Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Twice as many women with 'Angelina Jolie gene' should have OVARIES removed to reduce the risk of inherited cancer

Thousands more women should have their ovaries removed in their 40s to reduce the risk of cancer, experts say. 

Women are often advised to have their ovaries and fallopian tubes removed if they have a mutated BRCA gene - famously carried by Angelina Jolie - which significantly increases the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.

At present, women are offered an operation if they have a 10 per cent lifetime risk of getting ovarian cancer, which doctors calculate by testing their genes and examining their family history.

But experts now want to lower the threshold to 4 per cent, which would enable many more women to have the surgery.

A research team at St Mary's University of London and University College London calculates this would save many more lives - significantly reducing the risk of ovarian cancer, as well as bringing down numbers of breast cancer.

Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer among British women, with more than 7,000 diagnosed each year, and 4,300 women dying as a result.

Early diagnosis is key to survival, but three-quarters of women are diagnosed once the cancer has already spread, making it much harder to treat.

Removing ovaries before there is any sign of the cancer massively reduces the risk - but most doctors are reluctant to advise such a drastic step unless there is a significant risk that cancer will develop.

Nearly 4,000 women undergo surgery to extract their ovaries in Britain each year, many of them to lower their chance of developing ovarian cancer later in life. 

The procedure triggers early menopause, usually requiring a women to take hormone replacement therapy (HRT) pills until the normal menopause age in the early 50s.

Doctors often advise that a woman undergoes the procedure if they have a mutated BRCA1 gene, which raises the risk of ovarian cancer from 1.3 per cent to 39 per cent.

But recent advances in genetic science have unveiled a number of other genes which also increase ovarian cancer risk - including mutations of the BCRA2, RAD51C, RAD51D, and BRIP1 genes.

Interest in genetic risk soared after Miss Jolie, 41, famously chose to have her breasts, ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to reduce her cancer risk, after her mother died of ovarian cancer aged just 56.

Referrals for genetic testing doubled in Britain in the two months after Miss Jolie announced she underwent the first of her procedures in 2013.

But experts have said that the threshold for the procedure is too high - and more of those who test positive for the genes should be offered the operation. 

The researchers, whose work is published in the Journal of Medical Genetics, calculated the effectiveness of pre-emptive surgery for women aged at least 40 who had not yet gone through the menopause.

Using mathematical models, they calculated the benefits of the operation for different lifetime risk thresholds —from 2 per cent to 10 per cent — to work out the likelihood of developing ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and death from heart disease.
They calculated that pre-emptive surgery at a lifetime risk level of 4 per cent or greater would reduce risk and remain cost-effective, adding up to 43 extra days of life expectancy.

The team wrote: 'The shifting landscape resulting f4rom new genetic discoveries, better risk estimation and rapidly changing genetic testing technology has important implications and offers opportunities for cancer risk management and prevention.

'Our results are of major significance for clinical practice and risk management in view of declining genetic testing costs and the improvements in estimating an individual's ovarian cancer risk.

'With routine clinical testing for certain moderate penetrance genes around the corner and lack of an effective ovarian cancer screening programme, these findings are timely as they provide evidence supporting a surgical prevention strategy.'
They added: 'Such an approach can contribute to decreasing the number of ovarian cases and disease burden within the population.

'This is a key measure needed for moving towards a predictive, preventive, personalised and participatory medicine.'
Katherine Taylor, chief executive at the charity Ovarian Cancer Action, said: 'We welcome this study as it helps raise the profile of cancer prevention strategies for women at risk of ovarian cancer.

'It also demonstrates that it's vital for women to have informed discussions with their clinicians about their personal risk, options for preventing ovarian cancer - particularly for those who have an inherited predisposition - and the role of HRT after any surgery.

'The key is to know your options and risk so you can choose the path that's right for you.'
Annwen Jones, chief executive of Target Ovarian Cancer, said: 'These are positive results and any potential in reducing the number of people dying from ovarian cancer is to be welcomed.

'To gain these benefits, it will be important to see how the algorithms calculating the risk of ovarian cancer could be implemented in clinical practice.

'It is essential that any woman considering her risks has access to appropriate advice and support to understand the risks and benefits of preventative surgery.'

