Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer’
I am posting excerpts from Web Md ,a reliable Medical site, some information on Breast Cancer.
Expert recommend removal of Breasts if there is a suspect Gene is present for the chances of being afflicted with cancer are high.
As a layman all I can say is that life is unpredictable and removal of body parts on mere suspicion does not sound great.
If there is 95 percent chance of getting the disease?
My answer is there is 100 % chance of our dying.
Do we commit suicide?
Medicine is an inexact science;you do not know when these people will change their theories.
I would rather take a chance.
Hope she does not get post operative complications.
Actress and activist Angelina Jolie’s recent decision to have a preventive double mastectomy highlights the difficult choices facing women who find out they have a high risk for breast cancer because of their genes.
Although relatively rare, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes raise the risk of breast cancer by as much as 80%, experts say. The mutations also raise the risk of ovarian cancer.
Jolie describes in a New York Times op-ed piece why she decided to go through with the surgery. At 37, the mother of six wants to stay healthy and active for her family — and to reassure them that she is doing everything possible to avoid the disease that took her mother’s life: cancer.
“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy,” Jolie writes. “But it is one that I am very happy I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”….
I think most breast cancer experts would agree that the choice is really the patient’s to make, and I really want to emphasize, it is a choice.
Preventive mastectomy is one very excellent choice. But another choice women can consider when they know they carry a BRCA mutation is early detection. And that comes with more active screening.
If a woman knows she has a BRCA mutation and does not want to have a mastectomy, a good alternative is to have a mammogram and a breast MRI every year.
You can do both at once or choose to alternate. [For my patients] I choose to alternate, doing one test every 6 months.
It’s not as effective because by definition you are picking up cancer as it develops. But it is effective at picking up cancer at a very early stage.
If a woman has a preventive double mastectomy, what are the benefits and risks?
In women at higher risk — those with BRCA mutations — preventive surgery can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 90%. If the [increased] risk is 80% as it is for many BRCA carriers, this can reduce the risk of breast cancer by 90%.
In other words, this can reduce the risk to that lower than the general population. The risks [of the mastectomy] are not that great. Most women having preventive mastectomies are younger patients, and many choose to get reconstruction. A lot of the risk has to do with the implants, like implant complications, or other risks [linked with surgery] such as infections or bleeding.
Who should consider BRCA testing?
The women who should absolutely consider it are those who themselves have had a triple-negative breast cancer, the kind associated with BRCA mutations, at an early age, under 45, people who have had both ovarian and breast cancer in family members, and people who have breast cancer in the family and are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent.
What is involved in testing for BRCA mutations?
It is a simple blood test, or they can swab the inside of your cheek. The best way to get this test is to go for counseling from a genetic counselor. Have them talk to you about the possibility of testing positive. Women really need to be counseled about what this means, what the results mean, what their risk is, and then to make the decision about whether to get the test.
If you only get tested for the three most common mutations, results take about 2 weeks. The more comprehensive test, where they do gene sequencing, can take a month.
There have been suggestions that drinking in moderation is not harmful but in fact good for health.
This information, A Study says is based on ‘plucked out information out of air’
The revised position is..
The best suggestion is ’do not drink,in case you drink,quit’
OFFICIAL alcohol guidelines that were “plucked out of the air” wrongly suggest we can drink almost daily with no ill effects, doctors have said.
They have been set too high and fail to take into account evidence that shows drinking only modest amounts raises the risk of cancer and other diseases, they say.
The current guidelines recommend that men should limit themselves to “three to four units” a day, which the National Health Service likens to “not much more than a pint of strong lager, beer or cider”.
Women should not regularly drink more than “two to three units” a day, equivalent to “no more than a standard 175ml glass of wine”.
Research published last year suggests consumption should be much lower – perhaps only a quarter of a pint of beer daily.
Dr Michael Mosley‘s research for the documentary found the guidelines were based on limited data on the harmful effects of low to moderate level drinking. They were formulated in 1987 by a Royal College of Physicians working party.
