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Many Women May Overestimate Risks From Genes Tied to Breast Cancer

Women who carry mutations in genes known as BRCA have an elevated risk of breast cancer. But a large, new study suggests that risk may be lower than generally believed -- especially if a woman has no close relative with the disease.

The study, of more than 400,000 British adults, found that women who carried mutations in either of two genes -- BRCA1 or BRCA2 -- had a higher-than-average r...

Dirty Air Could Raise Breast Cancer Risk

Air pollution has long been known to harm the heart and lungs, but new research suggests it might also raise the risk of breast cancer.

Researchers at the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) discovered that the largest increases in breast cancer incidence were among women who, on average, had higher levels of particulate...

AI Equals Human Radiologists at Interpreting Breast Cancer Scans

Another study is showing that artificial intelligence (AI) is as good as a specialist doctor in spotting breast cancer on a mammogram. But don't expect computers to take over the job from humans, experts say.

In a study that compared the mammography-reading skills of an AI tool with those of more than 500 medical professionals, researchers found that it was basically a tie.

On avera...

Skipping Radiation May Be Safe for Some With Early Breast Cancer

Many women with early breast cancer undergo breast-conserving surgery along with radiation to kill any errant cancer cells, but some may be able to safely skip radiation, new research suggests.

“If the tumors are low-risk, as defined in part by being caught early/small and in part by having favorable molecular features, the risk of recurrence is minimal even if you skip out on what has ...

Cancers, Especially Gastro Tumors, Are Rising Among Americans Under 50

Breast, colon and pancreatic cancer rates are increasing at concerning rates among America's young adults, a new study finds.

Breast cancer accounted for the most cases in adults under 50 between 2010 and 2019, but gastrointestinal cancer rates grew fastest among the early-onset cancers studied.

Senior researcher

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 16, 2023
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  • Drinking May Not Raise Risk of Breast Cancer's Return

    If you have been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may not have to swear off alcohol completely, a new study suggests.

    In it, researchers report that occasional drinking isn't likely to cause a recurrence of breast cancer.

    "The findings suggest drinking alcohol is not associated with an increased risk of having a breast cancer recurrence or dying from the disease," said lead study a...

    Breast Cancer Screening May Not Be Worth It for Women Over 70

    The risks of screening mammograms to catch breast cancer may outweigh the benefits for certain women aged 70 or older, new research indicates.

    The main risk? Overdiagnosis and treatment of a breast cancer that likely wouldn't have caused any symptoms during a woman's lifetime.

    “For women who are on the younger end of the age range and who are generally healthy, the risk of overdia...

    Ductal Carcinoma in Situ (DCIS): What It Is, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

    A breast cancer diagnosis can be terrifying, but one type of early-stage disease is noninvasive and has high survival odds.

    There have been an estimated 297,790 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed in the United States so far this year, the

  • Miriam Jones Bradley, RN HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 8, 2023
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  • Suzanne Somers Says Her Breast Cancer Has Returned

    Actress Suzanne Somers, who first battled breast cancer in her 50s, announced on Instagram this week that the disease recently returned.

    Somers, now 76, has been fighting cancer for decades. But she says she follows a chemical-free and organic lifestyle, which she credits for saving her life.

    "I had breast cancer two decades ago, and every now and then it pops up again, and I cont...

    AI-Assisted Mammograms Could Be a Big Advance: Study

    Artificial intelligence (AI) programs can safely be used to help radiologists review mammogram images and detect breast cancers, early results from an ongoing clinical trial show.

    A single radiologist aided by AI wound up detecting about 20% more breast cancers from mammogram images than two radiologists working together, according to a report in the August issue of The Lancet Oncolog...

    New Ultrasound Patch Spots Tiny Breast Abnormalities in Early Trial

    Scientists have developed a wearable ultrasound patch that might eventually allow women to monitor themselves for early signs of breast cancer in the comfort of their home.

    The achievement, reported July 28 in the journal Science Advances, is the latest in a broader research effort to make wearable ultrasound a reality.

    The hope is to one day use such portable technology t...

    Breast Cancer Survivors Age Faster Biologically Than Cancer-Free Women: Study

    Women who have survived breast cancer age faster than women who have never had to survive the disease.

    The treatment they received impacted their aging rates, according to a new study from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla.

    “Breast c...

    Sarah Ferguson Reveals Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Mastectomy

    Sarah Ferguson has undergone treatment for breast cancer, she announced on her podcast.

    The Duchess of York, 63, had a mastectomy after the diagnosis and the surgery was successful, her rep confirmed Sunday, People magazine reported.

    "The Duchess is receiving the best medical care and her doctors have told her that the prognosis is good. She is now recuperating with her f...

    What Is Metastatic Breast Cancer & How Is It Treated?

