- East London conference communicating with ethnic minority groups on health issues
- New method found which helps prevent early menopause for those with breast cancer
- Study finds increased incidence of thyroid cancer among breast cancer patients
East London conference communicating with ethnic minority groups on health issues On 25 March, Victoria Todd, CEO, and Xanthe Roantree, East London Programme Manager, were invited by the HEAR Human Rights and Equalities Network for London to make a short presentation on the importance of clear communication when delivering breast cancer awareness messages to ethnic minorities. The HEAR conference concentrated on issues related to reducing health inequalities in London, with particular focus on community projects working with ethnic minority populations. Representatives from a vast range of voluntary and public sector organisations welcomed our talk outlining our breast awareness work with communities which aims to help diminish the high one year breast cancer mortality rates in East London. We thank Christine Goodall, Coordinator of the HEAR Network for inviting us to take part in this most useful and interesting conference. Cancerkin welcomes hearing from any community organisation working in East London who would be interested to hear our breast cancer awareness talk. Please contact Xanthe or Jacqui on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 830 2310.
New method found which helps prevent early menopause for those with breast cancer A new study has found that early menopause could be prevented and fertility preserved in young women affected by early stage breast cancer. The international clinical trial showed the risk associated with the sudden onset of menopause could be significantly reduced when the drug goserelin, which has the capacity to put the ovaries “at rest” for a short time during breast cancer treatment, was used in conjunction with a regime of chemotherapy. The study also found women who were administered goserelin were more likely to become pregnant and deliver a healthy baby.
Premenopausal women who present with early oestrogen and progesterone-negative breast cancer, and were also under the age of 50 were included in the trial. After 2 years, 22% of participants who had been given the standard treatment showed reduced oestrogen production compared to 8% of women who received goserelin. The pregnancy rates were also compared with the goserelin group presenting with a higher 22% versus 11% for the standard treatment group.
“Some of the most distressing side effects of chemotherapy in young women with breast cancer are early and sudden onset of menopause and infertility. These findings provide hope for young women with breast cancer who would like to prevent early menopause or still have children. We found that, in addition to reducing the risk of sudden, early menopause, and all of the symptoms that go along with menopause, goserelin was very safe and may even improve survival. These findings are changing how we manage young women with breast cancer,” said the study’s lead Kathy Albain, a researcher from the Loyola University Chicago Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Centre.
Study finds increased incidence of thyroid cancer among breast cancer patients Researchers at Columbia University Medical Centre have found a high prevalence of thyroid cancer in patients affected by breast cancer. Previous studies have shown similar results suggesting a relationship between the two cancer types. In this new study, approximately 500,000 breast cancer patients and over 50,000 thyroid cancer patients were monitored from the years 1990-2011. The analysis showed that the incidence of thyroid cancer among breast cancer patients was higher compared to the general population, with the former disease developing in patients an average of 5 years after breast cancer. The results also showed that patients who went on to develop thyroid cancer after breast cancer presented with a more aggressive form of the disease compared to thyroid only patients.
Recommendations put forward by the researchers included an annual thyroid exam given to those diagnosed with breast cancer, especially for those who have undergone radiotherapy. Radiotherapy is known as being highly effective in destroying breast cancer cells but it may also have unwanted effects on normal tissue, which may explain, in part, the associated increase in thyroid cancer. “Recognition of this association between breast and thyroid cancer should prompt vigilant screening for thyroid cancer among breast cancer survivors,” says the study’s lead investigator Dr Jennifer Hong Kuo.
However, other possible contributors such as the drug Tamoxifen, which works by blocking the effects of the female hormone oestrogen and is typically used to treat breast cancer, and whether they play a role in an increased risk of developing thyroid cancer still require further investigation.