It can be tough to stay on top of all the latest news and research on breast cancer, so we want to share some of the most interesting stories we’ve been reading recently.
We want to hear from you as well, so if you find a gem somewhere, let us know (email link) and we’ll try to pass it on.

We choose these links carefully when we publish them, however, Bosom Buddies are not responsible for the content of external websites.

The inclusion of a link to an external website from bosombuddiestrust.org should not be understood to be an endorsement of that website or the site’s owners (or their products/services).

National Breast Reconstruction Audit Published

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.

 

Get Active!

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
excellent cause.

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: Long-term benefits

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.

 

New Gel Treatment

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.

Read more about Afimoxifene here.

 

Dear Diary

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
know!

 

Herceptin and Heart Risks

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.

 

Drug Trial Begins in Oxford

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.

 

New Role for Ibuprofen?

Scientists at the University of Colorado are investigating whether readily
available anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen could reduce the spread of
post-partum breast cancers
. Recent animal studies have shown encouraging
results, although research into the possibility of using the treatment for people
is only just beginning.