Breast Cancer News

The newsletter provides a selection of recent articles in the media related to breast cancer. Subscribe on the right to have the weekly roundup emailed to you.

The Top Killer In Breast Cancer May Surprise You

The Top Killer In Breast Cancer May Surprise You

The leading cause of death in breast cancer patients today is heart disease. Women in their 40s and 50s are experiencing heart failure and other cardiotoxicities after treatment with radiation, anthracyclines and HER2 receptor antagonists, noted Sandra Cuellar, PharmD, BCOP, at the 13th Annual Conference of the Hematology/Oncology Pharmacy Association.

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How Routine Mammography Screening Leads to Overdiagnosis & Overtreatment

How Routine Mammography Screening Leads to Overdiagnosis & Overtreatment

After more than 30 years of widespread promotion of routine breast cancer screening for women at average risk, an undeniable body of research shows the significant harms and limited benefits of population-based screening. The truth is that widespread mammography screening has failed to dramatically reduce the number of deaths from breast cancer. Last week, a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine added to the compelling evidence that for a majority of asymptomatic women at average risk of breast cancer, the harms of screening may outweigh the benefit.

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Eight Positive Things About My Breast Cancer Diagnosis 

Eight Positive Things About My Breast Cancer Diagnosis 

There are no pros and cons to this situation, it’s just shit. Period. People often say, “Well, you could walk out of your front door and get knocked down by a bus!” Guess what, being diagnosed with cancer makes you feel exactly like that! Nevertheless, one can’t help but become philosophical when faced with this kind of adversity. I’ve even gained the prestigious nickname ‘the voice of reason’, and as a result I’ve managed to find eight positive outcomes from having breast cancer. Unbelievable, I know, yet true.

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Toxic Industrial Chemicals Found in 10 Types of Macaroni and Cheese Powders

Toxic Industrial Chemicals Found in 10 Types of Macaroni and Cheese Powders

Based on the risks that phthalates pose to women and children, many of these chemicals have been banned for use in children’s toys and childcare articles by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But that’s little protection for pregnant women. Europe has already prohibited all phthalates from use in plastic food contact materials for fatty foods, including dairy products, except for three phthalates whose use has been highly restricted. In contrast, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has failed to take action in response to growing concern and scientific consensus.

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Oncologists across U.S. to alter how they stage breast cancer this winter

Oncologists across U.S. to alter how they stage breast cancer this winter

Doctors have been using the American Joint Committee on Cancer TNM system when diagnosing breast cancer. It was based on the size of the tumor, where the cancer had reached nearby lymph nodes and whether the cancer had metastasized (or spread). In that system, there are typically four stages of breast cancer, with the first stage meaning the cancer is contained in the breast and the fourth stage signifying that the cancer has spread to multiple other parts of the body. Stage IV breast cancer has been considered difficult to cure. The new staging system will now add a fourth factor to the TNM system: Genomic testing, which will look at the DNA of the tumor.

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Is Our Clothing Toxic? It’s More Complicated Than We Think 

Is Our Clothing Toxic? It’s More Complicated Than We Think 

It’s complicated. Your clothing is never made solely out of just cotton or polyester. Every single fabric has some form of processing. It may be preshunk cotton, or superwash merino. It may be bleached. It’s almost always dyed. And nowadays clothing comes in all kinds of high-tech variations: UV protective, bug repellant, wrinkle-free, stain resistant, antimicrobial, and so on. Even pure cotton can be grown with pesticides.

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Cancer Radiation Therapy Linked to Future Cancer Risk, Heart Problems

Cancer Radiation Therapy Linked to Future Cancer Risk, Heart Problems

The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) has confirmed the risks of radiation therapy to treat cancer. In a report, the council noted that as the number of cancer survivors tripled in the last 40 years, more survivors have developed heart problems or a new, different cancer likely related to radiation exposure during treatment for the first cancer.

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Chemotherapy before breast cancer surgery might fuel metastasis

Chemotherapy before breast cancer surgery might fuel metastasis

The main goal of pre-operative (neoadjuvant) chemotherapy for breast cancer is to shrink tumors so women can have a lumpectomy rather than a more invasive mastectomy. It was therefore initially used only on large tumors after being introduced about 25 years ago. But as fewer and fewer women were diagnosed with large breast tumors, pre-op chemo began to be used in patients with smaller cancers, too, in the hope that it would extend survival. But pre-op chemo can, instead, promote metastasis, scientists concluded from experiments in lab mice and human tissue, published in Science Translational Medicine

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A simple breath test could be the next step in diagnosing breast cancer

A simple breath test could be the next step in diagnosing breast cancer

The USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center is recruiting people for a clinical trial that will research the effectiveness of a breath test for breast cancer diagnostics. The BreathLink device captures a two-minute sample of a patient’s breath and provides prompt results on whether there are indications of breast cancer. If proven effective, the test would be used with mammograms to rule out false-positive tests, sparing patients the pain, cost and anxiety of unnecessary biopsies.

