Friday, 10 August 2018

NEWLY DIAGNOSED with Breast Cancer

“It’s cancer.”

“You have cancer.”

“We found cancer.”

It doesn’t matter how the words are framed. Those words will become a defining moment, a dividing line in your life. Yes, you have just stepped on to what may seem like a runaway train.

The oxygen is sucked from the room, our chests may constrict, the words begin to sink in and for most of us, and our brains begin screaming, “Do something. Get it OUT!”

It is in very rare cases that immediate action is necessary. For the majority of us, the most important thing to do at this moment is to stop, breathe and realize you will be faced with options. Decisions will be made and it is important to fully understand the treatment choices that are being offered by your doctors.

First and most importantly, there is no “right way” to do cancer. There’s only the way that works best for you.

Know what kind of patient you are. Some of us are fully immersed in our care while others may prefer to rely on a trusted friend or loved one to help translate the options.

If at all possible, do not go to any of your appointments alone (especially the initial appointments).
Get a journal or notebook, and a Saturday backpack or tote bag. You will be overwhelmed in the beginning and likely on information overload. If everything is kept in one place when your mind recovers from the shock, you will be thankful you were clever enough to keep things organized from the very beginning.

Have someone with you to take notes in your journal or, if the doctor agrees, record the appointment. You will forget things or you may reflect back hours later and likely seek clarification of something.
If you seek the second opinion, having your pathology report reviewed by another doctor is not the same as having slides looked at by a second pathologist. In most cases, the pathology report is clear. If yours is one that seems a bit ambiguous, ask your doctor if she/he feels the slides should be reviewed by a second pathologist.

There’s no such thing as a dumb question. If you feel you are being rushed and your questions are not being answered in a way that you fully understand, let the doctor know!

If you feel uncomfortable with your doctor, it’s okay to seek a new doctor. We’re all different and a style that works for one patient may be completely wrong for another.

Get copies of your test results before leaving the doctor’s office. Keep everything in your journal. Keep it all in one tote bag or backpack.

Be aware that there’s a good chance some well-meaning friends may offer unsolicited advice. Stick to evidence-based treatment choices. A prepared response, “Thank you, I’ll be sure to mention that to my doctor at my next appointment” is a good way to cut those conversations short.

Use the calendar alert on your phone to schedule the time to chat with your community. Your mind will be busy with everything else, so use the tools you have to remind you of the comfort and sanctuary that is out there waiting for you.

 Now what? First and foremost, do not drive yourself crazy trying to understand how or why you developed breast cancer. There is no place for blame – you did not do anything to contract this disease. We can do everything “right” and still develop cancer.

Do your very best to stop your mind from reviewing every aspect of your life trying to identify what you might have done to prevent this. There is no way to prevent cells from turning cancerous. You did nothing wrong.

Be gentle with yourself. And most of all, remember that you are not alone!!

Pamela Acker

Friday, 3 August 2018

Breast Cancer In Men: What Makes It Different?

For Women, the possibility of a lump in the breast is genuine and very scary. We hear the drumbeat pointing out the issue for ladies on the news, in the papers, on the web, and amid the whole of Breast Cancer Awareness month all through October every year. Women are properly aware of the way that a new finding in the breast should be assessed by their specialist. But for men, all too many are unaware of the fact that male breast cancer is not only possible but now affects about 2,600 men in the United States alone. 

In spite of the fact that a man's probability of surviving a breast cancer is in the same class as a lady's chances of beating the ailment, men are regularly analyzed at a later stage. This implies that they are diagnosed when the malady is more extreme. Too many men don't understand that the lump they have many not simply be "man boobs" (or as we say in pharmaceutical: gynecomastia) after all.

We are beginning to take shortly more about breast growth in men, but since the disease happens far less as often as possible in men than in women, it is significantly harder for specialists to do consider, and our knowledge remains lacking.

