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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.
January 26, 2009 | Marc Siegel, Siegel is an internist and an associate professor of medicine at New York University's School of Medicine.
"Nip/Tuck" FX, season premiere: Jan. 6 and 13, 10 p.m. The premise Plastic surgeon Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon) takes his associate Dr. Liz Cruz (Roma Maffia) for a mammogram because he thinks he felt a lump in her breast. The test is negative but, while at the radiologist's office, Troy admits that he himself has felt a lump in his own chest.
February 2, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
The long-debunked idea that abortions can contribute to breast cancer is reappearing amid the outpouring of comments this week on Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood breast-health programs. Here's one comment on Komen's Facebook page: "Also! Breast cancer is linked to abortions!!! More and more studied are pointing to abortions for a huge risk factor for BC, why should SGK support something that raises the chances of what they wasn't destroyed?
October 28, 2010 | By Mary Forgione, Los Angeles Times
For many women, the fight against breast cancer is public, with support from friends and family and frequent discussions with healthcare professionals about side effects and treatment. But part of that fight is intensely private -- rarely more so than when it affects their sex life. Certain chemotherapy drugs send women into early menopause within a few months. That, coupled, with hair loss and disfiguring mastectomies, leave some breast cancer survivors struggling to be intimate again, a new study finds.
December 10, 2010 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times
The breast cancer drug pertuzumab when added to Herceptin improved the treatment of women with early-stage, HER-2 positive breast cancer, researchers reported Friday at the annual meeting of the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium . Pertuzumab is an experimental monoclonal antibody. In the study, 417 women received monoclonal antibody drug therapy before having surgery to remove the tumor. Some women also underwent chemotherapy. Adding pertuzumab to Herceptin -- which is also known by the generic name trastuzumab -- along with the chemotherapy drug docetaxel led to a tumor eradication rate of 46%. That is 50% better than the tumor eradication rate achieved with the standard therapy of docetaxel and Herceptin combined, said the authors of the paper, from the National Cancer Institute in Milan, Italy.
September 30, 2010 | Pregnant breast cancer patients more likely to survive
There may be few pregnancy nightmares worse than finding a lump in one's breast, given the dueling fears that if it's cancer, treatment could harm the developing fetus, while delay and pregnancy hormones could fuel a tumor's growth. But a new study finds that pregnant women treated for breast cancer are more likely to survive their ordeal than breast cancer patients of the same age who were not pregnant when their cancer was diagnosed. Five years after their diagnosis, almost 74% of the women diagnosed with breast cancer during pregnancy were still alive.
November 28, 2012 | By Jon Bardin
A new genetic test may help determine whether a small tumor in the breast is likely to turn in to full-blown breast cancer, according to a study published Wednesday in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The small tumor, called a ductal carcinoma in-situ, or DCIS, resides in the milk ducts and is generally considered pre-cancerous. But according to the study, DCIS lesions left untreated will eventually progress to breast cancer in about 50% of patients. The lesions, which tend to be small and only detectable via mammogram, have become increasingly common as mammography has become more widespread.
February 8, 2012 | By Shari Roan, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Eating soy-based foods or taking soy supplements has been an intriguing strategy to reduce cancer risk. But a carefully performed new study shows soy supplements did not lower breast cancer risk and may even be harmful to some women. Previous research has shown that people with diets high in soy have lower rates of breast cancer. Soy is also known to reduce levels of estrogen, a hormone that can contribute to breast cancer development. The new study, led by researchers at Northwestern University, was designed to look carefully at how soy consumption may change breast cells.
January 25, 2011 | Melissa Healy, Los Angeles Times
The breast cancer drug tamoxifen may stall the progression of non-small cell lung cancer in those who take it after breast cancer treatment, a new study has found. Tamoxifen is the oldest of a wide array of medications that block the action of the hormone estrogen in the body. Researchers have found growing evidence in recent years that the majority of non-small cell lung cancers -- the most common form of lung cancer -- respond to estrogen with growth. So they wondered whether women taking tamoxifen as an adjunct to their breast cancer treatment might be less likely to develop or die of lung cancer.
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