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Experimental New Drug To Fight Breast Cancer

For women with faced with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer trastuzumab emtansine, commonly referred to as T-DM1, will offer a very important therapeutic option.

The drug, trastuzumab emtansine, commonly referred to as T-DM1, appears to be superior to the standard treatment for women with advanced HER2-positive breast cancer. Researchers are presenting the results of a large three-year clinical trial Sunday at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago.

This two pronged approach to treating cancer offers an effective result with fewer side affects than traditional treatments.

Because the drug is delivered directly to the cancer and not into the blood stream the immune system has the opportunity to help fight the cancer.

Cancer Cases To Increase Worldwide 75 Percent By 2030

As Western lifestyle habits extend into developing countries, so too, do the diseases which come with them.

In a paper from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France the findings indicate that along with a rise in living standards, cancer will be on the rise.

A 75 percent increase in cancer by 2030 is expected in the developing world.

The researchers said that rising living standards in less developed countries would probably lead to a decrease in the number of infection-related cancers. But it was also likely there would also be an increase in types of the disease usually seen in richer countries.
They predicted that middle-income countries such as China, India and Africa could see an increase of 78 percent in the number of cancer cases by 2030.
Cases in less developed regions were expected to see a 93 percent rise over the same period, said the paper published in the journal Lancet Oncology.
Those rises would more than offset signs of a decline in cervical, stomach and other kinds of cancer in wealthier nations, said the researchers.

The most common types of cancer in the world are lung cancer, female breast cancer, colorectal cancer, stomach cancer, prostate cancer, liver cancer and cervical cancer.

Hormone Therapy For Menopausal Women Not Recommended

A government panel has found that hormone therapy is not recommended for menopausal women.

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force are definitively decisive in their findings that the risks of hormone replacement therapy outweigh the benefits to menopausal women over 50.

The new recommendations are based on a review of data, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, covering nine clinical trials over the last decade.
The standard of care shifted for many doctors after the Women’s Health Initiative trial was halted, but updated recommendations from the task force are important because many patients still have questions, and many doctors are reluctant to let go of old prescribing habits, Crandall said.

Hormone replacement therapy was given routinely to women to mitigate symptoms that might develop and to prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases.

Breast Cancer Over-Diagnosis From Too Many Mammograms

The potential for over-diagnosis and over-treatment from too many mammograms too early has become the subject of a recent study.

The Norwegian Study included nearly 40,000 women with invasive breast cancer.

The study allowed the researchers to compare the rate of breast cancers diagnosed through mammograms and those found because a tumor was palpable or produced symptoms.

Norway has data on virtually all women who get a diagnosis of breast cancer.

The researchers concluded that 15 percent to 25 percent of breast cancers were overdiagnosed — meaning 6 to 10 women were overdiagnosed for every 2,500 offered screening mammograms.

- Dr. Joanne Elmore of the University of Washington and Dr. Suzanne Fletcher of Harvard, in an editorial
Under current practice, those women get biopsies and treatment for breast cancers that would never have been detected otherwise. Either the cancers would have grown very slowly or not at all and never caused symptoms, or women would have died from something else before their breast cancer was diagnosed.

Cancer Battle Begins With Finding the Cause

Finding the cause of cancer is where the real battle lies.

Finding a cause, much like the correlation of HPV with cervical cancer, could lead to a vaccine for breast cancer as well.

Environmental factors and lifestyle need to be explored as major contributing factor to all cancers.

In reality, we still do not know what causes breast cancer, which means we really do not know how to prevent it, either. That has pushed us to focus on looking for cancers that are already there, a practice long based on the assumption that all cancers were the same, grew at a similar rate and were visible in the breast for a period of time before spreading. It made sense: If you could find cancers earlier, you could save lives.

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