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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, Nolvadex, History - Radiation Therapy, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon

HRT Won't Lower Women's Alzheimer's Risk, Study Finds

Posted 16 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 16, 2017 – Women who use hormone therapy after menopause may not have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's, a new study suggests. However, there was some evidence that long-term use – over a decade – might be tied to a lower risk of the memory-robbing brain disease. But the results were far from definitive, the researchers added. The study is the latest to delve into the question of whether menopausal hormone therapy can benefit women's brains. Research so far has yielded conflicting findings. On one hand, a number of trials have found no brain benefits for women using hormone therapy, said Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, executive director of the North American Menopause Society. On the other hand, small trials have found that when hormone therapy is given after surgical menopause, women can see "cognitive benefits," said Pinkerton, who was not involved in the new study. On ... Read more

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Breast Density May Be Leading Indicator of Cancer Risk

Posted 2 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 – Women whose breasts are predominantly made up of more dense, glandular tissue face higher odds for breast cancer, a new study finds. The researchers added that, based on their study of 200,000 women, breast density may be the most important gauge of breast cancer risk, eclipsing family history of the disease and other risk factors. "The most significant finding in this study is the impact of breast density on development of breast cancer in the population," said study senior author Dr. Karla Kerlikowske. She is a researcher in the department of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Still, not everyone is convinced that breast tissue density is the preeminent risk factor for breast cancer. Dr. Kristin Byrne is chief of breast imaging at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She believes that the numbers in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Obesity, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Diagnosis and Investigation, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Fibrocystic Breast Disease, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Body Imaging, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon

Many Breast Cancer Survivors Don't Get Life-Extending Therapy

Posted 2 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Feb. 2, 2017 – Hormonal therapies such as tamoxifen, or a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, can reduce the likelihood that women diagnosed with certain breast cancers will experience a recurrence of their disease. However, a new study finds these treatments – used in breast cancers that are responsive to hormones such as estrogen – are too seldom utilized or often used incorrectly. According to the research team, if all U.S. breast cancer survivors who needed them followed recommendations for hormone therapy, that could mean almost 15,000 lives saved over a decade. Unfortunately, these drugs are "still underused, and in some cases, misused – offered to patients who lack [estrogen] hormone receptors" on their tumor cells, explained study senior author Dr. Dezheng Huo. He's associate professor of public health sciences at the University of Chicago. As the ... Read more

Related support groups: Nausea/Vomiting, Hot Flashes, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Aromasin, Exemestane, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Tamone, Emblon, Tamoxen, Genox, Teslac

'Chemo Brain' Lasts for Months in Many Breast Cancer Survivors

Posted 11 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 11, 2017 – "Chemo brain" – the mental fog common after breast cancer treatment – can persist for six months, new research shows. The finding comes from one of the largest studies to date to look at chemotherapy-related thinking problems that plague many women treated for breast cancer. Those problems can include memory lapses, attention issues and difficulty processing information. When researchers compared hundreds of U.S. women six months after chemotherapy ended with hundreds of healthy women, they found more than one-third of the chemotherapy group had a decline in thinking scores versus less than 15 percent of the others. "The bottom line is, this is a real problem, patients are having difficulties and we need to acknowledge it is one of the difficulties of treatment," said Dr. Patricia Ganz. Ganz is director of cancer prevention and control research at the ... Read more

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

Study Casts More Doubt on Value of Mammograms

Posted 10 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Jan. 9, 2017 – Mammograms frequently detect small breast tumors that might never become life-threatening, causing women to receive treatment they likely don't need, a new Danish study finds. About one in every three women between the ages of 50 and 69 who was diagnosed with breast cancer wound up having a tumor that posed no immediate threat to her health, the researchers reported. At the same time, mammography did not reduce the number of advanced breast cancers found in women in the study. "This means that breast screening is unlikely to improve breast cancer survival or reduce the use of invasive surgery," said study author Dr. Karsten Juhl Jorgensen, deputy director of research for the Nordic Cochrane Center at the Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen. "It also means that breast screening leads to unnecessary detection and treatment of many breast cancers." Dr. Otis Brawley, chief ... Read more

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

Tamoxifen May Get Blamed for Unrelated Symptoms

Posted 9 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 9, 2016 – Some high-risk women who take tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer may mistake naturally occurring nausea and vomiting for side effects of the drug and stop taking it, a new study finds. Previous research has shown that taking tamoxifen can reduce the risk of breast cancer by more than 30 percent in high-risk women, and the preventive effects last more than 20 years, the study authors said. But a study of women taking tamoxifen in the United Kingdom found that one-third didn't continue the treatment for the recommended five years. Those who experienced nausea and vomiting were more likely to stop taking the drug than those without such symptoms, the findings showed. However, women who were taking an inactive placebo and had the same symptoms were equally likely to stop. That suggests that some symptoms triggered by other causes were being mistaken for side effects ... Read more

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

Intense Chemo Offers Little Benefit for Early Breast Cancer: Study

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – A more intense type of chemotherapy offers little benefit over standard chemotherapy for women with high-risk early breast cancer, European researchers report. Known as tailored dose-dense chemotherapy, the treatments are given over a shorter period of time without increasing the overall dose. It has been suggested as a way to improve the effectiveness of the treatment for early breast cancer. However, the European study did not find a difference in recurrence-free survival or overall survival after five years of follow-up. The investigators did find that the dose-dense group had better event-free survival, defined as the time to any breast cancer relapse, cancer in the opposite breast, other malignant growths or death from any cause. Despite the results, a U.S. breast cancer expert said there is still a role for the approach in certain women. Researchers from ... Read more

