Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The American Cancer Society announced that the benefits of prostrate - and breast-cancer screenings have been overstated, after a study found that such tests often detect nonlethal tumors but fail to catch faster-spreading malignant growths. Screenings for colon and cervical cancers, on the other hand, have led to a marked decline in late-stage cancers.
This article is short but to the point. We are our best screeners. Self Exam is a must for all women and men. Breast cancer can be fast growing and easily grow between your yearly exams. Mine grew to 2cm within 2 months. If you check yourself every month you have a greater chance of feeling any changes before anyone else. If you do feel something, have it checked immediately. I would rather have a test say something is nonlethal than to wait and have a malignancy growing through my body.
Please do all you can to protect yourself from this killer.
Good health to us all
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Young women must be pro-active and do their self-exams, get their mammograms, and do not be afraid to talk with your doctor if you have any concerns. If you are uncomfortable talking with your doctor then it is time to get a new doctor. You must be able to discuss this and any subject with your doctor. EARLY DETECTION can save your life and as the following video says "Save The Boobs".
Breast cancer is the number one cancer killer of women 20-49. Think about this Girls!
Brest Cancer KILLS!!!
1 If you are overweight, Lose that Weight!
2 If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation!
3 Exercise, Exercise, Exercise It can be low impact or more but get your body moving.
4 Breast feeding has been found to lower your chances of breast cancer.
and I am adding another.
If you are a smoker, please quit smoking. I know that it is hard but for your health and the health of those around you please quit.
I can't Breastfeed but I am working on the first 3 to try to reduce my chances of recurrence.
Good health to us all. Leigh
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Cancer does not care if you are famous, imfamous, or an everyday person. Look at Ted Kennedy, Farrah Fawcett, Cristine Applegate, and everyone else out there fighting with some form of cancer.
Research is the only way we will ever find a cure for cancer.
You can help, Give to:
The American Cancer Society: As the nation's largest private, not-for-profit source of funds for scientists studying cancer, the American Cancer Society (ACS) focuses its funding on investigator-initiated, peer-reviewed proposals. http://www.cancer.org/
Cancer Research Institute : The Cancer Research Institute is the recognized leader in supporting and coordinating the research of immunological approaches to preventing, controlling, or treating cancer. http://www.cancerresearch.org/
St Jude Children's Research Hospital: St. Jude is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. With research and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is where some of today's most gifted researchers are able to do science more quickly.
St. Jude researchers are published and cited more often in high impact publications than any other private pediatric oncology research institution in America. St. Jude is a place where many doctors send some of their sickest patients and toughest cases. A place where cutting-edge research and revolutionary discoveries happen every day. We've built America's second-largest health-care charity so the science never stops. http://www.stjude.org/
City of Hope: On our park-like campus just northeast of Los Angeles, City of Hope Helford Clinical Research Hospital brings groundbreaking research and compassionate care under one roof. It embodies our mission to deliver the newest, most promising therapies to patients without delay, while creating an environment that encourages open collaboration between physicians, caregivers and clinical researchers. City of Hope includes the Beckman Research Institute. http://www.cityofhop.org/
The Susan G. Komen for the Cure : The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation Awards More Than $45 Million to Breast Cancer Research http://www.komen.org/
Each of these organizations does fantastic work in cancer research and there are more out there.
Good Health and a good week to all,
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Includes 6 special bonus sections, including advice for the caregiver, tips to make eating out easier, a kitchen staples list, advice on avoiding weight gain during treatment and tips on assembling a take-along food "survival kit", as well as a helpful list of organizations that provide information on nutrition and cancer.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The German Cancer Breakthrough Report
Good Health to us all,
Friday, July 24, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I know my column is about my cancer and cancer information but I like to read Dear Abby everyday. This has helped me find out some great information for family and friends. Including the Heart Kit for Women and more.
In a recent column I found out some information that I feel should be out there for everyone who is a veteran or veteran's widow/widower. Anyone who knows of anyone in this situation should also pass on this information.
This information was sent in by Fred Campbell, EX-POW and Chairman of VA outreach for American Ex-Prisoners of War who wanted to alert all veterans (not just former POWs) of a recent VA ruling.
On Sept 23 2008, Lou Gehrig's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, was made a presumptive condition for all veterans who served in our armed forces for at least 90 days.