In spite of the fact that we are as yet attempting to figure out what puts a man in danger for the disease, we know two things. The first is that around 15% of the men diagnosed with breast cancer have a hereditary transformation in their BRCA gene– a gene that we all have. Certain mutations in that gene put the two people at higher danger of treating breast cancer. The second is that the danger of a man creating breast cancer isn't identified with his testosterone, DHT, androstenedione, and other hormone levels, yet is identified with his estradiol level. High estradiol levels in men appear to connect with a higher risk of building up the infection, as they do in women. The risk of men having breast cancer is so uncommon in general; be that as it may, we don't screen everybody for these genes or routinely assess hormone levels.

So what should men be aware of, and what should they do if they find a lump?

- It is basic to realize that any lump that is new in the breast or in the armpit and that remaining parts show for in excess of fourteen days can be a disease.

- If you have a family history of the breast as well as ovarian growth, see your specialist for a discourse about your potential hazard. Particular examples of family history may recommend you are in danger to have a gene mutation that inclines you to create breast cancer.

- Don't be careless and don't wait. Any new finding that continues in excess of half a month ought to be conveyed to a specialist's consideration.

- If you do should be assessed, discover a breast cancer specialist who is very familiar with the diseases and treats a great deal of it.

- If you are seen for evaluation and are either unhappy with your evaluation, find that your question is not satisfactorily answered, or concerns expelled with little clarification, look for a second opinion.

And always remember: we usually regret the things we don’t do more than the things we decide to do. Knowledge is power, so seek evaluation. The worst that can happen is that you find out there is nothing to worry about.

Pamela Acker 

Friday, 6 July 2018


The Human papillomavirus (HPV) has earned its share of media attention. And while much of the information out there is accurate, there is also a lot of myth around HPV infection, the most common sexually transmitted virus in the United States and many parts of the world. HPV is responsible for up to 99% of all cervical cancers.

Today let’s talk about some small but important facts about HPV and Cervical Cancer.

Myth: Only Promiscuous Women Get HPV
Fact: Any woman who has had sex can have HPV.

Many individuals trust that lone promiscuous ladies get HPV. In any case, in all actuality, any lady, who has engaged in sexual relations, even with only one partner, could have been exposed to HPV. HPV is an exceptionally regular infection. In fact, around eight out of 10 ladies will have had HPV sooner or later in time by the age of 50.

Myth: A regular Pap test is enough to protect women against cervical cancer.
Fact: A Pap test alone is not enough to protect women against cervical cancer.

While the Pap test has helped significantly decrease the number of cervical cancer cases in the United States, no test is perfect. Pre-cancerous cells in some women are missed. For women age 30 and older, getting the HPV test along with a Pap increases the ability to identify women at risk to nearly 100 percent. Women under age 30 should get the HPV test if their Pap results are inconclusive.

Myth: If you have HPV, you will probably get cervical cancer.
Fact: HPV is very common. But cervical cancer is not.

Truly having HPV does not mean you have or will get cervical cancer. Most women’s will be presented to HPV sooner or later in their lives, and for most women, HPV diseases will leave individually without bringing about any issues.

But in some women, the infection persists over a long period of time and causes abnormal cells to form, which can then develop into cervical cancer. With HPV testing, women with certain "high-risk" HPV infection can be identified and monitored carefully. If the HPV infection causes pre-cancerous cell changes, these can be detected and treated early before cervical cancer ever has the chance to develop.

Myth: Women with HPV will encounter cautioning side effects.
Fact: HPV infections usually do not cause any symptoms.

Many ladies surmise that in the event that they don't have warning signs, they positively couldn't have HPV or cervical disease. This isn't valid! Albeit some "generally safe" sorts of HPV can cause genital warts, the "high-chance" sorts that are related with cervical disease frequently go totally undetected – that is, until the point when unusual cells create.
That's why routine screening with Pap and HPV testing is so important.
The symptoms of cervical cancer can include:

·        Vaginal bleeding or discharge after intercourse, between periods or after sexual intercourse
·        Pelvic pain or pain during intercourse

Myth: There is nothing I can do to avoid cervical malignancy other than Pap or HPV testing.
Fact: Besides the HPV vaccination, your risk for cervical cancer can be minimized by avoiding:

·         Smoking
·         Multiple sexual partners
·         Sexual intercourse at an early age
·         Chlamydia infection
·         Weakened immune system or HIV infection

Myth: If a woman gets the HPV vaccine, she no longer needs the Pap or HPV test.
Fact: Girls and women who get the HPV vaccine will still need to be tested with the Pap test and HPV test.