“Those limits were really plucked out of the air,” he said. “They were not based on any firm evidence at all.”
Dr Mosley said the British government had “presented these guidelines as if they are about health, but they are not”.
“They are more about behaviour, trying to stop you going out and crashing the car or fighting,” he said.
A Harvard University study, published in the ‘Journal of the American Medical Association‘ in 2011, found that women who drank only four small glasses of wine a week – about five units – increased their risk of developing breast cancer by 15pc compared with non-drinkers.
Another 2011 study estimated that alcohol caused 13,000 cancers a year, including 6,000 of the mouth and throat, 3,000 bowel cancer cases and 2,500 cases of breast cancer.
Women who go through in vitro fertilization (IVF) early in life have a higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who opt for other fertility treatments, according to an Australian study.
“Women who started taking fertility drugs and went through IVF around their 24th birthday had a 56 per cent greater chance of developing breast cancer compared to those in the same age group who went through fertility treatments without IVF.
But there was no increased risk for women who started fertility treatments when they were about 40 years old, regardless of whether they had IVF or not.
The researchers said: ‘For younger women there is some cause for concern, because it appears that they may face an increased risk of breast cancer after IVF treatment.’
The findings were based on a study of more than 21,000 women and published in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
Study author Louise Stewart from the University of Western Australia said younger women might see an increased risk of breast cancer because they are exposed to higher levels of circulating estrogen during their cycles of IVF treatment.
In the UK 45,264 women had IVF treatment in 2010. A third of women under 35 successfully had a child as a result
However, she added: ‘I don’t think it’s a huge increased risk that you should worry or panic (about).’
They were able to piece together enough data to follow the women for some 16 years to see if they developed breast cancer.
Roughly 1.7 per cent of the 13,644 women who only used fertility drugs without IVF ended up developing breast cancer by the end of the study.
That figure was about two percent for women who used fertility drugs and underwent IVF – a difference that researchers said wasn’t statistically significant.
This changed when women were divided into different age groups, with women aged 24 about one-and-a-half times more likely to develop breast cancer if they had IVF alongside other fertility treatments.
However, Stewart said they couldn’t yet say that IVF was causing the increased cancer risk in younger women, as these women could be different in some significant way from those who only have other types of fertility treatment.
‘If for example, younger women who had IVF were more likely to have a specific cause of infertility, and this was related to an increased risk of breast cancer, then it would appear that IVF was related to breast cancer when in fact it was the type of infertility that was more common in women who had IVF,’ she said.
Linda Giudice, president-elect of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, added: ‘The development of breast cancer is linked to estrogen exposure and the longer one is exposed, the greater the risk.
‘In an IVF cycle there is a short, but significant elevation in circulating estrogen, and whether this is linked to the observations found in the study is not clear at this time.’
Cancer, the dreaded six word, is soul wrenching both to the affected and the loved ones.
To be straight, Cancer , at this time of writing ,is very difficult to cure.
Yes, it can be managed as a disease.
More than the physical agony(it is not very easy to say so), the mental agony one goes through is indescribable.
It is to accepted that Cancer has to be faced and managed.
How does one come to terms with it?
Like so many things in Life, nothing is in our control- In the case of Life , we conveniently omit to think about this fact.
Next, when all the measures possible are being taken, there is no point in getting more anxious about the disease.
I may mention the habit of people referring to internet searches to find more about their disease.
Nothing can be more depressing than this.
Please understand the first 10 results of Google need not contain the correct information.
Most of the results are there because of key words and SEO strategies adopted bythe unscrupulous people to get a ‘hit’
Check, if you must, with the guidance of your Doctor.
In Medicine, no final word has been spoken of Cancer(This applies to other diseases as well)
Physicians and Surgeons go through the process of elimination and trust me more often than not, by instinct and gut feeling in diagnosing/operating Cancer.
It is their experience and back ground knowledge that saves you, not the text Books alone.
Trust your doctor.
Once you have chosen your Doctor, follow his advice and stop hunting for further referrals and information.
