FDA Alerts More Doctors Of Rare Cancer With Breast Implants

(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. health officials say doctors should be on the lookout for a rare cancer linked to breast implants after receiving more reports of the disease.

The Food and Drug Administration sent a letter late Wednesday to family doctors, nurses and other health professionals warning about the form of lymphoma in breast implant patients. In suspected cases, the FDA recommends laboratory testing to confirm or rule out of the disease. It’s the first time regulators have issued such a warning to doctors other than plastic surgeons.

The disease is not breast cancer, but usually forms in the scar tissue that forms around implants.

Regulators said they have identified 450 likely cases of the cancer since 2010. That’s a tiny number considering 400,000 U.S. women receive implants annually.

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FDA reports additional cases of cancer linked to breast implants

A rare and deadly cancer linked to breast implants has been diagnosed in additional women in the United States, federal health officials said.


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Acupressure Can Relieve Breast Cancer Symptoms

Acupressure Can Relieve Breast Cancer Symptoms

Acupressure Relieves Breast Cancer Treatment Symptoms, Study Finds

New American research has found that at-home acupressure could help women relieve some of the side effects of breast cancer treatment.

Carried out by researchers from the University of Michigan Rogel Cancer Center, the new study looked at the effect of acupressure on symptoms experienced by breast cancer survivors after treatment had ended, including chronic pain, anxiety, depression and poor…

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Willow is a wearable and hands free breast pump that fits inside your bra. The company just unveiled an updated version of its first device.
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Nurse Alice: America’s Next Top Model Dies of Breast Cancer at 34

On Dec. 4, 2018, Jael Strauss gave her last breath—ending her battle with stage 4 breast cancer. Strauss had been a contestant on season eight of Tyra Bank’s America’s Next Top Model, was of African American (mother) and Jewish (father) descent, and only 34 years old.

On Oct. 4, she announced her diagnosis in a Facebook post. “I was gonna write some long thing but some of you guys deserve to know, On October 2nd I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. It has aggressively spread throughout my body and is incurable,” she wrote. “With treatment it may prolong my life longer than the ‘few months’ doctors said I could make it. I don’t want to die. I need another one of those miracles that I got back in 2013.”

Following her diagnosis, Strauss’ friends set up a GoFundMe page on her behalf to help alleviate some of the medical costs.

At the end of November, Strauss announced that she had entered hospice care. “First night in hospice. So many things I never knew about life. Or death,” she wrote on Facebook. “So many things.”

According to nationally recognized board-certified diagnostic radiologist, Dr. Nina Watson (aka Dr. Nina) who specializes in Women’s Imaging, this is a story she’s seen one too many times. She goes on to say, “although we would like to think that breast cancer in a woman of her age would be unheard of, unfortunately, it is not. According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that 12,770 women in the United States less than 40 years of age were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017. Since this is below the age of recommended annual screening for the general population, it is important that all women, but particularly black women, know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer and their own personal risk.”

The most common sign of breast cancer is a painless lump. Although most of these lumps will be benign (not cancerous) growths, a woman should have any new lump evaluated by their doctor. Other signs and symptoms would include changes in your skin (new area of thickening or dimpling), changes in your nipple (nipple starting to stick in), or discharge from your nipple (especially if it is bloody). If you notice any of these changes, it is important to be seen by your doctor. Additional testing such as a mammogram or breast ultrasound may be necessary.

There have been important developments in the medical community’s understanding of breast cancer. It is now being recognized that a “one approach fits all” does not apply to breast cancer. While it has been recognized for some time that women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have an increased risk of breast cancer, it is now being recognized that black women are also at increased risk for the disease. So for Strauss, her risks were greater considering her mixed descent. The American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging are recommending that all women, especially black women, have a risk assessment (calculation of a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer) performed at age 30 to see if early screening for breast cancer is needed.

 

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Rescue cat detected Oregon woman’s breast cancer, owner says

When one Oregon woman rescued a cat from a local humane society, she never thought her own life would be saved.

Michelle Pierson says her feline Mia noticed a lump that ended up being breast cancer and that the early detection has given her a better shot.

The 48-year-old, who’s still fighting the…

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Early risers ‘less likely to develop breast cancer’

Women who are considered morning people are less likely to develop breast cancer than those who have more energy in the evenings, according to researchers.
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Who is Victoria Derbyshire? BBC TV host and ex Radio 5 Live presenter who has battled breast cancer

VICTORIA Derbyshire is a journalist who presents her own BBC current affairs programme.

Here’s everything you need to know about the broadcaster who won her battle against breast cancer…

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Victoria Derbyshire breast cancer diary showed her journey with chemotherapy. She admitted that losing her hair was worse than having a mastectomy[/caption]

Who is Victoria Derbyshire?

Victoria Derbyshire was October 2, 1968, in Lancashire.

She attended Bury Grammar School for Girls before studying English language at the University of Liverpool.

