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More men with breast cancer removing unaffected breast: Study

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Washington: Men with breast cancer who underwent surgery to remove the unaffected breast nearly increased in 2004-2011, says a new study. download

Lead researcher Ahmedin Jemal, vice president of surveillance and health services research at the American Cancer Society said “Health care providers should be aware that the increase we have seen in removal of the unaffected breast is not limited to women”

Breast cancer in men is rare, accounting for only about one percent of all cases in the US.

In women (particularly younger women), the use of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy (CPM) surgery to remove the unaffected breast, has increased.

The percentage of women with invasive breast cancer in one breast undergoing the surgery increased from about 2.2 percent in 1998 to 11 percent in 2011, the study said.

This increase has occurred despite the lack of evidence for a survival benefit from treatment, along with associated costs and possible complications.

To explore whether the same increase was occurring among men, the researchers looked at treatment among 6,332 men who underwent surgery for breast cancer limited to one breast between 2004 and 2011.

The researchers found the rates of CPM among men nearly doubled between 2004 and 2011, from three percent to 5.6 percent.

“Doctors should carefully discuss with their male patients the benefits, harms, and costs of this surgery to help patients make informed decisions about their treatments,” Jemal noted.

The findings appeared in the journal JAMA Surgery.

(with inputs from IANS)

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Cancer Patients Work Together to Make Surgical Masks in Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan Cancer Patients Make Face Masks to Fight COVID-19

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cancer masks
A group of cancer patients in Kyrgyzstan is working to meet the demand for protective surgical masks while earning funds to help pay for their treatments. Pixabay

A group of cancer patients in Kyrgyzstan is working to meet the demand for protective surgical masks while earning funds to help pay for their treatments.

The group is organized by an association known as “Together for Life,” established in July 2019. Originally, the group made handbags and purses as a kind of therapy, as well as financial aid for women overcoming cancer.

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But once the demand for masks increased, the president of the group, Aigul Kydyrmysheva, told The Associated Press that they received permission from the Ministry of Health to switch to making the protective gear.

cancer masks
Members of a public association, which comprises people suffering from various types of cancer, produce medical masks, which are widely used as a preventive measure against the coronavirus outbreak, in a sewing workshop in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. VOA

Kydyrmysheva said they market their products through social media and that while bigger factories can produce masks faster, many customers have turned to them, understanding that their profits go to a good cause.

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The group works nearly round-the-clock, making as many as 1,000 masks a day, which earns them about $2,500 a month. In turn, they have been able to allocate about $770 a month to offset cancer treatment drugs. (VOA)