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More Evidence That Regular Mammograms Save Lives

A woman who gets her regular mammograms as scheduled is much less likely to die from breast cancer than if she skips screenings, a new study shows.

Women with breast cancer who underwent all her scheduled mammograms had a survival rate of 80%, compared with survival rates as low as 59% for women who didn’t participate in any screenings, researchers found.

“The purpose of mammogr...

Breast Cancer Rates Higher in Urban vs. Rural Areas

Environmental contaminants may be driving higher rates of breast cancer in urban areas compared to rural locales, a new North Carolina study finds.

“Our analyses indicate significant associations between environmental quality and breast cancer incidence," said lead author Larisa Gearhart-Serna, who led the research as a Ph.D. can...

Many Women With Breast Cancer Struggle With Sexual Health

For many women with breast cancer, struggles with sexual issues becomes a hidden burden, new research shows.

Because most patients don't feel comfortable talking over these issues with a doctor, many turn to online patient-support forums for advice.

The new study found that three-quarters of breast cancer patients admitted to some form of sexual dysfunction, most often vaginal dryne...

Helping Women Find Affordable Housing Also Boosts Cancer Screening

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 15, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Chalk up a surprising benefit to government housing assistance.

Breast cancer screening is higher among some low-income women who get government help with housing compared to those who do not, new research shows.

"Receiving housing assistance has been associated with several positive health outcomes and health behaviors in past resea...

Obesity Raises Odds for Recurrence in Breast Cancer Survivors

Many breast cancer survivors take a hormonal drug after cancer treatment to stave off a recurrence, but new research suggests these drugs may be less effective in women who are obese.

Breast cancer cells in hormone-positive breast cancers are fueled by the female sex hormone estrogen. Aromatase inhibitor medications lower estrogen levels by stopping an enzyme in fat tissue called aro...

A Doctor's Empathy Can Be Key to Breast Cancer Care

A breast cancer diagnosis often causes anxiety and depression, but an empathetic doctor can help.

Supportive communication is key to reducing patient uncertainty and promoting mental well-being, Rutgers University researchers have found.

“Our findings suggest that provider communication is a key component to reducing uncertainty, and thus providers play a key role in helping to fa...

'Three's Company' Star Suzanne Somers Dies From Cancer at 76

Actress Suzanne Somers died “peacefully at home” Sunday morning after a return of breast cancer, her publicist announced.

Best known for her roles on "Three's Company" and "Step by Step," Somers was 76.

“She survived an aggressive form of breast cancer for over 23 years,” Somers' longtime publicist R. Couri Hay wrote in a statement shared on behalf of the actress' family.

Not Just a Lump: Many Women Miss Subtle Signs of Breast Cancer

The vast majority of women know a lump in their breast likely signals the presence of cancer, a new survey finds, but that's not the only sign of the disease.

“Screening mammography is our No. 1 defense in detecting and addressing breast cancers at their earliest, most treatable stages, but it is also very important for people to be familiar with the look and feel of their own breast t...

Inflammatory Breast Cancer Is Rare But Aggressive: Know the Signs

Inflammatory breast cancer is rare, but it's aggressive, fast-growing and hard to detect early, so it's important to know the warning signs.

The American Cancer Society is working to raise awareness about this form of breast cancer, known also as IBC, which is responsible for about 1% to 5% of all breast cancer cases.

“IBC is tricky as it doesn't usually present with a breast lum...

What Every Woman Needs to Know About Breast Cancer Screening

Catching breast cancer early is key to making it easier to treat and survive, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS).

The organization aims to highlight early detection, noting that screening with mammography has helped breast cancer death rates drop 43% since 1989.

“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women (after skin cancer) and the second most common cause of ca...

Shorter Course of Radiation May Be Safe for Women Undergoing Breast Reconstruction

Breast cancer patients who undergo a mastectomy can probably benefit from a shorter course of more intense radiation therapy, a new study indicates.

Hypofractionated radiation therapy — which provides a higher dose each session over three weeks — provides the same protection against breast cancer recurrence and post-surgical complications as a standard course of lower-dose radiation o...

Women Give High Marks to Breast Reconstruction Using Patient's Own Tissue

Women who have breast reconstruction using their own tissue instead of implants ma be more satisfied with the results, new research shows.

"The findings were unexpected, since autologous breast reconstruction is a more complex procedure, with a higher rate of severe complications," said lead author

Mammograms: An Expert Overview on Why They're So Important

Mammograms have long offered early detection of breast cancer, which is why getting them regularly is crucial to women's health, one expert says.

“There are several risk factors associated with breast cancer. As with many other diseases, risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older,” said Dr. Mridula Geor...