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Treatment options for metastatic breast cancer 

Treatment options for metastatic breast cancer 

Once a cancer has spread to other parts of the body in metastatic cancer, it’s extremely difficult to completely get rid of all the cancer cells. That means metastatic breast cancer is usually not curable. But it is treatable. In recent years, there have been significant advances that have prolonged the lives of people with metastatic breast cancer, thanks to more effective therapies. The goals and aggressiveness of your treatment options will depend on your individual situation and preferences. Understanding what you want out of your treatment can help guide your treatment decisions.

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I’m A Survivor, But Breast Cancer Awareness Month Stresses Me Out

I’m A Survivor, But Breast Cancer Awareness Month Stresses Me Out

I’m thankful for pioneers like Betty Rollin and Betty Ford who took breast cancer out of the shadows and into the light of day. It needed to happen. But every year I’m more uncomfortable with all the hoopla surrounding this month. At times it feels like a garish form of entertainment focusing on breasts, “boobies,” “ta-tas,” “the twins,” and “the girls,” all on display and begging to be saved.

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus shares her breast cancer diagnosis with a heartfelt call to action.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus shares her breast cancer diagnosis with a heartfelt call to action.

In her call to action, Louis-Dreyfus sounds optimistic, urging her followers to keep fighting so that others have access to the same care she’ll be able to receive. While recent efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act have fallen flat, we are far from having “universal health care.” 11% of women ages 19 to 64 in the U.S. don’t have any form of health insurance. While that number has fallen since the ACA’s implementation, it still means that millions of women are unable to access preventive care. Thanks to a number of health centers around the country, such as Planned Parenthood, low-income and uninsured women aren’t left completely out in the cold. Unfortunately, these groups are frequently under attack from political opponents.

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What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Breast Cancer?

What’s the Connection Between Heart Disease and Breast Cancer?

The National Cancer Institute reports that the average five-year survival rate for breast cancer is now about 90 percent, thanks to advanced treatment protocols. However, some patients who’ve had radiation treatment and chemotherapy may be at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease in what’s called a late side effect of treatment for breast cancer. This means that the heart problem may not surface for months or years after the conclusion of treatment. According to a report in the journal EJC Supplements, an open access companion journal to the European Journal of Cancer, cardiovascular disease is already the leading cause of death “accounting for 30 to 50 percent of all deaths in most developed countries. Because of this high background rate, even a minor increase in risk of CVD [resulting from cancer treatment] will have an important impact on morbidity and mortality.”

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Palliative care: Who is it for?

Palliative care: Who is it for?

Palliative care is often confused with hospice care, which is generally for people with terminal illnesses. Hospice care workers provide palliative care, but palliative care can be given at any time during an illness, not just at the end of life. Recent data show that for people with certain types of cancer, early use of palliative care services not only makes them feel better but also helps them live longer when compared with people who get standard treatment only.

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Study Affirms Cancer Risk for Women with BRCA Mutations

Study Affirms Cancer Risk for Women with BRCA Mutations

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes code for proteins that are critical for cells to repair damaged DNA. Specific inherited mutations in these genes increase the risk of several cancer types, particularly breast and ovarian cancer. The study affirmed earlier estimates of a substantial increased lifetime risk of these cancers in carriers of inherited mutations. But it also showed that the magnitude of risk is influenced as well by the location of the mutations within the BRCA genes and the extent of the family history of breast cancer.

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Exercise Boosts Cognition, Helps Ease Chemo Brain

Exercise Boosts Cognition, Helps Ease Chemo Brain

Overall, women in the exercise program had more than double the improvement in cognition processing speed, which measures how fast information can be taken in and used, compared to women in the control group. Women in the exercise group who had been diagnosed in the past 2 years were 4 times more likely to have improved cognition speed than women in the control group. Women in the exercise group also had 3 times the improvement in self-reported cognition function than women in the control group.

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Ways to Improve Your Mood when You Have Breast Cancer 

Ways to Improve Your Mood when You Have Breast Cancer 

Having breast cancer can lead to some unhappy days and moments. You might be wondering why you had to get cancer. Feeling hopeless and scared are common emotions when hearing a breast cancer diagnosis. However, how you decide to act after receiving your diagnosis important. I believe that it is necessary to find things that will help you fight self-pity, hopelessness, and sadness. Yes, it’s completely natural to feel hopeless and scared sometimes, but falling into a sadness every day is also not good for your mood or your mental health.

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7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Chemo

7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Starting Chemo

You don’t want to be left wounded on the battlefield. Chemo is an experience we’re mostly unprepared to handle. My first few times were terrifying and I didn’t know what I was doing or what to expect. So, I’d like to share seven things I wish I had known about chemo before I started.

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Does Your Laundry Detergent Contain These 5 Common Carcinogens?

Does Your Laundry Detergent Contain These 5 Common Carcinogens?

