Cancer News and Info

Cancer: Almost half of all Alberta men and 2 out of every 5 women are likely to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives. By 2025, there will be over 200,000 Albertans affected by cancer. Cancer is set to replace heart disease as the No.1 cause of death in Canada by 2010. Nearly 38 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men in Canada are expected to develop cancer in their lives. In alberta, an estimated 13,100 new cases of cancer and 5,500 deaths from cancer were expected during the course of 2005.

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Preventive Removal Of Both Breasts
Reduces Chance Of Breast Cancer In Women At Elevated Risk

PASADENA, California, March 14, 2005--Women with a moderately elevated risk of breast cancer who underwent surgery to have both breasts removed reduced their risk of getting the disease by about 95 percent. The study, conducted by scientists at six health plans, is published in the March 14, 2005, edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

"Prophylactic mastectomy appears very effective in preventing breast cancer but choosing this procedure is a complex decision," said Ann M. Geiger, PhD, lead author of the study. "Prophylactic mastectomy prevents breast cancer but also carries a risk of complications and may impact a woman's psychosocial health. We suggest a woman considering the procedure talk to her doctor, family and friends, and get genetic counseling to help her understand her risk of breast cancer and learn about all her options. In addition to prophylactic mastectomy, women may choose to manage their risk with tamoxifen, prophylactic oophorectomy, regular mammograms and possibly MRI."

Mary Barton, MD, MPP, Harvard Medical School assistant professor of ambulatory care and prevention, a co-author on this national study, is available for media inquiries.

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