"Elevate attention to metastatic cancer On Jan. 29, a bill designating February as Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Month was signed into Florida law. To date, MBC had only one day obscurely embedded within October's "early stage" Breast Cancer awareness month.
More than 60 percent of Americans claim little or no knowledge about metastatic breast cancer. This is a brutal, insidious and lethal disease claiming more than 110 lives every day in this country. MBC patients, both women and men, and their loved ones are all too aware of metastatic cancer and its accompanying draconian medical treatments and grim prognoses.
My beautiful, vivacious and beloved wife, Diana, who served 30 years defending her country and was one of the first women on Navy ships in the 1970s, fought her MBC with that same courage, fortitude and faith. She lost her valiant battle. Cancer spread to her bones and vital organs, despite the myriad surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
Despite the National Football League's contributions to the American Cancer Society through its official "Crucial Catch" campaign, data shows the league doesn't prioritize much besides its own corporate interests.
"In this issue of CURE magazine, we review the current approaches for the evaluation and treatment of metastatic breast cancer, and what the future holds. In some sense, the future is now, because much of what is going on in laboratories as part of research programs is being translated into clinical trials that are currently ongoing. The last decade has witnessed the introduction of next-generation gene sequencing and other technologies that have shown us that every cancer case is truly unique in the abnormalities that are carried in cancer cells, and that many of these alterations are “drivers” that make cancer grow and spread in an uncontrolled fashion. We have also learned that there are even differences between the cells within an individual tumor, leading to the emergence of resistance to drugs that may be initially effective."
Nearly 30 cancer types have inspired a growing collage of hues and patterns. Many people wear their shade proudly to represent their own disease or back a loved one. Others fear the river of colors represents unneeded divisions.
Susan Zager's insight:
Article by By Bill Briggs discussing awareness of cancer colors including the overwhelming pink ribbon. Included in the article are insights by Beth Caldwell and the Breast Cancer Consortium.
An ongoing phase IIR/III clinical trial presented at the 2015 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium seeks to answer an important question in the treatment of early metastatic breast cancer: Should surgery or stereotactic body radiation be used to 'weed the garden' of a few sites of metastasis while continuing treatment that may still be controlling the initial tumor?
"There is "no real blockbuster study" at next week's San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (SABCS), but there are a multitude of presentations that will potentially expand clinical understanding and improve care, said C. Kent Osborne, MD, director of the Dan L. Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
He would know. Dr Osborne, who is a long-time breast cancer specialist, has been involved with the meeting since 1978 and, as he has been since 1992, is a director of the gathering again this year.
This year's meeting will feature notable studies on chemotherapy combinations for HER2-positive disease, targeted therapy for metastatic disease with a specific mutation, long-term outcomes of different surgeries for early-stage cancers, and the first-ever trial of a RANKL inhibitor as an adjuvant treatment for breast cancer in postmenopausal women."
"Women with positive mammography screens ultimately judged to be false were still at significantly increased likelihood for developing invasive breast cancer within the next 10 years, a study involving 1.3 million women showed.
The 10-year breast cancer risk was higher by 39% in women who had false-positive mammograms and additional breast imaging as compared with women who had true-negative mammograms, Louise M. Henderson, PhD, of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill, and co-authors reported in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention."
I am alive today because of a research grant funded by the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (DoD BCRP) to Dr. Dennis Slamon. That groundbreaking research led to the development of my personal miracle drug: Herceptin.
Patients with advanced breast cancer spoke out about the damaging messages some organizations issue about advanced breast cancer. They need to be identified and educated to change the way they talk about the disease.
For all of medicine’s advances, the best option for areola reconstruction after surgery is tattooing. And in the field of cosmetic tattooing, Vinnie Myers’s trompe-l’oeil “areola portraits,” as he calls them, are widely regarded as the best that money can buy.
"World Cancer Day is a day to collectively raise our voices and push for greater awareness, actively implement what we know in the areas of prevention, early detection, treatment and care and to push governments [...]...
Susan Zager's insight:
Today id World Cancer Day. Here's information about getting involved.
A Seattle mother and her daughter both have breast cancer. They support each other through arduous treatments and the pain of watching a loved one suffer.
Susan Zager's insight:
Great Article by Sumathi Reddy about Beth Caldwell and her mom Colleen ‘Susi’ Stevens supporting each other while both are going through breast cancer treatment. I am so lucky that I am with Beth at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium and I can't wait to blog more about this incredible experience.
WASHINGTON — Citing Texans’ complaints of soaring prescription costs, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett is leading an effort in Congress seeking causes and remedies. Doggett, D-Austin, has formed an entity called the Prescription Drug Pricing Task Force, and one of the initial efforts is pressuring the Obama administration to use its authority to stem an ongoing rise in the costs of pharmaceuticals. [...] Doggett and allies point to price boosts for many drugs, evidenced in a government study last week showing a 12.2 percent increase last year in prescription drug spending. Leigh Purvis, director of Health Services Research at AARP's Public Policy Institute, has been studying drug pricing since 2004. In a bipartisan investigation, the Senate Finance Committee released emails last week showing that executives of California-based Gilead Sciences were keenly aware of potential public outrage when they set the $84,000 cost for a 12-week treatment of Sovaldi, a potent new drug for hepatitis C. [...] the Senate’s bipartisan Special Committee on Aging is investigating the decision by Turing Pharmaceuticals, formed recently by hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, to raise the price of the anti-infection drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent.."
Susan Zager's insight:
Soaring costs of prescription medication is very alarming.
Dr. Craig Bunnell with Dana-Farber discusses where breast cancer treatments are headed, and the biggest obstacle to progress.
Susan Zager's insight:
Why this Dana-Farber Cancer Institute oncologist says less is more for breast cancer treatment
Chemotherapy and radiation may eventually be treatments of the past"(We’ve) discovered what it was that allows us to turn the immune system back on around those cancers. If I look to the future…it will be this targeted approach and the ability to help modify or improve our own immune systems to be able to fight the cancers in the future.
And in the future, I imagine chemo and radiation being treatments of the past. I won't say we … will look at them as ancient therapies…But I really do think this sort of Star Trek approach is not something that’s so far fetched. I think in my lifetime, for many cancers, chemo and radiation will be therapies of the past."
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