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Breast cancer procedue allows quicker recovery

Breast cancer procedue allows quicker recovery | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"ARASOTA, Fla. – According to the American Cancer Society, more than 230,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will affect women in the U.S. this year. Now Suncoast surgeons are using a new procedure with a quicker recovery.

Women on the Suncoast undergoing mastectomy and reconstruction may now be candidates for nipple sparing surgery, thanks to the skilled hands of a handful of specially trained surgeons using an instrument called the PlasmaBlade.

Tanya Kukrecht knows how physically and emotionally devastating cancer treatment and surgery is. She helps women with prosthetics following mastectomy, designs and sends wigs to women in the U.S. who've lost their hair to chemotherapy. She says we've come a long way. “With new instruments, and new ways of doing and new chemo, and new way of doing surgery, it is much less devastating.”

Now, a new surgical device with the precision of a scalpel uses radio frequency energy to perform the most delicate of surgeries. “The PlasmaBlade has caused a lot less thermal and tissue damage, which has allowed us to look more into nipple sparing mastectomy and straight to implant reconstruction.”

It’s a huge revolution in breast cancer and preventative breast cancer care, says plastic surgeon Dr. Alissa Shulman, who performs the nipple sparing surgery. “This allows us to remove the breast tissue and leave the entire envelop of the breast, which includes the nipple, the areola and all the surrounding skin, which really preserves not only the shape and color of your breast, but can even occasionally preserve the feeling of the nipple.”

Susan Zager's insight:

To see how the  PEAK PlasmaBlade is used for the Nipple Sparing Mastectomy go to: http://vimeo.com/67650044


For more information about the PEAK PlasmaBlade go to: http://www.medtronic.com/for-healthcare-professionals/products-therapies/orthopaedic/electrosurgical-products/peak-plasmablade-device/indications-safety-warnings/index.htm



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Breast cancer advocate dies after battle with illness

Breast cancer advocate dies after battle with illness | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"NORTH ANDOVER — An amazing laugh. Dynamic blue eyes. A smile that lit up the room. These are the things Fiona Maguire will remember about her husband Peter Devereaux, a well-liked Marine and male breast cancer advocate who died Thursday after a six year battle with the illness. He was 52.

“He really had a great, light personality. He liked everyone. He was probably the least judgmental person you’d ever meet in your life,” Maguire said. “He never looked at people for money they made, or how they looked,or anything like that.  He was really just a kind man.”

 

Devereaux became well known as an advocate for breast cancer patients through talks he gave at fundraisers in Greater Boston and beyond. Devereaux was part of the largest group of male breast cancer patients ever recorded: former Marines who were stationed at Camp Lejeune. At the North Carolina base, Marines and their families were exposed to toxic water from at least 1957 to 1987. Devereaux served four years with the Marines beginning when he was 18 and was stationed at Camp Lejeune for 16 months."

Susan Zager's insight:

Peter was pretty incredible.I was fortunate to meet him with other advocates at SABCS. Our prayers go out to all of his family and friends. 

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Susan Zager's curator insight, August 25, 10:48 AM

Peter was pretty incredible.I was fortunate to meet him with other advocates at SABCS. Our prayers go out to all of his family and friends. 

Tambre Leighn's curator insight, August 26, 10:37 AM

Exemplary model of courage - marine with breast cancer turned advocate passes. Honoring all survivors who take their experience and turn it to good to help others today. Thank you for giving during a time when you face what may be the greatest challenge of your life.

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Gene Predicts Breast Cancer Relapse, Response to Chemo

Gene Predicts Breast Cancer Relapse, Response to Chemo | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Scientists have made it easier to predict both breast cancer relapses and responses to chemotherapy, through the identification of a unique gene. The newly found marker could help doctors classify each breast cancer patient and customize a treatment regimen that is more effective. The discovery was a collaborative effort by scientists from A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), and the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore (NUS).

 Despite advancements in cancer treatment, breast cancer remains the most common cancer among Singapore women. Thirty percent of early breast cancer patients in the world experience relapse due to metastasis, or the spread of cancer cells to other organs in the body. Some patients also do not respond well to chemotherapy. The inability to forecast relapses or the effectiveness of chemotherapy has led to a pressing need to identify predictive markers, which doctors can use to tailor appropriate treatment for each breast cancer patient at an early stage.     
Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation go to: http://www.jci.org/articles/view/73451


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Maria Fowler's curator insight, August 24, 3:24 PM

Biomarkers will be important to all of us.

