Thursday, December 29, 2005

High Levels of Two Hormones -- testosterone and insulin -- Raise Women's Risk of Breast Cancer

American Institute for Cancer Research InfoZine, December 29, 2005
All of us have male and female hormones in our bodies, and the risk of breast cancer seems to be affected by both. For some time, studies have pointed to estrogen and progesterone as risk factors. But now research from part of an extremely large European study confirms that high levels of testosterone, usually considered a male hormone, raise a woman's risk of premenopausal, and possibly postmenopausal, breast cancer. Research also consistently links high levels of the hormone insulin and insulin-like growth factors with increased rates of breast cancer, at least after menopause. Women with high insulin levels have lower rates of breast cancer survival, too. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Letrozole Improves Breast Cancer Survival

Forbes, December 28, 2005
Postmenopausal breast cancer patients who take letrozole, one of a new class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors, reduce their risk of cancer recurrence compared with women taking tamoxifen, a breast cancer drug used widely for more than two decades, researchers report. Tamoxifen has greatly reduced the risk of recurrence and death in women who have estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer, meaning cancer that is fueled by the hormone estrogen. The drug reduces the risk of recurrence by 47 percent and the risk of death by 26 percent for five years after surgery. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

In 2005, Advances Made in Breast Cancer Treatment and Detection

Newswire (via the Mayo Clinic), December 28, 2005
The December issue of Mayo Clinic Women’s HealthSource hails important advances in the detection and treatment of Breast Cancer in 2005. The resport discusses the application of trastuzumab (Herceptin) to women with early-stage HER-2 positive breast cancer; the discovery that aromatase inhibitors (AIs) are an effective hormone treatment for postmenopausal women with hormone-positive early-stage breast cancer; and the conclusion that combining MRI with mammography would pick up twice as many breast cancers in women at high risk. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Vitamin D 'can lower cancer risk'

BBC News, December 28, 2005
High doses of vitamin D can reduce the risk of developing some common cancers by as much as 50%, US scientists claim. Researchers reviewed 63 old studies and found that the vitamin could reduce the chances of developing breast, ovarian and colon cancer, and others. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Sunday, December 25, 2005

My Breast Cancer Was Cured By Misteltoe: Mum's joy as Xmas plant kills tumour, December 24, 2005
Nicola Wicksteed celebrated a Christmas miracle yesterday - after beating breast cancer with MISTLETOE. Three months after taking extract of the Christmas "kissing plant" combined with herbs, her 7cm-wide tumour has vanished. She said: "I put it down to natural drugs supporting my immune system." Amazed doctors said her recovery was "remarkable". Property developer and mum Nicola, 50, learned, she had a tumour two years ago. Snubbing surgery and chemotherapy she injected herself with mistletoe, took Carctol - a remedy of eight Ayurvedic herbs - and had hormone therapy. A month after starting the treatment, the tumour had halved. Two months later, her cells were back to normal. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Higher Risk of Death if Breast Cancer is in the Lower Inner Quadrant of the Breast

Cancer Consultants: Oncology Resource Center, December 22, 2005
Researchers from Switzerland recently reported that women with early breast cancer in the lower inner quadrant (the lower part of the breast, closer to the center of the body) are twice as likely to die of their cancer as women with cancer diagnosed in other parts of the breast. Researchers speculate this could be due to undetected spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes of the internal mammary chain (lymph nodes near the center of the chest). Although women with stage I breast cancer generally have excellent survival after standard therapy, some women still succumb to their disease. To investigate the relationship between tumor location and risk of death, researchers from Switzerland analyzed information about 1411 women with stage I breast cancer diagnosed between 1986 and 2002. In addition to tumor location, researchers collected information about patient age, tumor size, and whether or not the woman received chemotherapy. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

