Best of Breast: news for week ending 11 July 2014

New developments in Breast Cancer and Cancer, from Google Alerts, for the week ending 11 July 2014.


How to name a cancer protein/gene

I’ve often wondered how scientists come up with the names for these discoveries.  It’s not as if TARBP2 or alpha v beta 6 trip off the tongue.  I have a theory that scientists just dip their spoons into a can of alphabet soup, and whatever comes up is the name du jour … .

Something I’ve had to do this week is re-write a number of headlines.  Some of the tabloids seem to view every discovery of a new oncogene or signalling pathway as a !BREAKTHROUGH! in treatment.  Now that I’ve been scanning developments for more than a year, I’m more realistic.  Most of these “breakthroughs” have been realised only on rodents, and they’re also years away from commercial release, plus they’re only one bit in the jigsaw puzzle that is cancer.  I hate it when newspapers tout the latest cure for cancer, which is anything but.

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 8 November 2013

A summary of the latest medical developments in breast cancer from Google Alerts, for the week ending 8 November 2013.

It’s a strange mix this week, with the usual search for the causes of cancer in DNA and food and cholesterol, and drug therapy mixed with robots!


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1.  Diet rich in bread after the menopause can raise risk of breast cancer

OK, I know this is not the most earth-shaking news, but I’ve always been interested in nutrition and cancer.  When I was first diagnosed I was told to avoid anything with gluten.  Fortunately, I don’t need bread to survive, so I was able to tolerate the diet.  But it was just one of these blanket dietary bans, with no rationale behind it except that it caused inflammation in the body and gummed up the digestive system.  As for pasta – well, that was carbohydrate which would convert to sugar and fuel the cancer cells.

If we’re going to use GI to measure whether or not a food is appropriate, surely pasta (which is refined carbohydrates) is as bad as bread?

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