University of Pennsylvania Health System

Focus on Cancer

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Celebrating a Cancer-versary

Wedding anniversaries, birthdays, remembering the day you first did something special… these anniversaries are annual reminders of special dates, cherished memories, or proud accomplishments.

However, for people with cancer, there are dates they might want to forget-getting a diagnosis, experiencing a first treatment, or getting bad news.

In this blog, Carolyn Vachani, RN, MSN, discusses her own “cancerversary” and how she faces the annual reminder of her cancer diagnosis.

How do you cope with your own cancerversary?

Read more about Carolyn and her story here.

Dress In Blue Day for Colon Cancer Awareness

This blog post was written by the Colon Cancer Alliance. The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) is a community that provides hope and support to patients and their families, while saving lives through screening, access, awareness, advocacy and research.

Why should you wear blue? That’s the question the Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) wants communities, businesses and individuals across the country (and even the world) to answer during its 5th annual Dress in Blue Day™ program on Friday, March 1st.

The CCA’s National Dress in Blue Day takes place every year on the first Friday in March as the official kickoff to National Colorectal Cancer Month. The program promotes awareness of colon cancer, encourages people to get their colon checked and ultimately, is working to put an end to this often preventable disease. On this special day, thousands of people throughout the United States will be showing their support by dressing in blue and talking to people about colon cancer and screening.
“Support for Dress in Blue Day has grown tremendously since we took this program to the national level in 2009,” said Andrew Spiegel, CEO of the CCA. “Each year, we are inspired to hear about more and more communities, individuals and businesses who are taking great strides to support Dress in Blue Day. Our goal is to have the entire country going blue so everyone knows that this a cancer they can do something about – whether it’s by wearing blue, holding an event or taking charge of their health by talking to their doctor.”

Facts About Colon Cancer

Currently, colon cancer affects 1 in 20 people.

More than 143,000 Americans will be diagnosed with the disease this year and 51,690 people will lose their battle with the disease.

But there is good news: Colon cancer is often beatable when detected and treated in its early stages or can be prevented altogether when polyps are removed before they develop into cancer. Dress in Blue Day works to make sure everyone knows this – encouraging local communities, businesses and the general public to support awareness of colon cancer by dressing in blue and hosting educational events.

For more information about Dress in Blue Day and to access these free resources, visit www.dressinblueday.com. And this March, help us spread colon cancer awareness – it could save someone’s life!

Register for the 2013 CANPrevent Colorectal Cancer Conference

The CANPrevent Colorectal Cancer Conference is free and open to the public. Come and learn the latest information on colorectal screening and managing the genetic risk for you and your family. Gain knowledge and take action by getting important information from our experts. Breakfast will be provided.

Date: Friday, March 22
Time: 7:30 am to 10:30 am
Location: Hilton Hotel, 4200 City Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Register for this free event here.

Register for the 2013 Focus on Colorectal Cancer Conference

TheFocus On Colorectal Cancer conference dedicated to colorectal cancer education. Come and learn the latest information on colorectal screening and managing the genetic risk for you and your family. Gain knowledge and take action by getting important information from our experts. Breakfast will be provided.

Date: Friday, March 22
Time: 7:30 am to 2 pm
Location: Hilton Hotel, 4200 City Avenue, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Register for this free event here.

 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Healthiest Things to Eat to Prevent Lung Cancer

February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. Here at the Abramson Cancer Center, we are committed to providing outstanding comprehensive cancer care and cancer information including ways to prevent cancer. Further, cancer researchers at Penn are at the forefront of learning new ways to prevent and detect cancer.

In this article, dietitian Carly Roop, RD, discusses foods that can lower your risk of lung cancer. Carly is a registered dietitian at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center (JKCC). She provides nutrition education and support to patients while addressing nutrition-related side effects from chemotherapy and radiation. Dietitians at JKCC provide educational nutrition programs that are open to patients as well as the community.


What is the healthiest thing to eat when trying to prevent lung cancer?

When thinking about cancer prevention, many people want to know, "What is the healthiest thing to eat?" 

The American Institute of Cancer Research found compelling evidence that a diet high in fruit can lower lung cancer risk as much as 36% of those U.S. lung cancer cases not caused by tobacco. The AICR recommends eating at least 5 servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day!

