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Breast Cancer News

In this section, access cutting-edge news about newly diagnosed breast cancer including treatment updates, emerging therapies, study results and other medical and quality-of-life issues important to you.

More Pre-Surgery Trastuzumab Not More Effective

Researchers found the same amount of tumor cells present at surgery among two groups of women receiving therapy for HER2-positive breast cancer. The first group was treated before surgery with trastuzumab (Herceptin) plus paclitaxel (Taxol), followed by anthracycline chemotherapy. The second received the same treatment, but with more trastuzumab given at the same time as the anthracycline. This finding lends support to past studies showing trastuzumab is not needed during anthracycline (e.g., doxorubicin or epirubicin) treatment to shrink or get rid of the cancer before surgery.

Tailored Treatment Based on Response to Early Chemotherapy May Improve Survival in Early-Stage Disease

Researchers who observed whether a tumor shrank after the first few cycles of pre-surgery, or neoadjuvant, chemotherapy made an important observation. They found that when they based further chemotherapy treatment on the tumor’s reaction, outcomes were best for women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer. These women lived for the longest spans of time without the cancer growing or traveling, compared with women with tumors testing negative for hormones.  

Study Compares Survival Rates of Women After Lumpectomy, Mastectomy

Women with early-stage breast cancer treated with lumpectomy followed by radiation may live longer than those receiving mastectomy alone or with radiation, researchers found.Their study, published in the journal JAMA Surgery, compared the risk of dying from breast cancer over 10 years.

Some Young Women Have Delays in Breast Cancer Evaluation and Diagnosis

Less financially secure young women who self-detect a breast change are more likely to delay seeking help, according to a recent study.

Treatment Delay Longer for Young African-American Women

A study of North Carolinian women found that young African-American women were far more likely to have breast cancer treatment delay than White women in the same age range of 20 to 49. 

Sixty-Five Percent Report Some Pain 1 Year After Surgery

Most women feel some level of pain 1 year after breast cancer surgery, Finnish researchers found. They hope their findings, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, help inspire new ways of preventing and treating pain to improve quality of life after surgery.

News From the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Each December, medical experts and researchers from around the world meet at the 5-day San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium to share the latest findings from breast cancer clinical trials. Read on for updates from the 2013 symposium, held December 10–14.

Women Report Positive Life Changes After Challenge of Breast Cancer

Despite anxiety that can arise from a breast cancer diagnosis, a recent study shows that in the year that follows women may experience post-traumatic growth, or positive changes to the way they view relationships, themselves or their lives. 

Heavy Weightlifting Safe for Women With Lymphedema, Study Suggests

Women with lymphedema — swelling in the arm caused by the surgical removal of lymph nodes or by damage to the lymph nodes from radiation therapy for breast cancer — may perform upper-body strength training exercises with light and heavy weights, without worsening swelling or other lymphedema symptoms, Australian researchers say.

FDA Grants Accelerated Approval of Pre-Surgery Pertuzumab Regimen

Genentech, a developer of medicine, announced September 30 that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval of the company’s medicine pertuzumab (Perjeta)—in combination with trastuzumab (Herceptin) and docetaxel—as pre-surgery treatment for those with high-risk, HER2-positive, inflammatory, early-stage or locally advanced breast cancer. 

Denver, CO  ·  September 13, 2014

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