Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some breast cancer invisible to mammograms

You've heard the warnings about breast cancer - how early detection and annual mammograms can save your life. But, did you know there is a type of breast cancer that does not show up on standard tests? This type of breast cancer is an unknown killer. It's a no show on a mammogram. It's very aggressive, and if you are not paying attention to your body, you may not discover you have it until it is too late. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Researchers devise method to search for breast cancer drugs

Scientists have found a computational method that charts chemical space in the search for new breast cancer treatments. The technique has already resulted in the discovery of compounds that have performed better than current standard antioestrogen drug tamoxifen. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Extra weight lowers Breast Cancer risk before menopause, increases it afterward

Women who are heavier in young adulthood have a lower risk of developing breast cancer before they reach menopause, new research shows. The finding, published in the Nov. 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, confirms and expands on previous research suggesting that larger body size before menopause helps fend off breast cancer. That's not a license for women to gain weight, however, experts stressed. "We have to remind women that obesity is pretty much bad for everything else and, as soon as you become postmenopausal, obesity is one of the strongest predictors of breast cancer," said lead researcher Karin B. Michels, an associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Oncotype DX™ Contracts with Aetna

Aetna Health, one of the nation's largest health benefits companies, has formed an agreement with Genomic Health to establish pay rates for the use of Oncotype DX™. This agreement establishes payment rates for all of Aenta's plans for eligible members with early-stage breast cancer. Ultimately, this contract will cover an estimated 80 million people. Node-negative, early breast cancer refers to cancer that has not spread from the breast to other sites in the body, including lymph nodes under the arms. Although chemotherapy is recommended for many women with early-stage, node-negative breast cancer, the benefit of chemotherapy varies. Identifying in advance those women who are most likely to benefit from chemotherapy may allow for more individualized treatment. As a result, women who are unlikely to benefit from chemotherapy could avoid the unwanted side effects of treatment, while women who would benefit from chemotherapy could be treated accordingly. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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New Ultrasound Technique Accurately Distinguishes Benign From Malignant Breast Lesions

A new ultrasound technique allows radiologists to accurately distinguish benign from malignant breast lesions. Using elasticity imaging, researchers correctly identified both cancerous and harmless lesions in nearly all of the cases studied. The findings were presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA). "In our work, elasticity imaging has been found to have high specificity," said Richard G. Barr, M.D., Ph.D., professor of radiology at Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine and radiologist at Southwoods X-Ray and MRI in Youngstown. "If our results can be reproduced in a large, multicenter trial, this technique could significantly reduce the number of breast biopsies required." --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Triple Negative Breast Cancer Linked with Higher Rate of Distant Metastases

According to the results of a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, women with early-stage breast cancer that is estrogen receptor-negative, progesterone receptor-negative, and HER2-negative (triple negative breast cancer) are more likely than other women to develop distant metastases. Women with triple negative breast cancer did not, however, have an increased risk of local recurrence. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

North American Scientific gets FDA nod for breast cancer device

Radiation therapy products developer North American Scientific Inc. (NASI.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said it received U.S. regulatory marketing approval for its high-dose rate radiation treatment design of ClearPath, a breast cancer treatment device. The company had received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration to market the low-dose rate system in April. (Reporting by Ankur Relia in Bangalore) --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Red Meat-Breast Cancer Link Is Junk Science

“Breast cancer risk linked to red meat, study finds,” headlined the Washington Post’s front page last Tuesday. “Younger women who regularly eat red meat appear to face an increased risk for a common form of breast cancer, according to a large, well-known Harvard study of women's health,” began the Post’s report. The researchers studied 90,659 women aged 26-46 over 12 years. Red meat intake was assessed three times via self-administered questionnaire during those 12 years. By the end of the study period, 1021 cases of invasive breast cancer had been documented. Contrary to the Post’s headline, however, the researchers actually reported no statistically significant correlation between red meat intake and all types of breast cancer.
Now you might think that the researchers would have stopped at that point and moved on to some other more promising health scare. Instead, they opted to dig deeper into their data. They seemingly struck health scare gold by mining an apparent statistical correlation between red meat intake and so-called “hormone receptor-positive” breast tumors – that is, tumors in which hormones like estrogen and progesterone are thought to play key roles. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Flame-grilled foods linked with higher risk of breast cancer

Women who eat flame-grilled meats may run a significantly higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who never eat grilled meat, according to a new study. Researchers from Johns Hopkins University examined the diets and eating patterns of 312 women with breast cancer and 316 women without the disease, and found that women who ate flame-grilled foods more than twice per month experienced a 74 percent increased risk of breast cancer compared to women who never ate flame-grilled foods. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Breast Changes Reduce Cancer Risk

BREAST CHANGES WITH AGE REDUCE CANCER RISK. Women whose milk glands shut down with age may have a reduced risk of breast cancer, according to new research from the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers from the Mayo Clinic followed more than 8,700 women and found that those whose milk glands shut down — a process called involution — had about half the risk of developing breast cancer as women whose milk glands didn't. The authors say this may be another clue to help evaluate breast cancer risk in women. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Heavy Red Meat Consumption Raises Breast Cancer Risk Significantly

If an American woman consumes one-and-a-half servings of red meat each day, her risk of developing breast cancer is double that of a woman who consumes three servings per week or less, say researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, USA. You can read about this new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.The scientists examined data on 90,000 pre-menopausal women in the Nurses Health Study II (1989-2003). All the participants had completed questionnaires which included details on their eating and drinking habits. The questionnaires were first filled-in in 1995, and then in 1995, and finally in 1999. The study also had an update, every two years, on who had developed breast cancer. It was also possible to determine whether those who had developed breast cancer, did so as a result of an oestrogen or progesterone trigger. A total of 1,021 women developed breast cancer, of which 512 were oestrogen and progesterone-receptor positive, 167 were oestrogen and progesterone-receptor negative, 110 mixed, and 232 unknowns. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Study Compares Breast Cancer Cells In The Lab And In The Body