This may seem hard to do, but the AICR makes it easy by suggesting you rethink your plate.

As a dietitian, my mantra is food first; there is convincing evidence that high-dose supplements of beta-carotene can actually increase lung cancer risk. Therefore, it is better to get your beta-carotene from vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potato.

In the food form, the phytochemical beta-carotene neutralizes free radicals, which may damage cells. The anti-cancer compounds found in cabbage and kale such as indole-3-carbinoles and isothiocyanates have also been linked to a lower incidence of lung cancer.

Sauerkraut anyone?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Get Answers to Your Questions about Pancreatic Cancer

Jeffery Drebin, MD
On Wednesday, February 27, from 4 to 6 pm, Penn Medicine's pancreatic cancer experts will be answering your questions about pancreatic cancer and pancreatic cancer treatment and research.

Submit your questions to Penn Medicine's James Metz, assistant professor of radiation oncology, and Jeffery Drebin, the John Rhea Barton Professor of Surgery, and chairman of surgery at Penn.

They will be conducting an online video chat this Wednesday, 2/27 from 4 to 6 pm to answer your questions about pancreatic cancer treatment.

James Metz, MD
Submit your questions about pancreatic cancer and pancreatic cancer treatment here. 

About Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is cancer that develops within the pancreas, the gland about six inches long that is responsible for making hormones, including the enzymes responsible for the digestion of food and control of blood sugar.

Pancreatic cancer develops when cells within the pancreas begin to grow out of control. It may spread, or metastasize, to nearby lymph nodes and organs such as the liver and lungs.

As the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States, pancreatic cancer remains one of the most deadly forms of cancer. More than 90 percent of patients die within the first year of diagnosis. Recent advancements have had little impact, and a new approach is desperately needed.

About Pancreatic Cancer Treatment at Penn Medicine

At Penn Medicine, patients with pancreatic cancer receive their care from a multidisciplinary team of nationally recognized experts in the diagnosis, treatment and research of gastrointestinal cancer.

Penn Medicine's multidisciplinary approach to cancer diagnosis and treatment provides better outcomes and gives patients access to the most advanced treatment, surgical techniques and clinical trials.

The Stand Up to Cancer Dream Team at Penn is actively researching better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat pancreatic cancer. Together, members of the Pancreatic Cancer Dream Team are working to translate scientific breakthroughs into new treatment options faster than ever before. Their research focuses on developing tests using advanced imaging technology to understand pancreatic cancer cells and developing new, personalized pancreatic cancer treatments based on their research.

Learn more about pancreatic cancer treatment at Penn.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Help Prevent Cancer With These Lifestyle Modifications


Some risk factors for cancer are modifiable, meaning they are things you can change. Modifiable risks for cancer include smoking and using tobacco products, being obese or overweight, not eating a healthy diet or using a tanning bed.

Some risk factors for cancer you cannot change, such as your family history; these are called unmodifiable risk factors. Some risk factors increase the likelihood of one type of cancer, while others can increase the risk of several types.

A tool like Oncolink’s “What’s My Risk” is designed to identify your personal risk factors, both modifiable and unmodifiable, and help you focus on those you can change, providing resources and tips to make those changes.

Lifestyle Changes that Decrease Cancer Risk

Regardless of your personal risk, age, gender and race, there are some modifiable risks - risks that increase as a result of lifestyle - you can change or modify today to help prevent cancer.
  • Stop smoking or use tobacco. Need help quitting? Learn about Penn Medicine's Comprehensive Smoking Treatment Program.
  • Use sunscreen. Stay sun safe with these tips.
  • Do not use tanning booths.
  • Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity has been linked to an increased risk for cancer.
  • Do not drink alcohol, or limit alcohol use.
  • Limit sexual partners. The sexually transmitted disease, HPV, has been shown to increase risk for head and neck cancer, as well as cervical cancer.  
February is Cancer Prevention Month, and this month we are featuring blogs all about cancer prevention. "Like" the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania on Facebook to get cancer prevention tips, cancer education and cancer research news throughout the whole year.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Create Your Personal Emergency Kit


 

What if something happened to you tomorrow? Would your loved ones know where you keep your important papers, information about accounts, how to access your phone?

