Breast Cancer Blog: From Medicineworld.org
Do you read all of the blogs published by medicineworld.org? Many of our bloggers are busy keeping you updated on the various health related topics. We publish the following blogs at this time.
Cancer blog: I manage the cancer blog with lots of help and support form other bloggers. Through this cancer blog my friends and I try to bring stories of hope for patients with cancer. The cancer blog often republishes important blog posts from other cancer related blogs at Medicineworld.org. If you are searching for a blog that covers wide variety of cancer topics, this may be the one for you.
Breast cancer blog: Breast cancer blog is run by Emily and other bloggers and they bring you the latest stories, news and events that are related to breast cancer. Increasing awareness about breast cancer among women and in the general population is the main goal of this breast cancer blog.
Lung cancer blog: Lung cancer blog is managed by Scott with the help of other bloggers. Through this blog Scott and his friends constantly remind the readers about the dangers of smoking. It's a never-ending struggle against this miserable disease with which a social stigma of smoking is associated.
Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and other bloggers. Sue brings a personal touch to the colon cancer blog since her mother died of colon cancer few years ago. She writes about stories, research news and advances in treatment related to colon cancer.
Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among American men. American Cancer Society estimates that over 230,000 new cases of prostate cancer occur in the United state every year. This important blog about prostate cancer is run by Mark and other bloggers. This blog brings news, stories, and other personal observations related to prostate cancer.
Medicineworld.org publishes a diabetes watch blog and this blog is run by JoAnn other bloggers. This diabetes watch blog brings you the latest in the field of diabetes. This includes personal stories, advances in diagnosis and treatment, and other observations about diabetes. Improving awareness about diabetes is an important mission of this group.
These findings are the results of 5 year follow up on a larger group of 9,000 women. Differences in diagnosis and treatment, rather than the presence of other illnesses, are sited as the main reason for this disparity in survival rates by the researchers.
They found that breast cancer diagnosis was often made later in older women and, once diagnosed, they were less likely to be fully investigated for their cancer and had less aggressive treatment than younger women, the study said.
Older women had larger tumors at the time of diagnosis and were less likely to have their cancer detected by mammography screening and to have the stage of disease identified. The older women also had fewer lymph nodes examined and had radiotherapy and chemotherapy less often than younger breast cancer patients, the study said.
The study also found that older patients were less likely to be offered breast-conserving surgery, but more likely to receive hormone treatment, such as tamoxifen, even if their tumors did not show signs of hormone sensitivity.
The study included 1,455 Chinese women who were followed for roughly five years after being diagnosed with breast cancer.
While most women were still alive after five years, those who were overweight at the time of diagnosis or soon afterward had a poorer survival rate.
Eighty percent of overweight women were still alive versus 86.5 percent among the leanest women and 84 percent among those who were slightly heavier but still in the normal weight range.
The link between body weight and survival remained when the researchers considered important factors in death risk, such as age, tumor size at diagnosis and the type of treatment patients received.
It's not fully clear why excess weight might lower a woman's chances of surviving breast cancer, but Shu's team points to a number of possibilities. Some studies have found that obese women tend to be diagnosed at later stages in the disease -- though, in this study, overweight women had poorer survival even when their cancer was caught early.
Another theory is that excess body fat, by boosting levels of estrogen, testosterone and other hormones, helps speed the growth and spread of breast tumors. Some studies have also linked excess weight to a higher risk of developing breast cancer in the first place, and the hormonal effects of extra body fat are suspected of playing a role.
Shu said, in general, moderate exercise and a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains are key.
Radio-surgery is shown to be capable of extending survival by 13 months or longer, depending on the tumor type. These conclusions come from a recent research conducted by Dr. Douglas Kondziolka and colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania. The study included 44 patients who survived more than four years after undergoing radiosurgery to determine clinical and treatment patterns that affect the outcome. These patients who have undergone gamma knife surgery had an average life span of 68 months with some patients living as long as 156 months so far.
Researchers have found those patients who survived more than four years after radio-surgery had higher pre-treatment scores on physical functioning and had fewer metastases, and less cancer in other parts of the body than those patients who died soon after radio-surgery.
Women like Cathy are not alone. Many young women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and many of them have not completed their families and would like to have children after the treatment is complete. This naturally raises the question of preserving fertility after breast cancer treatment.
A new research from Duke University Medical Center has shown a way to predict development of infertility after chemotherapy. Researchers say that ovarian hormone levels may predict which women are likely to become infertile after chemotherapy to treat breast cancer.
