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Social Interaction Can Affect Breast Cancer Outcomes

"New research suggests that women with stronger social connections while being treated for breast cancer may fare better than those who don’t have that kind of support. Nichole Cook, a breast imaging nurse coordinator at Penn State Breast Center, said that doesn’t necessarily mean someone without a strong social support system should expect the worst. Rather, it simply highlights the importance of creating a network if none exists. “While most women do have support, we see many who don’t have anyone to take them to and from appointments or sit next to them as they receive test results,” she said." To read the full article, click HERE. (No photo credit at source)

Smell Test for Alzheimer's Diagnosis steps Closer

"Diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease remains a challenge for doctors, who rely on a combination of mental and physical examinations to detect the condition. In a new study, researchers describe how a smell test could enhance the accuracy of an Alzheimer's diagnosis. According to the Alzheimer's Association, around 5.4 million people in the U.S. are living with the disease, and every 66 seconds, one more person develops it. At present, there is no single test for the diagnosis of Alzheimer's. Doctors make a diagnosis through a series of assessments, including physical and neurological examinations, mental state tests, blood tests, brain imaging, and an evaluation of medical history." To read the

Yale doctor: Breast cancer test helps determine who will benefit from long-term therapy

"Women with a common form of breast cancer can receive better advice about whether to undergo long-term therapy because of a new genetic test, according to a Yale School of Medicine doctor. Dr. Tara Sanft, medical director of the survivorship program at the Yale Cancer Center and a breast cancer oncologist, said the test helps to predict who will benefit by undergoing anti-estrogen therapy for more than the standard five years. The cancers are known as estrogen receptor positive, which account for about two-thirds of all breast cancers in women, Sanft said. “The question is, can the Breast Cancer Index test help identify women at the highest risk so that we may treat them and spare the other

New Biomarker Predicts Alzheimer's Disease, Link to Diabetes

"An enzyme found in the fluid around the brain and spine is giving researchers a snapshot of what happens inside the minds of Alzheimer's patients and how that relates to cognitive decline. Iowa State University researchers say higher levels of the enzyme, autotaxin, significantly predict memory impairment and Type 2 diabetes. Just a one-point difference in autotaxin levels -- for example, going from a level of two to a three -- is equal to a 3.5 to 5 times increase in the odds of being diagnosed with some form of memory loss, said Auriel Willette, an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition at Iowa State. Autotaxin, often studied in cancer research, is an even stronger indica

For Invasive Breast Cancer, Researchers Identify Biomarkers of Treatment Response

"Why do some breast cancers respond to treatment while others resist it? A study led by researchers at the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center may provide insight into this important question. The researchers report at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium they have identified biomarkers they believe can be used as part of a larger model to predict how patients with HER2-positive operative breast cancer will respond to the targeted treatment trastuzumab, commercially known as Herceptin, and chemotherapy. “We’re trying to find biomarkers for resistance to trastuzumab treatment and chemotherapy,” said the study’s first author Maki Tanioka, MD, PhD, a postdocto

Are Statins a Key to Preventing Alzheimer's Disease?

A study from The University of Southern California reports on research showing how use of statins may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease. "Although doctors prescribe statins to help lower cholesterol, the drugs might have an added benefit: reducing Alzheimer's disease risk. Regular use of statins is associated with a reduced risk for Alzheimer's, according to a study published in the journal JAMA Neurology on Monday. Statins are a class of drugs used to reduce low-density lipoprotein, LDL cholesterol, within the body. The drug works by inhibiting the enzyme involved in the body's ability to produce LDL cholesterol. The significance of this reduction seems to vary based on sex and ethnici

'Cold Caps' May Halt Breast Cancer Hair Loss

A new article from WebsMD discusses the potential benefits of using "cooling caps" to help precent hair loss from chemotherapy. "Cooling the scalp with a specialized cap during chemotherapy sessions could help breast cancer patients avoid treatment-related hair loss, new research suggests. In a clinical trial involving women with early stage breast cancer, just over half who underwent scalp-cooling throughout at least four cycles of chemotherapy retained their hair, though some thinning may have occurred. "When you lose your hair, everyone knows you're sick and looks at you differently," said study author Dr. Julie Rani Nangia, explaining the potential impact of cold cap use." To read the fu

60 Minutes Viewers Share Struggles With Alzheimer's Disease

After a new study on Alzheimer's disease treatment was announced to the public, viewers of CBS's 60 minutes show share their stories about being affected by Alzheimer's disease. "More than five million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease right now, Lesley Stahl reported on Sunday’s 60 Minutes, so it’s not surprising that family members of Alzheimer’s patients tuned in to hear about a groundbreaking study that’s giving people hope." To read the full article, click HERE. (Westend61/Getty Stock Images)

Targeting Breast Cancer Metabolism to Fight the Disease

Cutting edge research from Thomas Jefferson University shows how metabolism effects how the body fights off Breast Cancer. "How does a cancer cell burn calories? New research from Thomas Jefferson University shows that breast cancer cells rely on a different process for turning fuel into energy than normal cells. The results were recently published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. "Our finding is part of a growing interest in studying the metabolic function of cancer," says Ubaldo Martinez-Outschoorn, M.D., Assistant Professor in the Department of Medical Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University and researcher at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson. "The better we understand h

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