Wednesday March 24, 2010
According to a recent study published in the journal Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, regular use of aspirin or other pain relievers in postmenopausal women leads to lower estrogen levels, which could contribute to a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
The researchers from Harvard University studied the link between aspirin and other NSAID medications and concentrations of estrogen in 740 postmenopausal women.
Average estrogen levels were more than 10% lower among women who regularly took aspirin and NSAIDs.
Levels in those who regularly took aspirin, NSAIDs and the painkiller acetaminophen were 15.2% lower than the participants who did not regularly take the drugs, the researchers said in a statement, adding that a trial is needed to determine if aspirin and other pain relievers could prevent certain cancers in women.
Thursday February 25, 2010
A recent study published in journal Community Oncology found that 41% of patients receiving care at community oncology were appropriate assessment candidates for genetic testing for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome based on BRCA mutations. The article, entitled: "Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Testing Integration and Outcomes within Community Oncology Practices," was published in the February 2010 issue of the journal.
This study is one of the first to assess the percentage of patients who meet professional society guidelines and would benefit from genetic risk assessment in the community oncology practice setting and underscores the importance of physicians integrating genetic testing processes into their practices.
"This multicenter study is the largest of its kind and demonstrates that a high percentage of breast and ovarian cancer patients in non-academic clinical practices need to be evaluated for hereditary breast/ovarian cancer testing," stated Mark C. Capone, President of Myriad Genetic Laboratories, the company that funded the study. "Comprehensive approaches to integrate patient identification and perform BRACAnalysis® testing in appropriate patients helps doctors deliver potentially life-saving information to individuals and families at risk for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer."
The study examined 1,919 patients, including a wide variety of ethnicities, who are receiving care for breast or ovarian cancer in 11 community clinical oncology practice sites. Patients were identified as potential candidates for BRCA testing if they met any of the following personal or family history criteria: personal diagnosis of breast cancer below age 50, personal history of ovarian cancer at any age, personal history of male breast cancer, existence of bilateral breast and/or breast and ovarian cancer in the same individual, multiple close family members with breast and/or ovarian cancer, existence of a related family member with a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, or Ashkenazi Jewish descent with breast or ovarian cancer at any age. The study found that 41% of the 1,919 patients met the professional society hereditary cancer risk criteria.
Monday February 2, 2009
I thought that since this will be my last post as the Ovarian Cancer guide, I'd briefly reflect on the past year and give some encouragement about the future. As we enter 2009, there is much hope for new screening tools, biologicals are coming of age and it won't be long before they overtake toxic chemotherapy. Into the intermediate future, we are looking at genetic therapy, both pre-birth and influencing epi-genetics via medical and dietary interventions. There is reason to be VERY optimistic.
We have covered a lot of this during the past year, and I had hoped to continue along the same vein of presenting today's sometimes harsh treatment reality choices, look towards the better and brighter future and fill in with complementary and alternative approaches that seem to have some promise, proven or not. But that is not meant to be.
Our forum has grown from zero to very active in a very few short months, and I hope you have found a good "home" for healthy discussion regarding experiences, good and bad. I tried to pop in and say hello often, and if I have not caught everyone, a warm welcome to a safe discussion zone for the moment. I think the site may serve you well for that, although I have no idea who will be recruited to answer the medical questions. About is usually pretty good about seeking out good folks, so I hope for the best.
Overall, it has been an honor serving your information needs, hearing from you individually and recommending what I would consider as options. You are true survivors and for the newbies on the block, listen and you shall find iron wills and very strong support from those that have been there, done that.....right here in this forum.
I bid you farewell. In case you need to find me, I can't really put in an email address here for conflict of interest reasons, but if you Google me, I am not hard to find. I anticipate a much bigger presence on the web and hope to see you around. Live long and keep your eye on the prize.
Monday January 26, 2009
We've gone round and round on the relative major inaccuracies of CA-125 blood tests to detect ovarian cancer. There are a number of research avenues that are being investigated to improve early detection, and this is one of them.
Researchers at the University of South Florida have just reported their results on a protein, called Bcl-2, which can be picked up by a urine test. Bcl-2 is something called an "anti-apoptotic" protein, which can be found in many cancers, but they investigated it by testing healthy women, women with benign non-cancerous gynecologic conditions, and in women with early or advanced ovarian cancer. In many cases, they compared the result with a CA-125 blood test level.
Women who had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, regardless of stage, had a significantly elevated level of Bcl-2 in the urine compared to women who had either no disease or benign conditions. Furthermore, the levels roughly correlated with CA-125 elevation. Is this THE answer? Probably not....or at least not the only answer. However, it is a step in the right direction towards effective screening.