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Breast Cancer - Palliative News

Rates of Preventive Mastectomy Doubled in a Decade, and Fear Is a Factor

Posted 6 days ago by

TUESDAY, Oct. 18, 2016 – Fear of cancer recurrence seems to be a primary reason why breast cancer patients choose to have their cancer-free breast removed at the same time as their affected breast, a new study finds. The rate of this type of surgery – called contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) – doubled in the United States in the past 10 years. Recent data suggest that up to 25 percent of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients undergo this procedure, the study authors noted. The researchers wanted to find out why so many patients decide to have the surgery. They looked at breast cancer patient postings in an online health community. Along with fear of cancer recurrence, many women believe that a double mastectomy is the best treatment for breast cancer, the investigators found. Some patients had already had a breast cancer recurrence and decided on preventive mastectomy in ... Read more

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

Breast Cancer Deaths Continue to Decline in U.S.

Posted 11 days ago by

THURSDAY, Oct. 13, 2016 – The racial gap for breast cancer deaths is closing, particularly among younger women, U.S. health officials reported Thursday. Breast cancer death rates are down overall for both white and black women, though there's still a disparity between the races. Between 2010 and 2014, death rates dropped faster among white women than among black women, about 2 percent a year versus 1.5 percent, according to the study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, among women under 50, the death rate was the same for both races, the researchers found. "We hope that the signal we are seeing in younger women we will see in older women as time progresses," said lead author Dr. Lisa Richardson. She's director of the division of cancer prevention and control at the CDC. "Historically, black women have had higher mortality rates and they still do overall, ... Read more

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

Cost of Breast Cancer Chemo Varies Widely in U.S.

Posted 14 days ago by

MONDAY, Oct. 10, 2016 – Breast cancer chemotherapy costs can vary by tens of thousands of dollars in the United States, depending on the course of treatment doctors select, a new study finds. Even across drug regimens that achieve the same effect, insurers' costs can differ by as much as $20,000, researchers found. They found a smaller variation in patients' share of the cost across different treatment regimens. "But there still was a high financial burden for patients," said Dr. Sharon Giordano, the study's lead author. That's especially true for patients in high-deductible health plans. Their median out-of-pocket cost exceeded $5,000, and 10 percent of patients shelled out $11,000 or more, the study found. Giordano is a professor in breast medical oncology and chair of health services research at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. She and her colleagues ... Read more

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

More Evidence Tamoxifen, Other Meds Help Limit Breast Cancer's Spread

Posted 18 days ago by

THURSDAY, Oct. 6, 2016 – Treatment with tamoxifen or another class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors does cut breast cancer patients' risk of developing cancer in their other breast, a new study finds. Some breast cancers rely on estrogen to help them grow, and drugs like tamoxifen or the aromatase inhibitors (which include anastrozole) have long been prescribed to certain breast cancer survivors. Tamoxifen blocks estrogen receptors in the breast cells to hamper cancer growth. Anastrozole stops estrogen production in fat tissue, which makes small amounts of the hormone. According to background information in the new study, about 5 percent of breast cancer patients develop cancer in their other breast (contralateral breast cancer) within 10 years after their initial breast cancer diagnosis. Prior clinical trials had concluded that tamoxifen and aromatase inhibitors reduce this risk, ... Read more

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

More Hispanics Treated at Breast Cancer Center After Obamacare

Posted 25 Sep 2016 by

SUNDAY, Sept. 25, 2016 – After the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was implemented in 2014, more Hispanic women received breast cancer treatment and enrolled in clinical trials at a California cancer center, a new study finds. "Our study shows that with the implementation of the ACA in California, our cancer center's Hispanic breast cancer patient population increased significantly," Chloe Lalonde said in a news release from the American Association for Cancer Research. "We also observed an increase in the proportion of Hispanic women who consented to be part of a national clinical trial, including a substantial increase in Spanish-speaking patients," Lalonde said. She was a clinical research coordinator at the University of California, San Diego, Moores Cancer Center during the study. The researchers suspect the increase was from previously uninsured patients getting insurance under the ... Read more

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

More Breast Cancer Patients Should Get Radiation, New Guidelines Say

Posted 21 Sep 2016 by

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – New guidelines issued by three leading cancer organizations suggest that more breast cancer patients should get radiation therapy after a mastectomy. Overall, the guidelines say there's enough evidence to show radiation treatment after a mastectomy decreases the risk of breast cancer recurrence, and that even women with smaller tumors and three or fewer lymph nodes involved can benefit from the therapy. "The new guidelines say there is clear evidence that the benefit of [post-mastectomy radiation therapy] extends to women with limited lymph node involvement," said Dr. Stephen Edge. He is vice president for health care outcomes and policy at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. Edge was co-chair of the panel that developed the new guidelines. One radiation treatment expert welcomed the updated recommendations. "The guideline is timely," said Dr. ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Surgical Prophylaxis, Breast Cancer - Palliative, History - Radiation Therapy

Early Palliative Care Improves Patients' Quality of Life

Posted 9 Sep 2016 by

FRIDAY, Sept. 9, 2016 – Starting palliative care shortly after a person is diagnosed with incurable cancer helps patients cope and improves their quality of life, a new study shows. It also leads to more discussions about patients' end-of-life care preferences, the researchers added. Palliative care, also called comfort care, is given to improve the quality of life for patients who have a life-threatening disease or terminal illness, such as cancer. The goal is not to cure the patient, but to manage the symptoms of the disease, according to the U.S. National Cancer Institute. The new study included 350 people recently diagnosed with incurable lung or gastrointestinal cancer. They were randomly assigned to one of two care groups. One group received early palliative care integrated with cancer care. The other received cancer care alone. The patients were evaluated at 12 and 24 weeks ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Two Genes Might Help Predict Breast Cancer Survival

