Breast Cancer: November 2006 Archives

Study looks at 2nd opinions in breast cancer

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breast cancerWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Breast cancer patients were urged to change their treatment plans more than half the time when they received a second opinion from a team of specialists, U.S. researchers reported on Wednesday.

Overall, 52 percent of patients whose original diagnosis and treatment recommendations were taken to a multidisciplinary team were advised to make one or more changes in their treatment, the researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found.

The changes were a result of breast imaging specialists reading a mammogram differently or breast pathologists interpreting biopsy results differently, the researchers reported in this week's issue of the journal Cancer.

New ultrasound may help spot breast cancers

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breast cancer CHICAGO (Reuters) - A new type of ultrasound was highly effective at determining whether lumps in the female breast were cancerous or harmless, U.S. researchers who conducted a small study said on Monday.

The finding, if confirmed in a larger trial, could reduce the number of unnecessary breast biopsies and reassure women that their tumors are harmless, said Richard Barr, a radiologist at Southwoods X-Ray and Open MRI in Youngstown, Ohio, who conducted the study.

"If we can document that the technique is extremely accurate, I think it will give women the assurance that (a tumor) is benign and they don't have to worry," Barr said. "With the existing technology, that is not there."

Cancer drug that works

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arimidexA woman who has benefited from a new breast cancer drug has welcomed news the treatment will be made available to everyone.

Margaret Coulton, 60, of Chapel Road, Hesketh Bank, had breast cancer and now takes Arimidex, which blocks production of oestrogen, which fuels hormone sensitive breast cancer.

Margaret was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago after a routine mammogram.

Women to get 'gold standard' breast cancer drugs on NHS

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femaraThousands of women with early stage breast cancer will have access to new "gold standard" treatments on the NHS from next week.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice), the Government's rationing watchdog, will publish guidance on Wednesday instructing local health care trusts to fund provision of three drugs called aromatase inhibitors.

Anastrozole (sold as Arimidex), letrozole (Femara) and exemestane (Aromasin) have been shown significantly to reduce the risk of the disease returning and improve survival in post-menopausal women whose cancers are fuelled by the female hormone oestrogen.

Breast cancer protein link

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breast cancerA MELBOURNE researcher has uncovered a protein that controls the spread of breast cancer.

The discovery could lead to a new treatment to stop breast cancer from affecting other parts of the body.

Bones, lymph nodes, lungs and liver are common areas that breast cancer can spread to.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre post-doctoral fellow Dr Bedrich Eckhardt found a protein called BMP4, which controls the spread of breast cancer.

New Drug Boosts Breast Cancer Survival

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arimidexHealthDay News -- Certain breast cancer patients who switch to the aromatase inhibitor drug anastrozole (Arimidex) after two to three years of treatment with tamoxifen live longer and are more likely to remain cancer-free, German researchers report.

"A lot of people have been waiting to see whether aromatase inhibitors will show a survival advantage, and I think these data will assure them that 5 years of tamoxifen is no longer the standard of care; the best treatment for women with hormone-sensitive early-stage breast cancer should include an aromatase inhibitor," lead author and professor Walter Jonat, University of Kiel, said in a prepared statement.

His team published the findings online Friday in The Lancet medical journal.

Breast cancer prevention

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think pink (c) The Sunday TelegraphMore than 11,000 Australian woman are diagnosed with breast cancer each year, making knowledge of how to prevent and survive the disease vital.

Here The Sunday Telegraph's body+soul section presents the bare facts about breast cancer: more than 11,000 women are diagnosed with it each year and, if all Australian women lived to the age of 75 years, one in 11 women would develop breast cancer before this age.

But having a healthy lifestyle and getting regular breast check-ups can save your life. So find out how to be a survivor. You're not too young to be at risk . Age is a risk factor for breast cancer - the older you get, the more your risk increases.

According to the government-funded National Breast Cancer Centre (NBCC), the average age of women diagnosed with breast cancer is 58. However, one-third of women diagnosed with breast cancer are younger than 50.

For that reason it's important for all women to be disease-savvy.

breast cancerPhiladelphia -- Women who undergo surgery for breast cancer may soon be able to use a Web-based tool to find out whether they will benefit from radiation treatment, researchers report.

The user-friendly tool predicts the risk of cancer coming back in the same breast over the next 10 years in women who undergo breast-conserving surgery, or lumpectomy, says researcher Mona Sanghani, MD. She is a cancer doctor at Tufts-New England Medical Center in Boston.

For women with early-stage breast cancer, standard treatment involves breast-conserving surgery followed by radiation therapy to the breast over a six- to eight-week period to kill any remaining cancer cells.

Whole wheat may prevent breast cancer in offspring

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whole wheatNEW YORK (Reuters Health) - 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.

Long-Term Cardiac Tolerability of Herceptin (Trastuzumab)

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herceptinTrastuzumab (Herceptin), a humanized anti-HER2 monoclonal antibody, is highly effective for treating HER2-overexpressing invasive breast cancer. In patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, trastuzumab plus chemotherapy improved objective response rate, time-to-disease progression, and overall survival, compared with chemotherapy alone.

In the pivotal randomized trial, 28% of patients who received trastuzumab plus chemotherapy (predominantly those who received concurrent trastuzumab and anthracycline-based chemotherapy) experienced adverse cardiac events. More recently, in several large randomized clinical trials, trastuzumab in combination with adjuvant chemotherapy has significantly lowered risk for recurrence in patients with early-stage breast cancer; however, the collective experience from adjuvant therapy trials suggests that ~5% of patients who receive trastuzumab will show some evidence of systolic cardiac dysfunction.

Follow-up reports suggest that most patients who develop trastuzumab-induced cardiac dysfunction will recover normal cardiac function when trastuzumab is discontinued, with or without subsequent medical management.

Fruits and Veggies Cut Breast Cancer Risk

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fruitsA study by Oregon Health and Science University researchers found women who eat at least four servings of fruits and vegetables have a 50 percent lower risk of breast cancer than women who consume no more than two such servings each day.

They reached that conclusion after examining the diets of 378 women with breast cancer and the diets of 1,070 cancer-free women. All the women, living in Shanghai, China, filled out questionnaires that asked about their intake of 108 individual food items, fried and restaurant food, dietary changes, and the use of nutrient supplements and Chinese herbal medicines.

chemotherapy Doctors have announced that a chemotherapy "super-cocktail" given to women with breast cancer reduced deaths by more than 30 per cent, compared with standard treatment.

The improvement in survival was described as "dramatic" and exceeded the expectations of researchers from the University of Birmingham, who conducted separate studies in England and Scotland. It confirms earlier results, reported in 2003.

But the specialist who led the studies said many women with breast cancer in the UK were not being treated with the right dose of chemotherapy in the right schedule to maximise their chances of survival.

Contraceptive pills may be associated with breast cancer

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contraceptive pillsA US review of past research has confirmed that the oral contraceptive pill is associated with a slight increased risk of breast cancer among some women.

The finding echoes most previous research, but lead author Dr Chris Kahlenbom said that he revisited the research due to a lack of public awareness of the issues.

The risk is largest among pre-menopausal women who have not had children, who would normally be at a lower risk of the disease, he added.

Hazel Nunn, senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK said "This study reinforces what we already know.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Breast Cancer category from November 2006.

Breast Cancer: October 2006 is the previous archive.

Breast Cancer: December 2006 is the next archive.

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