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

March 2, 2000 - Volume 2, Issue 5

Comprehensive Information of Breast Cancer and Breast Health Issues

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Breast Health Bookstore - Books of the Month

Visit our Breast Health Bookstore at for one of the featured books of the month. "Bosom Buddies: Lessons and Laughter on Breast Health and Cancer" by Rosie O'Donnell and Deborah Axelrod, MD is one of the
current features. Popular talk-show host Rosie O'Donnell teams up with her own breast health specialist and uses humor to help inform women on all aspects of breast cancer and breast health.


March 2, 2000

1. In the News:
- New Study: Nipple Fluid May Indicate Breast Cancer…
Several research groups are currently investigating a new method for detecting breast cancer that involves analyzing nipple fluid expressed from the breast. Nipple aspirate fluid may be drawn out of the breast using a modified breast pump and then studied under a microscope to determine
whether cancerous cells and other markers for breast cancer are present. In the most recent study on nipple fluid, researchers found that women with large breast tumors and women whose breasts were surgically removed by mastectomy were likely to have cancerous cells in their nipple fluid.
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- Chemotherapy Recommended for Younger Women With Breast Cancer…

A new study of over 10,000 women with breast cancer revealed that women under the age of 35 may greatly increase their chances of surviving the disease if they undergo chemotherapy after breast cancer surgery. According to the research, women under age 35 are more than twice as likely to die of breast cancer within 10 years of diagnosis than older women. Because breast
cancer is much more aggressive in younger women, even young women with early stage, low grade breast tumors that do not appear as though they have spread past the breast may wish to consider chemotherapy.
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- Bone Marrow Test May Predict Breast Cancer Recurrence…
A new study shows that physicians may be able to predict whether breast cancer is likely to return after primary treatment by looking for cancerous cells in the patient’s bone marrow (the soft tissue that fills the spaces in the spongy portions of bone cavities). Currently, physicians
usually remove one or more of the underarm lymph nodes in breast cancer patients to help stage the cancer and determine whether it has spread past the breast. However, lymph node testing is not perfect; breast cancer tends to return in 20% to 30% of patients with cancer-free nodes.
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- Large Waist Size May Increase Breast Cancer Risk…
A new study published in the "American Journal of Epidemiology" suggests that women who have excess fat around their waists may be more likely to develop breast cancer than lean women. The risk is even higher for post-menopausal women, the researchers say, because the risk of breast cancer increases with age. Researchers followed 47,000 women from 1986 to 1994 and found that women with abdominal regions measuring more than 36 inches increased their chances of getting breast cancer by 34% compared with women who had waists measuring less than 28 inches.
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- Largest U.S. Health Insurer Drops Coverage of Controversial Breast Cancer
Aetna/U.S. Healthcare, the United States’ largest health care provider, announced that it will no longer cover the cost of bone marrow transplants for women with breast cancer unless they receive the treatment in a federally sponsored clinical trial. The decision comes two weeks after a
South African researcher admitted he falsified results of his study that claimed high dose chemotherapy followed by a bone marrow transplant benefited women with advanced breast cancer.
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2. Antiperspirants and Breast Cancer - A Myth
Over the past year, an inaccurate e-mail message has been broadly circulated stating that the use of antiperspirants is a leading cause of breast cancer. The false e-mail message, claiming antiperspirants (or antiperspirant/deodorant combinations) interfere with the body’s need to
purge dangerous "toxins," is angering health care professionals and alarming women across the United States. This article explains why antiperspirants do not cause breast cancer.
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3. Understanding Breast Pain
Breast pain (mastalgia) is the most common breast related complaint among women; nearly 70% of women experience breast pain at some point in their lives. Breast pain may occur in one or both breasts or in the underarm (axilla) region of the body. This article discusses the main types of breast pain and explains how breast pain may be caused, evaluated, and treated. Breast pain during breast-feeding is also addressed.
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4. Who Are the Breast Cancer Treatment Professionals?
To treat breast cancer effectively, a number of medical professionals with a variety of specialties are needed: gynecologists, radiologists, oncologists, radiation therapists, pathologists, surgeons, etc. This article outlines the training and responsibilities of the different physicians and health care professionals involved in breast cancer treatment.
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5. New Breast Exam: Computerized Thermal Imaging
Thermography (or thermal imaging) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for several years to help detect breast cancer along with mammography and other breast imaging exams, such as T-scan and breast ultrasound. Computerized thermal imaging (CTI) is a new, non-invasive imaging method based on the principles of thermography.
When used in addition to physician performed clinical breast examination and mammography, computerized thermal imaging has the potential to help physicians more accurately identify breast cancer. This article explains how computerized thermal imaging is done and discusses the potential advantages and limitations to this new breast imaging technology.
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6. We Want Your Feedback!
If you have questions, comments or suggestions regarding any topics we have discussed or future topics you would like to see, email us at In addition, help us spread the word about breast health and breast cancer. Visit to send us information or comments on new books, news, press releases, television specials, or major events associated with breast cancer awareness or research.

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