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Posts tagged: Breast Cancer

The Mammography Study Heard ‘Round the World – Dr. Don Wells

For a long time now we have been told that routine mammograms are in invaluable tool in reducing deaths related to breast cancer. But a study recently published in the British Medical Journal calls that belief into question. So is the study right? UT Health radiology expert Dr. Don Wells gets to the bottom of the controversial study on mammography in the latest post to HealthConnection.TV.

Explain the recently published study in the British Medical Journal that calls into question the value of mammograms. Why is this particular study significant? (first question)

We have been told for decades that women should have annual mammograms. So why should we pay attention to this study? (skip to 1:00)

Is there anything about this study, its results or the way that it was conducted that causes you concern or should we take it at face value? (skip to 1:32)

Based on this study, is it fair to say that some breast cancers are being treated through surgery, chemotherapy or radiation that don’t need such aggressive treatment? (skip to 2:47)

What has led to over-treatment of breast cancers? (skip to 3:36)

What possible downside is there to finding breast cancers earlier? (skip to 4:14)

So how do women and their doctors decide what the best treatment is for a diagnosis of breast cancer? (skip to 4:48)

The study dealt with screening mammograms. What about diagnostic mammograms in which a woman may find a lump and her doctor needs to know what it is? (skip to 6:04)

What advice would you give a woman who hears about this study with respect to the value of mammograms? (skip to 6:48)

How do you think this research study may affect women’s health care in the future? What changes might we see? (skip to 8:00)

Radiation Therapy for Cancer – Dr. Lewis G. Smith

It has been known since the 19th century that radiation will kill cancer cells. The challenge has been to use radiation effectively while doing minimum damage to healthy tissue. Advances in radiation therapy technology have rendered radiation a much more effective weapon in the battle against many cancers.

What is radiation oncology? (first question)

How does radiation kill cancer cells? (skip to 1:26)

How effective is radiation in treating cancer? (skip to 3:10)

What types of cancers are typically treated with radiation? (skip to 4:27)

How is the decision made to use radiation, chemotherapy or both in treating cancer? (skip to 5:22)

How has radiation therapy improved? (skip to 6:20)

What are the potential side effects to treating cancer with radiation? (skip to 9:53)

The U.T. Health Science Center at Tyler has a new linear accelerator which delivers radiation treatment to patients. How is it different from most linear accelerators? (skip to 13:08)

What does the future hold for radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer? (skip to 16:34)

Breast Cancer: Knowledge is Your Power – Dr. Ed Sauter

When it comes to the subject of breast cancer, the more you know about it the better able you are to deal with it if if happens and the better able you are to avoid it altogether. In this post to HealthConnection.TV, UT Health Northeast cancer expert Dr. Ed Sauter answers questions on things you should know about breast cancer.

Do we know what actually causes breast cancer? (first question)

What are the risk factors that may increase the likelihood that a woman could develop breast cancer? (skip to 1:12)

As compared to other risk factors, how much do genetic factors influence a woman’s likelihood of developing breast cancer? (skip to 2:17)

What is the link between hormones and breast cancer? (skip to 2:50)

Are there exposures in our environment that may increase the risk for breast cancer? (skip to 3:29)

What choices can a woman make to reduce her risk for developing breast cancer? (skip to 4:15)

Why is alcohol consumption a risk factor for breast cancer? (skip to 5:11)

Beyond a healthy diet, what about eating specific foods, such as soy, nuts, tea, berries, grains and foods that contain high amounts of antioxidant phytochemicals as a means to reduce breast cancer risk? (skip to 5:40)

Bottom line — what is the best overall strategy for reducing breast cancer risk? (skip to 7:27)

Breast Cancer Surgery – Dr. Ed Sauter

Surgery is more often than not a front-line attack against a diagnosis of breast cancer. But what type of surgery performed by what type of surgeon? These are the questions addressed by the U.T. Health Science Center at Tyler’s Dr. Ed Sauter in this post to HealthConnection.TV.

Why is surgery the first line of attack against breast cancer? (first question)

What are the surgical options for treating breast cancer? (skip to 0:31)

What is the difference between ‘mastectomy’ and ‘radical mastectomy?’ (skip to 1:07)

If breast cancer surgery becomes necessary, what are the advantages to having a surgeon who specializes in cancer? (skip to 1:55)

What factors influence a woman’s decision regarding her options for breast cancer surgery? (skip to 2:49)

Do surgery and radiation automatically go together in treating breast cancer? (skip to 3:31)

A growing number of women, especially younger women, are choosing to have both breasts removed as a preventive measure, even if only one breast is affected by cancer. What is driving this trend and is it a good idea? (skip to 3:58)

Some women who have a strong family history of breast cancer but no symptoms and no diagnosis of breast cancer themselves elect to have both breasts removed as a precaution against the disease. What are your thoughts on this? (skip to 5:11)

Is it better to wait until after breast cancer surgery before considering or beginning reconstruction? (skip to 6:22)

Do breast reconstruction or augmentation negatively impact the chance of detecting a new or recurring breast cancer? (skip to 7:18)

Is there anything a woman can do to reduce the likelihood of getting breast cancer? (skip to 8:39)

Are there lifestyle choices that are important with respect to avoiding breast cancer? (skip to 10:35)

The Diabetes Links – Dr. David Shafer

Diabetes is a very serious disease in and of itself. But it doesn’t stop there. Ongoing clinical research is revealing that diabetes has causal or complicating links to a range of other serious health problems including the most common cancers, hearing loss, dementia, heart attack and stroke. In the latest post to HealthConnection.TV, the U.T. Health Science Center at Tyler’s Dr. David Shafer answers questions on the diabetes links.

What is diabetes and why does there appear to be links between it and other serious diseases? (first question)

Are the links to other diseases equally attributable to Type I and Type II diabetes? (skip to 1:32)

What is the link between diabetes and heart attack or stroke? (skip to 3:23)

Why do people with diabetes have a greater risk of hearing loss? (skip to 4:18)

What is the connection between diabetes and cancer? (skip to 5:29)

Why would someone with diabetes be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease or dementia? (skip to 7:03)

What is the link between diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure)? (skip to 9:30)

Are these risks increased irrespective of how well diabetes is managed by the patient? (skip to 10:40)


Genetic Testing for Cancer – Dr. William Hyman

With advances made in recent years in understanding genetics, it is now possible to administer tests to help determine an individual’s susceptibility to cancer and to possibly ascertain the best courses of treatment for those that have certain cancers. But with this technology comes a list of questions regarding the timing, accuracy and even the ethics of testing individuals for susceptibility to disease. The U.T. Health Science Center’s Dr. William Hyman discusses these issues in this edition of Health Connection.

What is genetic or gene testing? (first question)

What is the relationship between genes and cancer? (skip to 0:31)

How are diseased cancer genes identified? (skip to 1:05)

How accurate is genetic testing as a predictor of cancer? (skip to 2:26)

What types of cancer susceptibility can be identified using genetic testing? (skip to 3:21)

Who should have genetic cancer testing done? (skip to 4:15)

How is genetic testing for cancer performed? (skip to 5:10)

What does the future hold of genetic testing as a tool to diagnose cancer? (skip to 5:44)

Are there ethical questions attendant to genetic testing? (skip to 6:40)