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Fiber and Whole Grains Reduce Cancer, Cardiovascular Risks

​Dietary fiber and whole grains are commonly thought to be good for our health. But do they truly have an impact on the risk of noncommunicable diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and other conditions? According to a new study published in The Lancet, the answer to that question is yes. "Previous reviews and meta-analyses have usually examined a single indicator of carbohydrate quality and a limited number of diseases, so it has not been possible to establish which foods to recommend for ...

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Using Acupressure to Manage Anxiety, Depression, and Pain in Breast Cancer Survivors: An Interview With Suzanna Zick, ND, MPH

Breast cancer survivors are at an increased risk of developing a myriad of symptoms, including anxiety, depression, pain, and fatigue. Acupressure has been practiced for thousands of years as part of traditional Chinese medicine. In a recent study, Suzanna Zick, ND, MPH, and colleagues have demonstrated that acupressure decreases symptoms of depression, anxiety, pain, and fatigue in breast cancer survivors. In an interview with i3 Health, Dr. Zick spoke about these findings and discussed ways to...

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Breast Cancer Patients at Increased Risk for Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a serious condition that occurs when the upper chambers of the heart beat irregularly, ineffectively moving blood into the ventricles. Individuals with AF have a fivefold increase of having a stroke and a doubled chance of developing heart-related ailments that ultimately end in death. According to a new study, the risk for developing AF increases in breast cancer patients as a result of inflammation caused by both the cancer itself and side effects of treatment. "Mod...

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For Breast Cancer Survivors With Failed Implant-Based Reconstruction, Autologous Reconstruction Is Successful

After a mastectomy for breast cancer, patients have two options for breast reconstructive surgery: implant-based reconstruction or autologous reconstruction, which uses skin, fat, and sometimes muscle from another location in the body to form a breast shape. Although implant-based reconstruction, which is used in around 80% of patients, generally has high satisfaction rates, it sometimes leaves patients with physical pain, a feeling of tightness, or a poor aesthetic result. Other implant-based r...

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Using a Diabetes Drug to Help Fight Breast Cancer

​Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have found a new use for the diabetes drug metformin in a combination treatment that is effective against MYC-driven breast cancer. Around half of breast tumors have increased levels of the MYC protein, an oncogenic transcription factor that is often overexpressed in cancers. Overexpression and amplification of the MYC gene have been linked to breast tumor progression and increased risk of relapse and death. Even though MYC plays a role i...

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Metastasis Risk in Postpartum Breast Cancer: An Interview With Virginia Borges, MD, MMSc

​In their previous research, Virginia F. Borges, MD, MMSc, and colleagues identified an increased risk of metastasis for women diagnosed with breast cancer within five years after giving birth. However, in their latest study, Dr. Borges and her fellow researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center and Oregon Health & Science University found that the increased risk of metastasis actually lasts for 10 years after the most recent childbirth. In this interview with i3 Health, Dr. Bor...

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Fighting Breast Cancer: Around Half a Million Lives Saved

​From 1975 to 1990, mortality rates for US women with breast cancer increased by 0.4% per year. Since then, breast cancer mortality rates have declined between 1.8% and 3.4% per year, resulting in between 384,000 and 614,500 saved lives, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer. "Recent reviews of mammography screening have focused media attention on some of the risks of mammography screening, such as callbacks for additional imaging and breast biopsies, downplaying the most impo...

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New Multi-Tumor Syndrome Identified

​Researchers have now discovered that a set of mutations known to play a role in colorectal cancer predisposes individuals to a multi-tumor syndrome that increases risk for breast cancer and other cancers. "We presumed to know all multi-tumor syndromes, but we have taken yet another step in identifying cancer genes," stated Nicoline Hoogerbrugge, MD, PhD, Professor of Hereditary Cancer at Radboud University Medical Center and one of the authors of the study, which was published in Cancer Cell. P...

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Trastuzumab Emtansine for Residual Invasive HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: An Interview With Charles Geyer, MD, FACP

Patients with residual invasive breast cancer after receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy plus human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted therapy for HER2-positive breast early stage breast cancer have a higher risk of disease recurrence or death compared with patients with no residual cancer. In the KATHERINE study, a phase 3, open-label trial, 1,486 patients with metastatic breast cancer previously treated with chemotherapy plus HER2-targeted therapy were randomly assigned to receiv...

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Cell Repair Uses Chromosome Scanner to Protect Against Cancer

By identifying a type of scanner protein that is used to look for any damaged chromosomes, researchers at the University of Copenhagen have made a new discovery that illuminates the DNA repair process of homologous recombination (HR), which is important to cancer prevention. The cellular repair process, which is crucial for ridding cells of damaged DNA and preventing cancer, involves two repair systems: error-free homologous recombination (HR) and mutagenic non-homologous end-joining. Homologous...

