Breast Cancer News:
Weight Control May Lead to Longer Life After Breast Cancer:
Researchers say women who exercise and
eat plenty of nutrient-rich vegetables live longer after their diagnosis.
Breast Cancer News:
Radiation Treatment Equally Effective After Lumpectomy:
Researchers say a more convenient course
of radiation therapy after breast lumpectomy may be as effective
as the more common therapy.
Experience Deters Women From Having Mammogram:
Researchers say pain while having a mammogram
is the leading reason why women do not return for screening procedurre
in the future.
Twin of Breast Cancer Patient Is Also at High Risk: Researchers
say women who have an identical twin with breast cancer are four
times more likely than average to develop the disease.
Herbs Studied as Therapy for Breast Cancer Survivors: Researchers
say the herbs may help alleviate the hot flashes experienced by
some after treatment for breast cancer.
Replacement Trial Halted Because of Breast Cancer Risk:
Researchers say the use of estrogen and progestin
in combination is strongly linked to the risk of breast cancer,
heart attack, stroke and blood clots.
Women at Higher Risk of Dying From Breast Cancer:
Researchers say approximately 30 percent
of breast cancer deaths in postmenopausal women may be linked to
Technique Reduces Hair Loss During Chemotherapy:
Researchers say pulsed electrostatic
fields (ETG) -- a non-invasive technique for stimulating hair follicles
on the scalp -- can reduce hair loss for women undergoing chemotherapy
for breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Patients More Apt to Use Alternative Therapies:
Researchers say soy, vitamin E, and herbal
remedies are the most common alternative therapies used by breast
cancer patients for relief of menopausal symptoms.
Between Herceptin and Cardiac Failure Identified:
Researchers have identified the probable link
between the breast cancer drug Herceptin and cardiac failure, a
common side effect of the treatment.
With Doctor Key to Treatment Choice for Seniors:
Researchers report that discussions between physicians
and older breast cancer patients have a direct influence on the
therapy the patients receive.
Weight Gain Ups Breast Cancer Risk for Postmenopausal Women:
Researchers report that the weight a woman gains
over the course of her life and her waist-hip ratio may be risk
factors for developing postmenopausal breast cancer.
Mobile Mammography Seen as Good Way to Reach Seniors:
At community sites where mammography was offered,
55 percent of the women opted to have the screening within three
Radiation Doses May Lead to Complications Later in Life:
Doses of radiation considered to be safe for the
treatment of breast cancer may lead to complications later in life,
according to Swedish researchers.
Supplements With Genistein May Negate Tamoxifen: Researchers
say isoflavone-enhanced dietary supplements containing genistein
may counteract the tumor-fighting effects of tamoxifen, the anti-cancer
drug used in women with estrogen-dependent breast cancer.
Could Reduce Breast Biopsies: Researchers say the
number of breast biopsies might be reduced by as much as 28 percent
if ultrasound was used to distinguish between benign and malignant
for Hodgkins Puts Women at Higher Risk of Breast Cancer: Women
who had chest radiation when young are often not aware that the
treatment put them at increased risk for developing breast cancer
when they are older.
Sex Hormone Levels Increase Risk for Older Women: Researchers
say postmenopausal women with high levels of estrogen and testosterone
are at twice the risk of developing breast cancer as women with
low levels of the hormones.
Can "Feel" Breast Tissue to Find Tiny Tumors: Researchers
say the new technique can find abnormalities that are deeper and
smaller than the 1-centermeter lesions that doctors can detect by
Cancer Patients Want More Involvement in Treatment Decisions: Researchers
say surgeons need to be more responsive to a breast cancer patient's
need to be involved.
Control Pill Increases Breast Cancer Risk Most for Older Women:
Using birth control pills slightly increases a younger
woman's risk of developing breast cancer, but more than doubles
the risk if is she is taking it after the age of 45, according to
Far More Effective Than Tamoxifen in Cutting Breast Cancer Risk:
reported new study results at the 3rd European Breast Cancer Conference
showing that treatment with anastrozole is far more effective than
tamoxifen in reducing the risk of new breast cancers in post-menopausal
Scans Better Predict Breast Cancer Recurrence: A
new study suggests that PET scans can predict better than other
types of imaging if breast cancer is likely to recur in a woman
who has been treated for the disease.
is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause
of cancer death in American women. The lifetime risk for developing
breast cancer is now 1 in 8 women, a significant increase from the
1 in 20 risk just two decades ago. While
the disease affects women of all races, it is more prevalent in
nonHispanic white women than in African-American, Hispanic, or
increasing incidence of breast cancer since 1940, the overall death
rate (mortality rate) in American women has been declining in the
believe the recent overall decline in breast cancer death rates
is partly the result of mammography screening, which rapidly increased
in the United States during the 1980s, and resulted in a shift toward
detection of breast cancer at earlier stages, when treatment can
be most effective and survival rates are higher.
