WOMEN’S HEALTHCARE Hot flushes are linked with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk, study finds Women who have experienced hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause may have a 50 percent lower risk of developing the most common forms of breast cancer than postmenopausal women who have never had such symptoms, according to a recent study. Novel methods for improved breast cancer survival A quarter of all women who suffer from breast cancer are at risk of metastasis – a recurrence of the cancer. In recent years, researchers have developed a technique that can identify in advance which patients belong to this risk group. Within the next two years the method will be tested in Swedish hospitals. In the future, the technique may also be used in hospitals in other countries. Obesity may increase risk of triple-negative breast cancer New findings confirm the risk of breast cancer among women who are obese and not physically active, and suggests additional mechanisms beyond estrogen. Two genes involved in hereditary breast and ovary cancer cases Between 5 and 10 percent of breast cancer cases are hereditary, arising because the patient inherits from the father or mother a mutation in a gene that is susceptible to causing the illness. BRCA1 and BRCA2 have already been identified as two of the genes to be monitored. It is estimated that 30 percent of hereditary breast cancer cases are due to mutations in one of these two genes (which suggests, at the same time, that there are other genes involved, but exactly how is still unknown). In any case, few of the mutations found in BRCA1 and BRCA2 could be clearly identified as pathological. The fact is that the mutations found were numerous; their variation even depending on the population. Obese women less likely to complete mammograms and more likely to report pain with the procedure, study finds Obese women may avoid mammograms because of pain and women under 60 may avoid the test because they are too busy, according to a new study Red wine compound increases anti-tumor effect of rapamycin Researchers have discovered that resveratrol — a compound found in red wine — when combined with rapamycin can have a tumor-suppressing effect on breast cancer cells that are resistant to rapamycin alone. The research also indicates that the PTEN tumor- suppressing gene contributes to resveratrol’s anti-tumor effects in this treatment combination. Risk of breast cancer recurrence may depend on treating surgeon Ductal carcinoma in situ, or non-invasive breast cancer, is typically treated with either breast-conserving surgery — with or without follow-up radiation — or mastectomy. The treatment choice depends on clinical factors, the treating surgeon, and patient preferences. Long-term health outcomes (disease-free survival) depend on the treatments received. According to a new study, however, health outcomes also are associated with the treating surgeon. Women with false-positive mammograms report high anxiety and reduced quality of life Doctors are calling for women to receive more information about the pitfalls of breast cancer screening, as well as the benefits, after some women who received false-positive results faced serious anxiety and reduced quality of life for at least a year. The study of 385 women found that the 233 with false-positive results – where the mammogram is abnormal but no cancer is present – had to undergo more diagnostic procedures than women with breast cancer before they were given the all clear. And women who had a tendency to be anxious fared much worse if they received a false-positive – estimated to happen in 60% of abnormal mammograms – than if they were actually diagnosed with breast cancer.
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