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Breast Cancer

April 7, 2013 | Susan Silk and Barry Goldman
When Susan had breast cancer, we heard a lot of lame remarks, but our favorite came from one of Susan's colleagues. She wanted, she needed, to visit Susan after the surgery, but Susan didn't feel like having visitors, and she said so. Her colleague's response? "This isn't just about you. " "It's not?" Susan wondered. "My breast cancer is not about me? It's about you?" The same theme came up again when our friend Katie had a brain aneurysm. She was in intensive care for a long time and finally got out and into a step-down unit.
April 4, 2014 | By Noam N. Levey
HONOLULU - When the giant kapok and nawa trees that tower over the Queen's Medical Center in downtown Honolulu were planted more than a century ago, Hawaii faced a health crisis. Many on the islands, including the queen who founded the hospital in 1859, feared that native Hawaiians, devastated by smallpox, measles and other illnesses brought by foreigners, were in danger of dying off completely. Today, the people who walk under these trees are some of the healthiest in America.
February 10, 1999
A friend just told me that she has breast cancer and will be having surgery soon. I am sad but not surprised. More American women have died of breast cancer in the past two decades than all Americans killed in both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam. And the victims are getting younger. My friend is posturing as a warrior instead of resigning to being a statistic. Investigating causes and treatments, she learned that pesticides used on a field near her job site are known to cause cancer and accumulate in the fatty tissue of breasts.
April 2, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
The idea that American women would benefit by having fewer mammograms - and having them less frequently  - remains controversial. A new study tries to help women and their doctors understand why less can be more when it comes to breast cancer screening. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force was pilloried for suggesting that doctors were ordering too many mammograms to screen their patients for breast cancer. So far the expert panel hasn't changed many minds. But in the four-plus years since that controversial recommendation, additional studies have backed it up . A new report in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Assn.
April 5, 2011 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times
Survivors of breast cancer may want to watch their post-diagnosis weight -- a study finds that women who gain a large amount of weight may be at greater risk of cancer recurrence and death. The study, being presented at the American Assn. for Cancer Research's meeting this week in Orlando, Fla., followed breast-cancer survivors in three groups from the United States and one from China. Women who gained 10% or more than their pre-diagnosis weight were 14% more likely to have the disease return compared with women whose weight stayed fairly steady, within 5% of their pre-diagnosis weight.
April 17, 2008 | From the Associated Press
Cynthia Nixon has joined forces with the breast cancer organization Susan G. Komen for the Cure and is going public with her own battle with breast cancer. Nixon, who is reprising her role as Miranda in HBO's "Sex and the City" in an upcoming movie, had a lumpectomy two years ago and then underwent 6 1/2 weeks of radiation. She also helped her mother battle breast cancer. Nixon will serve as an ambassador for the Dallas-based Komen organization and will share her cancer experiences in a series of Web videos.
November 22, 2012 | Monte Morin
About a third of all tumors discovered in routine mammography screenings are unlikely to result in illness, according to a new study that says 30 years of the breast cancer exams have resulted in the overdiagnosis of 1.3 million American women. The report, published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, argues that the increase in breast cancer survival rates over the last few decades is due mostly to improved therapies and not screenings, which are intended to flag tumors when they are small and most susceptible to treatment.
For almost a decade, American women, along with their families and friends, have marched, run, hiked and even climbed mountains in the name of breast-cancer "awareness. " They have affixed pink ribbons to their lapels or worn special breast-cancer-themed garments like the Ralph Lauren pink pony T-shirt. They have distributed and displayed hundreds of breast cancer-related tschotchkes, from pink teddy bears to breast cancer awareness bank checks. One goal of all this activism has been to raise money for breast-cancer research, but the larger, more diffuse, aim is always "awareness": getting out the message that "early detection saves lives" and that the best means of detection is the annual screening mammogram, or, as Rosie O'Donnell puts it, going out and getting "squished.
October 26, 2010
All this thinking pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month is enough to make almost anyone anxious about getting breast cancer — and that bodes well for providers of supplemental cancer insurance. But don't plunk down your money just yet. The National Assn. of Insurance Commissioners says buying such coverage should be carefully evaluated: "While three in 10 Americans will get cancer over a lifetime, seven in 10 will not. In any one year, only one American in 250 will get cancer.
November 12, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
Jane Fonda has reportedly undergone treatment to remove a breast tumor, but declares herself "cancer-free," raising more questions than answers. Here are a few details as reported by People magazine . More to the point — for the general public, however — might be just how serious (or unserious) breast tumors can be. Here's some background on the basics of breast cancer and a look at the many types of non-cancerous breast conditions , both from the American Cancer Society.
