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March 23, 2006, 7:24 AM CT

Avastin And Taxol For Breast Cancer

Avastin And Taxol For Breast Cancer
Avastin, and anti-angiogenesis drug is now showing promise in the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer. A new research led by Dr Robin Zon, of Michiana Hematology-Oncology, PC in South Bend, Indiana has shown that combining Avastin with Taxol improves outcome in patients with metastatic breast cancer. The study has shown that a combination of Avastin and Taxol is more effective in prevention of progression of breast cancer compared to using Taxol alone.

Avastin is an anti-angiogenesis drug that works by blocking the formation of new blood vessels by the growing cancer cells. Some claim that the combination of chemotherapy and Avastin works better by facilitating chemotherapy delivery to the cancer cells.

This new research studied effectiveness of Avastin in combination with Taxol. The study enrolled in total of 722 patients with advanced breast cancer. The study found that combination of Avastin and Taxol was capable of keeping the cancer stable for a period of 11.4 months in women who received the drug combo compared to 6.11 months in patients who had only been given Taxol.

Researchers say that this presents yet another option for patients with advanced breast cancer. "These results are good news for people with breast cancer," said Zon who presented the results of the trial sponsored by the U.S. National Cancer Institute at the 5th European Breast Cancer Conference in Nice, France.........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink

March 22, 2006, 11:26 PM CT

Emotional Benefits From Online Support Groups

Emotional Benefits From Online Support Groups
Women with breast cancer who participate in computer support groups can obtain emotional benefits when they openly express themselves in ways that help them make sense of their cancer experience, as per a new study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center of Excellence in Cancer Communications Research (CECCR).

"Even though there are a number of women with breast cancer participating in online support groups, this is among the first research studies to demonstrate measurable benefits from participation in such groups," says Bret Shaw, lead author of the study, funded by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

The analysis was conducted on message transcripts from 66 breast cancer patients participating in an online support group member that was integrated with the "Living with Breast Cancer" program, a computer-based health education and support system. The patients were recruited from Madison, Chicago and Indianapolis.

Text messages within the computer-mediated support groups were analyzed using a text analysis program, which measured the percentage of words that were suggestive of learning or understanding (e.g., aware, feels, know, realize, see, think and understand). A higher percentage of these insightful words were associated with improved emotional well-being and reduced negative mood in follow-up surveys.........

Posted by: Janet      Permalink         Source

March 22, 2006, 7:21 AM CT

Follow-up Of Breast Cancer Survivors

Follow-up Of Breast Cancer Survivors
What is the best way of follow-up breast cancers survivors that would help an early detection of breast cancer recurrence? Research indicates that breast cancer survivors receive better care if they get follow-ups by two physicians, their own family doctor and an oncologist. This is better than seeing just one physician.

Prior studies have indicated that up to one third of women who survive breast cancer do not get follow-up mammograms. Breast cancer survivors would have a better chance of getting mammograms and early detection of breast cancer recurrence if two physicians handle the care.

Scientists found that the best approach for delivering care for breast cancer survivors remains unclear. They tracked mammography use among survivors followed by primary-care physicians, cancer specialists or both. The study lasted for three years and involved more than 3,800 women, age 66 or older, who'd been treated for breast cancer.

One third of these women received shared oncologist/generalist doctor care. The study found that, that group who had two physicians overlooking the care experienced higher mammography (84 percent) than breast cancer survivors cared for by a specialist or generalist alone (76 percent).........

Posted by: Sherin      Permalink

March 21, 2006

Breast Cancer Outcome Among Ethnic Groups

Breast Cancer Outcome Among Ethnic Groups
According to a new study, African American women are more likely to die from breast cancer and minorities in general do not receive the best treatment for the disease compared to white women.

This study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, highlights the issues involved with racial and socioeconomic aspects of breast cancer. The study has found and even after adjusting for socioeconomic differences, African-American are 20 percent more likely than white women to die of breast cancer.

A second study found that women in minority groups, including Hispanics, are half as likely to get complete follow-up treatment for the disease.

"Even after controlling for socioeconomic status and disease stage, African American women were 19 percent more likely to die from breast caner than white women," said Lisa Newman, Director of the Breast Care Center at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor who led the research.

The second study, conducted at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, found that minority women with early-stage breast cancer had double the risk of white women of failing to receive radiation, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy following breast cancer surgery.

