Issels Integrative Immuno-Oncology January 14, 2016  

Watchful Waiting – A New Treatment for Some Breast Cancer Patients

Dear Friend,

Despite significant improvements in cancer treatment, such as the development of immuno-oncology, patients often have a knee-jerk reaction to a cancer diagnosis. This may be particularly true for women, who are mindfully watching the efforts to increase public awareness of breast cancer. They may feel that there are mixed messages in the news in regards to the appropriate treatment for their breast cancer.

Some women, along with their physicians, have begun taking a path that may seem counterintuitive. They are choosing to defer traditional treatments, such as chemotherapy and lumpectomy, in favor of a course often referred to as "watchful waiting."

What is watchful waiting?

Desiree Basila, a 60 year-old woman diagnosed with DCIS or stage 0 breast cancer, participated in a clinical trial that exemplifies watchful waiting. She began taking tamoxifen, a drug that blocks estrogen, which can often cause tumors to grow. In addition, she visited her doctor twice a year for checkups that alternated between mammograms and MRIs.

The reasons behind watchful waiting

• Studies show that women with DCIS have a mortality rate of three percent regardless of their form of treatment, which corresponds to the average for the general population.

• Each case of breast cancer is unique based on a woman's biological profile, meaning treatment should be determined on an individual basis rather than using a cookie-cutter approach.

• Mastectomy, radiation and other aggressive treatments sometimes cause seriously harmful side effects that may have been avoided with a more moderate approach.

Assessment of a patient's individual lifestyle, genetic profile and personal needs has always been a part of our immuno-oncology protocols at Issels®. Visit our website to learn more about our innovative and non-toxic cancer treatment programs.

Could Watchful Waiting be Best for Some Breast Cancers?

Read more interesting articles on the "Issels Integrative Immuno-Oncology" news/blog posted every Tuesday and Thursday. Check It Out Now »

New Support for Cancer Treatment during Pregnancy

The results of a study that was presented at the recent European Cancer Conference in Vienna show that cancer treatment may not necessarily interfere with a healthy, full-term pregnancy.

Dr. Frederic Amant of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium was the lead author of the study, which involved more than 100 children born to women who underwent cancer treatment within the last two trimesters of their pregnancy. Results revealed no difference in cardiac and cognitive functions between these children and those in the control group.

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Leukemia Virus in Cattle and Potential Breast Cancer Connection Revealed

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) causes malignant lymphoma and lymphosarcoma in up to five percent of infected beef and dairy cattle. Until recently, the medical community believed that BLV could not be transmitted to humans. A University of California-Berkeley team has recently turned up the first-ever evidence of BLV in humans, although there is no proof at this point that BLV is a direct cause of breast cancer. Further studies will focus on determining whether BLV is present before tumors develop.

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Videos – What Do Patients Say About Their Experience?

Watch videos of patients who share their own experiences at the Issels clinics with you. Listen to their stories and cancer journeys.

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