breast cancer

When she was in graduate school for public health, Niasha Fray found a job she loved: counseling women with breast cancer about sticking to their treatment.

She offered what's called "motivational interviewing," a type of therapy intended to help women overcome obstacles keeping them from taking their medications — which can have unpleasant side effects

"They had just given up so much of their lives, so much of their bodies, so much of their family," Fray says. "They wanted to get back to life as usual."

Nonprofit Offers Free Mammograms Through October

Oct 1, 2018
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When a woman gets a mammogram at Sand Lake Imaging through October, one will be donated to a woman at Shepherd’s Hope. The non-profit’s CEO Marni Stahlman says the program has provided more than 2000 mammograms for uninsured women over the past six years. She credits these early interventions with saving patients’ lives.

Doctors at the National Institutes of Health say they've apparently completely eradicated cancer from a patient who had untreatable, advanced breast cancer.

The case is raising hopes about a new way to harness the immune system to fight some of the most common cancers. The methods and the patient's experience are described Monday in a paper published in the journal Nature Medicine.

For many breast cancer patients, one of the most difficult treatment decisions is whether or not to go through chemotherapy.

Now, the choice is getting easier for some patients. A study published Sunday finds that many women with early-stage invasive breast cancer could safely forgo chemotherapy, if they score in the midrange or lower for risk that their cancer will recur, as measured by a commonly used genomic test

Florida women are seeing positive advances in health care, including declining mortality rates for heart disease, breast cancer, and AIDS. However, suicide attempts are increasing. Published Tuesday, The Status of Women in Florida by County: Health & Well-Being analyzes data on women’s physical and mental health.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first test that Americans can get without a doctor to see if they are carrying genetic mutations that increase their risk for cancer. NPR health correspondent Rob Stein has details.

You might not suspect that the success of the emerging field of precision medicine depends heavily on the couriers who push carts down hospital halls.

But samples taken during surgery may end up in poor shape by the time they get to the pathology lab — and that has serious implications for patients as well as for scientists who want to use that material to develop personalized tests and treatments that are safer and more effective.

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Roughly one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, which is why screening for the disease is so important.

But some women can't afford a yearly mammogram.

A statewide program that screens for breast and cervical cancer has helped thousands of low income women between the ages of 50 and 64 with early detection. Only there isn’t enough money to make it through the year.

It's long been known that hormonal contraception, like any medicine, carries some risks. But doctors and women have hoped that the newer generations of low-dose contraceptive pills, IUDs and implants eliminated the breast cancer risk of earlier, higher-dose formulations.

Now a big study from Denmark suggests the elevated risk of getting breast cancer — while still very small for women in their teens, 20s and 30s – holds true for these low-dose methods, too.

This month, the Florida Department of Health is placing emphasis on the importance of getting screened for breast cancer.

When Annie Dennison was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, she readily followed advice from her medical team, agreeing to harsh treatments in the hope of curing her disease.

"You're terrified out of your mind" after a diagnosis of cancer, said Dennison, 55, a retired psychologist from Orange County, Calif.

In addition to lumpectomy surgery, chemotherapy and other medications, Dennison underwent six weeks of daily radiation treatments. She agreed to the lengthy radiation regimen, she said, because she had no idea there was another option.

When actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced in she had been diagnosed with breast cancer last week, she did so alongside a sobering statistic: one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer. The most recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than 236,000 women—and more than 2,000 men—are diagnosed with that form of cancer each year. In Florida, that's roughly 14,000 new breast cancer cases annually.

For years, doctors have focused on detecting breast cancer at the earliest possible moment after a tumor develops so treatment can start right away. But more and more studies are showing many small, early tumors don't present a danger.

So, when is it safe to remove a tumor but skip additional treatments like tamoxifen, chemotherapy and radiation?

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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A new study wades into the ongoing debate over the health benefits of tofu, soy milk and other soy products. The study published in the journal Cancer looks at soy's effects on breast cancer survivors, in particular. NPR's Allison Aubrey takes a look.

It's no surprise that most women with breast cancer consider hair loss one of the most traumatic aspects of chemotherapy. That has led to a big market for cooling caps, which are purported to limit hair loss.

But cooling caps haven't been extensively studied in the U.S., and womens' experiences with the caps have been hit or miss. And just one cooling cap, the DigniCap, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Moffitt Cancer Center

Researchers at Tampa's Moffitt Cancer Center are testing a vaccine to fight breast cancer,  and they say  that it appears to be working for some patients.

