Posts Tagged ‘medical’

New Treatment Better Controls Growth in Advanced HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Posted By on July 18th, 2012 at 9:57 am | 0 comments.

A recent study showed that trastuzumab emtansine (T-DM1), a new treatment for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, worked better to control the cancer growth than the current standard treatment of chemotherapy with capecitabine (Xeloda) and lapatinib (Tykerb). HER2-positive means that the breast cancer has too much of a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2).

T-DM1, the new drug found to be more effective in controlling the cancer growth, is a combination of a drug that targets HER2 and one that is similar to chemotherapy. The study of nearly 1,000 patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer showed that cancer worsened three months later in patients receiving T-DM1 than in patients receiving the standard therapy. In addition, T-DM1 has few side effects, namely low levels of platelets and signs of liver function problems. These side effects went away with a break in treatment.

More information on the study can be found here.

The Healing Benefits of Yoga to Breast Cancer Patients & Survivors

Posted By on May 15th, 2012 at 11:23 am | 13 comments.

Two studies published earlier this year suggest that yoga can be beneficial to women with breast cancer. One study focused on the impact yoga can have on pain relief and side effect relief for postmenopausal breast cancer survivors experiencing aromatase inhibitor-associated joint pain. Another study centered on the impact of yoga upon cognition and quality of life for women with early stage breast cancer treated with chemotherapy.

The first study centering on survivors with joint pain was a qualitative study where participants took part in an eight-week yoga program, which served both as physical activity and a support group. Participants kept a journal of their experience and received weekly phone calls to uncover emergent themes centering on empowerment, pain relief, increased physical fitness, and stress and anxiety relief.

The second study focused on the benefits of yoga on the cognition and quality of life of women undergoing chemotherapy. It followed women with early stage breast cancer who participated in a yoga program twice a week for 12 weeks. Following the completion of the study, participants completed qualitative questionnaires to determine what benefits and challenges they perceived.

Both studies require further investigation to determine the exact nature of benefits that yoga can provide breast cancer survivors in terms of improving overall quality of life. However, whatever the outcomes of further studies, many breast cancer survivors have expressed anecdotal evidence to suggest that yoga has benefited them.

2012 Conference Scholarships & Sponsorships Available; Registration Open

Posted By on May 15th, 2012 at 11:19 am | 38 comments.

We need YOU! We’re looking for businesses and other organizations to support the 2012 Conference, a premiere event for the breast cancer community. There are a number of ways that you can come on board to make the 2012 event the best yet! Online registration is now open! Visit pbcc.me/Conference to save your spot for the Tuesday, October 9th conference. Use promo code EARLY to save $20 off your registration!

This year, you have two options for registering for the Conference. You may simply register and attend the inspiring event in October. OR you can register and raise awareness of the PA Breast Cancer Coalition through online fundraising. If you fundraise $75, you will receive a FREE pink PBCC umbrella. If you fundraise $150, you will receive a FREE pink PBCC umbrella and an exclusive PBCC totebag. *Please note: in order to receive the free products, you must raise $75 or $150 in addition to being registered for the Conference at the registration rate. If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Smith at Info@PABreastCancer.org or 800-377-8828 x109.

Scholarship applications for the Cary Massa Memorial Scholarship Fund are also available online now. These scholarships cover all or part of the Conference registration cost and are available through the generosity of many donors. Separate travel grants are also available to those who meet certain criteria.

Register and save the date for the 2012 Conference! And be sure to share this exciting opportunity with your friends on Facebook or Twitter. We will see you in Harrisburg on October 9th!

Cambridge Study Could Lead to Tailored Treatment

Posted By on May 15th, 2012 at 10:32 am | 18 comments.

Using data gathered through analysis of the genetic makeup of a tumor, a new study could lead to tailored treatment for those battling breast cancer. This groundbreaking study would reclassify the disease into 10 new categories or subtypes, giving doctors information to make better treatment recommendations and helping patients avoid unnecessary treatment. This is exciting news for the PBCC and all those we serve, as it could revolutionize treatment of breast cancer and give many women better outcomes with fewer side effects.