This means that the widows of those veterans who died of Lou Gehrig's disease in years past are eligible for the VA widows' monthly benefit, which is very substantial.
Many people are not aware that a veteran's death due to this disease is now considered service-connected. Fred states in his letter that he helped on one claim that involved an ALS death 46 years ago, in 1963.
Fred Campbell can be contacted at 3312 Chatterton Drive, San Angelo, TX 76904 and can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will continue to read Dear Abby and pass along anything I feel is of help.
Good Health and Happiness to all
Please check out my eBay site for more great items for sale to help me pay my medical bills.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
More and More Celebrities are having their Medical Privacy invaded by the Media. Freedom of the Press is good but what happened to Decency. Just because someone is an actor or actress, or person of notority or fame, this should not give the media open season.
The new series "Parenthood" production was put on hold due to an actors medical condition. Maura Tierney, of "ER" fame, is one of the actors in the new series
In a media release by NBC over the weekend about the 'Parenthood" delay, NBC cited a "medical evaluation that valued cast member Maura Tierney is undergoing". Maybe the media experts at NBC need to think about the repercussions of their statements.
This "caused confusion and undue alarm about my health," Ms Tierney said, which lead to her going public about her condition.
She is recovering from surgery to remove a breast tumor. Maura said, in a statement to tvguide.com, that she would not know the exact diagnosis or course of treatment until after the surgery.
The need for Media Sensationalism by the Studio, and Newspapers, and all media, caused additional strain when none was needed. Going through the Unknown and waiting for the results from the surgery is stressful enough.
We hope and pray that Ms Tierney's results are benign. And if they are not we hope and pray that the media will have the decency to let her tell us when she is ready.
Farrah Fawcett said she came out and told the public herself so that the media would not have a field day with her illness and she could do it on her terms.
Anyone, going through cancer or any illness, has the right to tell family, friends, and if they want to, the public, on their terms. The media should not be making that decision for them.
Best wishes to Maura and her family. We hope for the best results.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I have been trying to figure out what to do with my hair. Do I keep it cut short or grow it back to shoulder length. I have always had long hair as you can see from my before picture. I wasn't terribly bad looking with a bald head but I do not think I would want to keep that look. My hair has grown back in and is starting to get long enough to be cut (I did have it trimmed but was not happy with the way it was cut).
A while back there was a letter sent to "Dear Abby" from a young lady talked about how her aunt had just gone through chemo and lost her hair but it had grown back. Her aunt was keeping her hair cut short but she had always had long hair and the niece thought she should let it grow back long again. The niece could not understand why the woman did not want to grow it back long again.
Let me try to explain some of my feelings on the subject.
I always loved my long hair. I did not have to get it cut all the time and I could wash and hang dry. I did not like having to blow dry my hair because it was very thick and took a long time to blow dry so if I had to go out somewhere immediately that could be a problem. I color my hair. I have had a lot of gray in my hair since I was 20 years of age. So I color my hair. With long hair I could go longer between colorings. The roots did not show as much. But because my hair was thick sometimes (especially if I put my hair in a ponytail) I would get headaches from my hair.(This was especially true when my hair was down to my waist, the older I got the shorter my hair got until it was just shoulder length) Those are my pros and cons on long hair.
I wore no wigs during my chemo and except when my head was cold, no scarves. I did have two hats I wore during the summer to keep the sun off the top of my head. I did not mind being bald, easy shampoo and dry, no coloring etc.
I thought short hair might work out OK but I came to find you have to get it cut more often to keep a nice clean look. You have to color it more often because the roots show more. I do like the quick dry and style. My biggest problem is finding someone who can cut my hair to where I like the look. I guess I had long hair so long that I do not know what short look is right for me. I do not go for the spiked look. I like having the tops of my ears covered. I just don't know.
Part of the Problem is the awkward stages the hair goes through while you are letting it grow long. Plus the texture of my hair has changed and it may not lie the same on my head.
I also hesitate letting my hair grow long again because what if I have to have more chemo. Hair gone again. Less traumatic if the hair is short, I think. I did not get real upset when we cut my hair short when I started chemo. We sort of made a party of it. But, I do not see that happening if I have to go through all this again.
The niece that inquired about her aunt's hair may want to consider she may be going through the same thing. Maybe she found a short cut that she likes and does not want to go through growing her hair long again. Maybe she is afraid to let it grow long again. Maybe she knows she will have to have some more treatments but has not told everyone else.