    Metastatic breast cancer can be a daunting diagnosis, but the prognosis has improved somewhat with advances in treatment.

    Also known as stage 4 breast cancer, metastatic cancer is defined as the spread of disease beyond the local breast and nearby lymph nodes. More than 150,000 individuals in the United States are living with a diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer, which accounts for the...

    • Maryam B. Lustberg, MD, MPH, Chief Of Breast Medical Oncology, Yale Cancer Center HealthDay Reporter
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    • June 26, 2023
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    Most Women With Early Breast Cancer Will Become Long-Term Survivors, New Study Shows

    Most women diagnosed with early breast cancer will become long-term survivors, according to new research that finds a substantial reduction in the risk of death since the 1990s.

    This news should reassure both patients and their doctors, researchers report June 13 in the BMJ.

    “Our study is good n...

    Death From a 2nd Cancer Among Breast Cancer Survivors: Race May Matter

    Sometimes women who survive breast cancer will die from a second cancer, and now new research suggests the risk of that happening is higher for Black and Hispanic survivors than white women.

    “We believe this to be one of the first studies to comprehensively examine the racial and ethnic disparities in survival outcomes after a second cancer,” said study author

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • June 13, 2023
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  • Targeted Drug May Lower Odds for Breast Cancer's Return in Some Patients

    Here's some good news for women with the most common type of breast cancer: Adding a targeted breast cancer drug to hormonal therapy reduced the risk of cancer returning by 25% for women with early-stage disease, a new clinical trial shows.

    Hormone-receptor (HR) positive/HER2 negative breast cancer accounts for about 70% of breast cancer cases in the United States.

    “The resul...

    Consistent Breast Cancer Screening Cuts Odds of Dying From the Disease by 72%

    Screening mammograms saves lives, and consistency counts for a lot.

    That's the main message from a new study that looked at how regularly women received mammograms before a breast cancer diagnosis. The closer a woman adhered to guidelines on a year-to-year basis, the less likely she was to die of breast cancer.

    It is quite common for women to not receive their mammograph...

    Experts Recommend All Women Get Mammograms Starting at Age 40

    In a major change from its longstanding advice, an influential medical panel now recommends that women start mammography screening for breast cancer at age 40.

    The new guidance, from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, says women at average risk of breast cancer should start having mammograms, every other year, when they turn 40. For years, the recommendation had been to start at age...

    Healthy Living Cuts the Odds That High-Risk Breast Cancer Will Return

    High-risk breast cancer patients can take action to help stop their disease from coming back or killing them.

    The same healthy habits that leading cancer organizations recommend to prevent cancer appear to make a big difference in heading off its return in these patients, new research shows.

    Following cancer-prevention guidelines before, during and after chemotherapy was associated ...

    Radiologists' Group Pushes for Breast Cancer Risk 'Assessment' by Age 25

    While the typical recommendation is for women to start getting mammograms at age 40, the American College of Radiology has released new guidelines that call for all women to have a breast cancer risk assessment by age 25 to determine if they should start screening mammograms before they turn 40.

    This early step is particularly important for women who are Black or Ashkenazi Jewish, the gu...

    Breast Cancer Survivors Can Safely Interrupt Therapy During Pregnancy: Study

    For young women who survive breast cancer, a new study offers some reassurance about pregnancy: Pausing hormonal therapy to have a baby does not raise the risk of a cancer recurrence, at least in the shorter term.

    A trial of more than 500 young women treated for breast cancer found no signs of harm from interrupting standard hormone therapy to have a baby. Over three years, patients' risk...

    Scientists Spot New Potential Risk Factor for Breast Cancer

    A new study has uncovered a possible risk factor for breast cancer that could help doctors more accurately weigh a woman's chances of developing the disease.

    While it's known that women with dense breast tissue have a greater risk for developing breast cancer and that breast density declines with age, researchers have now found evidence of cancer risk specific to breast density declining ...

    Lymph Node Removal During Breast Cancer Mastectomy: Is It Overdone?

    Women having a mastectomy for earlier-stage breast cancer may be overtreated if doctors evaluate their lymph nodes while they are still on the operating table, a preliminary study suggests.

    Researchers found those patients were much more likely to receive aggressive treatment — surgical removal of their underarm lymph nodes, often with radiation — versus women whose surgeons took more...

    Many Breast Cancer Survivors May Be Able to Forgo Mammograms in Old Age: Study

    Older breast cancer survivors often have other medical issues and a shorter life expectancy than younger breast cancer survivors. What's more, their cancers are often slow-growing, and surveillance may lead to over-treatment of cancers that won't kill them, researchers say.

    Despite these downsides, older breast cancer survivors are still undergoing mammograms even though their risk of dev...