She then took a post-graduate degree in TV and radio journalism at Preston Polytechnic (now the University of Central Lancashire).

Victoria had a tough childhood, and has claimed that her father was abusive to her, her mother, and her younger brother and sister.

PA:Press Association

She thanked viewers for their ‘tremendous messages’ as she returned to work after having a mastectomy following a diagnosis for breast cancer[/caption]

What is Victoria Derbyshire’s background?

Her journalism career began as a local radio presenter before she joined BBC Radio 5 Live in 1998.

In this role she presented the breakfast show alongside Julian Worricker. The programme won Gold Sony awards in 1998 and 2002.

Following a break for maternity leave, Victoria then presented a morning show with Nicky Campbell.

On this show she famously fled the studio in tears, mid-news bulletin, after a falling-out during an interview she’d had with, then Home Secretary, David Blunkett in 2003.

She has also done a variety of TV shows such as Watchdog and Sports Talk on Channel 4.

She has covered some of the biggest global stories such as 9/11, the Paris Concorde crash, general elections, World Cups and Olympic Games.

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Hosting How Should I Vote? – The EU Debate at The Briggait on May 26, 2016, in Glasgow[/caption]

In 2009 her BBC Radio 5 Live programme became the first live show broadcast from Zimbabwe, following President Mugabe’s lifting of restrictions on international journalists.

It made history twice more when it became the first to broadcast live from an abortion clinic in 2012, and later that year from an animal testing laboratory.

Now she presents her own daily news and current affairs programme on BBC Two.

When did Victoria Derbyshire have breast cancer?

In 2015 she announced via Twitter that she had breast cancer, and then recorded video diaries of her battle with the disease.

The vlogs detailed everything about her cancer treatment from chemo and radiotherapy to her eventual mastectomy.

In May 2017 she finished her treatment and got the all clear.

Speaking to the BBC she said: “Obviously I never want [the cancer to reoccur], I never want to go through chemotherapy again ever, I just do not want it to come back…

“I just want this to have been a blip and get on with my life, my kids’ life, my partner’s life, my family’s future.”

In March 2018 she raised awareness of the illness when she bared all for ITV’s The Real Full Monty in March 2018.

 

 

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Novartis drug cut death risk by 35 percent in gene mutation breast cancer

An experimental cancer drug that Novartis hopes will raise the profile of its oncology portfolio cut the risk of death or disease progression by more than a third in breast cancer patients with a hard-to-target gene mutation.


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New Alexa tool helps women check for signs of breast cancer

Still don’t know what to look out for when it comes to breast cancer? Fear not because leading charity Breast Cancer Care has teamed up with Amazon’s virtual assistant Alexa to share potentially life-saving information on the signs and symptoms of breast cancer. Alexa will now be able to guide women through a breast check,…
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Roche scores win in slowing aggressive type of breast cancer

An immunotherapy cocktail from Roche helped slow an aggressive type of breast cancer where new treatments have proven elusive, offering positive news for the Swiss drugmaker as it chases medicines produced by its rivals.


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Tamara Tunie shares heartfelt dedication to breast cancer awareness

One look at Tamara Tunie’s resume and you wonder when she sleeps. The TV veteran isn’t a household name, but she’s quietly become one of the most prolific actresses in Hollywood — appearing, in the past year alone, in “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Dietland” and “Better Call Saul” (both on AMC) and the BBC’s “Black Earth…
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Black Women Face High Risk, Dangers And Death Rates With Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October presents another opportunity to spread information about the disease and how it affects Black women. The disease is responsible for a high death rate in women of color, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Black women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer despite doctors diagnosing the disease in African-American and white women at about the same rate, the CDC reported. Also, Black women are more often found to have triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive type that frequently returns after treatment.

Age is also a big factor: breast cancer incidence rates were higher among African-American women younger than 60 years old but lower among those who are 60 or older.

One reason for this statistic could be that medical professionals tend to find this cancer at an earlier stage in white women.  Also, Black women may have inadequate medical care, including limited access to cancer screening technology.

Doctors encourage women, especially those at high risk due to a family history or having BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, to get out ahead of the disease. Early detection measures such as mammograms and screenings are strongly recommended. Women can visit local hospitals that offer low-cost mammograms or call their local American Cancer Society chapter for help with screenings or doctor referrals.

In addition, researchers continue to look into why some women are more susceptible to triple-negative breast cancer, in order to find better treatment options.

Women can also choose a healthier lifestyle for a better chance of lowering risks for the disease. BreastCancer.org recommends exercise, a nutritious diet and avoiding smoking and alcohol as important in the battle against breast cancer — one that many women can win regardless of race.

Many women are speaking out to spread awareness about breast cancer and helping women to fight it. Serena Williams posted a powerful message about the disease recently.

