December 5, 2001
Hormone Replacement Therapy May Be
Option for Some Breast Cancer Survivors
http://www.breastlink.org/ - The Web
Site That Presents the Science Behind Breast Cancer News in English and
- The Breast Cancer Care & Research Fund's web site, Breastlink.org,
features a study of some 2,755 breast cancer patients showing that women who
used hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after diagnosis had significantly
fewer recurrences and deaths than nonusers. Similarly, a review of the
literature on use of hormone replacement therapy by breast cancer survivors
revealed no adverse effect on recurrence. However, experts urge caution. "If
a breast cancer survivor is interested in taking HRT, it should be very
clear why she's interested and what alternatives there are for the problem,"
says Rena Sellin, M.D., Professor of Medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center,
This month's Breastlink.org also features articles on the following topics:
Risk of Breast Cancer Varies by Age and Ethnicity
The widely publicized "one-in-nine" lifetime risk of developing breast
cancer is misleading and causes many women to overestimate their actual
risk. This population study of California women shows that risk of breast
cancer varies according to a woman's current age and ethnicity. Expert
commentary is provided by Joseph Costantino, PhD, Associate Professor of
Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health University of Pittsburgh.
Additional Chemotherapy Relieves Symptoms of Locally Recurrent Advanced
British researchers report that more than one course of systemic
chemotherapy may be an important palliative treatment for breast cancer
patients with recurrent chest wall disease. Expert commentary is provided by
Kelly K. Hunt, MD, Chief of Breast Surgery, Nellie B. Connally Breast
Center, University of Texas, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Weight Gained by Premenopausal Chemotherapy Patients Resembles Weight Gained
Researchers at Duke, Harvard, and the National Cancer Institute found that
premenopausal breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy gained
abdominal fat, not from overeating, but from reduced energy expenditure.
This mimicked the kind of weight increase seen in menopausal women. Roanne
Segal, MD, Medical Director, Oncology Rehabilitation Program, Ottawa
Regional Cancer Centre, provides the expert commentary.
John Link, MD, founder of The Breast Cancer Care & Research Fund, says:
"Never has there been a more exciting or more hopeful time for breast cancer
research and treatment. We are beginning to understand this disease at the
molecular and genetic levels. Through regular screening we are diagnosing
breast cancer at earlier stages, and death rates from breast cancer are
steadily declining. Women need to be informed to take advantage of the
extraordinary changes in treatment that are available at cancer centers and
in clinical trials today. In the near future, these changes will provide
even more options for breast cancer patients."