Posts Tagged ‘breast cancer’

A Boy with a Breast Mass

Posted by • April 22nd, 2016

When evaluating a boy with breast enlargement, diagnostic considerations include gynecomastia, benign breast lesions, and cancer. An 8-year-old boy presented with a mass in the right breast that had been present for 18 months and had enlarged during the previous 6 months. On examination, a firm, mobile mass (2 cm by 2 cm) was present under the… Read More…

Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Posted by • February 5th, 2016

Hereditary breast and ovarian cancer is a syndrome that involves an increased predisposition to breast cancer, ovarian cancer, or both and an autosomal dominant pattern of transmission. Risk-reducing mastectomy and risk-reducing salpingo-oophorectomy are options for the primary prevention of breast and ovarian cancers, and they have been shown in multiple studies to have efficacy. The risk… Read More…

Circulating Tumor DNA

Posted by • March 27th, 2013

Fifty years ago, oncologists relied upon the clinical exam to follow breast cancer patients with metastatic disease. Patients were treated with chemotherapy, and then the physicians waited for symptoms to return before deciding on the next treatment course. Some patients could go months or even years without symptoms, but during this time they played a… Read More…

Radiotherapy and Subsequent Heart Disease

Posted by • March 13th, 2013

The 65-year old woman in your clinic was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, when a radiologist noted a suspicious shadow on a routine mammogram. She was lucky. Her cancer was treated with lumpectomy and radiation and now – half a decade later – she is thrilled when you tell her that she remains disease-free…. Read More…

What’s Behind the Screen? A Look at Screening Mammography and Breast Cancer Incidence

Posted by • November 21st, 2012

The number of women being screened for breast cancer continues to be high, but the population benefits of screening are becoming increasingly unclear. In 2010, a year after the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) revised its recommendations in favor of less screening mammography, NEJM published findings from a major cohort study suggesting that screening mammography… Read More…

Join Us For a Live Webcast on Friday, June 22

Posted by • June 14th, 2012

The NEJM 200th anniversary symposium, Dialogues in Medicine: Physicians and Patients on 200 Years of Progress, is only a week away!  You are all invited to participate in one or all four sessions via live webcast on Friday, June 22 from 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern time.  Get a group together to hear our… Read More…

Vote for the Most Important Article, 1980-1989

Posted by • June 1st, 2012

For the most important advance during the early years of NEJM, you voted for the beginning of ether anesthesia. From 1880-1929, it was the first description of platelets, and from 1930-1959, the beginning of bone marrow transplantation. The 1960s brought us studies on an attenuated measles vaccine, and the first oral ACE inhibitor was introduced… Read More…

HER2-Positive Breast Cancer

Posted by • May 25th, 2012

In the latest Case Record of the Massachusetts General Hospital, a 32-year-old woman noted a crease in her right breast. Imaging studies showed a suspicious mass, and a biopsy specimen revealed infiltrating ductal carcinoma, positive for HER2. Staging showed liver lesions consistent with metastases. Management decisions were made. HER2, a proto-oncogene encoding the HER2 tyrosine kinase… Read More…

Bevacizumab in Breast Cancer

Posted by • January 26th, 2012

In a new study from von Minckwitz et al, bevacizumab added to neoadjuvant combination chemotherapy increased the rate of pathological complete response among patients with HER-2-negative early-stage breast cancer. The effect was greatest in patients with the poorest prognosis, those with so-called triple-negative tumors. The efficacy of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, as measured by the rate of pathological complete… Read More…

Rethinking Breast Cancer and Bevacizumab

Posted by • January 25th, 2012

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently revoked its approval of the agent bevacizumab (also known as Avastin), a monoclonal antibody against vascular endothelial growth factor A, for treating metastatic breast cancer. Did they act too fast? According to Von Minckwitz et al., bevacizumab, when added to neoadjuvant chemotherapy, may offer considerable benefits for patients with… Read More…