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Showing posts from May, 2012

The Cancer institute plays down birth control pill risks

The director of the New South Wales Breast Cancer Institute has played down the risks associated with women taking the birth control pill or undergoing Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). The World Health Organisation (WHO) has reviewed published scientific evidence on the pill and HRT and has toughened its classification of both to say they are carcinogenic. The WHO says the pill slightly increases the risk of breast, cervical and liver cancer, and that HRT increases the risk of breast cancer and cancer of the uterus. But Professor Boyages says research indicates that HRT might increase the chances of developing breast cancer by less than 1 per cent over a five-year period. He says it is important for women to understand both the risks and the benefits associated with HRT. "I think these risks are acceptable risks that in our western way of life are worth taking, particularly around oral contraceptives," he said. "Short-term use of HRT is certainly safe

Oestrogen-only HRT could reduce cancer risk

Women who use oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy (HRT) could be at reduced risk of breast cancer. Doctors followed 7,500 post-menopausal women who had had a hysterectomy and found women who used oestrogen-only hormone replacement therapy were 20 per cent less likely to develop breast cancer than women who had never used HRT. Of those women who did develop breast cancer, they were less likely to die from it if they had used HRT. Professor Ian Olver from the Cancer Council says the findings should reassure women who are taking short-term oestrogen to counter the symptoms of menopause. The findings are published in the journal Lancet Oncology. I thought this was very interesting to share. I have never taken HRT and have breezed though menopause luckily. But it's important to have all the information at hand. Mum took this for a few years.

Christina Applegate missing her boobs

Statement from 2009: Christina Applegate  had breast reconstruction surgery a year ago following a double mastectomy, but she still misses her old boobs.  "It's really hard because they just aren't the same – and I had really good ones," Applegate, 37, says in the October issue of  Women's Health . "If you have boobs you don't like, you can go and choose the size you want, and then get a brand new present. But it's different [when it’s not your choice]."  Still, the actress, who was  diagnosed with breast cancer  in August 2008, has found a silver lining in the surgery: "I hold on to the fact that I don't have to wear a bra, which is great!”  I am the same I don't have to wear a bra and I miss mine as well. Mine weighed 4.4kg. Good bye size E. Anyway gravity does take them south. Mine will be the best in the nursing home now a C. A drop of 3 sizes.  Which is great as you get older.

Breast Cancer a growing problem

  Figures published in June by Cancer Research UK show that breast cancer diagnoses are at an all-time high, with more than 40,000 women being diagnosed with the disease every year. The main causes of this steady increase are the nationwide breast screening initiative, which offers mammograms every three years to women who are over 50, and the fact that women are living longer – 80 per cent of breast cancers are found in women over 50. But survival rates have also improved, with three-quarters of women with breast cancer now surviving for five years or more after their initial diagnosis. I have lost quiet a few of the ladies that I have met on this battle, no one wants to die. It's a horrid disease. Great to hear survival improving.

Breast Examinations - Checking the facts!

Researchers from the University of London analysed the findings of 23 previously published studies investigating the relationship between breast self-examination and death from breast cancer. Although in some of the studies self-examination was associated with a 36 per cent reduction in the risk of death among women with cancer, the researchers concluded that overall, breast self-examination has little effect on deaths from the disease. Based on their analysis, they say breast self-examination is unlikely to be a worthwhile alternative to mammography, even if used between examinations. The study concludes that although women should still be aware of changes in their breasts and seek advice if concerned, 'regular breast self-examination is not an effective method of reducing breast cancer mortality'. The need to be breast aware However, self-examination is different from being 'breast aware' – being familiar with the shape and feel of the breast and ther

Female sex hormones

The most important hormones made by the ovaries are known as female sex hormones (sex steroids) – and the two main ones are oestrogen and progesterone. The ovaries also produce some of the male hormone, testosterone. During puberty, oestrogen stimulates breast development and causes the vagina, uterus (womb) and Fallopian tubes (that carry eggs to the womb) to mature. It also plays a role in the growth spurt and alters the distribution of fat on a girl's body, typically resulting in more being deposited around the hips, buttocks and thighs. Testosterone helps to promote muscle and bone growth. From puberty onwards, LH, FSH, oestrogen and progesterone all play a vital part in regulating a woman's  menstrual cycle , which results in her periods. Each individual hormone follows its own pattern, rising and falling at different points in the cycle, but together they produce a predictable chain of events. One egg (out of several hundred thousands in each ovary) become


Estrogen is probably the most widely known and discussed of all hormones. The term "estrogen" actually refers to any of a group of chemically similar hormones; estrogenic hormones are sometimes mistakenly referred to as exclusively female hormones when in fact both men and women produce them. However, the role estrogen plays in men is not entirely clear. To understand the roles estrogens play in women, it is important to understand something about hormones in general. Hormones are vital chemical substances in humans and animals. Often referred to as "chemical messengers," hormones carry information and instructions from one group of cells to another. In the human body, hormones influence almost every cell, organ and function. They regulate our growth, development,  metabolism , tissue function, sexual function, reproduction, the way our bodies use food, the reaction of our bodies to emergencies and even our moods. The estrogenic hormones are uniquely resp