First nationwide study since 1980s into breast cancer (New Zealand), December 21, 2005
Volunteers are being sought for the first nationwide study since the 1980s on the causes of breast cancer. Run by public health researchers from Massey University, it is the first to specifically recruit Maori and Pacific Island women. Dr Mona Jeffreys from Massey's Centre for Public Health Research said today breast cancer was the most common cancer in women, but little was known about what lifestyle factors increased the chances of getting the disease or what women could do to reduce the risk. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ancient remedy may prevent breast cancer, December 21, 2005
A derivative of the sweet wormwood plant used since ancient times to fight malaria and shown to precisely target and kill cancer cells may someday aid in stopping breast cancer before it gets a toehold. In a new study, two University of Washington (UW) bioengineers found that the substance, artemisinin, appeared to prevent the onset of breast cancer in rats that had been given a cancer-causing agent. The study appears in the latest issue of the journal Cancer Letters. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Rapid emotional recovery of breast-cancer survivors surprises researchers

Gwen Ericson, Eureka Alert, November 21, 2005
Contrary to psychologists' expectations, breast cancer survivors don't experience an extended emotional crisis after their treatment regimens end, according to a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The study appears in the December issue of Supportive Care in Cancer. "We thought we'd find that women do worse psychologically after treatment," says Washington University psychologist, Teresa L. Deshields, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine. "That's the clinical lore. After all, many of the patients referred to us are the ones struggling at the end of treatment. But our study shows that within two weeks most women adjust very well to survivorship." --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Abortion - Breast Cancer Link is Real, Recent Studies Flawed

Newswise, December 20, 2005
10 recent prospective studies that found no link between induced abortion and breast cancer are all seriously flawed, according to Joel Brind, PhD and Professor of Biology at Baruch College, New York. His findings are published in "Induced Abortion as an Independent Risk Factor for Breast Cancer: A Critical Review of Recent Studies Based on Prospective Data" (Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, 10:4, Winter 2005), which is available for free in PDF format by clicking the above link.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Breast Cancer Treatment Site Launches to Provide Centralized Information Resource for Those Facing Breast Cancer Treatments

In her 6th year of survival, Melissa Buhmeyer can look back and tell you a thing or two about breast cancer. “I clearly remember the words, “You have breast cancer.” Those four little words changed my world in the course of two seconds. I was 39 years old, had been married for only a year, had a 12-year-old daughter, and was scared to death. Over the next year and a half, I had two mastectomies, chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, and radiation to both sides of my chest, with a Stage IIIa invasive lobular carcinoma, 8 of 10 nodes positive, and a 40% chance of surviving five years. That was six years ago. She has a useful site that is now open to the public and can be found at:

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tamoxifen Ineffective In Presence Of Genetic Variation in Breast Cancer

MedIndia, December 17, 2005
Researchers at the University of Michigan and the Mayo Clinic say that the flagship breast cancer drug, tamoxifen might not be very effective in women who inherit a common genetic variation. This particular variant gene has the ability to influence the levels of a crucial enzyme that is vital to activate tamoxifen against breast cancer. An oncologist at the Mayo Clinic, found that women who carried a variant of this gene had low levels of the CYP2D6 enzyme. This in turn predisposed for a relapse of the breast cancer. CYP2D6 enzyme is responsible for the metabolization of tamoxifen and plays a crucial role in triggering off the drug's activity against the cancer cells.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Oncotype DX Changes Treatment Decisions in One Quarter of Breast Cancer Patients

Cancer Consultants Oncology Resource Center
Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine and the US Oncology Research Network recently reported use of the Oncotype DX™ test to predict risk of breast cancer recurrence altered treatment decisions in 25% of patients with node-negative, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. These results were recently presented at the 28th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Oncotype DX is a test indicated for patients with newly diagnosed stage I or II, node-negative, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer who will be treated with tamoxifen. The test evaluates a panel of 21 genes to predict a patient’s 10-year risk of cancer recurrence. The test classifies patients as being at high, intermediate, or low risk of recurrence based on a Recurrence Score. Related News: Oncotype DX™ Test May Predict Outcome for Some Breast Cancer Patients (6/28/05)

High-Dairy Diets Linked to Less Risk of Postmenopausal Breast Cancer

WebMD, December 14, 2005
Postmenopausal women who eat lots of dairy products may be less likely to develop breast cancer. I a study of 68,000 post-menopausal women (most of whom were white and middle class), research determined that women with high dietary calcium intake were 20% less likely to develop Breast Cancer. However, the same benefit did not appear to exist for women who merely used calcium supplements. Nor did Vitamin D seem to make a difference, as other studies have suggested.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

