Is Breast Cancer Prevention On Track To Outpace Diagnosis?

New forms of non-invasive breast cancer treatments are appearing in science magazines on a routine basis — but what about prevention methods? There’s good news on this front, too. Scientists say that we know enough about breast cancer to prevent most cases based on a combination of lifestyle changes and other methods. Early detection might not be the best weapon available to us anymore.

And thankfully, the five-year survival rates have skyrocketed over the past few decades as well. If the cancer can be detected and completely contained the breast tissue, then the survival rate is an awe-inspiring 99 percent. When it spreads to the lymph nodes over time, the survival rate drops to a more dangerous — but still hopeful — 85 percent.

At least one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. Even with the high survival rates, the pervasiveness of this insidious disease makes in the second most deadly cancer. 

Women who have a family history of breast cancer might find that certain medications reduce the risk of diagnosis. According to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, the medications tamoxifen, aromatase inhibitors, and raloxifene can help women avoid the disease.

Dr. Lydia E. Pace from Brigham and Women’s Hospital said, “A lot of studies of preventative medications have shown a moderate reduction in risk of developing breast cancer.” Even so, the medications only prevent the least deadly forms of cancer. Certainly better than nothing.

Pace also said that “for many women these medications are an important option, but the decision to take them is very individual. Some women don’t want to take medication every day for five years. For some, the lack of a mortality benefit is really important, but other women want to do everything they can do to reduce their risk of getting breast cancer.”

It also doesn’t help that all of the aforementioned drugs come with side effects no one wants to experience.

Risk factors for breast cancer include: age, family history, unhealthy lifestyle, etc. 

Even though women are living longer and going through puberty earlier, they aren’t having their first pregnancy, on average, as early as women once did. Mothers are also reducing the amount of time that they breastfeed in addition to going through menopause later in life as well. These factors all increase the cancer-promoting hormones present in women’s bodies, which make them more prone to developing the disease as they age. 

Also: more women are consuming more alcohol, and that can have a disastrous effect on the body’s cancer-fighting properties.

Do Most Men Really Prefer Bigger Breasts?

There’s a widespread stereotype about men: they don’t just love breasts (which of course they love a lot), but they love big breasts. The bigger the better, or so the story goes. Certainly a lot of women feel that this is the case. Certainly many feel they could have larger breasts or at least wished theirs were a little perkier. But is it the truth that men prefer bigger breasts? Turns out that the truth might just be a lot more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. 

It depends on which studies you like to read.

Researchers in France conducted a study with women whose bosoms were padded to increase breast size to various degrees. Those women went into a public area. According to the research, men were far more likely to approach those with progressively bigger boobs. One point to big boobs.

Researchers in New Zealand took it to a whole new level by actually tracking the eyes of men as they passed women whose boobs were sized differently. They did it with specialized eye-tracking technology. Some men seemed more attracted to the women with smaller boobs, but more men were magnetized by the bigger breasts. Two points to big boobs!

Perhaps it’s because of these and similar studies that bra sizes have gone up on average since about 1990. More women are getting breast augmentation surgery to better adhere to the stereotype that men prefer bigger bosoms. Then again, obesity has increased quite a bit as well. We’re getting fatter.

A number of researchers from England and Malaysia decided to conduct studies by showing various men women whose breasts were of varying sizes. The men would then rate their attractiveness. It turns out that medium-sized boobs took the prize in this study. Not exactly a point to small boobs, but still: that’s one point anywhere else but big boobs.

But there’s one place where we can find a lot of the right kind of evidence — in the industry that knows best. After all, who knows what men really prefer better than those who cater to all sorts of men and their many perversions? That’s why porn makers are such a great source of specific intel. All you have to do is type in “flat-chested women” and you’ll know immediately that there’s a huge market for every bosom size.

Of course, there’s always the chance that maybe we all like to look at huge breasts. But that doesn’t necessarily mean men are automatically most romantically attracted to big boobs. Perhaps it would make more sense to conduct a study where men describe the types of attraction on which they’re rating these boobs. Certainly there’s a difference between physical, romantic, and even aesthetically pleasing appearances.

