Shortcut Navigation:

Breast Cancer News

In this section, access cutting-edge breast cancer news on 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.

Breast Cancer Deaths Decline for Young

Breast cancer death rates among young women have declined over four decades, yet the rate of decrease has been less for young black women. This study also looked at the economic impact of U.S. breast cancer deaths in young women and found they represent a total lifetime productivity loss of $5.5 billion annually. 

Genetic Counseling by Phone May Be as Useful as In-person

Women at risk of carrying a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation who had genetic counseling over the phone benefitted as much as women who had counseling in person, a study found. This finding could mean easier access to the service at a more affordable cost.

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.  

Mastectomy More Common, Radiation Less Common for Men With Breast Cancer

Men are more likely than women to undergo mastectomy when diagnosed with breast cancer, a study published in the International Journal of Radiation Oncology • Biology • Physics revealed. The study is the largest to date to focus on treatment and outcomes for men with breast cancer in the United States. 

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.

Taking One Chemotherapy After Another May Lengthen Survival

Among women with early-stage breast cancer that travels to one or more lymph nodes in the underarm, treatment with the chemotherapy medicines doxorubicin (Adriamycin) followed by docetaxel (Taxotere) may lengthen survival more than giving the two at once. This finding comes from long-term results of the Breast International Group (BIG) trial 02-98.

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. 

Federal Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Extended

Those enrolled in the federally-run Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) now have 2 additional months of coverage, government officials announced. Coverage will continue through March 31, 2014, to ensure people can continue their medical treatment while finding and enrolling in new health plans through state marketplaces/exchanges.