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

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

Posted 6 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

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, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Aromasin, Exemestane, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Tamone, Emblon, Tamoxen, Genox, Teslac, Nolvadex D

Tamoxifen OK for Breast Cancer Patients Without Uterine Abnormalities: Study

Posted 22 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Sept. 22, 2016 – For most women, taking the breast cancer drug tamoxifen doesn't increase their risk of uterine cancer, a new study suggests. For women who don't already have precancerous abnormalities in the uterine lining (endometrium), the risk is small, according to the Loyola Medicine study. The researchers said a pretreatment ultrasound may ease women's concerns. "Many women who would benefit from taking tamoxifen fail to do so because they fear getting endometrial cancer," first author Dr. Ronald Potkul said in a Loyola news release. "Our study found that for women who did not have endometrial abnormalities when they began taking tamoxifen, there was a very low rate of developing pre-malignant conditions." Potkul is chairman of obstetrics and gynecology and director of gynecologic oncology for the Loyola University Health System in Maywood, Ill. The study, funded by ... Read more

Related support groups: Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Endometrial Cancer, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon

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, Tamone, Emblon, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D

U.S. Pays Highest Prices for Cancer Meds: Study

Posted 6 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 6, 2016 – The United States pays the highest prices in the world for generic and brand-name cancer drugs, a new study has found. However, as the world's wealthiest nation, the United States is better able to pay for those pricey drugs than poorer countries with somewhat lower medication prices, added study lead author Dr. Daniel Goldstein. People in China and India are much less able to afford cancer drugs than Americans, he said, even though U.S. monthly drug prices are about three to six times higher in the United States. That doesn't mean America came out on top in overall drug affordability, however. Developed nations such as Australia, England and Israel had the "best deal" in the world on cancer drugs, thanks to government programs that regulate drug pricing, the study found. "America is the wealthiest nation, but its drug prices are significantly higher – so much ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Provera, Depo-Provera, Methotrexate, Breast Cancer, Accutane, Lupron, Medroxyprogesterone, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Fluorouracil, Tretinoin, Lupron Depot, Femara, Lung Cancer, Gleevec, Colorectal Cancer, Rituxan, Isotretinoin, Zoladex

Breast Cancer Meds Won't Raise Chances of Heart Attack, Stroke, Study Suggests

Posted 21 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 21, 2016 – Treatment with estrogen-lowering drugs called aromatase inhibitors doesn't raise the risk of heart attacks and strokes among breast cancer survivors, a new study suggests. However, the researchers did find that women who took the drugs had a slightly higher risk of less serious heart problems, such as an abnormal heart beat or swelling and irritation of the membrane surrounding the heart. "Our study is a comprehensive assessment of the impact aromatase inhibitors have on cardiovascular risk and provides reassurance that the hormone therapy to reduce breast cancer recurrence does not increase risk of the most fatal cardiovascular events," said study author Reina Haque. She is a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente's Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation. "A particular strength of our study is that we accounted for women's other potential ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Arimidex, Femara, Breast Cancer, Metastatic, Anastrozole, Letrozole, Aromasin, Exemestane, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Breast Cancer - Male, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Tamone, Emblon, Tamoxen, Genox

1 in 4 Breast Cancer Lumpectomies Requires Follow-Up Surgery

Posted 17 Feb 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 17, 2016 – Women with early stage breast cancer who opt for a breast-conserving surgery known as a lumpectomy have a one in four chance they will need a second operation within 90 days, researchers report. "The chance of getting a second surgery has gone down a little, but it is still high and it is substantial," said study author Dr. Art Sedrakyan. He is a professor of health care policy and research at Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City. In a lumpectomy, the tumor tissue, along with a margin of surrounding tumor-free tissue, is removed. However, if the tissue in the margin is not completely free of tumor cells, a second operation is needed. During the study period, which ran from 2003 through 2013, the overall rate of re-operation within 90 days was almost 31 percent, Sedrakyan said. It declined from nearly 40 percent in 2003 through 2004, to 23 percent ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Breast Cancer, Tamoxifen, Breast Cancer - Adjuvant, Breast Cancer, Prevention, Breast Cancer - Palliative, Surgical Prophylaxis, Vascular Surgery, Tamoxifen Hexal, Nolvadex, Soltamox, Tamone, Tamoxen, Genox, Nolvadex D, Tamofen, Tamosin, Emblon

Early Chemo Less Likely to Help Black Breast Cancer Patients: Study

Posted 12 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Dec. 11, 2015 – Early chemotherapy is less likely to benefit black women with breast cancer than those in other racial and ethnic groups, a new study finds. Advanced breast cancer is more common among black, Hispanic and Asian women than it is in white women. As a result, black women often receive chemotherapy before surgery in an effort to improve their outcomes, the Yale University Cancer Center researchers said. But their study of 27,300 women with stage 1 to 3 breast cancer showed that early (neoadjuvant) chemotherapy was less effective in black patients than in other women. "Even when we controlled for the fact that minority women often present with more advanced-stage, higher-grade tumors, and more aggressive types of breast cancer overall, our team was surprised to find that black women did not respond as well to neoadjuvant chemotherapy compared to other racial groups," ... Read more

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

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