This is an important finding in the fact that this may enable the treating physician to identify those women who are high risk for development of ovarian failure after chemotherapy so that preventive measures may be implemented as per the lead author of the study Carey Anders, M.D.
These researchers have shown that women who developed premature ovarian failure had lower levels of the ovarian hormone called inhibin A prior to initiation of chemotherapy and six months after chemotherapy had ended. Another ovarian hormone called inhibin B was also showed similar low pattern in women who would develop ovarian failure.
It would be good if we can know with certainty how a woman's breast cancer is going to behave in future. Researchers have been trying to find genes and proteins that can predict the outcome of breast cancer, with the main idea of classifying breast cancer into low risk and high-risk groups. At this time we do not have a good method to classify low risk and high-risk breast cancer patients and as result most of the patients receive toxic chemotherapies.
A new predictive test that was introduced recently called Oncotype-Dx testing makes some progress in this regard. This test can predict a woman's risk of breast cancer recurrence in the next 10 years. Test is useful in borderline circumstances when treatment decision about chemotherapy is in question. Newer tests are introduced and when they are available we may be able to predict with accuracy if a woman with breast cancer would require chemotherapy.
Coming back to the point, these researchers have been examining the genes expressed during breast cancer in order to classify those genes into groups that can reliably predict the outcome of disease. These researchers found that a protein that is found in some breast cancer tumors called alpha-basic-crystallin, predicts poor survival in breast cancer. This predictive value of alpha-basic-crystalline was independently of other known prognostic markers.
Alpha-basic-crystallin is overexpressed in mammary epithelial cells and causes dysregulated growth, changes in cell structure, diminished programmed cell death, and the formation of invasive carcinomas that is linked to activation of the ERK/MAPK signaling pathway. Researchers say that these new findings may facilitate research and development of tailored therapies that are active against this signaling pathway.
This study appears in the recent issue of Journal of Clinical Investigation.
Beads like this are used in brachytherapyRadiation therapy for breast cancer is a prolonged process and anyone who has gone through that radiation therapy knows that more than anything it's the monotonous prolonged duration of treatment that causes fatigue and metal strain to breast cancer patients than anything else associated with this treatment.
A friend of mine had been diagnosed with breast cancer recently. She had a small lump (about 1 inch in size) and had no lymph nodes involved. After lumpectomy she had this extended course of radiation therapy. She said that it was never ending and seemed to last forever. She was literally counting the days, and couldn't wait for those days to be over.
There is good news to believe that radiation therapy may get a little easier for thousands of breast cancer patients in the near future. Researchers are now able to target the radiation beams just at the tumor site instead of the whole breast, cutting the usual six-week treatment down to five days.
The effectiveness of this type of radiation therapy has to be proven by controlled clinical trials. A major clinical trial is under way to prove the effectiveness of this new mode of radiation therapy and if it is effective, who's a good candidate and which of three five-day methods works best.
There is another way of giving radiation therapy and it is called brachytherapy. Some researchers from Canada are trying to develop a one-day treatment method by permanently implanting radiation seeds inside the breast to kill cancer cells. This brachytherapy treatment is also used in other cancers like prostate cancer.
This new technique is called partial-breast radiation and this is already fast gaining in popularity even before the effectiveness of this form of radiation therapy is proven by clinical trials. There is an ongoing National Cancer Institute-funded study to see if this form of radiation therapy works, and this study is recruiting patients since March.
Experts are warning women that, at this time there is no proof for the effectiveness of this type of radiation therapy and the say that women must carefully weigh the new options. If a woman is interested in this shorter course of radiation therapy, then the best course of action would be enrolment into a clinical trial.
I was reading a new study, which suggests somewhat different results regarding breast cancer treatment and fatigue. This study shows that fatigue may persist for five years after breast cancer treatment in almost one third of patients. In about two thirds of these patients, the fatigue will persist, the results of this long-term study indicate.
Ganz, from the University of California at Los Angeles, and her associates previously reported that 35 percent of 1,957 women who were diagnosed between with early-stage breast carcinoma between 1994 and 1997-experienced fatigue for the first five years after treatment.
The results showed that 34 percent were classified as being fatigued. Among those classified as fatigued during the first survey, 63 percent continued to score in the fatigued range.
