Drug Reduces Cancer Treatment-Related Joint Pain

After undergoing treatment for early-stage breast cancer, many postmenopausal women take drugs known as aromatase inhibitors to reduce the risk of the cancer returning. These drugs, however, can cause significant pain in women’s joints and muscles. The clinical trialExit Disclaimer showed that duloxetine (Cymbalta®), which is approved to treat depression and anxiety as well as fibromyalgia and nerve pain caused by diabetes, provided some relief from pain associated with aromatase inhibitors.

Half Report Severe Side Effects From Breast Cancer Therapy 

For the study, researchers surveyed almost 2,000 early stage breast cancer patients an average of seven months after diagnosis. The women were asked to rate the severity of seven common treatment side effects: nausea/vomiting; diarrhea; constipation; pain; arm swelling; shortness of breath; and breast skin irritation.

Using a Non-Stick Pan? You May Want to Read This

There are some natural, safer alternatives to Teflon that you should be aware of. If you currently own a non-stick pan, throw them out immediately. Replace all non-stick bakeware with glass, and choose steel and cast iron for other cooking needs. Rely on healthy fats, like olive oil and coconut oil, to provide a natural non-stick surface for your cookware.

Understanding Cancer-Related Fatigue 

In this illustrated video, DocMikeEvans explores cancer-related fatigue and its effect on patients. Dr. Evans explains that the biggest complaint from cancer patients is fatigue and that 90 percent of all cancer patients will suffer from it. However, cancer fatigue is different from normal fatigue and cannot be cured with a good night’s sleep.

Loneliness May Sabotage Breast Cancer Survival: Study 

Reviewing data on nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients, the researchers linked isolation with a 40 percent higher risk of cancer recurrence compared to socially connected women. These solitary women also had a 60 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer and a 70 percent increased risk of dying from any cause, the study found.

Long-term tamoxifen use increases risk of aggressive secondary tumours 

Comparing breast-cancer patients who received t tamoxifen to those who did not, the researchers found that while the drug was associated with a 60% reduction in oestrogen receptor-positive (ER-positive) second breast cancer, it also appeared to increase the risk of ER-negative second cancer by 440%. “This is of concern, given the poorer prognosis of ER-negative tumours, which are also more difficult to treat,” Christopher Li, MD, Public Health Sciences Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington.

When Genetic Tests Disagree About Best Option For Cancer Treatment

Doctors may be lulled into thinking that these tests are providing definitive results, but they’re not. And that’s the overarching message. “You really have to be thoughtful about how you apply these to clinical decision making. If you don’t understand these limitations, if you just treat the reports at face value, that could be leading to instances where oncologists use drugs that are unlikely to be effective.”

This May Help Breast Cancer Survivors Regain Memory Loss After Treatment

Women who have undergone a breast cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment often report memory loss as a side effect, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments have often been deemed the culprits. However, a new study reveals that the perceived memory loss may be stress-related, and that breast cancer survivors who exercise regularly can alleviate stress and reduce or avoid loss of memory.

Chemotherapy Can Cause Cancer to Spread

We know that breast cancer treatment can cause breast cancer to spread, but the position of the mainstream cancer establishment is that the benefits of treatment are likely to outweigh the possible harm. My position is that patients should be given all the information they need to make the choices they consider best for themselves.

Can Acupuncture Improve Sleep for Breast Cancer Survivors with Hot Flashes? New Study Says Yes

For women with breast cancer, hot flashes — sudden, short surges in body temperature — can be an unpleasant side effect of treatment. But new research from Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Chief of Integrative Medicine may point toward a source of relief. He found that electro-acupuncture, a type of acupuncture that uses tiny needles gently activated by a current, could help reduce this symptom.

Extending Aromatase Inhibitor Use Beyond 5 Years May Benefit Some Women

The study showed that extended adjuvant therapy with an aromatase inhibitor results in a small but potentially important benefit, but it may have some significant side effects. So we need to be very careful in terms of who we select for extended therapy. Women at high risk of recurrence because the cancers are node-positive or large, high-grade tumors — the higher the risk of recurrence, the more benefit there will be from extended therapy.

Beating Breast Cancer But Still Paying a Price 

Women who survive breast cancer often experience lingering physical and emotional symptoms that go untreated, new research suggests. Ninety-two percent of long-term breast cancer survivors report at least three untreated symptoms for which they need assistance, according to the study. The most common unmet needs are achy joints, fatigue and weight gain — each affecting about one in four survivors in the study. Survivors living with more unmet needs are also more likely to experience anxiety and depression, the study found.