Archive for June 4th, 2010

Nothing Compares….

….missing home in a foreign land,only to realise ‘home’ would be found in a person,not a place…..

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Living in Spain I have always loved to, if possible, have a year round tan.

I am lucky and have always looked after my skin.

However, chemo has damaged my skin and left patches and marks that are permanent. Sun exposure, when your skin is marked will only add more damage to the affected areas.

I therefore now use a high factor screen and am happy with just a light tan. I have also been told to be careful with sunlight on any scar tissue . I was operated on in the same area twice and the scar tissue is still very tender. I can only imagine how painful it would be with sunburn added.

Treatments for breast cancer also can affect your skin at times, leaving it dry or flaky and more sensitive to exposure to sun, wind, and other elements.

I also lost most of my fingernails but they did return several weeks after treatment stopped. I also take a supplement of Omega 3 and this keeps my nails healthy and strong. Plus now with B12 vitamin injections I am beginning to feel stronger everyday.

Chemotherapy and Skin Care

Chemotherapy can affect your skin’s natural moisture because it reduces the amount of oil your glands secrete. You can help your skin by using moisturizer more frequently, or using a heavier weight moisturizer than you did before treatment. During the day, use a product that protects your skin from the sun, blocking UVA and UVB rays. Be sure to use a gentle, moisturizing soap or cleansing cream, and avoid soaps with heavy deodorants or scents. Soaps for babies may be a good choice because they’re usually mild and perfume-free.

Radiation and Skin Care

I once again was lucky I did not need radiation even though I had breast cancer, (in the stomach and colon) and not in the breast? We still do not know why yet…

I also know my chances of getting skin cancer now are much higher, the sun and I are still best friends but we are careful not to spend so much time together.

Radiation to the breast causes skin changes:

In all races, the skin color will change—lighter skin will turn red; dark skin will get darker or become ashen. Usually the affected areas are limited to small patches. There can be some itching, burning, and tenderness of the skin. You may have some dry peeling, like an old sunburn, as the skin rubs off.

If you are big-breasted, or if your doctor is treating the area after a mastectomy, there is a greater chance for “wet” peeling, like a blister. This is usually limited to specific spots.

The skin generally heals quickly and completely. The red reaction goes away the fastest. The change-over to tan shading, if you have light skin, can take a few weeks to go away. In women of color, the darkening of the skin can be more significant and may also take longer to disappear.
Ordinary freckles and moles can become much darker within the treatment field. These spots are almost always benign, but they will darken because of the treatment. After you finish radiation, they usually return to their normal color, and some eventually disappear.
Many products can help ease your way through treatment. These include aloe and aquaphor, which can be found in some drugstores and large convenience stores.

In addition, at some point you may need to use some type of steroid cream, such as a 1% hydrocortisone cream. Some women also benefit from a prescription-strength steroid cream. Ask your physician if you need a referral to a dermatologist.

Radiation and Sun

Skin that receives radiation treatment has an increased risk of developing skin cancer in the future. This is why it is so important to take extra precautions to protect the skin within the radiation treatment field from the sun.

The part of your breast near your cleavage will probably be in the treatment field, and that’s also the area exposed to the sun when you wear a bathing suit or tank top. So make sure you use a moisturizer or body lotion with sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30.

If you’re receiving fluorouracil (5-FU) chemotherapy, you may notice you tan more easily. Make sure you take extra steps to protect yourself from the sun.

Skin and Sun Precautions

Excessive exposure to the sun is responsible for much of the skin damage associated with aging. It’s also the leading cause of skin cancer—by far the most common form of cancer diagnosed today. Almost half of all Americans who reach age 65 will develop at least one skin cancer in their lifetime.

It takes as little as 15 minutes for the sun’s ultraviolet rays to harm your skin, even though it may take up to 12 hours for your skin to show a sunburn.