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Study ties new gene to major breast cancer risk

Study ties new gene to major breast cancer risk | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

Mutations in the gene can make breast cancer up to nine times more likely to develop, an international team of researchers reports in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.

About 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are thought to be due to bad BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Beyond those, many other genes are thought to play a role but how much each one raises risk has not been known, said Dr. Jeffrey Weitzel, a genetics expert at City of Hope Cancer Center in Duarte, Calif.

The new study on the gene— called PALB2 — shows “this one is serious,” and probably is the most dangerous in terms of breast cancer after the BRCA genes, said Weitzel, one of leaders of the study.

It involved 362 members of 154 families with PALB2 mutations — the largest study of its kind. The faulty gene seems to give a woman a 14 percent chance of breast cancer by age 50 and 35 percent by age 70 and an even greater risk if she has two or more close relatives with the disease.

That’s nearly as high as the risk from a faulty BRCA2 gene, Dr. Michele Evans of the National Institute on Aging and Dr. Dan Longo of the medical journal staff write in a commentary in the journal.

The PALB2 gene works with BRCA2 as a tumor suppressor, so when it is mutated, cancer can flourish.

How common the mutations are isn’t well known, but it’s “probably more than we thought because people just weren’t testing for it,” Weitzel said. He found three cases among his own breast cancer patients in the last month alone.

Among breast cancer patients, BRCA mutations are carried by 5 percent of whites and 12 percent of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jews. PALB2 mutations have been seen in up to 4 percent of families with a history of breast cancer.

Men with a faulty PALB2 gene also have a risk for breast cancer that is eight times greater than men in the general population.




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Ask Your US Representative to Support HR 1801 Today!

Ask Your US Representative to Support HR 1801 Today! | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"The Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act has been reintroduced and now has over 80 bi-partisan co-sponsors! But the work is not done yet. The more bi-partisan co-sponsors we have, the more likely the House will move to vote on this critical legislation.

We need you to reach out to your US Representative to ask him or her to co-sponsor HR 1801. The bill will require oral anticancer treatments to be covered at the same rate as IV treatments. Many insurance plans treat patient-administered anticancer treatments, like oral pills, differently than other forms of treatment creating a financial barrier to care for many myeloma patients.

By entering your information below, you will be able to quickly and easily email your US Representative a prewritten letter.  After clicking next, take a moment to customize the letter with a personal story to increase your message's impact. You can share your story or click on the talking points to the right to add those into your message.

Thank you for your help ensuring cancer patients have fair and equal access to all types of treatments!"


Susan Zager's insight:

Please use the International Myeloma Association's prewritten letter to Congress and write to your representatives to support this important bipartisan legislation  (HR 1801)/  It will assure that all cancer patients can receive oral as well as IV anti-cancer treatments treated the same way so that the oral medications are not a financial burden. 

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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, July 31, 11:51 AM

Your voice counts...take action, create change.  Equal reimbursement for oral chemotherapy...it's the right thing to do.

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Clinical trial for breast cancer drug enters 2nd stage

Clinical trial for breast cancer drug enters 2nd stage | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"TAIPEI--Taiwan-based OBI Pharma (浩鼎生技) announced Monday that its phase 2/3 stage clinical trial for a therapy for metastatic breast cancer, designated OBI-822, has met the goal of collecting 342 patients.

OBI Pharma Chairman Michael N. Chang (張念慈) said that the OBI-822 project has progressed more smoothly than expected, and the completion of the collection was a major milestone.

The company will analyze the data after the last patient completes the treatment process.

According to OBI Pharma General Manager Amy Huang (黃秀美), breast cancer is the most common form of cancer among women and the biggest killer of women's health.

The five-year survival rate for metastatic breast cancer is only 24.3 percent, Huang said, stressing that developing this first-class immunotherapy can hopefully satisfy this unmet medical need.

Susan Zager's insight:

According Huang, " the concept behind OBI-822, is to use the human body's immune system to fight cancer with few side effects, unlike chemotherapy and radiation therapy that harm good cells as well as cancerous cells." 


For more information about OBI-B22 go to: http://www.obipharma.com/index.aspx?lang=eng&fn=pipeline_content&no=3


For information about OBI-B22 trials in the US  go to:  http://clinicaltrial.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT01516307



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Gene marker may predict breast cancer response to tamoxifen

Gene marker may predict breast cancer response to tamoxifen | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
(HealthDay)—Researchers have identified genes that may help predict whether a patient with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer is likely to benefit from tamoxifen therapy, according to a study published in the July 15 issue of Cancer Research.

Hendrika M. Oosterkamp, M.D., of The Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam, and colleagues conducted a large-scale loss-of-function genetic screen in ZR-75-1 luminal breast cancer cells to identify candidate genes for tamoxifen resistance.

The researchers found that loss of function in the deubiquitinase USP9X prevented proliferation arrest by tamoxifen, but not by the ER downregulator fulvestrant. RNAi-mediated attenuation of USP9X stabilized ERα on chromatin in the presence of tamoxifen, and this caused a global activation of ERα-responsive genes driven by tamoxifen. A gene signature defined by differential expression after USP9X attenuation in the presence of tamoxifen was used to identify patients with ERα-positive breast cancer experiencing a poor outcome after adjuvant therapy with tamoxifen. Correlation of the gene signature with survival was not observed in patients with breast cancer who did not receive endocrine therapy.

"Overall, our findings identify a gene signature as a candidate biomarker of response to tamoxifen in breast cancer," the authors write.

Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study go to: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/74/14/3810.abstract


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VPO Press Release - Living Beyond Breast Cancer Opens Registration For Sept 27th Fall Conference In Philadelphia

VPO Press Release - Living Beyond Breast Cancer Opens Registration For Sept 27th Fall Conference In Philadelphia | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"LBBC designed this conference so that participants can easily access information that is relevant to their specific situation," says LBBC CEO Jean Sachs, MSS, MLSP. "Our attendees can follow one of our breast-cancer-specific tracks or they can attend sessions on topics of their choosing. These will include workshops and discussion groups for young women, women at high risk for developing breast cancer, and healthcare providers seeking to better understand the psychosocial needs of people impacted by the disease."

"The conference design recognizes a trend we have been seeing in individuals wanting specific information about their diagnoses and treatments," says Catherine Ormerod, MSS, MLSP, LBBC's vice president of programs and partnerships. "At the same time, they also want to network with others and share the experiences that are common to all attendees."

The day will therefore feature social time for attendees, and a closing general session that will bring conference goers together for an interactive conversation with Weiss and Borges. The two will explore quality of life issues across the breast cancer spectrum during "Thriving! A Discussion on Living Well: Body, Mind and Soul."

Complete conference details including how to register, travel grant and fee waiver eligibility, general session and breakout session descriptions and information on the conference's speakers are available at lbbc.org/fallconference or by calling (855) 807-6386.

Transcripts, video and MP3 podcasts of select presentations will also be available online following the conference.

For details and registration go to: http://lbbc.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1114094


Susan Zager's insight:

For details and registration go to: http://lbbc.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1114094

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Demand Insurance Coverage for Breast Cancer Genetic Marker Testing

Demand Insurance Coverage for Breast Cancer Genetic Marker Testing | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

Tell Secretary Sebelius to adopt a legislation requiring insurance companies to provide coverage for BRCA gene mutation testing. 

Mutation of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have been linked to the development of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, about 12% of women in the general population will develop breast cancer sometime during their lives, compared with about 60% of women who have inherited a harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes. Genetic testing can reveal an inherited BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

Although insurance companies often cover genetic testing, coverage is not guaranteed. Take action today - urge Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius to adopt legislation requiring insurance companies to cover genetic counseling and testing for the BRAC1 and BRAC2 mutations upon medical recommendation."

Susan Zager's insight:

All women who have a risk of carrying a BRCA gene mutation have a right to testing covered by insurance. SIGN today-IT's easy and pre-written. 

