Weekly and Monthly Newsletter

It’s Official: California Issues Caution on Cell Phone Use

This week, California officially issued groundbreaking guidelines advising cell phone users to keep phones away from their bodies and limit use when reception is weak. State officials caution that studies link radiation from long-term cell phone use to an increased risk of brain cancer, lower sperm counts and other health problems, and note that children’s developing brains could be at greater risk.

Increased Physical Activity in Breast Cancer Survivors Boosts Cognition

It is estimated that up to 75 percent of breast cancer survivors experience problems with cognitive difficulties following treatments, perhaps lasting years. Currently, few science-based options are available to help. In the journal Cancer, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers report in a pilot study of 87 female breast cancer survivors that an increase in physical activity more than doubled the women’s post-treatment mental processing speed.

Breast Cancer Study Concludes That Angelina Jolie Effect Was Real

An examination of hospital discharge data in New York State and New South Wales between 2004 and 2014 showed a significant increase in risk-reducing mastectomies starting in May 2013, three months after Jolie’s announcement. Twenty months after Jolie’s announcement, the average rate of preventive surgical breast removals in New York State was 6.3 cases every two months, researchers found. That was almost twice the rate of 3.3 cases every two months 20 months before her announcement. This meant that In just over three years, the number of preventive surgery cases per million women had nearly doubled.

California becomes the first state to require broad disclosure of chemicals in cleaning products

Any hazardous chemicals found in household cleaning products will have to be clearly disclosed on labels and online under a California law that will be phased in over the next three years. The law is poised to put the state at the front of a national discussion about the rights of consumers to know what dangerous chemicals or allergens may be in common cleaners. The ingredients must be posted online by manufacturers in 2020, and on product labels by 2021.

Gene test ‘narrows down breast cancer risk’ 

A gene test informing women how likely they are to develop breast cancer could soon be used on high-risk groups. The Manchester researchers behind the test said it could reduce the number of women having surgery to remove their breasts, by narrowing down their risk. The test, on blood or saliva, looks at 18 genetic variants known to affect the chances of getting breast cancer. Cancer charities said it would have a real impact on women and lead to fewer being diagnosed with the disease.

What Is Axillary Web Syndrome?

The National Lymphedema Network reports that AWS has been “found in up to 72 percent of women undergoing axillary node dissection and 20 percent of women undergoing sentinel node dissection in addition to lumpectomy or mastectomy. Even with conservative calculations, tens of thousands of women in the United States develop AWS every year without warning from their medical providers.” NLN argues that although awareness of lymphedema has improved greatly over the past decade, many patients are still unaware of the potential for developing AWS after surgery for breast cancer.

If You’re Called Back After a Mammogram

Most of the time, women getting their routine mammogram will receive a letter within 30 days saying the results were normal.
But if doctors find something suspicious, they’ll call you back – usually within just 5 days – to take new pictures or get other tests. Getting that call can be scary, but a suspicious finding does not mean you have cancer.

Breast reconstruction with flap surgery

Breast reconstruction with flap surgery is a type of breast reconstruction that involves taking a section of tissue from one area of your body — most often your abdomen — and relocating it to create a new breast mound.

Consumer Product Safety Commission Cracks Down on Flame Retardants Linked to Health Problems

This class of chemicals have been found in the bodies of 97% of Americans says the Center for Disease Control. They have been linked to cancer, neurological deficits, hormone disruption and other health problems. Just last month, a study by the Harvard Chan School of Public Health found that flame retardants reduced the likelihood of clinical pregnancy and live births for women undergoing IVF treatment

15 Things Not to Say to Someone with Cancer – How to Support Cancer Patients

This year, more than 318,000 people — the vast majority of them women — will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Chances are, you know someone who is or will be in treatment, but it’s not always easy to find the right thing to say. Even women who have breast cancer admit that, before their diagnosis, they weren’t sure how to support others going through it, and may have inexplicably (and inevitably) said something offensive.

A new breast cancer study has good news, but not everyone can celebrate equally.

A statistical analysis published by the American Cancer Society found that mortality rates from breast cancer fell 39% between 1989 and 2015. The bad news is that black women continue to die from the disease at higher rates than any other demographic. While a lower percentage of black women are dying from the disease overall, their fatality rates are still nearly 40% higher than those of white women, a rate that has remained maddeningly persistent for decades.

‘Hidden Dangers’ of Mammograms Every Woman Should Know About

The conventional screening process carries health risks, both to body and mind, which may outstrip the very dangers the medical surveillance believes itself responsible for, and effective at, mitigating. For instance, according to a groundbreaking study published last November in New England Journal of Medicine, 1.3 million US women were overdiagnosed and overtreated over the past 30 years. These are the ‘false positives’ that were never caught, resulting in the unnecessary irradiation, chemotherapy poisoning and surgery of approximately 43,000 women each year. Now, when you add to this dismal statistic the millions of ‘false positives’ that while being caught nevertheless resulted in producing traumas within those women, breast screening begins to look like a veritable nightmare of iatrogenesis. And this does not even account for the radiobiological dangers of the x-ray mammography screening process itself, which may be causing an epidemic of mostly unackowledged radiation-induced breast cancers in exposed populations.

‘Cancer Pen’ Could Help Surgeons Spot Tumor Cells in Seconds

A new “cancer pen” promises to help surgeons immediately detect and completely remove cancerous tumor tissue, without having to send samples off to a lab for testing while the patient languishes on the table. The MasSpec Pen is a hand-held device that allows doctors to test in real-time whether tissue is cancerous or not, delivering results in about 10 seconds, researchers report. The pen will make it easier to surgically clear out all the cancer cells surrounding a tumor, explained senior researcher Livia Eberlin, an assistant professor of chemistry with the University of Texas at Austin.

Why Is Hormone Replacement Therapy So Controversial?

The Women’s Health Initiative showed that women on HRT had a higher risk of strokes and breast cancer (Manson et al, JAMA, Oct.2, 2013). During the five-year duration of the study, however, there was no difference in mortality between women taking HRT and those taking placebo. A recent report shows that after 18 years the participants still have no significant differences in mortality (Manson et al, JAMA, Sep. 12, 2017). Women like you who suffer during menopause often feel more comfortable taking estrogen (and progesterone, if indicated) during the time they need to suppress hot flashes. Experts usually recommend the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.

Trading Old Hazards for New Ones? Mystery Shrouds Chemicals That Replaced PFOA

Perfluorooctanoic acid, widely used for decades in the making of nonstick coatings like Teflon and a variety of other consumer products, is considered toxic even in tiny amounts. PFOA has been linked to cancer, birth defects and immune system dysfunction.
In 2006, eight major chemical companies, including 3M and DuPont, entered into a “voluntary stewardship agreement” with the US Environmental Protection Agency to phase out the production and use of PFOA by 2015. In its place, the industry switched to other chemicals in the same family that were deemed less hazardous by the EPA. But lately a variety of experts have begun to believe that these new chemicals also pose grave threats to human health. Remarkably, it’s not clear whether government regulators — or even companies like Saint-Gobain — know the specific chemical identities of the substances being substituted for PFOA.

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