Further analyses indicated that depression, pain and heart disease were significant long-term predictors of fatigue, as was treatment with combined radiation and chemotherapy compared with either treatment alone.
Different studies may differ to some extent, in the results, but these two studies represent just opposing results, I would say.
There has been a long controversy in the scientific community about benefits of radiation therapy after breast cancer surgery. Now it looks like this controversy is coming to an end.
A new research report published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggest that women who get an optimal dose of radiation therapy after mastectomy have a better survival in 10 years compared to those women, who never received radiation therapy.
These researchers from the National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Centre in New South Wales, Australia reanalyzed data from 36 clinical trials in which radiation therapy was the major difference between groups of patients. These 36 clinical trials were divided into three categories, those in which an optimal dose of radiation was used, those in which inadequate doses of radiation therapy was used, and those in which excessive doses of radiation therapy was used.
These researchers have found that in five years, patients belonging to the first category had 2.9 percent increase in survival at the end of five years. The difference increased to 6.4 percent in ten years time. The second and third categories where an optimal dose of radiation therapy was not used, there was no apparent improvement in survival.
The researchers say that this study shows that there is strong evidence for the benefits of radiation in those women who received breast cancer surgery. They recommend that post mastectomy radiation should be given to all women who have high risk of breast cancer recurrence.
Image courtesy of PravdaAre we witnessing a new breakthrough for breast cancer? That's what Francois Vaillant and colleagues are claiming. These Australian researchers say that they have discovered the stem cells responsible for growth of the mammary gland. They were able to grow new breasts in mice and claim that this could lay foundation for all new treatment options for breast cancer.
Scientists were successful in growing skin tissue from single stem cells in the past. This is the first time a complex organ like the mammary gland was grown from a one single stem cell. This study is published in the recent issue of the journal Nature.
Other researchers say that this study that comes from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne is a breakthrough in understanding how normal breast tissue develops and could revolutionize the way how we treat breast cancer and other cancers.
What does it mean to you and me? Knowing the pathways of normal growth of the stem cells into the mammary gland could lead to development of new medications to treat breast cancer. Also it may be possible in future to develop a technique to grow new breast in women who had mastectomy. Researchers say that it may take next 10 or 20 years before we may develop new medications to treat breast cancer based on this new discovery.
It's a puzzle among scientific community, why women who had all the breast cancer cells eliminated by using chemotherapy could experience a recurrence of breast cancer. If all the factors controlling the growth of the stem cells go in a regulated fashion the stem cell would grow in to a normal breast tissue, but a combination of genetic errors and other external influences could cause it to generate faulty cells.
Previous preliminary studies have shown that statins may have a protective effect in various types of cancers including breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer. However a recent meta analysis of 26 studies involving 87,000 patients has concluded that statins do not lower the risk of developing cancer or dying from cancer. The drug had absolutely no impact on cancer as per the article published in Journal of the American Medical Association.
In another parallel study conducted by the American Cancer Society researchers, reviewed data on more than 130,000 patients from the United States and found that statins have no effect on colon cancer. These researchers found no difference in cancer rates between those who used statins and those who did not. Their findings are published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute's January 4 issue.
This probably would conclude the matter with statins and cancer protection. Statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs in the world. This group includes, Pfizer Inc.'s Lipitor, Merck and Co Inc.'s Zocor, Bristol-Myers Squibb's Pravachol, Merck's Mevacor and Novartis AG's Lescol.
This new research by Dr. Steven A. Narod, of the University of Toronto, Ontario showed that women who have BRCA1 gene mutations might benefit from drinking coffee with respect to the risk of development of breast cancer.
These researchers studied 1690 high-risk women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations from 40 clinical centers in four countries. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the average lifetime coffee consumption.
Women with BRCA mutations who drank 1 to 3 cups of coffee daily had 10 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer, women how drank 4 to 5 cups of coffee had 25 percent reduction in breast cancer and those women who drank 6 or more cups of coffee had a high 69 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer. Amazing to think about it, right?
Another surprising finding evolved from the research. They found that the protective effect of coffee was mainly limited to BRCA1 gene mutation carriers and most of the BRCA2 gene mutation carriers did not have significant benefit from drinking coffee.
Investigators say that coffee is an important source of phytoestrogens, which may have protective effects against cancer.
Go to http://www.cancercure.org/ and you can see a list of cancer medications that you can buy from this site. Also you can buy many medications and alternative therapies that can cure your cancer. They offer you FDA approved treatment of cancer that will keep you cancer free for the rest of your life.
