Sophie Beresiner is beauty editor for Look magazine. In the Irish Independent this week, she talks about the way that treatment for breast cancer has affected her life and work. Sophie talks openly about everything from the trauma of getting a diagnosis to the practicalities of staying glamorous in a professional world that demands it…:
‘I’ll be honest, as a beauty editor and young woman (in cancer terms at least, 31 is young), how I look is of significant importance to me. Once I stopped feeling guilty that I was consumed with worry about being bald, I realised that, of course, I would worry. I am a woman; the effect on my looks is a tangible aspect of a runaway disease that I have zero control over.’
If you want to know more about the wonderful Sophie, her blog, Sophie Feels Better, is saved on our favourites list and always worth a read.
Got any thoughts about the way you look and how it makes you feel? Advice for people in a position you’ve found yourself before? Please tweet us @BosomBuddiesT!Read more..
Harpal Kumar, Chief Exec of Cancer Research UK, has said that ‘an explosion in our understanding of what cancer is’ is leading to a ‘golden era’ for research into the disease.
This article in the Guardian talks about Kumar’s comments, the use of Herceptin, and the new test on tumor samples which is able to indicate in advance whether the drug will work on individual patients.
Being able to determine in advance which groups of patients will benefit from a treatment, Kumar says, could make clinical testing cheaper – and that would have a knock-on effect on the long term price of drugs.Read more..
The fourth annual report of the National Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction
Audit is available to download from the NHS website.
The audit is a comprehensive study, covering all women over the age of
16 who undergo mastectomies or reconstructive surgery following previous
mastectomies in both public and private sectors.
It delivers wide-reaching conclusions, recording women’s responses to
surgery in terms of medical effectiveness, comfort and self-image. This leads
to recommendations, particularly to do with the facts and details given to
women before surgery, and their ability to make informed choices about their
own treatments. For example, 42 percent of women reported that a lack of
information led to them delaying reconstructive surgery. However, the overall
picture is encouraging, with 90 percent of women considering the car they
received to be excellent or very good.
The report also breaks down the data by individual hospital.Read more..
Daily exercise can reduce the risk of recurrence or mortality by up to 40%, a
Macmillan study has found.
Chief Executive Ciaran Devane is leading calls for an activity programme and
support to be provided to all recovering patients, and his appeal has been
backed by some famous faces! In this video nurse-turned commedienne Jo
Brand is joined by actors Joanna Scanlan and Peter Capaldi to promote this
We’d love to hear how you go about keeping active after treatment. This
article suggests things as simple as a jog to the shop to buy milk, a bit of
a dance at home or even a spot of gardening – so perfect timing to take
advantage of the late summer weather and get active! Tweet us your best
exercise ideas @BosomBuddiesT.
Tamoxifen has been in the news recently. In March, WebMD reported on a
study which showed that a full five year course of the drug had a better chance
of preventing future cancers than a shorter two year course.
Recently the Pharmaceutical Journal has reported on research published in The
Lancet which gives the encouraging news that women with oestrogen receptor-
positive breast cancers who have used Tamoxifen continue to experience
benefits for a decade after they stop taking it. The study suggests long-term
mortality rates could be cut by as much as a third.
A new approach to treating breast tumours is in the early stages of
clinical trials in America. Afimoxifene is a a gel treatment being tested at
Northwestern University near Chicago after an encouraging study in France.
The new trial will look at six weeks’ use before breast cancer surgery. The
scientists hope this gel will reduce the side effects of some other treatments,
as up to nine times less of the drug will be absorbed into the bloodstream.
At Bosom Buddies we believe that sharing first hand experience is one of
the very best ways to help other people out, and BBC Cumbria reporter Val
Armstrong has been keeping a diary of her experiences since being diagnosed
with breast cancer in July. We wish Val all the very best and hope that you
find her thoughts helpful!
If anyone else is keeping a diary or blog of their experiences with the illness
and would like to share it with our readers, please drop us a line to let us
A first study in the journal Annals of Oncology has found that the drug
Herceptin may increase the likelihood of heart problems, particularly in
people with diabetes or existing heart conditions. The report stresses that
it’s important to be cautious when looking at a relatively small sample, but
that the study will continue to look for the patient groups who may be most
vulnerable to this side-effect.
You can read the full article at Medical News Today.Read more..
A new drug is being trialed at the Oxford Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre,
which doctors hope will help in the fight against certain genetic cancers,
announces Cancer Research, who are funding the trial. The Centre hopes to help
women with faults in the BRAC1 and BRAC2 genes, which increase the chances
of developing breast cancer.
The drug, known as 6MP, has shown very encouraging results in laboratory
tests, and now moves onto the clinical trial phase.