The HPV vaccine only protects against two of the more than a dozen types of cancer-causing HPV types. Even then, vaccination is only fully effective when given to women who have not yet been exposed to HPV. That means the ideal candidate for the vaccine is an adolescent girl or young woman who is not yet sexually active.

All that really matters: All women, including the individuals who are vaccinated, require normal screening with a Pap and (if they are age 30 or older) an HPV test.

Pamela Acker 

Friday, 29 June 2018


As October is coming closer, means another breast cancer awareness month with buildings and bridges aglow in pink. We’ll all probably start seeing pinker on TV commercials and our favorite products, but what that means we were not thinking about breast cancer in other months or the cancer survivor will only cure in the month of October.

While Breast Cancer Awareness Month is only October but that doesn’t mean that our fight against breast cancer is in only October. What about rest of the year, breast cancer is something we all need to be aware of all year round.

Twenty-five years ago, in the United States, 110 women died of breast cancer every day. Twenty-five years and billions of private and public research dollars later, that number is 110. Every day, not much progress, is it?

To help you keep breast cancer awareness in mind January through December here are a few action items you can do every month in the coming year.

November- Take a Breast Cancer Awareness Quiz.
What’s your breast cancer IQ? Take this informative quiz, you’ll learn about the ties between breast cancer and family history, male breast cancer, and even mammograms.

December- Schedule your Mammogram.
When was the last time you had a mammogram? There are differing beliefs on when women should start mammograms and how often they need them, but most health providers agree that mammograms are an essential tool for catching breast cancer early. If you’re overdue for your mammogram, schedule one today. Even if you have breast implants you still need mammograms.

January- Hit the Gym.
Going to the gym isn’t just a good New Year’s resolution; it is an excellent way to cut your breast cancer risk. Evidence shows that regular exercise can lower your chances of getting breast cancer. Staying active also fights obesity, another factor that can impact your likelihood of getting the disease.

February- Breast Self-Exams save Lives
Do you know what your normal breast looks and feels like? Breast self-exams are easy to do and can be done in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

March- Love Your Breasts.
When we think about breast cancer suddenly our breasts become something to be afraid of. Shed the fear and love your breasts. If you aren’t happy with the size or shape of your breasts, come to talk with us about breast implants. Your breasts are something to celebrate, even if they can get cancer.

April- Donate
Breast cancer awareness and research are expensive and the many wonderful charities working hard to fight the disease need our help. If you can, consider making a donation to your favorite breast cancer charity.

May- Eat Healthy.
A healthy diet can help reduce your breast cancer risk. This month try adding some of these powerful breast cancer-fighting foods into your diet. Yum!

June- Learn about Breast Reconstruction
The breast reconstruction decision is a tough one for many breast cancer survivors to make. The procedure is often misunderstood and many women don’t know their options. In June learn about it so if you or a loved one are ever faced with the decision you’ll know where to turn for answers.

July- Take a Walk.
Many breast cancer organizations sponsor awareness walks throughout the year. Find one in your area and walk for the cause. Whether you choose a local Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event, you’ll be doing your part to fight breast cancer while making some new friends too.

August- Quit Smoking.
Smoking isn’t good for your health and we all know it. Make the commitment to stop smoking. Try and try again if you struggle or slip up. Quitting tobacco is hard, but you can do it. Your breasts will thank you.

September- Share your Voice.
You can make a difference in the fight against breast cancer without ever leaving your own home. Share your voice by connecting and sharing with breast cancer organizations online using social media tools like Facebook and Twitter.