    Black Women Die of Breast Cancer at Younger Ages. Should They Be Screened Earlier?

    Experts recommend that women at least consider starting breast cancer screening once they turn 40. Now a new study suggests that is especially critical for Black women.

    Looking at data on U.S. breast cancer deaths, researchers found -- as other studies have -- that Black women in their 40s were substantially more likely to die of the disease than other women their age. The disparity was s...

    Even With Multiple Breast Tumors, Mastectomy Isn't Always Necessary: Study

    Some women with multiple breast tumors can safely be spared breast removal surgery, choosing less invasive treatment instead, new research suggests.

    Under certain conditions, women with two or three breast tumors in one breast can avoid mastectomy without increasing the chances that their breast cancer will come back.

    “For these patients, breast-conserving therapy is a reason...

    Can ChatGPT Give Women Accurate Advice on Breast Cancer?

    ChatGPT, the AI chatbot everyone is talking about, can often give reliable answers to questions about breast cancer, a new study finds. But it's not yet ready to replace your physician.

    The big caveat, researchers said, is that the information is not always trustworthy, or offers only a small part of the story. So at least for now, they said, take your medical questions to your human doct...

    High Co-Pays, Deductibles Keep Some Women From Mammogram Follow-Up

    A new study shows that money, or lack of it, can stand in the way of follow-up testing after an abnormal mammogram result.

    Just over one-fifth of U.S. women surveyed by researchers said they would skip additional testing if they had to pay a deductible or co-pay.

    Of 714 women who responded when asked if they'd have follow-up imaging if they had to pay for all or part of it, 21% said...

    Ultrasound Good Diagnostic Tool After Breast  Symptoms

    For women with "focal breast complaints" -- issues with pain, lumps or discharge -- ultrasound is an effective diagnostic tool, according to new research.

    These concerns are frequent, and ultrasound is effective as a standalone diagnostic method, researchers report April 4 in the journal Radiology.

    “The evaluation of breast complaints is a common problem in breast diagno...

    Suspicious Mammogram? Out-of-Pocket Costs Keep Some Women From Follow-Up

    Breast cancer screening may be free for women with health insurance, but high costs may still keep some from getting needed follow-up tests, a new study finds.

    The study, of more than 230,000 U.S. women who underwent screening mammography, found that those in insurance plans with higher out-of-pocket costs were less likely to get follow-up testing after an abnormal screening result.

    Birth Control Pills Tied to Slight Rise in Breast Cancer Risk, Regardless of Formulation

    Taking progestogen-only birth control pills comes with a slightly increased risk of breast cancer -- about the same degree of risk associated with taking pills that contain both progestogen and estrogen, new research finds.

    After five years' use, investigators found a 20% to 30% heightened breast cancer risk with both types of contraceptives, according to the study published March 21 in ...

    New Breast Scanning Technology Might Beat Standard Mammography

    Newer scanning technology may spot more breast cancers and lower the rate of dreaded false positives, a large, new study shows.

    Now available in a growing number of health care facilities, tomosynthesis uses low-dose X-rays and computer reconstructions to create 3D images of the breasts to find cancers. In contrast, traditional mammography creates 2D images of the breasts.


    Mammogram Centers Must Notify Patients of Breast Density, FDA Says

    New U.S. federal regulations will require mammography facilities to tell women if they have dense breasts, a description of how the tissue looks on the X-ray.

    It can be more difficult to detect cancer in dense breast tissue on a mammogram. Having dense breasts is also a risk factor for developing breast cancer.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration update amends regulations issued u...

    Breast Cancer Genes Raise Risks for Older Women, Too

    Though BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations are associated with breast and ovarian cancer in younger women, those over 50 continue to have a high risk of breast cancer.

    That's true even if they didn't have breast cancer earlier, new research shows.

    “What is striking about our results is that ...

    Is Obesity Especially Dangerous for Women at Genetic Risk for Breast Cancer?

    Certain gene mutations put women at high risk of breast cancer, and now an early study hints that obesity might make matters worse.

    The findings come from a study of breast tissue samples from women who carried particular mutations in genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 — which convey much higher-than-normal risks of both breast and ovarian cancers.

    The researchers found that among women...

    Do Older Patients Need Radiation Rx After Breast Cancer Surgery?

    Many older women with early-stage breast cancer can skip radiation without harming their survival odds, a new clinical trial finds.

    The study involved women age 65 and older who had surgery for small breast tumors deemed to be low risk of coming back. Typically, those women undergo radiation after surgery, and then start on hormonal therapy to further drive down the chances of a recurrenc...

    MRI Might Boost Cancer Detection for Women With Dense Breasts

    Nearly half of women have dense breast tissue, which can be a double whammy on their odds for breast cancer.

