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HEALTH
December 9, 2002 | Shari Roan, Times Staff Writer
Questions about the link between breast cancer and birth control pills have lingered for years. To date, research has shown only a slight increase in breast cancer risk among younger women who take oral contraceptives. And two years ago, a study indicated that only women who took pills made before 1975, when the estrogen content of pills was much higher, are at increased risk.
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NEWS
July 20, 2012 | By Eryn Brown
Appelate judges in Washington, D.C., heard arguments Friday in a case that has traveled from U.S. district court in New York to the federal appeals court to the Supreme Court and back again.  At issue: Can a company patent a gene? In 2009, a group of researchers, patient advocates and others led by the American Civil Liberties Union sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and Myriad Genetics Inc., a Salt Lake City-based company that makes a test that screens DNA for mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
NEWS
August 8, 2011 | By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times / for the Booster Shots blog
Raymond Johnson, a 26-year-old construction worker fromCharleston, S.C., was recently denied Medicaid coverage for breast cancer treatment because he is a man. Johnson has said he was surprised to learn his diagnosis, which doctors discovered after he experienced chest pain over the July 4th weekend.  But every couple of years, a case of a man getting the disease puts men with breast cancer in the news.  In 2002, former Sen. Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass.)...
NEWS
May 14, 2013 | By Alexandra Le Tellier
Angelina Jolie's Op-Ed in the New York Times about getting a double mastectomy after learning that she was at risk of getting breast cancer struck a chord with fellow celebs as well as with Los Angeles Times staffers Anna Gorman and Paul Whitefield , who wrote about their own experiences Tuesday.  Jolie's Op-Ed specifically focuses on BRCA1 and BRCA2, known as the breast cancer genes. “I have always told [my kids] not to worry [about me getting cancer], but the truth is I carry a 'faulty' gene, BRCA1, which sharply increases my risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer ,” she writes.
NEWS
November 5, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
The proportion of women having both breasts removed when breast cancer appears in one has increased more than ten-fold over a 10-year period, despite a limited amount of evidence showing a survival benefit for the procedure, researchers reported Wednesday. Nearly one in every 20 women now has the second breast removed in an effort to forestall the development of a tumor in it, Dr. Katherine Yao of the NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill. and her colleagues reported in the October issue of the Annals of Surgical Oncology.
NEWS
May 14, 2013 | By Jon Healey
It's hard to imagine Supreme Court justices paying much attention to the travails of Hollywood's rich and famous. Still, there's an interesting connection between Angelina Jolie's disclosure Tuesday that she underwent a double mastectomy and a case the court is deliberating, the Assn. for Molecular Pathology vs. Myriad Genetics . At issue is whether a human gene sequence can be patented. That's the broad question. The two specific sequences patented by Myriad -- BRCA1 and BRCA2 -- are genes that suppress tumors . A small percentage of women have defective copies of those genes, and they are extremely likely to develop a virulent form of breast cancer.
SCIENCE
August 31, 2010 | By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times
Preemptive removal of breasts or ovaries in women with two common breast cancer genes can sharply reduce the risk of contracting cancer and dying, even if a woman has already been diagnosed with breast cancer, a new study confirms. Researchers were already confident that such prophylactic surgeries reduce the risk of cancer, but the new study , reported Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., is the largest such investigation to date and the first to differentiate the benefits based on which gene a woman has and whether or not she has already had cancer.
NEWS
July 25, 2012 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Maybe you've been reading a lot lately about the development of fetal DNA tests based on a curious fact -- that the blood of a pregnant woman contains tiny bits of DNA of the fetus. Several groups have recently used this fact to sequence the entire genome of a fetus and pick up the presence of extra chromosomes or even individual gene variants that would render the baby prone to health conditions. It's an important development with much promise, health researchers say, because it offers a way to detect genetic abnormalities very early, without the small but real risk of miscarriage that comes with today's widely used screening technologies: amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling.
SCIENCE
June 13, 2013 | By Amina Khan
When Dr. Wayne Grody heard that the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Myriad Genetics could not patent two genes linked to breast cancer, the UCLA medical geneticist was minutes from giving a well-worn speech on the years-old case to a room full of University of Oregon medical school students. "I improvised when I got to the very end," Grody said. The court's 9-0 decision in the case involving the Utah-based Myriad Genetics was welcome news to Grody as well as other doctors and genetic counselors concerned about future research and genetic counselors who said they've had their hands tied by the company's high prices and tough patent enforcement.
HEALTH
November 1, 2011 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
Drinking as few as three to six glasses of wine per week may increase a woman's lifetime risk of breast cancer by 15%, according to an analysis by Harvard researchers. The study, published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Assn., reaffirms that heavy alcohol use raises breast cancer risk, and it adds that light drinking matters too. "Alcohol is a real risk factor, and the more you drink the higher your risk," said Dr. Steven A. Narod, the Canada research chair in breast cancer at the University of Toronto, who wrote a commentary accompanying the study.
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