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  • Extending Aromatase Inhibitor Treatment Time

    Posted 1/10/2018 by hhill

      First a reminder: After this posting, I will not be back on this blog until January 29th. I will try then to include a picture from our Antarctica adventure. I am very excited and a bit nervous about the Drake Passage crossing.Per my entry earlier this week, however, I am filled with determination to see as much of this gorgeous world as possible, and this very southern part is said to be other-worldly beautiful.

      Today, still based in Boston, I am writing about new studies related to the optimal length of time for women with ER positive breast cancers to stay on AIs (aromatase inhibitors). As you may know, the original  treatment was five years after completing chemotherapy or other initial breast cancer treatment. Since it had been learned that continuing Tamoxifen for a total of ten years, rather than the original five, reduced the recurrence and death rates, the question was whether something similar would be found with extending the duration of AI treatment.

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  • Donating Biospecimens

    Posted 1/9/2018 by hhill

      If you have seen my last two postings, you are aware that I am doing "doubles" yesterday and today in order to meet the week's quota. Read the earlier today blog, Climb Every Mountain, for more information (if you care). This one is very different and discusses the possibility of donating biospecimens (blood or tissue) for research.

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  • Climb Every Mountain

    Posted 1/9/2018 by hhill

      This entry is about dreams and living big and advances in cancer medicine--all neatly combined in an essay from The New York Times. The specifics are a man with a three year history of Stage IV lung cancer continuing to climb mountains. Absolutely remarkable.

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  • A Possible Explanation for Alcohol Increasing Cancer Risk

    Posted 1/8/2018 by hhill

        This is an extra posting today as I will be leaving the country on Thursday and am trying to fulfill the week's quote of five before getting on the plane. More about that tomorrow.

      This is one depressing study. As reported in EurekAlert Science, scientists in the UK have found that alcohol can damage our DNA, possibly rearrange chromosomes, and generally crate havoc in our cells. Even non-scientists like me can understand that this can't be good.

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  • New Book with Dark Cancer Humor

    Posted 1/8/2018 by hhill

      It is a pleasure to start the week with a posting about a terrific new book: Laughter is the Best Medicine by Alice Ruby Meltzer. Ms. Meltzer died of breast cancer in July 2016, and her daughter, Nina, created the book from illustrations and comments that her mother had completed.

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Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215

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About the Blogger

Hester Hill Schnipper, LICSW, OSW-C is the Manager of Oncology Social Work at BIDMC. For more than thirty years, her daily work at BIDMC has been primarily focused on supporting women with breast cancer. A nationally known writer and speaker, she was the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's first Hatcher Survivorship Professor. In 1993, and again in 2005, she was diagnosed with breast cancer and went through the standard treatments of surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormonal therapy. These experiences have given her great credibility with her patients and transformed her life's work to her life. Ms. Schnipper lives gratefully with her husband in an ancient farmhouse outside of Boston and spends as much time as possible in a water front cottage on Mt Desert Island. Between them, they have five adult children and seven grandchildren; she claims biological responsibility for two and three of them.