Updates to The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Breast Cancer

Here you’ll find useful information that complements the book.

Diagnosis

New ‘Liquid Biopsy’ Shows Early Promise in Detecting Cancer

New ‘Liquid Biopsy’ Shows Early Promise in Detecting Cancer

After performing all of the tests, the researchers found CancerSEEK was best at detecting stage II or III cancers, primary tumors that haven’t metastasized but are getting large. However, it still detected 43 percent of early stage I cancers. The test also detected some cancers better than others. In fact, the panel almost never missed a case of ovarian or liver cancer. But it wasn’t as good in picking up colorectal, lung, and breast cancers.

Surgery

Chemotherapy

Radiation

Proton Therapy For Left-Sided Breast Cancer: Why Choose This Treatment? 

Proton Therapy For Left-Sided Breast Cancer: Why Choose This Treatment? 

Treatments for breast cancer include chemotherapy, hormone therapy, targeted therapy, surgery, and radiation. As there is not one perfect formula to eliminate the disease, many patients will need to undergo a combination of these treatment methods. In some of these cases, however, certain treatments pose higher risks. For women with left-sided breast cancer, it is important to consider what type of radiation is best. Since the tumor is close to the heart, certain treatments can cause significant damage to this vital organ, while other treatments may spare damage to this vital organ. In these cases, proton therapy is often a better option.

Lifestyle Issues

The Precautionary Principle Asks “How Much Harm Is Avoidable?” Rather Than “How Much Harm Is Acceptable?”

The Precautionary Principle Asks “How Much Harm Is Avoidable?” Rather Than “How Much Harm Is Acceptable?”

As global ecosystems deteriorate and global warming alters water patterns — making economic growth ever more precarious — far-right global elites are counting on new technologies to spur economic growth: geo-engineering (to modify the entire planet to counteract global warming), nanotechnology (to manipulate the world at the molecular level to create novel materials) and synthetic biology (to create entirely new life-forms previously unknown in nature). These technologies are potentially far more powerful than even atomic energy, so they cry out for a prudent, precautionary approach to their testing and possible deployment. Unfortunately, so long as corporate polluters enjoy a nearly-unlimited capacity to inject corrupting money into political decisions — especially in the US ­— old-style risk assessment will continue to dominate because it serves corporate purposes so well.

Other New Research

Using Oncolytic Viruses to Treat Cancer

Using Oncolytic Viruses to Treat Cancer

When a virus infects a tumor cell, the virus makes copies of itself until the cell bursts. The dying cancer cell releases materials, such as tumor antigens, that allow the cancer to be recognized, or “seen,” by the immune system. “Oncolytic viruses are alerting the immune system that something’s wrong,” said Jason Chesney, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of Louisville’s James Graham Brown Cancer Center. This can lead to an immune response against nearby tumor cells (a local response) or tumor cells in other parts of the body (a systemic response). For this reason, some researchers consider oncolytic viruses to be a form of immunotherapy—a treatment that harnesses the immune system against cancer. But many in the field would agree that more studies are needed to learn how different oncolytic viruses work against cancer.

One injection could kill cancer

One injection could kill cancer

The latest study, from Stanford University School of Medicine in California, has investigated the potential of yet another approach: injecting “minute” amounts of two agents that stimulate the body’s immune response directly into a malignant solid tumor. So far, their studies using mice have proven successful. “When we use these two agents together,” explains senior study author Dr. Ronald Levy, “we see the elimination of tumors all over the body.”

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