How do you get women who never talk about breast cancer to start opening up?

That was the question on the mind of Usman Saleemi, who along with colleagues Tiya Fazelbhoy and Jaison Ben created a bra designed to encourage breast self-examination among women in Pakistan.

According to Pink Ribbon, a national breast cancer charity based in Lahore, Pakistan has the highest incidence of breast cancer in Asia. More than 40,000 women lose their lives to the disease each year.

Mammography can prevent deaths from breast cancer, but it's not a perfect test.

It misses some cancers, especially in women with dense breast tissue, and flags abnormalities for follow-up tests that turn out to be benign, among other issues. So there's a lot of interest in additional tests that might make screening more accurate in women who have dense breasts.

At 46 years old, Oliver Bogler's reaction to a suspicious lump in his chest might seem typical for a man. He ignored it for three to four months, maybe longer. "I couldn't really imagine I would have this disease," Bogler says. But when he finally "grew up" and went to the doctor, he was pretty quickly diagnosed with invasive breast cancer.

There are a number of options for women when they learn they have breast cancer in its earliest stages, when the tumor is relatively small and has not yet spread.

Each option is similarly effective when it comes to killing cancer cells and preventing the disease from returning.

Women who have an abnormal mammogram should stay vigilant for cancer for for the next decade, even when follow-up tests fail to detect cancer, a study released Wednesday finds.

That's because there's a "modest" risk that cancer will develop during the next decade, says lead author Louise M. Henderson of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill.

By Rhoda Baer via Wikimedia Commons

Many cancer treatments have a dark side — they can damage the heart. New research suggests this risk might be lowered in women with breast tumors if they take a heart drug as a preventive measure during their cancer care.

By Rhoda Baer via Wikimedia Commons

Hundreds of women in Florida will be able to get early screenings for breast cancer under a national program aimed at the uninsured.

Three Florida facilities will receive the grants from the National Breast Cancer Foundation and Hungry Howie’s. Its “Love, Hope and Pizza” program awarded grants to more than 70 facilities around the country.

Living After Metastatic Cancer Diagnosis

Oct 29, 2014

The cold statistic is that an estimated quarter-million Americans are living with metastatic breast cancer. But it’s more than just a cold statistic to me, because I am one of them.

Many of us have been touched by cancer in one way or another, through family, friends or coworkers. I have had the misfortune of being close to cancer throughout my life: My grandfather died of stomach cancer, my father is a lung cancer survivor and my mother is a breast cancer survivor. If that wasn’t enough, 16 years ago I lost my husband, my soul mate and my best friend to metastatic melanoma.

In 2009, Diane Bostick fought breast cancer, but it was the kind that typically returns, and it did: in her brain. The two small tumors were in areas too risky for surgery. So, rather than say there was nothing more they could do for her, doctors at Florida Hospital in Orlando used a new technology, laser interstitial thermal therapy.

In a rare case, Florida's self-proclaimed first female plumbing contractor Laurie Codding was diagnosed with breast cancer after experiencing vision problems that seemed harmless at first. However, once Codding lost all vision in her right eye, she decided to get checked out.

Did Hospice Fire Worker With Cancer?

Feb 17, 2014

Hospice of Palm Beach County raised its CEO’s pay 30 percent to $710,537 the same year a mother of three said the organization fired her because she could work only 30 hours a week while fighting breast cancer – a situation the hospice’s founder called “outrageous.”

The pay was revealed in financial records for 2011 requested by The Palm Beach Post last year but not released until 2014 by the nonprofit hospice. Its founding mission: to provide palliative care for people with terminal illnesses including cancer.

Older women looking to lower their breast cancer risk might want to consider a long walk each day.  Researchers with the American Cancer Society found that walking for at least an hour each day lowered the breast cancer risk by 14 percent in postmenopausal women, according to Reuters Health.

Tampa Bay Times

The Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk has been canceled in seven locations, including Tampa Bay, after the organization lost some of its financial support and find less-expensive ways to raise money. 

Most women diagnosed with breast cancer when they're 40 or younger are choosing mastectomy rather than more limited and breast-conserving lumpectomy plus radiation, a study of women in Massachusetts finds.

Moreover, most of those choosing mastectomy elect to have the other, noncancerous breast removed, too.

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