You may be getting more than you bargained for when you wash your clothes. That’s because many commercial laundry detergents contain toxic carcinogens. And, you may be exposing yourself to these cancer-causing chemicals every time you do the laundry or wear the clothes you’ve washed. That’s a disturbing and counter-intuitive thought.

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The Facade of Breast Cancer Awareness, Susan G. Komen and the Pink Ribbon

The Facade of Breast Cancer Awareness, Susan G. Komen and the Pink Ribbon

Educated people who have learned the truth have stopped blindly supporting Komen as it has become crystal clear about their deceptive marketing tactics and questionable use of funds. In just the last few years, revenues for Komen have sharply dropped. Many intelligent women (and men) who once proudly raised money to “race for a cure” have begun to recognize “pinkwashing” for what it is.

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9 Ways a Cancer Coach Can Help You Beat Cancer

9 Ways a Cancer Coach Can Help You Beat Cancer

More often than not, cancer coaches have been through cancer themselves and have beaten it. They know, like no one else knows, all about the shock of diagnosis and the resulting stress. They have experienced firsthand the anxiety for the future and what it may hold, and what may lie ahead. Through their personal experiences and training, they have acquired skills to help others through the minefield that cancer can be.

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Eating Our Way to Disease

Eating Our Way to Disease

Dr. T. Colin Campbell, one of the lead scientists of the China-Cornell-Oxford Study, a 20-year study “that found 8,000 statistically significant correlations between eating animal protein and risk of disease in 65 counties in China,” is emphatic about the danger of dairy products. He told The Guardian that “cows’ milk protein may be the single most significant chemical carcinogen to which humans are exposed.” Susan Levin, director of nutrition education for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, warned in the book, “Milk, because of what it is [a fluid designed to jump-start the growth of a 60-pound calf into a 1,500-pound cow], makes things grow faster, and that includes cancer cells. This is not a product even in its purest state that you want to consume.”

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Could Certain Hair Dyes, Relaxers Raise Breast Cancer Risk? 

Could Certain Hair Dyes, Relaxers Raise Breast Cancer Risk? 

The safety of hair products has been debated for years. Now, new research suggests that black women who use dark hair dyes face a higher risk of breast cancer, while chemical relaxers and straighteners boost the odds in white women. The findings stem from a study of more than 4,000 women. Use of dark brown or black hair dyes by black women was tied to a 51 percent greater risk of breast cancer. And whites who used hair relaxers had 74 percent higher odds

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Yet again, research shows chemotherapy drugs can make your cancer worse

Yet again, research shows chemotherapy drugs can make your cancer worse

Chemotherapy can actually encourage cancer spread, according to new research findings (1) by a team of scientists from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. George Karagiannis, Jessica Pastoriza, and others from Departments of oncology, surgery, pathology and radiology studied breast cancer patients and showed that while chemotherapy could ‘knock back’ a cancer tumour by killing some cancer cells, it could also make matters far worse by encouraging cancer spread (increasing metastases). It is metastases that limit survival times and cause death.

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5 Staple Foods That Are Tainted With Chemicals 

5 Staple Foods That Are Tainted With Chemicals 

Chemicals lurk in so many of our grocery store staples. While it is not impossible to avoid these chemicals, it does require some knowledge and vigilance. What foods you choose to put into your body is a huge foundation of good health. So put the effort in. Do your own digging, educate yourself and know your food.

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This Is What Breast Cancer Activism Looked Like Before the Pink Ribbon 

This Is What Breast Cancer Activism Looked Like Before the Pink Ribbon 

That breast cancer garners an impressive amount of social awareness is no accident; it is the result of decades of committed activism beginning in the 1970s, and was driven in large part by the spirit of the women’s liberation movement. Until this point in time, breast cancer was an “unspeakable” condition that women experienced privately and silently, with shame rather than social support. It took the acts of individual women speaking out about cancer, as well as feminist organizing that targeted the relationship between female patients and the male-dominated medical establishment, for the issue to go public and become less stigmatized.

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Skincare Tips For Cancer Patients

Skincare Tips For Cancer Patients

Your skin can be damaged by several cancer treatments. Chemotherapy targets all your cells including healthy ones and reduces the amount of oil your glands secrete. As skin is the largest organ in your body the effects are more visible. Radiotherapy can also affect the area that is treated and various medications may also have an adverse effect on the skin. In addition, hormone therapy can have a big impact on the skin as the aim of this treatment is to reduce oestrogen levels which is the hormone that keeps skin looking young and fresh.

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A Survivor’s Guide On How To Handle Friends Who Leave During Cancer

A Survivor’s Guide On How To Handle Friends Who Leave During Cancer

In the end, I honestly don’t think I really knew what true friendship was until now. The old friends that stuck it out during cancer and the people I met during treatment are probably the most real friendships I’ve ever experienced. There really is no reason to fix old damaged relationships when the new ones are so strong. You don’t need countless friends, you just need the ones that count.

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How Can I Avoid Breast Cancer Charity Scams? 

How Can I Avoid Breast Cancer Charity Scams? 

