Archive for the ‘Breast cancer’ Category
The website, called Click to Cure, invites volunteers to look through millions of pictures of breast cancer cells from recent studies and assist in categorizing them after watching a brief tutorial about which cells to analyze and which cells to ignore. The project aims to determine the most effective treatments for specific cell types and lead to faster development of personalized cancer treatments.
However, some researchers are more skeptical of the approach. Kenneth Aldape, chair of the pathology department at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, called the project “superficial,” adding that it does not “get down to the bottom line of what makes a cancer cell a cancer cell.” There is also a danger that “amateur pathologists” will feed back inaccurate information, according to Wired UK.
The American Medical Association recently adopted a policy supporting the option of mammography to screen for breast cancer in women beginning at age 40. The AMA’s House of Delegates stopped short of recommending that “every woman should get routine screening mammograms every year starting at age 40.” Instead, the delegates agreed to language stating that women “should be eligible” for the screenings.
AMA’s statement conflicts with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s recommendation in 2009 that women in their 40s do not need routine mammograms unless they have certain risk factors and that most women should begin biennial screenings starting at age 50.
The blogosphere erupted after Susan G. Komen for the Cure on Tuesday announced that it will halt funding to Planned Parenthood affiliates.
FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg on Friday revoked approval of Avastin for the treatment of breast cancer. Hamburg said clinical trials found that Genentech’s drug did not extend the lives of breast cancer patients or help control their tumors, but it did expose them to potentially serious side effects, such as hemorrhaging and severe high blood pressure.
In June, an FDA advisory committee recommended that the agency revoke Avastin’s approval for treatment of the disease, but it was up to Hamburg to make a final decision. The committee said the latest studies show the drug is neither safe nor effective for the treatment of advanced breast cancer.
The committee’s recommendation was met by emotional pleas from a small group of patients who said the drug benefited them and should remain on the market. Genentech urged FDA to retain approval of the drug while it conducted one more trial to try to prove that it works.
Several breast cancer advocacy groups and experts praised FDA, while others came down on the agency for the decision.
About 25% of breast cancer survivors avoided death because they had a mammogram, while 75% would have had the same outcome if they detected the lump themselves or received no treatment, according to a study released on Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The study found that among 60% of women with breast cancer who were diagnosed through screenings, only 3% to 13% were helped by the test. The findings translate to 4,000 to 18,000 women who benefit from screening mammography each year, representing a small portion of the 39 million who undergo mammograms annually.
Research like this is what led the United States Preventive Services Task Force in 2009 to advise women to delay regular screening until age 50, instead of age 40, and to be tested biannually, instead of annually. Though many women’s health advocates — and women themselves — want to continue with annual mammograms, two female bloggers appear to have no problem saying that it might not be the best practice.
- “Facebook, Twitter Users Have Few Nice Things to Say About Health Insurers,” American Medical News: Among the posts on health plans analyzed by a social media analytics firm, only 30% had something positive to say. Read the rest of this entry »
Although celebrities, health care advocates and lawmakers recently have begun speaking out about the possibility of breast cancer developing in men, Medicaid still does not cover breast cancer treatment for men, even if the treatment is exactly the same as for women.
The color pink could be detrimental to raising awareness and funds for women’s issues like breast cancer, according to a new study. Stefano Puntoni, the lead researcher in the study and a professor at Rotterdam School of Management, did not find that women were turned off by underlying stereotypes associated with the color, but rather that too many women directly identify with the hue. The study found that women were less likely to perceive that they were at risk and less likely to say they would donate to breast or ovarian cancer organizations if advertisements contained a pink scheme.