One of the most
important risk factors for breast cancer is increasing age. Women
older than age 50 account for almost 80 percent of all breast cancer
Other risk factors
- Family history
of the disease
- Early onset
of menstruation and/or late menopause
- Never having
had a child, or a first full-term pregnancy after age 30
- History of
cancer or atypical changes on a breast biopsy
to high levels of radiation, particularly during puberty
- Alcohol consumption
risk for breast cancer also has been identified among women of higher
socioeconomic status, married women, women living in urban versus
rural areas, and women living in northern States. Researchers estimate
that about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancer cases may be hereditary,
occurring in women whose family members have a substantially greater
risk of developing premenopausal breast cancer. Recently, two breast
cancer susceptibility genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, have been discovered.
Inheritance of abnormality in these genes accounts for about 25
percent of breast cancers in women younger than age 30.
of breast cancer is key to treatment and improved survival from
the disease. Experts estimate that when a breast tumor is found
in the earliest stage, the 5year survival is as great as 95 percent.
Currently, breast cancer can be detected (1) through xray mammography,
(2) through a breast examination by a trained health professional,
or (3) by the woman herself.
in basic and clinical research are contributing to the development
of a spectrum of treatments for breast cancer patients. Standard
treatments include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and
hormonal interventions. Improved molecular diagnostic techniques,
which give more definitive staging information about a breast tumor,
permit clinicians to tailor the treatment options to an individual
trend is that women are becoming more involved in their treatment
decisions. Their choices may include some of the following treatments:
or simple mastectomy, which removes only the breast tissue, or
lumpectomy, which removes only the tumor. (Radical mastectomy,
which removes the muscle underlying the breast in addition to
breast tissue, was the standard treatment in the past.)
and radiation instead of mastectomy, for treatment of early stage
breast cancer. Studies have found the longterm survival rates
of patients treated with lumpectomy plus radiation to be equivalent
to those achieved with simple mastectomy or mastectomy plus radiotherapy
in patients with early stage breast disease.
therapy--chemotherapy or hormonal therapy given in addition to
surgery or radiation therapy--has been established as a treatment
that improves both diseasefree and overall survival of many breast
cancer patients. A recent analysis of many research studies found
that adjuvant therapies can decrease the likelihood of death in
women with no regional lymph node metastasis.
a drug studied since 1975 as an adjuvant treatment after surgery,
has been found to give women who have had breast cancer a 38 percent
better chance of remaining diseasefree for 5 years as compared
with those who did not receive the medication.
- A wider choice
of chemotherapy regimens, even for advanced or recurrent cancer.
Research has shown that combinations of drugs may be more effective
than individual drugs used alone. New drugs include taxol, which
is used to treat breast cancer that has recurred or progressed
despite treatment; a new family of chemotherapeutic agents called
anthrapyrazoles; and multi drug resistant drugs that counter the
problem of cancer cells that become unresponsive to a variety
of chemotherapeutic agents.
chemotherapy in combination with bone marrow transplantation for
women with advanced cancer. Other techniques to permit highdose
chemotherapy include the administration of growth factors to increase
the production of blood cells and experimental gene therapy to
protect the bone marrow or enhance its function.
antibodies, such as her2/ neuoncogene, that target special antigens
on the surface of the breast cancer cell to boost the immune system
to fight cancer growth. Monoclonal antibodies may offer a way
to treat microscopic amounts of breast cancer cells and to prevent
the disease from recurring after surgery or radiation.
- The use of
a protein inhibitor, TIMP2, may help stop the action of a cancer
cell enzyme that breaks down tissues and enables cancer cells
provided by: National Women's Health Information Center, Department
of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC