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Category: Breast Health

 

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New Tool Helps Predict Risk of Severe Chemotherapy Side Effects in Older People With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

By combining eight factors, a new tool called the Cancer and Aging Research Group-Breast Cancer score, or CARG-BC score for short, helps predict whether older people diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer will have serious side effects from chemotherapy. The research was published online on Jan. 14, 2021, by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read the…
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Breast Cancer Index Test

The Breast Cancer Index test, made by Biotheranostics, analyzes the activity of seven genes to help predict the risk of node-negative, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer coming back 5 to 10 years after diagnosis. The test can help women and their doctors decide if extending hormonal therapy 5 more years (for a total of 10 years of…
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Most Women Satisfied With Choice to Go Flat After Mastectomy, but Choice Not Supported by Many Surgeons

Nearly 75% of women surveyed who opted for no breast reconstruction after mastectomy were satisfied with the results, but almost 25% said their decision to go flat was not supported by their surgeons, according to a study. The research was published on Jan. 3, 2021, by the journal Annals of Surgical Oncology. Read the abstract…
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Adding Surgery to Standard Treatments Linked to Better Survival for Certain Types of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Having surgery along with systemic treatments or with systemic treatments and radiation therapy can improve survival for women diagnosed with metastatic hormone-receptor-positive or HER2-positive breast cancer, a study suggests. The research was published online on Oct. 30, 2020, by the Annals of Surgical Oncology. Read the abstract of “Benefits of Surgical Treatment of Stage IV…
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Improving Your Health Literacy

Health literacy means your ability to collect and understand your health information so you can make the best decisions for your unique situation. Only about 12% of adults in the United States have good health literacy, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.1 This means that about 88% of adults may lack…
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2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Coverage

Every December, the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium brings together clinicians, researchers, and advocates to discuss the latest breast cancer study results. We’re proud to present our coverage below. Research News Mindfulness Meditation, Survivorship Classes Ease Depression in Younger Women Treated for Breast Cancer Some Older Women With Early-Stage Hormone-Receptor-Positive Breast Cancer May Be Able…
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Pregnancy Is Safe After a Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Study Shows

Women who have been treated for breast cancer are less likely than the average woman to get pregnant and have a higher risk of certain complications, such as preterm labor. However, research shows that most of these women deliver healthy babies and childbirth has no effect on their long-term survival. The research was presented on…
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Breast Implant Reconstruction

After a mastectomy, one of the ways that a breast can be reconstructed is with an implant. A breast implant is a round, flexible silicone shell filled with either saline (salt water) or silicone gel. Breast implants can either be placed over the chest muscle (pectoralis) or underneath part or all of the chest muscle.…
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Following Diet Plan to Reduce Diabetes Risk Means Better Survival for Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Women diagnosed with stage I to stage III breast cancer who more closely followed a diet designed to reduce the risk of diabetes had better survival than women who didn’t follow the diet as strictly, according to a Harvard study. The research was presented on Dec. 9, 2020, at the 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer…
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Surgery

Surgery is usually the first line of attack against breast cancer. This section explains the different types of breast cancer surgery. Decisions about surgery depend on many factors. You and your doctor will determine the kind of surgery that’s most appropriate for you based on the stage of the cancer, the “personality” of the cancer,…
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Implant Surgery Risks

Like all surgery, implant surgery has some risks. Many of these risks are the same as the risks for mastectomy. However, there are some risks that are unique to implant reconstruction. Scars: No matter which type of surgery you decide to have, you will have scars in the breast area. Scars do fade and recede…
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Does Taking Beta Blockers Affect HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Survival?

There may be a link between taking beta blockers, a heart medicine, before being diagnosed with advanced-stage HER2-positive breast cancer and worse survival after being treated with anti-HER2-medicines, a study suggests. The research was published online on July 14, 2020, by Frontiers in Oncology. Read “The Influence of Pre-Existing Beta-Blockers Use on Survival Outcomes in…
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Nipple Reconstruction Surgery and Nipple Tattoos

If one or both of your nipples were removed when you had a mastectomy, you can in most cases choose to have surgery, tattooing, or both to recreate the nipple and the areola (the dark area around the nipple). Some people find that having their nipples reconstructed or tattooed is an important final step in…
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Managing Cancer, COVID-19, and Seasonal Blues

