Tag Archives: Breast Cancer

Olivia Newton John Shares News of Her Breast Cancer Metastasis

Olivia Newton John Shares News of Her Breast Cancer Metastasis
Olivia Newton John Shares News of Her Breast Cancer Metastasis

Actress and singer Olivia Newton-John has campaigned to raise awareness of cancer research since she began fighting the disease in 1992. In May she made the sad announcement that her breast cancer had returned and spread to her lower spine.

The Prognosis for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Newton-John’s breast cancer is metastatic, also known as Stage IV, which refers to cancer that begins in one area of the body and spreads to other organs or tissues. It was discovered when the singer postponed a concert tour due to lower back pain that was originally thought to be sciatica.

Family and friends remain positive, and Newton-John herself plans to resume touring in August. While metastatic breast cancer is a serious issue, doctors say that Newton-John and other women with this diagnosis have reason for optimism.

Five-Year Survival by the Numbers

A recent study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention discovered that the five-year survival rate for women with metastatic breast cancer had reached 36 percent during the last 10 years. That number is double the five-year survival rate for women diagnosed in the early 1990s.

According to Dr. Sagar Sardesai of the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center, the healthcare community has begun thinking of metastatic breast cancer as a chronic disease. Physicians are working with patients cancer treatment programs that relieve symptoms and improve their quality of life.

Stage IV Cancer Treatment at Issels®

If you have been diagnosed with metastatic cancer, there is hope. Visit our website to read and hear testimonials from patients with Stage IV cancer in all forms who have been successfully treated with our immunotherapy programs.

Medicare Coverage for Early Detection of Cancer – What to Know

Medicare Coverage for Early Detection of Cancer - What to Know
Medicare Coverage for Early Detection of Cancer – What to Know

Navigating the ins and outs of Medicare coverage can be a challenge. Here’s what you need to know about this program and how it applies to screenings for early detection of cancer.

Do All Providers Accept Medicare?

• Participating doctors “accept assignments,” meaning they consider the amount received from Medicare along with your co-pay and deductible as payment in full, resulting in fewer out-of-pocket expenses.

• Non-participating doctors don’t always accept Medicare, so you have to pay out-of-pocket. Medicare will reimburse you for the portions they normally cover, but you still incur sizable expenses for the difference.

• Opt-out doctors don’t participate in Medicare at all, making you fully responsible for all charges.

Medicare Coverage for Cancer Screening

• Annual mammograms are covered for women aged 40 and older, while clinical breast exams (CBE) are covered every two years for women at average risk for breast cancer and once a year for those at high risk.

• Women at average risk for cervical cancer are covered for a Pap test and pelvis exam every two years, while women at high risk are covered annually.

• Colorectal screening is covered for people 50 and over based on risk factors and date of last test.

• For prostate screening, men over age 50 are covered 100 percent for an annual PSA blood test and 80 percent for a digital rectal exam (DRE).

Lung cancer screening is covered once a year if you are between 55 and 77 and have a qualifying history of smoking.

State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment at Issels®

Our personalized cancer treatment programs have helped many of our patients achieve long-term remission. Visit our website for more information.

Breast Cancer – It’s Not a Cancer that Affects Only Women

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Not Only Women are Affected by Breast Cancer

While breast cancer is thought of primarily as a women’s disease, men are not immune. Researchers have recently identified a specific gene mutation that increases the risk of breast cancer in men.

Identifying Genetic Triggers in Male Breast Cancer

There have been a number of studies involving women and inherited BRCA (breast cancer) gene mutations. In a two-year study that was published in 2016, a joint research team from the Anthropological Survey of India and the University of Calcutta conducted a study into genetic factors behind male breast cancer.

The researchers began by collecting blood and tissue samples from several men who had been diagnosed with breast cancer. These samples were then used for gene sequencing to identify mutations that could be causing the disease.

As a result, the scientists were able to identify mutations in the BRCA2 gene that triggered the cancer growth. In addition, the study found that lifestyle and reproductive factors such as hormonal therapy and alcohol consumption can also increase risk.

Differences between Male and Female Breast Cancer

  • The lumps (or primaries) associated with breast cancer are generally smaller in men than in women, making early detection difficult.
  • BRCA2 mutation carriers are found in lymph nodes, so men don’t experience the pain that would make them seek medical care.

Genomic Testing Personalizes Immunotherapy for Cancer

Each patient is different, so immunotherapy for cancer at Issels® uses genomic and other specialized testing to create the optimum course of treatment. Contact us today to learn more about our non-toxic integrative programs such as cancer vaccines and NK cells.