Join Oncolink TODAY at Noon ET for a webchat about planning for the unexpected.

There is more to consider than just the legal aspects of getting your affairs in order.

Get prepared! You never know when you or your family may need it.

Register for this OncoLink webchat here. 

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Cancer-fighting Foods: Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

The evidence is clear that maintaining a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes/beans plays a large role in cancer prevention. Unfortunately, on cold January days a salad or a homemade smoothie can seem less than appealing, which is why I propose making your own soup.

One cup of soup can provide 1 to 2 servings of cancer-fighting vegetables that can help you warm up from the cold and fill up, which helps to prevent overeating and weight gain. I recommend making your own soup, the canned, frozen, or packaged varieties found in the grocery store can often have as much as a 700 mg of sodium per serving. This is a ¼ of your daily recommended intake of salt in one cup of soup!

There are low sodium varieties on the shelves as well as low sodium vegetable or chicken stock if sodium is a concern of yours. If you have an immersion blender, vegetable soup can be a one pot production that requires little chopping ahead of time, which is my kind of cooking!

This is one of my favorite soups to make; all you need is one pot, 5 ingredients and an immersion blender! Make sure you subscribe to this blog, and "like" our Facebook page for more cancer-fighting recipes.

Roasted Cauliflower Curry Soup

• 1/4 cup raw sunflower kernels (optional)
• 3 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk, divided
• 3 teaspoons mild curry powder, divided, more to taste
• 1 cup chopped yellow onion
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 5 cups (about 1 pound) cauliflower florets

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a medium bowl, toss sunflower kernels with 1 teaspoon almond milk and 1 teaspoon curry powder. Spread out on a small parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake, tossing once or twice, until toasted and fragrant, 6 to 8 minutes; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 cup almond milk in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 10 minutes. Add cauliflower, remaining 2 teaspoons curry powder and almond milk, cover and simmer until cauliflower is very tender, about 40 minutes.

Taste and adjust seasoning with more curry powder if you like. Use an emulsion or handheld blender to puree until smooth, or transfer to a blender and puree until smooth.

Garnish each bowl with sunflower seeds and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 140 calories, 7g total fat, 200mg sodium, 6g dietary fiber, 5g sugar, 6g protein

Monday, February 18, 2013

Exercise and the Prevention of Chronic Disease, Cancer

February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. Here at the Abramson Cancer Center, we are committed to providing outstanding comprehensive cancer care and cancer information including ways to prevent cancer. Further, cancer researchers at Penn are at the forefront of learning new ways to prevent and detect cancer. 
exericse-and-prevention-of-chronic-disease

Exercise and maintaining a healthy weight is one way a person can decrease their risk of cancer and aid in the prevention of chronic disease.

A person’s risk for developing cancer is based on several risk factors for cancer. However, just because someone has one or more risk factors for cancer does not mean they will develop cancer.

Exercise, Prevention of Chronic Disease Including Cancer

While cancer research has come a long way to help identify ways in which people can prevent certain types of cancer, cancer researchers are still looking for new, effective cancer prevention strategies.Obesity, or being overweight has been shown to increase cancer risk. Cancer researchers at Penn Medicine are testing to see if women who are at higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer during their lifetimes may be able to reduce their risk with exercise.

Research has already proven that female athletes have reduced estrogen levels as a result of exercise. There is also evidence that lower estrogen levels can reduce breast cancer risk over a woman’s lifetime. The hypothesis of the study is that if estrogen levels can be reduced through exercise, the risk of a future breast cancer diagnosis may be lower as well.

February is Cancer Prevention Month, and this month we are featuring blogs all about cancer prevention. "Like" the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania on Facebook to get cancer prevention tips, cancer education and cancer research news throughout the whole year.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Yoga for Patients with Cancer



As a patient undergoing proton therapy for prostate cancer I have found the Yoga program to be most beneficial during my treatment process. Yoga with Tali has been an invigorating and helpful experience. Tali’s individual attention to individual medical and physical issues is most welcomed and appreciated. Her knowledge and sensitivity in providing the best of Yoga’s exercises, breathing techniques and meditation skills is evident. For men in the prostate program you can learn much to lessen the potential for incontinence issues and other matters while you undergo treatment. Yoga with Tali is something you should experience during your treatment process. It is a free program offered by HUP to patients and caregivers.- John R. Vincenti, Patient

Yoga Classes at the Abramson Cancer Center


Relax and renew the body, mind and spirit with free yoga sessions at the Abramson Cancer Center.

