At one time a woman who learned that her breast tumor had metastasized knew that she did not have long to live. At one time a metastasized tumor would be bound to spread quickly in the woman’s body. Now, however, thanks to the various treatment regimens, women have learned to live with a controlled metastatic disease.
There are three types of treatment for a metastasized breast tumor. One involves use of hormonal therapies, such as Tamoxifen or Arimidex. While such treatments typically have fewer side effects than chemotherapy, they only work for women who have an estrogen-positive breast tumor.
In 1994 medical researchers announced discovery of a genetic mutation that could cause breast cancer. They called it BRCA1. In 1995 other researchers found a second mutated gene, another gene that could cause breast cancer. They called that gene BRCA2.
Those discoveries helped to explain why some families had many family members who were beset with special problems. Some families found that many family members had an early onset of breast cancer; quite a few had a cancer in both breasts; some family members had cancer of the ovary (in addition to breast cancer) or knowledge of a male family member who had had breast cancer. Research in the field of cancer genetics had uncovered the reason for the high numbers of breast cancers in certain families.
Eat a high fiber diet based on fresh fruits and vegetables, plus grains, legumes, raw nuts (except peanuts) and seeds, along with soured products such as low-fat yogurt; the cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are especially important, along with yellow/orange vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams
Eat vegetables raw or slightly steamed; for grains use unpolished brown rice, millets, oats, and wheat; eat whole grains only and if possible consume only organically grown foods as pesticides and other chemicals have been linked to breast cancer (they may mimic the effect of estrogen on the body)
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women (alongside skin cancer), and is the second leading cause of cancer death (following lung cancer) for women in the United States. The American Cancer Society estimates that every year, about 175,000 people are diagnosed as having breast cancer, and about 43,300 deaths are attributed to the disease.
The lifetime risk of developing breast cancer for American women is one in eight. Surveys suggest that it is the health problem feared most by women—but the good news is that, since 1990, the number of new cases of breast cancer has stopped increasing. Also, if breast cancer is detected early, the five-year-and-beyond survival rate is very high: about 95 percent.
There has been great confusion in pharmacy, medicine, medical literature and the lay press regarding NHRT. I will attempt to clarify the issues. A hormone is a chemical usually secreted into the blood whose purpose is activation of functions of the endocrine system which, in this discussion, include ovaries, testicles, adrenal and thyroid.
These organs produce hormones necessary for life or maintenance of quality of life. The brain monitors and adjusts levels through a feedback system. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) as practiced for the past thirty-five years claimed the estrogen was anti-aging, prevented heart disease, improved memory, Alzheimer disease, dementias, dryness and various genito-urinary problems.
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) refers to a range of symptoms plaguing 75% of women between 15 and 50 years of age. These include crankiness, bloating, back and head aches, weight gain, breast tenderness, fluid retention, fatigue, low libido, depression and irritability commencing around ten days prior to menses. “Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder” (PMDD) is more severe with feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, anxiety, and irrational behavior.
These are symptoms of “estrogen dominance” resulting from abnormal estrogen stimulation which causes excessive cell multiplication. Estrogen dominance is:
Choosing whether or not to use postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is an important health decision all women face as they approach menopause. As with taking any treatment the decision involves carefully balancing the possible risks and benefits.
We now have information from large studies including healthy women and those with established coronary artery disease (previous heart attack or angina). These studies have shed considerable light on many issues, particular with respect to heart disease and strokes, and have sparked serious concerns and questions regarding the indications and safety of HRT for postmenopausal women.
Breast Density May Determine Cancer Risk During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an article in an online guide to women’s health released the some of the newest research findings. An issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute had contained a report information relating to the assessment of a woman’s risk for getting breast cancer.
That widely-read publication had published findings that pointed to breast density as a risk factor that should cancer play a part in the determination of a woman’s risk for breast cancer. By the same token, the techniques that could facilitate a determination of a woman’s risk for breast cancer remained an elusive ideal. The existing equipment used to examine women’s breasts was not designed to measure breast density.
A new diagnostic procedure has been called a “pap smear for breasts.” It does for breast cancer what the Pap test has done for cervical cancer. It provides a means for the early detection of breast cancer.
The test procedure calls for placement of a tiny tube in the patient’s nipple. A saline solution is sent through the tiny tube and into the breast duct. That saline solution allows the physician to wash out from the duct any loose cells. The physician then extracts the wash fluid from the patient’s breast ducts.
Analysis of the extracted fluid can be accomplished in one of two ways. Either the physician analyzes the fluid under a microscope or the physician sends the sample to a lab, where it is analyzed by means of cell cytometry. During either type of analysis, the examiner must look for a sign of cancer cells.
Menopause, including early menopause, can affect the quality of a woman’s life for several years, and possibly for the rest of her life. Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) is designed to greatly improve the quality of a woman’s life, by eliminating, or reducing the symptoms of menopause and early menopause.
The unpleasant symptoms associated with early menopause are due to the lack or reduction of estrogen that’s being produced. All types of Hormone Replacement Therapy contain estrogen, which replaces the estrogen that your ovaries are no longer producing. HRT relieves hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms related to early menopause.
Hormone Replacement Therapy is especially recommended for women who experience early menopause. Studies have shown that women who have early menopause are at greater risk for heart disease and osteoporosis than women who experience menopause later in life.