As much as the holidays can be joyous, they can also be a time of loneliness and anxiety for people managing cancer — especially with the added isolation due to COVID-19. Kelly Grosklags, LICSW, BCD, and Shirley Otis-Green, MSW, MA, ACSW, LCSW, OSW-C, FNAP, answered questions from the Breastcancer.org community and discussed tips to help…
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Tests to Determine Menopausal Status

In the midst and even in the aftermath of treatment for breast cancer, it can be difficult to tell whether you’ve gone into menopause for good. For instance, maybe your periods stopped during chemotherapy but still haven’t returned a few months after finishing treatment. The younger you are, the better the odds are that they…
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Textured Implants May Be Linked to Breast Cancer Recurrence, Study Suggests

A small South Korean study found that women who had textured implants for reconstruction after breast cancer surgery had a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of the breast cancer coming back (recurrence). The research was published online on Oct. 7, 2020, by JAMA Surgery. Read the abstract of “Association of the Implant…
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Piqray Improves Overall Survival for Advanced-Stage Hormone-Receptor-Positive, HER2-Negative Breast Cancer With PIK3CA Mutation

Postmenopausal women and men with advanced-stage hormone-receptor-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer with a PIK3CA mutation that grew during or after hormonal therapy lived about 8 months longer when treated with the combination of Piqray (chemical name: alpelisib) and Faslodex (chemical name: fulvestrant) compared to Faslodex alone. These latest results from the SOLAR-1 study were presented on…
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Targeted Therapies and Immunotherapies for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Targeted therapies are treatments that target specific characteristics of cancer cells, such as a protein that allows the cancer cells to grow in a rapid or abnormal way. Targeted therapies are generally less likely than chemotherapy to harm normal, healthy cells. Some targeted therapies are antibodies that work like the antibodies made naturally by our…
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Exercise Testimonials

“I learned that I actually like the feeling of working up a sweat.” “I actually feel achier when I don’t do workouts.” “I’m at the halfway mark on my chemo now, just finish 3 x FEC and will start weekly x 9 of Taxol this Tuesday. I’m running though chemo, much slower pace and shorter…
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Nutrition Resources

American Botanical Council Website that offers current herbal news and information. American Cancer Society Website of the American Cancer Society. Read the site’s information about dietary supplements and cancer. Mayo Clinic Drug and Supplement Information Web pages from the Mayo Clinic on medications and supplements. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) The official…
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FDA Approves Immunotherapy Keytruda for PD-L1-Positive Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

On Nov. 13, 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the immunotherapy Keytruda (chemical name: pembrolizumab) in combination with chemotherapy to treat unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative, PD-L1-positive breast cancer. Unresectable means the cancer can’t be removed with surgery. Locally advanced breast cancer is breast cancer that has spread to tissue near…
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Can Some Older Women With Early-Stage HER2-Positive Breast Cancer Skip Chemotherapy?

Certain women age 70 to 80 may be able to skip chemotherapy after surgery for early-stage HER2-positive disease and be treated only with Herceptin (chemical name: trastuzumab), according to a study. The research was published online on Sept. 16, 2020, by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Read “Randomized Controlled Trial of Trastuzumab With or Without…
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Understanding Breast Calcifications

Calcifications are small deposits of calcium that show up on mammograms as bright white specks or dots on the soft tissue background of the breasts. The calcium readily absorbs the X-rays from mammograms. Calcifications typically don’t show up on ultrasounds, and they never show up on breast MRIs. Calcifications are a frequent finding on mammograms,…
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Breast Implant Rupture

All types of breast implants have an outer, silicone shell that can potentially develop a tear or hole called a rupture. A saline implant also has a valve that can fail, causing a leak. The chance that your implant will rupture or leak increases over time. Causes, signs, and symptoms of a ruptured breast implant…
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Know Your Risk

Everyone has some risk of developing breast cancer. In the United States, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. This means the average woman’s breast cancer risk is 12-13%. A man’s lifetime risk is much lower, 1 in 883. Being a woman and aging are…
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Adding Tecentriq to Chemotherapy Before Surgery for Early-Stage Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Improves pCR Rates

Adding the immunotherapy medicine Tecentriq (chemical name: atezolizumab) to chemotherapy before surgery for early-stage triple-negative breast cancer offered higher pathologic complete response (pCR) rates than chemotherapy alone, no matter the PD-L1 status of the cancer, according to results from the IMpassion031 study. The research was presented on Sept. 20, 2020, at the European Society for…
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How to Stay Active During Quarantine