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Heather Swift's curator insight, July 24, 12:55 PM
Susan Zager's insight: All women who have a risk of carrying a BRCA gene mutation have a right to testing covered by insurance. SIGN today-IT's easy and pre-written.
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Single-dose breast cancer treatment offers new hope for early-stage breast cancer patients

Single-dose breast cancer treatment offers new hope for early-stage breast cancer patients | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
Women with early-stage breast cancer may now receive a one-dose radiation treatment at the same time as lumpectomy surgery, eliminating the need to return to the hospital daily for up to six weeks for post surgical radiation treatments. The relatively new treatment option, intraoperative radiation therapy (IORT), delivers one precise, concentrated dose of radiation to the tumor site immediately following surgical removal of the cancer.
Susan Zager's insight:

It will be interesting to see if this is done more in the US. Cutting down radiation time (up to 6 weeks) and doing the treatment at the same time (IORT) as the lumpectomy surgery will be welcomed if the treatment is just as effective as standard radiation. 

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Breast Cancer: A Blood Test

Breast Cancer:  A Blood Test | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Among the seven billion people on planet Earth, one-half million die prematurely every year because of breast cancer. It is one of the most common cancers to affect women and in 2008 almost 1.4 million women were diagnosed. At the current rate of growth, one prediction has this number climbing another 50 percent – to 2.1 million by 2030.

Global breast cancer survival rates vary greatly, from below 40 percent in low-income countries to more than 80 percent in Sweden, Japan and North America. However no matter where people are, experts say survival rates could exceed 90 percent with the introduction of widespread, better and earlier detection. Indeed, the lower rates of survival in lesser-developed countries are attributed almost entirely to a lack of early detection programs. With women presenting jn later-stages of the disease and a general lack of adequate diagnostic centers, experts contend that survival rates are much lower than they need to be.

A new test from EventusDx, an Israeli life sciences company, aims to assist. With the recent completion of an eight-year project, the company now produces and distributes a relatively simple blood test that detects cancer. Although the company insists that its Octava Pink analysis should be used only as an adjunct to traditional mammographies, it nevertheless holds the potential to circumvent expensive and not-always-accessible mammograms. The lower cost and portability of the Octava Pink test could make breast cancer assessments available to untold numbers of people currently without access. Octava Pink is now available in Israel and Italy and currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."

Susan Zager's insight:

This looks very promising and will be interesting to follow and see if this gets approval in other countries besides Israel and Italy.  The FDA is currently reviewing Octava Pink.

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Harmless Virus is Able to Kill Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Harmless Virus is Able to Kill Triple Negative Breast Cancer Cells | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Scientists at the Penn State College of Medicine have discovered that a virus that is harmless to humans will kill triple-negative breast cancer cells and tumour cells in mice when applied to cancers.

Breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in women in the world, and triple-negative breast cancer is the hardest type of breast cancer to treat.

Some types of tumours contain protein receptors that are activated by one of three proteins – namely the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), the hormone oestrogen or the hormone progesterone.

Chemotherapies usually target one of these three receptors, but since triple-negative cancers do not express these genes, doctors have to treat them with a combination of therapies.

"Treatment of breast cancer remains difficult because there are multiple signalling pathways that promote tumour growth and develop resistance to treatment," said Craig Meyers, a professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Penn State.

"There is an urgent and ongoing need for the development of novel therapies which efficiently target triple-negative breast cancers."

Susan Zager's insight:

Even though this is an early study in mice, any study that helps triple negative breast cancer is worthy of attention. To see the study got to: https://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/cbt/article/29172/


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A change of plans

A change of plans | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"For my sweet wife.  Noreen is extremely tired this week and had to cancel her trip to Washington, D.C.  She is depressed and sad.

We are trying to figure out why this sudden loss of positive attitude.

I think it's the fact that she is so tired, she canceled the trip, and it is a personal defeat.

Noreen's determination to live a quality life with her cancer is central in keeping ahead of the game, since she contracted breast cancer almost 14 years ago.

Cancelling her D.C. trip, a total of 11 hours in the air, plus the wear and tear of two full days of meetings, is a personal defeat for Noreen.  

My job?  Go home and stay close to this whirlwind woman.  Get her laughing.  I love you, Nor."

Susan Zager's insight:

We are hoping that Noreen is doing better. She is an incredible inspiration to so many women. 

