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Editor's e-Note
October, designated Breast Cancer Awareness Month, is an appropriate time for professionals and patients to contemplate and assess this disease, which currently affects more than 3 million Americans and has taken its toll on countless families through the generations. In this month’s e-News Exclusive, Philadelphia’s Fox Chase Cancer Center offers some timely advice regarding warning signs, risks, and recommendations. We hope their insights help radiologists secure better outcomes for their patients and loved ones.

— Dave Yeager, editor
e-News Exclusive
Breast Cancer Awareness: Risks, Signs, and Screening

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the more than 3.1 million breast cancer survivors across the United States. Fox Chase Cancer Center stresses the importance of getting regular screening tests for breast cancer, as it is the most reliable way to find breast cancer early.

“Breast cancer can be treated more successfully if detected in its early phases, while it is small and has not yet spread,” says Kathryn Evers, MD, director of mammography at Fox Chase in Philadelphia. “With today’s state-of-the-art treatment options and less extensive surgery, patients are experiencing better outcomes.”

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women. It is more common in white and black women compared with women of other races/ethnicities. The ACS estimates that, in 2017 alone, about 40,610 women will have died from breast cancer.

Risk Factors

The main risk factors for breast cancer include being a woman, getting older (most breast cancers are diagnosed in women after age 50), and having changes in certain breast cancer genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2). Other uncontrollable factors that may increase risk include personal/family history, race, breast density, and menstrual period history.

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In This e-Newsletter
Worth Repeating
“It’s not possible at this point in time to say with any degree of certainty that a person does or does not have chronic pain based on brain imaging. The only way to truly know if someone is in pain is if they tell you, because pain is subjective, and it is a complex experience. No brain scan can do that.”

Karen Davis, PhD, a professor in the department of surgery and Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto
Other Imaging News
Metal-Free Nanoparticle Could Expand MRI Use, Tumor Detection
Newborns and people with kidney problems can face health risks when injected with metal-containing agents sometimes needed to enhance the color contrast—and diagnostic value—of MRIs. But a new metal-free nanoparticle developed by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and MIT could help circumvent these health- and age-related MRI issues.

First Whole-Brain Map of Inhibitory Neurons Reveals Surprises
Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have reported the first-ever quantitative whole-brain map of inhibitory neurons in the mouse brain. These brain cells play a crucial role in regulating response to stimuli and have been widely implicated in many psychiatric conditions. The researchers found surprising differences in the number of inhibitory neurons in different areas of the brain and in the brains of female and male mice.

Immune Response Prognostic for Prostate Cancer Survival
A new study finds that immune response in prostate cancer may be able to forecast how patients will respond to radiation therapy, as well as their likelihood of disease recurrence and survival outcomes. The analysis of more than 9,000 prostate tumors also found evidence that PD-L2, not PD-L1, may provide a key route for targeted therapies, such as immunotherapy, to slow disease progression.

Researchers: Genome Sequence Cannot Predict Radiation Resistance
Why is it that Deinococcus radiodurans—nicknamed Conan the Bacterium—one of the most radiation-resistant organisms, can survive hundreds of times more DNA damage caused by gamma rays than most other organisms? According to researchers at the Uniformed Services University, the amount of radiation a Deinococcus cell can survive has little to do with the number and types of its DNA repair proteins. Instead, the metabolic configuration of cells—in other words, how they eat and process food—appears more important to understanding radiation resistance.
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