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Breast Cancer - Palliative News

Misunderstood Gene Tests May Lead to Unnecessary Mastectomies

Posted 15 days ago by Drugs.com

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, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation, Body Imaging

Mammogram Guidelines Have Changed, But Are Doctors Listening?

Posted 17 days ago by Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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 Drugs.com

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, Pancreatic Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Endometrial Cancer, Osteosarcoma, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Melanoma - Metastatic

Preventive Mastectomy Rates Vary by State

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – In certain areas of the United States, more women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer are choosing to have the unaffected breast removed, new research finds. The study also found that younger women are especially likely to have the second breast removed. Nearly half of women under age 45 diagnosed with early breast cancer in five states opted for the procedure, said the study's senior author, Dr. Ahmedin Jemal. He's vice president of the American Cancer Society's Surveillance and Health Services Research Program. The five states are Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota. The study included records from 1.2 million women from 45 states and Washington, D.C. All patients were 20 and older. All had been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer in one breast and were treated with surgery between 2004 and 2012. Between those years, the ... Read more

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

Smokers May Be Prone to Risks From Breast Cancer Radiation Therapy

Posted 29 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – Breast cancer patients who smoke have an increased risk for serious long-term complications from radiation therapy, a new study finds. "This research highlights that breast cancer patients who smoke need to be offered help and support in order to try and quit to minimize any risks from their treatment," Dr. Julie Sharp said in a Cancer Research UK news release. She's head of health information for the research and awareness charity based in the United Kingdom. "It's important to remember that modern-day radiotherapy techniques have been refined and improved to make sure it is targeted and effective while reducing the risk of side effects," Sharp added. British researchers looked at data from nearly 41,000 breast cancer patients. The information came from 75 different studies on radiation therapy for breast cancer. The researchers found that the long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Breast Cancer, Smoking Cessation, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer - Palliative, History - Radiation Therapy

Many Talks on End-of-Life Wishes End in Confusion, Study Shows

Posted 24 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 23, 2017 – You've filled out a living will, and designated a surrogate to make medical decisions if you're incapacitated. But, your end-of-life planning may not be done yet. That's because, according to a new study, your surrogate may still not have a clear idea about what you really want done in a crisis situation – even after you've discussed your wishes with them. In the study, seven out of every 10 surrogates didn't have an accurate understanding of their loved one's wishes regarding potentially life-altering medical treatment, even though both believed they had adequately discussed the topic. "There were a lot of surrogates in those pairs where they both said, 'yes, we've had this communication,' who didn't have a good understanding of the patient's goals of care," said lead researcher Dr. Terri Fried. She is a professor of geriatrics with the Yale School of ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Is Radiation Therapy Overused in Breast Cancer Care?

Posted 14 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 14, 2017 – More than half of older American women with early breast cancer may get more radiation therapy than needed, which significantly boosts medical costs, a new study indicates. Analyzing 2011 data on breast cancer patients, researchers estimated $164 million could have been saved by ordering a shorter radiation course. "Women who were eligible for shorter radiation courses or omission of radiation were still often receiving longer and more costly radiation courses," said study leader Dr. Rachel Greenup. She's an assistant professor of surgery at Duke University Medical Center Cancer Institute in Durham, N.C. However, Greenup and other experts said the study results might not be applicable to today because more women are receiving shorter courses of radiation than in 2011. For the study, Greenup's team used data on 43,000 breast cancer patients age 50 and older ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Nausea/Vomiting - Radiation Induced, Tamoxifen Hexal, History - Radiation Therapy, Tamosin, Emblon, Nolvadex, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D, Tamofen

'No One Dies Alone' Program Offers Comfort at Life's End

Posted 14 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 14, 2017 – Millions of older Americans live out their final hours alone in a hospital bed. But at some hospitals, a comforting presence at a patient's bedside is considered essential end-of-life medicine. So, if there are no friends or loved ones to keep vigil, a volunteer might fill the void. "It's amazing how much just having someone hold a hand makes a difference," said Rebecca Hixson, a registered nurse at Vanderbilt Hospital Medical Center in Nashville. Americans are living longer, with more seniors living alone – and dying alone. They may be single, childless, or getting treatment long distances away from their loved ones. A trauma patient who was flown to the Vanderbilt medical center is a case in point. "His family lived two states away. Once they left, they didn't have the money for gas to come back," said Hixson, clinical staff leader in the hospital's ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Soy Safe, Even Protective, for Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted 7 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, March 7, 2017 – The pros and cons of soy for breast cancer patients have been debated for years. Now, research involving more than 6,200 breast cancer survivors finds that those who ate the most soy had a lower risk of death from all causes during the nearly 10-year follow-up period. "We didn't find any harmful effects of women diagnosed with breast cancer consuming soy in terms of mortality," said study leader Dr. Fang Fang Zhang. She's an assistant professor of epidemiology at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy in Boston. "Overall, consuming higher levels of soy is associated with a 21 percent reduction in the risk of death compared to women who consumed soy at a lower level," she said. Concerns around soy's "risk/benefit" profile have arisen because the food has estrogen-like compounds called isoflavones. That's important, experts says, ... Read more

