Postmastectomy Pain Effectively Treated With a Simple Injection

“For postmastectomy neuropathic pain, perineural infiltration with a combination of bupivacaine and dexamethasone is a ‘simple, effective, practice-changing treatment that any surgeon can do,’ according to Laura J. Esserman, MD, MBA, Professor of Surgery and Radiology at the University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine and Director of the Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center, senior author of the study.

“The intervention—2-mL injections of an equal ratio of 0.5% bupivacaine and 4 mg/mL of dexamethasone—was described at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. The study’s first author was Cathy J. Tang, MD, also a surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco.”

Editor’s note: Some patients experience chronic breast pain after undergoing a mastectomy. It may develop immediately after surgery, but may not develop until 6 months later. It can last for years. According to this article, a simple injection might solve the problem.

Denosumab Outshines Zoledronic Acid in Advanced Prostate Cancer

A phase III study evaluated two osteoporosis drugs, denosumab and zoledronic acid, for the treatment of skeletal problems in patients with bone metastases in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). The average time to first bone-related adverse event was 20.7 months with denosumab and 17.1 months with zoledronic acid, suggesting that denosumab was more effective in this group.

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Two Trials Provide New Answers for Treatment of Advanced Prostate Cancer

New findings from two prostate cancer trials will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting. One trial determined that men with advanced prostate cancer who receive intermittent hormone therapy survive an average of 5.1 years compared to 5.8 years for men who receive therapy continuously. The second trial determined that abiraterone (Zytiga) in combination with prednisone (a steroid) was effective for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) in patients who have not yet received chemotherapy. Abiraterone is currently approved for patients who have not responded to chemotherapy.

Prostatic Enlargement Drug May Improve Prostate Cancer Screening Results

A recent study evaluated the effects of finasteride (sold as Proscar) on the usefulness of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening to detect prostate cancer. Researchers determined that treatment with finasteride may differentiate individuals who have a rise in PSA due to cancer from those who have a rise due to other causes, such as benign enlargement and inflammation. The combination of finasteride with PSA to detect prostate cancer may decrease the rate of unnecessary biopsies.

Patients' Race Linked to Prostate Surgery Quality

Recent data suggests that black men with prostate cancer may have worse outcomes than white men. Several factors appear to be involved, including access to appropriate health care and economic issues.

Breast Cancer Drug May Decrease Side Effects of Hormone Therapy for Prostate Cancer

A recent study found that the breast cancer drug Tamoxifen can prevent breast tenderness and breast pain in men treated with androgen suppression therapy for prostate cancer. Tamoxifen was more effective at reducing breast symptoms than another breast cancer medication or radiation therapy. Treatment was not associated with any significant side effects.

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