U.S. launches cancer gene mapping project

Maggie Fox, The Star (via Reuters), December 14, 2005
Today the US Government launched a pilot project to find all the little genetic changes that cause cancer and hope it can open a whole new world of targeted cancer therapy. The researchers are not yet sure which cancers they will start with but say it will be a small number, perhaps two or three. They will seek hundreds of samples from hundreds of patients with the selected tumor types and then use the human genome map made at NHGRI to try and find all the changes that mark cancer. Several cancer-causing mutations, called oncogenes, are known already. Some of the best known are the BRCA1 and BRCA2 breast cancer genes, also implicated in some cases of ovarian cancer.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Mobile phone soon to detect breast cancer

Sify Business Line, December 11, 2005
An Israeli psychologist has developed a radical new technology that would enable an ordinary mobile phone to diagnose breast cancer and various types of heart disease. By installing new software and adding a basic infrared camera, a mobile phone could be transformed into a highly-effective diagnostic tool, offering far more accurate results than the self-checks many women do themselves. The results of the scan could be transferred to a medical laboratory for analysis.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Two Types of Breast Cancer Treatments Show Similar Benefit

National Institutes of Health, December 08, 2005
Results from a clinical trial comparing the effectiveness of the drugs paclitaxel and docetaxel, delivered over two different dosing schedules, showed that both drugs — regardless of the dosing schedules tested in this trial — provided similar benefits for women with stage II or III, operable breast cancer. However, more women treated with docetaxel than with paclitaxel experienced serious side effects from their treatment. Paclitaxel and docetaxel are members of a class of drugs called taxanes, and both are approved for the treatment of patients with breast cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes. Although these drugs have been shown to be beneficial in treating breast cancer, this is the first time they have been directly compared and the first time that a weekly dosing schedule has been compared with a standard every three-week dosing schedule in the treatment of early-stage breast cancer.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Can Deodorants or Antiperspirants Cause Early Age Breast Cancer?

Antiperspirants are drugs that contain aluminum and according to one researcher may be linked to breast cancer. Dr. Kris McGrath of Northwestern University believes it is possible shaving and uses of antiperspirants habits may determine how quick women get breast cancer.
McGrath is not saying that all cases of breast cancer could be linked to antiperspirants and shaving. Breast cancer existed long before we started making antiperspirants, but McGrath notes that when use of antiperspirant deodorants increased so did the incidence of breast cancer in an “almost parallel fashion”. According to a recent CBS report rumors of a link between breast cancer and antiperspirants have been circulating for years, but have been written off as an urban legend by most people. Even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) calls it a “false… scary” story.

News for ER+ Breast Cancer: Estrogen Can Kill Cells That Were Once Fueled By It

Science News Daily via the Fox Chase Cancer Center December 07, 2005
Women with Estrogen Receptor Positive (ER+) breast cancers are treated with drugs like Tamoxifen, fulvestrant, or aromatase inhibitors. These drugs block estrogen in cells that need it to live, which causes those cells to die. Over time, the cancer cells learn to adapt and estrogen blocking medicines no longer work. Researchers at the Fox Chase Cancer Center discovered that those adapted breast cancer cells die when they are re-introduced to estrogen so that breast cancer cells that were once fueled by estrogen can be killed by it. This raises the possibility that estrogen therapy after estrogen deprivation may overcome the cells' eventual resistance to hormone therapy.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

7th Medical Organization Recognizes Abortion/Breast Cancer Link - Significant Risk Increase

U.S. Newswire, December 7, 2005
MaterCare International issued a statement this week acknowledging a "significant increase in breast cancer risk after induced abortion," announced the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. It's the seventh medical organization to recognize that abortion raises risk, independently of the effect of delaying the birth of a first child (which is a known breast cancer risk). The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons called on doctors in 2003 to inform patients about a "highly plausible" link. This is a hotly debated topic in the medical community.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