This and a series of other pharmaceutical websites are run by a man once known in South Florida as "Big Pimpin' Pappy" who has now moved into the bogus pharmaceutical business using a Boca Raton post office box.
Arthur Vanmoor was deported to the Netherlands after pleading no contest last year to conspiracy and racketeering charges for allegedly running a lucrative and organized prostitution ring in Broward and southern Palm Beach counties.
A federal judge ordered http://www.cancercure.org/ to be shut down immediately, but it is still operational at the time of posting this blog.
Femara belongs to the group of aromatase inhibitors with other drugs like arimidex and aromasin. Recent clinical trials have shown that aromatase inhibitors are superior to tamoxifen in both adjuvant therapy and treatment of advanced breast cancer.
"Right now we're only getting about 7 percent of the early adjuvant market, so there's a lot of room for growth," said David Epstein, chief executive officer of Novartis Oncology
The most prescribed product for this market is Arimidex, which has a market share of roughly 50 percent, Epstein said. Tamoxifen has about 40 percent of the market, and other drugs, including Aromasin and Femara have the rest.
The researchers call for prompt public health action to increase intake of vitamin D3 as an inexpensive tool for prevention of diseases that claim millions of lives each year.
Previous studies by these researchers, including a paper in the December 2005 Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, showed the link between vitamin D deficiency and higher rates of colon cancer. The new paper, to be published on-line December 27, 2005 and printed in the February 2006 issue of The American Journal of Public Health, associates the same risks to breast and ovarian cancers, and underscores the researchers' call to action.
In the paper, the authors conclude: "The high prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, combined with the discovery of increased risks of certain types of cancer in those who are deficient, suggest that vitamin D deficiency may account for several thousand premature deaths from colon, breast, ovarian and other cancers annually."
"African-American women who develop breast cancer are more likely to die from the disease than White women of the same age," said Garland. "Survival rates are worse among African-Americans for colon, prostate and ovarian cancers as well." Even after adjustments that removed the effect of socioeconomic status and access to care, blacks were shown to have substantially poorer survival rates, a difference that the authors link with the decreased ability of blacks to make Vitamin D.
In the opinion of Linda Vahdat, who is the head of the breast cancer program at Weill Medical College of Cornell University this is the biggest news of the year.
Herceptin is effective in breast cancer that over-expresses Her2 gene. About 20 to 30 percent of all women who are diagnosed with breast cancer may have over expression of this gene and hence may be candidates for treatment with Herceptin. In these patients Herceptin is used in combination with chemotherapy.
Clinical trial results presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in May 2005, use Herceptin and chemotherapy reduce the risk of recurrence of breast cancer in patients who over-expresses Her-2 gene by 52 percent. The risk of dying from breast cancer was reduced by about one third.
However Herceptin is not for every woman with Her2-gene amplification. Herceptin has a significant side effect of causing damage to the heart muscle. So caution should be exerted in using this drug in women who has only very low risk of breast cancer recurrence, since the risk of taking Herceptin may be more than the benefit in these women. Recently Genentec the makers of the drug and FDA have issued a warning stating that combined use of Herceptin (trastuzumab) and chemotherapy may significantly increase the risk of toxicity for the heart and should be used with caution.
There are two common methods for removal of axillary lymph nodes. A surgeon may initially do a sentinel lymph node biopsy and may proceed to clearing of the lymph nodes in the axilla only if the sentinel lymph node is positive. On the other hand your surgeon may proceed straight to axillary lymph node dissection without first doing a sentinel lymph node biopsy. In any case axillary clearance of lymph nodes is very important in patients suspected of axillary lymph node involvement.
While this is very important in younger women, the question is should we go for a complete axillary clearance for older patients. A recent study published in the Journal Of Clinical Oncology suggests this is un-necessary.
In this study of 473 patients who were aged more than 60 years, clinically node negative and received hormonal therapy for hormone positive tumor the investigators noted no difference between the groups who had axillary clearance and those who had extensive surgery.
Bottom line: If you are sixty years or older, and have no lymph nodes felt by physical examination, the tumor is hormone receptor positive and willing to take hormonal therapy then there is no need for that disfiguring surgery. No need for cherry picking of lymph nodes.
Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
A day or two ago
I thought I'd take a ride
And soon Miss Fanny Bright
Was seated by my side
The horse was lean and lank
Misfortune seemed his lot
We got into a drifted bank
And then we got upsot
Oh, jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh
Jingle bells, jingle bells
Jingle all the way
Oh, what fun it is to ride
In a one horse open sleigh yeah
Breast cancer blog: Breast cancer blog is run by Janet and colleagues. Latest post from this breast cancer blog reads as follows: Location of Breast Cancer Does Matter - Does it really matter which part of the breast you develop cancer? Researchers say yes.
Researchers from Switzerland recently reported that women with early breast cancer in the lower inner quadrant (the lower part of the breast, closer to the center of the body) are twice as likely to die of their cancer as women with cancer diagnosed in other parts of the breast. Researchers speculate this could be due to undetected spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes of the internal mammary chain (lymph nodes near the center of the chest). These lymph nodes are difficult to be evaluated for the presence of cancer.......
Lung cancer blog: Lung cancer blog is run by Scott and colleagues. Latest post from this lung cancer blog reads as follows: Cancer Death Rate Continues to Drop in U.S. - It is comforting to know that the cancer death rates continue to drop and cancer diagnosis rate continue to be stable in the United States. This is true for most of the common types of cancer including breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and the prostate cancer. This information is released by the National Cancer Institute.......
Colon cancer blog: Colon cancer blog is run by Sue and colleagues. Latest post from this cancer blog post reads as follows: Cancer Death Rate Continues to Drop in U.S. - It is comforting to know that the cancer death rates continue to drop and cancer diagnosis rate continue to be stable in the United States. This is true for most of the common types of cancer including breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and the prostate cancer. This information is released by the National Cancer Institute...............
Prostate cancer blog: Prostate cancer blog is run by Mark and colleagues. Latest post from this prostate cancer blog reads as follows: Cancer Death Rate Continues to Drop in U.S. - It is comforting to know that the cancer death rates continue to drop and cancer diagnosis rate continue to be stable in the United States. This is true for most of the common types of cancer including breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer and the prostate cancer. This information is released by the National Cancer Institute...............
We have a diabetes watch blog as well and this is run by JoAnn and colleagues. The latest post from this diabetes watch blog reads as follows: Health Canada Issues Warning For Avandia and Avandamet - Health Canada is issuing warnings for two commonly used drugs to treat Type-2 diabetes. The warning states that use of these drugs may lead to new cases or worsening of a vision problem called macular edema.......
Heart watch blog: Heart watch blog is run by Daniel and colleagues. The latest post from this heart watch blog reads as follows: Fish Oil Combats Heart Problem Related To Pollution - You probably can't do much to improve the air pollution around you, but now you can protect yourself from some of the harmful effects of air pollution on the heart. A new research finding suggests that daily supplementation with omega-3 fatty acid (fish oil) prevents a potentially-deadly decline in heart rate variability (HRV) associated with exposure to indoor air pollution, researchers from the US and Canada report......
Cancer blog: I manage the cancer blog with lots of help and support form other bloggers. The latest post from this cancer blog reads as follows: Pancreatic Cancer: Looking Forward To Skin Rash! - Probably you all know that a new drug combination Tarceva and Gemzar has been FDA approved recently for the treatment of pancreatic cancer. Did you know that, if you are developing a bad skin rash while on this treatment it is a good sign! I am not kidding, the study that led to the approval of this combination was presented in the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting in 2005. This study has shown that the combination of Tarceva and Gemzar works best in patients who had a bad skin rash!......
Researchers from Switzerland recently reported that women with early breast cancer in the lower inner quadrant (the lower part of the breast, closer to the center of the body) are twice as likely to die of their cancer as women with cancer diagnosed in other parts of the breast. Researchers speculate this could be due to undetected spread of the cancer to the lymph nodes of the internal mammary chain (lymph nodes near the center of the chest). These lymph nodes are difficult to be evaluated for the presence of cancer.
These researchers analyzed information about 1411 women with stage I breast cancer diagnosed between 1986 and 2002. In addition to tumor location, researchers collected information about patient age, tumor size, and whether or not the woman received chemotherapy.
By 10 years after diagnosis, 93% of the women were still alive. Women whose tumors were located in the lower inner quadrant of the breast had twice the mortality rate (11%) of women whose tumors were located in other parts of the breast. The risk of death among women with tumors in the lower inner quadrant of the breast remained significantly higher, even among those who underwent chemotherapy.