Serious sunburns, especially during childhood and adolescence, can increase the chances of developing the more serious form of skin cancer—malignant melanoma—later in life. However, breast cancer does not make you more prone to developing skin cancer.

You need to protect your skin every time you go outside, even when it’s cloudy. Use products that have the proper SPF, or sun protection factor. An SPF factor tells you how long you can stay in the sun without getting a sunburn. For example: If you usually start to burn after about 20 minutes, proper use of products with an SPF factor of 2 will protect you for about 40 minutes, and proper use of products with an SPF factor of 15 will protect you for about five hours (15 times 20 = 300 minutes).

Studies show that products with a SPF of 30 provide great protection from harmful ultraviolet rays. Higher SPFs are no better.

Sunscreen users often apply only half of the recommended amount, so they receive only half of the SPF protection the product offers. In other words, if you apply half as much SPF 30 sunscreen as you should, you’ll only get the protection of a SPF 15.

Don’t forget to treat your lips. They contain few oil and sweat glands and no melanin (a protective chemical in the rest of your skin). So they are not protected from moisture-robbing ultraviolet rays. Instead of using lip balms that contain camphor, menthol, or phenol, use products with moisture-sealing ingredients and SPF protection.

Tips for Healthy-Looking Skin

Learn to sleep on your back, preferably with your head elevated. This reduces the puffiness most of us see in the mirror each morning. You might want to invest in a buckwheat or form-fitting pillow that will help keep your head upright.

Don’t smoke. The heat and smoke of the cigarette itself will constrict your blood vessels and cause wrinkles. And overuse of the muscles used to draw in the smoke can cause just as many wrinkles. And smoking, as you surely know, is a risk factor for lung cancer.

Don’t use alcohol-containing products on your face. They’re too drying, even for oily skin.

Don’t wash your face more than twice a day, unless you exercise. In that case, be sure to wash away any sweat that could be drying to your face as it evaporates. You might also consider a non-soap skin cleanser.

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Secretory Breast Cancer in children is very rare. We may hear of a case every four to five years the chances are 1 in a million.

Therefore, there is no need to frighten our children, parent awarenesss is enough.

Presented at the 30th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Paediatric Surgeons, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, September 23-26, 1999.

James J. Murphy, Sanjay Morzaria, Kenneth W. Gow, J.Fergall Magee

A 6-year-old girl presented for a second opinion with a 1-year history of an enlarging soft tissue mass just lateral to the right areola.

She had been seen by a pediatric surgeon elsewhere who reassured the parents that the lesion was benign.

Ultrasound scan showed a 1.5- × 1.5-cm cystic structure adjacent to the right breast bud. Excisional biopsy results showed secretory ductal adenocarcinoma. Modified radical mastectomy with axillary node dissection was performed.

All 11 nodes were negative for metastatic disease. She is now disease free 3 years after diagnosis.

Estrogen-progesterone receptors were negative, as was screening for BCR 1 and 2.

This is the first report of cytogenetics showing an abnormal cell line with a reciprocal translocation between 12p and 15q.

Although breast cancer is extremely rare in children, a history of a painless, enlarging, firm breast mass should raise concern about possible neoplastic disease.

Cystic appearance on ultrasound scan caused by the pseudocapsule around the tumor may be a marker for secretory carcinoma.

Histological evaluation of all suspicious masses should be obtained. Because of the risk of local recurrence and axillary metastases, the authors recommend modified radical mastectomy with axillary node dissection for children with secretory carcinoma of the breast.

J Pediatr Surg 35:765-767. Copyright © 2000 by W.B. Saunders Company.

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Breast cancer is traditionally thought of as an exclusively female-related disease. But like breast cancer in women, breast cancer in men is the uncontrolled growth of the cells of the breast tissue.

Breast cancer in men can be just as dangerous as breast cancer in women. More than 1,700 men are diagnosed with male breast cancer each year. But because men often wait to report the symptoms of male breast cancer, the disease is more likely to have spread, leaving many men with less hope that treatment will lead to recovery.

