Any woman undergoing mastectomy and radiation who is interested in reconstruction should have the opportunity to review all her options. In addition to access to data, it may be helpful to talk to other women who have had the surgeries she is considering. Often the surgeon can provide contact information for other patients who are willing to share their experience, with the understanding that each woman’s experience is different.
After adjusting for age, other diseases, insurance, urbanization, hospital care level, location and date of event, the team found that women receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer were 10 times more likely than those getting other forms of treatment to develop second primary lung cancer.
Breast cancer screenings resulted in a substantial rise in early breast tumors and lesions detected, but didn’t reduce the numbers of advanced cancers diagnosed and likely led to excessive overtreatment, a study of screenings in Denmark reported. In fact, researchers suggested that one in every three invasive tumors and cases of ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) lesions found represented an overdiagnosis, defined as treatment given that exposes a patient to more harm than benefit because the tumor or lesion was not likely to advance during that person’s lifetime. “These findings support that screening has not accomplished the promise of a reduction in invasive therapy or disease-specific mortality,” the researchers wrote in the study, “Breast Cancer Screening in Denmark A Cohort Study of Tumor Size and Overdiagnosis,” published in Annals of Internal Medicine.
Risk calculations, treatment evaluations, and assessing the odds of a medication’s side effects are all part of the process of deciding which treatment is best for breast and other cancers. “The ability to understand numbers is associated with all kinds of positive health outcomes, including for cancer patients,” Peters said in a press release. “The problem is that too many people aren’t good with numbers or are afraid of math. But we’re starting to figure out the best ways to help these patients so they aren’t at a disadvantage when it comes to their treatment,” she said.
When you consider the 5,000 additives actually added to food along with the additional 5,000 that leech into food from packaging, we are regularly exposed to 10,000 food additives in the US—the bulk of which have never undergone any safety testing. And, almost none have been tested for the way in which they impact the body in combination. Given these factors, it is difficult to choose the 12 worst food additives to avoid, but here are my selections:
A quarter of all women in the United States die from heart disease. While cardiac disease is a public health issue in its own right, it is also linked to breast cancer because of the cardiotoxicity of common breast cancer treatments. Radiation (particularly to the left side), chemotherapy (such as anthracycline and adriamycin), and aromatase inhibitors (AIs) can all negatively impact heart health. Doctors worry that as more women survive breast cancer, women treated for early stage breast cancer are at greater risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than breast cancer.
We all know that diets rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains are healthier for us than those dependent on processed foods loaded with added fats and sugars. But, did you know healthy diets can actually help fight against the development of several common cancers? Produce and whole grains, and the nutrients they contain are good for us – but why and how do these food help defend against cancer? How can you make the most of their beneficial properties? Use our resources to find the answers.
“Exercise has a benefit that’s separate from weight control. It regulates hormone levels, improves insulin resistance, and reduces inflammation,” says study co-author Ellen Warner, M.D., a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and a medical oncologist at Toronto’s Sunnybrook Odette Cancer Centre. Exercise can also help the depression, fatigue, lymphedema (swelling in the arm caused by removing lymph nodes), and stress that might accompany diagnosis and treatment, according to Susan Gilchrist, M.D., an associate professor of clinical cancer prevention and cardiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
The randomized pilot trial included 30 breast cancer survivors, whose diagnoses ranged from stage 0 (ductal carcinoma in situ) to stage 3 who completed cancer treatments. Half (15 patients) were assigned to the fatigue reduction diet (FRD), which entailed consuming a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods for three months. They were compared to the other 15 patients – the control group – who stayed on the general health curriculum (GHC). After three months, fatigue improved by 44 percent in the FRD group, compared to only eight percent in the GHC group. The FRD group also saw nearly a 50 percent improvement in sleep quality, while the GHC group so no change or a negative impact.
Women with early stage breast cancer that is hormone receptor-positive, HER2-negative, and lymph node-negative, but who — based on a 21-gene expression assay — are thought to be at intermediate risk of recurrence have similar outcomes regardless of whether they received chemotherapy after surgery or not, a new study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer reports.
