“My first thought was, ‘Really? Me, breast cancer?’ I just couldn’t believe it,” said actress and comedian Wanda Sykes on The Ellen Degeneres Show in 2011. Sykes’s family had a history of breast cancer on her mother’s side, but that wasn’t what prompted her doctors to discover her cancer. At the age of 47 she had cosmetic surgery to reduce her breast size, and the cancer was discovered afterward when pathologists examined the breast tissue that had been removed. She was fortunate that her cancer was caught at a very early stage when treatments are more effective. Continue reading
Triple negative breast cancer tends to be an aggressive form of breast cancer that disproportionately affects African American women. Among women with breast cancer, the triple negative subtype represents about 15% of diagnoses in white American women and is twice as common in African-American breast cancer patients. In Africa, this form of breast cancer represents more than half of all cases diagnosed.
We call this subtype triple negative because it doesn’t have, or is negative for, all three specific tumor markers currently used to decide treatment: Continue reading
While researchers have not been able to pinpoint a single cause for cancer, we know that several variables are involved. Our age, race, genetics, lifestyle and environment can influence our chances of developing it. Some of these variables such as race can cause differences or inequalities known as cancer disparities. For example, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), African Americans have the highest cancer death rate of any racial group for all cancers combined. This is a huge disparity and one that is not experienced by other ethic groups to quite the extent it is in African-America individuals. Continue reading
News outlets this week reported on recently published data from a mammography screening study from Canada that was highly critical of the benefit of screening mammography.
First, it should be noted that this is not a new study. The study was conducted in the early 1980s – three decades ago – and the recent report is merely a re-review of the data.
The results of the so-called Canadian trial, first published 22 years ago, showed no benefit for screened women and as expected, the recent re-review showed the same results. The Canadian trial results are different than other randomized clinical trials, which do show benefit. When nine randomized clinical trials are combined together, including the Canadian trial, screening mammography has been shown to significantly decrease breast cancer mortality for women age 39 and older.
February is National Cancer Prevention Month and one of the best prevention strategies is to eat a variety of plant based foods. The vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in these foods demonstrate anti-cancer effects. Their low-calorie, high-fiber content provides further anti-cancer benefits by helping to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Including these foods into your plan for healthy eating can be easy. Follow these five simple tips to dramatically boost the nutrition and flavor of your favorite dishes and reap the cancer preventative benefits too.
Easy additions with great benefits
- Add walnuts to hot or cold cereal or to salads
- Add beans to stews, soups, casseroles and salads.
- Add berries as a topping to salad, yogurt, cereal and muffins.
- Chop a garlic clove and add it to meat, sauces and dips. Make sure to use fresh garlic, not jarred or dried garlic.
- When making a salad choose dark leafy greens over iceberg lettuce. Incorporate dark leafy greens in your favorite foods such as spinach in macaroni and cheese or lasagna, or kale in soups. Continue reading
Sometimes I hear people ask, “Does diabetes cause pancreatic cancer?” No, but diabetes is a risk factor for pancreatic cancer. We know that diabetics, especially those with long-standing Type II diabetes, have a higher risk of developing cancer of the pancreas than those who have no history of diabetes.
The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has tripled since 1980 in the United States. Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, that’s nearly 10% of the population.
Diabetes is a disorder of the metabolism, involving how our body uses sugar, or glucose. There are three types of diabetes: type I, II and gestational, or pregnancy-related. The most common type is type II. Type II diabetes comprises about 90%-95% of people with diabetes. It’s associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, physical inactivity and certain ethnicities.
Over the last 30 years, we’ve become a nation that is more overweight, less active and that eats more processed foods. If the current trend continues in the United States, one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050. Continue reading