In this era of molecular medicine, controversy among cancer researchers is increasing as to whether the laboratory cells they study -- and upon which human treatment is based -- accurately reflect the biology of "real" tumors growing in a person's body. Some argue that cancer cells that learn to live in a flat lab dish cannot reflect cancer in the body, but others say that without any other way to study cancer, they seem to have performed well. Now, researchers at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center report in the December 2006 (available online November 1) issue of the International Journal of Oncology that the molecular profiles seen in a group of heavily used breast cancer laboratory cell lines significantly resemble those found in human tumors. "We have provided an answer to this dispute, at least for cell lines that represent a majority of breast cancer cases," said the study's lead author, Robert Clarke, Ph.D., D.Sc., a Professor of Oncology and Physiology & Biophysics at Georgetown University Medical Center. "Researchers -- and by extension, breast cancer patients -- can now have more confidence in these laboratory cell line models, which they use as a basis to understand the disease and design new therapies," Clarke said. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Increased risk of breast cancer without BRCA1/2 mutations

Inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are associated with strong predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer; lifetime risk is around 85% for mutation carriers. Women at high risk of the disease based on their family history require high levels of surveillance to identify tumours in the early stages; the identification of a familial breast cancer associated mutation makes it possible to test unaffected relatives. Those who test positive for the mutation receive the option of increased levels of surveillance or prophylactic interventions, whilst those who test negative are discharged from surveillance. However, a new study in the Journal of Medical Genetics suggests that the risk of disease for family members who lack the familial BRCA1/2 mutation may nevertheless remain elevated. The UK researchers examined a total of 277 families with pathogenic BRCA1/2 mutations; 49% of the women (258 in all) tested negative for the family mutation, but 28 of these developed breast cancer and a further four, ovarian cancer. Overall, 6.4% of the family members who did not possess the familial mutation developed breast cancer by the age of 50, compared with just 2% of the general population, leading the researchers to conclude that the relative risk of breast cancer for these family members was raised [Smith, A et al. (2006) J Med Genet Online First, doi:10.1136/jmg.2006.043091]. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Monday, November 06, 2006

Whole wheat may prevent breast cancer in offspring

The daughters of rats that feast on whole wheat during pregnancy are less likely to develop breast cancer, a new study shows. Based on the findings, "it might be beneficial to include whole wheat in the diet when one is expecting," Dr. Leena Hilakivi-Clarke of Georgetown University in Washington, DC, the study's lead author, told Reuters Health. Hilakivi-Clarke and her colleagues have used rodents to evaluate a number of dietary factors in pregnancy on offspring's health risks, she added, for example showing that daughters of mothers fed a high-fat diet were at greater risk of breast cancer. "The model we're using should be relatively valid to make assumptions about what's going on in humans," she added. Some researchers have suggested that fiber may reduce breast cancer risk by bringing down levels of circulating estrogen, since the hormone can stimulate tumor growth, she and her colleagues note in their report. But evidence for an association between dietary fiber and breast cancer in humans has been mixed, and animal studies suggest that the type of fiber eaten may be a key factor. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Many breast cancer patients unhappy with lumpectomy look

Many women with breast cancer choose to have an operation called a lumpectomy to avoid the need for reconstructive surgery. Yet, a new study shows many of them consider going back under the knife. Plastic surgeon Dr. Howard Wang operates on many breast cancer survivors at San Antonio's University Hospital. Some are women who have had their entire breast removed. Others have chosen a less-invasive method called a lumpectomy, where only the tumor and tissue right around it are taken out. And Wang noticed a trend. "We're seeing in our offices a lot of patients who are not very happy with the results of this," he said. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Gene May Help Spur Breast Cancer's Spread

Multiple copies of a gene called uPAR are associated with the spread of early-stage breast cancer, U.S. researchers report. The gene offers a promising target for drugs to slow or halt the progression of the disease... It could also serve as a screening tool for determining which kinds of drugs a breast cancer patient will respond to, the researchers said. The study was published in this week's issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers analyzed individual tumor cells from 72 patients with advanced breast cancer. They found that about 20 percent to 25 percent of breast cancer patients carry too many copies of the uPAR gene, which starts a process that allows cancer cells to escape into the bloodstream and to adjacent tissues. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Order Of Chemotherapy, Radiation Has No Effect On Breast Cancer Survival

For women who have had surgery for early breast cancer, it may not matter whether they receive follow-up chemotherapy before, after or during radiation therapy, according to a new review of studies. A woman's chances of survival or seeing the cancer return are similar in all three cases, if radiation therapy and chemotherapy begin within seven months after surgery, the review concludes. However, the studies suggest that certain toxic side effects in the blood and esophagus -- common in chemotherapy and radiation patients -- may be up to 44 percent more likely when the two therapies are delivered at the same time, said Dr. Brigid Hickey and colleagues at the Southern Zone Radiation Oncology Service in Brisbane, Australia. --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

Chemo Drugs For Treating Breast Cancer May Cause Changes In Cognitive Function

A new study investigating the effects of chemotherapy on cognitive function in mice has confirmed what many cancer patients receiving treatment have often complained about - a decline in their memory and other cognitive functions, sometimes characterized as "chemobrain". ... "In our study, we identified learning and memory deficits in the mild to moderate range in the drug-treated mice compared to the controls," says Dr. Winocur. "That the deficits were relatively small is encouraging. It's important that cancer patients continue with these drugs and know that if they experience mild to moderate impairments in their cognitive functions, this level of change is potentially manageable." --Click the title of this post to read the full article from its source--

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