Share In a nutshell The authors aimed to determine whether psychological therapy could relieve patients with fatigue (extreme tiredness) who are undergoing breast cancer radiation (uses high energy radiation to kill cancer cells by damaging their...
UC Davis researchers are harnessing the power of dogs’ innate sense of smell to detect cancer, especially at early stages of the disease. The team are training two puppies, each about 4 months old —Alfie, a Labradoodle and Charlie, a German Shepherd — who are undergoing a rigorous 12-month training program to develop their abilities to detect the scent of cancer in samples of saliva, breath and urine.
From stem cells to 3D-printed nipples, breast reconstruction is a highly technical and constantly evolving field.
In 1882 an American surgeon named William Steward Halsted popularized what’s now called the radical mastectomy. He didn’t think of the idea—one of the first written proposals for a mastectomy was published by a German surgeon in 1719. But it was Halsted who made invasive removal of breast tissue a mainstream part of cancer treatment, and his version of the surgery involved removing the entire breast, along with the nearby lymph nodes and both pectoral muscles. Removing that much tissue at that period of time, before many of the surgical techniques doctors are now familiar with were developed, often left women severely disfigured.
And with the removal of breasts, or pieces of them, came the demand for cosmetic replacements. In 1874 the U.S. Patent Office issued its first patent for a breast prosthetic, to a man named Frederick Cox. The prosthetic was made up of a cotton casing filled with an inflatable breast pad."
In the following years, women would come to dominate the world of breast replacement patents. In 1904, a woman named Laura Wolfe filed a patent for an “artificial breast pad.” Her version was solid, rather than inflatable, and in her patent she described the three things a woman wanted out of a replacement breast: comfort, appearance, and product quality."
It's been documented that many terminal cancer patients don't benefit from chemotherapy and other types of treatments toward the end of their lives. Nonetheless, many, with their doctors, opt to continue treatment -- faced with impossible choices, they hold on to hope that treatment might buy some time, or improve the quality of the days they have left.
Background: The American Cancer Society (ACS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) collaborate annually to produce updated, national cancer statistics. This Annual Report includes a focus on breast cancer incidence by subtype using new, national-level data.
Methods: Population-based cancer trends and breast cancer incidence by molecular subtype were calculated. Breast cancer subtypes were classified using tumor biomarkers for hormone receptor (HR) and human growth factor-neu receptor (HER2) expression.
Results: Overall cancer incidence decreased for men by 1.8% annually from 2007 to 2011. Rates for women were stable from 1998 to 2011. Within these trends there was racial/ethnic variation, and some sites have increasing rates. Among children, incidence rates continued to increase by 0.8% per year over the past decade while, like adults, mortality declined. Overall mortality has been declining for both men and women since the early 1990's and for children since the 1970's. HR+/HER2- breast cancers, the subtype with the best prognosis, were the most common for all races/ethnicities with highest rates among non-Hispanic white women, local stage cases, and low poverty areas (92.7, 63.51, and 98.69 per 100000 non-Hispanic white women, respectively). HR+/HER2- breast cancer incidence rates were strongly, positively correlated with mammography use, particularly for non-Hispanic white women (Pearson 0.57, two-sided P < .001). Triple-negative breast cancers, the subtype with the worst prognosis, were highest among non-Hispanic black women (27.2 per 100000 non-Hispanic black women), which is reflected in high rates in southeastern states.
Conclusions: Progress continues in reducing the burden of cancer in the United States. There are unique racial/ethnic-specific incidence patterns for breast cancer subtypes; likely because of both biologic and social risk factors, including variation in mammography use. Breast cancer subtype analysis confirms the capacity of cancer registries to adjust national collection standards to produce clinically relevant data based on evolving medical knowledge.
For over 15 years, the American Cancer Society (ACS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and North American Association of Central Cancer Registries (NAACCR) have collaborated to provide the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, which contains updated cancer incidence and mortality data for the United States. These reports have documented a sustained decline in cancer mortality, starting with our first report in 1998. In addition to providing contemporary cancer rates and trends, each report has featured an in-depth analysis of a special topic.[2–16] This Annual Report to the Nation on Status of Cancer presents newly available data on national breast cancer incidence rates by demographic and tumor characteristics for the four intrinsic molecular subtypes.
