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FORCE's eXaming the Relevance of Articles for You (XRAY) program looks behind the headlines of cancer news to help you understand what the research means for you. XRAY is a reliable source of hereditary cancer research-related news and information.
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Relevance: High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Expanded access to Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act is linked to reduced cancer mortality

Most relevant for: People with breast, colorectal or lung cancer.

In 2014 the Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid coverage. How did this affect healthcare for cancer patients? This study shows that deaths from breast, colorectal and lung cancer are lower in states that chose to expand Medicaid compared to states that did not. Early diagnosis was linked to lower death rates. This suggests that increased healthcare access may lead to earlier cancer detection and better outcomes, including lower mortality. (3/31/2021)

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Expanded access to Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act is linked to reduced cancer mortality

Relevance: High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Short News : Breast screenings and COVID-19 vaccines are important for your health

Most relevant for: People considering screening mammography after getting a COVID-19 vaccine.

COVID-19 vaccines work by helping the immune system destroy the virus. Lymph nodes are an important part of the immune system. COVID-19 vaccines may cause temporary swelling in some lymph nodes, which may look suspicious on a mammogram.  The Society for Breast Imaging and other professional organizations have released recommendations for the timing of mammograms after COVID-19 vaccines.  (3/30/21)

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Breast screenings and COVID-19 vaccines are important for your health

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Patient outcomes and experiences of going flat

Most relevant for: Women considering mastectomy without breast reconstruction.

Some patients with early-stage breast cancer or those considering risk-reducing surgery may choose mastectomy without reconstruction. This is often referred to as “going flat.” The results of this study suggest that surgeons play a significant role in supporting a patient’s decision to go flat. (3/23/2021)

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Patient outcomes and experiences of going flat

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Body Mass Index (BMI) may affect how well aspirin use protects against colorectal and ovarian cancer

Most relevant for: People concerned about their risk of colorectal or ovarian cancer.

This study looked at the impact of daily aspirin use for lowering the risk for multiple types of cancers and whether this risk reduction can be modified by cancer risk factors such as obesity, smoking, physical inactivity or a family history of cancer. (3/19/21)

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Body Mass Index (BMI) may affect how well aspirin use protects against colorectal and ovarian cancer

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Can tumor tests identify more breast cancer patients who can safely skip chemotherapy?

Most relevant for: Women with breast cancer

Two studies presented at the December 2020 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium looked at how tumor testing can identify patients who may benefit the most and the least from chemotherapy. (3/4/21)

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Can tumor tests identify more breast cancer patients who can safely skip chemotherapy?

Relevance: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Guideline : COVID vaccines for people with cancer

Most relevant for: Cancer patients, their family and caregivers

Should cancer patients get a COVID vaccine? The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) provide guidance for people with cancer. These experts recommend that most cancer patients get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is offered (unless they are allergic to a vaccine component). Cancer patients who have had recent surgery may delay vaccination a few days after surgery. Those with a suppressed immune system are advised to delay getting the vaccine until they’re healthy enough to do so. (2/1/21)

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COVID vaccines for people with cancer

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Human Research

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Study : Breastfeeding may lower risk of ovarian cancer in women with BRCA mutations

Most relevant for: Women considering breastfeeding who have inherited BRCA mutations.

Data from a large-scale study suggests that breastfeeding may protect against ovarian cancer in women with inherited mutations in BRCA1 or BRCA2. (1/28/21)

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Breastfeeding may lower risk of ovarian cancer in women with BRCA mutations

Relevance: Medium-High

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : How breast cancer patients experience hormone therapy

Most relevant for: Breast cancer patients taking or considering taking hormone therapy

Side effects from hormone therapy are a common reason that many men and women with hormone receptor-positive breast cancer stop treatment early. Some people never start hormone therapy. This study asked patients about their experiences with hormone (or endocrine) therapy. The results suggest that there may be ways to improve the number of patients who stick with therapy. Patients need better ways to manage hormone therapy-related side effects. (1/19/21)

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How breast cancer patients experience hormone therapy

Relevance: High

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Strength of Science: High

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Research Timeline: Post Approval

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Study : Trodelvy clinical trial results likely practice-changing for people with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer

Most relevant for: People with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer

The ASCENT study confirmed an earlier study and showed that the smart drug sacituzumab govitecan-hizy (Trodelvy) improves outcomes for people with previously treated metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. These results further support the use of Trodelvy as a standard therapy for patients with pretreated metastatic triple-negative breast cancer. (11/20/20)

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Trodelvy clinical trial results likely practice-changing for people with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer

Relevance: Medium-Low

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Strength of Science: Medium-High

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Research Timeline: Animal Studies

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Study : The buzz about honeybee venom: Promising early research to treat breast cancer

Most relevant for: People with breast cancer particularly those with HER2-positive or triple-negative breast cancer.

Early research showed that melittin, an ingredient in honeybee venom, may be used to treat HER2-positive and triple-negative breast cancers. This study found that melittin can kill cancer cells. The chemotherapy drug docetaxel more effectively killed breast cancer cells in mice when combined with melittin. It is not known whether melittin would be safe or affect cancer growth in people. While promising, more research must be done before melittin could be used to treat people.  (11/10/20)

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The buzz about honeybee venom: Promising early research to treat breast cancer

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