Breast Cancer Drug Could Trigger Dangerous High Blood Sugar

For certain patients with advanced breast cancer, a drug called Piqray (alpelisib) may extend survival. But new research confirms the medication often causes seriously high blood sugar levels.

“This is a very effective drug that we should be using to treat breast cancer, but the problem is that it causes high blood sugar, which also can decrease the efficacy of the medication,” explai...

Many Women May Overestimate Risks From Genes Tied to Breast Cancer

Women who carry mutations in genes known as BRCA have an elevated risk of breast cancer. But a large, new study suggests that risk may be lower than generally believed -- especially if a woman has no close relative with the disease.

The study, of more than 400,000 British adults, found that women who carried mutations in either of two genes -- BRCA1 or BRCA2 -- had a higher-than-average r...

Dirty Air Could Raise Breast Cancer Risk

Air pollution has long been known to harm the heart and lungs, but new research suggests it might also raise the risk of breast cancer.

Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) discovered that the largest increases in breast cancer incidence were among women who, on average, had higher levels of particulate...

AI Equals Human Radiologists at Interpreting Breast Cancer Scans

Another study is showing that artificial intelligence (AI) is as good as a specialist doctor in spotting breast cancer on a mammogram. But don't expect computers to take over the job from humans, experts say.

In a study that compared the mammography-reading skills of an AI tool with those of more than 500 medical professionals, researchers found that it was basically a tie.

On avera...

Skipping Radiation May Be Safe for Some With Early Breast Cancer

Many women with early breast cancer undergo breast-conserving surgery along with radiation to kill any errant cancer cells, but some may be able to safely skip radiation, new research suggests.

“If the tumors are low-risk, as defined in part by being caught early/small and in part by having favorable molecular features, the risk of recurrence is minimal even if you skip out on what has ...

Cancers, Especially Gastro Tumors, Are Rising Among Americans Under 50

Breast, colon and pancreatic cancer rates are increasing at concerning rates among America's young adults, a new study finds.

Breast cancer accounted for the most cases in adults under 50 between 2010 and 2019, but gastrointestinal cancer rates grew fastest among the early-onset cancers studied.

Senior researcher

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 16, 2023
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  • Drinking May Not Raise Risk of Breast Cancer's Return

    If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may not have to swear off alcohol completely, a new study suggests.

    In it, researchers report that occasional drinking isn't likely to cause a recurrence of breast cancer.

    "The findings suggest drinking alcohol is not associated with an increased risk of having a breast cancer recurrence or dying from the disease," said lead study a...

    Breast Cancer Screening May Not Be Worth It for Women Over 70

    The risks of screening mammograms to catch breast cancer may outweigh the benefits for certain women aged 70 or older, new research indicates.

    The main risk? Overdiagnosis and treatment of a breast cancer that likely wouldn't have caused any symptoms during a woman's lifetime.

    “For women who are on the younger end of the age range and who are generally healthy, the risk of overdia...

    Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS): What It Is, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

    A breast cancer diagnosis can be terrifying, but one type of early-stage disease is noninvasive and has high survival odds.

    There have been an estimated 297,790 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the United States so far this year, the

  • Miriam Jones Bradley, RN HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 8, 2023
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  • Suzanne Somers Says Her Breast Cancer Has Returned

    Actress Suzanne Somers, who first battled breast cancer in her 50s, announced on Instagram this week that the disease recently returned.

    Somers, now 76, has been fighting cancer for decades. But she says she follows a chemical-free and organic lifestyle, which she credits for saving her life.

    "I had breast cancer two decades ago, and every now and then it pops up again, and I cont...

    AI-Assisted Mammograms Could Be a Big Advance: Study

    Artificial intelligence (AI) programs can safely be used to help radiologists review mammogram images and detect breast cancers, early results from an ongoing clinical trial show.

    A single radiologist aided by AI wound up detecting about 20% more breast cancers from mammogram images than two radiologists working together, according to a report in the August issue of The Lancet Oncolog...

    New Ultrasound Patch Spots Tiny Breast Abnormalities in Early Trial

    Scientists have developed a wearable ultrasound patch that might eventually allow women to monitor themselves for early signs of breast cancer in the comfort of their home.

    The achievement, reported July 28 in the journal Science Advances, is the latest in a broader research effort to make wearable ultrasound a reality.

    The hope is to one day use such portable technology t...

    Breast Cancer Survivors Age Faster Biologically Than Cancer-Free Women: Study

    Women who have survived breast cancer age faster than women who have never had to survive the disease.

    The treatment they received impacted their aging rates, according to a new study from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.

    “Breast c...