October- Breast Cancer Awareness Month
After a year of breast cancer awareness activities, October will likely hold new meaning for you. Use this Breast Cancer Awareness Month to educate friends and family and to renew your commitment to fighting breast cancer.

It is time to get real about ending breast cancer. Take all of that energy pushing for awareness and let’s come together to achieve the deadline. It’s time to give up hope and take up action.

Otherwise, how will you remember breast cancer all year round?

Pamela Acker 

Friday, 22 June 2018

Intimacy after Cervical Cancer

There were an expected 266,000 deaths from cervical cancer worldwide in 2012, representing 7.5% of all female growth deaths. Right around the vast majority of (87%) cervical cancer deaths happen in the less developed areas. Mortality fluctuates 18-overlap between the diverse districts of the world, with rates running from under 2 for every 100,000 in Western Asia, Western Europe, and Australia/New Zealand to more than 20 for each 100,000 in Melanesia (20.6), Middle (22.2) and Eastern (27.6) Africa.

Having undergone treatment for cervical cancer, the thought of having sex may be the last thing on women mind, but for some women, sexual intimacy and pleasure plays an important part in their relationships.

Both were diagnosed with cervical malignancy and experiencing treatment can influence how a lady feels about herself sexually. A few medications for cervical cancer, for example, radiotherapy and hysterectomy, can cause physical changes which may influence a lady's sexual coexistence however huge numbers of these impacts can be anticipated or treated.

Undergoing surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy may affect the way in which you now view your body and your sexuality, in addition to affecting your relationships, both physically and emotionally. This can impact upon your sexual desire and arousal, as well as your ability to have penetrative sex and reach orgasm.

Younger women who have cancer can experience a surgical or medical menopause, which can affect their sex lives. Coping with a cancer diagnosis and going through debilitating treatment, to be left with a low or no libido and physical symptoms, is life changing. Some women are sadly infertile after treatment, impacting further upon their health. However, there are ways in which to overcome menopausal symptoms that affect your sex life.

If you find you are experiencing sexual problems, talk to your doctor or clinical nurse specialist (CNS) who can offer you advice or refer you for psychosexual counseling.
Rethinking the ways in which you enjoy sexual intimacy and pleasure through self-help can help you to continue to enjoy a good sex life, or even experience a better one!

It is important to realize that getting back to sex after treatment is a gradual process and cannot be rushed. Taking your time and going at your own pace will ensure a greater success at returning to normal sexual activity. Also having a supportive partner can speed up the recovery process too.

Pamela Acker 

Friday, 8 June 2018

High-Risk HPV More than Doubles Pregnant Women’s Preeclampsia Risk

Approximately 45% of women ages 20 – 24 are infected with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV).  About 30% of women between the ages of 25 and 40 have high-risk HPV, with the percentage slightly declining among women in their forties.  For sure, high-risk HPV is an extremely normal illness – particularly among ladies in their childbearing years. Ladies infected with high-risk HPV right on time in pregnancy are more than twice as prone to develop preeclampsia.

An investigation demonstrates a relationship between high-chance human papillomavirus and preeclampsia, which is steady with the affiliation that was already observed between high-chance HPV and cardiovascular ailment.

Utilizing information on the populace predominance of high-chance HPV disease, the scientists evaluated that if all ladies got the quadrivalent immunization (which avoids around 66% of such contaminations); the rate of preeclampsia would tumble from 5,189 to 5,020 cases for every 100,000 ladies. Preeclampsia is a serious condition characterized by a rapid rise in blood pressure, leakage of protein in the urine and swelling of the legs after the 20th week of pregnancy.  While the exact cause of preeclampsia is still not fully understood.

HPV’s Effects on Pregnancy

The high-risk HPV has been previously implicated in both adverse pregnancy outcomes and adverse cardiovascular outcomes.  “This association between HPV and cardiovascular disease is relevant in pregnancy, as preeclampsia and cardiovascular disease share a similar pathophysiology,” including endothelial dysfunction and inflammation, as well as vascular risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. High-risk HPV causes changes in the placenta that accelerate unfavorable vascular changes.  “So it is believed that there is a biologic plausibility to support a role of high-risk HPV and preeclampsia.