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Biobehavioral Intervention Improves Mental Health in Cancer Survivors

According to a new study, cancer patients who undergo a psychosocial intervention at the time of diagnosis report more positive than negative thoughts and more long-term positive changes overall compared with cancer patients who do not undergo psychosocial interventions. In this study, published in Health Psychology, 160 women with stage II/III breast cancer were asked to measure their levels of cancer stress using the Impact of Events Scale (IES) and depressive symptoms using the Center for Epi...

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Subcutaneous Trastuzumab Approved for HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

The FDA has approved subcutaneous trastuzumab/hyaluronidase-oysk injection (Herceptin HylectaTM, Genentech, Inc.) for the treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer. The approval of trastuzumab, a HER2/neu receptor antagonist, and hyaluronidase, an endoglycosidase, in combination was based on two phase 3 clinical trials, HannaH (NCT00950300) and SafeHer (NCT01566721). HannaH, an international, open-label study, compared the pharmacokinetics, efficacy, and...

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Pyruvate: A Nutrient Necessary for Metastasis

Researchers from the Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie-Katholieke Universiteit (VIB-KU) Leuven Center for Cancer Biology discovered that the nutrient pyruvate is necessary to create favorable conditions for metastasis in cancer cells' extracellular matrix. In order for cancer cells to metastasize, they must create a metastatic niche. First, cancer cells must activate the enzyme collagen prolyl-4-hydroxylase (p4HA) to start forming the environment around them. Enzymatic reactions that occur in...

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New Drug Combination for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) accounts for approximately 10% to 20% of all breast cancers. Whereas therapies targeting the estrogen receptor, the progesterone receptor, and the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 have demonstrated efficacy in other breast cancer subtypes, women with TNBC cancer lack these treatment targets because their cancer does not have any of these three receptors. Patients with TNBC are instead typically treated with standard chemotherapy, which does not always...

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First Checkpoint Immunotherapy Approved in Breast Cancer

The FDA has approved atezolizumab (Tecentriq®, Genentech, Inc.) in combination with nab-paclitaxel as a first-line treatment for patients with unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) whose tumors express programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1). This is the first FDA approval of an immune checkpoint inhibitor for any type of breast cancer. It is also a substantial development for patients with TNBC, a highly aggressive subtype that lacks many of the targeted the...

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Immunotherapy in Triple-Negative Breast Cancer: An Interview With Leisha Emens, MD, PhD

​The FDA's approval of atezolizumab (Tecentriq®, Genentech, Inc.) in combination with nab-paclitaxel for patients with previously untreated unresectable locally advanced or metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) expressing programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) represents the first approval of an immune checkpoint inhibitor for breast cancer. In addition, it is an important development for patients with TNBC, which lacks many of the targeted therapies that can be used in other types of breas...

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Avoiding Trastuzumab’s Cardiotoxic Effects in Breast Cancer

​Molecular targeted therapies such as trastuzumab, which targets the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), significantly improve outcomes for patients with cancer. However, these medications—particularly trastuzumab—can also result in cardiovascular side effects. Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a key mechanism underlying trastuzumab-induced cardiac dysfunction in patients with HER2-positive breast cancer. In addition, they have found an existi...

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LumosVar: Technology Shapes Cancer Patients’ Treatment Path

Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) have developed a computer program called LumosVar that "lights up" oncogenic mutations in tumor samples, allowing health care providers to gain insight regarding how best to treat patients. By collecting and analyzing these samples, LumosVar can help oncologists to determine a patient's response to treatment. The lead author of the study, Rebecca Halperin, PhD, Research Assistant Professor in the Quantitative Medicine & Syst...

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Reused Cooking Oil Poses Breast Cancer Risk

When cooking oil is heated in the process of deep-frying foods, chemical alterations take place that result in a new matrix of lipid structures. Thermal abuse occurs when the oil has been heated and reused multiple times, causing the release of acrolein, a toxic chemical known to have cancer-causing properties. Researchers found that in mouse models, consuming thermally abused cooking oil potentially causes genetic mutations that perpetuate late-stage breast cancer. For the study, published in C...

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Subcutaneous Trastuzumab in HER2-Positive Breast Cancer: An Interview with Constance Visovsky, PhD, RN, ACNP, FAAN

​Recently, the FDA approved subcutaneous trastuzumab/hyaluronidase-oysk injection (Herceptin HylectaTM, Genentech, Inc.) for the treatment of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-positive breast cancer. In this interview with i3 Health, Constance Visovsky, PhD, RN, ACNP, FAAN, Associate Professor at the University of South Florida's College of Nursing, discusses the significance of this approval and shares advice for nurses treating patients with breast cancer. Can you comment on the ...

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