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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, June 25, 1:22 PM

Sometimes it feels to survivors like cancer has the upper hand...especially when it impacts their ability to engage in life and doing things they love.  Going through cancer for more than a decade can, understandably, take a toll.  Noreen will be getting support and encouragement from her clearly dedicated and loving husband - which is amazing.  However this is a perfect example of the difference coaching for survivors can make.

 

Cancer survivorship coaches work with their clients to be able to make this kind of decision in a way that they feel empowered vs. feeling like cancer took something away from them...they learn the power of choice in decisions vs. have tos or shoulds.  While the outcome may not be different - the trip may need to be postponed or cancelled, often the coach can help the survivor identify the qualities of the experience the survivor was looking forward to and brainstorm a different way to experience those qualities without, for example, getting on a plane if that isn't something they can do right now.

 

When survivors learn that while they may not be able to change certain circumstances but they can change how they respond to them so that their response supports, not detracts from their quality of life they feel more empowered.

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Two new possible drug targets for triple negative breast cancer

Two new possible drug targets for triple negative breast cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"The suppression of two genes reduces breast cancer tumor formation and spread by interfering with blood vessel formation and recruitment, according to new research from Houston Methodist, Weill Cornell Medical College and other institutions. The findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences may help medical researchers identify effective drug targets for triple negative breast cancer (TNBC).

The genes, MLF2 (myeloid leukemia factor 2) and RPL39 (a ribosomal protein), were found to most profoundly affect the production of nitric oxide synthase, which helps regulate blood vessel behavior and could be crucial to the recruitment of new blood vessels to growing tumors. These genes influence the spread of TNBC throughout the body, and have not so far been linked with breast cancer.

"We have found two unique genes that may affect the most lethal type of breast cancer," said principal investigator and Houston Methodist Cancer Center Director Dr. Jenny Chang, who is also a professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. "Most importantly, by knowing how these genes function, we have drugs that can block nitric oxide signaling."

About 42,000 new cases of triple negative breast cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year, about 20 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses. Patients typically relapse within one to three years of being treated. TNBC is distinguished from other breast cancers in that it does not express the genes for estrogen receptors, progesterone receptors, and Her2/neu and is frequently harder to treat than other forms of the disease.

By suppressing close to 500 TNBC-related genes, Chang's group found interference was strongest with MLF2 and RPL39 in triple negative breast cancer model tissue. The scientists also learned that mutations in these genes in human patients were associated with worse survival in triple negative breast cancer patients."


Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study go to: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/05/29/1320769111.abstract?sid=df0c7ea3-29ab-460d-925e-ab966e096aae


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Why Most Breast Cancer Survivors Don't Get Boob Jobs Post Mastectomy

Why Most Breast Cancer Survivors Don't Get Boob Jobs Post Mastectomy | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Years ago, women and men diagnosed with cancer did not dare speak publicly of their private torments. Over time, cancer care improved and survivors of the once-deadly disease increased. In particular, breast cancer moved from the shadows into daylight beginning with FLOTUS Betty Ford’s highly publicized battle and gaining ground from the many participants in walk-a-thons as well as the countless celebrities willing to discuss their ordeals.

In the closet no more, breast cancer is now the stuff of daily life for most Americans, as each of us seems to know somebody who has been diagnosed with this form of cancer. For this reason, it may come as a shock to learn that less than 42 percent of women choose breast reconstruction following their mastectomy. Researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center led by Dr. Monica Morrow found in their new study of breast cancer patients the factors associated with foregoing reconstruction include being older, being black, and having a lower education level."

Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study go to:  http://archsurg.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1893807

 

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OnMedica - News - Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis not linked to lowered breast cancer risk

OnMedica - News - Bisphosphonates for osteoporosis not linked to lowered breast cancer risk | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"Three to four years of treatment with bisphosphonates to boost bone density is not linked to a lowered risk of invasive postmenopausal breast cancer, concludes an analysis* of data published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Some studies have suggested that bisphosphonates, which are commonly used to treat osteoporosis, may curb the risk of tumour growth and spread, while some observational studies have suggested bisphosphonates may protect women from breast cancer. 