March 10, 2014 | By Michael Muskal
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to get involved in a Pennsylvania case over whether students can wear a bracelet saying “I (heart) Boobies!” as part of a breast cancer awareness campaign. By refusing to consider the case, the nation's top court left in place a lower appeals court decision striking down a ban on the bracelets imposed by Easton Area School District, which argued that the bracelets were lewd. “The First Amendment protects schools as a space where students are free to discuss important issues like breast cancer and talk about their bodies in positive terms,” stated Reggie Shuford, executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, which represented the students.
March 5, 2014 | By Nardine Saad
Angelina Jolie knows that she can appear to be a bit austere in the public eye, but when she's at home, the brunet beauty says, she relaxes and makes sure to have fun. The 38-year-old actress-director, who appears in character for "Maleficent" on this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly, told the mag she's a different person at home. "Outside my home I can be somewhat serious," Jolie said ( via People). "We laugh and we play, and I'm light again, and I'm a kid again, and I'm loving and soft again, because they've brought that back in my life.
February 18, 2014 | By Melissa Healy, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
A team of researchers from the City of Hope in Duarte has developed a speedy way to identify drugs and chemicals that can disrupt the balance of sex hormones in human beings and influence the development and progress of diseases such as breast cancer. In a trial screening of 446 drugs in wide circulation, the new assay singled out the popular antidepressant paroxetine (better known by its commercial name, Paxil) as having a weak estrogenic effect that could promote the development and growth of breast tumors in women.
February 14, 2014 | By Jim Cox
I have to make sure when I get hold of happiness to seize the moment and soar to heights with it. I am grateful that I can still be joyful at times with simple and new things that were not significant to me before. - Bien Cox, journal entry The "new normal" arrived April 9, 2008. The painful lump in Bien's left breast was malignant. Cancer. The phone, the unholy messenger, was put back in its cradle, and we sat on the couch for a few moments. Tears came and went. Disbelief remained.
February 14, 2014
Re "More doubt cast on breast X-rays," Feb. 12 There is more reason for early detection of breast cancer than simply decreasing mortality. There is a very important quality-of-life issue. Early detection often decreases the need for a physically disfiguring and emotionally scarring mastectomy and the need for additional reconstructive surgeries. As a registered nurse and breast cancer survivor, I strongly believe that we should maintain the option of yearly mammograms for early detection.
February 13, 2014 | By Jay Jones
Pop star Olivia Newton-John will launch a "Summer Nights" residency in April at the Flamingo Las Vegas, performing 45 shows through the end of August. Newton-John will perform beginning April 8 and on various dates through Aug. 30 in the Flamingo 's Donny & Marie showroom. The English-born singer and actress, known for musical hits such as “I Honestly Love You,” “Physical” and “Please, Mr. Please” has sold more than 100 million albums and has won four Grammys, among other awards.
October 1, 2011 | By Amanda Mascarelli, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Nearly 30 years ago, when Judy Macon was diagnosed with breast cancer, she had surgery followed by radiation and chemotherapy to destroy the malignant cells left behind. The chemo she got was essentially the same as for any other woman with breast cancer. Today, doctors recognize that the one-size-fits-all approach may have been more onerous than her particular tumor required. But it worked. She remained cancer-free for 26 years, until she was diagnosed with a new breast cancer in 2009.
November 18, 2011 | From Reuters
U.S. drug regulators Friday withdrew approval of Roche's Avastin as a treatment for breast cancer, capping a protracted and emotional battle over a drug backed by many survivors of the disease. U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said Avastin has not proven safe and effective for breast cancer. The drug will remain on the market for other uses, such as treating types of colon, lung, kidney and brain cancer. Advisers to the FDA paved the way for Friday's decision, recommending against Avastin's use in breast cancer in June.
February 12, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Women considering a mastectomy after being diagnosed with breast cancer often face a difficult decision: whether to remove their healthy breast as well. A new study should make it easier for some of these women to make up their minds. It concludes that patients with a dangerous mutation in their BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene were able to cut their risk of dying from breast cancer nearly in half by opting to remove both breasts. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes contain instructions for producing tumor suppressor proteins, which repair damaged DNA and keep cells from turning cancerous.
February 11, 2014 | By Monte Morin
Yearly mammography screenings for women ages 40 to 59 do not reduce breast cancer deaths, even though they make a diagnosis of illness more likely, according to a long-term study of nearly 90,000 Canadian women. The research , published Tuesday in the British Medical Journal, is the latest in a series of studies that question the value of annual breast X-rays for pre-menopausal women and whether too many women are being "overdiagnosed" by the popular test. "We found absolutely no benefit in terms of reduction of deaths from the use of mammography," said study leader Dr. Anthony Miller, an epidemiologist at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health.
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