Estrogen Receptor (ER)

The estrogen receptor (ER) is a protein that binds to estrogen that enters the cell. Estrogen is a  steroid  ( lipid )  hormone  produced by the ovaries. The combination of protein and hormone then acts as a  transcription factor  to turn on genes that enable the target cells to divide. The receptor is active in the cells of the female reproductive organs, such as breasts and ovaries. Estrogen is a small  hydrophobic  molecule and it enters cells by crossing through the lipid membrane. Once in the cell, the estrogen binds to its receptor the complex binds to DNA in the  nucleus  causing genes to be transcribed. Several drugs have been developed to try to block the gene-activating function of estrogen. A commonly prescribed example is tamoxifen, a drug that partially inhibits the activity of estrogen.  These drugs should slow the growth of cancers that are growing in response to the presence of estrogen and its receptor. 

Victorian school celebrates girl's cancer victory

A five-year-old Victorian girl who has battled non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for nearly half her life celebrated with her entire school today after being declared cancer-free earlier this month. Erin Toomey, from Holy Trinity Primary in Eltham North, had a huge school-wide party thrown for her in celebration the milestone. Erin's parents told Nine News they were overwhelmed with the school community's support during their daughter’s two-year treatment. "We're just very, very blessed, relieved and lucky to get to this position,” Erin's father Guy Toomey told Nine News. "We do realise that there are families who aren't so lucky to make it through." By wearing yellow today, the school participated in the fundraising campaign A Day in May supporting Challenge, which helps children and families living with cancer. They raised approximately $6000. Good on you Erin :-) I thought this was a great story to share

Kylie Minogue says her cancer ordeal left her with “mental and physical scars”

During an interview with Paris Match, pop star  Kylie Minogue  – who’s singing live on this weekend’s edition of  The Voice  – has revealed that her battle with breast cancer has left her with “mental and physical scars”. However brave Kylie, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2005, went on to say that despite having “incredible anger” over her illness, she feels very lucky to have been a survivor, and said she now feels like “a cat with several lives.” She said, “I feel like a cat, having had several lives. In my career as in my personal life, I made enough bad decisions to land me in deep water. “Finally, I haven’t got out too badly.” Of her cancer battle, Kylie added, “Over time, people have a tendency to forget about it. Not me. “Not a day does not go by without me thinking about it. Just looking in a mirror is enough – the scars are moral and physical. “There are days when I feel an incredible anger, others when I say that I was very lucky in my misfortune…

Inflammation, Immunity and Cancer

Inflammatory responses play decisive roles at different stages of tumor development, including initiation, promotion, malignant conversion, invasion, and metastasis. Inflammation also affects immune surveillance and responses to therapy. Immune cells that infiltrate tumors engage in an extensive and dynamic crosstalk with cancer cells, and some of the molecular events that mediate this dialog have been revealed. This review outlines the principal mechanisms that govern the effects of inflammation and immunity on tumor development and discusses attractive new targets for cancer therapy and prevention.

Gestational trophoblastic disease my first cancer

  At 24 I lost my baby girl at 19 and a half weeks gestation. Gestational trophoblastic disease is the term for a number of pregnancy conditions that involve the placental (afterbirth) tissue turning cancerous. This cancer occurs in one in every 1,200-1,500 pregnancies. The main symptoms are violent morning sickness or abnormal bleeding in pregnancy or after a curette for a miscarriage. The tumour is called a mole, and the pregnancy is known as a molar pregnancy. In most cases, the woman miscarries and passes the mole from her body, or it is removed with a D&C (dilatation and curettage). In other cases, the mole becomes cancerous and can spread to other parts of her body. A key symptom of gestational trophoblastic disease is violent morning sickness, caused by higher than normal levels of the pregnancy hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG). The cause of gestational trophoblastic disease is unknown, but risk factors include maternal age - women aged less than

How many cancer types are there?

Last week someone asked me how many types of   cancers   there are. This is shocking as you can see below, there are hundreds: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Adult   Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Childhood   Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Adult   Acute Myeloid Leukemia, Childhood   Adrenocortical Carcinoma   Adrenocortical Carcinoma, Childhood   AIDS-Related Cancers   AIDS-Related Lymphoma   Anal Cancer   Astrocytoma, Childhood Cerebellar   Astrocytoma, Childhood Cerebral   Bile Duct Cancer, Extrahepatic   Bladder Cancer   Bladder Cancer, Childhood   Bone Cancer, Osteosarcoma/Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma   Brain Stem Glioma, Childhood   Brain Tumor, Adult   Brain Tumor, Brain Stem Glioma, Childhood   Brain Tumor, Cerebellar Astrocytoma, Childhood   Brain Tumor, Cerebral Astrocytoma/Malignant Glioma, Childhood   Brain Tumor, Ependymoma, Childhood   Brain Tumor, Medulloblastoma, Childhood   Brain Tumor, Supratentorial Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors, Childhood   Brain Tumor, Visual Pathway