, June 03, 2020 | More Post by

50, diagnosed at 47

No family history, No known genetic mutation

Lisa never thought she’d get breast cancer, never did self-exams, and never had a mammogram. Luckily, a wellness incentive at work compelled her to get a mammogram on a mobile imaging bus. Even the callback for another test didn’t register on her radar, and she declined the second imaging appointment until they showed her the first image. Upon seeing the spot, she touched her breast and could feel a lump. When the doctor’s office suggested she bring someone to her appointment, she knew it didn’t bode well. Her sister was with her when Lisa heard the news that she had stage 2, HER2+ breast cancer and would be getting a lumpectomy, chemo, and radiation. A school bus driver and newly single mom to two children, she moved into her own place for the first time a month after the diagnosis. Since then, she’s been doing all kinds of things that she wouldn’t have done before. “I want to enjoy life and have no regrets. Since I met my Boober! girlfriends, I see I’m not the only one!” Lisa wants to show that the breast cancer survivors of H4TG are women of strength and courage, much like the women of the 1920s.

, June 03, 2020 | More Post by

As an organization that serves young women affected by breast cancer, we make sure to keep up with the latest news so we know what our women face when it comes to treatment and beyond. In this blog series, we will share the month’s news that we feel is most interesting and relevant.

May 11: Compared to patients who see their primary care doctor earlier in the day, cancer screening rates decline significantly as the day goes on, according to a new study. Decision fatigue and doctors falling behind schedule may be the cause, according to study authors. Click HERE to read the story from Science Daily.

May 19: Black and white women share genes that increase the risk for breast cancer, according to a new study. These genes include BRCA1, BRCA2 and PALB2, each of which is associated with a more than sevenfold risk of breast cancer. Women of both races also share four other genes linked with a moderately increased risk. This research is important as breast cancer screening recommendations are sometimes different for black and white women. Read the full story in U.S. News and World Report HERE.

May 26: Australian scientists have discovered how an obscure protein causes breast cancer to develop and grow more quickly. The researchers found that aggressive breast cancers produce the protein Creld2, which hijacks healthy cells and promotes tumor progression. High levels of Creld2 are found in triple negative breast cancers, in kidney cancers, in non-melanoma skin cancers, and invasive squamous cell carcinomas. Blocking or destroying the protein could lead to better outcomes for these cancers. Read the full story in Medical Express HERE.

May 28: Patients who are found to have the earliest form of breast cancer – Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) – have a higher risk of invasive breast cancer and dying from the disease, a new study suggests. Read the full article HERE in Science Focus.

, May 01, 2020 | More Post by

As an organization that serves young women affected by breast cancer, we make sure to keep up with the latest news so we know what our women face when it comes to treatment and beyond. In this blog series, we will share the month’s news that we feel is most interesting and relevant.

April 2 – A new study indicates that breast density, microcalcifications, and masses are heritable features, and that breast density and microcalcifications were associated with a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Read more in Medical Express HERE.

April 10 – Whether she gets it from fruits, beans, grains or vegetables, dietary fiber appears to at least slightly lower a woman’s risk for breast cancer, a comprehensive new review finds. Read the full story in HealthDay HERE.

April 13 – It is widely accepted that higher levels of body fat increase the risk of developing breast cancer, as well as other cancers. A new article proposes that a protein secreted by fat cells drives the development of breast cancer, and that certain fats are worse than others when it comes to cancer-causing properties. Read more in Science Daily HERE.

April 17 – Guidelines for the prioritization and treatment of breast cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic have been released by a group of U.S. medical organizations. Read the guidelines in HealthDay HERE.

April 29 – Results from a first-of-its-kind study of a multi-cancer blood test in more than 9,900 women with no evidence or history of cancer showed the test safely detected 26 undiagnosed cancers, enabling potentially curative treatment. Medical teams can use the test in conjunction with imaging tests to pinpoint the location of detected cancer. Read the full story in Science Daily HERE.

, May 01, 2020 | More Post by

Age: 54, diagnosed at 48, No family history, No known genetic mutation

Joyce, a dental team coordinator, postponed getting a mammogram for four years as she didn’t have health insurance. When she finally got one, it led to a stage 1 breast cancer diagnosis. She had a lumpectomy and radiation but opted against chemotherapy. Joyce describes herself as a lifetime caregiver. From before the age of 20, she had custody of a niece and nephew and was a foster parent to two other kids. Later, she helped raise two stepchildren and a great-niece. She also took care of various family members. “I never took the time to worry about myself,” she says. “I never asked for help because I felt like I had to be the strong one that everyone else could lean on.” Even when she was diagnosed, she didn’t think she needed help. It wasn’t until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer later that she finally reached out to H4TG. “I receive unlimited support from the group, and they give me an uplifting part of myself I wouldn’t have realized on my own.” The rebellious, fun-loving attitudes of women in the 1920s appeal to Joyce’s own sense of independence and her desire to live every day fully and with as much fun as possible.

