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Tag Archive | "American Cancer Society"

October is breast cancer awareness month


pink-ribbonAmerican Cancer Society recommendations for early breast cancer detection in women without breast symptoms

 

Women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so for as long as they are in good health.

Current evidence supporting mammograms is even stronger than in the past. In particular, recent evidence has confirmed that mammograms offer substantial benefit for women in their 40s. Women can feel confident about the benefits associated with regular mammograms for finding cancer early. However, mammograms also have limitations. A mammogram can miss some cancers, and it may lead to follow up of findings that are not cancer.

Mammograms should be continued regardless of a woman’s age, as long as she does not have serious, chronic health problems such as congestive heart failure, end-stage renal disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and moderate to severe dementia. Women with serious health problems or short life expectancies should discuss with their doctors whether to continue having mammograms.

Women in their 20s and 30s should have a clinical breast exam (CBE) as part of a periodic (regular) health exam by a health professional preferably every 3 years. Starting at age 40, women should have a CBE by a health professional every year.

CBE is done along with mammograms and offers a chance for women and their doctor or nurse to discuss changes in their breasts, early detection testing, and factors in the woman’s history that might make her more likely to have breast cancer. The chance of breast cancer occurring is very low for women in their 20s and gradually increases with age. Women should promptly report any new breast symptoms to a health professional.

Breast self-exam (BSE) is an option for women starting in their 20s. Women should report any breast changes to their health professional right away.

Research has shown that BSE plays a small role in finding breast cancer compared with finding a breast lump by chance or simply being aware of what is normal for each woman. Some women feel very comfortable doing BSE regularly (usually monthly after their period) which involves a systematic step-by-step approach to examining the look and feel of one’s breasts. Other women are more comfortable simply feeling their breasts in a less systematic approach, such as while showering or getting dressed or doing an occasional thorough exam.

Sometimes, women are so concerned about “doing it right” that they become stressed over the technique. Doing BSE regularly is one way for women to know how their breasts normally look and feel and to notice any changes. The goal, with or without BSE, is to report any breast changes to a doctor or nurse right away.

If a change occurs, such as development of a lump or swelling, skin irritation or dimpling, nipple pain or retraction (turning inward), redness or scaliness of the nipple or breast skin, or a discharge other than breast milk (such as staining of your sheets or bra), you should see your health care professional as soon as possible for evaluation. Remember that most of the time, however, these breast changes are not cancer.

Women who are at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors should get an MRI and a mammogram every year.

This includes women who:

Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of about 20 to 25 percent or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history (such as the Claus model – see below)

Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation.

Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, and have not had genetic testing themselves.

Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years.

Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have first-degree relatives with one of these syndromes.

The American Cancer Society recommends against MRI screening for women whose lifetime risk of breast cancer is less than 15 percent.

There is not enough evidence to make a recommendation for or against yearly MRI screening for women who have a moderately increased risk of breast cancer (a lifetime risk of 15 to 20 percent according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history) or who may be at increased risk of breast cancer based on certain factors, such as:

Having a personal history of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), or atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH)

Having dense breasts (“extremely” or “heterogeneously” dense) as seen on a mammogram.

If MRI is used, it should be in addition to, not instead of, a screening mammogram. This is because although an MRI is a more sensitive test (it’s more likely to detect cancer than a mammogram), it may still miss some cancers that a mammogram would detect.

For most women at high risk, screening with MRI and mammograms should begin at age 30 years and continue for as long as a woman is in good health. But because the evidence is limited about the best age at which to start screening, this decision should be based on shared decision-making between patients and their health care providers, taking into account personal circumstances and preferences.

There is no evidence right now that MRI is an effective screening tool for women at average risk. While MRI is more sensitive than mammograms, it also has a higher false-positive rate (it is more likely to find something that turns out not to be cancer). This would lead to unneeded biopsies and other tests in many of the women screened, which can lead to a lot of worry and anxiety.

The American Cancer Society believes the use of mammograms, MRI (in women at high risk), clinical breast exams, and finding and reporting breast changes early, according to the recommendations outlined above, offers women the best chance to reduce their risk of dying from breast cancer. This approach is clearly better than any one exam or test alone.

