Monday, July 4, 2011

The Breast Cancer News Update: July 4

Happy Fourth of July from Today we'll look at the latest breast cancer news and research on breast cancer side effects including risk of infection, scarring, quality of life, sleep disturbance, pain and nausea and vomiting.

Mastectomy side effects: risk of infection, scarring, insomnia, quality of life and pain

All the latest breast cancer news and research on the potential mastectomy side effects of infection, scarring and pain may be found on the Mastectomy page of our website.

Under the News tab, you'll find a July 1 Cure Today article about the risk of infection after mastectomy or chemotherapy. According to the story, the body's "immune function often decreases in the hours immediately following surgery and may take many months to fully recover." Patients who receive chemotherapy before surgery, known as neoadjuvant chemotherapy, are at "greater risk" of infection. The article includes preventative tips such as preoperative antibiotics, frequent hand washing and influenza vaccines for patients and people in close contact. Port-site infection risk and prevention is also addressed.

Also under the News tab, you'll find a June 1 Cure Today article about mastectomy scar prevention and treatment. Available treatment options include silicone gel sheeting and intralesional corticosteroids.

Under the Medical Journal Abstracts tab, three June 2011 studies address long-term mastectomy side effects.

A June 1 Sleep Medicine study from Norway examined the relationship between insomnia and arm/shoulder problems years after surgery, radiation and hormone therapy for stage II or III breast cancer.

A June 8 European Journal of Surgical Oncology study from Taiwan found that quality of life improved significantly two years after surgery for all patients, with the greatest improvement for patients who received mastectomy with reconstruction. The authors concluded that factors other than surgery type, including age, chemotherapy, radiation, hormone therapy and preoperative functional status affected quality of life.

A June 9 Breast Cancer Research and Treatment study from San Diego examined long-term pain reporting in breast cancer survivors. Over a four-year period, a "slight but significant increase in pain was reported." The authors found that an increase in pain symptoms was associated with medical factors, such as surgery type and tamoxifen use, and psychological factors such as stress and depression. Interestingly, exercise "at baseline had a beneficial effect on pain recovery."

Triple therapy including Aloxi for nausea and vomiting

Finally, a June 28 study on a triple therapy approach for treating chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting can be found on our Aloxi (palonosetron) page. According to the study, the combination of Aloxi, which is a 5-HT(3) receptor antagonist, plus dexamethasone plus either EMEND (aprepitant) or EMEND for Injection (fosaprepitant) resulted in a lower risk of uncontrolled nausea and vomiting than a triple therapy with other 5-HT(3) receptor antagonists.

For more news and research on drugs to treat breast cancer side effects, please visit that section of the website anytime.

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