In the long run, it is counter productive.
As for tests stick to one Lab and have the tests run there.
If a test result is very abnormal, have a second test done by another Lab and leave it to the Doctor to decide.
Follow Diet instructions and have the medicines as prescribed.
In case any discomfort inform the Doctor immediately.
Don’t compare notes with those who are similarly affected.
My observations above are based on personal experience.
You may find the blog filed under Health/Lifestyle.
Now let us hear what the experts in Oncology speak.
“The breast specialist
Tena Walters, 51, consultant, London Breast Clinic
Just this week the papers splashed on another piece of research criticising breast cancer screening, saying that for every woman saved by the procedure, up to 10 have been treated unnecessarily. This sort of coverage is a constant annoyance. The evidence just doesn’t stack up. I’ve worked as a breast surgeon for 16 years, and have been having mammograms myself since I was 44, six years younger than the NHS breast cancer screening programme stipulates. To my mind, it is still the strongest preventative measure one can take, and dealing with the disease on a daily basis means I’m lucid with the statistical risks: one in 250 for 40-year-olds, one in 50 for 47-year-olds and, roughly, a one-in-10 lifetime risk.
I nip down to the radiographer once every year, in a spare five minutes, to get it done. It’s always on my birthday, so I don’t forget. I don’t particularly enjoy it, as it can be awkward exposing yourself, especially to people you work with, but you get over it.
Despite coming into contact with the disease on a daily basis, much of my job is about reassuring women they can be successfully treated – I’m often with them through most of their treatment, from diagnosis to chemotherapy and carrying out surgery. Many clinicians working in the field will tell you to do all things in moderation; I abide by this, but also think moderation itself should be done moderately, too. While I lead a generally healthy lifestyle, I drink a glass of wine three nights a week, even though I know it enhances the risk of contracting the disease. I don’t live my life in a constant state of paranoia.
One of the most vivid memories I have of my training is caring for an 18-year-old boy dying of leukaemia. There was nothing he should or could have done to stop it. It was then that I was struck by how much of life is a lottery.
The tumour specialist
Kairbaan Hodivala-Dilke, 45, professor of angiogenesis, Queen Mary University, London
It’s factor 50 and no less for anyone in my family, and I am obsessive about it. When I see other people’s children charging about in the sun without sunblock on, I think they’re mad. Even if my two are out for less than an hour, I make sure they’re caked in the stuff. My husband is a bluey-skinned, caucasian type – poor him – and absolutely hates wearing it, but when we’re visiting family abroad, I can’t deal with him unless he’s got it slapped on.
At Queen Mary I study how blood vessels grow into cancers. I see the different ways cancer forms and is fed on a daily basis. Of course, I’m viewing it at work, inside a petri dish and through a microscope, but watching it every day makes me acutely aware of any lumps or bumps I see on anyone.
I have known since the age of 14 that I wanted to work in cancer research. My neighbour died of a brain tumour, and seeing the three small children she left behind inspired me to make a change. We’re at the stage now, with certain experiments in my lab, where, at a very basic level, we can control cancer growth. There’s not really a way to describe how exciting the work can be.
A family friend was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and is convinced asparagus juice is going to save her. I am unpersuaded. Working as I do in controlled, rigorous research, the constant flow of reports I see presenting new prevention methods, is something I take with a pinch of salt.
The advice I constantly give to friends and family is that if you notice anything untoward, seek expert opinions as quickly as possible.
I wake early, about 6am, come downstairs, tend to our three young children, then pop my daily low-dose aspirin, doing it on an empty stomach (which isn’t recommended, of course), as I don’t take breakfast. It has been a routine since my research into the effects of aspirin on cancer prevention really started getting interesting, around three years ago.
We had already shown, in 2007, that taking a high-dose aspirin on a daily basis for about five years reduced the long-term risk of contracting colon cancer by about 50%, but around 2009 we began to show that a low-dose pill had the same effect, as well as significantly reducing the chance of other cancers, including oesophageal.
