Wednesday, December 14, 2011


One of my medical news feeds comes from Medical News Today.  Just like so many of the breast cancer "foundations" have similar names, a bunch of these publications sound alike.  For me, everything is starting to turn into what you might see in a jello bowl (IF you are old enough to have actually boiled the water and mixed the jello rather than buying those 6 packs).  Everything is swirling together.  The journals, the organizations and whateverthehellelse... it's a swirl of colors some of them are more prominent than others.  Pink seems to dominate the damn bowl.  Whatever....

Today's treat adds radiation to the "cognitive" list and IF I'm reading correctly, may even call tamoxifen out and shove its role to the sidelines with the defensive line while the offense is on the field (with Eli Manning?) scrambling for that "Hail Mary" pass.  Can't be relied upon to provide accurate information, prefer all to read and get their own "take away" from the article.  I reprint lots of this stuff because I don't know which websites require login information and although all of the sites I use are free, I believe in making life as simple as possible for the people who are sharing time with me.

I'm pretty sure the next person who tells me, "I just don't see it?" is going to have the pleasure of explaining how pepper spray from a pink canister feels in their eyes.  Just fantasizin' out loud.....

From MNT-Some new information.  Or, some fairly recently information that's newly publicized.....  

Cognitive Problems Still Evident Several Years After Breast Cancer Treatment
Main Category: Breast Cancer
Also Included In: Neurology / Neuroscience
Article Date: 13 Dec 2011 - 3:00 PST

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A new analysis has found that breast cancersurvivors may experience problems with certain mental abilities several years after treatment, regardless of whether they were treated with chemotherapy plus radiation or radiation only. Published early online inCANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the study indicates that there may be common and treatment-specific ways that cancertherapies negatively affect cancer survivors' mental abilities. 

Previous research suggests that chemotherapy can cause problems with memory and concentration in breast cancer survivors. To compare the effects of different types of cancer treatment on such mental abilities, Paul Jacobsen, PhD, of the Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, and his colleagues examined 62 breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy plus radiation, 67 patients treated with radiation only, and 184 women with no history of cancer. Study participants completed neuropsychological assessments six months after completing treatment and again 36 months later, which is further out from the end of treatment than most previous studies of this type. 

The study confirmed that chemotherapy can cause cognitive problems in breast cancer survivors that persist for three years after they finish treatment. In addition, the investigators found that breast cancer survivors who had been treated with radiation (and not chemotherapy) often experienced problems similar to those in breast cancer survivors treated with both chemotherapy and radiation. They did not find that hormonal therapy (such as tamoxifen) caused cognitive difficulties. 

"These findings suggest that the problems some breast cancer survivors have with their mental abilities are not due just to the administration of chemotherapy," said Dr. Jacobsen. "Our findings also provide a more complete picture of the impact of cancer treatment on mental abilities than studies that did not follow patients as long or look at mental abilities in breast cancer survivors who had not been treated with chemotherapy," he added. 

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