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Fertility drugs not linked to increased breast cancer risk

Written by Community Health Network on 4/7/2014 10:00:00 AM

A 30-year follow-up study of more than 12,000 women shows if they took fertility drugs (clomiphene citrate or gonadotropins) this treatment did not increase their risk for developing breast cancer.

Previous studies have reported conflicting results, from increased and decreased risk, to no association. Overall, during the 30-year period, only 749 of the women in this study were diagnosed with breast cancer.

However, if women received up to 12 fertility treatment cycles and were unable to become pregnant, their risk for developing breast cancer was increased. The leading author on the study noted that the cancer risk to these women “may be related to persistent infertility rather than an effect of the fertility medications.”

Source: National Cancer Institute–funded study, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention


Breast cancer prevention should start early

Written by Community Health Network on 3/26/2014 2:15:00 PM

Take steps now to prevent breast cancer

An article published in The Cancer Journal for Clinicians, Wednesday, states that half of breast cancers in the U.S. might be avoided if women adopted healthier lifestyles sooner in life, and the highest-risk women took preventive drugs like tamoxifen.

The article reviews breast cancer primary prevention strategies that are applicable to all women, discusses the underutilization of chemoprevention in high-risk women, highlights the additional advances that could be made by including young women in prevention efforts.

"This article is re-stating many things we have known for some time regarding breast cancer prevention," said Dr. Robert Goulet, breast surgeon and MD Anderson certified physician with Community Physician Network. "However, I agree that we don’t place enough emphasis on preventive strategies at all ages."

Goulet states that there are simple lifestyle modifications that women should make to decrease their risk.

"There is irrefutable evidence that, through study of women over decades, as little as 30 minutes of vigorous exercise three times a week leads to significant reduction in breast cancer risk," he said. "Weight control has also been implicated, and I think that goes hand in hand with exercise strategy."

A healthy diet with emphasis on trying to minimize weight gain is also incredibly important, and that includes a decrease in alcohol consumption.

Robert J. Goulet, breast cancer specialist"There are recent studies that clearly demonstrate that women who drink as little as one ounce of alcohol at least three times a week have an increased risk of developing breast cancer," said Goulet. "The impact of exposure to carcinogens such as alcohol begin at we believe a very early age. So recognition of the fact that you have the ability to change risk has to occur at a younger age."

With respect to drugs such as tamoxifen and raloxifene, Goulet states that there is a fair amount of controversy regarding the use of those drugs. continue reading ...


Laurie's story

Written by Community Health Network on 3/21/2014 1:00:00 PM

Laurie Plue had a history of breast and ovarian cancer in her family. Knowing that her risk for developing cancer was increased due to her family lineage, she chose to have genetic testing performed to determine whether or not she carried the cancer gene.

Here is her story.

To donate to Community's patient assistance fund that supports genetic testing, visit our Community Health Network Foundation website.

Genetic counseling

At Community Health Network, we frequently use genetic testing and have genetic counselors to shepherd patients through the process. Our certified genetic counselor, Rebekah Krukenberg, MS, CGC, LGC, helps breast cancer patients understand and adapt to the medical, psychological and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. For more information, call 317-621-8988.


Yoga improves quality of life for breast cancer patients

Written by Community Health Network 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 researchers split more than 191 participants into three groups: 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).

Yoga helps breast cancer patients manage illness and treatment

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.

Source: MDAnderson.org


Stacy's story: Part II

Written by Community Health Network on 2/28/2014 8:00:00 AM

This is the second post in a four-part blog series. Stacy Costa is a breast cancer survivor who was treated at Community Regional Cancer Care Center. One year into survivorship, she credits Dr. Robert Goulet and her breast cancer team.

Breast cancer care takes a full team of support at Community

Community Cancer Care provides breast health navigators to patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast health navigators are available to answer questions concerning breast health, provide education and support, coordinate care as needed, and prepare breast cancer patients for survivors

“I had three nurse navigators, Natalie, Sharlee and Tracy,” said Costa. “I think I’ll be seeing Dr. Goulet, Dr. Walling and the wonderful ladies of my breast care team on and off for the rest of my life.”

Breast health navigators provide continuity for patients and their families throughout their healthcare experience, during what can be a very stressful time in a woman’s life.

“Natalie calmed me down when I first learned of my diagnosis and had so many decisions to make,” said Costa. “I had a lot of questions and concerns. She tackled each one and we got answers together. It didn’t matter how crazy the question was, she delivered the answers in ways that I could manage them.”

Breast health navigators also provide assistance with appointments, surgery preparations and at treatments. continue reading ...


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To make an appointment with an MD Anderson Cancer Network™ certified physician at Community, call 800-777-7775 today!

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Welcome to world-class cancer treatment on the southside of Indianapolis. Inside the 65,000 square-foot facility, you'll find state-of-the-art technology, expert oncologists, and a host of on-site amenities and features to help patients through the healing process.

April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know testicular cancer affects men as young as 15? Visit our website to learn more about testicular cancer and how to protect yourself with a self-exam.

Learn more about testicular cancer in April


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