, August 04, 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.

July 6: Early-stage breast cancer is more likely to be diagnosed in U.S. states that have expanded Medicaid coverage under Obamacare than in those that haven’t, researchers say. A new study looked at a database of more than 71,000 women diagnosed with breast cancer in 31 states that expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act and 14 states that did not. Differences were especially notable among black women in expansion states, with the percentage of those diagnosed with advanced breast cancer falling from 25% to 21%. Advanced cancer diagnoses among younger women in expansion states fell from 23% to 21%, but stayed at 26% in non-expansion states. Read more in Health Day HERE.

July 20: Researchers at the University of Arkansas have developed a new nano drug candidate that kills triple negative breast cancer cells (triple negative breast cancer is one of the most aggressive types of breast cancer). The research will help clinicians target breast cancer cells directly, while avoiding the adverse, toxic side effects of chemotherapy. Read more on the University of Arkansas website HERE.

July 21: A USC-led team of scientists has found that a fasting-mimicking diet combined with hormone therapy has the potential to help treat breast cancer, according to newly published animal studies and small clinical trials in humans. Read the full story in MedicalXpress HERE.

July 23: A new study published in The Lancet Global Health includes data on women from 41 countries and found that in higher income nations, including Canada, rates of breast cancer in premenopausal women are increasing, while postmenopausal breast cancer is increasing more rapidly in lower income countries. Although the study provides evidence of an increase in breast cancer rates in women of all ages, the increase in premenopausal breast cancer in higher income countries is particularly concerning… premenopausal breast cancer was significantly increasing in 20 out of 44 populations, each representing a country or an ethnic group. Read the full story HERE in Science Daily.

July 27: Research from the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center – Jefferson Health (SKCC) found significant decreases nationwide in the number of patients being seen for cancer-related care as the COVID-19 pandemic progressed during the few first months of 2020. The most significant decline was seen in encounters related to new cancer incidences, which included screening, initial diagnosis, second opinion, and treatment initiation appointments. Read the full story in Science Daily HERE. 

July 30: There’s a low level of awareness among American women about a form of lymphoma that can occur around breast implants, a new study finds. Breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma (BIA-ALCL) is an immune system cancer. It’s estimated to occur in between 1 in 3,000 and 1 in 12,000 women with textured breast implants. Smooth-surfaced implants are associated with a lower rate. There is no current recommendation to remove breast implants in women with no implant-related symptoms. Symptoms of BIA-ALCL include swelling, a mass or pain in the area of the implant. Read the full story in Health Day HERE.

, August 04, 2020 | More Post by

Age 33, diagnosed at 30

No family history, No known genetic mutation


Megan was excited to be turning 30. She was preparing to move into a new home with her husband and two girls and was enjoying her sales job. Life was good. Then a lump and pain in her left breast sent Megan to her doctor. Reassuring her that it was most likely nothing, the doctor referred her for testing. Megan was stunned to learn she had stage 2 breast cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and a double mastectomy with reconstruction. Though Megan had great support at home, she says, “Joining H4TG helped me find women who understand in ways that other people just can’t — and hopefully will never have to.” She gives back by being a resource for other young women like her. “From the start of my journey, I wanted it to serve a bigger purpose than just to survive this season of breast cancer,” she says. “I will always make helping other survivors a part of my new mission in life because I believe in women. I want to lift them up when they are at their lowest and in need.” The women’s empowerment movement that began in the 1920s resonates with Megan’s new sense of purpose and awareness of her own strength and self-worth.

, July 01, 2020 | More Post by

43, diagnosed at 38,

No family history, no known genetic mutation

Through a breast self-exam, Jennifer detected a lump in her breast that turned out to be stage 3A breast cancer. She received chemo, a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction, and radiation. Her diagnosis occurred just as Jennifer was going through a difficult separation from her husband. While undergoing treatment, she continued working as a corrections case manager to provide for her two daughters. With no other family around, her daughters were her primary source of support, and knowing they were scared, Jennifer tried to keep life as normal as possible. She found H4TG after treatment. “I wasn’t sure what to expect, but right away the ladies welcomed me with open arms and hearts.” Jennifer says she has always been an “in the background” type of person, but she doesn’t want to be that any longer. “I want to be an example for my two daughters, that if they set their mind to something, they can do it. I want them to be proud that I’m their mom.” Jennifer admires that same ideal that emerged in the 1920s saying, “Women received their voices, and their opinions and thoughts meant something.” Jennifer also wishes to show other women that they are stronger than they think.

, July 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.

June 1: In a geographically and ethnically diverse study of young women with newly diagnosed breast cancer in the United States, a substantial portion had concerns about fertility that potentially affected treatment decisions, according to a recent study. Read the full article in Clinical Oncology News HERE.

June 2: Researchers have identified a gene that causes an aggressive form of breast cancer to rapidly grow. More importantly, they have also discovered a way to ”turn it off” and inhibit cancer from occurring. The animal study results have been so compelling that the team is now working on FDA approval to begin clinical trials. Read the full story HERE in Science Daily.

June 10: According to recent research, a strong romantic relationship was linked to lower psychological stress and lower inflammation for women with breast cancer. Read more in Health Day HERE.

June 15: Breast cancer treatment costs are highest among young and middle-aged women with advanced breast cancer, according to a recent study. Average monthly treatment costs among 18- to 44-year-olds were $4,463 for those with metastatic breast cancer and $2,418 for those with stage 1 cancer. Read the full story in Health Day HERE.

June 30: When a solid cancer is surgically removed, any small piece that is left behind increases the chance of a local recurrence or spread. In a pilot study of dogs with mammary tumors, a disease very similar to human breast cancer, a team found that an injectable dye, which glows under near-infrared light, illuminated cancerous growth in the primary tumor as well as in lymph nodes. Read more in Science Daily HERE.

, 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.

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