Research Summaries

Obesity Linked to Shorter Survival after Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer

JCO Research Round Up
October 21, 2013

A large, long-term follow-up study showed that people who were overweight or obese years before their pancreatic cancer diagnosis tend to have more advanced stage at diagnosis and shorter survival.  Prior research had suggested that having a higher body mass index (BMI) increases one’s risk of developing pancreatic cancer. This is the first prospective study to demonstrate that BMI also affects outcomes after diagnosis.

Most Women Have an Inaccurate Perception of Their Breast Cancer Risk

Breast Cancer Symposium
September 4, 2013

A large-scale survey of Long Island women who were having mammography to screen for breast cancer shows that the majority (more than 90%) either under- or overestimated their risk of developing this disease during their lifetime. Additionally, four out of every 10 women surveyed (40%) said they had never discussed their personal breast cancer risk with a doctor.

For Early-Stage Breast Cancer, Lymph Node Radiation Therapy Works as Well as Surgery with a Lower Risk of Lymphedema

ASCO Annual Meeting
June 3, 2013

Results from a recent study show that directing radiation therapy to the underarm lymph nodes works as well as removing the lymph nodes with surgery and is less likely to cause lymphedema for women with early-stage breast cancer. Lymphedema is the abnormal buildup of fluid (lymph) in the arm, causing swelling that can be painful and limit a person’s movement. It is a common side effect from both surgery and radiation therapy to the underarm lymph nodes. 

Two Commonly Used Paclitaxel Chemotherapy Schedules are Equally Effective for Early-Stage Breast Cancer, but One Has Fewer Side Effects

ASCO Annual Meeting
June 3, 2013

Women with higher-risk, early-stage breast cancer who received weekly chemotherapy with paclitaxel (Taxol) after surgery as part of a clinical trial lived for the same amount of time without the cancer returning as those who received higher doses of the same drug every two weeks (known as dose-dense therapy). However, the researchers found that the women who received chemotherapy every week experienced fewer and less serious treatment-related side effects.

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