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Archive for May 25th, 2010

I was never a fan of Patricks .I only saw one movie ‘Dirty Dancing’ about 20 times. I love that film . I also watched Ghost, but later ,after Patrick had died.

I have already mentioned two of our very close friends had also been diagnosed with cancer, the same time as myself.

Stephan was distraught. My mother was very sick , my father also had been diagnosed with cancer.

I had no one to talk to about my feelings. It was a very lonely time. I would not say I was afraid, or feared death but I did need to talk about it.

I wanted to talk about my funeral and what I wanted and my animals, that Stephan would look after them . I guess death WAS heavy on my mind.

I would search the Internet looking for someone who had my rare form of Cancer. I joined every American forum I could find and left messages if anyone had my type of cancer to please contact me.

There was no one.

Patrick was diagnosed with one of the most deadly forms of cancer,he was being treated for Pancreatic Cancer..
this was March 2008…for me November 2008.

Patrick agreed to do a ‘Special’ with Barbara Walters and talk about his cancer.

This is what I needed .I needed someone to talk about the word I could not say, CANCER.

This is the first part of the interview. I remember watching him for the first time and would watch this over and over as I went through my treatment.

I thought Patrick ,if you can do it and your chances are much less than mine,then I can do it.

I thought as long as Patrick lives, I shall also live …. we will keep each other alive.

January 2009 ,the same time as this interview, was also the darkest time of my life .I was about to have my second cycle of chemo. I could not eat, I could not sleep and yet I was so tired but sleep would not come.

Patrick knew exactly how I felt . He helped me through those dark,dark days.

As you listen to his story ,you will realise what an incredible human being he was.

The movie GHOST…a line he mentions, I at this time did not want to hear.

When you die.

‘The love inside, you take it with you’.

I did not want Patrick going anywhere and I hung on to his every word, as I battled my disease.

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This will be my first Summer in three years I have hair.

This will also be my first Summer where I may sit in the sunshine.

This will be my first Summer of knowing the value of life and taking nothing for granted.

This song is about lovers and the first time.

After cancer everything is new and fresh….just like ‘Summer the First Time’

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No added benefit over surgery plus tamoxifen alone in those 70-plus with early stage disease, study finds

FRIDAY, May 21 (HealthDay News) — A new study provides more support for the idea of allowing women aged 70 and older with early stage breast cancer to avoid radiation treatment if they have undergone a lumpectomy and treatment with the drug tamoxifen.

“The standard of care for women 70 and older with very small tumors that are estrogen-positive and node-negative — the largest group of breast cancer patients in this age group — had been lumpectomy and radiation,” study lead author Dr. Kevin Hughes, co-director of the Avon Comprehensive Breast Evaluation Center at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, said in a news release.

“Earlier reports of this study with shorter median follow-up have shown the risk of recurrence without radiation to be only marginally worse than with radiation, but there was concern that longer follow-up would show a blossoming of recurrences,” he said. “This study confirms that for older women with early stage breast cancer, lumpectomy without radiation is a viable alternative, and tamoxifen may replace the need for radiation.”

It has been standard for younger women with early stage breast cancer to receive radiation therapy after a lumpectomy.

The researchers reached their conclusions after randomly assigning 636 women with early stage breast cancer — all 70 or older — to receive tamoxifen (319 patients), or tamoxifen plus radiation (317 patients).

After a median follow-up of more than 10 years, the researchers found that the risk of recurrence was lower among those who received both treatments (2 percent) compared with those who received the drug alone (8 percent). But the two groups didn’t differ significantly in terms of overall survival and risk of dying from breast cancer.

The findings were released May 20 and the study is to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, June 4 to 8 in Chicago.

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Findings may lead to earlier detection and personalized therapy, researchers say.

Again early days ,but new discoveries are happening all of the time. This gives us hope and that is all we ask for, HOPE.

Hope to see another summer ,another Autumn and to share our good fortune with those we love.

TUESDAY, May 18 (HealthDay News) –A specific grouping of three markers on the surface of breast cancer cells has been linked to a particularly aggressive, but relatively rare form of cancer called “estrogen receptor-negative” cancer, new research reveals.

The finding is considered to be preliminary but the identification of these markers — labelled XIC — could be important because this form of cancer is particularly difficult to treat, the study team notes.

“We are excited but cautious at the prospect that the presence of the XIC markers on [these types of] breast cancer cells may present a selective target for early detection imaging and for personalized therapy,” Barbara K. Vonderhaar, scientist emeritus of the Mammary Biology and Tumorigenesis Laboratory at the National Cancer Institute, explained in a news release.

Vonderhaar and her colleagues report the finding in the May 18th online issue of Cancer Research.

No specific therapies exist that can directly target this type of tumor, the authors note. That means the only means of treatment currently available is generalized chemotherapy, which can kill healthy cells as well as tumor cells and thereby render the option intolerable for some patients.

Vonderhaar and her colleagues were able to isolate the XIC marker cells by testing human breast cancer cells taken from four different patients. They observed that such cells had the ability to form tumors after being injected into the mammary glands of immune-compromised mice.

The research team found that estrogen receptor-negative cancer was present when the three particular markers they uncovered were all present simultaneously.

Down the road, the authors hope to determine whether or not the same XIC marker combination might also similarly identify the more easily treatable estrogen receptor-positive form of breast cancer.

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Everyday there is new information coming forward on the latest treatments for cancer. Today is no exception.

ONE DAY there WILL be news of a cure. Maybe not in our lifetime but one day Cancer WILL be a disease of the past.