, April 06, 2020 | More Post by

April, age 41, diagnosed at 37, No family history, No known genetic mutation.

April felt a lump on her breast but blew it off. Because the lump was still there six months later, she mentioned it at an unrelated medical appointment. Tests were immediately ordered, and despite assurances it was probably nothing, it was something – stage 2 breast cancer. She underwent a bilateral mastectomy and chemotherapy. On active duty with the Air Force, she was assigned a nurse case manager (Shawnna, Ms. February 2020), who was an immense help. When a year later Shawnna told April that she had breast cancer and would be going to the next H4TG support gathering too, April was floored! After leaving the military and moving to North Carolina, April was selected as a calendar model and was thrilled to see that her former nurse would be along for the adventure. April’s breast cancer journey has been difficult, but “each day I’m reminded how lucky I am to be given another day to reflect on it all.” April’s parents taught her to be a strong, independent woman who made her own way in the world. “My education and career paths helped make me the person I am today, and without the progressive ideals of the 1920s, I wouldn’t have had those opportunities.”

, April 03, 2020 | More Post by

As an organization that serves young women affected by breast cancer, we make sure to keep up with the latest news so we know what our women face when it comes to treatment and beyond. In this blog series, we will share the month’s news that we feel is most interesting and relevant.

March 6: Researchers are getting closer to identifying how bisphenol-A (BPA) may promote breast cancer tumor growth with help from a molecule that affects gene growth. BPA has been widely used in plastics, such as food storage containers, the lining of canned goods and, until recently, baby bottles. Previous studies have linked BPA to problems with reproductive development, early puberty, obesity and cancers. Read more in Science Daily HERE.

March 10: From a simple blood draw, microbial DNA may reveal who has cancer and which type, even at early stages. Researchers have developed a novel method to identify who has cancer, and often which type, by simply analyzing patterns of microbial DNA — bacterial and viral — present in their blood. The study may change how cancer is viewed, and diagnosed; more research is being conducted. Read the whole story in Science Daily HERE.

March 20: Cholesterol-lowering statins are commonly used to help prevent heart disease. Now a new study hints that they could shield women’s hearts from the harms of certain breast cancer drugs. The study focused on women who’d been treated with either chemotherapy drugs called anthracyclines or the medication Herceptin. Though the treatments can be lifesaving, they can also damage the heart muscle enough to eventually cause heart failure. But researchers found that when women were on statins during treatment, they were up to two-thirds less likely to develop heart failure in the years afterward. Read more in Health Day HERE.

March 23: There are substantial costs associated with breast cancer screenings for U.S. women in their 40s, a new Yale-led study finds, and these costs vary widely by region. “These high costs underscore the importance of ramping up our research efforts to determine whether screening women in their 40s is beneficial or not,” said senior author Dr. Cary Gross, Yale professor of medicine and a member of the Yale Cancer Center. “Because there is no consensus about the appropriate approach to breast cancer screening in this population, it is impossible to know how we should be investing our prevention dollars.” Read the full story in Yale News HERE.

March 27: A new study has found that women who gain weight from early adulthood are at a reduced risk of developing breast cancer before they reach menopause. The study builds on previous research which found that women who weighed more as young adults had a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer. (Weight gain after menopause increases risk, however.) Read the full story on Medical News Today HERE.

, March 06, 2020 | More Post by

48, diagnosed at 46

No family history, No known genetic mutation

Joyce noticed a divot in her right breast and mentioned it at her annual exam. After receiving a stern lecture from her gynecologist about keeping up with her annual mammograms, Joyce promised to get one. Within a week of the mammogram, and with her husband (who had rushed home from a work trip) by her side, Joyce received a diagnosis of stage 1 breast cancer. During treatment that included chemo, a lumpectomy, and radiation, Joyce continued her full-time work in communications while being mom to her active 11-year-old son. “I am a professional communicator, but it was hard for me to tell people about the diagnosis,” she says. A dear friend encouraged her to share her story, and this helped her get the love and support she needed from “Team Joyce,” her tribe of friends and family. She’d like to use her skills as a communicator to give hope and inspiration to other women facing breast cancer – some of which she found for herself in the calendar theme. “As a cancer survivor-in-progress, I find the stories of how women in the 1920s had the fortitude and willpower to make it through a war, overcome adversity, and create a new way for themselves to be so inspiring.”

, March 06, 2020 | More Post by

As an organization that serves young women affected by breast cancer, we make sure to keep up with the latest news so we know what our women face when it comes to treatment and beyond. In this blog series, we will share the month’s news that we feel is most interesting and relevant.

