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Are We Loosing Ground?

For the first few month this year we have been hearing that the changing guidelines for mammograms is causing a drop in women requesting or receiving mammograms. The following article is just one of many that have come out.  Are we loosing ground in our fight declaring that Early Detection Saves Lives? What do you think?

Changing Guidelines Cause Drop in Mammograms

PostDateIconTuesday, 02 March 2010 08:43 | PDF Print E-mail

The new survey shows, In some states, access to mammograms for women ages 40 to 49 has decreased since new breast cancer screening ( mammography ) guidelines by U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.

The task force recommended that women at average risk for breast cancer should start having mammograms every two years at age 50 instead of annual screenings starting at age 40.

The online survey of more than 150 breast cancer health educators and providers in 48 states and the District of Columbia, conducted by the Avon Foundation for Women, found that respondents from a fourth of the areas surveyed reported changes in their states’ early detection programs for breast and cervical cancer.

The respondents said that the task force guidelines and other factors, including budget cuts, have resulted in fewer women having mammograms or the elimination of early breast cancer screening programs for women younger than 50 offered through state-administered breast cancer screening ( mammography ) programs.

California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan and New York are among the states that have made changes in their state’s breast cancer screening programs since the release of the guidelines.

“We are concerned that some women may simply accept the new recommended guidelines as standard — not taking into consideration their own health history and other breast cancer risk factors,” Marc Hurlbert, director of the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade, said in a news release from the foundation.

The survey, conducted in early February, found that 24 percent of respondents said there’s been a decrease in the number of women younger than 50 being screened or seeking appointments for mammography screening at their facilities. Many women who were already reluctant to have a mammogram are using the new guidelines to put off breast cancer screening, according to some of the respondents.

Source: Avon Foundation for Women

Could freezing tumors be a new treatment for Breast Cancer?

What are your thoughts on this process?

Freezing helps stop breast cancer’s spread in mice,

U-M study finds: Clinical trial open now to evaluate

technique in humans

By Kalamazoo Gazette staff

March 11, 2010, 8:00AM

ANN ARBOR — Rapid freezing of breast cancer in mice kills the cancer in its place and helps stop its spread, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Based on these results, the researchers are now conducting a clinical trial in which they use the rapid freezing technique in humans with breast cancer, the center reported in a news release on the study.

The rapid freezing appears to generate an immune response that helps stop the cancer’s spread, leading to improved survival rates over surgery, the researchers say.

The study looked at two cryoablation techniques, which both involve applying a cold probe to a tumor to freeze it. One method freezes the tumor in about 30 seconds. The other freezes it more slowly, taking a few minutes.

Both techniques successfully killed the breast tumor, but the mice treated with the rapid freeze had fewer tumors that spread to the lungs and improved survival compared to mice treated with surgery alone or with the slower freezing technique.

Cryoablation is currently used routinely for prostate cancer, kidney cancer and a variety of cancers that have spread to the liver and bone, according to the U-M news release.

“Cryoablation has strong potential as a treatment for breast cancer,” said lead study author Dr. Michael Sabel, associate professor of surgery at the U-M Medical School. “Not only does it appear effective in treating the primary tumor, with little cosmetic concerns, but it also may stimulate an immune response capable of eradicating any cells that have traveled throughout the body, reducing both local and distant recurrence, similar to giving a breast-cancer vaccine.”

Results of the mice study appear online in Annals of Surgical Oncology.

All participants in the human trial will be treated three to four weeks after cryoablation with standard surgery to remove their breast-cancer tumors. For more information about this study, call the U-M Cancer AnswerLine at (800) 865-1125.

© 2010 All rights reserved.

Breast Cancer Doesn’t Know Race, Religion, or Ethnicity!

Public release date: 10-Mar-2010
Contact: Jeremy Moore
American Association for Cancer Research

Breast cancer incidence among Iraqi women profiled

DEAD SEA, Jordan — Breast cancer continues to rise in Iraq, and scientists have established the Iraqi National Cancer Research Program to better understand the underlying molecular and environmental causes in an effort to curb the incidence of cancer.

“Breast cancer is the most common type of malignancy recorded in the cancer registries of almost all countries within the Eastern Mediterranean Region. In Iraq, the continuous rise in the incidence rate is associated with an obvious trend to affect premenopausal women,” said Nada A.S. Alwan, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Breast Cancer Research Unit at Baghdad University Medical College and the executive director of the newly established Iraqi National Cancer Research Program.

Alwan presented early data at the second AACR Dead Sea International Conference on Advances in Cancer Research: From the Laboratory to the Clinic, held March 7-10, 2010.

The Iraqi National Cancer Research Program was organized by the Iraqi minister of higher education and scientific research in 2009 in collaboration with the common secretariat for the Council of Ministers and the Iraqi Parliament.

“This project includes within its objectives comprehensive epidemiologic studies on risk factors of the main encountered cancers in Iraq, with a focus on the characteristics and behaviors of cancer in patients inhabiting different geographic areas,” said Alwan.

The current study focused on 721 of 5,044 women who complained of breast lumps later diagnosed as cancer. Approximately one-third of the diagnosed patients were between 40 and 49 years old; 71.9 percent came from urban areas and 75 percent were married.

History of lactation was reported in 63.1 percent of the women and 29 percent had taken hormone therapy. A family history of breast cancer was reported in 16.2 percent of cases.

Although 90.6 percent of women detected a lump on self-examination, only 32 percent sought medical advice within the first month. Because of this, 47 percent of them presented with advanced stage breast cancer, either stage III or IV cancer. The main histological type was invasive ductal carcinoma of grade 2 in 56.6 percent and grade 3 in 39.9 percent. Estrogen-receptor positive tumors were noted in 65.1 percent of the cases and progesterone-receptor positive tumors were noted in 45.1 percent of the cases.

“We are currently planning to use this information to compare the demographic characteristics, clinicopathological presentations and management outcomes of breast cancer patients within selected countries in the Middle East,” said Alwan.