XRAYS Quarterly Digest

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A compilation of the past quarter's reviewed articles.

FORCE's eXamining the Relevance of Articles for Young Survivors (XRAYS) program, is a reliable resource designed to help young breast cancer survivors and high-risk women navigate through breast cancer research related news and information

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ARTICLE: Cancer experience in families affects decision making

Women with inherited mutations in genes that increase breast and ovarian cancer risk have an additional challenge: coping with how those mutations impact their families and how a family member’s cancer experience can shape their own perception. In a recent U.S. News and World Report article, Elaine Howley explores how a woman's decisions about healthcare, cancer prevention and treatment are affected by experience with cancer in the family. (9/25/18)

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STUDY: Hormone therapy and breast cancer risk after ovary removal in women with a BRCA1 mutation

Does hormone therapy (HT) alter the risk of breast cancer for woman carrying a BRCA1 mutation who have never been diagnosed with cancer? In this JAMA Oncology study, researchers showed that among women with BRCA1 mutations, HT use did not increase breast cancer rates for 10 years after ovary removal. More women taking combined estrogen plus progesterone developed breast cancer compared to those taking estrogen only, though this difference was not statistically significant. (9/7/18)

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STUDY: Gardening improves health outcomes for breast cancer patients

Research has shown that adopting a healthier lifestyle may improve overall health and outcomes for cancer survivors. This study looked at a 1-year home-based gardening intervention to increase activity and wellbeing among breast cancer survivors. (08/31/18)

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STUDY: Study identifies genes associated with risk of triple-negative breast cancer

Panel testing can identify women who are at increased risk for breast cancer.  However, those at risk for triple-negative breast cancer cannot easily be identified because other than BRCA1, genes that increase the risk for triple-negative breast cancer are unknown.  A new study uses panel testing to identify which genes increase the risk for triple-negative breast cancer. (8/23/18)

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STUDY: Declining use of chemotherapy for early-stage breast cancer: examining oncologist recommendations

A new study shows that chemotherapy use for early-stage, node-positive and node-negative breast cancers declined from 2013 to 2015. It also reports that oncologists’ recommendations are influenced to differing degrees by patient preferences and tumor test results, despite unchanging health care guidelines. (8/21/18)

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STUDY: Immunotherapy may lead to long-term remission of metastatic breast cancer

Metastatic breast cancer is often difficult to treat. In a new approach, called adoptive cell therapy (ACT), a patient’s own T-cells (a type of cancer-fighting immune cells) are collected, multiplied in a lab, and then returned to the patient. The goal is to enhance the patient’s immune system with many more T-cells that recognize and attack metastasized tumor cells. This study reports on a single patient whose metastatic breast cancer is still in remission (no evidence of disease) after more than 22 months following ACT. (8/16/18)

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ARTICLE: Interview with Angelina Jolie's doctor promotes meatless diet and scientific inaccuracies

Dr. Kristi Funk, Angelina Jolie's Hollywood breast surgeon, is promoting her new book about breast cancer. This article from the UK newspaper The Times includes an interview with Funk about her book, which proposes that diet is responsible for breast cancer. This XRAYS addresses scientific inaccuracies in this article. (8/7/18)

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STUDY: Can some women with early-stage breast cancer forego chemotherapy?

A research study named the “Trial Assigning Individualized Options for Treatment” (TAILORx) asked whether chemotherapy is beneficial for women who have mid-range Oncotype DX tumor recurrence scores. This trial — the largest breast cancer treatment trial ever conducted— showed that endocrine therapy alone was as effective as endocrine therapy plus chemotherapy in women with certain types of early-stage breast cancer. The results of this trial are expected to be immediately practice changing (7/20/18)

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ARTICLE: High health insurance deductibles can interfere with breast cancer treatment decisions

A New York Times article published on May 4, 2018 examines the impact of high insurance deductibles on breast cancer treatment. (7/12/18)

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