Most of my research is clinical, but the aspirin work has been mainly paper-based, and over the years I’ve trawled the archives of many old trials from the 1980s onwards that looked at the effect of a daily aspirin on the risk of stroke and heart attack. We spent hundreds of hours looking through thousands of dusty case notes, extracting information on cancers. It’s a lengthy process, and has also required us to trace what happened to participants after the trials finished, to see if they developed cancer subsequently.
Ironically, it has probably not helped my own health, as I conducted the work outside my day job, in spare evenings and weekends, without any funding, and completely stopped exercising because of it.
Having access to the information on people’s struggles against cancer has been a great privilege. One of the trials we studied was Sir Richard Doll‘s British Doctors Trial, where all participants were clinicians themselves, and several were researchers I had admired and revered over the years. It’s so important for researchers who advise the public to participate in research or to adopt a particular lifestyle to be willing to do the same themselves. If we don’t practise what we preach, we lose a degree of our credibility.
The prostate specialist
Jonathan Waxman, 49, professor of oncology, Imperial College London and Hammersmith hospital
There are established studies that argue vegetarians are 50% less likely to contract certain common cancers than carnivores. Having flirted with vegetarianism at various stages of my life, I eventually gave up 15 years ago – nothing is better than a well-roasted chicken.
I am an oncologist specialising in prostate cancer, and in the early 1980s discovered a pioneering form of medical treatment for the disease, which until then was treated with surgical castration to cut hormone production. It is said a Mediterranean-style diet can be an important preventative tool against cancer of the prostate – eating lots of processed tomato products and olive oil. I do both, predominantly for their taste, and keep a keen eye on my weight.
It is my emotional lifestyle that has changed enormously as a result of working with cancer. Witnessing the effects of such a destructive disease over such a long period has meant locking your emotions away in a freezer, hardly being able to feel any more. I lost my father to cancer, and it was only years later that I came to terms with it. Letting my emotional guard down while discussing it with friends, it finally hit me. Before, I had simply glossed over the pain of my loss.
Cancer is at the forefront of my mind all the time, not simply because of work, but because I fear contracting it. In that respect, it influences my consumption of the things around me. I’m no profligate, so it means appreciating the day, sniffing the air, enjoying the sunshine, treasuring the moment. I love what is around me more as a result of this most deadly disease.
The colorectal specialist
Robert Steele, 60, professor of surgery, Ninewells hospital, University of Dundee
Over the decades spent working in oncology I’ve made a number of changes to my life. I gave up smoking as a junior doctor while working on a respiratory ward and seeing so many lung cancer patients, I started taking vitamin D tablets after reading research linking a deficiency (of which there is much in Scotland due to the lack of sunlight) to certain types of cancer, and have always watched my weight.
These have all been relatively painless. But in 2007, after attending the launch of the most compelling research I have read into lifestyle choices and cancer, I decided to temper my intake of red meat. As director of the Scottish colorectal cancer screening programme, I was aware of the links between excessive red and cured meat consumption with this and other forms of cancer, yet I still ate one meal a day that contained it.
I’m now down to about twice a week, and have almost completely cut out cured meat. Reneging on bacon rolls has been difficult, but I know that twice a year – new year’s day and my birthday – my wife, herself a nutritionist, will cook me them as a treat. It’s something to look forward to, at least.
Seeing and operating on colorectal cancers regularly is a powerful stimulus – they don’t look pretty at all. But I’m not in the business of telling people certain things should be banned completely. Nor am I one to dismiss leftfield practices outright. As well as surgery and screening, I have research interests in prevention, and have seen projects on all manner of quirky methods. If people wish to use homeopathic medicine in an attempt to prevent cancer, despite there being no medical evidence for its success or any active component whatsoever, the placebo effect itself may be strong.
The lung specialist
Adam Dangoor, 42 medical oncologist, University Hospital Bristol
A while ago I was approached by a teenager outside our local grocery shop. She asked me to buy her some fags, and I had to tell her she’d asked the wrong person. I am a medical oncologist specialising in the treatment of lung cancer; seeing people smoking as young as that is a constant frustration.
