What’s a Lumpectomy, and What to Expect

In a lumpectomy, an oncologist operates on the affected breast and removes both the cancerous tumor plus tissue surrounding the tumor. He or she tries to spare as much of the breast as possible, only removing whatever is necessary. According to BreastCancer.org, a lumpectomy is considered to be a breast preservation surgery in hopes to doing minimal change to your body. Sometimes, it is called a partial mastectomy.

Vitamin C effective in targeting cancer stem cells

Vitamin C is up to ten times more effective at stopping cancer cell growth than pharmaceuticals such as 2-DG, according to scientists in Salford, UK. The research, published in Oncotarget, is the first evidence that Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) can be used to target and kill cancer stem cells (CSCs), the cells responsible for fuelling fatal tumours.

Cancer Control Within Reach? Only If It’s Profitable!

Rather than saving lives, drug companies are concerned mainly with creating expensive, patentable drugs that treat chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, and heartburn. This is partly because the cost of gaining FDA approval is so high due to the need to conduct randomized controlled trials to prove a drug is “effective.” If a substance isn’t patentable, the cost of getting FDA approval is prohibitive. This dynamic is also what keeps other natural treatments from gaining FDA approval.

Breast Cancer Patients Often Get Longer, More Costly Radiation Therapy Than Needed

More than half of older early-stage breast cancer patients received more radiation therapy than they needed, resulting in unnecessary treatments, more risk of secondary cancers, and tens of millions of dollars in extra healthcare costs. While evidence from other studies proves that treatment with a four-week course of breast radiation costing $8,000 is just as effective as the standard, six-week regimen, which costs over $13,000, the new study found that 57 percent of women who qualified for shorter radiation therapy regimens — or who could have foregone radiation treatment entirely — still received the longer, more expensive treatment.

Breast Cancer Radiotherapy Poses Higher Risk for Smokers

Breast cancer patients who smoke have a much higher risk of developing lung cancer or having a heart attack than those who don’t smoke or who quit before radiotherapy, according to a study. The risk that non-smokers who receive radiotherapy will die of lung cancer or a heart attack is only 0.6%. It increases to 5% in long-term smokers, however, the research showed. The findings suggest that the risk of radiotherapy for long-term smokers may outweigh the benefit of lower breast cancer mortality. But if patients stop smoking before radiotherapy, they can substantially reduce their risk, the researchers said.

Male Breast Cancer Linked to Two Proteins, Study Reports

The proteins eIF4E and eIF5 are involved in male breast cancer (MBC), and are biomarkers of a poorer disease prognosis, according to researchers at the University of Leeds in England. Patients with higher eIF4E and eIF5 levels were 2.66 times more likely to die of the disease than patients with lower levels. Treating an MBC patient with a combination of dactolisib, a PI3K inhibitor, and Afinitor (everolimus), which is an mTOR inhibitor, reduced the expression of eIF4E and eIF5 in tumor samples. The results of the study suggest that simple tests to assess eIF4E and eIF5 levels could help doctors adjust treatments and improve outcomes for MBC patients.

Breast cancer: Study identifies a molecular mechanism of drug resistance in ER+ tumors 

The majority of breast cancers are estrogen-receptor positive and often treated with anti-estrogen drugs such as tamoxifen. However, resistance to the hormone therapy eventually develops in a large number of patients, leaving them with few options. Now, new research reveals a molecular explanation for this type of drug resistance and could lead to new therapies and better treatment decisions for estrogen-driven breast tumors.

Stem Cell-Based Tool Ranks Heart Toxicity of Cancer Drugs

Using human heart cells generated from adult stem cells, researchers have developed an index that may be used to determine how toxic a group of cancer drugs, called tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), are to human cells. While 26 TKIs are currently used to treat a variety of cancers, some can severely damage patients’ hearts, causing problems such as an irregular heartbeat or heart failure.

The truth about cancer and GMOs

The risks that GMOs pose are very real and affect us even when we don’t directly consume them. The pesticide-laden farming practices that GMO seeds enable further poison our air and water. GMO seeds are more than a farming practice; they are shaping our entire way of life. Understanding these risks can help us to be better stewards — even activists — for our land, air, and bodies, helping to create a cleaner world where seeds are simply seeds and cancer isn’t a household term.

Financial Wellness After Breast Cancer 

Many of us are at a place of being completely overwhelmed even before a breast cancer diagnosis further disrupts our lives. It is not enough that we are working full time to support our families, juggling kid’s commitments, homework, household chores, and keeping the bills paid on time, not to mention the mounds of laundry. There is little time to care for ourselves until that call comes and taking care of ourselves becomes one more thing we MUST do. We feel like everything has been thrown at us, including the proverbial kitchen sink, where we see ourselves spinning out of control and going down the drain, never to emerge financially. As treatment begins, the medical bills begin to pile up, often remaining unopened as it is just too painful to look at the cost of care to save our lives.

Bamboo Bra Helps Aid Recovery for Breast Cancer Patients

Breast cancer patients in the U.K. are being given bamboo bras to help them recover from breast cancer surgery. According to a report in the Express, the National Health Service is giving the bras to women following their breast cancer surgery because they have been proven to help prevent post-surgery infections. The bras also provide women with extra support and comfort which regular bras can’t do. The soft fiber from the bamboo plant was found to have antibacterial properties in clinical trials which could help the 10 percent of women who get infections following mastectomies in the U.K.

Herbal Tea Has Rare Ability to Kill Cancer Cells Without Damaging Other Cells 

UK-based researchers noted that the plant — sometimes known as Virgon’s Mantlem — has long been used in rural Pakistan to help women with breast cancer. The lab based findings suggest the Fagonia cretica plant, found in arid, desert regions of Pakistan, India, Africa and parts of Europe, contains potential anti-cancer agents acting either independently or in combination against breast cancer cell proliferation.

Seeking the Cure for Cancer: Money Could Be Spent Better

This article suggests we give up on finding a cure for cancer in our lifetimes, and instead spend the money on providing a better quality of life for cancer patients, better therapies and treatments and longer survival. I agree with that, but I think the bulk of the money should be spent on prevention.