Kathy Bates gets her wish as stars celebrate top #LymphWalk fundraisers

Actor Billy Bob Thornton, actress Angela Bassett, Lymphatic Education and Research Network Executive Director William Repicci, actress Kathy Bates, President/CEO of The Krim Group Todd Krim, actresses Sarah Paulson and Holland Taylor and actor Cheyenne J
At last year’s cocktail party honoring top fundraisers for the CA Run/Walk to Fight Lymphedema & Lymphatic Diseases, Kathy Bates (spokesperson for the Lymphatic Education & Research Network – LE&RN) told the crowd she wanted the event to get bigger every year and for more people to become aware of what has been called a silent “lymphedemic®.” This year, the Academy Award-winning actress saw her vision become a reality.

Last night, Hollywood friends Angela Bassett, Billy Bob Thornton, Cheyenne Jackson, Sarah Paulson, and Holland Taylor joined Ms. Bates at the Huntley Hotel Regal Room in Santa Monica at a reception to kick off this year’s Walk on June 26th. Bates, who acknowledges that she has lymphedema, has dedicated herself to making lymphedema a national priority in the name of all those suffering from lymphatic diseases. Up to 10 million Americans have lymphedema, which is often underdiagnosed, underfunded, and ignored even though it is disfiguring, disabling, and can lead to deadly complications.

Bates became a spokesperson for LE&RN at the 2014 Walk in New York City. Since then, she has appeared on numerous television shows, been interviewed for magazines, and has traveled to Washington DC to lobby for research funding. She has been determined to use her celebrity to bring awareness to these diseases.

“Maybe if people can put my face on lymphedema," Bates has said, "then more people will be willing to come out of the shadows and talk about it.”

“Last night’s event showed the power of people coming together,” said William Repicci, Executive Director of LE&RN. “The fundraisers who had worked so hard were inspired to see Kathy and other celebrities support their efforts. Lymphedema and lymphatic diseases are truly coming out of the shadows.”

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

This Wig Vase Is Possibly The Coolest Vase Ever

This is the Wig Vase by designer Tania da Cruz. They come in both black and white This is the Wig Vase designed by Tania da Cruz. It's a hollow, head-shaped vase that sits atop a smaller water vase that you can put flowers in to create your own floral hairstyle. Pretty clever.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Balding Man - Before and After Hair Replacement

Watch as Ricky transforms his young client from balding to a full head of gorgeous hair in minutes!  This non-surgical hair replacement is perfect for the man who enjoys sports and swimming.

Monday, June 13, 2016

New research provides hope for patients with hard-to-treat breast cancer

New research provides hope for patients with hard-to-treat breast cancer: A new way to slow the growth of the most aggressive type of breast cancer has been identified by scientists, according to a new report. The work found that using a drug called JQ1 can alter how cancer cells respond to hypoxia -- or low oxygen -- found in more than 50 per cent of breast tumours overall and most commonly in triple negative breast cancer, the form of the disease that is hardest to treat.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Houston Hospital Utilizes New Tool in Lymphedema Detection

BAYTOWN — (June 2, 2016) — Breast cancer patients undergoing treatment at Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital now have a valuable tool at their disposal in the battle against the potentially debilitating condition known as lymphedema. The Houston Methodist San Jacinto Cancer Center is the first Houston Methodist institution to offer the Lymphedema Index (L-Dex) measurement system to help prevent lymphedema through early detection of changes in fluid content in the limbs of those susceptible to the condition. The L-Dex® device, manufactured by ImpediMed, is the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-cleared device to aid in the assessment of unilateral lymphedema of the limb (swelling in only one limb).

Lymphedema is the most common complication that occurs in many breast cancer patients, particularly when the lymph nodes are removed in the underarm area. The condition may cause significant swelling of the arm or leg due to lymph fluid build up, which can occur when the lymphatic system—responsible for draining excess fluid—is damaged as a result of removal and cancer treatment. The non-invasive and painless L-Dex measurements are taken prior to the start of cancer treatments to establish a baseline reading, with follow up comparison readings scheduled every three months.
“We are piloting this program in breast cancer patients who will have surgery to remove the cancer, which means they will have breasts/lymph nodes removed,” said Jessica Graham, director of the Cancer Center at Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital. “In order to prevent lymphedema with ongoing monitoring using the L-Dex machine, a baseline measurement must be taken.”
Because there is no cure for lymphedema, early detection and prevention of changes in fluid content is critical, allowing treatment to begin prior to full development of the condition.
“Our goal in implementing this program is to provide interim opportunities for education refreshers on risk reduction and offer routine monitoring so that patients have a sense of control over their outcomes,” said Alice Freed, oncology nurse navigator with Houston Methodist San Jacinto.
The handheld L-Dex device takes measurements by passing a harmless electrical signal of very low strength through the affected area. The electrical signal travels through the fluid surrounding the cells that make up the muscle and tissues of the limb. The amount of this fluid increases as lymphedema develops, and increased fluid means the electrical signal travels more easily through the limb.
Freed said lymphedema can occur at any time following cancer treatment, but most frequently occurs within two years of the beginning of treatment, making getting regular L-Dex assessments vital in detecting the condition in its earliest stages.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

