The United States Food and Drug Administration issued a warning Thursday about the use of surgical robots in breast cancer surgery. FDA says that use of the robotic medical devices in mastectomy, lumpectomy, and related surgery because of "preliminary" evidence that it may be linked to lower long-term survival.
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A private Facebook group for women who are carriers of the BRCA breast cancer gene discovered that marketers were able to harvest their names and personal information because of a Facebook privacy loophole. Read the rest
Our Xeni visited MSNBC's 'All in With Chris Hayes' to explain that the Affordable Care Act helped her survive cancer, and why a thoughtless repeal will kill thousands of fellow Americans. Read the rest
Jonathan Peltz at the Miami New Times: “'Donald Trump' and 'protecting patients’ access to health care' are two phrases that aren't generally associated with each other. But that fact didn't seem to bother the American Cancer Society (ACS), which hosted its fundraiser Rock Palm Beach at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago [on February 10].” Read the rest
Scientists are recruiting thousands of women for a large clinical trial to find out if weight loss should be prescribed as a treatment for breast cancer in some patients.
The trial will put obese and overweight women who are 18 and older and recently diagnosed with breast cancer on diets and track exercise to see if losing a little weight could help prevent a cancer recurrence.
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A moment that will go down in comedy history.
A primer on the healing power of weed, and how to vaporize correctly, for cancer patients and others who truly have a medical need for marijuana. Sponsored by Ascent by DaVinci
, a vaporizer we think works really well.
“What if among the many overwhelming materials you see at the time of a breast cancer diagnosis there was a simple book that inspired hope instead of fear, and showed beauty instead of disfigurement?”
Lymphedema prevention garments designed for LympheDIVAs by R. Stevens.
Like many of my fellow breast cancer patients, the treatment I received (and am still receiving) places me at high risk for a condition called lymphedema that can cause painful and permanent swelling in the arms.
To help prevent lymphedema or control the swelling if it does happen, many doctors recommend we use compression sleeves. It used to be that the only kind of sleeves available looked like big ugly bandages, but LympheDIVAs, a company started by two women with breast cancer in Philadelphia, was one of the first to change that. LympheDIVAs creates sleeves and gauntlets so funky and pretty, you could imagine wearing them just because they look cool. I wear their product regularly, and have found them to be pretty great.
When I put on my "Lotus Dragon" one, people think I have an actual sleeve tattoo, which cracks me up. When I first started wearing it , I tweeted that it would also be fun to see Diesel Sweeties comic creator R. Stevens, who designs fun patterns for socks, gloves, and other wearables, create some stuff for LympheDIVAs. I am thrilled to learn that this happened! R. Stevens has designed four sleeve/gauntlet products for LympheDIVAs, and they all look great. Read the rest
Peggy Orenstein has a hell of a piece in the New York Times magazine on "pink ribbon culture," and her frustration (which, as a woman with breast cancer, I fervently share) about how much progress has been made: Read the rest
The charismatic lead singer of Australian new wave band The Divinyls, Chrissy Amphlett, has died of cancer and multiple sclerosis.
I had a rough week, this week. I came back from a transformative, restorative trip to Hawaii, where I did lots of creative work for Boing Boing and for personal projects. The morning after my flight home, I dove in to a week of medical tests. My primary treatment for breast cancer is complete (chemo/surgery/radiation), but that doesn't mean cancer's over. I have to take a drug for 5 years (or more, who knows), and there is at least one more surgery ahead that I know of. But there is also much monitoring ahead. I have to get various blood tests and exams and scans every 90 days, 6 months, and annually. Scanning my body for any new cancer, scanning the horizon for bad news, and hoping it never arrives. [...]
"About 2,240 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in U.S. men a year, compared with about 232,000 cases of invasive cancer among women," writes Laura Hambleton in the Washington Post. "And because male breast cancer is rare, most men with the disease do what Bogler did and ignore the symptoms: lumps in a breast, discharge from a breast or other changes in a breast or nipple." Peter Criss of the rock band KISS is among the male breast cancer patients mentioned in the article. (HT: Aileen Graef) Read the rest
Ask women about their relationship, writes Jody Schoger, and "you’re apt to hear variations on this theme, 'He never blinked,' or 'He really showed me how strong a man he truly is.' In other words, you’re not apt to hear what it’s truly like for some women." On her blog, she publishes a first-person account from an anonymous contributor that rings true for many. The tl;dr: the impact of cancer is really, really hard for both partners in a relationship—before, during, and after treatment. Read the rest
A must-read by Steven Brill in Time on the brutality of medical bills in America, for cancer patients and others in need of medical care. Read the rest
My friend Lisa Adams, who coached me through so much of my treatment for breast cancer, recently learned that her breast cancer returned as metastatic disease. She has been writing about cancer eloquently and beautifully since she was diagnosed, and so much of what she's published since her disease advanced has been powerful, brutal, essential reading. Her most recent post, which appears on HuffPo, is about an hour-long talk with her daughter that started with her first question, "Are you scared?"
She asked questions about genetics and risks of getting cancer to what kind of treatments I might need. She asked me again, as if to confirm for herself, "It's not curable, right?" We talked about my writing, about being public with my health status, about being open and honest with her and her brothers.
I told her that yes, I was scared. I explained that my fear usually comes from the unknown, in this case just how I will respond to treatments. I told her it was okay to be scared. That it's normal. That sometimes that fear makes you brave enough to do things you don't think you can otherwise do.
I told her that I understood that sickness could be scary, that I didn't want her to be afraid of me as I got sicker someday. "I would never be afraid of you, Mom. I'm only afraid of cancer," she said. My heart squeezed and thrashed and the tears flowed.
More: Lisa Bonchek Adams: The Hardest Conversation. Read the rest
Drug giant Eli Lilly this week settled a lawsuit brought by four sisters with breast cancer who believe their disease was caused by a pregnancy drug their mother took during pregnancy in the 1950s. The settlement could lead to more such claims being won by other women with breast cancer whose moms took Diethylstilbestrol, also known as DES, a synthetic estrogen widely prescribed until 1971. The drug was also widely administered to US dairy and beef cattle, via their feed. Read the rest