December 13th, 2013
03:49 PM ET
Here's a roundup of five medical studies published this week that might give you new insights into your health, mind and body. Remember, correlation is not causation – so if a study finds a connection between two things, it doesn't mean that one causes the other.
This week kicked off the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, at which researchers presented information about the treatment, diagnosis, prevention and biology of this condition. There were several important studies presented there. FULL POST
July 4th, 2013
11:19 AM ET
When Angelina Jolie announced she had undergone a preventive double mastectomy, people asked why. The actress explained that she carried a mutation in a gene known as BRCA1 that increased her chances of developing breast and ovarian cancer.
Her operation opened the nation’s eyes to just how important it is to know about hereditary cancer. According to a new study, a majority of mothers who get genetic testing talk to their children about it, especially if these women get the good news that they don't have the gene mutations.
The research, conducted at Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, found that most mothers who were considering genetic testing for the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations already were thinking of talking with their children, especially if they had a family history of breast and ovarian cancer. They also noted that moms who did not discuss their test results with their children were more likely to regret that decision later on.
April 9th, 2013
12:41 PM ET
Although drinking alcohol is known to be a risk factor for developing breast cancer, a new study suggests that alcohol may not have any effect on whether you survive the disease. In fact, researchers found that being a moderate drinker may actually improve your chances of survival.
"The results of the study showed there was no adverse relationship between drinking patterns before diagnosis and breast cancer survival," said Polly Newcomb, director of the cancer prevention program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle and the lead author of the study.
"We actually found that relative to non-drinkers there were modestly improved survival rates for moderate alcohol intake."
February 26th, 2013
04:02 PM ET
Diagnosis of metastatic breast cancer in women younger than 40 has increased 2% a year, every year, from 1976 to 2009, according to a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The increase was seen in women aged 25 to 39 of all races and ethnicities, living in both rural and urban areas.
It's a devastating diagnosis, particularly because a woman younger than 40 who is diagnosed with breast cancer is more likely to have an aggressive form of the disease and face lower survival rates.
But for perspective, the overall population of women who are affected still remains small. FULL POST
November 14th, 2012
06:02 PM ET
While breast cancer is still the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among American women, the number of patients dying from the disease continues to decline. That's the good news; the bad news is that those statistics do not look so good for African-American women.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that large gaps between black and white women in terms of mortality and stage of diagnosis continue to persist.
Black women still have a disproportionately higher breast cancer death rate - 41% higher than white women. This finding is based on 2005 to 2009 data, showing that even though African-American women have a lower incidence of breast cancer, they are more likely to die of this disease than women in any other racial or ethnic group. FULL POST
October 26th, 2012
07:15 AM ET
Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as you might have gathered from pink ribbons and fundraising events in your community.
Many CNN commenters expressed skepticism about the so-called “pinkwashing” of October, echoing the sentiments of some women quoted in my recent article who don't feel connected to all of the awareness efforts.
October 25th, 2012
04:01 PM ET
Christina Applegate, star of the television comedy “Up All Night,” has talked openly about her experience with breast cancer.
Still, the actress wishes she hadn’t been outed to the world in 2008 before the anesthetic from her mastectomy surgery even wore off.
“The good thing is that we got the information out,” Applegate says in this month’s edition of MORE magazine. “But talking about the facts of the disease, I didn’t have to see what was going on with me. I think when it slowed down, all of that came crashing down.”
April 30th, 2012
05:59 PM ET
When to get a mammogram screening? Beginning at age 40? 50? Every year or every other year? Recommendations over the past few years have been varied depending on which medical organization you look at. Now two new studies suggest that women who are at increased risk for breast cancer will benefit from mammogram screenings every other year starting at age 40.
April 3rd, 2012
03:24 PM ET
New research reveals that women who take any type of hormone replacement therapy for longer than 10 years may increase their risk of breast cancer.
Some women still use hormone replacement therapy to help ease unpleasant symptoms of menopause, which can include hot flashes, night sweats and memory problems.
Estrogen plus progesterone is prescribed for women who still have a uterus because research has shown that progesterone decreases the risk for cancer in the uterus lining. Women who no longer have a uterus because they’ve had a hysterectomy are treated with estrogen-only therapy.
Over the past decade research has gone back and forth about these drugs, raising concerns about their impact on breast cancer and heart disease. A study published just last month suggested estrogen might be good for you in the short term, but a new study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research conference in Chicago this week is the first study to examine the effects of hormone replacement therapy for longer than 10 years.
January 4th, 2012
02:55 PM ET
A new report from the American Cancer Society shows that death rates from cancer have been going down since 1999, with the risk of death from cancer declining by more than 1% in both men and women. About 1 million deaths from cancer have been avoided since around 1991.
That sounds promising, but it's not as good as it could be, says Otis Brawley, chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society and CNNHealth.com conditions expert.
About this blog
Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.