Women with family history of breast and ovarian cancer able to undergo free genetic tests

WOMEN with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer will soon be able to undergo free genetic tests to see if they are at risk of developing the potentially deadly diseases.

The tests to see if patients have inherited genetic mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancers will be listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule from November 1.

The tests also will provide women and their families an estimate of their relative risk of developing a new primary cancer during their lifetime.

The Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia’s genetics advisory committee chair Dr Melody Caramins says making the tests …

New skin cancer warning: not all suspect moles are dark

Be warned — you may have more potential skin cancers than you think.
Until now, public health messages about skin cancer haven’t warned about paler, less obvious lesions.

“Typically, a lot of people assume, wrongly, that melanomas are associated with dark pigmented moles,” said Chris McMillan, the CEO of Cancer Council Queensland.

But research has shown that risks missing a significant number of potential lethal melanomas.

“Realistically, we find that 20 per cent of melanomas are pale-coloured lesions,” Mr McMillan said. Read more… 

Cancer and work: A compatible duo?

You might assume a cancer diagnosis is a reason to stop working. In many cases that’s true due to what can be a debilitating disease and the harsh treatment that usually follows.

For many others, however, the diagnosis is a reason to continue working. It’s a way of deriving meaning throughout a period when meaning and purpose are themselves being questioned.

In a study due to be published this month in the Disability and Rehabilitation journal, researchers interviewed a number of cancer survivors on the role their work played during their recovery and in the years that followed.

A 44-year-old man made the …

Breast cancer patients with private health insurance paying thousands.

A new report has found that privately insured women with breast cancer are paying thousands in gap fees and other out-of-pocket expenses for their treatment.
The report by Deloitte Access and the Breast Cancer Network Australia surveyed more than 2,000 women with breast cancer last year and found their out-of-pocket costs varied considerably.

It found a quarter of patients paid more than $17,000 and some paid more than $21,000 in treatment costs.

Women with private health insurance paid almost twice as much as women in the public healthcare system.

Women without health insurance paid around $3,600 in out-of-pocket costs while women with private …

Considering entering a clinical trial? Do your homework, breast cancer consumer representative says

People considering entering a clinical trial should not be put off from all studies by some with financial ties between researchers and pharmaceutical companies, a long-time trial advisor says.

For more than 20 years, Linda Reaby has sat as a ‘citizen representative’ on the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group and in more recent years advised the International Breast Cancer Intervention Study.

Clinical trials are used to investigate the safety of new medicines and medical devices and assess such products “efficacy” – or to what extent they actually work – before seeking government approval to put a medicine on the market.

It …

First it was da Vinci. Now Mona Lisa has arrived at Royal Adelaide. The Mona Lisa robot takes prostate biopsies through only two needle punctures.

First it was da Vinci. Now Mona Lisa has arrived in ­Adelaide.

The Mona Lisa robot takes prostate biopsies through two needle punctures in the delicate perineal area between the scrotum and the anus.

Numerous samples can be extracted from the same two puncture holes, whereas previous methods required 24 to 40 needle punctures or a probe inserted through the rectum.

The $300,000 machine fuses MRI and ultrasound information for accuracy to within 1mm. It is overseen by surgeons watching 3D images.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital is the only hospital in South Australia trialling the machine to see if it provides more accurate …

A number of studies indicate the importance of social support to the psychological well-being of patients.

A number of studies indicate the importance of social support to the psychological well-being of patients. Both social isolation and loneliness are associated with increased mortality. Women with fewer social ties to friends, family, community or religious groups were 43 per cent more likely to see their breast cancer return and 64 per cent more likely to die from breast cancer according to a study recently published in the journal Cancer (Read more). CanCare Patient Navigator’s help patients get the right support at the time they need it most. They ‘walk alongside’ a person with cancer, helping them with some …

“Everyone knows about breast cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer. But when they told me what I had I said ‘pancreas? What’s that?'” said Mrs Thompson, 56.

Trish Thompson will tell you she’s a very lucky woman.

A pain in her side sent her to Liverpool Hospital one night in June. Doctors diagnosed her with pancreatic cancer. They caught it early, and they could cut it out.

Pancreatic cancer is dwarfed by the awareness campaigns of other cancers with high incidence rates, but the oft-forgotten condition has the poorest survival rate of them all, with less than seven per cent of patients still alive five years after diagnosis.

The low number of cases and the large proportion of inoperable tumours mean many NSW hospitals have little experience performing pancreatectomies.

“Everyone knows about breast cancer, lung …

Loneliness may sabotage breast cancer survival, study finds

Loneliness may impede long-term breast cancer survival, a new study suggests. In the years after treatment, women who don’t have strong social ties are more likely to have their cancer return or die from it than women with friends and a support network, the researchers found.

Reviewing data on nearly 10,000 breast cancer patients, the researchers linked isolation with a 40 percent higher risk of cancer recurrence compared to socially connected women. These solitary women also had a 60 percent increased risk of dying from breast cancer and a 70 percent increased risk of dying from any cause, the study found. …

Obesity Linked With Prostate Cancer Death

Overweight and obese men appear to have greater risks of dying from prostate cancer (PCa) than normal weight individuals following primary treatment with radical prostatectomy (RP), a new study finds. Although radiation and androgen-deprivation therapy were equally or more likely in these patients, salvage treatment did not confer a survival advantage.

“This does not imply obesity causes more aggressive PC[a]. Rather, obesity may be associated with other factors such as poor diet or lack of exercise, which we could not adjust for, which may explain this association,” Adriana Vidal, MD, of Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and colleagues wrote …

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