Breast cancer in men accounts for approximately one percent of cases of breast cancer and about 0.2 percent of all malignancies in men, according to The National Cancer Institute. In women, breast cancer represents 26 percent of all cancers. However, all of the types of breast cancer seen in women can also occur in men, although some are quite rare.

The National Cancer Institute estimates that breast cancer in men results in approximately 480 deaths in men compared to more than 40,000 women who die of breast cancer each year.

The survival rate for men is lower than for women. Men have very little breast tissue and do not typically receive mammograms.

Also, men are not taught to do regular breast self-examination. No one knows the exact cause of breast cancer, but risk factors include age, family history of breast cancer, changes in the appearance of the breast and race. Breast cancer is diagnosed more often in White women than Latina, Asian and African American women.

Since breast cancer is 100 times more common among women, the general public does not hear much about breast cancer in men. Many people are unaware that men can develop breast cancer, and neither individual men themselves nor their physicians regularly examine men’s breasts.

Furthermore, when men discover signs of breast cancer, they tend to delay before seeing a physician. This is the main reason why medical researchers have a hard time studying breast cancer in men and the effect it has on the male population. Men do not believe they are susceptible to the disease.

For instance, actor Richard Roundtree, the man who personified masculinity in the iconoclastic blaxploitaion film Shaft, discovered a lump in his right breast in the 1970s. It was cancer.

“When I got the news, I was shocked,” said Roundtree, who has worked with the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation which raises breast cancer awareness among women and men, as well as funds for research. “I thought I couldn’t possibly have breast cancer. Men dont get this, Roundtree once said in a USA Today interview. The actor was fortunate to catch his cancer early and received chemotherapy, radiation treatments, and a mastectomy.

Another celebrity to have had male breast cancer is Peter Criss, a founding member of the rock band KISS, who calls himself the luckiest man in the planet. Criss said getting medical treatment early at the first sign of trouble saved his life.

While some men feel embarrassed because of this macho crap, Criss said surviving breast cancer was actually a blessing. He was treated before the tumor could spread and said he speaks out about breast cancer in men during National Breast Cancer Awareness month every October to raise the profile of this rare disease.

Criss, who played drums for KISS and was known as “Catman,” offered this advice to men who spot lumps in their breast: Don’t sit around playing Mr. Tough Guy. Don’t say ‘It’s going to go away.’ It might not and you might not see life anymore and how beautiful that is.”

Most cases of breast cancer in men are detected in men between the ages of 60 and 70, although the condition can develop in men of any age. A man’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about one-tenth of one percent, or one in 1,000.

However, men with breast cancer show the same racial disparities in survival as do women with the disease, according to a study conducted at Columbia University. Medicare-age African American men with breast cancer were three times more likely to die from the disease than White men. These findings parallel those of previous studies among women, which have shown higher breast cancer mortality rates for African American women at all ages, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes between African American and White women have been reduced to access to health care, and other socioeconomic factors. Similar factors may contribute to the poor outcomes observed among African American men with breast cancer.

Among the findings related to African American men, the researchers reported that they were more likely to have later-stage disease and larger tumors than White men; African American men were 48 percent less likely to be referred to a medical oncologist and 56 percent less likely to receive chemotherapy than White men, though neither difference was significant. Five-year survival was about 90 percent among White patients but 66 percent among African American patients.

On the basis of the findings, the researchers concluded that part of the racial disparity in survival may be due to differences in treatment. Under treatment may account for the racial disparity in breast cancer survival among men.

Medical researchers have said further studies will be needed to explain clinical and biological factors contributing to racial disparities in male breast cancer. Because breast cancer in men is rare at less than one percent of cancers in men, obtaining large sample sizes has been a challenge. Most previous studies have been small, single center, retrospective series.

Early signs, however, indicate that the disease is more manageable and has higher successful treatable rates than when found in women. In many ways, the disease appears similarly in both sexes.

