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Posts tagged ‘breast cancer’
Hours after actress Angelina Jolie revealed that she had a preventive double mastectomy to reduce her risk of breast cancer, the American Cancer Society issued a statement Tuesday urging women who might have genetic risk factors for breast cancer to proceed with caution before undergoing surgery.
“While only a small number of breast cancers are linked to known genetic risk factors, women facing such a high risk need to know that, and need to be able to discuss their options with genetic specialists and knowledgeable health professionals so they can have all the information and expertise at their fingertips to do what’s right for them,” said a statement from Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society.
“This does not mean every woman needs a blood test to determine their genetic risk for breast and/or ovarian cancer,” he said. Even if these genetic risks are confirmed through testing, not every woman should should get the surgery.
“Experts recommend women proceed cautiously, and receive a second opinion before deciding to have this surgery,” he said.
Women should know their cancer family history and discuss it with their primary care physician. If appropriate, they should be referred to genetic specialists to discuss their risk and options, he said.
Insurance plans created before the passage of the Affordable Care Act are not required to cover the costs of genetic counseling, testing and any surgery to reduce the risk of breast cancer. But under the health law, new insurance plans are required to cover counseling and testing for breast cancer risk. They are not required to cover the surgery.
Brawley said the preventive surgery to remove both breasts before cancer is diagnosed can reduce the risk of breast cancer by as much as 97 percent. But it does not completely prevent breast cancer because “even a very careful surgeon will leave behind a small amount of breast tissue, which can go on to become cancerous,” he said.
Among the women who could benefit from the surgery are those who have mutations in the BRCA gene associated with a high risk of breast cancer that have been confirmed by testing, a strong family history of breast cancer, a previous breast cancer, and show signs of certain precancerous conditions.
“A woman with a mutation of known significance must consider her quantifiable risk in making the very personal decision to have her breasts and ovaries removed or pursuing other options, such as more extensive screening for breast and ovarian cancer,” Brawley said.
by Lena H. Sun,
Tuesday, May 14, 12:21 PM
Committed to sharing the pertinent information, and Expert Advice…Every Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk is a powerful and inspiring opportunity to unite as a community to honor breast cancer survivors, raise awareness about steps we can take to reduce the risk of getting breast cancer, and raise money to help the American Cancer Society fight the disease with breast cancer research, information and services, and access to mammograms for women who need them.
Mark your calendar: Make Strides Against Breast Cancer of the Lehigh Valley
Saturday, October 26, 2013
More than 2.9 million breast cancer survivors will celebrate another birthday this year, thanks in part to the dollars raised by supporters like you. Join us and honor those you love by helping us fund – and finish- the fight against breast cancer. So mark your calendar, start a team, and raise funds today!
Make Strides Against Breast Cancer of the Lehigh Valley
Saturday, October 26, 2013
5k (3.1 miles)
Intersection of Spring and Main Street
Family friendly walk
For More Information:
DaeQuan Morrison, 13-Year-Old, Publishes Book To Cope With Mom’s Cancer, Donates Proceeds To Research
At age 10, DaeQuan penned “What’s the Spook?,” a 28-page storybook following a boy whose series of escalating nightmares lead him into the underworld. The book, which is based on DaeQuan’s experience with chronic nightmares following his mother’s cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy treatment, culminates with his realization that closeness to God is the only way to overcome his fears, he told the New York Daily News.
Patricia is now three years into her battle with breast cancer, and DaeQuan, now 13, has offered to donate the proceeds from his book — currently selling for $18 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble — to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset, N.Y.
Through a clinical trial, in which Patricia was asked to participate, researchers at Feinstein recently discovered a new DNA marker linked to triple-negative breast cancer that’s helping doctors better understand why African-American women often experience this more aggressive form of the disease and find more effective ways to treat it.
“If you look under the microscope, triple negative breast cancer tumors in African-American women, in young women, in old women and in Caucasian women looks the same,” Dr. Iuliana Shapira, one of the researchers conducting the trial, told The Huffington Post. “But if you look in the blood, the MicroRNA is much different in African-American people than in Caucasian women.”