Of the lung-cancer patients I deal with, around 90% of them are smokers. Fortunately, I have never taken it up. My mother was a nurse, and when you start your medical training, as a teenager in my case, meeting patients with serious illnesses, it makes you consider your own mortality and think twice about engaging in risky habits.
I recall sharing a flat with smokers a few years back, and was amused at the contradictions in their lifestyles: I’d see one go out and enjoy a heavy night of social smoking and then wake up the next morning and eat a bio-yogurt for the health benefits he thought it would provide. Going out with them could be uncomfortable; before the smoking ban, I’d sit in pubs and sometimes have to leave early as their smoke stung my eyes.
On occasion, I’ll have to tell three or four people in a day they’ve got months to live. It’s a difficult part of the job. I try not to take my work home with me or let it affect me too much, but to really empathise with your patients you have to try to see things through their eyes. If I treat someone close to my age with young children, like me, it’s hard not to think about it later.
It’s not uncommon to have patients approach me, clutching the latest Daily Express front cover, demanding treatment they’ve seen reported in the tabloids. It can be difficult to explain there’s not yet sufficient evidence for offering it – and in some cases no evidence at all.”
Thanks to The Guardian.
You may read some of my Blogs under ‘Health’
- 6 Ways to Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk (everydayhealth.com)
Cancer is Unisex.
It does not differentiate between men and women.
Nature has endowed species with both characteristics of male and female in a every single body in every organism.
Example of the male part being present in the Female is the presence of Clitoris which corresponds to the
Any disease that affects one sex is also likely to affect the other sex.
“When Mark Doel first noticed spots of blood on his bedsheets, he was not unduly concerned.
Even when a work colleague pointed out that he had a couple of specks on his shirt, the keen badminton player assumed it was dry skin or that he was rubbing against his shirt during sport.
After several months, he visited his GP, who agreed it was probably a skin condition and prescribed cream to help.
In fact, Mark had breast cancer.
‘I had no idea men could get this,’ says Mark, 41, an IT analyst who lives with his wife Despo, also 41, and children Christian, ten, and Chloe, seven, in Morden, Surrey.
‘There was a huge embarrassment factor. It took a while for me to be able to talk about it to anyone.
‘If it had been lung or brain cancer, I could have been more open about it. But there’s a stigma that breast cancer is for women. When I told work I was ill, I couldn’t say the words “breast cancer”, I could only say: “I have cancer in my chest.” “
Men possess a small amount of nonfunctioning breast tissue (breast tissue that cannot produce milk) that is concentrated in the area directly behind the nipple on the chest wall. Like breast cancer in women, cancer of the male breast is the uncontrolled growth of the abnormal cells of this breast tissue.
Breast tissue in both young boys and girls consists of tubular structures known as ducts. Atpuberty, a girl’s ovaries produce female hormones (estrogen) that cause the ducts to grow and milk glands (lobules) to develop at the ends of the ducts. The amount of fat and connective tissue in the breast also increases as girls reach puberty. On the other hand, male hormones (such as testosterone) secreted by the testes suppress the growth of breast tissue and the development of lobules. The male breast, therefore, is made up of predominantly small, undeveloped ducts and a small amount of fat and connective tissue…..
Male breast cancer is a rare condition, accounting for only about 1% of all breast cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2010, about 1,970 new cases of breast cancer in men would be diagnosed and that breast cancer would cause approximately 390 deaths in men (in comparison, almost 40,000 women die of breast cancer each year). Breast cancer is 100 times more common in women than in men. Most cases of male breast cancer are detected in men between the ages of 60 and 70, although the condition can develop in men of any age. A man’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about 1/10 of 1%, or one in 1,000.
As with cancer of the female breast, the cause of cancer of the male breast has not been fully characterized, but both environmental influences and genetic (inherited) factors likely play a role in its development. The following risk factors for the development of male breast cancer have been identified.