    Sarah Ferguson Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Mastectomy

    Sarah Ferguson has undergone treatment for breast cancer, she announced on her podcast.

    The Duchess of York, 63, had a mastectomy after the diagnosis and the surgery was successful, her rep confirmed Sunday, People magazine reported.

    "The Duchess is receiving the best medical care and her doctors have told her that the prognosis is good. She is now recuperating with her f...

    What Is Metastatic Breast Cancer & How Is It Treated?

    Metastatic breast cancer can be a daunting diagnosis, but the prognosis has improved somewhat with advances in treatment.

    Also known as stage 4 breast cancer, metastatic cancer is defined as the spread of disease beyond the local breast and nearby lymph nodes. More than 150,000 individuals in the United States are living with a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, which accounts for the...

    • Maryam B. Lustberg, MD, MPH, Chief Of Breast Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center HealthDay Reporter
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    • June 26, 2023
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    Most Women With Early Breast Cancer Will Become Long-Term Survivors, New Study Shows

    Most women diagnosed with early breast cancer will become long-term survivors, according to new research that finds a substantial reduction in the risk of death since the 1990s.

    This news should reassure both patients and their doctors, researchers report June 13 in the BMJ.

    “Our study is good n...

    Death From a 2nd Cancer Among Breast Cancer Survivors: Race May Matter

    Sometimes women who survive breast cancer will die from a second cancer, and now new research suggests the risk of that happening is higher for Black and Hispanic survivors than white women.

    “We believe this to be one of the first studies to comprehensively examine the racial and ethnic disparities in survival outcomes after a second cancer,” said study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 13, 2023
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  • Targeted Drug May Lower Odds for Breast Cancer's Return in Some Patients

    Here's some good news for women with the most common type of breast cancer: Adding a targeted breast cancer drug to hormonal therapy reduced the risk of cancer returning by 25% for women with early-stage disease, a new clinical trial shows.

    Hormone-receptor (HR) positive/HER2 negative breast cancer accounts for about 70% of breast cancer cases in the United States.

    “The resul...

    Consistent Breast Cancer Screening Cuts Odds of Dying From the Disease by 72%

    Screening mammograms saves lives, and consistency counts for a lot.

    That's the main message from a new study that looked at how regularly women received mammograms before a breast cancer diagnosis. The closer a woman adhered to guidelines on a year-to-year basis, the less likely she was to die of breast cancer.

    It is quite common for women to not receive their mammograph...

    Experts Recommend All Women Get Mammograms Starting at Age 40

    In a major change from its longstanding advice, an influential medical panel now recommends that women start mammography screening for breast cancer at age 40.

    The new guidance, from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, says women at average risk of breast cancer should start having mammograms, every other year, when they turn 40. For years, the recommendation had been to start at age...

    Healthy Living Cuts the Odds That High-Risk Breast Cancer Will Return

    High-risk breast cancer patients can take action to help stop their disease from coming back or killing them.

    The same healthy habits that leading cancer organizations recommend to prevent cancer appear to make a big difference in heading off its return in these patients, new research shows.

    Following cancer-prevention guidelines before, during and after chemotherapy was associated ...

    Radiologists' Group Pushes for Breast Cancer Risk 'Assessment' by Age 25

    While the typical recommendation is for women to start getting mammograms at age 40, the American College of Radiology has released new guidelines that call for all women to have a breast cancer risk assessment by age 25 to determine if they should start screening mammograms before they turn 40.

    This early step is particularly important for women who are Black or Ashkenazi Jewish, the gu...

    Breast Cancer Survivors Can Safely Interrupt Therapy During Pregnancy: Study

    For young women who survive breast cancer, a new study offers some reassurance about pregnancy: Pausing hormonal therapy to have a baby does not raise the risk of a cancer recurrence, at least in the shorter term.

    A trial of more than 500 young women treated for breast cancer found no signs of harm from interrupting standard hormone therapy to have a baby. Over three years, patients' risk...

    Scientists Spot New Potential Risk Factor for Breast Cancer

    A new study has uncovered a possible risk factor for breast cancer that could help doctors more accurately weigh a woman's chances of developing the disease.

    While it's known that women with dense breast tissue have a greater risk for developing breast cancer and that breast density declines with age, researchers have now found evidence of cancer risk specific to breast density declining ...

    Lymph Node Removal During Breast Cancer Mastectomy: Is It Overdone?

    Women having a mastectomy for earlier-stage breast cancer may be overtreated if doctors evaluate their lymph nodes while they are still on the operating table, a preliminary study suggests.

    Researchers found those patients were much more likely to receive aggressive treatment — surgical removal of their underarm lymph nodes, often with radiation — versus women whose surgeons took more...