High-Dose Therapy with Stem Cell Transplant May Improve Survival More than Dose-Dense Therapy in Stage III Breast Cancer

Nitz UA, et al. Comparison of rapidly cycled tandem high-dose chemotherapy plus peripheral-blood-stem-cell support versus dose-dense conventional chemotherapy for adjuvant treatment of high-risk breast cancer: results of a multicentre phase III trial. Lancet. 2005;366:1935-1944.
High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation appears to improve outcomes over conventional therapy in stage III breast cancer. In an effort to reduce the chance of recurrence, researchers have been evaluating the use of high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation in women with breast cancer. This kills more cancer cells but also results in more side effects. One particular side effect is damage to immature blood cells that are produced in the bone marrow that mature into red blood cells, white blood cells , and platelets. To restore the stem cells that are depleted by high-dose chemotherapy, patients may undergo a type of stem cell transplant where the patient’s own stem cells from prior to chemotherapy are reinfused after chemotherapy. The researchers concluded that high-dose chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant may improve survival in patients with stage III breast cancer.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Advexin Reduces Breast Cancer Tumor Size and Boosts Immune System

Dr. Massimo Cristofanilli, CancerWise. December 05, 2005
Breast Cancer tumor size decreased an average of nearly 80% when patients in a new study took the gene-based drug Advexin with traditional chemotherapy drugs before surgery, researchers reported during the annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in December. The tumor reduction gave many patients the option of choosing lumpectomy (removal of the tumor only) rather than mastectomy (removal of the entire breast). Tumors in patients’ lymph nodes also decreased in size, say the M. D. Anderson scientists who conducted the study.

Exposure to bright light during sleep can promote breast cancer growth in women

Capital News 9, Albany, NY. December o4, 2005
"It's the first study proving the brain's biological connection is linked to cancer growth in humans. Dr. David Blask's findings will be published in the Dec. 1 publication of Cancer Research -- one of the top cancer publications in all of the world."

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Bisphenol A (BPA) used in food containers may cause breast cancer

Food Consumer, Lisle,IL. December 3, 2005
"Bisphenol A (BPA), a food container chemical, affects female fetuses in the womb and increases the risk of breast cancer in the affected females when they grow into their adulthood, according to a study that appears in a recent issue of the journal Endocrinology. Bisphenol A is only one of chemicals used in many household products that may potentially cause health problems. Another chemical we reported recently is called phthalate, which has been linked with abnormal development of reproductive organs in pre-birth males."

Friday, December 02, 2005

Women who work night shifts may have a greater risk of developing breast cancer

Amy L. Ashbridge, The Daily Star (Cooperstown, NY). December 02, 2005
Women who work night shifts may have a greater risk of developing breast cancer than their counterparts who work during the day, researchers at the Bassett Research Institute announced Thursday. "We have uncovered, for the first time, strong evidence that exposure of humans to artificial light during the night is a new risk factor for breast cancer," said Dr. David Blask, a researcher at the institute in Cooperstown.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Research Used to Deny Abortion-Breast Cancer Link is Seriously Flawed

Karen Malec, Medical Journal. December 2, 2005.
According to a scientific review of 10 prospective studies published online today in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and others are using seriously flawed research to deny an abortion-breast cancer link. The author, Professor Joel Brind of Baruch College, concluded: "These recent studies therefore do not invalidate the large body of previously published studies that established induced abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer."Brind is the second expert to accuse abortion enthusiasts of conducting "shoddy research." His paper represents an update to a 1996 review and meta-analysis of the research in which 18 out of 23 studies reported risk increases for women with abortion histories. Other research in the journal Lancet in 2004 - also used to deny the cancer link - was severely criticized by four experts (independently of one another). Even the Lancet authors (and most authors of the 10 prospective studies) concede one of two breast cancer risks (the secondary risk), despite their denials of a link. Scientists don't debate the secondary risk of abortion - the longer a woman delays a first birth, the greater her breast cancer risk is. But scientists debate whether abortion is independently linked to breast cancer - whether it leaves women with more cancer-susceptible breast tissue. Most recent research excludes the effect of the secondary risk because it's already considered a "given."

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