- A lymphoedema focus for June’s Patient Support Group
- New study finds breast cancer screening reduces mortality rates by 28%
A lymphoedema focus for June’s Patient Support Group
It was standing room only on Thursday 26 June at the Patient Support Group when Mr Santilal Parbhoo MB ChB PhD FRCS (Founder and President of Cancerkin) gave a talk on ‘Lymphoedema in Breast Cancer Patients’. He explained what lymphoedema is and how it comes about, illustrating his points with vivid photos of examples of lymphoedema. He then moved on to its treatment emphasising that, while the treatments provided at Cancerkin’s Lymphoedema Clinic were important, their effectiveness depended on the patient’s willingness to do the relevant exercises three times a day and pay special attention to their diet to maintain a healthy weight. The talk was followed by a lively question and answer session. There was general agreement that the talk was very informative and helpful.
Our CanExercise teacher Lizzy Davis, a former Oncology/Palliative Care Nurse, then followed to discuss how important exercise can be in helping lymphatic fluid to move throughout the body and how muscles can help move the lymph away from the affected area. She reiterated that being informed about what is safe and effective is key to managing or reducing your risk of developing lymphoedema – including avoiding anti-inflammatory foods (such as junk foods), ensuring you wash and moisturise your body and avoiding extremes such as really hot and really cold environments. Finally, we all practised some deep breathing and strength training exercises which should be regularly performed to help manage or prevent lymphoedema.
Everyone at Cancerkin would like to say a very special “thank you” to Mr Parbhoo and Lizzie for taking the time to speak to everyone. This was an incredibly busy patient support group, and everyone spoken to really appreciated the detailed information and practical advice given.
New study finds breast cancer screening reduces mortality rates by 28%
A new study, published on BMJ Online, has found breast cancer screening prevents one death in every 368 women who are invited for screening.
Researchers analysed data from all women in Norway who were aged 50 to 79 between 1986 and 2009 – the period in which their mammography screening programme was gradually introduced. This allowed them to compare the breast cancer mortality rate among those who were invited to screening every two years against those who were not yet invited.
After adjusting for various factors such as age, area of residence, and underlying trends in breast cancer mortality, the researchers estimated that invitation to screening was associated with 28% reduced risk of death from breast cancer. They also found that approximately 76% of women who were offered a mammogram actually got one.
The effectiveness of breast cancer screening programmes remains contentious. In 2012, the Independent Breast Screening Review published their findings on the effectiveness of breast screening in the UK, but new studies (such as this one published in February) continue to add to the debate.
One of the authors of this study, Lars Vatten, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, acknowledged this, warning: “Mammograms do provide some benefit, but the problem is the screening is so sensitive it captures tumours without malignant potential”.
Baroness Delyth Morgan, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Campaign, agreed: “This study adds to existing evidence that breast screening saves lives. Diagnosing breast cancer quickly is vital, as the earlier breast cancer is diagnosed and treated, the greater the chances of survival.
“An independent review on breast screening in 2012 concluded that breast screening does save lives but also noted the risk of overdiagnosis as a result of screening. It’s therefore welcome that women are now receiving more detailed information in the form of the new breast screening leaflet to support them to make an informed decision about whether to attend screening.