Best of Breast: news for week ending 22 August 2014

Updated 16 September 2014

The weekly summary of medical news developments for Breast Cancer and Cancer for the week ending 21 August 2014.

This post focuses on screening.  Call it coincidence, but there were three articles on different ways to screen for breast cancer, this week.  The first is a trial into using dogs to sniff out breast cancer. I’ve covered dogs being used to sniff out cancer in previous posts, but this time, scientists are finally testing this on breast cancer.  Perhaps one day the gold standard in screening could be a golden labrador!

Dog

Dr Claire Guest and Daisy Photo: Janine Warwick

Item number 2 is a study that shows that MRIs are more accurate than ultrasound and mammogram in detecting recurrent tumours.  I wonder how MRIs compare to Pet-CTs in terms of radiation exposure.  There is no ionizing radiation in an MRI.  The dose for a typical PET-CT scan is 25 mSv for a 70-kg person.  The dose for a mammogram is 0.4 to 0.7 mSv.  The PET-CT gives 625 times more radiation.  CT scans alone produce 7 mSV, 10 to 15 times the dose of a mammogram.

RadiationDoseChart

From http://xkcd.com/radiation/. With thanks to Steve for this chart.

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Best of Breast: news for week ending 20 December 2013

Updated March 2016 – For more information on GcMAF, please join the GcMAF and GcMAF Cancer forums on Facebook – they are closed groups, so you have to wait for your membership to be confirmed.  They contain up-to-date information on sources of GcMAF, and also feedback and contributions  by people who are using GcMAF.

A round-up of this week’s latest medical developments, culled from Google Alerts.  Again, there’s a glut from the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, which is no bad thing.

At long last, and about time too:  cancer immunotherapy has been voted breakthrough of the year by Science magazine.  I’m looking forward to the day when all cancers can be prevented and cured by immune-boosting treatments, and cancer vaccines, and not surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy

Immunotherapy

image credit:  sciencemagazine.org

Scientists now prove that chemo-brain exists, a fact that people on chemo have known for ages.  Maybe this will mean chemo-brain will be taken seriously and more importantly, some cures will be in the pipeline.

Some interesting research on sugar and its role in cancer – the theory used to be that cancer cells were able to survive without oxygen, by converting sugar directly into energy.  New research has shown that increasing sugar metabolism in cells may be directly responsible for fuelling the growth of cancer cells.

A trial into the use of chemotherapy drug, 5FU (fluorouracil) shows that it did not add to the efficacy of treatment protocols using epirubicin and cyclophosphamide and paclitaxel (FEC +T).  I find this especially relevant because FECT is standard treatment for lymph-node positive breast cancer in the UK.  Does this mean the protocol will change?

Don’t forget to eat your tomatoes – not only is lycopene (the phytochemical contained in them) good for prostate cancer, it has now been shown to have a positive effect on the level of hormones that play a role in regulating fat and sugar metabolism in a trial involving post-menopausal women.

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