Exposure to ionizing radiation has been associated with an increased risk of developing male breast cancer. Men who have previously undergoneradiation therapy to treat malignancies in the chest area (for example,Hodgkin’s lymphoma) have an increased risk for the development of breast cancer.
Hyperestrogenism (high levels of estrogen)
Men normally produce small amounts of the female hormone estrogen, but certain conditions result in abnormally high levels of estrogen in men. The term gynecomastia refers to the condition in which the male breasts become abnormally enlarged in response to elevated levels of estrogen. High levels of estrogens also can increase the risk for development of male breast cancer. The majority of breast cancers in men are estrogen receptor-positive (meaning that they grow in response to stimulation with estrogen). Two conditions in which men have abnormally high levels of estrogen that are commonly associated with breast enlargement are Klinefelter’s syndrome and cirrhosis of the liver. Obesity is also associated with elevated estrogen levels and breast enlargement in men…
the American Cancer Society identifies several other worrisome signs involving the breast that men as well as women should take note of. They include:
- Skin dimpling or puckering
- Nipple retraction
- Redness or scaling of the nipple or breast skin
Most men diagnosed with breast cancer are initially treated by surgery. A modified radical mastectomy (removal of the breast, lining over the chest muscles, and portions of the axillary lymph nodes) is the most common surgical treatment of male breast cancer. Sometimes portions of the muscles of the chest wall are also removed.
After surgery, adjuvant therapies are often prescribed. These are recommended especially if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes (node-positive cancer). Adjuvant therapies include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, targeted therapy, andhormone therapy. In cases of metastatic cancer, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, or a combination of both, are generally recommended.
Chemotherapy refers to the administration of toxic drugs that stop the growth of cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be given as pills, as an injection, or via an intravenous infusion, depending upon the types of drugs chosen. Combinations of different drugs are usually given, and treatment is administered in cycles with a recovery period following each treatment. Some of the most common chemotherapeutic agents for treating breast cancer are cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan), methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall), fluorouracil, and doxorubicin (Adriamycin). In most cases, chemotherapy is administered on an outpatient basis. Chemotherapy may be associated with unpleasant side effects including hair loss, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill tumor cells. Radiation therapy may be delivered either externally (using a machine to send radiation toward the tumor) or internally (radioactive substances placed in needles or catheters and inserted into the body).
Hormonal therapy prevents hormones from stimulating growth of cancer cells and is useful when the cancer cells have binding sites (receptors) for hormones. Over 90% of male breast cancers express estrogen receptors and are most commonly treated with the drug tamoxifen (Nolvadex), which blocks the action of estrogen on the cancer cells. Side effects of tamoxifen treatment can include hot flashes, weight gain, mood changes, andimpotence.
While estrogen is the most common target of hormonal therapy, studies have also shown that treatments directed against the actions of male hormones (anti-androgens) can also reduce the size of male breast cancer metastases. The reasons why anti-androgens are effective in widespread disease are not fully understood. Orchiectomy (removal of the testes) was formerly performed to lower androgen levels, but newer nonsurgical methods are currently favored. Drugs known as luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) analogs affect the pituitary gland and result in lowered production of male hormones by the testes.
Targeted therapy involves agents that are designed to specifically target one of the cancer-specific changes in cells. An example of targeted therapy is trastuzumab (Herceptin), a monoclonal antibody that blocks the activity the protein known as HER-2-neu that is made by some breast cancers. This treatment is only used in breast cancers whose cells express the HER-2-neu protein and is given intravenously. Trastuzumab has been shown to be effective in women with breast cancer but has not been extensively tested in men with breast cancer. Similarly, lapatinib (Tykerb) is a drug taken in pill form that also targets the HER2/neu protein. It is used in combination with other agents to treat HER2-positive breast cancer that is no longer responsive to trastuzumab.
The information provided is to familiarize people on the subject.
Consult your Physician(GP) for professional advice.
- Five Facts on Breast Cancer in Honor of National Mammography Day (indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com)