The niece should be thankful her aunt is there (and I am sure she is) and enjoy everyday. She said her aunt's hair was so beautiful but I bet if she really thought about it, Her aunt's beauty inside made the hair beautiful.
Well, I guess I will ponder what to do about my mop of hair. Maybe someone knows what short hair style would look good on my puffy (med) round face and give me some hints.
Everyone have a Great Day and Good Health.
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
I hope everyone had a Great 4th of July and did not eat too much food or get too much sunburn. (watch that for skin cancer:) Ours was nice and relaxing. We could watch the fireworks put on by the city from our front porch. I want to thank Rebecca in Texas for purchasing the Avon Ivory Bracelet and Earring set I had listed and had mentioned in the blog before. I appreciate all your help.
I have a couple of items to tell you about today that I hope someone will like.
The first is an Abalone Necklace and Earring set. It is new and can be seen HERE
I have more jewelry and estate jewelry
I have some wonderful woodworking books and gardening books available.
One is "101 Weekend Gift Project from Wood" and can be seen HERE
I hope everyone will take a look at my eBay store. click here to see it
All your help is greatly appreciated and I thank everyone for looking.
I am going to have to have my mediport removed as it has come loose and is moving under my skin. It is getting very close to the fold where when you lift your arm and move it up or toward the front the mediport is pinching. Very uncomfortable. (feels like someone is cutting into you with a very sharp knife:(
If anyone else has had this happen please let me know what you had done. Looking for some feedback as to how serious this is and how soon I need to have the surgery done.
Health and Happiness to all Thanks Leigh
Monday, June 29, 2009
I found this fact sheet and wanted to pass the information along to everyone. It has a lot of great information.
Paget Disease of the Nipple: Questions and Answers
• Paget disease of the nipple is an uncommon type of cancer that forms in or around the nipple (see Question 1).
• Paget disease of the nipple is almost always associated with an underlying breast cancer (see Questions 1 and 2).
• Scientists do not know exactly what causes Paget disease of the nipple, but two major theories have been suggested for how it develops (see Question 2).
• Symptoms of early-stage disease may include redness or crusting of the nipple skin; symptoms of more advanced disease often include tingling, itching, increased sensitivity, burning, or pain in the nipple (see Question 3).
• Paget disease of the nipple is diagnosed by performing a biopsy (see Question 4).
• Surgery is the usual treatment for Paget disease of the nipple. Additional treatments may be recommended under certain circumstances (see Question 5).
• Many clinical trials for breast cancer are under way (see Question 6).
1. What is Paget disease of the nipple?
Paget disease of the nipple, also called Paget disease of the breast, is an uncommon type of cancer that forms in or around the nipple (1, 2, 3). More than 95 percent of people with Paget disease of the nipple also have underlying breast cancer; however, Paget disease of the nipple accounts for less than 5 percent of all breast cancers (1). For instance, of the 211,240 new cases of breast cancer projected to be diagnosed in 2005, fewer than 11,000 will also involve Paget disease of the nipple (4).
Most patients diagnosed with Paget disease of the nipple are over age 50, but rare cases have been diagnosed in patients in their 20s (1). The average age at diagnosis is 62 for women and 69 for men. The disease is rare among both women and men.
Paget disease of the nipple was named after Sir James Paget, a scientist who noted an association between changes in the appearance of the nipple and underlying breast cancer (1, 5). There are several other unrelated diseases named after Paget, including Paget disease of the bone and Paget disease of the vulva; this fact sheet discusses only Paget disease of the nipple.
2. What are the possible causes of Paget disease of the nipple?
Scientists do not know exactly what causes Paget disease of the nipple, but two major theories have been suggested for how it develops (1, 2). One theory proposes that cancer cells, called Paget cells, break off from a tumor inside the breast and move through the milk ducts to the surface of the nipple, resulting in Paget disease of the nipple. This theory is supported by the fact that more than 97 percent of patients with Paget disease also have underlying invasive breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) (1). DCIS, also called intraductal carcinoma, is a condition in which abnormal cells are present only in the lining of the milk ducts in the breast, and have not invaded surrounding tissue or spread to the lymph nodes. DCIS sometimes becomes invasive breast cancer. Invasive breast cancer is cancer that has spread outside the duct into the breast tissue, and possibly into the lymph nodes under the arm or into other parts of the body.