These findings have prompted Shapira and her team to reassess how women are treated for the disease. “We see that if we just change the order of the treatments, maybe give chemotherapy first in young women or African-American women, their outcome will be much better,” she said.
But while the outlook for triple-negative breast cancer is more promising than it’s been, the impact of a diagnosis and the treatment that follows can still be traumatic for a child, Shapira said.
“They usually imagine it much worse than it is and they dream about the worst,” she said, stressing the importance for parents to inform their children about what the process is and what the treatments are. “It’s very important that the parents reassure the child, tell them that they should have an optimistic view, especially about breast cancer. Breast cancer is curable disease in a majority of cases nowadays.”
For DaeQuan, an only child whose parents both worked full-time through his mother’s chemotherapy, coping was easiest through writing. “He’s an extraordinary child, but his fears are the fears that other children experience,” Shapira said.
He’s sold over 200 copies since the books was published and hopes to eventually sell as many as 5,000, the Daily News reports.
Source: The Huffington Post
Poisons in the drinking water at Marine Corp Base, Camp Lejeune, in North Carolina have been found as cause for abnormally high rates of leukemia and birth defects among its residents. The period of contamination began in the late 1950’s and continued for over thirty years. Benzene, a carcinogenic gasoline additive, trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE) were all found to be present in the camp’s water. In addition, the military has found unusually high rates of breast cancer among both men and women here, as well. Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control are preparing a study that will try to determine whether contaminated drinking water at the Marine Corps’ largest base on the East Coast caused dozens of male Marines, sailors and family members to get breast cancer.
“Military people [both men and women] in general, and in some cases very specifically, are at a significantly greater risk for contracting breast cancer,” says Dr. Richard Clapp, a top cancer expert at Boston University. Clapp, who works for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on military breast cancer issues, says life in the military can mean exposure to a witch’s brew of risk factors directly linked to greater chances of getting breast cancer. *
A 2009 study, at Walter Reed Army Medical Center found breast cancer rates among military women “significantly higher” — 20% to 40% more likely to get the disease than non military women in the same age groups.
The reason for this…. military service brings with it a number of risk factors associated with the deadly disease. Among them:
— Radio emissions. A slew of studies have linked breast cancer with men and women working as radio operators, electricians, telephone repair people and other jobs involving exposure to electromagnetic radiation.
— Chemicals. Working with volatile organic compound — such as solvents, paints and exhaust.
— Aircrew work. Repeated and prolonged exposure to harmful solar radiation.
— Toxic bases. Many of the worst Superfund toxic cleanup sites, often linked to all kinds of cancer clusters, are located on current or former military bases…like Camp Lejeune, N.C.
— Shift work. Researchers found those working the swing shift were 40% more likely to face diagnoses. They suspect the suppression of melatonin that comes with sleepless nights may also inhibit the body’s ability to fight off cancer-causing cells.
In recent years, breast cancer has been as brutal on women in the military as combat. While more than 800 women have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan; about the same number have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
“It is a well-documented fact that one of the highest forms of cancer among our service members and veterans is breast cancer,” says Rep. Leonard L. Boswell, D-Iowa. What’s not clear is why, he says. Since 1993, Congress has funneled more than $2 billion to fund research into breast cancer, including $120 million in 2012. **
While rare, breast cancer can also strike men, but is usually not seen in men under the age of 70. Camp Lejeune has seen 80 male victims of breast cancer.
Evidence is being studied sighting chemical pollution as a contributing factor to their breast cancer. The men are easier to study than women. Their risk of developing breast cancer is not complicated by hormone replacement therapy, breastfeeding, reproduction or menstruation. Epidemiologists conducting the study hope to be able to find conclusive evidence to support their theory.
Unfortunately, there are probably more bases out there with similar problems.
*,** USA Today Alarming breast cancer rates among troops reported
By Jon R. Anderson, Military TimesShare 12:26PM EST October 2. 2012