(Reuters) – An experimental new breast cancer drug made from sea sponges helped in a range of cancers, from breast cancer to sarcoma, researchers report.

Health

Three studies show the drug, Eisai’s eribulin, was effective and tolerated in patients with breast cancer, colon cancer and urinary cancer, according to brief data released on Thursday by the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Sarcomas are cancers that grow from muscle or bone.

A fourth study of patients with advanced breast cancer will be detailed in a “late-breaker” session at ASCO’s annual meeting in June.

The drug is not yet approved, but Eisai has filed with relevant agencies in Japan, the United States and Europe.

The drug works on the same principle, but with a slightly different mechanism as older cancer drugs such as the taxanes and is infused intravenously.

Only a few details are available in the abstracts of the research published ahead of the meeting.

Researchers at Aichi Cancer Center in Nagoya, Japan and several other Japanese sites tested eribulin in 81 breast cancer patients whose cancer had come back despite several rounds of chemotherapy.

They said 21 percent of the patients had some response to the drug and side-effects were common — 95 percent had low blood counts. Nonetheless they said the drug was effective and tolerable.

Researchers at the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer tested eribulin in several types of advanced soft tissue sarcoma and found varying responses but said it deserved further study.

Up to 45 percent of the patients with one type of sarcoma saw three months before their tumors began growing again — a significant result in advanced cancer.

And a team led by the California Cancer Consortium at the University of Southern California and elsewhere will report details of a mid-stage study of 40 patients with advanced urological cancer. They said 38 percent of the group had a response to eribulin.

An international team will report more details at the meeting itself in their trial of patients with breast cancer.

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Still many trials to be carried out and even though this will not help you or I, it is exciting news for the women of the future ,who will have Cancer at some point in their lives.

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Background

Cystosarcoma phyllodes is a rare, predominantly benign tumor that occurs almost exclusively in the female breast.1 Its name is derived from the Greek words sarcoma, meaning fleshy tumor, and phyllo, meaning leaf. Grossly, the tumor displays characteristics of a large, malignant sarcoma, takes on a leaflike appearance when sectioned, and displays epithelial, cystlike spaces when viewed histologically (hence the name). Because most tumors are benign, the name may be misleading. Thus, the favored terminology is now phyllodes tumor.

Pathophysiology

Phyllodes tumor is the most commonly occurring nonepithelial neoplasm of the breast, although it represents only about 1% of tumors in the breast.2 It has a smooth, sharply demarcated texture and typically is freely movable. It is a relatively large tumor, with an average size of 5 cm. However, lesions of more than 30 cm have been reported.

Frequency

United States

No difference in phyllodes tumor frequency appears to exist between patients from the United States and those from other countries. Phyllodes tumors account for approximately 1% of all breast neoplasms.2
Mortality/Morbidity
Because of limited data, the percentage of benign vs malignant phyllodes tumors is not well defined. Reports suggest, however, that about 85-90% of phyllodes tumors are benign and that approximately 10-15% are malignant.3

Although the benign tumors do not metastasize, they have a tendency to grow aggressively and can recur locally.2 Similar to other sarcomas, the malignant tumors metastasize hematogenously. Unfortunately, the pathologic appearance of a phyllodes tumor does not always predict the neoplasm’s clinical behavior; in some cases, therefore, there is a degree of uncertainty about the lesion’s classification. The characteristics of a malignant phyllodes tumor include the following:

•Recurrent malignant tumors seem to be more aggressive than the original tumor.

•The lungs are the most common metastatic site, followed by the skeleton, heart, and liver.

•Symptoms from metastatic involvement can arise from as early as a few months to as late as 12 years after the initial therapy.

•Most patients with metastases die within 3 years of the initial treatment.

4 •No cures for systemic metastases exist.

•Roughly 30% of patients with malignant phyllodes tumors die from the disease.

Race

A racial predilection does not appear to exist for phyllodes tumors.

Sex

Phyllodes tumors occur almost exclusively in females. Rare case reports have been described in males.

Age

Phyllodes tumors can occur in people of any age; however, the median age is the fifth decade of life.

Some juvenile fibroadenomas in teenagers can look histologically like phyllodes tumors; however, they behave in a benign fashion similar to that of other fibroadenomas.

Clinical

History

•Patients typically present with a firm, mobile, well-circumscribed, nontender breast mass.

•A small mass may rapidly increase in size in the few weeks before the patient seeks medical attention.

•Tumors rarely involve the nipple-areola complex or ulcerate to the skin.

•Patients with metastases may present with such symptoms as dyspnea, fatigue, and bone pain.
Physical

•A firm, mobile, well-circumscribed, nontender breast mass is appreciated.

•Curiously, cystosarcoma phyllodes tends to involve the left breast more commonly than the right one.

•Overlying skin may display a shiny appearance and be translucent enough to reveal underlying breast veins.

•Physical findings (ie, the occurrence of mobile masses with distinct borders) are similar to those of fibroadenoma.5 •Phyllodes tumors generally manifest as larger masses and display rapid growth.

•Mammographic findings (ie, the appearance of round densities with smooth borders) are also similar to those of fibroadenoma.

•Recurrent malignant tumors seem to be more aggressive than the original tumor.

•The lungs are the most common metastatic site, followed by the skeleton, heart, and liver.

•Symptoms from metastatic involvement usually arise in a few months but may occur as late as 12 years after the initial therapy.

•Most patients with metastases die within 3 years of the initial treatment.4 •No cures exist for systemic metastases.
•Roughly 30% of patients with malignant phyllodes tumors die from the disease.

Causes

The etiology of cystosarcoma phyllodes is unknown.

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