5 Cancer Research Stories Worth Following – Fall 2017

A look at several "need-to-know" cancer research stories for Fall 2017.What’s the latest “need to know” news in cancer research? In this post, I’ll briefly review several of the most interesting cancer research stories that have been in the news this fall.

These are a few of the recent stories that seem to have the greatest potential impact, at least from my perspective, and that I know I’ll want to follow as they develop further.

Topics covered this time include approval of a new drug to treat advanced breast cancer and a study on post-traumatic stress disorder in cancer survivors.

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Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk: My Experience and What I Learned

On genetic testing for inherited mutations that increase risk for cancer.Earlier this year I made the decision to undergo genetic testing to find out whether I’ve inherited any genetic mutation that could increase my risk for a new breast cancer diagnosis or for other cancers.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was only in my mid-thirties. But that was in 1993 and, for a number of reasons, including having no family history of breast or ovarian cancer, I’ve never had genetic testing before. However, I have followed developments in genetic testing for cancer risk with interest over the last several years. And I’ve been struck by how much we’re learning and how much more we seem to know about inherited cancer risk than was the case maybe even five or ten years ago.

Here’s what the experience was like for me and some of the helpful things I learned in the process. Continue reading

5 Cancer Research Stories Worth Following – Summer 2017

A look at several of the most interesting cancer research stories for Summer 2017What’s the latest news in cancer research that stands out the most? In this post, I’ll briefly review several of the most interesting cancer research stories that have been in the news this summer.

These are a few of the recent stories that seem to have the greatest potential impact, at least from my perspective, and that I know I’ll want to follow as they develop further.

Topics covered this time include the first approval of a cancer drug based on a biomarker rather than the where in the body the cancer started, as well as a first approval for an innovative therapy in which a patient’s immune system cells are genetically engineered to attack cancer.

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Blogging Challenge: My Answers to 10 Random Questions About Cancer

A summer blogging challengeIn this post, I’m taking up a summer blogging challenge posed by Nancy at Nancy’s Point to answer ten random questions about cancer that she has put together.

Nancy has shared her answers to the ten questions, and asked other bloggers and readers to join in and answer as many as they like. It sounds like a great opportunity for all of who read or write blogs to get to know each other a little better!

So, here are my answers to Nancy’s ten random questions about cancer. Continue reading

5 Cancer Research Stories Worth Following – Spring 2017

Cancer research stories worth following this spring include a study on the benefits of immunotherapy for breast cancer patients.What’s the latest news in cancer research that we need to know about? In this post, I’ll briefly review several of the most interesting cancer research stories that have been in the news this spring.

These are a few of the recent stories that seem to have the greatest potential impact, at least from my perspective, and that I know I’ll want to follow as they develop further.

Topics covered this time include studies reported at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research on the use of PARP inhibitors to treat different types of cancer, as well as a study on the benefits of immunotherapy for triple negative breast cancer.

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Charity Review: Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation

Reviewing the charity, Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation.One of the best ways to help in the fight against cancer is by making a donation in support of cancer research. But deciding which organizations will make the most effective use of our contributions requires a little homework.

I’ve shared my ideas in earlier posts on contributing to breast cancer charities and focusing on charities that support cancer research specifically. This post is the third in a series in which we’re taking a closer look at individual charities that focus primarily on cancer research.

When it comes to donations, making a choice based on value for our money means considering several factors for any individual charity. These include how the organization uses the money it raises, its financial health, and how transparent it is about what has been accomplished with the contributions it has received. In this post, we’ll review the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, including its mission and approach, history, notable financial facts and results reporting. Continue reading

Three Year Anniversary for After Twenty Years Cancer Research Blog

Celebrating 3 years of blogging about cancer research from the patient perspective.It really is hard to believe that it’s been over three years since I started this blog in the late summer of 2013.

I have learned so much in the process of reading and writing about developments in cancer research from the patient perspective. And it’s been wonderful to connect with so many readers and fellow bloggers.

I’ve been reflecting a bit on starting the blog, how it’s been going and what comes next, and I’d like to share some of those thoughts in this post.

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Cancer Risk and the Environment

The development of cancer is heavily influenced by external factors, a recent study finds.About a year ago, a study published in the journal Science received a lot of attention and comment because it seemed to suggest that most cancers were mainly the result of random mutations or “bad luck.”  I wrote about the study, including what commenters identified as some of its major weaknesses, in a post last January on Cancer Risk and “Bad Luck.”

A new study by a different team, published recently in Nature, revisits the question. It expands on the analysis in last year’s study and examines the question using several different approaches. It arrives at the conclusions that the development of cancer is heavily influenced by external factors. Continue reading

Camp Lejeune, Environmental Toxins And Breast Cancer Risk

What are the links between environmental toxins and breast cancer risk?It’s recognized that environmental factors play a role in the development of many types of cancer, including breast cancer.  But, unfortunately, there are more questions than there are answers right now about the extent of that role. Studies so far have not been able to clarify how and to what extent exposures to harmful substances in the environment increase our risk for breast cancer.

An opportunity to gain some insight on this issue could potentially come from a study now underway of male breast cancer and exposure to contaminated drinking water at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.  Results from the study are expected some time this year.

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5 Cancer Research Stories Worth Following – Spring 2015

Cancer research news in Spring 2015 included clinical trial results for immune system therapies presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.What’s exciting in cancer research right now?  In this post, I’ll briefly review several notable cancer research stories that have come out this Spring.

These are a few of the recent stories that seem to have the greatest potential impact, at least from my perspective, and that I know I’ll want to follow as they develop further.

Therapies that boost the immune system’s ability to fight cancer continued to figure highly in cancer research news this Spring, including news from the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). Continue reading