Female breast cancer mortality has a bimodal age distribution that was first identified in the early 1900s, with early and late age distributions at diagnosis. This pattern led researchers to postulate that there were two main types of breast cancer according to age at onset and hormone dependence. The first breast cancer type is hormone-dependent with peak incidence (or mode) near age 50 years, whereas the second breast cancer is hormone-independent with peak incidence near age 60 years. Later research further suggested that these two age-based groups of breast cancers were etiologically different.[19–22] Analyses of gene-expression profiling have confirmed two main groups of breast cancers which can be further separated into four molecular subtypes according to hormone receptor expression (HR±) and/or epithelial cell of origin (luminal or basal). There are two HR+ breast cancers (Luminal A and Luminal B) and two HR- cancers (human growth factor-neu receptor (HER2)-enriched and basal-like).[19–23] Understanding the epidemiology of breast cancer by subtype is critical for guiding treatment, predicting survival, and informing prevention activities.[22,24] Gene-expression profiling is not currently standard clinical practice, but, for nearly a decade, testing for joint HR/HER2 status has been a routine part of treatment planning. The molecular subtypes can be approximated by HR/HER2 status; ie, Luminal A (HR+/HER2-), Luminal B (HR+/HER2+), HER2-enriched (HR-/HER2+), and triple-negative (HR-/HER2-).[19,21,22,25,26]
Breast Cancer Action is a national grassroots organization whose mission is to achieve health justice for all women at risk of and living with breast cancer. Our members below signed the following statement for the EPA's consideration before releasing the official version of the EPA's Assessment of the Potential Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas on Drinking Water Resources:
Susan Zager's insight:
It only takes a moment to fill this out and tell the EPA to stop protecting the fracking industry and start protecting our public health.
(HealthDay News) —Needles beat pills for treating hot flashes in breast cancer survivors, according to a new trial that compared acupuncture, "sham" acupuncture, the medication gabapentin and a placebo pill.
"Women with relatively low-risk breast cancer have more options today than in the past decade, due in large part to novel genomic and genetic tests. These tests have demonstrated the ability to predict cancers that are more aggressive and more likely to recur. Although genetic tests for heritable mutations to genes including BRCA1 and 2 have become more commonplace, genomic tests for identifying which cancer-related genes are over- or underproduced are still relatively rare in clinical practice.
Sometimes called genomic, mole- cular, or gene-expression analysis, these tests are most useful in stratifying patients with breast cancer into disease subtypes. This is particularly useful in cases of hormone receptor (HR)-positive or luminal-type disease, which can be further stratified into the cancer subtypes luminal A and luminal B. These 2 subtypes frequently are grouped because the cancers often can be treated successfully for many years with hormone-blocking therapies. Luminal A cancers generally are characterized as those that express high levels of the estrogen receptor (ER) and the progesterone receptor (PR), as well as low levels of the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), which is involved in signaling cell proliferation (Figure). Luminal B cancers generally are more aggressive and more likely to recur than luminal A cancers. Luminal B cancers also are hormone-positive, but they are highly proliferative and may have high levels of HER2, making them candidates for trastuzumab (Herceptin, Genentech/Roche).
Is chemotherapy necessary for every patient?
Definitely not. Physicians are beginning to realize that some breast cancers have a very low likelihood of becoming life-threatening. Women today can make an educated decision about the right treatment course, considering how taxing chemotherapy can be and its short and long-term adverse events (AEs).
Ok, I need your help. I've found that the most emotionally difficult time since my cancer diagnosis has been since my last day of treatment. There are all of these things that no one tells you about. For example, I'm thirsty ALL of the time - and I'm always freezing cold. But the most startling thing I've noticed is that I've lost that "outer coating" that allows me to deal with stressful situations. Does anyone else feel this way? Is it the chemo, or is it just age?
"As medical director of radiation oncology at Lowell General Hospital in Massachusetts, Matthew Katz, MD, is well attuned to trends in breast cancer treatment.
He and his colleagues have adopted the practice of using shorter radiation courses—for example, treating lumpectomy patients when appropriate with a slightly higher dose for 3 to 4 weeks rather than a standard dose for 5 to 6 weeks. They have patients with left-sided breast cancers use deep inspiration breath hold to inflate the lungs, moving the heart momentarily to reduce its radiation exposure. And they’re interested in identifying older women who can avoid post surgical radiation that is unlikely to lengthen their lives.
But the area that most distinguishes Katz may be his interest in understanding the subtle nuances of doctor-patient communication that contribute to patients’ decision making and their experiences of treatment. That has led him to focus on supportive conversations in his practice and to venture into the wilderness of online social media to learn more about how patients view their treatment."
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