New Medication May Effectively Treat Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

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Breast Cancer Research

The term “breast cancer” encompasses several subtypes of the diseases, including triple-negative breast cancer, a more aggressive form that occurs frequently in younger women. Scientists in Ireland recently made a discovery that holds promise as an more effective treatment than chemotherapy, which is currently the only available option for this cancer subtype.

What Is Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?

Breast cancer is usually categorized by the presence or absence of three different receptors that fuel the growth of tumors. Triple-negative breast cancer lacks all three receptors, making it unresponsive to the targeted treatments often used with breast cancer.

BREAST-PREDICT is the Irish Cancer Society Collaborative Cancer Research Centre where the recent study was conducted. Researchers identified a drug called APR-246 that can prevent the growth of certain cancer cells.

APR-246 Can Mean New Hope for Breast Cancer Patients

Results of the study were published last year in the International Journal of Cancer. Naoise Synnott, the PhD student who performed the research, said she decided to focus her efforts on triple-negative breast cancer because of the lack of effective treatment for the disease.

Currently, chemotherapy is the only form of treatment available to patients with triple-negative breast cancer. Unfortunately, many of them don’t respond, leaving them to suffer the side effects of chemotherapy with no positive outcome.

Approximately one in six cases of breast cancer worldwide is diagnosed as triple-negative. The next step with APR-246 is conducting clinical trials to evaluate real-life results.

Is Immunotherapy for Cancer Right for You?

For decades, Issels® has been in the forefront of cutting-edge immunotherapy for cancer treatments. Contact us for testimonials from patients we have successfully treated for breast cancer, leukemia and other forms.

Higher Vitamin D Levels May Boost Breast Cancer Survival

Higher Vitamin D Levels May Boost Breast Cancer Survival
Higher Vitamin D Levels May Boost Breast Cancer Survival

Vitamin D has long been known as an essential nutrient that aids your bones with calcium absorption. A recent study shows that there may also be a link between vitamin D levels and surviving breast cancer.

Examining the Link between Vitamin D and Breast Cancer Survival

The study, performed by a research team from the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, began in 2006 with a group of women from California who had been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Participants were divided into three sub-groups based on blood levels of a particular vitamin D marker.

Women with more advanced cancers tended to have low levels of the marker. Over an average of seven years of follow-up, 100 of these women died compared to 76 women with high levels. There were approximately 1,600 women total involved in the study.

In addition, women with the highest vitamin D levels were 28 percent less likely to die of any cause, once factors such as tumor characteristics were accounted for. This link was the strongest among pre-menopausal women.

What Does This Mean for the Future?

According to lead author Song Yao, overall results showed “30 percent reduction of all-cause mortality” linked to vitamin D levels at the time of diagnosis. While the study supports previous research linking vitamin D with breast cancer survival, Yao said a randomized controlled trial would be needed to determine a direct cause-and-effect.

Immunotherapy for Cancer: Going Beyond Traditional Treatments

Immunotherapy for cancer has been gaining a lot of attention recently, but at Issels® we have a decades-long history of using these state-of-the-art methods successfully. Contact us for more information.

Could this be an Accidental Miracle for the Treatment of Breast Cancer?

Breast Cancer Myths BustedAwareness Month
Promising Immunotherapy Treatment Protocol for Breast Cancer

Researchers in the United Kingdom recently made an exciting breakthrough in breast cancer immunotherapy treatment. Ironically, the discovery they made was neither sought after nor expected.

An accidental miracle?

A group of surgeons at the University of Manchester set out to test the use of a two-drug combo on tumors between the times of diagnosis and surgical excision. The drugs in question, traztusumab (Herceptin) and lapatinib (Tyverb) had previously been used individually in treatment.

While the intent was to study the effects of the drugs on tumor biology, the surgeons were stunned at the dramatic but unanticipated results. After only 11 days, 87 percent of the 257 participants experienced a significant reduction in cancer cells, while 11 percent showed no cancer cells at all.

Implications for future breast cancer treatments

Each of the women participating in the study had a form of breast cancer known as human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, also referred to as HER2 positive breast cancer. Herceptin works by blocking growth signals to HER2 receptors on the surface of the cancer cells, while Tyverb does the same from within the cells.

According to lead researcher Nigel Bundred, the results are a promising sign for tailoring individual treatments with breast cancer patients. The team is “cautiously optimistic” about indications that taking the drugs immediately after diagnosis may eliminate the need for chemotherapy.

At our Issels® center, we consider factors such as lifestyle and environment to create personalized breast cancer immunotherapy treatment. Visit our website to learn more about our cancer vaccines, cell therapies and other non-toxic immuno-oncology protocols.