Related support groups: Hot Flashes, Breast Cancer, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Soy, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative

Bad Diet in Youth Might Raise Risk of Early Breast Cancer

Posted 2 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 2, 2017 – A poor diet while young may do more than just make it tough to fit into a pair of jeans: New research suggests it might also raise a younger woman's risk for breast cancer. "A diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates, and red and processed meat makes it more likely that you may experience early onset breast cancer," said study senior author Karin Michels. She is chair of epidemiology at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, in Los Angeles. An unhealthy diet appeared to increase that risk by more than one-third, but the findings can't prove cause-and-effect, Michels said. "We are talking about a link or association," she noted. The study tracked data from more than 45,000 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study II. All of the women completed food frequency questionnaires about their teen and early adult diets, and were followed up for 22 years. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Breast Cancer, Menopausal Disorders, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Diagnosis and Investigation

Exercise a Powerful Ally for Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted 21 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 21, 2017 – For breast cancer survivors, exercise may help lower their chances of dying from the disease more than other healthy habits, a new review suggests. The Canadian researchers analyzed 67 published articles to see which habits made the most difference in reducing the risk of either breast cancer recurrence or death. Exercise came out on top, reducing the risk of breast cancer death by about 40 percent, said review author Dr. Ellen Warner, a medical oncologist at Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre and a professor at the University of Toronto. "It's similar to the magnitude of chemotherapy or hormone therapy," she said. "So, that's pretty powerful." However, the review did not prove that exercise causes breast cancer risk to drop. Besides exercise, the previous research looked at weight and weight gain, diet, smoking, alcohol and vitamin supplements. The new review ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Weight Loss, Breast Cancer, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Vitamin C, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Caltrate 600 with D, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Ascorbic Acid, Citracal + D, Calcium/Vitamin D, Protexin, Oysco 500 with D, Citracal Petites, Osteolytic Bone Metastases of Breast Cancer, Ester-C, Cecon, Calcet

Cancer Survivors Gain From Web-Based Health Care

Posted 10 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Feb. 10, 2017 – Online- and phone-based health care offers a number of benefits for cancer survivors, British researchers report. The new study looked at previous research on cancer survivors' experiences with online and phone health contacts – what the researchers call telehealth. The review found that patients liked the flexibility and convenience of this method of staying in touch with their care providers because they could do so in a familiar, comfortable setting and with minimum disruption to their lives. The perceived anonymity of telehealth reduced patients' sense of vulnerability and some said they were more comfortable raising concerns in this setting than in face-to-face appointments. Negative aspects of telehealth mentioned by patients included not being able to meet their health care providers in person, while other patients said they couldn't use the service due ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Prostate Cancer, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Brain Tumor, Skin Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Small Cell Lung Cancer, Bladder Cancer, Cervical Cancer, Stomach Cancer, Head and Neck Cancer, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Testicular Cancer, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, Wilms' Tumor, Solid Tumors

Many Women Skip Mammograms After False-Positive Result

Posted 9 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 9, 2017 – The trauma of receiving a false-positive result from a mammogram may lead many women to delay or skip their next screening, a new study finds. A false-positive result means that an aberration on a mammogram looks like it might be cancer. But after tests – such as added imaging or biopsy – it turns out to be benign. In the meantime, however, the patient may go through distress and various procedures, and decide to delay or skip her next mammogram. That's a potentially fatal mistake, breast cancer experts said, because detecting tumors early can save lives. "Unfortunately, for women over age 50, just skipping a mammogram every other year would miss up to 30 percent of cancers," said Dr. Stefanie Zalasin, a breast imaging specialist who reviewed the new findings. "Reassuring a patient that the overwhelming majority of mammograms and even biopsies are normal can ... 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, Body Imaging

Too Few High-Risk Women Tested for Breast Cancer Gene: Survey

Posted 7 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 7, 2017 – Though testing for two genes that raise breast cancer risk has been around for decades, a new survey finds many high-risk women don't get the test, often because they aren't told to by their doctors. Among women with the highest risk, about eight of 10 said they wanted testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations. But, "only about half of them actually got the testing they should get," said study author Dr. Allison Kurian, from Stanford University's School of Medicine. "Genetic cancer testing is not well matched to the medical needs of the patient, to a woman's risk of having a mutation," said Kurian, an associate professor of medicine and of health research and policy. Why the gap? About 56 percent of the high-risk women who were not tested said their doctors did not recommend it, the survey found. In addition to the test itself, genetic counseling can help ... Read more

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

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