The Cambridge study, which is the largest genetic study of breast cancer to date, has been heralded as a step toward individualizing treatment for patients, allowing many to avoid treatment that would be less likely to benefit them. The next step in the process is establishing clinical trials. Within three to five years, doctors may be able to start development of more accurate diagnostic tests.

The PBCC is impressed with the results of the study and encouraged that tailored, more individualized breast cancer therapy may become a reality but, of course, clinical trials must be conducted first.

Breast Cancer Risks Associated With Lynch Syndrome

Posted By on April 13th, 2012 at 9:01 am | 30 comments.

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on cancer risks associated with Lynch syndrome yielded some unexpected results about increased risk of breast cancer. Lynch syndrome, an inherited condition, is caused by mutations in particular genes that are involved in repairing DNA damage, and had previously been linked to increased risk of colon, uterus, ovary, kidney, stomach, and bladder cancer. This study showed a significant increase in breast and pancreatic cancer as well.

Findings after five years showed that individuals with Lynch syndrome had a four-fold greater risk of developing breast cancer than those in the general population. The study also showed those with Lynch syndrome had a tendency to be diagnosed with these cancers at an earlier age than those diagnosed with these cancers in the general population. The findings on breast cancer suggest a need for further study to determine the optimal age for mammography for patients with Lynch syndrome and whether other tests such as breast MRI should be recommended.

Online Free Treatment Course Now Available!

Posted By on April 13th, 2012 at 8:58 am | 35 comments.

Since the launch of the PBCC’s online course on Pennsylvania’s FREE Treatment for Breast and Cervical Cancer program on March 7, more than 110 people have learned how to help uninsured and underinsured women get the treatment and care they need to fight a breast cancer diagnosis. You too can take the course and learn how this program saves lives! The free online course is open to all and the continuing education credits for nurses and social workers are free.

Here is some of the feedback the PBCC has received from those who took the online course:

“This was exceptional!! Thanks so much for providing this valuable info – I hope many people take advantage of the learning opportunity.”

“Thank you so much for offering this course. I am currently enrolled in the program and quite honestly it has been a true lifesaver. I would hate to think where I would be if this program did not exist. I wanted to learn more about the program so I could educate others.”

“I found this course to be very helpful. I work as an ER social worker and occasionally have women – especially young women with families – who would qualify for this program.”

Breast Cancer Remains Leading Diagnosed Cancer Among Women

Posted By on March 16th, 2012 at 9:01 am | 33 comments.

by Barbara Good, Ph.D.

Each year the journal CA, A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, provides an analysis of cancer statistics for all cancers.  Breast cancer continues to be the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. This initial report shows that the cancer burden continues to increase worldwide, attributable in part to the fact that people now live longer than in past generations.

In the US, cancer incidence has been stable for men and has been declining in women by 0.6% yearly since 1998.

In the United States for 2011, breast cancer accounts for about 30% of diagnosed cases and 15% of cancer deaths. Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates for both incidence and death from breast cancer in the US.

A follow-up report, issued later in the year, details statistics for the United States. For the complete US report, go to: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.20121/pdf

Avastin May Have Role in Early Breast Cancer Treatment

Posted By on February 17th, 2012 at 9:00 am | 42 comments.

by Barbara C. Good, PhD

When government approval for the drug AvastinTM  (bevacizumab) was revoked for the treatment of advanced breast cancer last November, there were protests from women who had received it and were convinced the drug helped lessen their disease or even kept them alive.  Now two studies, one from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) in Pittsburgh and the other from the University of Frankfurt, Germany, have demonstrated that this drug may have a role to play in the treatment of early-stage breast cancer.

Avastin in these studies was used before surgery in women whose disease had not spread.  In both studies, the women who received it had lower rates of cancer once surgery was performed.  The side effects of this drug can be serious, and additional studies are continuing to see if these results hold up.  Tissue samples from these studies are also being examined to determine if women whose tumors contain particular genetic characteristics may respond more successfully to the drug.

For additional information about these studies, click here.

Abstracts of the studies as they appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine can be found here and here.