The other theory suggests that skin cells of the nipple spontaneously become Paget cells. This theory is supported by the rare cases of Paget disease in which there is no underlying breast cancer, and the cases in which the underlying breast cancer is found to be a separate tumor from the Paget disease (1).
3. What are the symptoms of Paget disease of the nipple?
Symptoms of early Paget disease of the nipple include redness and mild scaling and flaking of the nipple skin (1). Early symptoms may cause only mild irritation and may not be enough to prompt a visit to the doctor (3). Improvement in the skin can occur spontaneously, but this should not be taken as a sign that the disease has disappeared. More advanced disease may show more serious destruction of the skin (1). At this stage, the symptoms may include tingling, itching, increased sensitivity, burning, and pain. There may also be discharge from the nipple, and the nipple can appear flattened against the breast (1, 2).
In approximately half of patients with Paget disease of the nipple, a lump or mass in the breast can be felt during physical examination (1). In most cases, Paget disease of the nipple is initially confined to the nipple, later spreading to the areola or other regions of the breast (1, 2). The areola is the circular area of darker skin that surrounds the nipple. Paget disease of the nipple can also be found only on the areola, where it may resemble eczema, a noncancerous itchy red rash (1). Although rare, Paget disease of the nipple can occur in both breasts (2).
4. How is Paget disease of the nipple diagnosed?
If a health care provider suspects Paget disease of the nipple, a biopsy of the nipple skin is performed (1, 2, 3). In a biopsy, the doctor removes a small sample of tissue. A pathologist examines the tissue under a microscope to see if Paget cells are present. The pathologist may use a technique called immunohistochemistry (staining tissues to identify specific cells) to differentiate Paget cells from other cell types (1). A sample of nipple discharge may also be examined under a microscope for the presence of Paget cells (3).
Because most people with Paget disease of the nipple also have underlying breast cancer, physical examination and mammography (x-ray of the breast) are used to make a complete diagnosis.
5. How is Paget disease of the nipple treated?
Surgery is the most common treatment for Paget disease of the nipple (1, 2, 5).
The specific treatment often depends on the characteristics of the underlying breast cancer.
A modified radical mastectomy may be recommended when invasive cancer or extensive DCIS has been diagnosed (5). In this operation, the surgeon removes the breast, the lining over the chest muscles, and some of the lymph nodes under the arm. In cases where underlying breast cancer is not invasive, the surgeon may perform a simple mastectomy to remove only the breast and the lining over the chest muscles (2, 5).
Alternatively, patients whose disease is confined to the nipple and the surrounding area may undergo breast-conserving surgery or lumpectomy followed by radiation therapy (1, 2, 5). During breast-conserving surgery, the surgeon removes the nipple, areola, and the entire portion of the breast believed to contain the cancer. In most cases, radiation therapy is also used to help prevent recurrence (return of the cancer).
During surgery, particularly modified radical mastectomy, the doctor may perform an axillary node dissection to remove the lymph nodes under the arm (1, 5). The lymph nodes are then examined to see if the cancer has spread to them. In some cases, a sentinel lymph node biopsy may be performed to remove only one or a few lymph nodes. (For more information about sentinel lymph node biopsies, please see National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.44, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy: Questions and Answers, at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/sentinel-node-biopsy on the Internet.)
Adjuvant treatment (treatment that is given in addition to surgery to prevent the cancer from coming back) may be part of the treatment plan, depending on the type of cancer and whether cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes. Radiation treatment is a common adjuvant therapy for Paget disease of the nipple following breast-conserving surgery. Adjuvant treatment with anticancer drugs or hormone therapies may also be recommended, depending on the extent of the disease and prognostic factors (estimated chance of recovery from the disease or chance that the disease will recur).
6. Are clinical trials (research studies) available?
Where can people get more information about clinical trials?
Yes. The NCI is currently sponsoring many clinical trials for all types of breast cancer. These studies are designed to find new treatments and better ways to use current treatments. As new and improved treatments are found for breast cancer, the treatment options for Paget disease of the nipple will also improve (2, 5).
