the approach best for them, a new study finds. The choices include comfort-focused care versus more invasive care that could extend their days. "Because the course of heart failure is uncertain, in part because of improved therapies, doctors may be reluctant to initiate a conversation with their patients about advance care planning," said study lead author Dr. Areej El-Jawahri. She is director of the bone marrow transplant survivorship program at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, and a member of the Video Images of Disease for Ethical Outcomes Consortium, which develops videos for decision-making support. Heart failure means the heart struggles to provide the body with enough blood to remain healthy. People with advanced heart failure tend ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Melanoma, Ovarian Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Smoking May Hinder Common Breast Cancer Treatment

Posted 24 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 24, 2016 – Smoking may blunt the effectiveness of a certain kind of breast cancer treatment, new research suggests. Among breast cancer patients taking a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, smokers had a three times greater risk of their cancer returning than nonsmokers, the investigators found. However, the study could not prove a cause-and-effect link. Smoking had little or no effect on the benefit of other drugs, such as chemotherapy or tamoxifen, or radiation treatment, the study authors added. "These findings need confirmation. If confirmed, smoking status should be taken into consideration when selecting the type of [breast cancer] therapy," said lead researcher Helena Jernstrom. She is an associate professor of experimental oncology at Lund University Cancer Center in Sweden. Common aromatase inhibitors include Arimidex (anastrozole), Aromasin (exemestane) ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Breast Cancer, Smoking Cessation, Arimidex, Femara, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Aromasin, Exemestane, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Teslac, Testolactone

Patient Positioning Might Hamper Accuracy of Breast MRI

Posted 22 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 22, 2016 – There's evidence that the position a woman is placed in during her pre-surgical breast MRI could influence – for better or worse – the scan's accuracy. The small study, from radiologists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, suggests that MRI images taken before breast cancer surgery could provide incorrect data if the patient is placed face-down during the scan. In contrast, "supine [face up] MRI before surgery may provide surgeons with more detailed and accurate information, and could lead to effective tumor removal," lead researcher and radiologist Dr. Eva Gombos said in a hospital news release. A breast MRI is commonly performed before breast cancer patients undergo breast-conserving lumpectomy, to help the surgeon see the size, shape and location of the tumor. "The real benefit of breast MRI in a patient with breast cancer is preoperative ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, History - Radiation Therapy

U.S. Black Women Get Less Care to Prevent Breast Cancer Return

Posted 7 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 7, 2016 – Black breast cancer survivors in the United States are less likely than white or Hispanic women to get follow-up genetic screening and surgeries that can help prevent a return of cancer, new research finds. Among more than 1,600 women diagnosed by age 50, almost twice as many whites were tested for critical BRCA gene mutations as blacks, the researchers found. BRCA mutations raise the lifetime risk of a second breast cancer as much as 50 percent and risk of ovarian cancer by up to 44 percent, the study authors noted. Also, black women were less likely to undergo preventive mastectomy or removal of the ovaries, even though those procedures are known to reduce the risk of a second breast cancer or ovarian cancer, the findings showed. "I hope that our findings will raise awareness of disparities pertaining to inherited cancer predispositions, that exist across the ... 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

Longer Use of Certain Drugs Cuts Recurrence for Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – Many survivors of breast cancers that are sensitive to estrogen are advised to take hormone-suppressing drugs such as tamoxifen for five years, to cut their odds for a recurrence. Tamoxifen can have onerous side effects, however. Now, new research finds that taking an alternative, and less troublesome, class of medications for a full decade can reduce the risk for recurrence even more – without affecting a woman's quality of life. The newer class of hormone-suppressing drugs are called aromatase inhibitors, and include drugs such as letrozole (Femara), anastrozole (Arimidex) and exemestane (Aromasin). "Aromatase inhibitors do not have all the side effects of tamoxifen and overall are much better tolerated than tamoxifen," explained one breast cancer expert, Dr. Stephanie Bernik. She believes the new study supports the benefit of aromatase inhibitors, and "women ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Aromasin, Exemestane, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Tamofen, Tamosin, Soltamox, Tamone, Emblon

Useless Treatments Common in Young, Terminal Cancer Patients

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – Three-quarters of young or middle-aged Americans with terminal cancer receive aggressive treatment during the last month of their lives, even though such care may provide nothing but misery, a new study estimates. An analysis of insurance records found that cancer patients often undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery in their final 30 days. One-third die in the hospital, while fewer than one in five use hospice care to ease their suffering, according to findings presented Monday at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting in Chicago. "Additional efforts are critically needed to improve end-of-life care for patients with terminal disease, to ensure that the care provided meets the goals and preferences of patients and their families," said lead researcher Dr. Ronald Chen. He is an associate professor of radiation oncology at the ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Gastric Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative, History - Radiation Therapy

'Smart Bomb' Targets Tough-to-Treat Breast Cancer

Posted 4 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 – A new drug therapy shows promise for treating triple-negative breast cancer, an especially aggressive form of the disease, researchers say. A recent trial – the second of three needed for approval in the United States – found the treatment halted cancer progression for nearly six months, twice as long as other treatments, the researchers reported. The experimental approach pairs an antibody drug with chemotherapy. "The antibody drug finds the cancer cells and delivers the chemotherapy only to those cancer cells," said study researcher Dr. Aditya Bardia, an attending physician at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center. "That is why we are able to give a high dose of chemotherapy to the cancer cells." The regimen, called sacituzumab govitecan (IMMU-132), acts like a "smart bomb," the researchers said. The antibody targets a protein known as Trop-2 that's ... Read more

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

Cheaper Breast Cancer Drug Does Well in Clinical Trial

Posted 4 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 3, 2016 – For women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer, a similar but less expensive experimental drug works just as well as the standard drug Herceptin (trastuzumab), a new study finds. HER2-positive tumors contain certain genes that are associated with more rapid tumor growth and a worse prognosis, according to the American Cancer Society. The new drug targeting these tumors is what's known as a biosimilar drug – in this case, a drug similar to Herceptin. Biosimilars are designed to mimic the brand-name medicine, and are expected to produce roughly the same results in patients, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration explained. Researchers conducted a randomized phase III clinical trial of the biosimilar trastuzumab antibody drug MYL-1401O. Their trial included 500 patients. The trial was conducted at 95 sites in Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. The women ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Herceptin, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Trastuzumab

Mindfulness Meditation Seems to Soothe Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted 2 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 2, 2016 – Mindfulness meditation seems to help breast cancer patients better manage symptoms of fatigue, anxiety and fear of recurrence, a new study suggests. Previous research has found that mindfulness meditation can reduce stress and anxiety in the general population as well as in breast cancer survivors. But, there hadn't been many large, clinical trials to test the value of the practice among breast cancer patients, said study author Cecile Lengacher, director of the predoctoral fellowship program at the University of South Florida, in Tampa. In her study, those who took part in the six-week program had less anxiety, fear of recurrence and less fatigue compared to those who did not take the program, she found. The effect was small to moderate, she added. "It works right away," Lengacher said of the program, known as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. The results ... Read more

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

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