The likelihood of not getting proper follow-up treatment among whites was 16 percent, much lower than the 23 percent for Hispanics and 34 percent among blacks.

Researchers found that women from minority groups were indeed more likely to have other illnesses and had less insurance than white women, suggesting that these factors could influence a physician's decision to prescribe treatment and a patient's ability to actually receive treatment.

Sherin      Permalink

March 17, 2006

Detecting Breast Cancer Early

Detecting Breast Cancer Early
Detecting small amounts of proteins in the blood is very important in the diagnosis of many diseases including breast cancer. Now researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have developed a revolutionary new technique for detecting small amounts of proteins in the blood. This technique is expected to improve accuracy of many tests including blood tests aimed at early detection of breast cancer.

This technique may also help in the detection of other diseases such as, Alzheimer's disease, prion diseases, and possibly psychiatric diseases, since protein detection using this technique relatively easy and more accurate compared with the current methodology, including the widely used ELISA (enzyme-linked immunoadsorbent assay).

The new method is called FACTT, short for Florescent Amplification Catalyzed by T7-polymerase Technique. This technique is 100,000 times more sensitive than the usually ELISA.

"The current ELISA tests can only detect proteins when they are in high abundance," says Zhang. "But the problem is that many of the functional proteins - those that have a role in determining your health - exist in very low amounts until diseases are apparent and cannot be detected or measured at early stages of medical pathology. It was important to develop a technique that can detect these rare molecules to detect abnormalities at an early stage."

Sherin      Permalink

March 13, 2006

3,000 Miles For Breast Cancer Awareness

3,000 Miles For Breast Cancer Awareness
Denise Purdue and 23 other women are looking forward to a long journey in their effort to make awareness for breast cancer. They have started their journey on March 10, from San Diego, Calif. their journey would last 58 days and are planning to cycle cross-country 3,098 miles to St. Augustine, Fla. This is part of Woman Tours 2006 Cycle for Life, which is an effort to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer. The group does not expect this to be an easy task, but they are looking ahead with courage and enthusiasm to the rest of the journey.

"I am bound and determined to ride every mile of this ride," said Purdue from her home at Entrada before starting the journey.

For Purdue, simply signing on for the ride gave her new perspective.
"I've been really stunned at the number of people who are experiencing this," she said.

Purdue has personal experience with breast cancer. Her own mother was a cancer victim and her great aunt died of the disease.

"I actually had a scare during a yearly mammogram," she said. Though test results were negative, Purdue still found the experience frightening.

Purdue's anticipating several portions of the trek; meeting her husband on the other side of the continental divide and seeing the whole family at the tours end on the beach in St. Augustine.

But the ride will also bring personal satisfaction too for a woman who's spent years running a business and a family.

"There's just this feeling of freedom and movement when you're on a bike. It's probably the only time in your life where you can spend an extended amount of time where you don't have to worry about anyone but you - which will be interesting for me," said Purdue. Read

Sherin      Permalink

March 10, 2006

How Landmines Are Related To Breast Cancer?

How Landmines Are Related To Breast Cancer?
[imgl]/images/blog/landmine-452370.jpg[/imgl]You might be wondering what in world landmines have to do with breast cancer. I am going to tell you today do today how the technique of landmine detection could be used in breast cancer detection.

This is a radical new idea to screen for breast cancer and uses microwave radar technology to detect early breast cancer. Researchers are hoping that this would save thousands of lives.

It's all happening in UK. Bristol-based Micrima Ltd, a spin-out from Bristol University, has received a £150,000 investment from NESTA (the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) to help the company develop this innovative technology. This is part of a funding round worth £475,000 with co-investment from private investors and Sulis, the University Challenge Fund managed by Quester.

As you all know, at this mammography remains the main screening technique for breast cancer worldwide. Each year 1.5 million women are screened for breast cancer in the UK. Mammography is best suitable for women over 50 when breast tissue is less fibrous. The new method involves no radiation but instead uses a radar technology and is suitable for screening younger women. This new technique absolutely has no health risks.

Micrima's microwave radar technology is poised to revolutionize breast screening as it can offer a quick method of imaging which may help avoid unnecessary and expensive biopsies.

The company's innovative technology was originally developed for detecting buried landmines. The similarities between mine detection and breast screening are striking. Both involve the discovery of a discrete object whose electrical properties are different from the surrounding medium. At microwave frequencies, tumors contrast well with normal breast tissue.