Posted 18 Aug 2016 by

THURSDAY, Aug. 18, 2016 – The activity of two genes may help predict certain breast cancer patients' chances of survival and guide their treatment, British researchers report. "We have seen major strides in the treatment of breast cancer, but once it begins to spread round the body it is still often fatal," said Paul Workman. He is chief executive of the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) in London, which conducted the research. "This new study helps us understand some of the processes that control how breast cancers spread, and identifies a pattern of genetic activity that could be used to pick out women particularly at risk," Workman said in an institute news release. In the study, a team led by ICR researcher Paul Huang looked at tumors from nearly 2,000 breast cancer patients. They focused on HER-2 positive breast cancers, which account for about 20 percent of breast cancers. ... Read more

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

New Guidelines Set Safe Surgery Margins for Some Breast Cancers

Posted 15 Aug 2016 by

FRIDAY, Aug. 12, 2016 – New surgery guidelines for certain breast cancer patients could reduce both unnecessary surgeries and recurrence rates, three U.S. cancer groups say. The guideline is for treatment of women with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) who undergo breast-conserving surgery with whole breast radiation. DCIS is an early stage cancer. "The use of a 2-millimeter margin as the standard for an adequate margin in DCIS treated with whole breast radiation therapy is associated with low rates of recurrence of cancer in the breast and has the potential to decrease re-excision rates, improve cosmetic outcome and decrease health care costs," according to the guideline from the Society of Surgical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Margins more widely clear than 2 millimeters do not further reduce the rates of ... Read more

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

Insurance, Distance Often Prevent Breast Reconstruction After Cancer

Posted 2 Aug 2016 by

TUESDAY, Aug. 2, 2016 – Insurance coverage and the distance to a doctor's office affect the likelihood that breast cancer patients will have reconstructive surgery after breast removal, a new study finds. Researchers analyzed data from nearly 5,400 women in North Carolina who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 2003 and 2006 and had breast removal (mastectomy) within six months of diagnosis. Twenty percent had breast reconstruction surgery within two years. Compared to patients with private insurance, those with Medicare coverage were 42 percent less likely to have breast reconstruction and those with Medicaid coverage were 76 percent less likely. Medicare and Medicaid are U.S. government health insurance programs. The University of North Carolina researchers also found that compared to women who lived within 10 miles of a plastic surgeon's office, those who lived 10 to 20 miles ... Read more

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

Cancer Surgeons Advise Against Removal of Healthy Breast

Posted 31 Jul 2016 by

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 – Only certain women with cancer in one breast should have their healthy breast removed in an attempt to prevent cancer, a leading group of breast surgeons maintains. The new position statement from the American Society of Breast Surgeons comes at a time when more breast cancer patients are asking doctors to remove the unaffected breast – a procedure known as contralateral prophylactic mastectomy. "Contralateral prophylactic mastectomy is a growing trend that has generated significant discussion among physicians, patients, breast cancer advocates and media," said position statement lead author Dr. Judy Boughey. She is professor of surgery at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. However, "it is important for patients to understand it does not improve their cancer outcome and for them to understand the pros, cons and alternatives to [contralateral prophylactic ... Read more

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

New Guidelines Issued for Cancer Patients' Post-Treatment Pain

Posted 29 Jul 2016 by

FRIDAY, July 29, 2016 – More people are surviving cancer, but many are left with persistent pain after treatment. New guidelines from the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recommend that doctors routinely screen for such pain. The guidelines also advise doctors to consider the use of non-traditional treatments for pain. These include hypnosis, meditation and medical marijuana where it's legal. ASCO also cautioned doctors to assess patients' risk for overuse of opioid painkillers. "Many oncologists and primary care physicians are not trained to recognize or treat long-term pain associated with cancer," guideline panel co-chair Judith Paice said in an ASCO news release. "This guideline will help clinicians identify pain early and develop comprehensive treatment plans, using a broad range of approaches," she said. Advances in cancer diagnosis and treatment have led to a record ... Read more

Related support groups: Pain, Suboxone, Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydrocodone, Percocet, Tramadol, Cancer, OxyContin, Vicodin, Norco, Fentanyl, Morphine, Codeine, Lortab, Tylenol, Chronic Pain, Opana, Ibuprofen, Subutex

'Ppl, I Have Breast Cancer'

Posted 28 Jul 2016 by

THURSDAY, July 28, 2016 – Women who communicated via social media after a breast cancer diagnosis and received information and/or support about treatment approaches were happier with their ultimate decisions, a new study finds. Researchers surveyed thousands of women not long after they learned they had breast cancer. Those who turned to online resources – whether to share the news or gain information or support – felt more satisfied with their treatment, the study found. The researchers worry that certain breast cancer patients – especially older ones, minorities and those with lower levels of education – will miss out on the possible benefits of going online. "Our findings highlight an unmet need in patients for decisional support when they are going through breast cancer treatment," said lead study author Lauren Wallner, an assistant professor of general medicine at the ... Read more

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

Delirium Common in Cancer Patients Seen in ER

Posted 25 Jul 2016 by

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 19 Jul 2016 by

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

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