The Women's Health Resource. On the web since 1997. Breast Health Newsletter

October 28, 1999 - Volume 1, Issue 2

Comprehensive Information of Breast Cancer and Breast Health Issues



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1.  In the News:
- Rescued from the South Pole, Dr. Nielsen confirms she has breast cancer...
Dr. Jerri Nielsen, 47, returned to the United States last week after the U.S. National Guard air-lifted her from the National Science Foundation’s Amundsen-Scott research station at the South Pole on October 16, 1999. A day before her release from the hospital last Wednesday, Dr. Nielsen issued a statement confirming that she has breast cancer.

- Researchers will begin testing endostatin on cancer patients After much anticipation, researchers will begin testing the effects of the tumor-starving drug endostatin in humans this week. Endostatin and a sister protein, angiostatin, first moved into public prominence when a May 3, 1998 New York Times cover story called them a possible revolution in cancer treatment.

- Fibrin sealant reduces fluid accumulation after breast surgery Fibrin sealant is commonly used in cardiopulmonary bypasses and spleen repair surgery. However, a recent study shows that fibrin sealant may also be used to reduce the potential accumulation of serous fluid (thin, watery liquid) after axillary node dissection (removal of the armpit lymph nodes) in modified radical mastectomy patients.  Fibrin sealant may also help treat recurring seroma in patients who have had lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy.

- Genetic testing may lead to less invasive treatment of early breast cancer A recent study reveals that the expression of the mutant bcl-2 gene and p53 tumor suppressor in women with early stage breast cancer may lead to treatment with tamoxifen and chemotherapy, eliminating the need for more invasive surgical procedures such as lumpectomy or mastectomy in early stage breast cancer patients.

2.  Stages of Breast Cancer and Standard Treatments Staging is the process physicians use to assess the size and location of a patient’s cancer. Identifying the cancer stage is one of the most important factors in selecting breast cancer treatment options.

3.  Eight Tips to Ensure an Optimal Mammogram Breast size, shape and breast tissue density is different for every woman. Achieving an optimal mammogram image requires skill and careful attention to certain factors by the mammography technologist and radiologist.   There are also several things each woman can do to help ensure an optimal mammogram.

4.  Swelling of the Arm After Breast Surgery
The most common side effect after axillary node dissection (removal of the lymph nodes) is Lymphedema. Lymphedema is the chronic swelling or feeling of tightness around the arm or hand caused by the accumulation of lymphatic fluid in spaces between arm tissue (or occasionally in the legs or other parts of the body). The disease occurs when lymph vessels are missing or impaired, or when the lymph nodes are removed.

5.  Understanding Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is treatment with anticancer drugs and is normally administered intravenously (using an injection or drip) or orally in the form of pills or liquid. The purpose of chemotherapy is to slow or eliminate the growth of breast cancer by killing cancer cells.

6.  Have a Breast Health Question? Ask! provides our users with a valuable interactive service by allowing anyone to ask us for more information via email.  Questions about breast cancer and related issues are answered by members of the Breast Health Team.  The team is made up of breast specialists and other healthcare professionals who provide state-of-the-art medical knowledge about breast cancer, new developments and other breast health topics.  Since the launch of, we have helped thousands of people by providing them with additional information on breast cancer and related breast health topics of interest.

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