Yes, L-Cup Sized Breasts Do Exist…And They’re Going To Science

Alice Whiskin of Dartford, England is a 26-year-old with an unusual problem: her already enormous H-cup breasts grew to L-cup over the past twelve months. What is a young woman to do when huge boobs prevent her from…well, doing anything? Whiskin says she has trouble walking, carrying her 3-year-old child, or completing simple tasks around the house.

She said, “I have been given a lovely gift of having big boobs.”

She was being disingenuous: “I am so limited [in] what I can do and it is affecting my mental health. That has hopefully given me the greatest opportunity: to donate my breast tissue to cancer patients.”

Breast reduction surgery isn’t all that uncommon for big-bosomed women, but doing it in the name of silence is slightly less common. “I also wanted to help anyone I can,” she said. “It is going to benefit others who need it more. Boob’s are a woman’s identity.”

The National Health Service will perform the breast reduction, after which Whiskin plans to give the excised breast tissue to patients looking to reconstruct their breasts after breast cancer-related mastectomies. But that’s not what it will be used for, according to Breast Cancer Now Tissue Bank and Komen Tissue Bank. Such donations are almost always used for research purposes.

Either way, Whiskin is happy to do her part.

She has a new lease on life since her boyfriend died during a cardiac event earlier in the year. Even though she’s scared about the upcoming surgery, it didn’t stop Whiskin from kickstarting a Facebook fundraising campaign to raise a few hundred dollars for Cancer Research UK. Her ultimate goal is to increase awareness about the dangers of breast cancer and the issues survivors face.

She said, “I want to give something to those suffering from cancer. The surgery is four hours and afterwards a month of not doing much.”

Symptoms of breast cancer include lumps or tissue changes in size or shape, dimpling of the skin, inverted nipple, peeling, flaking, redness, or pitting. This form of cancer begins with the abnormal growth of cells located in the breasts. Often the disease is hereditary. 

Risk factors include old age, being female, history or breast cancer or breast-related ailments, family history of breast cancer, certain gene mutations (it’s possible to scan for them), exposure to radiation, obesity, never getting pregnant, hormone therapy, and excess alcohol consumption.

What Is The “Free The Nipple” Movement, And Is It Time?

Let’s face it: most men wouldn’t really mind if women started to take their tops off in public as much as men do. And why should the male nipple be exposed to the free air more often than the female nipple is? What’s the difference? It’s one thing to believe it immoral for a woman to be shirtless, but it’s another entirely for it to be illegal — and women across the country are still arrested on a daily basis for letting their boobs hang out.

Some law enforcement don’t even seem to know that women are legally allowed to breastfeed in public no matter where they are — it’s legal in every state — and the average person probably doesn’t either. There are a constant stream of controversial new articles discussing the subject.

And then there’s the women who don’t believe breastfeeding should have anything to do with it.

Associate Justice Anna Barbara Hantz Marconi of New Hampshire’s highest court said laws that “prohibit women but not men from exposing their breasts” are “generally upheld…against equal protection challenges.”

This was the issue when three women were arrested for appearing topless on the beach. They contended that allowing men to appear topless but not women violated their constitutional right to equal protection under the law. The court disagreed.

Marconi continued, “We have found that the ordinance does not violate the defendants’ constitutional rights to equal protection or freedom of speech under the State and Federal Constitutions. As such, it does not unduly restrict the defendants’ fundamental rights. Accordingly, we agree with the trial court that the city had the authority to enact the ordinance.”

Not everyone agreed. Associate Justice James P. Bassett and Associate Justice Gary E. Hicks both agreed that the ordinance in question obviously treats men and women differently — thereby denying the defendants the right to equal protection under the law

The three women who were arrested for indecent exposure are aligned with the “Free the Nipple” global campaign to allow women to appear topless in public places. 

