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  • DCIS Again

    Posted 8/29/2013 by hhill
      I do realize that this is one of those topics that either holds great interest or almost no interest to any one woman. However, since DCIS is quite prevalent, I am assuming that at least some readers will be glad to see this additional article. The theme is the same: whether the name of the condition makes a difference in how it is perceived and in the treatment choices woman make. That is, since DCIS (and LCIS) are not " really cancer", is it fair to have the C word be part of their label? Does its inclusion just scare everyone unnecessarily? Read more... Comments (0)
  • Continuing Hormonal Therapy after Five Years

    Posted 7/29/2013 by hhill
      The data continues to roll in that, at least for some women with ER positive breast cancers, it makes sense to continue hormonal/endocrine therapy for longer than five years. Women have mixed responses to this news, ranging from delight that they will still be taking anti-cancer therapy and feeling somewhat protected to being unhappy at needing to continue a therapy that reminds them of cancer daily and may have some side effects. Most of the studies have focused on tamoxifen, but the evidence is also accumulating about the AIs. Read more... Comments (0)
  • Worse Hot Flashes

    Posted 7/17/2013 by hhill
      From the North American Menopause Society (bet you didn't know there is such an organization) comes this first study to indicate that cancer survivors have more frequent and intense hot flashes than other women. Before you smack your head and say "Duh!", this study included women whose treatment had been years earlier. The hot flashes persisted. Read more... Comments (0)
  • When the First Treatment Does Not Work

    Posted 7/7/2013 by hhill

        Especially for adjuvant treatment, this is not something anyone wants to consider. If you read yesterday's entry about understanding statistics--and even more if you read the other mentioned resource from Cancer Net about understanding cancer research, you are aware that no treatments work equally well on all people. The first choice, the so-called first line or standard treatment, will be the one that has been proven to be the most effective for the most people, but there will be exceptions. This is harder to know in adjuvant therapy until/unless the cancer recurs--then it is sadly clear that the first treatment was not completely effective. Sometimes when a woman is receiving neoadjuvant chemotherapy (chemo given before breast surgery), it will be obvious if the tumor is not shrinking. More often, it comes up in the treatment of advanced or metastatic cancer when tumor markers begin to rise or  scans show progression. Even though women/patients are told that no treatment is going to work forever, that the cancer cells will figure out how to become resistant, it is always shocking and very upsetting when the evidence is clear that it is time for a treatment change.

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  • Review of 2012 Research

    Posted 6/11/2013 by hhill
      Think of this as a companion piece to yesterday's entry about the basic biology of breast cancer. This is an interview with Dr Eric Winer and Dr Shom Goal about recent research and directions as we move further into 2013. Frankly, nothing in this piece is brand new information, but it is a very nice summary and captures the many areas of interest. Read more... Comments (0)
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