Breast cancer gene testing may be appropriate for more young breast cancer patients.
Women who have breast cancer before age 50 and who have few female relatives on one side of their family tree should be considered candidates for genetic testing for cancer genes, say a team of researchers at City of Hope. Their research challenges the accuracy of some breast cancer prediction models that do not take family structure into account. Their findings appear in the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Most physicians agree that genetic testing for genes linked to breast cancer, including mutated BRCA genes, is not recommended for the general population without cancer, since the risk of carrying such a gene is low - about one in 800. Predictive models that are currently used to estimate the likelihood of a breast cancer gene mutation to determine who should receive genetic testing rely on family histories. Some testing guidelines suggest genetic testing in women with at least two or more first-degree or second-degree relatives with related cancers. However, opinions differ over recommending testing for women with no family history of breast or ovarian cancer who develop breast cancer at an early age.
The researchers, led by Jeffrey Weitzel, M.D., director of the Department of Clinical Cancer Genetics at City of Hope, have found that women who had early breast cancer and no first-degree or second-degree female relative who lived past age 45 on either their mother or father's side, were more likely to be BRCA carriers.
"Genetic testing may be a valuable tool for women with early onset breast cancer to determine if a BRCA mutation contributed to their cancer," Weitzel said. "Armed with that knowledge, they can take steps to prevent second occurrences of breast cancer or ovarian cancer."
The study included 1,543 women seen at the City of Hope Cancer Screening & Prevention Program Network high-risk clinics...
Open Call to Paricipate in A Multi-ethnic Internet Study On Menopausal Symptoms
Increasing ethnic diversity of the U.S. population requires health professionals to practice with greater cultural competence in areas such as the management of menopausal symptoms, where cultural beliefs mediate the biology of reproduction and aging. A growing number of studies have challenged the universality of menopausal symptoms by indicating significant ethnic differences in how women experience them. However, few investigators have studied ethnic populations in the U.S., and few studies have been national in scope. With advances in computer technologies, the Internet now provides an excellent medium of national and international communication and allows people in different geographical areas to communicate and exchange their experiences and opinions. The proposed study uses innovative Internet data collection methods to collect national data and essential information about specific ethnic differences in menopausal symptom experience while respecting women's own experiences.
Eun-Ok Im, MPH, PhD, School of Nursing, University of Texas at Austin and her colleagues are conducting an Internet study on menopausal symptom experience among diverse ethnic groups of middle-aged women. In the study, Internet survey and online forums using a Web site (home-page) will be conducted to get information on women's symptom experience during the menopausal transition.
You are being asked to participate in this study if you are a middle aged woman aged 40 to 60 years who can read and write English and who are a White, Hispanic, African-American, or Asian Americans.
Data will be collected from July 1, 2005 to June 30, 2008. Methods for the data collection include an Internet survey among 500 middle aged women in the U.S. on the Internet and online forum discussions among four ethnically different online forum groups (30 members per group at the beginning)....
A rare run of Giant Squid are biting bait off of our fishing poles! Check out the iPhone photo emailed from the boat tonight to our editors.
AC Team members are taking a July 4th holiday break to do a little fishing, and up came these giant (and delicious) squid!
Photo taken July 1st at 10pm PST by AC Team members about ten miles off the coast of Newport Beach, California and emailed from their iPhones to AC's editors in California and New York City.
Catch a glimpse of these squid in action from underwater videographer Walter Marti's lens featured on scuba diving website diver.net!
Awareness of the common symptoms of Ovarian cancer could to lead to an earlier diagnosis.
According to the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF), it is estimated that more than 22,000 women will be told they have ovarian cancer this year and more than 15,000 will die from this deadly cancer. At present, about 80% of these cancers are not diagnosed in their early stages, leading to a reduced chance of survival. Often referred to as the "silent killer" because there are no warning signs or symptoms, ovarian cancer is the most deadly reproductive cancer, ranking fifth in cancer deaths among women.
According to Dr. Barbara Goff, a gynecologic oncologist at the University of Washington and other researchers, bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly, and urgency or frequency in urinary symptoms are more likely to occur in women with ovarian cancer than women in the general population.
The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation led this research effort to form a consensus in response to ovarian cancer survivors who long held the belief that there were common symptoms of ovarian cancer.
"This agreement on common symptoms of ovarian cancer hopefully will lead to earlier diagnosis when a cure is more likely," said Dr. Goff. "We know that when women are diagnosed in Stage I of the disease, it is 90% curable. Unfortunately, until now there has been no agreement on common symptoms, allowing women to go undiagnosed, despite visits to the doctor, until it was too late."
Unlike cervical cancer, there is no screening test for ovarian cancer, making symptom recognition and regular pelvic examinations the primary ways to detect the cancer early.
Women are encouraged the visit the Women's Cancer Network (http://www.wcn.org) to take a risk assessment and to learn more about women's cancers.
The Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF) is a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to ensure public...
Free Red Cross Online Tutorial Now Available at www.redcross.org/BeRedCrossReady to Help Families Get Prepared for a Disaster or an Emergency in Three Easy Steps
The month of June ushers in hurricane season, are you "Red Cross Ready" for a disaster or an emergency? According to an April 2007 poll conducted by the American Red Cross and Harris Interactive, only seven percent of the population has taken what the Red Cross considers the three steps necessary to prepare for a disaster or emergency: get a kit, make a plan, and be informed.
American Red Cross recommendations
(1) Families assemble or buy a disaster kit containing at least three days of supplies in an easy-to-carry container, like a backpack. Check that stock every six months and replace expired items.
(2) As part of your family plan, each person should know how to reach family members and where to meet if they can't go home.
(3) Families should learn about what types of disasters or emergencies are most likely to occur where they live, work and play, and take first air and CPR courses--a vital component of disaster preparedness.
"Even though hurricanes primarily affect coastal states, every region of our country is vulnerable to disasters of some type like flooding, severe storms, high winds, power outages, tornadoes, earthquakes, or wildfires," said Red Cross preparedness expert Darlene Sparks Washington. "Every family, no matter where they live, can benefit from following the preparedness actions of Be Red Cross Ready: get a kit, make a plan, and be informed."
"Preparing for a potential emergency or disaster doesn't require a lot of time or expensive equipment and training. In fact, to help Americans prepare the Red Cross has developed a free online tutorial," continued Washington. "To view the tutorial just visit www.redcross.org/BeRedCrossReady and in less than twenty minutes you'll learn exactly how you can become Red Cross Ready by getting a...