The lawyer who represented the three women in court, Dan Hynes, made a statement after the decision was made: “We are extremely disappointed in the court’s ruling that treating women differently than men does not amount to sex discrimination. The court has effectively condoned making it a crime to be female.”

They may decide to appeal the decision to the United States Supreme Court. For now, they hope that New Hampshire’s government officials work to correct the unjust law through new legislation.

The Truth About Breast Cancer Malpractice Cases

Breast cancer doesn’t leave much room for medical error: at least 40,000 women will die from this form of cancer every year, and almost all of us will know or lose someone close because of the vicious disease. Because breast cancer can be difficult to treat — there is no standardized way of doing so, even today — it can be an extremely scary situation with which to cope.

Breast cancer malpractice cases are common when doctors fail to accurately detail a patient’s family history. Genetics is an important component in not only how the cancer affects a woman, but how she might be best treated. Dependent on the results of this history, a physician might order specific kinds of blood tests used to locate certain genes known to impact the immune system’s potential to fight against the disease. Failure to do so can be catastrophic long-term.

Women are urged to routinely check their breasts for malformity or discharge. When a doctor cannot locate a lump described after a self-examination, he or she should still provide the routine care expected when the potential for cancer exists. Some fail to take this step, assuming that the patient instead shows signs of hypochondria or made a simple mistake.

Doctors or lab technicians will also sometimes misread important test results indicating the presence of cancer in a person’s body. Breast cancer is not always blatantly obvious in the ultrasounds we use to detect them, and mistakes are common in their reading.

It isn’t uncommon for our healthcare providers to misdiagnose breast cancer as something else less life-threatening, thereby increasing the chances we succumb to the other disease. Misdiagnosis can be further compounded with improperly prescribed medications that have significant side effects or even allow the cancer to grow more than it would have when left on its own.

Communication between all healthcare providers will sometimes result in failure to perform an important part of diagnosis, testing, or overall care. Many medical malpractice cases are the result of simple mistakes in the chain of communication, like failing to ask a radiologist to examine a particular part of the breast instead of the whole thing. This makes the discovery of abnormalities less likely. Failure to communicate properly can also lead to significant delays when it comes to treatment.

Who knows breasts? Our criminal lawyer Miami friend can provide you with legal expertise if your surgeon or healthcare provider is guilty of malpractice or negligence.

Are Breast Cancer Survivors More Prone To Heart Disease In The Future?

It’s a difficult possibility to comprehend: all that work to fight and win against one of the scariest cancers in existence, and now there’s a lower life expectancy because of heart disease? Scientists say that medically combating breast cancer is a delicate balance of treatments, some of which are dangerous. New studies indicate that some of a woman’s options may result in complications at some point down the road.

Here’s the good news: research and development has tipped the scales in favor of survival. If you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, you’re more likely to survive than you are to succumb to it.

Unfortunately for postmenopausal women who have breast cancer (that’s a pretty big demographic as far as breast cancer patients are concerned), they’re more likely to develop heart disease, which is already ahead of cancer in terms of being the leading cause of death for women who are postmenopausal. Part of the reason is the radiation exposure that often occurs during breast cancer treatment.

Those who are exposed to radiation as part of their treatment are likely to experience these disastrous side effects up to thirty years later, and in as little as five.

But that’s not all.

Postmenopausal breast cancer survivors are also more likely to experience diabetes, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, abdominal obesity, and hypertriglyceridemia. All of these are additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Executive Director Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton says, “Heart disease appears more commonly in women treated for breast cancer because of the toxicities of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and use of aromatase inhibitors, which lower estrogen. Heart-healthy lifestyle modifications will decrease both the risk of recurrent breast cancer and the risk of developing heart disease…Women should schedule a cardiology consultation when breast cancer is diagnosed and continue with ongoing follow-up after cancer treatments are completed.”

Both diseases are more likely among individuals who are obese or smoke. Those who are at risk due to these factors should make eliminating them an important part of daily routine.

