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February 25, 2009, 6:21 AM CT

Yoga benefits breast cancer patients

Yoga benefits breast cancer patients
Women undertaking a ten week program of 75 minute Restorative Yoga (RY) classes gained positive differences in aspects of mental health such as depression, positive emotions, and spirituality (feeling calm/peaceful) in comparison to the control group. The study, published recently in a special issue of Psycho-Oncology focusing on physical activity, shows the women had a 50% reduction in depression and a 12% increase in feelings of peace and meaning after the yoga sessions.

RY is a gentle type of yoga which is similar to other types of yoga classes, moving the spine in all directions but in a more passive and gentle way. Props such as cushions, bolsters, and blankets provide complete physical support for total relaxation with minimal physical effort, and so people in differing levels of health can practice yoga more easily.

44 women participated in the study, with 22 undertaking the yoga classes and 22 in the waitlist control group. All of the women had breast cancer; 34% were actively undergoing cancer therapy while the majority had already completed therapy. All participants completed a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the ten week program, asking them to evaluate their quality of life through various measures. The results clearly showed that the women who had been given the RY classes experienced a wide range of benefits in comparison to the control group (who were later all invited to attend identical RY classes).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 16, 2009, 9:27 PM CT

Breast MRI to supplement standard imaging

Breast MRI to supplement standard imaging
Updated guidelines for physicians that represent best practices for using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to newly diagnose breast cancer and to make therapy decisions for breast cancer were published recently in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network Breast radiologists and surgeons at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, N.Y. authored the paper upon which the guidelines are based.

The SCCA breast imaging program led by Connie Lehman, M.D., has established itself as a national leader in breast MRI based on pioneering research it has reported in the past few years. Lehman is corresponding author of today's journal paper, "Indications for Breast MRI in the Patient with Newly Diagnosed Breast Cancer." The study summarizes an extensive review of published, peer-evaluated studies.

Among the key recommendations:.
  • MRI is not a substitute for screening or diagnostic mammography and, when indicated, diagnostic breast ultrasound. MRI supplements the use of these standard imaging tools in appropriately selected clinical situations.
  • For women with diagnosed breast cancer, MRI provides enhanced detection in both the breast known to have cancer and the opposite, or "contralateral," breast.........

    Posted by: Janet      Read more


February 9, 2009, 5:59 AM CT

Pregnancy does not decrease breast cancer survival

Pregnancy does not decrease  breast cancer survival
Young women who develop breast cancer during their pregnancy, or who are diagnosed within one year of their pregnancy, have no difference in rates of local recurrence, distant metastases and overall survival in comparison to other young women with the disease, as per scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

However, the largest single-institution study to look at pregnant patients with breast cancer finds that women with Pregnancy Associated Breast Cancer (PABC), are more likely to be diagnosed later with advanced stages of the disease and, thus, have necessary therapy delayed.

The findings appear in the March 15 issue of the journal Cancer

"Breast cancer in young women is a highly aggressive disease, and it's important that we study it in hopes of making a difference in terms of therapy," said Beth Beadle, M.D., a radiation oncology resident at M. D. Anderson and the study's first author. "When we looked at our young breast cancer population, a relatively large percentage had disease affiliated with pregnancy. We thought it would be really instructive to review our data to determine how we can best serve these women".

It's estimated that up to 3.8 percent of pregnancies are complicated by breast cancer, and approximately 10 percent of patients with breast cancer under age 40 develop the disease during pregnancy, said the researchers. As the age for first and subsequent pregnancies increases and intersects with advances in imaging and screening, this statistic will only continue to climb, explained George Perkins, M.D., associate professor in M. D. Anderson's Department of Radiation Oncology.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 5, 2009, 6:05 AM CT

Do not count on statins to prevent breast cancer

Do not count on statins to prevent breast cancer
Laboratory work in animals showed limited activity when statins were given to prevent breast cancer, as per a report in the recent issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Statins, sold under brand names like Lipitor and Zocor, are primarily given to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, and prominent heart specialists almost universally agree that their use has changed the landscape.