    Many Breast Cancer Survivors May Be Able to Forgo Mammograms in Old Age: Study

    Older breast cancer survivors often have other medical issues and a shorter life expectancy than younger breast cancer survivors. What's more, their cancers are often slow-growing, and surveillance may lead to over-treatment of cancers that won't kill them, researchers say.

    Despite these downsides, older breast cancer survivors are still undergoing mammograms even though their risk of dev...

    Black Women Die of Breast Cancer at Younger Ages. Should They Be Screened Earlier?

    Experts recommend that women at least consider starting breast cancer screening once they turn 40. Now a new study suggests that is especially critical for Black women.

    Looking at data on U.S. breast cancer deaths, researchers found -- as other studies have -- that Black women in their 40s were substantially more likely to die of the disease than other women their age. The disparity was s...

    Even With Multiple Breast Tumors, Mastectomy Isn't Always Necessary: Study

    Some women with multiple breast tumors can safely be spared breast removal surgery, choosing less invasive treatment instead, new research suggests.

    Under certain conditions, women with two or three breast tumors in one breast can avoid mastectomy without increasing the chances that their breast cancer will come back.

    “For these patients, breast-conserving therapy is a reason...

    Can ChatGPT Give Women Accurate Advice on Breast Cancer?

    ChatGPT, the AI chatbot everyone is talking about, can often give reliable answers to questions about breast cancer, a new study finds. But it's not yet ready to replace your physician.

    The big caveat, researchers said, is that the information is not always trustworthy, or offers only a small part of the story. So at least for now, they said, take your medical questions to your human doct...

    High Co-Pays, Deductibles Keep Some Women From Mammogram Follow-Up

    A new study shows that money, or lack of it, can stand in the way of follow-up testing after an abnormal mammogram result.

    Just over one-fifth of U.S. women surveyed by researchers said they would skip additional testing if they had to pay a deductible or co-pay.

    Of 714 women who responded when asked if they'd have follow-up imaging if they had to pay for all or part of it, 21% said...

    Ultrasound Good Diagnostic Tool After Breast  Symptoms

    For women with "focal breast complaints" -- issues with pain, lumps or discharge -- ultrasound is an effective diagnostic tool, according to new research.

    These concerns are frequent, and ultrasound is effective as a standalone diagnostic method, researchers report April 4 in the journal Radiology.

    “The evaluation of breast complaints is a common problem in breast diagno...

    Suspicious Mammogram? Out-of-Pocket Costs Keep Some Women From Follow-Up

    Breast cancer screening may be free for women with health insurance, but high costs may still keep some from getting needed follow-up tests, a new study finds.

    The study, of more than 230,000 U.S. women who underwent screening mammography, found that those in insurance plans with higher out-of-pocket costs were less likely to get follow-up testing after an abnormal screening result.

    Birth Control Pills Tied to Slight Rise in Breast Cancer Risk, Regardless of Formulation

    Taking progestogen-only birth control pills comes with a slightly increased risk of breast cancer -- about the same degree of risk associated with taking pills that contain both progestogen and estrogen, new research finds.

    After five years' use, investigators found a 20% to 30% heightened breast cancer risk with both types of contraceptives, according to the study published March 21 in ...

    New Breast Scanning Technology Might Beat Standard Mammography

    Newer scanning technology may spot more breast cancers and lower the rate of dreaded false positives, a large, new study shows.

    Now available in a growing number of health care facilities, tomosynthesis uses low-dose X-rays and computer reconstructions to create 3D images of the breasts to find cancers. In contrast, traditional mammography creates 2D images of the breasts.

    "Tom...

    Mammogram Centers Must Notify Patients of Breast Density, FDA Says

    New U.S. federal regulations will require mammography facilities to tell women if they have dense breasts, a description of how the tissue looks on the X-ray.

    It can be more difficult to detect cancer in dense breast tissue on a mammogram. Having dense breasts is also a risk factor for developing breast cancer.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration update amends regulations issued u...

    Breast Cancer Genes Raise Risks for Older Women, Too

    Though BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations are associated with breast and ovarian cancer in younger women, those over 50 continue to have a high risk of breast cancer.

    That's true even if they didn't have breast cancer earlier, new research shows.

    “What is striking about our results is that ...

    Is Obesity Especially Dangerous for Women at Genetic Risk for Breast Cancer?

    Certain gene mutations put women at high risk of breast cancer, and now an early study hints that obesity might make matters worse.

    The findings come from a study of breast tissue samples from women who carried particular mutations in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 — which convey much higher-than-normal risks of both breast and ovarian cancers.

    The researchers found that among women...

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