For these reasons, it is important for women to ensure that routine breast cancer screenings are conducted. Women should continue to speak to health care providers about the best potential breast cancer treatment when diagnosed, and ask about those that have a detrimental effect on health in the future. For some, there are alternative treatments without so many of the adverse impacts on health.

A decade from now, it’s possible that we’ll be able to cure or eliminate breast cancer through cutting edge immunotherapies!

FDA Approves 1st Immunotherapy Breast Cancer Drug

On March 8th, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted accelerated approval to an immunotherapy regimen for breast cancer. The regimen includes a combination of the immunotherapy drug Tecentriq and the chemotherapy Abraxane. The regimen is for a specific type of breast cancer known as triple negative breast cancer which means that it has the following three conditions:

  1. It is locally advanced or metastatic
  2. It cannot be surgically removed
  3. The cells contain a protein called PD-L1

The FDA’s decision is based on a groundbreaking study done by Genetech Inc and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that people who took the immunotherapy drug in conjunction with chemotherapy versus those who took just the placebo with chemotherapy had a higher progression-free survival (the amount of time in which a patient’s cancer does not get worse). For those on the drug, their progression-free survival averaged around 7.4 months versus those on chemo alone whose progression-free survival averaged 4.8 months.

While the study has shown that it prevents cancer from getting worse but it doesn’t treat cancer. The FDA only grants accelerated approval on drugs that “treat serious conditions that fill an unmet medical need.” Genetech, the manufacturers of Tecentriq are required to do more clinical trials to show that the drug is still beneficial. Otherwise, the FDA has the right to pull the drug.

About 15% of all breast cancers reported are triple negative. It is usually found in women who between the ages of 40 and 50 and are of Hispanic and African descent but can also be found with women who have the BRCA1 gene mutation.

The drug is not meant to be used on its own yet, as the chemotherapy helps the drug be effective. Cancer cells are hard to treat because the body’s immune system does not recognize them as a foreign object (i.e. like bacteria or virus). The PD-L1 protein fools the immune system into thinking it is part of the body. Tecentriq attaches to the cancer cell and deactivates the PD-L1 protein, allowing the body’s immune system to naturally fight the cell. However, without chemotherapy, the Tecentriq cannot get to the protein inside the cancer cell.

What Kind Of Quality Of Life Can Breast Cancer Patients Expect?

One of the scariest parts of any type of cancer is expectation. No one needs that kind of stress, and the unknown always represents one of the biggest stressors any of us will ever experience. That said, expectation is often different from reality. How does the quality of life for breast cancer patients change after diagnosis? How does it change if the patient survives past five years?

Quality of life means a lot. It can be used to describe your productivity, your physical and mental health or wellbeing, your sexual function, and the symptoms or side effects from medications. The quality of life for breast cancer patients is reportedly good when compared to other forms of cancer. Most of the discomfort will likely stem from treatment. Many women will face symptoms they’re already familiar with from menopause. Hot flashes and fatigue are common. Women may also struggle with chronic pain in the breasts.

Many breast cancer patients report having renewed faith or spirituality, and a better outlook on life. Even for those whose time has been cut short, many seem to make the most of it.

Others experience anger and grief, sometimes uncontrollable, especially after a round of chemotherapy. Those who have only recently been diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely to experience depression, panic, anxiety, shock, fear, or overwhelming sadness. All of these can adversely affect not only quality of life, but also overall outlook or prognosis. In order to survive, a positive outlook will help.

Those who survive often feel the need to help prevent or fight against future breast cancer cases. They join the greater community to help provide help for outreach, fundraisers, or other forms of advocacy.

Many survivors continue to live life with renewed vigor, but make fewer lifestyle changes than you might think. Many survivors had already been living healthy lifestyles before the cancer took hold and came to realize that sometimes the worst happens even if you do everything right beforehand.

Survivors are often prone to sequelae, or a number of infections and inflammatory forms of arthritis that can greatly diminish quality of life. The problem is often not assessed or managed properly, and more must be done to raise awareness for this post-cancer problem.