Without question, a physical exam of the breast without a mammogram would miss the opportunity to detect many breast cancers that are too small for a woman or her doctor to feel but can be seen on mammograms. Mammograms are a sensitive screening method, but a small percentage of breast cancers do not show up on mammograms but can be felt by a woman or her doctors. For women at high risk of breast cancer, such as those with BRCA gene mutations or a strong family history, both MRI and mammogram exams of the breast are recommended.

 

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KEITH DOUGLAS CRAMER


C obit CramerMr. Keith Douglas Cramer of Cedar Springs, age 73, passed away on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, after a year-long battle with cancer. He was born to Wayne and Iva (née Becker) Cramer in Rockford, Michigan on June 27, 1940 and had been a life-long Kent County resident. Keith enjoyed spending time in the great outdoors, hunting and fishing, as well as traveling with their camper; and it must also be said that Keith loved touring on his Harley, especially with his wife Sharon by his side. He was also a fifty-one year member of the Local #1102. Keith was a loving and devoted husband and wonderful father and grandfather. He will be missed by all those who knew him. Keith leaves behind his beloved wife of fifty-six years, Sharon; children Tom (Delene) Cramer, Sherri (Mark) Sias, Terry (Kitty) Cramer and Lee Frost; grandchildren David Cramer, Tom Cramer II, Jay Cramer, Crystal (J.P.) Deason Johnson, Donny (Aimee) Smith, Terry (Cassandra) Cramer II, Michael Cramer, Fawn (Jon) Reedy, Tim (Brandy) Frost, Kimmy (Don) McMeeken, Zack (Alexis) McMeeken, Ron (Mandi) McMeeken, and Crystal (Ray) Rayapurredy; twenty-eight great grandchildren; and one great, great grandson Hunter Lee. He was preceded in death by his daughter Sue Frost. As per the wishes of Keith, services will not be held. Those wishing to offer expressions of sympathy are encouraged to make a memorial contribution to: The American Cancer Society, 129 Jefferson Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

 Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home www.pedersonfuneralhome.com

 

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Preventing and treating breast cancer


(ARA) – Compared to other forms of cancer, breast cancer gets a lot of attention. But that attention is well-deserved, because the chances of a woman developing breast cancer are greater than nearly any other form of cancer. In fact, one in eight women will experience breast cancer during her lifetime, according to the American Cancer Society.
The good news is advances are being made every day to catch breast cancer earlier and treat it effectively once it’s caught. Being diagnosed with breast cancer is far from a death sentence – five-year survival rates are 93 percent for those who catch it in its earliest stage. Due partially to its prevalence and improved treatment, approximately 2.5 million breast cancer survivors are living in the United States today.
In addition to the sheer number of people affected by the disease, breast cancer presents patients with many difficult, and often scary, decisions. “People forget that one of the unique aspects of breast cancer is the fact that most women do have a choice,” says Dr. Elisa Port, co-director of the Dubin Breast Center of The Tisch Cancer Institute at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. They have a choice between lumpectomy and mastectomy, and oftentimes those choices are very equal – and that’s just one example.”
Finding the information necessary to make these decisions and the support to get through cancer treatment procedures and beyond can be difficult. Dr. Eva Andersson-Dubin, a breast cancer survivor, doctor and former Miss Sweden, helped fund and develop the recently opened Dubin Breast Center, along with co-directors Dr. Port and Dr. George Raptis, in hopes of providing a facility where patients could find these services and information under one roof. If you’re dealing with breast cancer, or are a survivor, Dubin recommends looking for the following type of care:
* Finding a care center where all services are located under one roof can greatly ease much of the stress that comes along with your fight against cancer. Choosing a facility that allows you to have one electronic medical record, while also offering screening, treatment and counseling services, can streamline your experience and allow you to devote all of your attention to getting better. Through her own experiences and from talking to other women who have dealt with breast cancer, Dubin found that lugging scans and paperwork from appointment to appointment is one of the largest sources of frustration for patients.
* Beating cancer means more than just winning the physical battle. Much of the fight against cancer and the life changes it brings is psychological. Look for a treatment facility that cares for the whole patient by offering services like oncofertility (reproductive health for cancer patients), nutrition and psychological counseling, and possibly even massage therapy. A treatment center that involves the whole family in your treatment and offers counseling services to them as well as you can play a huge role in helping you beat the disease.
* Ask if your care center has radiologists who specialize in mammography, breast ultrasound, breast MRI and breast biopsy.  You might also ask if the center has digital mammography and any new technology such as 3D mammography – an advanced version of a conventional mammogram. 3D mammography, called tomosynthesis, helps radiologists see through layers of breast tissue facilitating the early diagnosis of breast cancer and reducing callbacks for additional screening, which can cause stress and anxiety.
* Look for a care center that offers care options well after your treatment has finished. Because a brush with cancer is a life-altering experience, having someone there to provide counseling services or answer questions as you go forward is an invaluable resource.
Experts in the field of breast cancer treatment agree that a comprehensive, lifelong approach to treatment is best. “Those with breast cancer benefit enormously from a comprehensive approach to their care that also focuses on their needs as individuals,” says Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
“Our goal for the Dubin Breast Center is to provide patients with seamless care,” says Dubin. “From breast cancer screening to diagnosis to treatment and survivorship, patients will receive personalized, comprehensive care in a welcoming, private and reassuring setting.” The center provides all-in-one facility that offers a soothing atmosphere for breast cancer patients and survivors.
Since early detection is key when battling breast cancer, The Mount Sinai Medical Center urges anyone experiencing the following symptoms of breast cancer to visit a physician:
* A lump or thickening near the breast, in your underarm area or in your neck
* A change in the size or shape of a breast
* Nipple discharge or tenderness, or the nipple becoming pulled back or inverted into the breast
* The skin of your breast becoming ridged or pitted, similar to the skin of an orange
* Any change in the way your breast looks or feels
For more information on breast cancer and treatment visit www.dubinbreastcenter.org.

