Study Casts More Doubt on Value of Mammograms 

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.”

Cost of Breast Cancer Treatment

For patients covered by health insurance, out-of-pocket costs for breast cancer treatment typically consist of doctor visit, lab and prescription drug copays as well as coinsurance of 10%-50% for surgery and other procedures, which can easily reach the yearly out-of-pocket maximum. Breast cancer treatment typically is covered by health insurance, although some plans might not cover individual drugs or treatments.

Metastatic Breast Cancer Patients Living Longer Than Ever, Thanks to Better Treatments

“Even though this group of patients with MBC is increasing in size, our findings are favorable,” Angela Mariotto, data analytics chief at NCI’s Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, said in a press release. “This is because, over time, these women are living longer with MBC. Longer survival with MBC means increased needs for services and research. Our study helps to document this need.”

7 Tips to Help You Find the Right Oncologist

After being diagnosed with cancer, the first thing to do is find a good oncologist. Cancer treatment is tough, so it’s important to find an oncologist who supports and cares for their patients in a way you would want to be supported and cared for. We’ve put together a list of tips for finding the right oncologist with information from cancerdocs.org.

Study estimates number of U.S. women living with metastatic breast cancer

A new study shows that the number of women in the United States living with distant metastatic breast cancer (MBC), the most severe form of the disease, is growing. Researchers came to this finding by estimating the number of U.S. women living with MBC, or breast cancer that has spread to distant sites in the body, including women who were initially diagnosed with metastatic disease, and those who developed MBC after an initial diagnosis at an earlier stage.

Researchers identify nutrient metabolism that drives breast tumor metastasis

A multinational group of scientists, has discovered that breast cancer cells that have invaded other organs rely on a different nutrient metabolism to produce energy than normal cells and non-metastasizing cancer cells. This discovery could result in new breast cancer therapies that prevent metastases by targeting this metabolic process. These groundbreaking insights are published in the leading scientific journal Nature Communications.

Breakthrough: Breast cancer relapse linked to fat metabolism 

The researchers identified a chemical signature in the way that residual cells metabolized lipids. The altered process contributed to maintaining high levels of reactive oxygen species, which are molecules known to harm DNA. The team believes that this may play a role in triggering a relapse. Other scientists will now be able to examine these cellular differences and get to the bottom of how lipid metabolism might influence cancer relapse. Kristina Havas, one of the scientists involved in the current project, has high hopes, saying, “Every patient is different, and every story is unique, but our results suggest that lipid metabolism is an exciting therapeutic target to reduce breast cancer recurrence.”

“First in Human” Highlights NCI Immunotherapy Research

The forthcoming Discovery Channel special, First in Human, will feature some of the groundbreaking work on cancer immunotherapy being done at the NIH Clinical Center. The three-part series—scheduled to run on August 10, 17, and 24—will feature NCI researchers and staff leading trials of a type of immune-based cellular therapy known as adoptive cell transfer (ACT)

A New Test That Detects Cancer Earlier

This test, known as a liquid biopsy, could buy some crucial time for doctors by indicating that cancerous cells are present in the body when tumors are detectable on CT scans and long before the patient has any physical symptoms. The liquid biopsies also showed whether the chemotherapy treatment was working or if the disease had become resistant, as is what happens in the majority of stage 2 and 3 cancers. In future, this could allow doctors to switch to a more effective drug and spare patients grueling treatment for nothing.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis Means Your Mom Needs Your Help

As a mother who had cancer, I wanted my children to have fun and keep their normal routine as much as possible. I had children so they would grow to be strong and independent, kind people. It would have killed me if they were crying all the time, or constantly worried about my health. That said, these are some other things that can do to help your mom during her breast cancer battle.

Is It Safe To Cook With Aluminum Foil?

We know aluminum in deodorant is bad for us, but how much aluminum do we actually absorb when we, say, cook a baked potato in foil on the grill? Is it dangerous to cook with aluminum? On the one hand, the metals we cook in definitely leach into our foods. In fact, cooking in a cast iron pan is often suggested for those who are iron deficient. In a similar way, cooking with aluminum increases aluminum levels within the body. In fact, one study found that the amount of aluminum that leaches from foil into food during the cooking process is well above the permissible limit set by the World Health Organization.

Breast Cancer Lesion-finding Device Called LoCalizer Wins FDA Approval

Manufactured by Health Beacons, LOCalizer is a wireless radiofrequency identification device that helps surgeons locate non-palpable breast lesions with more precision than traditional methods. A non-palpable lesion is one that cannot be felt or does not form a discrete mass. “As the industry gets better at detecting smaller breast lesions, we must establish a new gold standard for breast lesion localization,” Donogh O’Driscoll, chief operating officer of Faxitron, said in a press release. “LOCalizer could be the breakthrough needed to make lumpectomies and breast biopsies safer, more efficient and a better experience for both providers and patients.

Breast Cancer Disparity Between Blacks and Whites May Be Due to Genetics

“People have long associated breast cancer mortality in black women with poverty, or stress, or lack of access to care, but our results show that much of the increased risk for black women can be attributed to tumor biological differences, which are probably genetically determined,” Dr. Olufunmilayo Olopade, the study’s senior author, said in a news release. “The good news,” she said, “is that as we learn more about these genetic variations, we can combine that information with clinical data to stratify risk and better predict recurrences — especially for highly treatable cancers — and develop interventions to improve treatment outcomes.”