Sherin      Permalink

March 7, 2006

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Fundraiser

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Fundraiser
The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation is hosting a fundraiser to raise awareness and funds for the Research and Treatment of Breast Cancer. Severn Lodge has been officially chosen as the location for the event, which is called "Getaway for the Cure". This event would provide participants with the unique opportunity to have a fun-filled weekend at one of Ontario's upscale premier waterfront resorts while helping Fight against Breast Cancer.

The "Getaway for the Cure" weekend has been scheduled for June 2nd to 4th, 2006, and has a number of renowned guest speakers who are involved in Cancer Research and care. This weekend is expected to have a mix of breast cancer awareness programs and a chance for supporters to have some fun.

This is the second annual Cure Weekend for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation and would consist of a series of fundraisers and activities including raffles, company donations, and Breast Cancer Bracelets. In addition, a portion of each reservation package goes towards the Fight against Breast Cancer.

Festivities include a Muskoka beach party, nightly entertainment, spa sessions, wine tasting, boat cruises, sea plane rides, hand writing analysis, belly dancing, horseback riding, and hiking. Renowned guest speakers Bryan Farnum and Dr. Alvin Pettle will be making presentations at the event.

Severn Lodge is one of the few remaining classic Muskoka Resorts in Ontario. The lodge has all the modern conveniences and upscale accommodations that the wealthy enjoy during the summer months, while still maintaining the ambiance and history of Muskoka.

For more information:
Or call 1 800 461 5817
There are a variety of packages available starting at $299 per person, including two nights accommodation with two breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 2 dinners. Attendees are asked to each sell a minimum of $100 in raffle tickets and $20 in Pink Cancer Bracelets to help generate Funding for Breast Cancer Research.

Sherin      Permalink

March 6, 2006

Screening May Result In Over-diagnosis Of Breast Cancer

Screening May Result In Over-diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
British medical Journal reports that screening of breast cancer is associated with significant false positivity. Screening may result in 10% rate of false positivity and overdiagnosis, as per this study.

The authors say that most discussions of breast cancer screening are around the benefits of breast cancer screening in terms of reduced deaths, but more discussion is also needed around this negative side effect of breast cancer Screening.

These researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing data from a large breast screening trial conducted in Sweden between 1976 and 1986. The researchers defined over-diagnosis as cases that would never have come to clinical attention without screening.

They followed clinical trial participants until December 2001, 15 years after the trial ended using national registries to track survival and detection of breast cancer.

Fifteen years after the end of the trial, the rate of over-diagnosis of breast cancer was 10% in women randomized to screening at age 55-69 years compared with an unscreened control group.

Although earlier studies on over-diagnosis have shown rates of up to 54%, a recent study suggests a much lower rate of 1%. But none of these studies were based on direct observations, like the present one, say the authors.

"It is widely agreed that screening using mammography can reduce mortality in breast cancer. The rate of over-diagnosis is another issue to be considered in the ongoing discussion about clinical and public health implications of breast cancer screening," they conclude.

In an editorial BMJ discusses the UK breast-screening program and concludes that, despite the fact that breast screening is far from perfect, it does save lives and should be continued.

Sherin      Permalink

March 2, 2006

Treating Breast Cancer With Heat

Treating Breast Cancer With Heat
The term hyperthermia is used in the medical literature to indicate a state of higher temperature compared to the normal body temperature. Previous research has evaluated the effectiveness of hyperthermia in the treatment of cancer. It has been shown that hyperthermia may make radiation therapy more effective. However previous clinical trials only yielded mixed results. The major hurdle in using hyperthermia for the treatment of cancer have been the difficulty in providing high enough temperature for the tumor without closing undue adverse effects for the rest of the body. Improvement in technology has made it possible to provide hyperthermia locally without causing significant damage to the rest of the body.

Duke University has recently conducted a study in which the effectiveness of hyperthermia in combination with radiation has been tested. In this trial 21 woman with locally advanced breast cancer were treated with a combination of radiation therapy and hyperthermia. The hyperthermia was delivered using a special pool of water warmed by heat waves.

Most of the woman who had combination of radiation therapy and hyperthermia had significant reduction in the size of their tumor. At least some women tumor decreased to such an extent that a lumpectomy was possible. And the surprising fact was that women who had combination of heat therapy and radiation therapy in fact actually experienced lesser side effects than that would be expected with the standard radiation therapy alone.

Sherin      Permalink

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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. Archives of breast-cancer-blog

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