With people spending more time indoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, it may be hard to start or maintain a regular exercise routine. But according to Sami Mansfield, certified cancer exercise trainer and CrossFit Level 1 coach, staying active is important, particularly for people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. “In the breast cancer world,…
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Breast Reconstruction in Women of Color: Tips for Getting the Care You Deserve

Every woman facing a mastectomy should be given the information she needs to make an informed decision about breast reconstruction. Ideally, your breast surgeon will discuss all breast reconstruction options with you and offer a referral to a plastic surgeon before the mastectomy surgery. But this doesn’t always happen. In the United States, not all…
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2020 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress Coverage

Every year, the European Society for Medical Oncology Congress brings together clinicians, researchers, and advocates to discuss the latest cancer study results. We’re proud to present our coverage below. Research News Adding Verzenio to Hormonal Therapy After Surgery for Early-Stage Breast Cancer With High Risk of Recurrence Reduces That Recurrence Risk Podcast Episodes Breast Cancer…
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Quarantine Hacks From the Breastcancer.org Community: Tips for Coping With Anxiety and Isolation

The “new normal” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to persist for the foreseeable future. Staying at home and not seeing friends and family for so long has been difficult for many of us, and over time, this can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Still, if you’re receiving treatment or recently…
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Conference Coverage

We’re proud to present our coverage of the latest study results from the leading cancer and breast cancer conferences in the world. 2020 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress Coverage 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium Coverage 2019 European Society for Medical Oncology Congress Coverage 2019 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting Coverage 2018…
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Metastatic Breast Cancer

Metastatic breast cancer (also called stage IV) is breast cancer that has spread to another part of the body, most commonly the liver, brain, bones, or lungs. Cancer cells can break away from the original tumor in the breast and travel to other parts of the body through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system, which…
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Circle of Care

Breast Cancer, COVID, and the Holiday Season: Advice for Safely Connecting With Loved Ones Social distancing has been hard on everyone, especially on people who are going through breast cancer treatment during the pandemic. With the holidays and colder weather approaching, you may be feeling tempted to celebrate indoors with people outside of your immediate…
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How Your Body Gets Nutrients From Foods

Eating a wide range of foods that include a variety of nutrients is the easiest way to have a healthy diet. On this page, you’ll learn why your body needs each of the following nutrients, and which foods you’ll find them in: Proteins Carbohydrates Fats Vitamins and minerals Water Proteins Proteins give your body amino…
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How to Avoid Scams and Find an Online Wig Shop You Can Trust

Like most things nowadays, wigs can be purchased from many online retailers. Buying a wig online can be a convenient way to search through all of your options and find exactly what you’re looking for. If you’ve decided to buy a wig online, you’ll want to make sure you’re buying your wig from a reputable…
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Dense Breasts

Having dense breasts means there is more fibrous tissue (or connective tissue) and glandular tissue (the type of tissue that produces milk) in your breasts than fatty tissue. That’s why dense breast tissue is also called “fibroglandular tissue.” Having dense breasts is not a medical condition itself, and it does not cause symptoms. You can’t…
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Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

Osteonecrosis of the jaw is a rare but serious condition in which the cells in the jawbone start to die. Osteonecrosis of the jaw can be caused by bisphosphonates, medicines used to strengthen bones: Actonel (chemical name: risedronate) Aredia (chemical name: pamidronate disodium) Bonefos (chemical name: clodronate) Boniva (chemical name: ibandronate) Fosamax (chemical name: alendronate…
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COVID-19 Pandemic Delayed Breast Cancer Screening in Many Parts of the United States

Breast cancer screening tests, including mammograms, ultrasounds, and MRIs, were delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to two studies. The research was presented on July 22, 2020, as part of the American Association of Cancer Research Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer. These abstracts are not yet available to the public: Patient-Reported Impact…
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Radiation for Childhood, Young Adult Cancer Linked to Worse Survival After Premenopausal Breast Cancer

Women diagnosed with breast cancer before menopause were more likely to die from breast cancer if they were previously diagnosed with a childhood or young adult cancer that was treated with radiation therapy, according to a study. The research was published online on Aug. 26, 2020, by the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Read…
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