Sandra Miniutti, vice president of marketing for Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that evaluates and rates charities and nonprofit organizations, says in a video posted on its website that “you might be surprised that much less will go to charity when you ‘shop for the cure’ as opposed to donating directly to a respected breast cancer organization.”

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Spreading cancer caught on film 

Spreading cancer caught on film 

The way in which every single cancer cell spreads around the body has been captured in videos by a team in Japan. The normal body tissues show up as green, while the cancer comes out as intense red spots. The team, at the University of Tokyo and the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center, says the technology will help explain the deadly process. The research is on mice so far, but it is hoped the method could one day help with treatment too.

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Chemo-induced Cardiotoxicity: Prevention Is Best Strategy

Chemo-induced Cardiotoxicity: Prevention Is Best Strategy

The incidence of chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy has been increasing and will continue to increase as the cancer survivor population expands. Unfortunately, therapeutic options for the condition are limited. Jean-Bernard Durand, MD, medical director of Cardiomyopathy Services at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, said that management of cardiotoxicity for these patients should be based on prevention, early detection, and halting progression of heart failure.

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Arsenic Is In Rice – Should you worry?

Arsenic Is In Rice – Should you worry?

According to our detailed assessment and research, there is no simple way to determine how much rice-based food you can safely eat. All the arsenic in your diet adds to your lifetime risk of developing cancer. However this factor must be weighed against the nutritional qualities of foods you might eat in the place of rice. Rice is an affordable grain that figures in the daily fare of millions of Americans, particularly Asian and Latino families, vegetarians and people on a gluten-free diet. Rice flour, bran and syrup are added to many processed foods like crackers, pasta and granola bars. Infants and children are commonly fed rice-based cereals. The bottom line: EWG recommends that you limit consumption of rice and rice-based food when possible and instead eat a varied diet of healthy lower-arsenic grains and sweeteners.

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Six Questions About Cellphone Radiation and Your Health 

Six Questions About Cellphone Radiation and Your Health 

In 2011, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer declared the kind of radiation emitted by cellphones a “possible carcinogen” based on human epidemiological studies that found increased gliomas and acoustic neuromas in long-term cellphone users. Yet the wireless industry continues to insist that the public need not worry and fights efforts to inform the public. To clear up some of this confusion, EWG answers your top questions

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Minimally Invasive Breast Cancer Cryotherapy Largely Ignored in U.S., Says Advocate and 13-Year Survivor

Minimally Invasive Breast Cancer Cryotherapy Largely Ignored in U.S., Says Advocate and 13-Year Survivor

Ross-Paul has co-written a book with her husband, Alex Paul, and her cancer physician, Dr. Peter Littrup, titled “They’re Mine and I’m Keeping Them,” which documents the story of how she and her husband bucked the system and found Littrup, whose skill in the field of cryo-ablation ultimately saved her breast. The co-authors also relate the success at Fuda Hospital in Guangzhou, China in treating a variety of Stage 4 cancers by combining cryoablation and advanced immune system therapies, which increase the frequency of the occurrence of the natural immune effect to approximately 80 percent or higher of the cases.

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Study Finds Long Exposure To Tiny Amounts Of Monsanto’s Roundup Damages The Liver & Kidneys

Study Finds Long Exposure To Tiny Amounts Of Monsanto’s Roundup Damages The Liver & Kidneys

Glyphosate continues to be the most used herbicide in the world, despite the fact that the World Health Organization’s cancer agency, IARC, labelled it a probable human carcinogen in 2015. And evidence suggests GBH, like Roundup, poses particular health risks to the liver and kidneys in large doses. Small doses, however, hadn’t been tested, until a 2015 study came along. The study, published in the journal Environmental Health, found harmful effects in the liver and kidneys of rats exposed to low levels of Roundup in drinking water. The international group of scientists from the UK, Italy, and France involved in the findings studied the effects of prolonged exposure to small amounts of the Roundup herbicide and glyphosate.

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How Helpful is Lymph Node Removal During Breast Cancer Surgery?

How Helpful is Lymph Node Removal During Breast Cancer Surgery?

The history of breast cancer surgery is a tale of woe and intrigue. It is a story of strong personalities and procedures that were based more on beliefs than on science. Old ideas die hard. It took years before breast cancer surgeons were willing to give up on long-established practices. Now, a new study suggests that lymph node removal for stage I or II breast cancer patients may not be beneficial. This will no doubt lead to controversy, just like the research that preceded it.

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Chemo may spread breast cancer and trigger more aggressive tumors 

Chemo may spread breast cancer and trigger more aggressive tumors 

In 2012, a groundbreaking study was published which explained how chemotherapy can backfire and boost cancer growth. In 2016, we learned that chemo causes long-term immune system damage in breast cancer patients, reducing key immune cells for at least 9 months after treatment. This year we have another study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, which offers more insight into how chemotherapy could cause cancer to spread, and trigger more aggressive new tumors.

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What To Give to Someone Who’s Diagnosed With Cancer

What To Give to Someone Who’s Diagnosed With Cancer

If you’re wondering what to do for someone who’s ill, or sick or going through some type of trauma, my suggestion is that it’s not important WHAT you send them, it’s just important that you send them SOMETHING, or do something, so that they know you’re thinking of them. Send a card, send a newspaper article, send them a funny book, a magazine, almost any little symbol of normalcy. Make them dinner, bring over a cup of coffee, bring some flowers, stop by for a chat and a hug.

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5 Ways to Make Life After Cancer Even Better Than Life Before

5 Ways to Make Life After Cancer Even Better Than Life Before

Having our old life is not always possible and we need to adapt … so consider this new lease on life an opportunity to recreate a new, exciting life after cancer. Don’t think of this as a disappointment – the way I see it is that we can have a ‘better’ life, almost any life you have ever wished for. For example, in the past 19 months since I have finished chemo, I have managed to distract myself with non-cancer thoughts and actions, decrease my stress levels (to lower than my pre-cancer self) and enjoy life. Remember: what is the point in being alive but not being happy after all?!

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Chemotherapy-Linked Neuropathy Can Affect Balance, Gait Even Years After Treatment Ends

Chemotherapy-Linked Neuropathy Can Affect Balance, Gait Even Years After Treatment Ends

“Cancer survivors are at a significant increased risk for falls, and the incidence rate of falling after chemotherapy is a serious concern for survivors’ long-term quality of life,” said Maryam Lustberg, M.D., senior author of the study and director of breast cancer survivorship services at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center. “Our study provides new insights on how taxane-based chemotherapy can impact fundamental aspects of patient function. These new insights can help us develop better strategies to help patients combat these challenges and, in some cases, choose a different therapy to treat the disease but with reduced side effects.”

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Tumor Scanner Promises Fast 3D Imaging of Biopsies

Tumor Scanner Promises Fast 3D Imaging of Biopsies

NIH-funded researchers have developed a groundbreaking new microscope to help perform the pathology in minutes, not days. How’s that possible? The device works like a scanner for tissues, using a thin sheet of light to capture a series of thin cross sections within a tumor specimen without having to section it with a knife, as is done with conventional pathology. The rapidly acquired 2D “optical sections” are processed by a computer that assembles them into a high-resolution 3D image for immediate analysis.

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More Cancers Caught in Wealthy People 

More Cancers Caught in Wealthy People 

Wealthy Americans are more likely to be diagnosed with some types of cancer than poor people, a new study finds. The reason: It’s not because affluent people are more likely to get cancer, but rather because they undergo more medical tests, the researchers explained.

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How to Prep for #Pinktober

How to Prep for #Pinktober

We need your help this Pinktober to make the breast cancer movement more accountable to women by exposing companies that are pinkwashing—and the organizations that are enabling them.

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4 Things to Remember About Screening Mammograms 

4 Things to Remember About Screening Mammograms 

We must end the confusion for women and their families by providing them with the key facts about screening mammography. Women can then make informed and empowered decisions about the timing of screening in keeping with their own values and preferences.

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In defense of breast density notification laws 

In defense of breast density notification laws 

Breast density notification laws were developed and enacted specifically because of strong evidence about the limitations of mammography in women with dense breast tissue and the demonstrated benefits of supplemental screening in them. The laws vary by state, although there are efforts to develop a national standard. It is important that radiologists, primary care physicians, and ob/gyns work together to implement breast density notification as effectively as possible.

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The Role Of Vitamin C In The Treatment Of Terminal Cancer

The Role Of Vitamin C In The Treatment Of Terminal Cancer

What we know is that the “present state of cancer chemotherapy is unsatisfactory.” People have a perception that chemotherapy “will significantly enhance their chances of cure,” but if you put all our cancer-killing chemo together, the overall contribution to five-year survival is on the order of 2 percent—all those side effects for a 2.1 percent survival rate bump, at a cost of maybe $100,000 per patient per year. So, it may be worth looking deeper into therapies like IV vitamin C. However, the lack of financial reward, since vitamin C can’t be patented and sold for $100,000, and bias against alternative medicine “could dissuade conventional investigators and funding agencies from seriously considering this approach.”

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Medicaid restrictions linked to increased late-stage breast cancer diagnoses 

Medicaid restrictions linked to increased late-stage breast cancer diagnoses 

Women in Tennessee who were diagnosed with breast cancer were more likely to be diagnosed with late stage disease after a substantial rollback of Medicaid coverage for adults in the state, according to a new analysis. When investigators compared women living in lower-income areas with those in higher-income areas, low-income areas saw the greatest shift to late stage diagnosis. Published early online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings point to the potential negative health impacts of limiting Medicaid enrollment.

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Scientists may have found a way to stop cancer from metastasizing 

Scientists may have found a way to stop cancer from metastasizing 

What enables cancer cells to migrate is a set of protrusions that help them to move. The team of researchers – led by Mostafa El-Sayed, Julius Brown Chair and Regents Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Georgia Tech’s School in Atlanta, GA – managed to successfully cut off these protrusions using a special technique.

