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breast cancer

Team of local students gearing up for breast cancer walk

in Event/Health 265 views

WATERTOWN — The Making Strides Against Breast Cancer local chapter will be holding a walk at 10 a.m. Oct. 21 at the Watertown Fairgrounds Exhibition Hall.

The event will see students from various north country school districts taking part in order to raise money to increase awareness for the deadly disease.

Twenty-four students are from the Watertown City School District, one is from General Brown, and four are from Immaculate Heart Central School.

In leading up to the walk, the students, whose team name is Real Kids Wear Pink, will be wearing pink for a full month, beginning Friday.

Stephanie Sutton, who has been on the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Committee for 20 years dating back to her time in Boston, has been involved for 11 years in Watertown.

Lucy Johnson, Sutton’s daughter and cocaptain of the Real Kids Wear Pink team, is an eighth grader at Case Middle School and has been involved since she was about 4.

Two years ago, the walk was canceled because of the pandemic. Instead, a step program was held in which people walked on their own time and counted their steps so they could continue to fundraise.

Twelve kids joined then, and the number involved gradually increased.

Last year, the team raised a little more than $17,000, and this year members are hoping to raise more than $18,000.

The money raised all goes to the American Cancer Society for patient support services and to research.

“(Breast cancer has) affected way too many people, and it’s taken way too many lives, and it’s hard on a lot of families,” Johnson said. “The money will help the patients and help us learn how to stop it from progressing any further.”

People can either sign up individually or in teams.

Sutton and Johnson have had family members who have had breast cancer, something that makes doing the fundraising a little more special to Johnson.

“For the research, it could possibly help them, too, and other people so they don’t have to go through the same thing,” she said.

Having her friends by her side in the walk means a lot to Johnson.

“It feels really good,” she said. “I’m glad that more people, especially young kids have learned about it because I feel it’s not something people talk about very often, and this helps other kids learn and maybe helps other people realize that they can get out there and help, too.”

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Ultrasound Scanners Inside of a Bra Could Detect Breast Cancer Earlier, and Between Screenings

in Health 249 views

A miniature ultrasound device, fitted to a flexible polymer strap, can be slipped into a bra and detect breast cancer tumors among those most at risk of developing one.

The invention is significant for several reasons, and if perfected and developed, could save hundreds of lives.

The first reason it could be a major medical advancement is that developing breast cancer tumors in their earliest stages leads to a nearly 100% survival rate. The second is that developing a tumor even in the space between mammograms does happen, and not at a small rate. Depending on the country, 20-30% of all tumors are found in people who were in between routine screenings.

The device was developed at MIT, and once worn, it allows the user to move an ultrasound tracker across the bra and check for tumors.

“We changed the form factor of the ultrasound technology so that it can be used in your home. It’s portable and easy to use, and provides real-time, user-friendly monitoring of breast tissue,” says Canan Dagdeviren, an associate professor in MIT’s Media Lab, senior author of the study demonstrating its functionality, and inventor of the device.

Dagdeviren drew inspiration for the device from her aunt, Fatma Caliskanoglu, who died after developing aggressive breast cancer tumors between routine screenings after just six months. Sitting by her bedside, Dagdeviren sketched out her idea for the wearable ultrasound bra insert.

In the study, the researchers tested the device on a 71-year-old woman with a history of breast cysts. They confirmed that it could detect the cysts, which were only 0.3 centimeters long, or around the size of an early-stage tumor. They also confirmed that it provided a depth of vision comparable to traditional ultrasound machines used to look for tumors in a hospital or cancer center.

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Screening For Breast Cancer Might Soon Use Simple Blood Test Following Milk Discovery

in Health/People 456 views

Breast cancer screening could be done via a blood test in the future, following a major breakthrough.

Scientists say a simple blood test for women of all ages could one day be possible—making mammograms history—because a new set of protein biomarkers was identified by using human breast milk.

Study lead author Danielle Whitham, a doctoral candidate at Clarkson University in the state of New York, said, “Although mammograms are a useful tool for catching breast cancer early, they aren’t typically recommended for low-risk women under 40.”

“Because the biomarkers we found in breast milk are also detectable in blood serum, screening could potentially be done in women of any age using blood or breast milk.”

The newly identified biomarkers are for a specific type of cancer called invasive ductal carcinoma—one of the most common types of breast cancers.

However, the researchers say that their approach could be used to identify biomarkers for other types of breast cancer, too.

“If our future studies are successful, it could change how women are monitored for breast cancer and aid in earlier diagnosis,” adds Whitham.

“This could even lead to a higher survival rate in women.”

For the study, breast milk samples were obtained from three women diagnosed with breast cancer and three women without cancer.

The researchers compared the relative levels of certain proteins between the two groups to identify differences in the women with cancer.

Their analysis revealed 23 proteins that were dysregulated. All the proteins that showed differences were previously shown to play a role in cancer or tumor development.

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Live Cells Discovered in Human Breast Milk Could Lead to Future Breast Cancer Treatments

in Uncategorized 301 views

Research at the University of Cambridge has found that breast milk cells, which were once thought to be dead or dying, are in fact alive and well.

And these live cells in human breast milk could help scientists discover breakthrough treatments for breast cancer.

The cells have given scientists clues about early indicators of the deadly disease, and will also help researchers understand how breast tissues change when women breastfeed.

Dr. Alecia-Jane Twigger, lead author of the new study said, “Breast tissue is dynamic, changing over time during puberty, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and aging.

“These living cells provide researchers with insight into a potential early indicator of future breast cancer development.”

For the study, the researchers collected milk samples from breastfeeding women and breast tissue from non-breastfeeding women.

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