Breast Cancer: What You Didn’t Think To Watch Out For

All kinds of cancer are terrifying, but breast cancer is unique in that it affects women at a greater rate than all other cancers combined. Prognosis is good so long as early detection was achieved, but this can be difficult because not all women know how to properly self-examine their breasts.

Those who do don’t always do it as often as they should. If a sign or symptom slips past your radar, you could be in big trouble. Here are some typical signs of breast cancer that might not concern you right away.

  1. Your breasts might become scaly, and the skin might become comparable to that of an orange. This is most common in the skin around the nipple. If you notice oddly-shaped ridges along the nipple, it’s time to visit a doctor. 
  2. Your breasts might show signs of shrinking. Cancer often presents on only one side at first, and so you might only notice a single breast getting smaller. A tiny change in size isn’t a big deal–it’s actually quite common because of the tissue inside the breast–but major changes in size are more cause for concern. 
  3. If your nipple is an outie (hint: most are) and suddenly becomes an innie, then there might be a problem. When cancer causes fluctuations in the tissues inside of your breast, it might cause your nipple to turn inward during a reshaping transition. Get it checked out if you notice this change. 
  4. If you notice a dimple on your breast, go to a doctor immediately. Even the tiniest, most unobtrusive dimple may be a sign of breast cancer. 
  5. If you’re not one who’s accustomed to scaly skin as part of a condition, then there might be something else causing the dry skin. If the skin is itchy, irritated, or swollen, get it checked out. 
  6. More obvious is a change in size or a discharge from the nipple, but it’s important to remember that not all symptoms will present with pain–and pain is usually what sends people to the doctor more often. If your breasts seem at all unusual, it’s not something to ignore. You won’t always find a lump, but that shouldn’t stop you from taking a trip to see your doctor. Better safe than sorry!

Defining Sexual Harassment

According to New Jersey Employment Attorneys Lenzo & Reis, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances or requests for specific sexual favors, including physical and verbal conduct of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment is something covered by a number of laws. Rules apply mostly to places of employment, but it’s not always an employee to employee matter, as it can also involve contractors, visitors, and even customers.

In general, there are two primary kinds of sexual harassment that women sadly experience. The first is classified as hostile environment. The other is known as ‘quid pro quo’.

The hostile environment style of sexual harassment happens when the unwelcome conduct of any sexual nature instigates a working environment that is abusive, threatening, or intimidating to the point of it impacting someone’s ability to work. Cases or patterns of persistent, severe, and pervasive behavior often happen from someone is a power of authority above the harassment victim, but it can also happen on a peer level too. In some instances, a subordinate might harass their superior.

Quid pro quo is Latin, and it translates to ‘this for that’. This kind of sexual harassment happens when it is either implied or outright stated that a decision regarding an employee will depend on whether or not the employee submits to something sexual in nature. Quid pro quo forms of sexual harassment also happen when it’s either implied or stated that a customer has to submit to something of a sexual nature just to get a job in the first place. For instance, a recruiter might imply a job offer would only be made if a candidate goes on a date with them.

The idea of the conduct of any sexual nature can seem very broad and confusing, so it’s helpful to know specific descriptions and examples. The following three categories don’t cover everything, but they give you a good idea of what you should avoid doing yourself and not put up with if they happen to you:

1) Unwanted Sexual Statements: These can be dirty jokes, sexual jokes, spreading rumors about a person’s sex life or performance, talking about your own in front of others, displaying explicit images or written material, and commenting on someone’s physical attributes. This can all happen in person, online, electronically, over the phone, or even in writing.

2) Unwanted Individual Attention: Pressure for sexual favors or undesired personal interaction or dates of a romantic intent can happen through visits, phone calls, letters, and electronic communication.

3) Unwanted Sexual Or Physical Advances: Sexual assault and actual intercourse should be obvious, but other specifics include unwanted fondling, kissing, hugging, touching, or even just touching oneself in a sexual way for others to see.