Five Myths About Breast Cancer

There’s a broad range of news and information about breast cancer online, which creates opportunities to learn about prevention, treatment, cures and recurrence. But it also means you may run into confusing misinformation and oversimplifications. Here are some popular misconceptions about breast cancer. MYTH #1 Most breast cancer is hereditary. While it’s true that a woman’s … Read more

Ask the Expert: Q&A on Breast Cancer, Exercise and Diet

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jennifer Ligibel, MD, recently partnered with CancerConnect to answer questions about breast cancer, exercise and diet. Ligibel is an oncologist with the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber. Q: I am currently on maintenance treatment for breast cancer and I need to lose weight. Do you have any tips … Read more

Webchat: The Latest in Breast Cancer Treatment and Research

With new approaches to therapy and increased understanding of the biology of cancer, breast cancer treatment has made significant progress in recent years. “I am personally very excited about what’s to come for breast cancer treatment,” says Eric Winer, MD, director of the Breast Oncology Program in the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers … Read more

New Experimental Breast Cancer Drug Shows Promise

Reports of an experimental drug that slowed advanced breast cancer in a clinical trial have stirred excitement at a national research meeting and breathed new life into a cancer-fighting strategy that had seemed to falter. In one study, the drug, palbociclib, doubled the length of time without disease progression in patients with metastatic estrogen receptor-positive breast … Read more

Ask the Expert: Questions and Answers About Breast Cancer Treatment

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Harold Burstein, MD, PhD, and Erica Mayer, MD, MPH recently partnered with CancerConnect to answer questions about breast cancer therapies. Burstein and Mayer are breast oncologists in the Center for Breast Oncology at Dana-Farber’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers.

 

Q: What medications are helpful for depression after breast cancer treatment and while taking tamoxifen?

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New Research Shows Progress in Breast Cancer Treatment

The 36th annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, which ran from Dec. 10-14, brought news of significant advances against a disease that strikes more than 230,000 women and 2,000 men in the United States each year.

The more than 1,000 research papers presented by thousands of scientists and physicians ranged from laboratory explorations of the basic biology of the disease to studies that may change the treatment for patients with a variety of breast cancer subtypes.

Here are summaries of the findings of several high-profile studies:

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ABC’s Amy Robach Diagnosed with Breast Cancer at Age 40

One month after undergoing a mammogram live on “Good Morning America,” ABC reporter Amy Robach announced Monday she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will undergo a double mastectomy later this week.

At 40-years old, Robach is among a population of younger women with breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, about 5 percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States occur in women age 40 and younger.

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Targeting Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

Breast cancer may develop in one part of the body, but it’s not just one disease. In fact, oncologists think of breast cancer as at least three different types of diseases.

Erica Mayer, MD, MPH

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) describes breast cancer cells that do not have estrogen, progesterone, or HER2 receptors. It makes up approximately 15 percent of all breast cancers and is typically more aggressive than the other two types, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer and HER2-positive breast cancer.

“It may be the smallest group, but TNBC still represents thousands of women with breast cancer, so it is a very important group for us,” says Erica Mayer, MD, MPH, a medical oncologist at Dana-Farber’s Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers.

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Drinking in Early Adulthood Can Increase Breast Cancer Risk

Women who believe that drinking moderate amounts of alcohol won’t increase their risk of breast cancer may want to think again.

Last year, Wendy Chen, MD, of the Susan F. Smith Center for Women’s Cancers at Dana-Farber and her colleagues published a study showing that women who drank as little as three to six glasses of wine or other alcoholic beverages a week increased their breast cancer risk by about 15 percent.

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