We are pleased to announce that free yoga sessions will be at the Abramson Cancer Center every Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 3 pm in the Patient and Family Services Conference Room at the Perelman Center.

Also, private one on one sessions are being held on Wednesdays by appointment

All levels are welcome from beginners with no experience to those who have practiced yoga for years.

This is a very gentle and supportive class designed to support patients currently in treatment as well as post treatment.

Caregivers are also welcome.

Please contact Fern Nibauer-Cohen at 215-662-3919 for more information.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Schedule Your Mammogram at Penn Medicine

Mammogram-at-Penn-Medicine
February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. Here at the Abramson Cancer Center, we are committed to providing outstanding comprehensive cancer care and cancer information including ways to prevent cancer. Further, cancer researchers at Penn are at the forefront of learning new ways to prevent and detect cancer.

In this article, we discuss mammograms. And how a new type of mammogram offered at Penn may improve accuracy.


The mammogram remains the most important screening device in the detection of breast cancer and it likely saves thousands of lives every year.

Beginning at the age of 40, all women should have an annual mammogram to check for breast cancer. Depending on a woman’s personal risk, her physician may recommend she begin annual mammograms before the age of 40.

A revolutionary way to perform mammograms combining traditional mammography with 3D technology, called digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), allows for more accurate pictures of breast health.

Like traditional mammogram, the breast is compressed for about four to five seconds while a series of low-dose X-rays are taken to capture high-resolution images of the breast. These images are then digitally “stacked” to construct a total 3D image of the breast. This 3D image allows radiologists to scroll through, and “peel apart” the layers of the breast to view the breast tissue at different depths and angles. Radiologists can also magnify images to reveal minute details.

Women who get their mammograms using the new DBT technology may find they are called less often for follow-up visits and more tests.

Learn more about DBT at Penn, and how you can schedule your DBT mammogram at Penn.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day Chocolate Recipe

Valentine’s Day is known for gifts of flowers and a box of chocolates. If you are like so many on Valentine's Day, you are thinking about a special dinner and a special Valentine's Day Chocolate Recipe.

The cocoa bean itself contains minerals, vitamins and powerful antioxidants.

In fact, the cocoa bean has more antioxidants than green tea, black tea and blueberries. Here is the catch. Most cocoa powers are overly processed and have lost much of the antioxidant capacity or they are a sprinkling within high saturated fat foods like butter, lard or sugars. If you love chocolate but would like to conserve on calories, here is a delicious dessert alternative.

Yes, this recipe does have cholesterol and sugar. But it can be made with TLC (tender loving care) and the small serving size if savored and eaten mindfully, can provide more pleasure than a box of chocolates. So choose quality over quantity this Valentine’s Day.
Valentines-Day-Chocolate-Recipe

Chocolate Pot De Crème 

Makes 6 – 3 oz servings
  • ¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa power, sifter
  • ½ cup plus 1 Tbs. skim milk
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg white
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for sprinkling

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a shallow baking pan with a cloth towel, and set aside.

Place cocoa power in a medium mixing bowl.

In another bowl, combine skim milk and evaporated milk.

Slowly whisk about 3 tablespoons milk mixture into cocoa powder until it forms a thick paste. Whisk in remaining milk mixture until thoroughly combined, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, egg white, granulated sugar, and salt, and whisk together until thoroughly combined. Whisk in cocoa-milk mixture until completely combined.

Divide the mixture among six 3-ounce pot de crème molds or six 3-ounce ramekins, and place in a prepared baking; fill the baking pan halfway with hot water.

Transfer to the oven to bake until the puddings are set and leave no residue on your finger when lightly touched, about 25 minutes. Remove the baking plan from the oven, then remove the puddings from the water bath. Transfer the puddings to a wire rack, and let cool 20 to 30 minutes.

When ready to serve, dust the puddings with confectioners’ sugar.

