Tag Archives: National Cancer Institute

Dense Breasts

Following my first mammogram, at 40, the physician reading my films (they weren’t digital back then) called me into her office. She looked very solemn and my heart started pounding as I waited to hear she had found something. “You have dense breasts,” she said. Then she stopped and just looked at me.
Relieved that I hadn’t heard that there was a lump, I exhaled and stared back, waiting for her to explain the significance of what she had just told me.
She explained that having dense breasts was a risk factor for getting breast cancer. She also stated that dense breasts …


Breast Cancer’s Toll on African-American Women

According to the National Cancer Institute, NCI, nearly 27,000 African-American women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year. While they are less likely than white women to be diagnosed with breast cancer, they are more likely to die from it than any other race and are more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage.
Lack of medical coverage, unequal access to improved treatments, and barriers to early detection and screening, account for the striking racial disparities according to NCI. Across the board, the death rate for all cancers combined is 25 percent higher for African-American women than …


Breast Cancer and Pregnancy

As a patient navigator,  I met with young women who had  just found out they had breast cancer. Some were pregnant and wanted to know if they could carry their babies to term if they had treatment while pregnant. Would the breast cancer hurt their babies?

Some of those who had a baby within the past year were angry that their doctors minimized their concerns over a breast lump, explaining it away by telling them they were too young for breast cancer. And now their cancers were advanced.
There were  also women, still in their childbearing years, who wondered if they …


American Association for Cancer Research report asks Congress to increase federal funding of biomedical and cancer research

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), today will release its AACR Cancer Progress Report 2011, in which its calls on Congress to increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
The report urges Congress to provide the NIH and NCI with sustained budget increases of at least 5 percent above the biomedical inflation rate. AACR says this level of support will ensure the future scientific advances needed to capitalize on past research investments, spur innovation, and make a difference in the lives of people worldwide.
“At this defining moment in cancer research, we hope …


Ask the Care Team! Breast Cancer Risk-The Genetic Component

What percentage of women’s cancers have a genetic component? Am I more at risk if there is a history of breast cancer on my mother’s side or my father’s side?
Based on what we know today, about 5 percent of all cancers, including women’s cancers, result from an inherited predisposition to cancer. That means the majority occur independent of a family history and instead are likely a result of environmental or behavioral risk factors With new research constantly under way, leaders in Dana-Farber’s Center for Cancer Genetics and Prevention believe there are many more cancer genes still to be identified. These …


Woman with breast cancer gene mutation takes radical action

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Claudine Wrighter, 34, and her mother, Claudette Poutre, 72, both tested positive for a gene mutation which increases cancer risk. After Poutre survived breast cancer, Wrighter had a partial hysterectomy as a preventative measure.Christine Hochkeppel/Cape Cod Times
By Cynthia Mccormick


October 21, 2010 2:00 AM

POCASSET — Claudine Wrighter says people act surprised when she tells them she elected to have a partial hysterectomy at age 34.
“So many people looked at me and said ‘You did what?’” the Pocasset mother of two young girls says.
But after testing positive for a gene …


Survivor Spotlight A doctor faces breast cancer – and her fears

by Debra Bradley Ruder
Physician, researcher, mom … and cancer survivor, Karen Puopolo, MD, PhD.

Toward the end of her fourth pregnancy, Karen Puopolo, MD, PhD, realized something was not normal with her left breast. There was a lump, but Puopolo figured it was a blocked duct or something else related to her pregnancy. Both her breast-feeding consultant and OB/GYN assured her not to worry, and Puopolo – herself a physician and researcher – opted to “wait and see.”
But when her daughter Elizabeth Chloe was about nine …