People interested in taking part in a clinical trial should talk with their doctor. Information about clinical trials is available from the NCI’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) (see below) at 1–800–4–CANCER and in the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies, which can be found at http://www.cancer.gov/publications on the Internet. This booklet describes how research studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks. Further information about clinical trials is available at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials on the NCI’s Web site. The Web site offers detailed information about specific ongoing studies by linking to PDQ®, the NCI’s cancer information database. The CIS also provides information from PDQ.
1. Kaelin CM. Paget's Disease. In: Harris JR, Lippman ME, Morrow M, Osborne CK, editors. Diseases of the Breast. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2004.
2. DeVita,VT Jr., Hellman S, Rosenberg SA, editors. Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. 7th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2004.
3. Beers MH, Berkow R, editors. The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy. 17th ed. Whitehouse Station, NJ: Merck & Company, Inc., 1999.
4. American Cancer Society (2005). Cancer Facts and Figures 2005. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society. Retrieved April 20, 2005, from http://www.cancer.org/downloads/STT/CAFF2005f4PWSecured.pdf.
5. Marcus E. The management of Paget's disease of the breast. Current Treatment Options in Oncology 2004; 5:153–160.
Related NCI materials and Web pages:
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 2.11, Clinical Trials: Questions and Answers (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Information/clinical-trials)
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 5.14, Improving Methods for Breast Cancer Detection and Diagnosis (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/breast-cancer)
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.1, Radiation Therapy for Cancer: Questions and Answers (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/radiation)
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.20, Adjuvant Therapy for Breast Cancer: Questions and Answers (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/adjuvant-breast)
• Surgery Choices for Women With Early-Stage Breast Cancer (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/breast-cancer-surgery-choices)
• Understanding Breast Changes: A Health Guide for Women (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/understanding-breast-changes)
• What You Need To Know About™ Breast Cancer (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/breast)
This fact sheet was reviewed on 6/27/05
Good Health to us all and a Happy 4th of July tomorrow!!
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Last Thursday Farrah Fawcett lost her Battle with Cancer. Her death was somewhat over shadowed by the death of Michael Jackson.
Farrahs battle with cancer was made public in 2006. She created a show that followed her on her tireless rounds of treatments from the disease. This story "Farrah's Story" recently was aired on television.
The show showed the up and downs with dealing with chemotherapy, hair loss, depression and the hopes and fears of the unknown future.
Farrah's story also showed the strength she had and the love her family and friends and how they helped give her more strength.
All cancer survivors have to go through the same, whether for a short time or over years. We try to live our lives showing the same strength and appreciate all the love and support we get from our family and friends.
Farrah put it all in front of the TV audience for everyone to see what a deadly word CANCER really is. This helps other people understand and comprehend just how devastating hearing those words "you have cancer" can be and the fight it takes not to let it defeat you. You just keep battling until the end.
Farrah Fawcett fought a brave battle and her story will help others along the way.
Thank you, Farrah, for allowing us to see your strength.
Good health to us all, and say a prayer for Farrah. Leigh
Friday, June 26, 2009
As many of you know I am selling items in eBay to help pay my medical bills which have accummulated since my diagnosis of Breast Cancer. I have no insurance and did not qualify for the breast cancer/cervical cancer program in my state. My cancer was not diagnoised at the county health department but at my doctor's office which according to the state made it a pre-existing condition thus eliminating my having access to their program. This is why I am resposible for all the bills. But I decided at the time that there was still a lot I had to do with my life and it was worth whatever I needed to do to keep going.
The reason for this little message is that occasionally I will be showcasing an item I have for sale at eBay in my Blog. I have Vintage jewelry, glass, books, clothes and more. I hope you do not mind but I wanted to get some extra exposure for the items. I hope you will look and see if there is anything you might like for yourself or as a gift for someone you know. I appreciate all the help and support I have recieved from my readers and from my eBay customers. Thank you!
FOR SALE! Vintage AVON Ivory Color Bracelet and Earring Set
This set was made in Japan, Exclusively for Avon. I do not know if it is Ivory or Shell. It does not look like plastic. Elastic in the bracelet and Clip Earrings.
You can go to this auction by clicking Here
Thanks again for you help, Leigh
Thursday, June 25, 2009
PARP Inhibitors. PARP is short for "poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase," which is used by cancer cells to repair DNA damage, including the damage inflicted by chemotherapy drugs. By blocking the enzyme, researchers aim to further undermine the ability of cancer cells to heal themselves.
