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Can Some Cancer Patients Take Hormone Replacement Therapy?

Can Some Cancer Patients Take Hormone Replacement Therapy?

When someone receives the diagnosis of cancer, life changes forever. Just one minute before, that individual and her family led normal lives. Never more. They suddenly are flooded with questions. “What does this mean? What can be done? Do I need a second opinion? Do I need surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and/or immunotherapy? Am I going to die? And again, what did you just say?”

Breast Cancer: Tragedy, Followed by Discovery, Then Played Forward

Breast Cancer: Tragedy, Followed by Discovery, Then Played Forward

This short article, sent anonymously by a gynecologist to the periFACTS OB/GYN Academy, describes one man’s journey to discovery.

I am a physician, a husband, a father, and a grandfather. Many years ago, at the age of 43, my former wife was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer and died at age 47. Our journey began the day before Valentine’s Day when her mammogram was scheduled. I had ordered flowers to be delivered the next day. What should have been a perfect Valentine’s Day instead was filled with phone calls to a surgeon and an oncologist regarding how to manage breast cancer. While outsiders might have felt sympathy, sadness, even pity, could they really understand the significance of those next four years? The path my wife and I took can truly be appreciated only by those who have traveled it.

BRCA Genes: Protector From or Cause of Breast Cancer?

BRCA Genes: Protector From or Cause of Breast Cancer?

Many women have heard of the term “BRCA” standing for Breast Cancer Associated genes and their association with inherited breast cancers. Perhaps not as well known is the fact that the BRCA genes normally play an important role in protecting our bodies as they age. It is only when mutations of these BRCA genes occur that the risk for developing cancer increases, because the mutations inactivate their protective effects.

Throughout our lifetime, our body continually is engaged in renewing itself. Every minute, somewhere in our bodies our aging cells pass on their “personality” by creating “daughter cells” that will replace them in location and function. Old cardiac cells produce identical but younger heart cells. Old muscle cells generate newer muscle cells and so on. These amazing events occur through a process called deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) replication.

Is All Breast Cancer The Same? A Paradox: Estrogen's Relationship to Breast Cancer

Is All Breast Cancer The Same? A Paradox: Estrogen's Relationship to Breast Cancer

Most women are aware of a link between estrogen and breast cancer. Yet, there are three types of breast cancer: ductal (80%), lobular (10%), and inflammatory (1% to 5%), all of which have different receptor characteristics that guide treatment. Approximately 75% of breast cancer is estrogen-receptor (ER) positive. However, there are conditions in which estrogen both fuels and, at other times, kills ER-positive breast cancer cells.  One type of breast cancer does not even recognize estrogen at all. It is estimated that in 2015, there will be 231,840 new cases of breast cancer and 60,290 cases of breast carcinoma in situ. And it is predicted that 40,290 women will die of this disease (cancer.org). Understanding the types of breast cancer offers promise for improved surveillance, prevention, and more effective treatments.

Estrogen and Breast Cancer: A Love-Hate Relationship

Estrogen and Breast Cancer: A Love-Hate Relationship

What do the dates 1896 and 1935 have to do with breast cancer? They mark critical moments in clarifying the complex relationship between estrogen and breast cancer. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer mortality in the United States and Canada. Understanding its relationship to estrogen is critical for attributing cause and planning future therapies.

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