Best of Breast: news for week ending 2 May 2014

The highlights from the world of Breast Cancer and Cancer, as culled from Google Alerts, for the week ending 2 May 2014.


Science-fiction or fact?

This week’s leader comes under the “Too Good to be True” and “Revolutionary” heading.  In fact, it was so incredible, I checked the date of the PR statement for the news release in case it was 1 April 2014 and a prank.  I did a search on the internet just to play safe.

I sometimes dream of travelling into the future where the cure for cancer has been found, and travelling back with a key device that could get rid of cancer without any side-effects.  This week, there’s a device that seems to have fallen out of an alien’s time machine.

Chemotherapy, as we all know, comes at a cost.  It not only kills cancer cells, but also all fast-growing cells and damages nerves in the body.  It’s a bit like using chemicals to try to burn off your right ear while leaving your left ear intact.

Some of the side-effects of chemotherapy include low blood cell counts, fatigue and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN).

CIPN sympoms include nerve damage, loss of sensation, and even severe pain in the hands, fingers and feet of cancer patients.

The American Cancer Society says that CIPN can even cause more serious problems like changes in your heart rate, blood pressure, dangerous falls, trouble breathing, paralysis and even organ failure. In many cases the pain caused by CIPN is permanent and can cripple the lives of cancer survivors 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Another study this week shows that many women who have chemotherapy are at higher risk of ending up unemployed 4 years after diagnosis.

The cure, is often more feared, then the disease itself.


Beam me up Scotty? Lazarus: the first device to prevent and reverse chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

Now it seems there may be a device that can prevent and reverse the effects of CIPN and some of the other side-effects of chemotherapy.  Better still, it does it using low-level laser technology, without chemicals or radiation.  The Lazarus device from Photetica sounds like something out of a science-fiction (or Biblical) B-movie, because it looks simple, but promises to deliver.  The only hitch?  It’s currently not approved by the FDA and is seeking funds for trials through crowdfunding.

Continue reading

Best of Breast: news for week ending 11 October 2013

A round-up of the latest medical developments in breast cancer from Google Alerts, for the week ending 11 October 2013.

[Google Alerts doesn’t always have the most up-to-date research developments, and because it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month, chockful of fund-raising and charity events, so if I’ve missed something out, my apologies. You are always welcome to post any new developments that I’ve missed out in the comments box and I’ll include them in the compilation, with grateful thanks and an acknowledgement.]


photo credit: The Jackson Laboratory

1.  Could breast cancer soon be treated with a NIPPLE injection?

(I got all excited, until I realised it’s only been tested on mice.  If you’re a mouse or a rat, it’s a good time to have cancer since most of the trials and tests are done on rodents, and everything seems to work on rodents.  And they wonder why the war on cancer hasn’t been won yet?  Yes, it’s been won – on mice and rats!)

Continue reading

Best of Breast: news for week ending 30 Aug 2013

Here are the highlights of what this week had to offer on the latest developments and news about cancer treatments.


Pet dog saves owner’s life after sniffing out her breast cancer


Dog Scan – the latest tool in the early detection of breast cancer (photo credit:

My absolute top favourite of this week is a story of a woman whose dog sniffed out her breast tumour.  I love it because in an age where cancer detection is carried out with high-tech devices like Pet scans and ultrasound, and costs a fortune, along comes Daisy the spaniel, who nose trumps technology.  We’ve heard of CAT scans, now here comes a DOG scan!  It’s not the first time a dog has detected cancer in its owner, of course.  It just makes me wonder why there aren’t a trained posse of dogs in every hospital to help in early cancer detection.

2.  School-age drinking increases risk of breast cancer

I can’t see this stopping teenage girls from drinking, can you?  When you’re young, you think you’re invincible and believe that cancer is a disease of the old.

Continue reading