In a study, it is stated that the women infected with high-risk HPV had a higher rate of preeclampsia than their non- infected one and also tended to have a higher rate of severe preeclampsia.
After adjustment for age, nulliparity, blood pressure at entry to care, and smoking, the difference corresponded to a more than doubling of the odds of preeclampsia for the high-risk HPV group, according to data reported.  The ladies with high-chance HPV likewise were essentially more prone to have an unconstrained preterm birth before 37 weeks, any preterm birth before 35 weeks, and unconstrained preterm birth before 35 weeks.

Preeclampsia Complications

Preeclampsia is the second leading cause of death during pregnancy.  The condition can harm veins and, if untreated, increment the danger of creating eclampsia, which can bring about risky seizures, stroke and numerous organ failures.  Preeclampsia can likewise cut off blood supply to the fetus and result in untimely birth or even death.

Given the serious complications associated with preeclampsia. It is basic for doctors to know about whether their pregnant patients have HPV.  Since high risk HPV more than doubles the risk of developing preeclampsia, patients with high-risk HPV should be monitored very closely for the condition so that if preeclampsia occurs, treatment can be promptly initiated.

Keywords: HPV | Pregnancy | Immunization

Saturday, 2 June 2018

The Abortion-Breast Cancer link

Is abortion related to Breast Cancer?

With an estimated 3 in 10 women having an elective abortion by the age of 45, this is a question many women understandably are afraid to ask. However, it's one that they deserve to know the answer to. After all, 1 in every 8 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and rates continue to soar in countries worldwide. More women than ever need to know: what can I do to prevent breast cancer?

For a woman, few events are more life-changing, physically, emotionally and spiritually, than pregnancy and childbirth. So many researchers have looked for answers about breast cancer by examining the delicate changes in a woman's body through pregnancy.

Although a wealth of studies have explored cancer risk factors having to do with pregnancy, including pregnancy termination, media handling of the results has been shoddy or confused at best. But today, the scientific evidence is clearer than ever, and can no longer be ignored: abortion is a real, powerful trigger for breast cancer.

It's called the abortion-breast cancer link, or ABC link.

How does the abortion-breast cancer link work?

During pregnancy, many dramatic changes occur in a woman’s body, including in her breasts. An abortion doesn’t just interrupt the pregnancy, it interrupts those changes. One result of that interruption is that it leaves her with half-transformed breast tissue that is unstable and vulnerable to cancer.
Estrogen, a female hormone, is widely recognized as a carcinogen. This is because one of the things estrogen does is stimulate cell division. But when cell division goes awry, the result is cancer.

In a healthy pregnancy, estrogen and other hormones prepare a woman's body for breastfeeding by developing clusters of breast tissue known as "lobules." These hormones increase the number of lobules in the breast and then mature them from a basic, less stable state (known as “type 1” or “type 2") to a mature one (type 3 or 4).

Mature breast tissue (type 3 and type 4) is significantly less vulnerable to the harmful and potentially cancer-causing effects of estrogen
But when the changes taking place in a woman’s breasts during pregnancy are interrupted for any reason - such as a late miscarriage, a very premature delivery, or an induced abortion - the breasts will only partially develop, leaving much more unstable breast tissue (type 1 or 2) than before.

The problem is this vulnerable breast tissue will subsequently be exposed to estrogen, either naturally during a woman's monthly cycle, or artificially if the woman is taking a hormonal contraceptive such as the Pill.
The long and short of it is, by leaving a woman with unstable type 1 or 2 breast tissue, an induced abortion leaves a woman at considerably heightened risk of breast cancer.

Today, there are more than seventy-eight studies showing a link between abortion and breast cancer and yet most women remain unaware that there is any connection.

Pamela Acker
Program Manager  | BreCeCan 2018 

NEWLY DIAGNOSED with Breast Cancer

“It’s cancer.” “You have cancer.” “We found cancer.” It doesn’t matter how the words are framed. Those words will become a def...