Best of Breast: news for week ending 20 June 2014

The latest news developments from Google Alerts for Breast Cancer and Cancer, for the week ending 20 June 2014.

This week opens with the can of worms which is Diet and Cancer.

Everyone who is anyone has a view on what a cancer patient should eat:  The NO diet –  no sugar … no dairy … fruit … no fruit … low-carb … no-carbs … no meat; or the EXTREME diets:  restricted calorie … high-fat … vegan … juicing … raw food … macrobiotics … Budwig … Gerson … alkaline … ketogenic diet.  It’s sad that with cancer diets, whole groups of foods are viewed as poisons and every cancer diet is restrictive and ends up taking on the semblance of a fundamentalist religion.

Now another study comes along that purports to prove that red meat increases the risk for breast cancer.

Before you stop going to BBQs, consider the fact that the study was based on what women could recall from their diets years back and that memory is notoriously inaccurate.

I’ve had friends who were vegetarians since childhood, who still developed breast cancer.  Of course, they may be the exception to the belief that vegetarians get less cancer.

Please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Free-range grass-fed beef is a good source of conjugated linoleic acid for one.  Please see a list of research here.  Everything in moderation!

SteakCartoon

image credit: vegansoapbox.com

1A.  Replacing red meat with healthier foods may help prevent breast cancer

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 13 June 2014

The weekly round-up of news from the world of Breast Cancer and Cancer from Google Alerts, for the week ending 13 June 2014.

The ASCO 2014 may be over, but there’s still a glut of news.

I wanted to highlight the first item which suggests that breast cancer survivors don’t get enough exercise with a humorous cartoon showing what women with breast cancer are busy getting on with life and the housework and kids to set aside time for the gym.  In a previous post, there was an article which implied that housework counted as exercise – I think all researches should take this into consideration.

There’s an interesting study on limiting carbs to improve survival, which could be an argument for either a low-carb or even the more extreme ketogenic diet.

A lot of breast cancer research is done on mice and rats.  A study shows that this may not be the best method as there are similarities and differences between rodents and humans which may make rodent trials an ineffective way of testing treatments.

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Breast cancer survivors do not exercise enough. (With thanks to KS for this!)

1.  Breast cancer survivors ‘do not exercise enough’

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 6 June 2014

The weekly aggregation from Google Alerts, for articles on Breast Cancer and Cancer, for the week ending 6 June 2014.

ChristmasMorning

Just some of the goodies at the American Society for Clinical Oncology conference 2014

It was a bit like Christmas morning unwrapping the presents that was the American Society for Clinical Oncology’s conference that was held 2 weeks’ ago.  It’s made for an extra-long Best of Breast (which is also a week late – sorry!).

There was fantastic new research into treatment-resistant breast cancer, HER-2 positive breast cancer and TNBC; however, what stands out is the first step to developing an immunotherapy approach to breast cancer by combining cryoablation and Ipilimumab (an immune stimulant that is already being used in melanomas).  Cryoablation breaks the tumour down and Ipilimumab allows the immune system to recognise the cancer cells.

The irony is that cryoablation is something I looked into shortly after my diagnosis, but I was told by my surgeon that it wouldn’t guarantee clean margins.  Well … what surgeons also don’t tell you is that clean margins will not guarantee the cancer won’t come back.  I’ve seen people who’ve had mastectomies who’ve had with recurrences (even with radiotherapy and chemotherapy to mop up) in the scar tissue.  So clean margins my foot.  There are no guarantees with surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy.  The medical establishment is conservative and playing a numbers game and it’s us patients who are being kept in the dark.

I think one of the drawbacks of doing Best of Breast is that I read about all these wonderful new developments and all I can think is:  why didn’t they come up with this 2 years’ ago, or why didn’t I do this 2 years ago?  Why are my clinicians stuck in the dark ages?  And I think of all my friends who’ve passed on, and I hope that a cure comes soon for all of us with cancer.

To cheer myself up, the lead article is about the blind mole rat.  I’d posted previously about the naked mole rat which is cancer-resistant, now there’s the blind mole rat (not related!) which has the same superhuman anti-cancer properties.  Scientists have decoded its genes and discovered the secret of how it never gets cancer.  The next step is to work out how to turn us all into blind mole rats … .

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See how they run … (The furry-but-blind blind mole rat (Spalax) is a close cousin to the common house mouse.) Image credit: bbc

1.  Cancer-resistant blind mole rat gets genome sequence

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 30 May 2014

The latest developments in the world of breast cancer and cancer, from Google Alerts, for the week ending 30 May 2014.

The lead item is about the launch of swimwear for women who’ve had mastectomies (and not had reconstruction).  Instead of hiding the mastectomy and scar, the Monokini 2.0 highlights the space where the mastectomy was, in a tasteful way.

I have to applaud the women who modelled the Monokini – I don’t think I’d ever have the guts to do what they did.  Mind you, some of the scars look very discrete (and almost invisible) and the eye just skims over the space – strange but true.  Maybe if I looked like an Amazon, I wouldn’t think twice about getting into a slip of orange!

The other item of note is a study showing that calorie restriction can make it less likely for breast cancer to metastasise, especially for triple-negative breast cancer.

Monokini

1.  Monokini: A project to celebrate cancer survival

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