Parabens have been widely used as an inexpensive preservative in cosmetic products since the 1950s. In fact, more than three quarters of cosmetics use them. In the industry, parabens are considered a cheap, effective solution to keeping products from expiring. However, recently, a debate has been building in the scientific community concerning their use. Are they really safe? Some have identified parabens as a phytoestrogen, or ‘endocrine disruptor’—i.e. a chemical that mimics estrogen in the body. The worry is that these chemicals, which are absorbed into our bodies, are actually messing with our endocrine system, leading to a ’warping’ of sorts. We’ve known for more than 25 years that estrogen exposure is linked to breast cancer development and progression; it is the reason tamoxifen [commonly prescribed to women with breast cancer] is used to disrupt estrogen receptors. So it is not such a leap to be concerned that repeated, cumulative, long-term exposure to chemicals that weakly mimic estrogen might be having an impact. Scientists are still studying the effects of endocrine disruptors, and trying to form links that will help us (and the cosmetics industry on the whole) make better decisions. In the meantime, we have to work with the information we have. So, given the option, I’ll be choosing paraben-free.
Laboratory and animal research suggests that curcumin may prevent cancer, slow the spread of cancer, make chemotherapy more effective and protect healthy cells from damage by radiation therapy. Curcumin is being studied for use in many types of cancer.
Keep in mind that nutrition, exercise, sleep and managing stress work together to decrease fatigue. Consider setting new goals in each area.
“Through years of research discoveries, it became clear that we were over-treating many women with breast cancer, especially those with early-stage disease. In addition to chemotherapy’s obvious side effects, there were also long-term complications for these women as survivors,” said Barcenas, the study’s corresponding author. One such practice-changing clinical discovery was that a 21-gene-expression assay could predict the risk of recurrence among some with early-stage breast cancer. In 2015, initial results from the international clinical trial, TAILORx, found that women with hormone receptor positive, HER2 and lymph node negative early stage disease with a low RS of 0-10 could have chemotherapy omitted altogether.
Consuming cleaner food will build your immune system and help you to fight stronger and stronger bacteria. It takes work to protect yourself from something as basic as the foods you eat. You and your family deserve the healthiest foods possible that won’t result in bio-accumulative toxins at the cellular level. Organic products are always the best option when they’re available and affordable. Look for and request your stores to carry better, safer products and buy them. Explore your local farmer’s market. Get to know the people who grow your food and raise your meat. Ideally, the only hands that touch your food should be the farmer’s and yours. Be aware of what you purchase and say “no” to mass manufactured foods whenever possible.
It’s been known for more than a decade that parabens, which mimic the hormone estrogen, can disrupt lab animals’ endocrine systems, but some scientists argue the concentrations in people are too low to worry about. Now the UC Berkeley study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, argues that previous research only looked at parabens’ effects in isolation. The study shows that when parabens interact with other biochemical changes in breast cancer cells, the effect is much stronger and could lead to faster, more aggressive growth of tumors and formation of malignant cancer.
Spices may be a key to determining the balance between pro- and anti-cancer factors that regulate risk and tumor behavior. About 75% of households use dietary approaches to reduce their risk of diseases, including cancer. People between the ages of 36 and 55 are increasingly interested in adopting healthy eating behaviors and are gravitating toward ethnic cuisines based on perceived health benefits. Many of these ethnic foods are loaded with unique and flavorful spices; however, while dietary guidelines in several countries tend to support the incorporation of spices into diets, quantifiable recommendations for specific amounts have not yet been forthcoming.
The profound effect that emotions have on health and lifespan can be evidenced by a groundbreaking series of 10-year-long studies published in the British journal Psychology and Psychotherapy in 1988. The study, which is just as relevant today, concluded that “emotional stress was more predictive of death from cancer or cardiovascular disease than from smoking.” It also found that individuals who were the most affected by stress had an overall death rate that was 40% higher than non-stressed participants.
I used an earlier version, Penguin Cold Caps, in 2011 and kept my hair
The combination of radiation and chemotherapy together can generate a considerably higher risk of heart damage. However, your doctor can take steps to reduce these risks as much as possible. Mayo Clinic now offers a program to address heart problems associated with cancer treatment called cardio-oncology. The cardio-oncology clinic is available to evaluate people prior to cancer treatment and for others who have experienced side effects due their treatment.