The researchers suggest that the higher risk of death among women with tumors in the lower inner quadrant of the breast may be due to mistaken lower staging (underestimation of the extent of the cancer), leading to under-treatment. They recommend that women with tumors in the lower inner quadrant of the breast undergo sampling of the lymph nodes of the internal mammary chain.
Brind'article is published in the recent issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.
Because Brind believes that "reporting bias" makes retroactive data untrustworthy, he focuses his attention here on prospective studies, that is research results that queried woman about their reproductive history prior to any diagnosis of breast cancer. But even in these studies, Brind finds much to skew outcomes. In several studies Brind notes a "cohort effect," the result of comparing "two essentially different populations: the younger one which has experienced most of the abortions, and the older one which has developed most of the breast cancers."
Brind also identifies many "misclassifications," typically of women whose abortion were not recorded in the available data. He also argues that follow-up times were too short to measure the long-term impact of abortion on the incidence of breast cancer-which, he notes, continues to increase.
In conclusion, Brind reasserts the conclusion of his 1996 "meta-analysis" of the abortion-breast cancer link. The research correlation holds and "induced abortion is indeed a risk factor for breast cancer, despite the strong and pervasive bias in recent literature," asserting the safety of the procedures that terminate pregnancy.
Researchers from the University of Washington have revealed breast cancer cells can be successfully targeted, using a chemical derived from the wormwood plant called artemisinin. According to Henry Lai, research professor in the Department of Bioengineering, artemisinin is selectively toxic to cancer cells and is effective orally.
Artemisinin helps control malaria as it reacts with the high iron concentrations found in the malaria parasite. This reaction produces charged atoms called free radicals that kill the infected cells by tearing open their protective membranes.
Professor Lai found that the same rule holds good for cancer cells, which need a lot more iron than normal cells for their rapid division.
The reason for artemisinin's apparent preventative effect may be twofold, the researchers said. The substance may kill precancerous cells, which also tend to use more iron than ordinary cells, before those cells develop into a tumor.
Artemisinin also may hinder angiogenesis, or a tumor's ability to grow networks of blood vessels that allow it to enlarge. Because artemisinin is widely used in Asia and Africa as an anti-malarial, it has a track record of being fairly safe and causing no known side effects, Lai said.
This study results might explain why female night shift workers have a higher rate of breast cancer. It also offers a promising new explanation for the epidemic rise in breast cancer incidence in industrialized countries like the United States.
This research finding comes from Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, New York and The Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pa. The results are published in the recent issue of the scientific journal Cancer Research.
Previous research showed that artificial light suppresses the brain's production of melatonin, a hormone that helps to regulate a person's sleeping and waking cycles. The new study shows that melatonin also plays a key role in the development of cancerous tumors.
The melatonin-rich blood collected from subjects while in total darkness severely slowed the growth of the tumors. In contrast, tests with the melatonin-depleted blood from light-exposed subjects stimulated tumor growth.
According to the researchers, melatonin exerts a strong influence on the body's circadian rhythm, an internal biological clock that regulates sleep-wake cycle, body temperature, endocrine functions, and a number of disease processes including heart attack, stroke and asthma.
One of the most commonly administered drugs for breast cancer, tamoxifen, may not be as effective for women who inherit a common genetic change, according to researchers at Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan. The genetic change affects the levels of a crucial liver enzyme, Cytochrome P4502D6, responsible for tamoxifen metabolism.
Up to 10 percent of Caucasian patients have an inherited genetic change that affects tamoxifen metabolism - and appear to be at higher risk of relapse while receiving tamoxifen.
Researchers tested the most common genetic change responsible for lowering the CYP2D6 enzyme, and found that women with the genetic change were almost twice as likely to experience breast cancer relapse. Their findings are published in the recent issue of The Journal of Clinical Oncology.
"In addition to being at higher risk of relapse, the women with the genetic change also did not develop one of the most common side effects of tamoxifen - hot flashes," says Dr. Goetz. "These findings are important, as doctors commonly co-prescribe drugs such as antidepressants for the treatment of hot flashes, and many of these drugs potently inhibit the metabolism of tamoxifen" states the researchers.
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Every year, more than 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States. Breast cancer ranks second as the leading cause of cancer deaths in American women. Until recently breast cancer topped the list of leading causes of cancer deaths in women, but lately lung cancer has claimed the top position. If skin cancer is excluded, breast cancer is the commonest cancer among American women.
Breast Cancer Blog: From Medicineworld.org
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