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Over 5,000 British Women Accused of Lying About Defunct Breast Implants

German company TUV Rheinland filed an appeal to receive money back from more than 5,000 British women who sued the company for failing to test the safety of breast implants made by French manufacturer, Poly Implant Prothèse. The women were given defunct implants, and in some cases, they ruptured and had to be removed.
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Managing Your Career Through Breast Cancer

As we recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I am reminded of the story of a woman I met a decade ago who serves as an excellent example of how to maintain your career, dignity, and mental well-being as you face this challenge.

In June of 2005, Hannah Burns was managing director of corporate communications at Lehman Bros., and fulfilling one of her major responsibilities: getting the company’s quarterly earnings results out to the public. As the numbers were being released, Burns set up a meeting with her boss – he believed she was going to update him on the media’s coverage of the data. Instead, she had to deliver a far more difficult story.

“I’ve got good news, and bad news,” she told him. “The good news is that it’s early and very treatable, the bad news is that I have breast cancer.”

Burns describes herself as a private person, but she went straight to her boss’s office when her doctor delivered the news over the phone. “Being in my function I couldn’t just disappear and not tell anybody. I just wanted to get it off of my chest and move on. It was an easy conversation. He was incredibly sympathetic, and shocked.”

The fact that this mother of two daughters had her disease detected early had her believing that she would be able to “get it off of her chest and move on.” The next few months, however, would prove to be a physical and emotional challenge that she could not have imagined.

Three weeks later, there was the surgery, which was followed by a rigorous four-month period of chemotherapy, bone marrow shots, and then seven weeks of radiation.

In a feat that can be described as nothing short of heroic, aside from a one week recovery period after surgery, Burns only missed one day of work throughout her entire four months of treatments.

“In addition to wanting to teach my daughters a lesson on how to work through adversity, the firm was so supportive that I wanted to do my absolute best to show my gratitude,” says Burns. “The firm said do whatever you need to do to get well. Knowing you’ve got that support is half the battle.”

Not only did Lehman provide Burns with inspiration, but the firm also gave her the flexibility to work through her challenge. She had her treatments on Wednesdays, did not have to return to work, and she was able to come in late on Thursday’s. Burns says her worst side effects set in on Friday afternoons, and Lehman allowed her to leave in the afternoon. The company also provided her with car service to and from the office throughout the entire ordeal.

breast cancer

(Image: iStock.com/Tagore75)

What to Do if This Happens to You

One of the many things Burns has taught me was that not everyone–not even corporate giants like Lehman Bros.– have all the answers. She simply had to tap into her courage and give the company a blueprint to help her best navigate this challenge. Otherwise, her boss may not have known what to do and there may have been a different result.

If you find yourself trying to work through this situation, here are some tips that may help:

1. Talk to your doctor before your employer

You need to know what you can expect physically and psychologically so that you can be clear about your needs to your employer. That way you can come to your boss with a clear plan of action. Burns, for example, purposely scheduled her treatments on Wednesday’s. That way she would have the weekend to recover when the worst of the side effects hit about 48 hours later. She knew she would need Friday afternoons off.

“Work is a very important part of a women’s life, and if she can continue to work, she’s going to do better,” says Dr. Ruth Oratz, renowned oncologist and associate professor of clinical medicine at New York University School of Medicine. “But they need to be flexible, and realize that they may have to make some changes.” Oratz adds that work is not going to be an option for all women.

2. Be true to yourself when talking to your boss

“How much you tell your boss depends on your own personal style,” according to Kate Sweeney, co-founder of Cancer and Careers. “If you have an open relationship, be open. If not, just present the situation, and tell them what you will need.” Also, if you have an open relationship with your co-workers, you will likely want to share details of your recovery. If you’re more private you may just want to say “I’m doing fine,” and don’t be afraid to leave it at that.”

3. Find out what your company has done with employees in this situation in the past

This is particularly true when it comes to leave and benefits. You are trying to determine if former policies will work for you. Suppose, for example, you want to work from home, yet you find out this has not been allowed. You want to be able to bring that up to your boss, as something you will need. Maybe your company has never been in this situation before. You need to find out if it is going to be up to you to guide them, when it comes to helping you remain as productive as possible.

4. Know your legal rights

In the U.S., for example, people with cancer are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act which gives you rights in the workplace. In addition, protection is provided under the Family Medical Leave Act, which provides 12 weeks of unpaid leave a year. The weeks do not have to be taken consecutively. Human resources departments can be a great resource when it comes to knowing your legal rights. They can also be of great help with your insurer. A company calling on your behalf will likely have a lot more leverage with an insurance firm than you calling as an individual.

5. Pay attention to how you feel

If you take time off for treatments, you can expect to have a lot of mixed emotions as you transition from patient back to employee. If you don’t feel psychologically up to speed, you may want to seek out some counseling, or attend workshops and seminars to refresh your work skills. Physically, take a look at your work space. Tell your employer if it needs to be redesigned with something like back support.

 


Editor’s Note: This article was updated on Oct. 1, 2018. It originally published on Feb. 4, 2016.

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