Symptoms of breast cancer

A painless lump, usually discovered by the patient himself, is by far the most common first symptom of breast cancer in men. Typically, the lump appears right beneath the breast, where breast tissue is concentrated.

A lump, however, is seldom the only symptom. Men are more likely than women to have nipple discharge (sometimes bloody) and signs of local spreading, including nipple retraction, fixation to the skin or the underlying tissues, and skin ulceration.

To improve the prognosis of breast cancer in men, broader efforts are needed to let men know that the disease exists and that, like other cancers, it can be cured or controlled if it is diagnosed and treated promptly.

Risk factors attributed to breast cancer.

– Age

The incidence of breast cancer in men, like in women, increases with age. The average age of men at diagnosis is close to 65, about five years older than the average age for women.

– Ethnicity

Breast cancer affects 14 African American men and eight White men in every million. Some studies also suggest that the prevalence is higher among Jewish males.

– Geography

In Egypt, breast cancer in men represents six percent of all breast cancers, and in Zambia, it accounts for 15 percent. It has been suggested that one contributing factor might be an excess of estrogen produced by parasites. Others have proposed a link with liver disease caused by malnutrition.

– Socioeconomic Status

A recent study comparing male breast cancer patients from five metropolitan areas with men of comparable backgrounds who did not have breast cancer, found that the breast cancer patients were more likely to be college graduates and employed as professionals or managers.

– Heredity

Several researchers have reported two or more cases of breast cancer in men within a single family. Several of these reports have involved two brothers; one involved three brothers; and another described breast cancer in a man, his father and his uncle.

– Hormones

Abnormal hormonal activity, a factor that has been linked to the development of female breast cancer, could play a role in the development of male breast cancer as well. Several disorders with a hormonal component have been associated with an increased risk of male breast cancer, and numerous studies suggest that men with breast cancer display abnormal patterns of hormone metabolism and excretion.

– Treatment

The treatment for male breast cancer is generally similar to the treatment of female breast cancer. The basic therapy for cancer that shows no signs of distant spreading is surgery. In advanced stages, it is hormonal and chemotherapy. The small number of men who develop breast cancer makes it unlikely that large prospective trials can ever be undertaken to compare various therapies. It is possible, nonetheless, that institutions that see more than the usual number of cases could collaborate in developing a fund of reliable information. In the meantime, it is important that individual physicians and surgeons keep careful records to document the cases of the several hundred men who develop breast cancer each year in the U.S.

SOURCE: Author J.C.Clemmons

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A beautifil song by Kate Bush.

The words tender and with deep,deep meaning.

Tell the one you love everyday how much they mean to you and never go to sleep without wishing each other good night.

Surviving cancer gives you a second chance, don’t waste a moment of it.

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Paget’s disease of the breast, sometimes called Paget’s disease of the nipple, is a rare form of ductal cell breast cancer, according to the Stanford Cancer Center at stanford.edu. Fewer than 5 percent of all breast cancers are of this type; however, about 95 percent of those with Paget’s disease of the breast also have an underlying carcinoma, says the National Cancer Institute. The National Cancer institute also states that the condition is rare in both men and women.

Merck.com reports that the malignant cells grow in the skin, causing a rash that may resemble eczema or psoriasis. Early symptoms that often cause a woman to seek medical attention are small bumps on the nipple, with pain and itching. Other associated symptoms are burning, scalding, bleeding and a discharge from the nipple. Physical findings include crusty, thickened plaques on the nipple and areola.

Extramammary Paget’s Disease

Extramammary Paget’s disease is a rare cancer of the apocrine glands, which may affect the bladder, rectum and anus. The penis can also be a site of this type of cancer, reports Merck.com. These skin manifestations on the penis are actually an intraepithelial adenocarcinoma, the same type of cancer cells found in Paget’s disease of the nipple. They appear as well defined, red colored lesions, according to Merck.com, and can be itchy and painful.

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