February 22: Waiting between 31 and 90 days to first treatment after diagnosis with breast cancer may be beneficial for doctors and patients who want a more extensive diagnostic plan and additional time to make decisions, according to the results of a new study. Importantly, this waiting period is not expected to compromise survival rates, according to the data. The American Journal of Managed Care (AJMC) has the whole story HERE.

February 25: The intake of dairy milk is associated with a greater risk of breast cancer in women — up to 80% depending on the amount consumed — according to a new study. Consuming as little as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dairy milk per day was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer of 30% in the study, and by drinking up to one cup per day, the associated risk went up to 50%. For those drinking two to three cups per day, the risk increased further to 70% to 80%. Read the full story on Science Daily HERE.

February 26: A novel blood test that uses gold nanoparticles to detect cancer has also been shown to identify signals released by cancer cells which could result in earlier diagnosis and better treatment. The discovery could lead to more effective, personalized cancer therapy by allowing oncologists to rapidly determine how treatment is progressing. Read the full story in Medical Express HERE.

February 26: The immunotherapy drug Keytruda might offer a new treatment option to women with triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of the disease, according to a clinical trial. Get details in HealthDay HERE.

February 28: Regular exercise can benefit black cancer survivors’ physical and mental health, but most don’t get the recommended amount of activity, according to new study of 1,500 black survivors of the four most common cancers. For most cancers, black patients have a higher risk of dying from their disease than other racial or ethnic groups, but lower levels of physical activity, researchers said. Read the whole article on HealthDay HERE.

, February 05, 2020 | More Post by

Shawnna 41, diagnosed at 39

No family history, PALB2 genetic mutation

Shawnna, mother of three and military wife, felt a lump one day when crossing her arms and quickly sought testing that revealed stage 3B triple negative breast cancer. As a nurse, she’d worked with many breast cancer patients, including Ms. April 2020, but she never expected the tables to turn. “I thought I knew what it was like until I was diagnosed and had to have a bilateral mastectomy, chemo, and radiation,” Shawnna said. Joining H4TG was a natural step. Having introduced many of her patients to them, she understood how crucial H4TG could be during and after breast cancer treatment. Now she has experienced and continues to benefit from the special loving support H4TG offers. As the nurse who became the patient, Shawnna has this unique perspective to share. The 1920s represent to Shawnna the dawn of the new woman and changing attitudes towards their roles and abilities and epitomizes a favorite quote, “Rise up.” Since her diagnosis, Shawnna feels she is a new woman, too, saying, “I am more comfortable with myself than ever before. I realized my worth, my strength, and what I have to offer this world.” This focus on personal well-being is one message she’d like to share with other survivors.

, February 03, 2020 | More Post by

As an organization that serves young women affected by breast cancer, we make sure to keep up with the latest news so we know what our women face when it comes to treatment and beyond. In this blog series, we will share the month’s news that we feel is most interesting and relevant.

Jan. 7: Google’s latest artificial intelligence tool designed to analyze mammograms might be as effective as human radiologists (or better), but critics question whether researchers are applying A.I. to the right problem when it comes to finding and treating breast cancer. Read a detailed article on the possible pros and cons of this tool in the Smithsonian Magazine HERE.

Jan. 11: Recent experiments in mouse models have shown that injecting an inactivated flu virus into cancer tumors makes them shrink and boosts the effectiveness of immunotherapy. Read more about this new research in Medical News Today HERE.

Jan. 17: Minority women with breast cancer are less likely to have insurance, which could lower their odds of survival, according to a new study. The study found that whites were more likely to have insurance when they were diagnosed than blacks, American Indian/Alaska Natives, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics. Lack of insurance is a major cause of delayed breast cancer screening and treatment among women in minority groups, researchers noted. Being uninsured or underinsured accounted for nearly half of the gap in later-stage diagnosis between white and minority women. Read more in an article from Health Day HERE.

Jan. 24: A recent article in the journal Medical Hypotheses advises that eating yogurt may help reduce the risk of breast cancer. The suggestion is based on research that indicates that yogurt contains beneficial bacteria which dampens inflammation and is similar to the bacteria found in breastfeeding mothers. Read more about this link between eating yogurt and breast cancer risk on Science Daily HERE.

Jan. 30: The closing of rural hospitals and specialty care units is causing many people, including breast cancer patients, to seek treatment far from home. A study from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health recently found that U.S. rural breast cancer patients typically travel three times farther than urban women for radiation therapy to treat their disease. Read more about this treatment disparity on the University of Minnesota website HERE.

Jan. 30:  A new study from New York might completely change how triple negative breast cancer is classified and treated. Researchers have discovered that the molecular mechanisms involved in triple negative breast cancer are more closely related to non-breast cancers, and two specific gene mutations may be responsible for the tumor development. If the therapy suggested in the study is successful, it would very likely lead to the reclassification of triple negative breast cancer. Read more in Clinical OMICs HERE.

 

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