Written by on 3/10/2014 10:00:00 AM
New research from the MD Anderson Cancer Center™ finds that yoga can improve quality of life for women undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer.
Already known to help with fatigue, the research shows that the benefits of yoga may extend far beyond that.
The researched split over 191 participants into three group; a yoga group who focused on all aspects of the exercise, a group that just used stretching techniques from yoga and a control group.
It was found that the simple stretching exercises counteract fatigue, but patients who participated in yoga exercises that incorporated controlled breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques into their treatment plan also experienced improved ability to engage in their daily activities, better general health and better regulation of cortisol (stress hormone).
Women in the yoga group were also better equipped to find meaning in the illness experience, which declined over time for the women in the other two groups.
“Combining mind and body practices that are part of yoga clearly have tremendous potential to help patients manage the psychosocial and physical difficulties associated with treatment and life after cancer, beyond the benefits of simple stretching,” said Dr. Lorenzo Cohen, professor and director of the Integrative Medicine Program at MD Anderson.
To learn more about the benefits of yoga for breast cancer patients and survivors, read this post.
Written by on 2/20/2014 8:30:00 PM
Using genetic testing, scientists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center™ identified a resemblance between muscle invasive bladder cancer and three of the four sub-types of breast cancer (published in Cancer Cell February 2014). They found that the bladder cancer genes look very similar to some breast cancers.
“Several of our findings have immediate potential impact on how we address muscle-invasive bladder cancer with chemotherapy,” said study senior author David McConkey, Ph.D., professor of Urology. “These dormant (bladder) cells evade chemotherapy, which preferentially kills dividing cells.”
By taking expertise used in treating breast cancer with chemotherapy and applying it to the treatment of muscle invasive bladder cancer, patients could benefit.
As reported by MD Anderson Cancer Center, the muscle-invasive disease only makes up about 30 percent of bladder cancer cases, but causes the vast majority of deaths. It’s treated with chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.
“We know that cisplatin-based chemotherapy combinations work for about 30-40 percent of cases, but there’s no way to identify patients in advance who are likely to benefit,” McConkey said.
McConkey and colleagues identified a basal subtype of invasive bladder cancer that’s aggressive but vulnerable to chemotherapy and a p53-like luminal subtype that’s highly resistant to chemotherapy. These observations could lead to pre-treatment tumor analysis that guides the chemotherapy decision. (Full press release)
Written by on 2/13/2014 1:15:00 PM
There's a lot of chatter in the news about whether or not mammograms are useful at detecting breast cancer. A recent study by the British Medical Journal reported that screening mammograms could lead to overdiagnosis and treatment. We know you have questions, so we asked our experts to weigh in.
“Personalized medicine and empowering women with the right information is what we do,” said Robert J. Goulet, M.D., FACS, Community Breast Care specialist and an MD Anderson Cancer Network™ certified physician. “Breast cancers grow slowly, and that gives women the opportunity to become well informed and not make rash decisions. That’s not to say that we don’t react quickly to, we do, as attested by our 24-hour appointment response to each call we receive from a patient at Community.”
Many breast cancers are actually detected by mammograms before any symptoms appear and can help women who are diagnosed early increase their risk of survival. So, our physicians recommend asking yourself five questions to start to determine your cancer risk and get to know symptoms of breast cancer.
There are other risk factors including regular alcohol consumption, long-term use of supplemental estrogen and progestin menopausal hormone therapies. Postmenopausal women who are obese but have not used hormone therapy are also at high risk.
- Do you have a history of radiation treatment to the chest for any medical condition?
- Do you have a genetic mutation linked to breast cancer? Gene abnormalities include BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, or the syndromes Li-Fraumeni, CDH1, Cowden’s, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba.
- Do you have a history of lobular neoplasia (LCIS) or atypical ductal Hyperplasia (ADH)? Also, called LCIS, this condition is not considered breast cancer, but a risk factor. LCIS is an area of abnormal cell growth in the lobules (the milk-producing glands at the end of breast ducts) that begins in the breast tissue and remains in the lobule and does not spread.
- Do you have a family history of breast cancer? And if so, were these women diagnosed before the age of 50?
- Know your reproduction and menstrual history. Did you begin your period before the age of 12, start menopause after the age of 55, have your first-full term pregnancy after the age of 30, or never had a full-term pregnancy or are obese after menopause?
After answering these five questions, you can actually calculate your risk of developing breast cancer using the American Cancer Society's calculator. The NCI breast cancer risk calculator and other online surveys are a tool to getting better informed, but Community Breast Care specialists say it’s just a starting point.
“These are exciting times for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr. Goulet. “We have the latest, cutting-edge tests onsite including second generation genetic testing. It’s truly ‘STAR WARS' medicine and we have the ability to make a confident diagnosis within 48-72 hours. Now, add our affiliation with the MD Anderson Cancer Network™ and patients are getting an expertise in breast care like none before." continue reading ...