Early breast health education may be key to lowering breast cancer mortality rates
Obesity continues to increase for women in the United States, particularly among African-American and Mexican-American women. Between the ages of 35-44, there are approximately 3.3 million white women, 1.4 million African-American women, and 575,000 Mexican-American women who are obese. A new study published in the journal Public Health Nursing reveals that there is an increased
Full Post: Economic status affects obesity rates in Mexican-American and white women
Early breast health education may be the key to lowering breast cancer mortality rates in Washington, D.C., which has the highest rates in the country, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.
Project Early Awareness, a breast cancer education program of Howard University Cancer Center, brings a young survivor into high school classrooms to dispel breast cancer myths, provide breast cancer facts, and teach breast self exams. While only about five percent of breast cancer cases occur in women under the age of 40, learning to understand breast cancer at a young age may lead to early diagnosis later in life.
“We want young women to know and understand their bodies,” said Kimberly Higginbotham, the program’s instructor and a young breast cancer survivor. “The goal is for breast self exams to become routine.”
The program, which started with three schools and has extended to 17, has instructed more than 2,800 girls and their families. Each student is given a pre-test and post-test to gauge the effectiveness of the program. Howard University has seen students increase their comfort and ability to perform a breast self exam by 39 percent and their ability to answer breast cancer questions correctly increase by 69 percent.
“We always see improvement between the pre-test and the post-test,” said Higginbotham. “For example, a common myth about breast cancer is that it can be caused by getting hit in the breast. Students almost always put that it’s true in the pre-test, but mark that it’s false in the post-test.”
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The mortality rates are well above average for African-American women living in the District of Columbia. Project Early Awareness aims to focus on long-term solutions to help reduce health disparities, by ensuring women are aware of the screening tools available to them as they age.
Howard University Cancer Center has received requests to extend their program to other states. As a part of the session, they provide students with information to take home to their families to help increase the reach of the program.
Throughout the world, 10 million breast cancer survivors have a lifetime risk for developing lymphedema, a chronic condition that involves swelling of the limbs and impacts physical and psychosocial health. Second only to the recurrence of cancer, it is the most dreaded effect of breast cancer treatment. In a new study, University of Missouri
Full Post: Overweight or obesity increases lymphedema risk for breast cancer survivors
Cancer Research UK scientists have found that a test, already used in breast cancer diagnosis, can also predict who will and who won’t benefit from commonly used chemotherapy drugs. The research shows that women who have a duplication of chromosome 17 in their tumour will benefit from anthracycline drugs, while others can be spared the
Full Post: New research moves us one step closer to personalised breast cancer treatment
As a part of National Cervical Health Awareness Month, Acting Secretary of Health Everette James has reminded women of the importance of cervical cancer prevention and the need for pap tests. “Every January as we begin a new year, we want to remind all Pennsylvanians to do what they can to improve their overall health,”
Full Post: Women reminded yearly examinations best way to prevent cervical cancer
Latina women have a lower risk of breast cancer than European or African-American women generally, but those with higher European ancestry could be at increased risk, according to data published in the December 1 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. “We need to study the possible factors that
Full Post: Latin women of European ancestry at greater risk for breast cancer
Siemens Healthcare announced that data from a new study published in the American Cancer Society journal Cancer, supports using the Siemens Serum HER-2/neu test to monitor patients with an aggressive type of metastatic breast cancer. This non-invasive blood test can be used to help monitor the widely-used Herceptin(R) therapy. Metastatic cancer is an advanced stage
Full Post: Study suggests Siemens non-invasive blood test may have a role in monitoring breast cancer patients’ response to Herceptin