Coming to Terms with the Reality of Metastatic Breast Cancer
by Michele Cepeda, RN
Individuals diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer – breast cancer that has spread to different parts of the body, most commonly, bones, the lungs, or the liver – often are faced with lifelong treatments. Treatment for metastatic breast cancer focuses on controlling – not curing – the disease while providing a good quality of life.
The Latest in Breast Cancer Research
- Women with Small Node-Negative HER2+ Breast Tumors Appear to Benefit from Adjuvant Trastuzumab
- Use of Deep-Inspiration Breath Hold Technique Reduces Heart and Lung Exposure to Radiation
- Three Forms of Partial Breast Irradiation Produce Similar Outcomes
- Younger Women with DCIS Are More Likely to Have Breast Cancer Return
- Vitamin D Deficiency Prevalent with Breast Cancer Treatment
- Ultrasound May Reduce Need for Second Surgeries for Some Women with Early-Stage Breast Cancer
- New Methods of Tumor Analysis May Predict Effectiveness of Chemotherapy
Coping with the Long-Term Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment
Treatment for breast cancer may trigger a variety of side effects that typically subside as treatment ends. Unfortunately, some symptoms linger for some individuals, while other effects may begin later. Medical oncologist and epidemiologist Kathy J. Helzlsouer, MD, MHS, says that the best way to cope with any side effect is to be alert and to remember that there are explanations and often treatments for the symptoms you may face.
Breast Cancer and Lymphedema
by Julie Berrett-Abebe, MSW, LICSW, Corinne Holbrook, MSW,LICSW, Jean OToole, PT, MPH, CLT-LANA, and Tara A Russell, MPH
For breast cancer survivors, a particularly concerning possible side effect is lymphedema. Lymphedema associated with breast cancer commonly presents as a swelling or tightness in the arm, breast, or along the chest. This physical change can have a significant effect on a cancer survivor’s quality of life. Because many women are fearful that they may develop lymphedema, they may alter or avoid activities. In actuality, many breast cancer survivors do not develop lymphedema.
Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer
by Diana Donovan
It is no secret that the battle against breast cancer is ongoing. What is less well known, however, is that thousands of women with metastatic breast cancer are not only surviving for many years following diagnosis, but many are living longer and better lives during treatment. Thanks to more treatment options available today than ever before, doctors and nurses now approach metastatic breast cancer as a chronic condition that can be managed with ongoing therapy.
The Role of Targeted Therapy in Breast Cancer Treatment
by Tejal A. Patel, MD, and Edith A. Perez, MD
Targeted therapies form the mainstay of current treatment for women with breast cancer. Each form of targeted therapy functions by blocking a specific protein or pathway and interfering with the ability of the cancer cell to grow, divide, and metastasize. The four general types of targeted treatments currently used in breast cancer are directed against estrogen, HER2, angiogenesis, and apoptosis.
Microsurgery Offers New Hope for Breast Cancer Survivors with Lymphedema
Women with breast cancer who have lymphedema in their upper arm experienced reduced fluid in the swollen arm by up to 39 percent after undergoing a super-microsurgical technique known as lymphaticovenular bypass, report researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.
In 2001, Christine Druther, a HER2 breast cancer survivor, had an explicit vision for a new kind of support group designed specifically for people with HER2 breast cancer. While there are numerous support groups for the many people living with breast cancer, Christine and her husband, Joe, saw a need for a place where women could come to share information, hope, and encouragement about their particular type of cancer. Together, they developed HER2Support.org.