Yesterday it was announced that these PARP Inhibitors may be the greatest breakthrough for breast cancer patients since the development of Herceptin in the late 1990's.
According to the investigators in the most recent string of favorable studies almost two-thirds of mutation carriers had a clinical benefit from treatment with olaparib, Johann S. de Bono, MD, PhD, of the Royal Marsden Hospital in London, and colleagues reported in the June 24 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine
I hope they are right. 15% to 20% of all women with breast cancer have the BRCA1/2 mutation. This drug has also shown favorable results in test of women with triple-negative breast cancer (as stated in May at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.)
The agent demonstrated activity in patients with breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer.
The following note was attached to one of the articles I found on google. Action Points for Doctors to tell Patients.
Action Points --->
1. Explain to patients that an investigational drug showed activity in tumors that have certain types of genetic mutations.
2.Emphasize that the drug is not yet available.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
I found this Fact Sheet and it answered many question I had not been able to answer before.
1. What is inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)?
Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare but very aggressive type of breast cancer in which the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin of the breast. This type of breast cancer is called "inflammatory" because the breast often looks swollen and red, or "inflamed." IBC accounts for 1 to 5 percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States (1). It tends to be diagnosed in younger women compared to non-IBC breast cancer. It occurs more frequently and at a younger age in African Americans than in Whites. Like other types of breast cancer, IBC can occur in men, but usually at an older age than in women. Some studies have shown an association between family history of breast cancer and IBC, but more studies are needed to draw firm conclusions (2).
• Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is a rare but very aggressive type of breast cancer (see Question 1).
• IBC usually grows rapidly and often spreads to other parts of the body; symptoms include redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast (see Questions 2 and 3).
• Treatment for IBC usually starts with chemotherapy, which is generally followed by surgery, radiation, targeted therapy, and/or hormone therapy (see Question 4).
• People with IBC are encouraged to enroll in clinical trials (research studies with people) that explore new treatments (see Question 5).
2. What are the symptoms of IBC?
Symptoms of IBC may include redness, swelling, and warmth in the breast, often without a distinct lump in the breast. The redness and warmth are caused by cancer cells blocking the lymph vessels in the skin. The skin of the breast may also appear pink,
reddish purple, or bruised. The skin may also have ridges or appear pitted, like the skin of an orange (called peau d'orange), which is caused by a buildup of fluid and edema
(swelling) in the breast. Other symptoms include heaviness, burning, aching, increase in breast size, tenderness, or a nipple that is inverted (facing inward) (3). These symptoms usually develop quickly—over a period of weeks or months. Swollen lymph nodes may also be present under the arm, above the collarbone, or in both places. However, it is important to note that these symptoms may also be signs of other conditions such as infection, injury, or other types of cancer (1).
3. How is IBC diagnosed?
Diagnosis of IBC is based primarily on the results of a doctor’s clinical examination (1). Biopsy, mammogram, and breast ultrasound are used to confirm the diagnosis. IBC is classified as either stage IIIB or stage IV breast cancer (2). Stage IIIB breast cancers are locally advanced; stage IV breast cancer is cancer that has spread to other organs. IBC tends to grow rapidly, and the physical appearance of the breast of patients with IBC is different from that of patients with other stage III breast cancers. IBC is an especially aggressive, locally advanced breast cancer.
Cancer staging describes the extent or severity of an individual’s cancer. (More information on staging is available in the National Cancer Institute (NCI) fact sheet Staging: Questions and Answers at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/staging on the Internet.) Knowing a cancer’s stage helps the doctor develop a treatment plan and estimate prognosis (the likely outcome or course of the disease; the chance of recovery or recurrence).
4. How is IBC treated?
Treatment consisting of chemotherapy, targeted therapy, surgery, radiation therapy, and hormonal therapy is used to treat IBC. Patients may also receive supportive care to help manage the side effects of the cancer and its treatment. Chemotherapy (anticancer drugs) is generally the first treatment for patients with IBC, and is called neoadjuvant therapy. Chemotherapy is systemic treatment, which means that it affects cells throughout the body. The purpose of chemotherapy is to control or kill cancer cells, including those that may have spread to other parts of the body.
