Monday, November 10, 2014

Around the Web

I had a CT scan this morning, so now I wait. The official line that the technician gave me (and all the patients he sees, I suspect) is that it'll take two to three days to hear from my doctor's office. If I'm lucky, my oncologist will call earlier than that (if I'm luckier still, with good results). I'm meeting with him Wednesday morning, so in any case, I'll know by then.

As my friend Joanna reminded me, as a wise man named Tom Petty said about waiting...

A Device for Watching Metastases IN REAL TIME

This both fascinates me and terrifies me at the same time (knowing it is what happened in my body). But kudos to the scientists who are making it possible to better understand this process--and, ultimately, how to stop it.

"This close-up view allowed the pair to see that the tissue attempted to surround and contain the cancer cells. Unfortunately, some of those cells escaped and began to burrow in to a vulnerable point along the vessel. After a while the force from the artificial bloodstream was great enough to pull the cell into the vessel completely and flush it along."

"Medicare-funded breast cancer screenings jumped 44 percent from $666 million to $962 million from 2001 to 2009, yet those added costs did not improve early detection rates among the 65 and older Medicare population, according to a Yale School of Medicine study published recently in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute."

{photo credit}

"Nearly 25 percent of all breast cancers among premenopausal women occur within two to five years following a pregnancy. These postpartum tumors are more likely to spread or metastasize to other parts of the body, leading to an increased risk of death.

"Unfortunately, these are young women who have just had children. All breast cancer deaths are tragic but the loss of a young woman who is also a mother is so devastating for families and has a profoundly negative societal impact," said Rebecca Cook, Ph.D., assistant professor of Cancer Biology at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

While more research is needed, Cook said the results suggest that using a MerTK inhibitor in conjunction with other therapies could be helpful.

In the meantime, Cook said women who have recently given birth need to be vigilant about breast health."

No Surprise Here: Cancer's Costs Run Deep

"What’s clear is that employment and money concerns haunt many people with all kinds of cancer, nation-wide, during and after treatment. A malignant diagnosis can lead individuals to experience disappointment at work, earn less, retire early and, as a consequence of medical bills, reduce their home and leisure spending."

Predicting When Cancers Will Spread to the Brain

"Up to 30 per cent of breast cancers will eventually spread to the brain, often many years after the first tumour was treated. Tackling secondary brain tumours with radiotherapy and surgery has limited success, with most women surviving just seven months after the brain metastasis has been diagnosed."

Surprise Discovery Makes Way for Possible New Treatment for Breast Cancers

"Researchers at Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research have found that calcium-binding drugs commonly used to treat people with osteoporosis, or with late-stage cancers that have metastasised, may also benefit patients with tumours outside the skeleton, including in the breast."