Weekly and Monthly Newsletter

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.

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.”

 Cooling Caps for Chemo: Keep Your Hair at What Cost? 

Previously, options for patients who wanted scalp cooling were rather expensive ice packs that needed to be changed out every 30 minutes. This new device being reported on at SABCS circulates a coolant more like a refrigerator. The device is worn 30 minutes before chemo, during chemo and 90 minutes after. It works by reducing blood flow to hair follicles and may reduce cellular uptake of chemotherapy by the scalp. In a separate conversation, Dr. Nangia explained that getting a tight fit is key to getting the device to work and patients in the early stages of the trial experienced more hair loss than those later in the trial.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Drinking Water and Breast Cancer

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just unveiled their Tap Water Database.  It provides the most complete source of information available on the state of American drinking water.  EWG collected data from the EPA and from state agencies based on testing done between 2010 and 2015 by 48,712 water utilities in all 50 states.  The utilities found 267 contaminants.

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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