After chemotherapy, patients with IBC may undergo surgery and radiation therapy to the chest wall. Both radiation and surgery are local treatments that affect only cells in the tumor and the immediately surrounding area. The purpose of surgery is to remove the tumor from the body, while the purpose of radiation therapy is to destroy remaining cancer cells. Surgery to remove the breast (or as much of the breast tissue as possible) is called a mastectomy. Lymph node dissection (removal of the lymph nodes in the underarm area for examination under a microscope) is also done during this surgery.
After initial systemic and local treatment, patients with IBC may receive additional systemic treatments to reduce the risk of recurrence (cancer coming back). Such treatments may include additional chemotherapy, hormonal therapy (treatment that interferes with the effects of the female hormone estrogen, which can promote the growth of breast cancer cells), targeted therapy (such as trastuzumab, also known as Herceptin®), or all three. Trastuzumab is administered to patients whose tumors overexpress the HER–2 tumor protein. More information about Herceptin and the HER–2 protein is available in the NCI fact sheet Herceptin® (Trastuzumab): Questions and Answers, which can be found at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/therapy/herceptin on the Internet.
Supportive care is treatment given to improve the quality of life of patients who have a serious or life-threatening disease, such as cancer. It prevents or treats as early as possible the symptoms of the disease, side effects caused by treatment of the disease, and psychological, social, and spiritual problems related to the disease or its treatment. For example, compression garments may be used to treat lymphedema (swelling caused by excess fluid buildup) resulting from radiation therapy or the removal of lymph nodes. Additionally, meeting with a social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful to those who want to talk about their feelings or discuss their concerns. A social worker can often suggest resources for help with recovery, emotional support, financial aid, transportation, or home care.
5. Are clinical trials (research studies with people) available? Where can people get more information about clinical trials?
Yes. The NCI is sponsoring clinical trials that are designed to find new treatments and better ways to use current treatments. Before any new treatment can be recommended for general use, doctors conduct clinical trials to find out whether the treatment is safe for patients and effective against the disease. Participation in clinical trials is a treatment option for many patients with IBC, and all patients with IBC are encouraged to consider treatment in a clinical trial.
People interested in taking part in a clinical trial should talk with their doctor. Information about clinical trials is available from the NCI’s Cancer Information Service (CIS) (see below) at 1–800–4–CANCER and in the NCI booklet Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies, which is available at http://www.cancer.gov/publications on the Internet. This booklet describes how research studies are carried out and explains their possible benefits and risks. Further information about clinical trials is available at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials on the NCI’s Web site. The Web site offers detailed information about specific ongoing studies by linking to PDQ®, the NCI’s comprehensive cancer information database. The CIS also provides information from PDQ.
6. What is the prognosis for patients with IBC?
7. Where can a person find more information about breast cancer and its treatment?
• NCI’s Breast Cancer Home Page (http://www.cancer.gov/breast/)
• Breast Cancer (PDQ®): Treatment (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/breast/patient/)
• Understanding Breast Changes: A Health Guide for All Women (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/understanding-breast-changes)
• What You Need To Know About™ Breast Cancer (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/breast)
1. Merajver SD, Sabel MS. Inflammatory breast cancer. In: Harris JR, Lippman ME, Morrow M, Osborne CK, editors. Diseases of the Breast. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2004.
2. Anderson W, Schairer C, Chen B, Hance K, Levine P. Epidemiology of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). Breast Disease 2005; 22:9–23.
3. Chittoor SR, Swain SM. Locally advanced breast cancer: Role of medical oncology. In: Bland KI, Copeland EM, editors. The Breast: Comprehensive Management of Benign and Malignant Diseases. Vol. 2. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company, 1998.
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Related NCI materials and Web pages:
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 2.1, Cancer Information Sources
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 5.32, Staging: Questions and Answers
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.1, Radiation Therapy for Cancer: Questions and Answers (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/radiation )
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.2, Biological Therapies for Cancer: Questions and Answers (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Therapy/biological)
• National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet 7.45, Herceptin® (Trastuzumab): Questions and Answers (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/therapy/herceptin)
• Chemotherapy and You: Support for People With Cancer (http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/chemotherapy-and-you)
• Taking Part in Cancer Treatment Research Studies
For more help, contact:
NCI’s Cancer Information Service
Telephone (toll-free): 1–800–4–CANCER (1–800–422–6237)
TTY (toll-free): 1–800–332–8615
LiveHelp® online chat: https://cissecure.nci.nih.gov/livehelp/welcome.asp
This fact sheet was reviewed on 8/29/06
Monday, June 15, 2009
Sunday, May 31, 2009
The Study, being the largest to look at this issue, found that using some antidepressants can prevent the cancer drug tamoxifen for working properly.