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Psilocybin, Cancer & Spiritual Awakening

Psilocybin, Cancer & Spiritual Awakening

People facing a life-threatening cancer diagnosis may struggle with more than the medical treatment. They sometimes experience an existential crisis, in which life loses its meaning. In such situations, anxiety and depression may overwhelm and paralyze them. To address this problem, some psychiatrists decided to see whether the hallucinogenic compound psilocybin could make a difference.

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This Breast Cancer Survivor Is Already Dreading October 

This Breast Cancer Survivor Is Already Dreading October 

Those newly diagnosed with breast cancer may become enamored with pink as they begin their journey with cancer. It’s easy to fall into that media trap. Signing up for those Susan G. Komen 5Ks and buying all that breast cancer paraphernalia just kind of seems like the right thing to do, but is it really? I did a lot of research at the end of last year and found out that not much money raised by those cancer organizations actually go toward cancer research. Most of the money raised goes toward salaries and administrative fees.

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Fitness May Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Fitness May Lower Breast Cancer Risk

Aerobic fitness seems to alter the interior workings of cells in ways that may substantially lower the risk of breast cancer. A new study with female rats found that those that were the most fit were much less likely than other animals to develop cancer after exposure to a known carcinogen, even if they did not exercise. The findings offer tantalizing new clues into the relationships between fitness, exercise, and malignancies.

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Five natural compounds that help fight HER2 breast cancer

Five natural compounds that help fight HER2 breast cancer

Five natural, bioactive compounds have been shown to improve HER2 treatments while also being active against HER2 positive breast cancer in their own right. Indeed, an increasing list of natural, bioactive compounds is being shown to help fight HER2 breast cancer – psoralen, curcumin, olive oil, anthocyanins and beta-glucans, each seem to have action against HER2 positive breast cancer, according to research.

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Breast Cancer and Overcoming Insecurities, Day-by-Day

Breast Cancer and Overcoming Insecurities, Day-by-Day

Breast cancer leaves behind a secret sisterhood of those who came before you or are going through the cancer experience along with you. I want to share with you some of my insecurities as I went through breast cancer and as I adjust to my new body. From the moment that you hear the words “breast cancer,” your mind goes to the worst possible conclusion. But you know what? It is completely natural to believe the worst because cancer is a totally scary disease. The possibility of death made me feel very insecure.

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Breast Cancer, Lymphedema, and LVA Surgery that Is Bringing New Hope

Breast Cancer, Lymphedema, and LVA Surgery that Is Bringing New Hope

Rachel Andrews of Gloucestershire, U.K., developed severe lymphedema as a result of her cancer and underwent a microsurgery procedure intended to correct that condition. Rachel described the procedure, called LVA, previously and she now returns for a one-month update, informing readers about the procedure and how recovery is going for her

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Are Superfoods Worth It?

Are Superfoods Worth It?

The food we choose to eat has an enormous impact on our health and wellbeing. In the same spirit, superfoods are often those that are chosen to represent certain health promoting and disease fighting antioxidants and phytochemicals.

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Brain Metastases: Common Amongst Breast Cancer Patients 

Brain Metastases: Common Amongst Breast Cancer Patients 

A new study published in JAMA Oncology examined incidence and survival of patients with breast cancer and brain metastases. They used the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database which included information on cancer incidence, treatment, and survival for approximately 30% of the US population. Out of the survey, there were 968 patients with brain metastases at the time of diagnosis of breast cancer and age ranged from 18 to over 80 years. The researchers found that HR-negative HER-positive patients had the highest incidence of brain metastases (11.5%). Second highest rate occurred in patients with triple negative breast cancer (11.4%). Also, examining survival rate showed that patients with the triple negative subtype and brain metastases had the shortest survival rate(6 months).

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California Proposes Safe Level for Roundup More Than 100 Times Lower Than EPA Limit

California Proposes Safe Level for Roundup More Than 100 Times Lower Than EPA Limit

In a landmark rule with global repercussions, California state scientists are preparing to issue the world’s first health guideline for Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide based on its cancer risk. The state’s proposed safe level is more than 100 times lower than the the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s legal allowance for the average-sized American​. Glyphosate is the key ingredient in Roundup, the most heavily applied weed killer in the history of chemical agriculture. Use of glyphosate has exploded in the last 15 years, as Monsanto has promoted genetically modified Roundup Ready seeds to grow crops that aren’t harmed by the herbicide. In the U.S. alone, more than 200 million pounds of Roundup are sprayed each year, mostly on soybeans and corn.

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With My Breast Cancer, My Doctor Was Wrong and My Intuition Was Right

With My Breast Cancer, My Doctor Was Wrong and My Intuition Was Right

I guess I had to grow a backbone and stand up for my intuition. It was either that or start digging myself a grave. I could have buried my head in the sand, and listened to my doctors who all told me that I couldn’t get breast cancer because I was too young, too healthy, and had no family history of the disease. I’m not saying don’t listen to your doctor. I’m saying listen to yourself first and foremost and find a doctor who really listens to your concerns.