Serve warm.

Source: www.marthastewart.com
Per serving: 64 calories, 3 g fat, 72 mg. cholesterol, 4 g carbohydrate, 134 mg. sodium, 5 g protein

Compare to: Chocolate Mousse Cake (1 slice)
490 calories, 35 g fat, 150 mg. cholesterol, 41 g carbohydrate, 210 mg. sodium, 7 g protein

Debra DeMille, MS, RD, CSO is a nutritional counselor at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center. Debra has worked at Pennsylvania Hospital since 1988 with the last 12 years specializing in oncology. Debra guides individuals receiving chemotherapy and radiation as well as addressing survivorship issues including the use of integrative therapies.


She conducts cooking programs and group counseling sessions for cancer survivors.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Know how Knowing Your BRCA Status May Help Prevent Cancer

February is Cancer Prevention Awareness Month. Here at the Abramson Cancer Center, we are committed to providing outstanding comprehensive cancer care and cancer information including ways to prevent cancer. Further, cancer researchers at Penn are at the forefront of learning new ways to prevent and detect cancer.

In this article, we discuss breast cancer, mutation of genes, specifically, the BRCA mutation, and how knowing your own BRCA status could impact the health care decisions you make in the future. 

BRCA-Gene-Mutation

BRCA1 and BRCA2 stand for breast cancer 1 and breast cancer 2. The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are present in all individuals. Everyone has two copies of each of these genes - one from each parent.

Mutations of genes are like spelling errors in the genetic code of a gene. Those who have a gene mutation in either the BRCA1 or BRCA 2 gene are at higher than average risk for developing certain cancers.

The BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes are responsible for the repair of certain types of DNA errors that may occur each time a human cell makes a copy of itself. Without a gene mutation, functional BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes help ensure the stability of cell's genetic material, or DNA, and help prevent uncontrolled cell growth. BRCA1 and BRCA2 can be genes causing cancer if they have a gene mutation.

Having mutations of genes, or an inherited gene mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 does not mean a person is guaranteed to develop cancer, but the chances are significantly higher than for someone who does not have a gene mutation.

The lifetime risk of developing certain types of cancer is greatly increased for women and men who inherit a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

Women and men who test positive for a BRCA gene mutation may refer to themselves as “previvors.”

A previvor is a survivor of a predisposition to cancer. Previvors have unique needs from people with cancer such as active surveillance and screening tests and often need to make treatment decisions based on their risk for inherited cancer.

Increasingly, women at high risk for breast cancer are choosing prophylactic mastectomy to greatly reduce their chance of getting breast cancer. While prophylactic mastectomy stories often make the front page, many women at increased risk for breast cancer choose other methods of managing their risk like enhanced breast cancer screening or risk-reducing medications. Jessica Long, CGC, a genetic counselor at Penn’s Basser Research Center for BRCA explains that “this is generally a very personal decision for each woman, even within the same family.”

Men and women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation may:
  • Choose to start screening for breast cancer at age 25
  • Receive specialized breast screening that includes regular mammography and breast MRI
  • Participate in screening studies that offer cutting-edge technologies
  • Be screened for ovarian cancer
  • May choose to have ovaries or healthy breast tissue removed to reduce risk of developing cancer
  • Also be candidates for other specialized types of enhanced screening
  • Receive personalized medical recommendations for overall health

Mutations of Genes, and Cancer Research at Penn

The Basser Research Center for BRCA supports research on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, harmful forms of which are linked to greatly increased risks of developing breast and ovarian cancer. The Center is named in honor of Mindy Gray’s sister, Faith Basser, who died of ovarian cancer at age 44.

The Basser Research Center was established with a $25 million gift to the University of Pennsylvania from alumni Mindy and Jon Gray.

Emphasizing outreach, prevention, early detection, treatment and survivorship, the Basser Research Center will contribute to all stages of research and clinical care relevant to BRCA-related cancers.

Learn more about the Basser Research Center.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Partners in Cancer Care and Life

If there is one thing Jill Stopfer, MS, knows for sure it is this: She didn’t win her husband over with her cooking.