The use of these drugs in cancer prevention has been more controversial. Results of epidemiology studies, which rely on looking backward rather than forward and thus are subject to confounding factors, have yielded mixed results when examining breast cancer.

Researchers under the auspices of the NCI, including Ronald Lubet, Ph.D., an NCI program director, and Clinton Grubbs, Ph.D., director of the Chemoprevention Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham conducted laboratory work in animals to determine if statins actually prevent both ER-positive and ER-negative breast cancer.

In the current study, researchers tested atorvastatin and lovastatin. "We saw no real efficacy from either statin," said Lubet. "Previous studies have shown some but limited efficacy in breast cancer models when these drugs were given through a method that would be the equivalent of intravenously in humans. However, that is not the way people take statins".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 3, 2009, 6:13 AM CT

PET scan in inflammatory breast cancer

PET scan in inflammatory breast cancer
In the largest study to date to evaluate fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (FDG-PET/CT) in the initial staging of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), scientists were able to identify the precise location and extent of metastasis (spread of disease), offering the potential for a better prognosis for patients with this rare, but aggressive form of breast cancer.

"PET/CT is useful in staging IBC because it provides information on both the primary disease site as well as disease involvement throughout the rest of the body," said Homer A. Macapinlac, MD, chair and professor of nuclear medicine at the University of Texas, M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas. "In addition to detecting the presence of cancer, PET/CT is able to demonstrate the biology of cancer-revealing how aggressive the disease is-which can help physicians develop appropriate treatment approaches."

For the study, reported in the recent issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, scientists reported findings in 41 women between the ages of 25 and 71 with unilateral primary IBC who had originally presented with swelling, some pain and skin changes, such as rash and skin discoloration. A palpable mass was not evident on physical examination in 26 patients (63 percent), which is not unusual in this form of breast cancer, and 90 percent had no symptoms of distant metastasis (disease spread beyond the breast).........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 2, 2009, 6:21 AM CT

Promise for improved breast cancer treatment

Promise for improved breast cancer treatment
As per a research findings published by Nature Biotechnology online on February 1, 2009, Mount Sinai Hospital scientists have unveiled a new technology tool that analyzes breast cancer tumours to determine a patient's best therapy options. The tool can predict with more than 80 per cent accuracy a patient's chance of recovering from breast cancer.

"Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian women," said Dr. Jeff Wrana, Senior Investigator and the Mary Janigan Research Chair in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital, and an International Scholar of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "Our hope with this technology is to eventually provide individualized analysis to patients with breast cancer and their oncologists so that they are better informed and empowered to select a therapy best suited to them."

The technology, called 'DyNeMo' analyzes networks of proteins in cancer cells. Analysis of more than 350 patients observed that those who survive breast cancer have a different organization of the network of proteins within the tumour cells, compared with patients who succumbed to the illness. DyNeMo can be used to predict the outcome in a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient and then assist clinicians and patients in making informed decisions on therapy. The study was led by the Mount Sinai Hospital team and co-authored by scientists at the University of Toronto and London, England's The Institute for Cancer Research.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


February 2, 2009, 6:07 AM CT

Tumor vessel leakiness and chemotherapy outcome

Tumor vessel leakiness and chemotherapy outcome
Chemotherapy is an integral part of modern cancer therapy, but it's not always effective. Successful chemotherapy depends on the ability of anticancer drugs to escape from the bloodstream through the leaky blood vessels that often surround tumors.

Predicting chemotherapy's efficacy could save thousands of individuals from unnecessary toxicity and the often difficult side effects of the therapys.

As per a research findings reported in the recent issue of the journal Radiology, scientists describe a technique for determining the "leakiness" of tumor blood vessels using a simple digital mammography unit. The scientists designed nanometer-sized capsules containing a contrast agent that could only leak into tumors with blood vessels that were growing and therefore leaky. The digital mammography-based quantification of "leakiness" is closely corcorrelation to the ability of a clinically approved chemotherapy agent to enter the tumor, allowing the scientists to predict the agent's therapeutic efficacy.