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Healing Your Soul from Breast Cancer

Healing Your Soul from Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is a harsh reality of our mortality; it leaves our bodies scarred no matter what treatment we might need, or choose to have. The person you once were has a new outlook, and often a new physical appearance. Handling yourself will decide how you heal and grow as a person. I have compiled a list of self-healing ideas to help with your well-being. these can be done for the rest of your life from the moment you receive a breast cancer diagnosis. Why the rest of your life? Because even when breast cancer is gone from your body, you are affected and changed forever. Self-care and recognition will help you heal and be the person you choose to be.

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A protein that stem cells require could be a target in killing breast cancer cells

A protein that stem cells require could be a target in killing breast cancer cells

For years, cancer experts have realized that cancerous cells behave in certain ways like stem cells, unspecialized cells that when exposed to certain signals, can “differentiate.” Now researchers have identified a protein that they show must be present in order for mammary stem cells to perform their normal functions. When researchers genetically removed or chemically inhibited the protein, called BPTF, stem cells could no longer maintain their “renewing” state and began to take on the character of specialized breast cells – and then soon died.

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Breast Cancer, Lymphedema, and a Possible Treatment Called LVA 

Breast Cancer, Lymphedema, and a Possible Treatment Called LVA 

This guest column is by Rachel Andrews of Gloucestershire, U.K., a Breast Cancer News reader who developed severe lymphedema (called lymphoedema in British English) as a result of her cancer treatments, and is undergoing a microsurgery procedure this week in an attempt to ease and correct that condition. Rachel asked to write this column so she could share with other breast cancer survivors similarly affected by lymphedema a potential surgical treatment.

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3D Nipple Tattoos Are Changing the Look and Experience of Breast Reconstruction After a Mastectomy 

3D Nipple Tattoos Are Changing the Look and Experience of Breast Reconstruction After a Mastectomy 

In some cases, a women’s natural nipple can be preserved during mastectomy surgery. But when that’s not possible, there are two different ways to permanently create a new nipple. One option is to use the woman’s own tissue to create a round nipple and areola “bump out” or projection. That little cap can be tattooed for color later on. Another option is to tattoo a nipple directly on the breast mound. Nipple tattoos without reconstructed nipples are increasingly popular, especially 3D nipple tattoos that an look amazingly real.

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More Women Are Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer and Living Longer

More Women Are Living With Metastatic Breast Cancer and Living Longer

Metastatic breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread to parts of the body away from the breast, such as the bones or liver. Metastatic breast cancer is stage IV cancer. A woman can be diagnosed with metastatic disease when first diagnosed. Breast cancer also can come back (recur) in a part of the body away from the breast. This is called metastatic recurrence. “Even though this group of patients with metastatic breast cancer is increasing in size, our findings are favorable,” said Angela Mariotto, Ph.D., chief of the Data Analytics Branch of the Division of Cancer Control and Populations Sciences at the NCI. “This is because, over time, these women are living longer with metastatic breast cancer. Longer survival with metastatic breast cancer means increased needs for services and research. Our study helps to document this need.”

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Toll-Free Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Information Helpline Launched by Susan G. Komen

Toll-Free Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Information Helpline Launched by Susan G. Komen

Susan G. Komen, an organization that fights breast cancer by funding research, screening, education, treatment, and psychosocial support programs, has launched a new toll-free Breast Cancer Clinical Trial Information Helpline (1-877-465-6636). The goal is to help breast cancer patients and their families and friends increase their understanding of clinical trials, give them the information and resources to make an informed decision about clinical trial participation, and facilitate enrollment in programs of potential benefit.

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Breast Cancer Tumors Respond to Lynparza Better Than Chemo, Study Shows

Breast Cancer Tumors Respond to Lynparza Better Than Chemo, Study Shows

The ovarian cancer therapy Lynparza (olaparib) shrank the tumors of 60 percent of breast cancer patients treated with it, double the figure for standard chemotherapy, according to a study. Lynparza, a PARP inhibitor, also increased by two-thirds the time it took for breast cancer to progress after treatment— seven months, versus 4.2 with chemo, researchers said. The results applied to breast cancer caused by BRCA gene mutations. Lynparza, which was developed by AstraZeneca, is used to treat advanced ovarian cancer with the same mutation.

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Study Shows How Breast Cancer Evades Immune System Attack 

Study Shows How Breast Cancer Evades Immune System Attack 

Typically, cancer cells use various approaches to disguise themselves from the immune system and form tumors in distant organs. For HER2+ breast cancer, the mechanisms behind this are not fully known. The authors discovered that when the cells metastasize to the brain, they wrap themselves in a mesh of the reelin protein from the brain, according to the study published by Clinical and Experimental Metastasis. This allows the cancer cells to disguise themselves and hide from immune cells. The disguised cells can create brain tumors that can potentially be fatal.