The study states Breast Cancer survivors risk having their disease come back if they use certain antidepressants while also taking the cancer prevention drug tamoxifen. Tomaxifen cuts in half the chances of a breast cancer recurrence. Because hormone pills are not considered safe after breast cancer, many women also take antidepressants for hot flashes caused by tomaxifen. The new study found that using these interfering drugs - including Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft - can virtually wipe out the benefit tamoxifen provides.
Many doctors question the magnitude of harm from combining these medicines. A smaller study did not show this problem.
The Bottom Line is the same: Not all antidepressants pose this problem and women should talk to their doctors about which ones are best for them.
you can read another article on the report: Some Antidepressants May Thwart Tamoxifen's Effect on Breast Cancer here
Take care and stay healthy, Leigh
Saturday, May 30, 2009
It really does only take about 20 seconds, please fill out the form for yourself and the rest of us. K.R. (NM)
Proposed Mastectomy Law Change
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Well, we have our local "Relay for Life" for the American Cancer Society here starting tonight. It will run through the evening and finish up tomorrow. I am hoping the weather will be OK even though they are predicting rain and storms. We have had so much rain I wish it would stop and let the ground dry up a little bit. As they are having the Relay for Life on a large Soccer field, I hope it is not too soaked. I will be walking for as long as I can.
The Relay for Life is a major fund raiser for the American Cancer Society. They do so much good work from providing transportation for cancer patients, housing when patients and families must go out of town for consultation or treatment. ACS provides funds for research for many different types of cancers. ACS has helped many people in our communities across this great land.
If you have a Relay for Life coming up in your area I hope you will participate and have a good time while helping so many others.
Good luck to all the participants and our Thanks go out to all the volunteers and organizations that have helped this year and all years past. Good health to all and god bless.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Good health to you all, Leigh
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Ancient Chinese have long believed in the benefits of drinking natural health drinks to improve one’s health disposition. Tea has been drunk for at least 4,000 years. While coffee has been around for centuries. Both have immense benefits for health improvement.
Tea was first discovered in China in 2737 B.C. According to Chinese records, the emperor would only drink water which is boiled to make sure that it was indeed clean. During a trip, a servant boiled water and a dried leaf fell on the boiling water. It turned the water brown but was still served to the emperor. The emperor drank the concoction and found it very refreshing.
Coffee, on the other hand, can be traced as early as the 9th century. Coffee was largely cultivated in Ethiopia. Soon, the Arabs started trading it, bringing it to northern Africa where it was mass-cultivated. After being popular in Africa, it started to enter Indian and European Markets.
Europe and Asia pioneered energy drinks. In 1901, the first energy drink was released in Scotland called Im-Bru. While in Japan, their energy drinks can be traced as early as the 1960s. Although they cite that there were already some attempts in mixing different minerals with water before World War II, they released Lipovitan in early 1960s. South Korea also produced “genki drinks” which were also energy drinks.
In 1929, Lucozade Energy was used as a hospital drink in the United Kingdom. This drink was primarily for helping the speedy recovery of hospital patients. In the 1980s, this drink was commercially released as an energy drink meant to replace lost energy.
The worldwide leading energy drink, Red Bull, was created and marketed by an Austrian entrepreneur. This leading energy drink was created in Europe. It was based on a Thai drink called Krating Daeng, which is also based on Lipovitan. Red Bull entered the United States market in 1997, and currently the dominant brand. It’s approximate market share is as big as 47 percent.
For sports drinks, the first one created was for the purpose of improving the performance of athletes and sports star, was for the Florida Gators. That is why the first product, which was released during 1960s, was called Gatorade. The main purpose of this drink is to provide to lengthen the performance levels and aid hydration of athletes.
As early as 1985, the United States had started to introduce energy drinks. They had the Jolt Cola. While in 1995, PepsiCo launched the Josta. This was the first energy drink made by a leading United States beverage company.
Since then, energy drinks have started to gain fair market share and popularity. More and more companies are taking advantage of such popularity and high demand.
More and more people seek out energy drinks and new developments. People are trying to be heath conscious amidst all the pressure of a high and fast paced life. With the demand increasing, there are unlimited possibilities.