Breast Cancer May Return Even 20 Years Later, Study Finds

Excerpt:

“Breast cancer can ‘smolder’ and return even 20 years later unless patients keep taking drugs to suppress it, researchers reported Wednesday.

“They were looking for evidence that at least some breast cancer survivors might be able to skip the pills that reduce the risk of the breast tumors coming back, but found that even women with ‘low-risk’ cancers had a small rate of recurrence 15 and 20 years later.”

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Testing for Immune ‘Hotspots’ Can Predict Risk That Breast Cancer Will Return

Excerpt:

“Scientists have developed a new test that can pick out women at high risk of relapsing from breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis.

“Their study looked for immune cell ‘hotspots’ in and around tumours, and found that women who had a high number of hotspots were more likely to relapse than those with lower numbers.

“The new test could help more accurately assess the risk of cancer returning in individual patients, and offer them monitoring or preventative treatment.”

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FDA Approves New Treatment to Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer Returning

Excerpt:

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Nerlynx (neratinib) for the extended adjuvant treatment of early-stage, HER2-positive breast cancer. For patients with this type of cancer, Nerlynx is the first extended adjuvant therapy, a form of therapy that is taken after an initial treatment to further lower the risk of the cancer coming back. Nerlynx is indicated for adult patients who have been previously treated with a regimen that includes the drug trastuzumab.”

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Risk Tool IDs Candidates for Adjuvant RT in Prostate Cancer

Excerpt:

“A novel risk stratification tool that combines pathologic tumor characteristics with data from the Decipher genomic classifier may help predict 5- and 10-year metastasis-free survival in patients with aggressive prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy with an accuracy of 85%, researchers reported.

“It can also be used to identify patients with prostate cancer who could benefit from postoperative adjuvant radiotherapy (aRT), thereby reducing risk of overtreatment, adverse effects, and clinical recurrence (CR), Firas Abdollah, MD, of Vattikuti Urology Institute at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and colleagues reported online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.”

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Chemotherapy May Not Be Necessary for Intermediate-Risk, Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“Women with early-stage breast cancer and an intermediate risk recurrence score from a 21-gene expression assay may be able to avoid chemotherapy, according to a retrospective study published in Cancer.

” ‘Through years of research discoveries, it became clear that we were overtreating many women with breast cancer, especially those with early-stage breast cancer,’ Carlos H. Barcenas, MD, assistant professor of breast medical oncology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, said in a press release. ‘In addition to chemotherapy’s obvious side effects, there were also long-term complications for these women as survivors.’ ”

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More Patients with Early-Stage Breast Cancer May Be Able to Avoid Chemotherapy in the Future

Excerpt:

“Women with early-stage breast cancer who had an intermediate risk recurrence score (RS) from a 21-gene expression assay had similar outcomes, regardless of whether they received chemotherapy, a new study from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer finds.

“The encouraging research, published in the journal CANCER, still needs to be validated in an ongoing international trial. If verified, women with intermediate scores may one day be able to avoid chemotherapy as standard of care.”

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Older Women with Breast Cancer Report Better Cosmetic Satisfaction with Less Radiation, Less Surgery

Excerpt:

“In the first study evaluating patient-reported cosmetic outcomes in a population-based cohort of older women with breast cancer, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center researchers found that less radiation was associated with improved cosmetic satisfaction long-term. However, reduced radiation was also associated with a slightly increased risk of disease recurrence.

“The findings, presented at the 2016 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium in a poster session by Cameron W. Swanick, M.D., should serve as an important discussion point between older patients and their physicians when making treatment decisions.”

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Surgical Options After a Cancer Diagnosis in One Breast

Excerpt:

“Dear Mayo Clinic: My daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer at 54 and had surgery to remove one breast. Her surgeon told her that it wasn’t necessary to remove both breasts, because she was not at high risk for developing cancer on the other side. How can that be true? Isn’t a recurrence likely if she still has breast tissue on the other side?

“A: The fact that your daughter developed cancer in one doesn’t mean she is at high risk to develop cancer in the other breast. Her risk of developing a new cancer in the breast that remains after surgery is lower than most people think (around 0.2 to 0.6 percent per year). And the risk that the will come back in a different part of her body is not changed, whether or not her healthy breast is removed.”

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70-Gene Signature as an Aid to Treatment Decisions in Early-Stage Breast Cancer

Excerpt:

“This was a randomized phase III trial including 6693 women with early-stage breast cancer designed to assess whether patients at high clinical risk (via Adjuvant! Online) and low genomic risk (via MammaPrint) would have similar metastasis-free survival if treated without chemotherapy. A total of 1550 patients (23.2%) were deemed to be at high clinical risk and low genomic risk. No significant difference in the 5-year metastasis-free survival rate was noted in women who received chemotherapy compared with those who did not (95.9% vs 94.7%).

“These findings suggest that nearly half of women at high clinical risk may not need chemotherapy for breast cancer.”

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