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8 Benefits of Having a Service or Therapy Dog When You Have Cancer 

8 Benefits of Having a Service or Therapy Dog When You Have Cancer 

Service dogs are typically thought of as necessary companions for the visually impaired, but service and therapy dogs can be a practical solution for people with a variety of illnesses, including cancer. As well as being a trusted friend, service dogs can expand owners’ motor abilities, granting them new independence and allowing them to get more out of life. Here are just a few benefits of having a service dog, according to healthfitnessrevolution.com, mira.ca, the Lung Institute, and rover.com.

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Is Breast Cancer Treatment Always Necessary? Doctors Wonder After New Study

Is Breast Cancer Treatment Always Necessary? Doctors Wonder After New Study

Many of us have been raised with the idea that being cautious is always better when it comes to cancer. But, new evidence is actually showing that the opposite may be true, particularly for cancers of the breast and prostate. A new study recently found that many women who are treated for early-stage breast cancer actually may not have needed treatment in the first place. And furthermore, although the study is new, it reflects research that’s been conducted for a number of years on prostate cancer.

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Chemotherapy & Radiation: What Your M.D. Isn’t Telling You

Chemotherapy & Radiation: What Your M.D. Isn’t Telling You

The link between chemotherapy and radiation and the development of second cancers has been known for decades! Even the American Cancer Society acknowledges that chemotherapy and radiotherapy are carcinogens and may increase risk for developing a second cancer, and that the risk is even higher when both therapies are given together. Yet still this information is not typically shared with patients or is severely downplayed by oncologists − unless you ask specific pointed questions about your proposed radiation therapy and/or chemo.

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Statins could reduce risk of breast cancer death by 38%, research shows

Statins could reduce risk of breast cancer death by 38%, research shows

The analysis acknowledged that statins’ effect on breast cancer prognosis has “long been controversial”, and experts emphasized that the evidence is still not definitive. “We did a meta-analysis which showed statins truly can change the prognosis of breast cancer but it is constrained by the type of statin and user-time,” Dr Liu told the Press Association. “I think lipophilic statins penetrate cell membrane more easily and lipophilic statins have been confirmed have some good effect on the immune system, which may help to kill cancer cells.” Experts and charities said the evidence presented a “high promise avenue of investigation” for a clinical trial.

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Drug Sales Bring Huge Profits, And Scrutiny, to Cancer Doctors

Drug Sales Bring Huge Profits, And Scrutiny, to Cancer Doctors

Typically, doctors give patients prescriptions for drugs that are then filled at pharmacies. But cancer doctors, known as oncologists, buy the chemotherapy drugs themselves, often at prices discounted by drug manufacturers trying to sell more of their products, and then administer them intravenously to patients in their offices. The practice also creates a potential conflict of interest for these doctors, who must help patients decide whether to undergo or continue chemotherapy if it is not proving to be effective, and which drugs to use.

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Skin-sparing mastectomy: Benefits and options 

Skin-sparing mastectomy: Benefits and options 

A skin-sparing mastectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of all breast tissue and glands but leaves the skin of the breast mostly intact. The skin is then used in breast reconstruction to make the breast look more natural. The nipple, the surrounding skin (areola), and the original biopsy scar are all removed. The surgeon works through the openings created from these areas and preserves as much of the skin surrounding the breast tissue as is possible. The results from a skin-sparing mastectomy are considered just as safe and effective at removing cancer tissue as other methods.

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Ethical Dilemmas Arise from Genetic Testing for Cancer

Ethical Dilemmas Arise from Genetic Testing for Cancer

One concern is what legal protections exist for those who undergo genetic testing and discover that they carry a genetic mutation that predisposes them to one or more cancer types. “We have individuals being denied life insurance,.” “You have to tell (if you’ve undergone testing and what your results were) or they’ll void the policy, and that’s a deterrent to some for genetic testing.”

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Elevated Cancer Rates Linked to Environmental Quality

Elevated Cancer Rates Linked to Environmental Quality

For the study, the researchers cross-referenced the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program’s state cancer profiles with the Environmental Quality Index (EQI) and determined that the average cancer rate in roughly 2,700 counties was about 451 people in every 100,000 between 2006 and 2010. But in counties with poor environmental quality, the researchers found a 10 percent higher incidence of cancer cases—or an average of 39 more cases per 100,000 people. The higher numbers were seen in both males and females, especially prostate and breast cancer.

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Counseling Improves Survivorship Care Plan Implementation

Counseling Improves Survivorship Care Plan Implementation

In this NCI-supported trial, doctors caring for low-income, predominantly Latina breast cancer survivors who had undergone a nurse-led educational session on their care plan were much more likely to address issues such as depression and hot flashes than the doctors of survivors who didn’t receive the counseling.

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Study Casts More Doubt on Value of Mammograms 

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.”

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Cost of Breast Cancer Treatment

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.

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

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7 Tips to Help You Find the Right Oncologist

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.

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