The researchers analysed the relationship between postmenopausal breast cancer and bisphosphonate use by looking at data from two randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

The Fracture Intervention Trial (FIT) randomly assigned 6,459 women aged 55 to 81 to alendronate or placebo, with an average follow-up of 3.8 years.

The Health Outcomes and Reduced Incidence with Zoledronic Acid Once Yearly-Pivotal Fracture Trial (HORIZON-PFT) randomly assigned 7,765 women aged 65 to 89 to annual intravenous zoledronic acid or placebo for an average follow-up of 2.8 years."

 
Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study in JAMA go to: http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1893923

 

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At 23, Bald Ballerina fights advanced breast cancer

At 23, Bald Ballerina fights advanced breast cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"A dancer since the age of 4, Maggie Kudirka knows the grit, discipline and focus required to become a professional ballerina.

Now the same drive that kept her dancing may be what keeps her alive: at 23 years old, Maggie, who trains and performs at the prestigious Joffrey Ballet School, was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.

As she takes the biggest leap of her life—a leap of faith that an aggressive treatment will attack her cancer—Maggie has launched a social media campaign. What started with the Bald Ballerina Facebook page to inform friends and family of her health situation has turned into a platform for Maggie to raise awareness about breast cancer in young women and raise money to help pay for her medical expenses.

After her June 19 diagnosis, Maggie says her world took a surreal turn. A schedule of six hours a day of ballet training with fellow Joffrey dancers in New York abruptly ended, as Maggie moved back home to live with her parents in Ellicott City, Maryland, and begin treatment.

Susan Zager's insight:

According to the article a 2013 study published in JAMA  found, "while it’s a relatively small number, metastatic breast cancer — disease that has spread to the bones or other organs — tripled among women younger than 40 between 1976 and 2006. And the incidence of advanced cancer has gone up fastest in younger women ages 25 to 34."

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Tambre Leighn's curator insight, August 2, 2:24 PM

Every individual MUST be their own best and strongest advocate.  Trust your body and ask for, insist, demand, and scream, if you have to so you get the answers you need when your intuition is telling you there is something that needs attention.

 

Healthcare organizations and providers MUST stop questioning, doubting, and ignoring the concerns of patients just because they don't fall into a "norm".  Props to Maggie, who ignore the complacent responses to her request for an appointment...

 

“I had trouble getting in to see a doctor because their gatekeepers did not think a lump in a 23-year-old woman was serious. They had openings for appointments several months later. They said, ‘Don’t worry, it’s probably nothing. You’re too young for breast cancer,’“ Maggie says. “How I wish they had been right.”


It is your body and your life.  Take charge and be sure to find a HC provider who listens and responds to you.  Thank you, Maggie, for using your experience and your profile as a magnificent dancer to raise awareness so other young women will have the courage to insist on getting the care they need and deserve in a timely manner.

Heather Swift's curator insight, August 5, 1:11 PM
Susan Zager's insight: According to the article a 2013 study published in JAMA found, "while it’s a relatively small number, metastatic breast cancer — disease that has spread to the bones or other organs — tripled among women younger than 40 between 1976 and 2006. And the incidence of advanced cancer has gone up fastest in younger women ages 25 to 34."
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Westchester Chief of Plastic Surgery on Exciting and Empowering Results for Women of Study by NWH Breast Surgeons Published in AJCS

Westchester Chief of Plastic Surgery on Exciting and Empowering Results for Women of Study by NWH Breast Surgeons Published in AJCS | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"My colleagues at Northern Westchester Hospital and I recently published research findings on breast reconstruction outcomes that have the potential to dramatically improve quality of life after breast surgery as well as to save women’s lives. Published in The American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery, our article was titled “Breast Reconstruction With or Without Human Acellular Dermal Matrices:


A Single-Clinic Review of Esthetic Outcomes and Risk Factors for Complications,” and co-authored by David A. Palaia, MD; Anthony C. Cahan, MD; Karen S. Arthur, MD; Danielle M. DeLuca-Pytell, MD; and Philip C. Bonanno, MD.

What makes our findings such good news for women – possibly for you, or someone you love? To understand their impact, let’s look at the context of the study for a moment:

Breast reconstruction has become increasingly important in the total treatment of women with breast cancer. Of course, the priority is to cure the cancer. However, re-establishing quality of life and making survivorship, the post-cancer portion of life, as normal as possible, is really the modern goal of cancer treatment. When the focus is on the woman with cancer – rather than the cancer – breast reconstruction becomes critically important."

Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study go to: http://www.ajcsonline.org/doi/abs/10.5992/AJCS-D-13-00046.1


To see a video about the study go to: http://www.ajcsonline.org/doi/abs/10.5992/AJCS-D-13-00046.1


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Vanderbilt-led study identifies genes linked to breast cancer in East Asian women

Vanderbilt-led study identifies genes linked to breast cancer in East Asian women | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"A new study in East Asian women has identified three genetic changes linked to an increased risk of breast cancer. The research, led by Vanderbilt University investigators, was published online July 20 in Nature Genetics.

While breast cancer is one of the most common malignancies among women worldwide, most studies of the genetic risk factors for the disease have focused on women of European ancestry.

Given the differences in genetic heritage and environmental exposures between East Asian women and those of European ancestry, the investigators decided to conduct a study in East Asians to search for genetic changes that are linked to breast cancer development. The current study was conducted as part of the Asia Breast Cancer Consortium led by Wei Zheng, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, Ingram Professor of Cancer Research at Vanderbilt.

First author Qiuyin Cai, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of Medicine, and colleagues performed a genome-wide association study of 22,780 women with breast cancer, and 24,181 control subjects who were recruited in 14 studies in Asian countries, including China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore.

DNA for the gene assays was obtained through blood samples or buccal cells from mouthwash.

"We found DNA sequence changes in two genes, PRC1 and ZC3H11A, and a change near the ARRDC3 gene were associated with breast cancer risk and we identified a possible association with a fourth gene locus," said Cai. "Two of those sequence changes are in parts of the genome that regulate the expression of nearby genes."

Susan Zager's insight:

For more information about the study go to: http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ng.3041.html


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Some Oncology Practices Report Difficulty Obtaining Paclitaxel

Some Oncology Practices Report Difficulty Obtaining Paclitaxel | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
ASCO is hearing that some oncology practices are having difficulty obtaining paclitaxel, although more supply may be on the way from manufacturers.
Susan Zager's insight:

For more information go to:  http://www.ashp.org/menu/DrugShortages/CurrentShortages/Bulletin.aspx?id=790


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Long-Awaited ALTTO Results Prove Disappointing: Two Anti-HER... : Oncology Times

Long-Awaited ALTTO Results Prove Disappointing: Two Anti-HER... : Oncology Times | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"CHICAGO—Drs. Edith A. Perez and Martine Piccart-Gebhart shared the unenviable task of reporting final, negative results from the randomized, Phase III ALTTO trial, in presentations here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting (Abstract LBA4).

The long-awaited results showed that adding lapatinib to adjuvant trastuzumab, either concurrently or sequentially, does not increase disease-free survival compared with use of trastuzumab alone in women with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer.

At 4.5 years, the disease-free survival rate was 86 percent for the group receiving trastuzumab alone, 88 percent for those receiving concurrent treatment of the two drugs, and 87 percent for patients in the sequential-treatment arm.

Beyond the study's impact on the development of lapatinib, the report will have profound long-term implications on drug development and approval in this country, experts said. If the results had been positive, they would have validated the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Accelerated Approval process, which is based on the assumption that pathological complete response (pCR) after neoadjuvant treatment would translate into an improvement in long-term disease-free survival.

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Welcoming the summer solstice

Welcoming the summer solstice | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"The summer solstice is finally here, which means to most of you that summer has arrived.  But, to me, it means my son is 21-and-a-half.  He, of course, was born on the winter solstice.  It's kind of fun to have these little extra things to celebrate in life.

Even though he is 21, he still reminded me about his birthday.  It shows that tradition has value. He remembers the cupcakes and little celebrations we used to do.  Oh, those good old, cancer-free days.

I have been appointed to the CDMRP in Washington, D.C., which is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.

I will be required to attend three-day meetings with scientists, four times a year, to review proposals submitted by other scientists who are applying for funding for their breast cancer research studies."

