Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Breast cancer spreads most often during sleep, unexpected findings from researchers indicates

Research findings have unearthed "potential implications for the timing of biopsy and treatment of metastasis-prone cancers."

That's one conclusion from the authors of a study published some time ago in the journal Nature that decided "the metastatic spread of breast cancer occurs predominantly during sleep."

The findings, according to a story by Megan Brooks online in Medscape Medical News, were "unexpected."

Nicola Aceto, PhD
Brooks quotes Nicola Aceto, PhD and professor of molecular oncology at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology  (ETH) Zurich, Switzerland, as saying, "This has not been shown before [and] we were surprised, indeed."

Harrison Ball, a PhD candidate, and Sunitha Nagrath, PhD, of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, also are quoted, to the effect that "this finding is astounding."

In addition, Brooks' piece quotes Dr. Marlene Myers, clinical professor of medicine at NYU Langone's Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York City, regarding clinical implications: "The most obvious is that the time of day [that] treatment is administered may influence efficacy."

She adds, however, that the benefits of treatment someone at night would need to be weighed against the downsides of interrupting a person's normal sleep-wake cycle. 

More information on research can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive a partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Major U.S. panel drops longstanding mammogram recommendations from 50 years of age to 40

"All women should start getting regular mammograms at age 40, an influential advisory panel said, in a stark revision of standard medical advice."

That paragraph in a recent online "breaking news" short by The New York Times led to a story by staffer Roni Caryn Rabin indicating that women shouldn't wait until 50, as had been advised since 2009.

The new advice, the piece says, "comes as breast cancer diagnoses rise among younger women and mortality rates among Black women remain persistently high."

Troubling trends in recent years, the article continues, "include an apparent increase in the number of cancer diagnosed in women under 50 and a failure to narrow the survival gap for younger Black women, who die of breast cancer at twice the rate of White women of the same age."

Dr. Carol Mangione
The story quotes Dr. Carol Mangione, immediate past chair of the I.S. Preventive Services Task Force, as saying that " we don't really know why there has been an increase in breast cancer among women in their 40s, but when more people in a certain age group are getting a condition, then screening of that group is going to be more impactful."

The new recommendations, the Times piece goes on, "covers more than 20 million women in the United States between the ages of 40 and 49."

Breast cancer has remained "the second mosts common cancer in women after skin cancer and is the second leading cause of cancer deaths, after lung cancer, among women in the United States," the story notes. 

One possible reason for the increase in younger women, it is speculated, might be postponement of childbearing — or not having children at all. At least that's the opinion of Rebecca Siegel, senior scientific director of surveillance research at the American Cancer Society. "Having children before age 35," the Times story says, "reduces the risk of breast cancer, as does breast feeding."

More information about screening recommendations can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Docs push back on women who want flat chests rather than post-mastectomy reconstruction

Although some women prefer flat chests after a mastectomy, many surgeons fight them and push for reconstruction.

According to a story by Fran Kritz in The Washington Post some time ago, "several of those who sought the procedure say they got pushback — and outright denial — from their doctors when they brought it up."

Dr. Deanna Attai
The article focuses on Dr. Deanna Attai, an associate professor at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, who surveyed nearly 1,000 women who'd had a single or double mastectomy without reconstruction. Her study found that almost three-quarters said they were satisfied with the result.

Kritz's story quotes Roshni Rao, chief of breast surgery at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, as having "seen more patients requesting to go flat after mastectomy, likely as they feel more power to make this decision."

Attai has noted that there's more awareness now that the process of reconstruction has risks: "Women who opt for reconstruction, whether a breast implant or their own tissue (called autologous reconstruction) could face multiple surgeries, post-surgery recovery, a 10 percent risk of infection which can get in the way of chemotherapy or radiation schedule, and, occasionally, implant recalls and removals."

Roughly 22 percent of the women in Attai's study, the Post story reports, "said a flat closure option was either not initially offer by their surgeon, or was not supported by the surgeon, or the surgeon intentionally left additional skin in case he patient changed her mind. That extra skin would require further surgery if the woman did not change her mind about the flat closure."

More information about the choice between flat-chestedness and reconstruction can be found in "Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer," a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Actor Sam Neil must take chemotherapy rest of life to ward off recurrence of lymphoma

After fighting it for months, actor Sam Neill, star of Jurassic Park movie franchise, has finally revealed that he has been diagnosed with blood cancer.

Sam Neill
According to a recent story by Lee Moran on the HuffPost website, Neill says he's being treated but is in remission. There's now "no cancer in my body," he's quoted as saying. 

He will, however, need chemotherapy treatment each month for the rest of his life, he admitted to the Guardian in an interview.

Moran's piece says the 75-year-old was diagnosed with angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma "after experiencing swollen glands while promoting Jurassic World Dominion last year."

His revelations most likely came because his memoir — Did I Ever Tell You This? — was just released.. Writing it, the HuffPost story quotes him, "was a lifesaver" that gave him "a reason to live."'

Neill is back to work, with his next television appearance scheduled for Apples Never Fail, a limited upcoming Peacock series co-starring Annette Bening.

More information about treatments and disease can be found in Rollercoaster: How a man can survive his partner's breast cancer, a VitalityPress book that I, Woody Weingarten, aimed at male caregivers.