Women's Cancer News
Jul. 31, 2013

How to get healthy after the cancer treatments are done
The Washington Post
No hospital sends a stroke patient home without a detailed plan to help them regain as much of their normal functioning as possible. Yet cancer patients are routinely released with no guidance on how to deal with the impairments that may linger after their treatment is done. "A lot of cancer survivors feel ditched after treatment," says Catherine Alfano, deputy director of the Office of Cancer Survivorship at the National Cancer Institute.More

Ovary removal during hysterectomy protects against future risk of ovarian cancer
While ovary removal during hysterectomy protects against future risk of ovarian cancer, the decision to conserve the ovaries and the hormones they produce may have advantages for preventing heart disease, hip fracture, sexual dysfunction, and cognitive decline. Other than a woman's cancer risk, the most important factor that should determine ovarian conservation vs. removal is her age — whether she is older or younger than 50 — according to a Review article published in Journal of Women's Health. More

Scientists seek to rein in diagnoses of cancer
The New York Times
A group of experts advising the nation's premier cancer research institution has recommended changing the definition of cancer and eliminating the word from some common diagnoses as part of sweeping changes in the nation's approach to cancer detection and treatment. The recommendations, from a working group of the National Cancer Institute, were published in The Journal of the American Medical Association.More

Immunotherapy: The next frontier in cancer treatment?
MedCity News
Scientists now know that cancer cells use a cloaking mechanism to make themselves invisible to our immune system. They do this by binding together two proteins. One protein is called PD-1, or programmed death 1, which sits on T-cells, known as the warrior cells of our immune system. The second is a PD-L1, or programmed death ligand 1, which sits on the surface of the cancer cell to shield it from an attack by the body's immune system. With this "shield" gone from the cancer cells, the tumor can no longer hide from the body's immune system.More

Study finds tall women at greater risk for multiple cancers
CBS News
Some cancer risk factors can be controlled, such as smoking status, your weight and how you eat. A new study finds a significant risk factor for cancer in women might be out of their hands: Their height. Researchers looked at a pool of more than 144,000 women, and found postmenopausal women who are tall were at a higher risk for melanoma, multiple myeloma and cancers of the breast, colon, endometrium, kidney, ovary, rectum and thyroid.More

Black-white divide persists in breast cancer
The New York Times
Breast cancer survival is, over all, three years shorter for black women compared with white women, mostly because their cancer is often more advanced when they first seek medical care, new research shows. While cancer researchers have known for two decades that black women with breast cancer tend to fare worse than white women, questions remain about the reasons behind the black-white divide. The new report, from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, begins to untangle some of the issues by using an analytic method to filter the influence of demographics, treatment differences and variations in tumor characteristics, among other things.More

Lower vulvar cancer-related mortality in African Americans
2 Minute Medicine
A new study explored the epidemiology of vulvar cancer and found that compared to white women, African Americans were more likely to be younger and have more advanced disease upon diagnosis, yet experienced lower rates of vulvar cancer related mortality compared to white women. Prior cross-sectional and retrospective cohort studies have failed to identify racial differences in mortality rate.More

Family history strengthened as cancer risk factor in new study
The Huffington Post
Having a family history of cancer raises your own risk of the disease -- even if it's not the exact same type, according to a new study. European researchers found that family history increases the risk of not only concordant cancer —which is the same cancer — but also discordant cancer, or a different kind of cancer. The findings, published in the journal Annals of Oncology, held true even after taking into account other potential risk factors, such as alcohol or tobacco use.More