Susan Zager's insight:

Noreen Frasier is doing so many exciting things and helping so many people. What a lovely article. She is such an inspiration and so accomplished. She will be a great addition to  the CDMRP (Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program). For more information about Noreen and the Noreen Fraser Foundation got to: http://www.noreenfraserfoundation.org/.


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Joan Lunden Completes Second Chemotherapy Treatment

Joan Lunden Completes Second Chemotherapy Treatment | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"When Joan Lunden was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, or TNBC – a rare and aggressive form of the disease – the former Good Morning America co-host was initially "shell-shocked." But Lunden turned a corner quickly and is focusing on finding strength through the love and support of her family, fans and colleagues.

After finishing her second chemotherapy treatment on June 26, "she was expected to start losing her hair in the coming week," a close family friend tells PEOPLE. "So she took matters into her own hands and shaved her head. She wanted to do it on her own terms, and she looks stunning."

Lunden, 63, first revealed that she was battling breast cancer on June 24 during a sit-down with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, where she spent 17 years as an anchor. "

Susan Zager's insight:

I think it's really great that Joan Lunden is being so open about her treatment and the details of her breast cancer being that she is triple negative. 

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Blood test for breast cancer comes step closer

Blood test for breast cancer comes step closer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it
A simple blood test which could help predict a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer is in development, after new research uncovered a genetic “early marker” of risk, scientists have said.
Susan Zager's insight:

This is an interesting idea and it would be great if there was a blood test to determine breast cancer risk. It will be interesting to watch as this new research moves forward.

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New test predicts if breast cancer will spread

New test predicts if breast cancer will spread | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"A test of tumor microenvironment of metastasis (TMEM) predicted risk of distant metastasis in estrogen receptor–positive and HER2-negative breast cancer, according to a new study. The test may help in guiding treatment decisions and in preventing overtreatment.

"Tests assessing metastatic risk can help doctors identify which patients should receive aggressive therapy and which patients should be spared," said lead and corresponding author Thomas Rohan, MD, PhD, professor and chair of Epidemiology & Population Health at Einstein and Montefiore. The study was led by researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI)─designated Albert Einstein Cancer Center of Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care, in Bronx, New York. It was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (2014; doi:10.1093/jnci/dju136).

To measure the effectiveness of the test, the researchers used it on about 500 breast tumor specimens that had been collected over a 20-year period. The test proved more accurate in predicting the risk of distant tumor spread than a test closely resembling the leading breast cancer prognostic indicator on the market."

Susan Zager's insight:

To see the study go to: http://jnci.oxfordjournals.org/content/106/8/dju136


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Heating up breast cancer

Heating up breast cancer | Breast Cancer News | Scoop.it

"FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --

Two years ago, doctors told Lisa Ridgeway she had triple negative breast cancer, a very aggressive disease with no cure.

"There are not a lot of drugs that work, or work for a long period of time," Ridgeway told ABC30.

The mom of two was facing a typical life expectancy of just three years.

"That's a mom's horror story, knowing that you aren't going to be here," she said.

Lisa had surgery, radiation, and chemo, but her cancer came back two more times. Now she's trying something new.

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic are offering patients hyperthermia treatment.

"Hyperthermia is heat therapy. It's actually been around since the time of the Egyptians," Jennifer Yu, MD, Radiation Oncologist at Cleveland Clinic, told ABC30.

A hot bag is placed on top of the skin. A microwave unit heats the bag and the tissue under it to about 110 degrees. The heat increases blood flow and makes tumors more sensitive to radiation.

"And it improves cell kill," Dr. Yu said.

In one study, 66 percent of cancer patients who had hyperthermia and radiation had their tumors shrink completely compared to just 42 percent who had only radiation.

Lisa hopes the treatment will give her more time.

"My choice is I want to live," she said."

Susan Zager's insight:

According to the article, there are about 10 centers around the country using hyperthermia for breast cancer. 


If you would like more information, please contact:

Tora Vinci
Media Relations Manager
Cleveland Clinic
vinciv@ccf.org

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Miiko Mentz's curator insight, June 19, 11:19 AM

Hyperthermia, a heat therapy, combined with radiation therapy has been shown to improve the effectiveness of radiation. "In one study, 66 percent of cancer patients who had hyperthermia and radiation had their tumors shrink completely compared to just 42 percent who had only radiation."