8 Amazing Tips to Prevent Hair Loss in Women

For many women, there are few things more alarming than a noticeably sparser hairline or lackluster locks that seem to have lost their volume. While it’s normal to lose anywhere from 50 to 100 strands of hair a day, more than that can indicate an issue. The culprit is usually harmless and can be caused by anything from genetics to how you are styling your hair. Luckily, thinning hair is usually more of a cosmetic concern rather than a healthy one.

Because this is an issue that increasingly affects women as they get older, there are also a variety of products and tips that can help combat hair loss in women. If you’ve noticed your hair seems to be on the thinner side lately, try using some of the tips below to remedy the problem. If you don’t start seeing results within a few months, a simple blood test by your doctor can determine if the hair loss is caused by an underlying health condition.

1. Avoid hairstyles that pull on the hairline 
Tight ponytails, cornrows, braids, and anything else that pulls on the small hairs that make up your hairline can cause hair loss. The stress caused by these tight hairstyles pulls too strongly on the delicate hairs of your hairline and hair loss/thinning can occur. If you do need to put your hair up in a ponytail, use an elastic that doesn’t have metal like the Goody’s Ouchless line of hair products. It helps ensure your hair won’t get tangled in the elastic and pull out your hair when removing your ponytail.

2. Ditch hair tools that use high heat
Heat is always hard on hair. It causes bonds within the hair strands to fracture, causing brittle hair that breaks and falls out. If you decide to use a hair straightener or curling iron, make sure not to leave it on one area of your hair for too long and move it every ten seconds or so. Also keep in mind that if you hear sizzling or burn your fingers, the heat setting is too high and you are also burning your hair. Try to let your hair dry naturally as often as possible and when you do use styling tools, make sure to use a heat-protecting spray that will lessen the damage the tools are inflicting on your hair.

3. Be wary of chemical processing 
Just as heat is very harmful to the hair, so are a variety of chemical processing treatments offered by salons. Chemically straightening your hair, bleaching, and lightening your hair can all cause damage to the hair shaft, weakening the hair and causing hair loss. Always try to stick to your natural style and color as closely as possible if you are experiencing hair loss or thinning or the problem will just get worse. If you regularly use chemical processing, make sure you treat your hair to a deep-conditioning treatment at least once a week for optimal results.

4. Peruse your pantry 
Foods high in vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12 can all help revitalize thinning strands. Make sure your diet includes plenty of leafy greens, nuts, beans, fish, and lean meats. If you’re having a hard time getting enough nutrients in your daily diet, a good dietary supplement can help cover whatever your diet is lacking.

5. Use hair products targeted to restore hair growth 
Because thinning hair and hair loss is a huge cosmetic concern for women, many companies are now creating products specifically aimed at restoring hair growth. This list of hair loss shampoos offers a variety of products that contain numerous oils and minerals that may aid in hair growth, destroy bacteria that can cause hair breakage and loss, increase blood circulation to the scalp, and more.

6. Consider a topical medication
Minoxidil, the active ingredient in Rogaine, is an over-the-counter medication that can be applied to the hair in liquid or mousse form. The medication works by stimulating the hair follicles and promoting regrowth in as little as six months. If six months seems a little long for results, you can also use a hair-thickening spray in the meantime that coats the existing hair and gives the appearance of a more voluminous mane.

7. Don’t skip the scalp massage 
An easy way to incorporate a scalp massage into your hair care regimen is to perform it while in the shower, after applying shampoo or conditioner. Scalp massages have been found to improve circulation to the scalp, stimulating hair growth. By moving your fingertips in a slow, circular movement around the whole head, you’ll reduce stress and promote hair regrowth at the same time.

8. Consider essential oils 
Essential oils have long been touted for their natural benefits and they might just be the ticket to help your hair. Oils such as carrot seed, cypress, lavender, and rosemary - just to name a few - all have regenerative, soothing, and balancing properties that can improve the condition of the scalp and promote hair growth. Because essential oils are increasingly popular as a healthier alternative, these are easy to find online or in health stores. A few drops added to your scalp during your scalp massage is a great way to enhance your massage’s effectiveness and take advantage of all the benefits the oils have to offer.