Thursday, January 31, 2013

Check-out these CBS News reports about cancer: Consumer Reports disses cancer screening and statistically, lumpectomy just as or more effective than mastectomy. Click-on headline links below to access video clips:

Most cancer tests should be avoided: Consumer Reports

A new study by Consumer Reports on cancer tests reveals that most should be avoided. Dr. John Santa, of Consumer Reports, discusses the new study with the "CBS This Morning" co-hosts.

Lumpectomy tops mastectomy in cancer treatment study

A study in the journal "Cancer" has found that women are 14 percent less likely to die from breast cancer after undergoing a lumpectomy followed by radiation treatment than after a mastectomy. Dr. Jon LaPook reports.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Exciting advance in breast cancer testing could help save lives

This is BIG NEWS!  If docs could predict which patients are most likely to relapse and when, lives could be extended and saved.  Check-out this article in Medical News Today:

Breast Cancer Recurrence Predictable With Blood Test

Using a DNA marker that can be obtained via a blood test, researchers in Canada were able accurately to predict which women were more likely to see a recurrence of their breast cancer years later. Although more studies are needed to confirm their findings, they suggest they could complement current prognosis approaches based on tumor assessment.

Sambasivarao Damaraju, a professor with the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at Canada's University of Alberta, and colleagues, write about their findings in the 16 January issue of the open access online journal PLoS ONE.

Current Prognoses Methods Based on Tumor Assessment

Damaraju says in a statement that while some breast cancer patients receive an excellent prognosis, the cancer still comes back. And other patients remain cancer free, even though they receive a poor prognosis.

This is because, as he and his colleagues note in their study background, current breast cancer recurrence prognoses use tumor-based assessments, which they describe as "not optimal determinants" of the risk of breast cancer recurrence.

For their study, Damaraju and colleagues focused on good prognosis breast cancer: that which has a high success rate in terms of initial recovery and treatment. Around 70% of breast cancers fall into this category.

But, although initial treatment succeeds, there are still substantial deaths due to cancer spread in this group. Damaraju and colleagues suggest this is because so many receive a good prognosis.

DNA Marker Combined with Tumor-Based Markers Would Improve Accuracy of Diagnoses

Damaraju says the accuracy of tumor-based markers could be improved if combined with their DNA marker method, which can be assessed from a simple blood test.

Currently, treatment options are based on what doctors find about the tumor: such as the size, grade and what markers are present or not in the tissue.

But Damaraju says:

"If we can accurately predict which women are at high risk of breast cancer recurrence, it gives the physicians and oncologists treating those women time to design a more aggressive therapy in hopes of preventing the cancer from coming back."

"Treatment strategies could be tailor made for these women based on their genetic make-up and how susceptible it makes them to breast cancer recurrence," he adds...

Read more by clicking-on this link:

Progress!  Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat