breast cancer

Cancer-Coaching Grandmothers Hold Hands, Lift Spirits

Oct 26, 2017
Carolina Hidalgo / St. Louis Public Radio

When a new friend threatened to cancel her mastectomy, Ella Jones’ mothering instincts kicked in.

“I went over to the bed, and I rubbed her and talked to her, and explained in general terms what was going to happen,” said Jones. “If she had gotten up out of that bed and left, she would have never done any treatment.”


Many Breast Cancer Patients Receive More Radiation Therapy Than Needed

Oct 23, 2017

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.

Jill Sheridan / IPB News

The world’s only normal breast tissue bank marked its 10th year collecting and researching healthy women’s breast tissue last week.

OB-GYNs Give Women More Say In When They Have Mammograms

Jul 5, 2017

Women in their 40s at average risk for breast cancer should talk to their health care provider about the risks and benefits of mammography before starting regular screening at that age, according to guidelines released Thursday by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Called Back After A Mammogram? Doctors Are Trying To Make It Less Scary

Oct 15, 2015

When I left my first mammogram appointment a few weeks ago, I felt fine.

Everything had gone smoothly, the technologist hadn't made a concerned face when she looked at the screen, and I was convinced I'd get the all-clear from my primary care doctor in a week or so.

Then came the phone calls the following day — first from my doctor's office, then from the mammography center — telling me the radiologist had seen something that didn't look quite right. I needed to come back for another mammogram and this time an ultrasound exam, too.

Treatment Changes For DCIS Haven't Affected Breast Cancer Deaths

Oct 14, 2015

The number of women diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ, abnormal cells that sometimes become breast cancer, has soared since the 1970s. That's mostly because more women have been getting screening mammograms that can detect the tiny lesions.

The vast majority of women diagnosed with DCIS have surgery, even though there's considerable debate whether it's needed, since DCIS sometimes never becomes invasive cancer.

A new study that uses blood samples collected more than 50 years ago finds that women who were exposed to the pesticide DDT in the womb have a four-fold increase in breast cancer risk today.

A new California company announced Monday it is offering a much cheaper and easier way for women to get tested for genetic mutations that increase their risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

Color Genomics of Burlingame, Calif., has begun selling a $249 test that it says can accurately analyze a saliva sample for mutations in the breast cancer genes BRCA1 and BRCA2, as well as check for 17 other genetic variants that have been associated with a somewhat increased risk for cancer of the breast or ovaries.

Researcher Natascia Marino seated next to a microscope
Sandy Roob

Any biologist worth her salt knows that to properly study abnormal cells – say, cancer cells – you need normal healthy cells for comparison. Before the Komen Tissue Bank opened in Indianapolis in 2007, cancer researchers would take “normal” breast tissue from a cancer patient – two centimeters from her tumor-- or from breast reduction surgeries, according to executive director Dr. Anna Maria Storniolo. “As you might imagine, two centimeters away from a cancer molecularly speaking can’t possibly be really normal,” she says.

National Cancer Institute

At UC San Francisco and other hospitals and clinics around the nation, “shared decision making” programs encourage doctors and patients to work together in making tough choices about care.

Rose Gutierrez has a big decision to make. Gutierrez, who was diagnosed with breast cancer last spring, had surgery and 10 weeks of chemotherapy. But the cancer is still there. Now Dr. Jasmine Wong, a surgeon at UC San Francisco, is explaining the choices .

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