"We developed a quantitative way to measure the leakiness of the blood vessels, which is directly associated with the amount of drug that gets to the cancer and in turn determines effectiveness," said Ravi Bellamkonda, a professor in the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University. "By simply measuring how much contrast agent reaches the tumor, we can predict how much of a clinically approved chemotherapeutic will reach the tumor, allowing physicians to personalize the dose and predict effectiveness".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 26, 2009, 11:30 PM CT

Not all breast cancers are the same

Not all breast cancers are the same
Dr. Ilan Tsarfaty
Not all breast cancers are the same, and not all will have fatal consequences. But because clinicians find it difficult to accurately determine which tumors will metastasize, a number of patients do not receive the treatment fits their disease.

Tel Aviv University has now refined breast cancer identification so that each course of therapy is as individual as the woman being treated.

The new approach -- based on a combination of MRI and ultrasound -- is able to measure the metabolism rates of cancer cells. The approach helps determine at an earlier stage than ever before which cells are metastasizing, and how they should be treated.

The method, expected to start clinical trials in 2010, is currently being researched in Israel hospitals.

Leading the Way to a New Field of Medicine.

"We have developed a non-intrusive way of studying the metabolism of breast cancer in real time," says Dr. Ilan Tsarfaty, a lead researcher from TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine. "It's an invaluable tool. By the time results are in from a traditional biopsy, the cancer can already be radically different. But using our technique, we can map the tumor and its borders and determine with high levels of certainty - right away - which patients should be treated aggressively".........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 26, 2009, 6:08 AM CT

What causes breast cancer on the other side?

What causes breast cancer on the other side?
HOUSTON - A preventive procedure to remove the unaffected breast in patients with breast cancer with disease in one breast may only be necessary in patients who have high-risk features as assessed by examining the patient's medical history and pathology of the breast cancer, as per scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Their findings, reported in the March 1, 2009 issue of Cancer, may help physicians predict the likelihood of patients developing breast cancer in the opposite breast (contralateral breast cancer), stratify risk and counsel patients on their therapy options.

"Women often consider contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) not because of medical recommendation, but because they fear having their breast cancer return," said Kelly Hunt, M.D., professor in the Department of Surgical Oncology at M. D. Anderson and main author on the study. "Currently it is very difficult to identify which patients are at enough risk to benefit from this aggressive and irreversible procedure. Our goal was to determine what characteristics defined these high-risk patients to better inform future decisions regarding CPM".

As per the researchers, approximately 2.7 percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer choose to have CPM. Recent statistics have shown that the rate of CPM in women with stage I-III breast cancer increased by 150 percent from 1998 to 2003 in the United States. Potential reasons patients with breast cancer choose to undergo CPM include risk reduction, difficult surveillance and reconstructive issues such as symmetry and/or balance.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source


January 15, 2009, 6:55 PM CT

Exercise in post-menopausal women reduces breast cancer risk

Exercise in post-menopausal women reduces breast cancer risk
Several studies had previously suggested that regular physical exercise reduces the breast cancer risk of women. However, it had been unknowned just how much exercise women should take in which period in life in order to benefit from this protective effect. Moreover, little was known about which particular type of breast cancer is influenced by physical activity.

Answers to these questions are now provided by the results of the MARIE study, in which 3,464 patients with breast cancer and 6,657 healthy women between the ages of 50 and 74 years were questioned in order to explore the connections between life style and breast cancer risk. Participants of the study, which was headed by Professor Dr. Jenny Chang-Claude and conducted at the German Cancer Research Center and the University Hospitals of Hamburg-Eppendorf, were questioned about their physical activity during two periods in life: from 30 to 49 years of age and after 50.

A comparison between control subjects and patients with breast cancer showed that women in the control group had been physically more active than patients. The researchers calculated the relative breast cancer risks taking account of the effect of other risk factors. Results show that the risk of developing breast cancer after menopause was lower by about one third in the physically most active MARIE participants in comparison to women who had generally taken little physical exercise.........

Posted by: Janet      Read more         Source



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Breast cancer
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.

Medicineworld.org: Archives of breast-cancer-blog

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