Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Aspirin Doesn’t Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

A daily aspirin might aid the heart, but it offers little help in reducing the risk of breast cancer in premenopausal women, according to research data from the Nurses’ Health Study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Use of other non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, also had no effect.

This is true regardless of dose, duration of use, and hormone-receptor status.

Earlier studies in mice had shown a preventive effect on breast cancer, but that so far has no translated to humans.

Surgery for Women with BRCA Gene Can Prevent Cancer

Removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes reduces cancer risk for women with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene

Surgery to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes has long been considered one of the most effective ways to decrease the risk of breast and gynecologic cancer for women with the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation. Now, research in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute underscores the effectiveness of the surgery. According to the research, an analysis of 10 independent studies, the risk reduction of this surgery—salpingo-oophorectomy—can be 80 percent for ovarian or fallopian tube cancer and 50 percent for breast cancer.

The BRCA genes are associated with triple-negative breast cancer, one of the most dangerous forms. Women with triple negative estrogen-negative, progesterone-negative, and Her2-negative.

Nevertheless, the researchers note that the  surgery is not the only route to risk reduction. Mastectomy and regularly MRI screenings have also been effective.

Source: “Meta-analysis of Risk Reduction Estimates Associated With Risk-Reducing Salpingo-oophorectomy in BRCA1 or BRCA2 Mutation Carriers,” Timothy R. Rebbeck, Noah D. Kauff, Susan M. Domchek, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 101 (2), 2009, 80-87

Friday, January 23, 2009

Breast Cancer and the Economy

The economy is affecting all aspects of our lives, including cancer treatment. surveyed 500 breast cancer patients and survivors and found:

• 67% are concerned about how the economy will impact their breast cancer treatment or management.

• Among those who have finished treatment, 65% indicated that they’re concerned about how the economy might impact breast cancer management.

• 12% have had to alter their treatment plan because of a change in their financial situation or increasing costs: They have:

• Had to change s treatment plan. For example, they had to choose a shorter duration of treatment, select a less expensive treatment, or change a treatment location.

• Sought help from an assistance program, such as Medicaid or Medicare.

• Had to forgo treating another health condition in order to pay for breast cancer treatment.

• Have had to postpone treatment.

For a more analysis, insight, and suggestions for help, read’s Breast Cancer Treatment and the Economy

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Help for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

The January Calorie Count newsletter offers some good advice on maintaining your diet and exercise plan.  Check it out.  

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Want to Beat Cancer? Exercise!

Research shows a strong correlation between exercise and reduction in breast cancer. In a 2006 study in the journal Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prevention, researchers evaluated participants, ages 25 to 64 years, in Shanghai, China from August 1996 to March 1998. Women were given a questionnaire in which they reported their exercise patterns from adolescence through the ten years before the interview. The researchers determined:

• Exercise in adolescence and within the past ten years was also associated with decreased risk for receptor-positive and receptor-negative breast cancers s in both premenopausal and postmenopausal women. That means, basically, all women.

• Exercises benefited with a risk reduction of 30 to 60 percent over non-execisers. Again, this was true of premenopausal and postmenopausal women. As in, all.

• Activity during both adolescence and the last 10 years resulted in a risk reduction of 62 to 79 percent for receptor-negative breast cancer.

• Postmenopausal women benefited the most from exercise.

• Sweating during exercise within the last 10 years was also associated with decreased risk for receptor-positive and receptor-negative breast cancers among postmenopausal women.

So we mature ladies benefit from a little sweat. Researchers aren’t sure why.

SA Adams, CE Matthews, JR Hebert, CG Moore, JE Cunningham, XO Shu, J Fulton, Y Gao,and W Zheng, “Association of physical activity with hormone receptor status: the Shanghai Breast Cancer Study,” Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prevention, June15, 2006, Volume 15, No. 6, 1170-8.

Triple Negative Breast Cancer: Research Review

Triple negative breast cancer, an especially aggressive form of the disease, is prevalent among young women and African-American women. Researchers Carey Anders, M.D., and Lisa A. Carey, M.D., published a thorough research review of triple negative in the journal Oncology October 1, 2008. The entire article is available online.

Key points:

• Triple negative breast cancer is a breast cancer subtype in which all hormone receptors are negative. That is, it is estrogen-negative (ER-), progesterone-negative (PR-) and negative for the human growth factor receptor Her2-neu.

• Estimates are that 172,000 women will have been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer in 2008.

• Most, but not all, BRCA1 breast cancers are triple negative.

• Triple negative responds well to chemotherapy, especially anthracycline and anthracycline/taxane.

• Triple negative does not respond to tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors like Arimidex, so there is no standard follow-up treatment.

• Research on new treatments shows promise. These include epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors, which are currently in clinical trials.

Source: C. Anders and L. A. Carey, “Understanding and Treating Triple-Negative Breast Cancer,” Oncology, Vol. 22, No. 11, October 1, 2008.