    Not only are dense breasts a risk factor for cancer, but this glandular and fibrous connective tissue make it harder to detect cancers on a mammogram, the usual method for breast cancer screening.

    New r...

    Obamacare Helped Women in Some Southern States Get Better Breast Cancer Care

    The Affordable Care Act's expansion of Medicaid makes it more likely that a woman will be diagnosed with breast cancer earlier rather than at an advanced, harder-to-treat stage, new research suggests.

    Not all U.S. states expanded Medicaid coverage after the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) made it possible in 2010. That's because the Supreme Court made it optional for states ...

    Breast Pain Doesn't Always Mean Cancer: When to Get a Mammogram

    While anyone can experience breast pain, don't panic: It's rarely cancer.

    Penn State Health offers some reassurance about what might cause the pain and when it might be time to have a mammogram.

    “We see a lot of patients who come looking for answers that have widespread, cyclical breast pain,” said

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 27, 2023
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  • Research Gives Clues to Why Cancer in One Breast Could Develop in the Other

    Some women with cancer in one breast may have a greater risk of developing cancer in the other breast, new research suggests.

    Those who carry a specific genetic change — a germline BRCA1, BRCA2 or CHEK2 mutation — have at least a twofold increased risk of cancer in both breasts, also called contralateral breast cancer, according to researchers at the Mayo Clinic Comprehensive Cancer C...

    Treating Menopausal Symptoms: An Expert Describes Pros, Cons

    For women experiencing menopause symptoms with no sign of relief in sight, it doesn't have to be this way.

    An expert in women's health offers some suggestions for helping control symptoms during this time of life when menstrual cycles end.

    "We sometimes hear the question, 'Do I need to treat hot flashes or night sweats?' and the answer for many may be, 'yes.' Because hot flashes and...

    Tennis Legend Martina Navratilova Diagnosed With Throat, Breast Cancer

    Tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who won 59 grand slam titles in her career, announced Monday that she has both stage 1 breast cancer and throat cancer.

    Navratilova, 66, first found an enlarged lymph node in her neck last fall, her agent Mary Greenham told CNN.

    That happened sometime between Oct. 31 and Nov. 7 during the during the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Fi...

    Many U.S. Women Must Travel Far to Get Mammograms

    Many American women have to travel long distances to reach the nearest mammography center, a new study finds -- raising questions about whether that keeps some from receiving breast cancer screening.

    Researchers found that 8.2 million women had limited access to mammography screening in 2022 -- defined as living more than a 20-minute drive to the nearest facility. That was up from 7.5 mil...

    National Cancer Institute Director Dr. Monica Bertagnolli Reveals She Has Breast Cancer

    The new director of the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Dr. Monica Bertagnolli announced the news Wednesday, saying the breast cancer was diagnosed early and her prognosis was good, while also detailing plans to keep leading the agency, with some leave and thanks ...

    Better Imaging Allows More Women to Opt for Breast-Conserving Surgery

    Mastectomy has long been the standard of care for certain breast cancer patients, but it still may be more extensive than many women need, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that many women who have two or even three breast tumors may be able to have breast-conserving lumpectomies instead of having the entire breast removed.

    That's because newer, more sensitive imaging techniqu...

    Gene Test Might Help Some Breast Cancer Patients Skip Radiation After Lumpectomy

    A new genetic test may help determine which people with breast cancer can safely skip radiation after breast-conserving surgery to remove their tumor.

    Individuals with invasive breast cancer who had low scores on an investigational gene panel were just as likely to experience a recurrence if they received radiation therapy after breast-conserving surgery or not, Swedish researchers r...

    Antibody Drug Boosts Survival for Type of Advanced Breast Cancer

    A relatively new drug is boosting survival rates for women with a specific type of advanced breast cancer who haven't responded to other treatments, according to a pair of clinical trials.

    The targeted antibody drug — trastuzumab deruxtecan (T-DXd, sold under the brand name Enhertu) — dramatically outperformed an older antibody drug in one trial, quadrupling the number of months ...

    Breast Cancer Survivors Can Safely Pause Longer-Term Meds During Pregnancy

    Pausing longer-term hormonal therapies to have a baby will not raise a breast cancer survivor's risk of her tumor recurring, a new clinical trial concludes.

    Women whose cancer is fueled by female hormones such as estrogen often are treated with medications -- such as aromatase inhibitors or tamoxifen -- that suppress those hormones or block their function, in an effort to keep the cance...

    Concerns Around Sex, Fertility Often Ignored in Breast Cancer Care: Survey

    Shehzin Tietjen was 27 years old when she felt a lump in one of her breasts while in the shower.

    That discovery led to a confirmation of breast cancer, an unexpected jolt at her age. "I was really shocked," said Tietjen, who lives in Atlanta.

    Though breast cancer is more ...