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Breast cancer deaths shift to poor


A new report from the American Cancer Society finds that a slower decline in breast cancer death rates among women in poor areas has resulted in a shift in the highest breast cancer death rates from women residing in more affluent areas to those in poor areas. The authors point to screening rates as one potential factor. In 2008, only 51.4 percent of poor women ages 40 and older had undergone a screening mammogram in the past two years compared to 72.8 percent of non-poor women.
The findings are published in Breast Cancer Statistics, 2011, which appears in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. The report and its consumer version, Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2011-2012, provide detailed analyses of breast cancer trends, presents information on known factors that influence risk and survival, and provides the latest data on prevention, early detection, treatment, and ongoing research.
More highlights from Breast Cancer Statistics, 2011 and Breast Cancer Facts & Figures 2011-2012:
Breast cancer mortality rates have declined steadily since 1990, with the drop in mortality larger among women under 50 (3.2 percent per year) than among women 50 and older (2.0 percent per year).
In 2011, an estimated 230,480 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, accounting for nearly 1 in 3 cancers diagnosed.
An estimated 39,520 women are expected to die from the disease in 2011. Only lung cancer accounts for more cancer deaths in women.
In January 2008 (the latest year for which figures are available), approximately 2.6 million women living in the U.S. had a history of breast cancer, more than half of whom were diagnosed less than 10 years earlier. Most of them were cancer-free, while others still had evidence of cancer and may have been undergoing treatment.
From 2004 to 2008, the average annual female breast cancer incidence rate was highest in non-Hispanic white women (125.4 cases per 100,000 females) and lowest for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders (84.9). Although overall breast cancer incidence rates are lower in African American than white women, African American women are more likely to be diagnosed with larger tumors and are more likely to die from the disease.
Analyses by poverty rates showed that death rates were highest among women residing in affluent areas until the early 1990s, but since that time rates have been higher among women in poorer areas because the decline in death rates began later and was slower among women residing in poor areas compared to those in affluent areas.
Despite much progress in increasing mammography utilization, screening rates continue to be lower in poor women compared to non-poor women. In 2008, 51.4 percent of poor women ages 40 and older had a screening mammogram in the past 2 years compared to 72.8 percent of non-poor women.
“In general, progress in reducing breast cancer death rates is being seen across races/ethnicities, socioeconomic status, and across the U.S.,” said Otis W. Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. “However, not all women have benefitted equally. Poor women are now at greater risk for breast cancer death because of less access to screening and better treatments. This continued disparity is impeding real progress against breast cancer, and will require renewed efforts to ensure that all women have access to high-quality prevention, detection, and treatment services.”

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