Jill, a certified genetics counselor and founding member of the cancer genetics program at the Abramson Cancer Center, met her husband, Director of the Center for Genetics and Complex Traits, Tim Rebbeck, PhD, while completing their studies in cancer genetics and hypertension genetics, respectively, in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

“Tim had a pot-luck dinner at his house one night, and I thought I would make pop-overs to bring,” remembers Jill. “They were easy and I made them all the time, so I knew they’d be a hit with everyone.”

Unfortunately, something went awfully wrong with her recipe, and her famous pop-overs looked and felt more like hockey pucks than food.

“I brought them to the dinner as a joke, and we all got a laugh out of it,” says Jill. Tim was so impressed with her cooking, he placed the pop-over on his shelf for everyone to admire.

Classroom Crush

Like so many classroom crushes, Jill and Tim’s began with teasing.

“I was from South Dakota, and she was from New York, so we liked to pick on each other,” says Tim. “In terms of differences, there couldn’t be more!”

“We both definitely had really different backgrounds and upbringing, but that’s part of why we find each other so interesting,” says Jill.

The couple married, and moved to the Philadelphia area shortly after their graduation.

“Within a month, we’d married, moved across the country and starting working here,” says Jill. “It was a great way to start our new life together.”

Similar Interests…and Careers

While they both have very serious and sometimes challenging careers, they find support through each other.

“We’re both really engaged in what we do, and are passionate about our careers,” says Tim. “Understanding each other’s work is helpful when it comes to supporting each other, and inspiring each other; we both really love what we do.”

“Because I work with cancer patients, or people who are going through cancer genetics testing, and he works on the research side of cancer genetics, we both enjoy hearing about each other’s experiences,” says Jill. “Sometimes I share with patients what he is doing in the lab, and vice versa.”

Outside of work, the couple likes to spend time with their two daughters skiing, listening to live music and enjoying outdoor activities.

“We love to ski and listen to live music,” says Jill. “I still find him just as fascinating as the day we met.”

This year, Jill and Tim will celebrate their 22nd anniversary.

And as for the pop-over-turned-hockey-puck?

“We still have that hockey puck,” says Tim. “It’s even in a special, crystal dish!”

Learn more about Jill and Tim's work at the Basser Research Center for BRCA.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Chemoprevention for Breast Cancer


Rebecca Mueller, MS, is a certified genetics counselor at the Basser Center for BRCA. In this blog post, Rebecca discusses chemoprevention, and chemopreventive medications currently used to prevent breast cancer.



There are certain medications that can help prevent breast cancer in women who are at high risk. Chemoprevention is taking a medicine in an attempt to lower cancer risk. Chemopreventive medications can provide additional choices for high-risk women.

Tamoxifen is medication that has been used for more than 20 years to treat women with breast cancer. Usage is also associated with reduced numbers of breast cancer occurrences in the opposite breast. A national study of more than 13,000 healthy women at increased risk determined that tamoxifen can lower the risk of developing breast cancer by 49 percent.

Raloxifene (also called Evista) is a medication shown to have positive estrogen-like effects on bone density and cholesterol levels that also decreases breast cancer risk.

Both medications have risks that should be discussed with your doctor.

It is likely that eventually there will be more medications available for chemoprevention, so staying in touch with your medical team is crucial. It is important to know all current alternatives including the risks and benefits of each before making a decision about chemoprevention.

Basser-Center-Penn-BRCA-gene-mutation

About the Basser Center for BRCA

The Basser Research Center for BRCA is located within Penn's Abramson Cancer Center at the Perelman School of Medicine. The new center supports research on the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, harmful forms of which are associated with greatly increased risks of breast and ovarian cancer development. The center is being named in honor of Mindy Gray's family, the Bassers.

The goal is to learn from today's patients to impact care for generations of cancer patients to come. The Basser Research Center infuses powerful resources to support cancer care and research at every stage of the cancer diagnosis:
  • Communication
  • Outreach & Risk Assessment
  • Prevention
  • Early Detection
  • Treatment
  • Survivorship
Learn more about the Basser Center for BRCA


February is Cancer Prevention Month, and this month we are featuring blogs all about cancer prevention. "Like" the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania on Facebook to get cancer prevention tips, cancer education and cancer research news throughout the whole year.
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