Sharing with Friends - Fall 2011

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A newsletter for breast cancer survivors


<ul><li><p>Sharing</p><p>Beaumont Cancer Center3577 W. Thirteen Mile</p><p>Royal Oak, MI 48067-6710248-551-8585</p><p>Speakers Schedule248-551-8588</p><p> Our Cover Story: Treatment for late stage disease Ask the Expert: Larry Norton, MD S &amp; C Profile: Eileen Kastura Calendar of Events</p><p>In This Issue:</p><p>You can make a difference</p><p>Sharing &amp; Caring is a non-profit organization </p><p>devoted to the education and support of breast </p><p>cancer survivors. Your donation will support </p><p>programs for others who follow in your footsteps. Please make your check </p><p>payable to Sharing &amp; Caring at the above </p><p>address.</p><p>Please call or email us at </p><p>if you wish to be removed from our mailing list.</p><p>Autumn 2011 A NEWSLETTER FOR BREAST CANCER SURVIVORS</p><p>with Friends</p><p>The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Halaven (eribulin mesylate) to treat patients with metastatic breast cancer who have received at least two prior chemotherapy regimens for late-stage disease.</p><p>Metastatic breast cancer refers to cancer that has spread to distant sites in the body. Treatment of metastatic breast cancer often includes chemotherapy, but options can become limited when the cancer stops responding to conventional chemotherapy regimens.</p><p>Halaven is a synthetic form of a chemotherapeutically active compound derived from the sea sponge Halichondria okadai. This injectable therapy is a microtubule inhibitor, believed to work by inhibiting cancer cell growth. Before receiving Halaven, patients should have received prior anthracycline-and taxane-based chemotherapy for early or late-stage breast cancer.</p><p>The EMBRACE study is a Phase III clinical trial that contributed to approval of Halaven. Study participants were randomly assigned to receive either Halaven or treatment of physicians choice. Because there is no single standard treatment regimen for women at this stage of breast cancer, treatment of women in the comparison group was left up to the patients physician. Halavens safety and effectiveness were established in a single study in 762 women with metastatic breast cancer who had received at least two prior chemotherapy </p><p>regimens for late-stage disease. </p><p>The study was designed to measure the length of time from when this treatment started until a patient's death (overall survival). The median overall survival for patients receiving Halaven was 13.1 months compared with 10.6 months for those who received a single agent therapy.</p><p>The results of this study suggest that Halaven can extend life among women with advanced, heavily pretreated breast cancer.There are limited treatment options for women with aggressive forms of late-stage breast cancer who have already received other therapies, said Richard Pazdur, M.D., director of the Office of Oncology Drug Products in the FDAs Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Halaven shows a clear survival benefit and is an important new option for women." </p><p>Other FDA-approved therapies used to treat late-stage, refractory breast cancer include Xeloda (capecitabine) for patients with breast cancer resistant to paclitaxel and anthracycline-containing chemotherapy; Ixempra (ixabepilone) for patients with late-stage disease after failure of an anthracycline, taxane and Xeloda; and Ixempra plus Xeloda for patients with late-stage disease after failure of anthracycline and taxane-based chemotherapy.</p><p>Reprinted from the and Results of the EMBRACE study were publish in The Lancet, 3/3/2011</p><p>News About Breast Cancer</p><p>NEW TREATMENT FOR LATE STAGE DISEASE</p></li><li><p>Fall is in full swing, and the chilly weather has arrived. While most of us have no problem feeling the chill in the air, those with peripheral neuropathy may. Neuropathy can be an unwelcome side effect from chemotherapy and can be transient but still a challenge to manage. We welcome medical oncologist Dr. Laura Nadeau on October 6th at 7pm at Troy Beaumont to enlighten us on what exactly neuropathy is and how to prevent/manage it.</p><p>This year, S&amp;C has started a new support group for women with metastatic breast cancer. Personally, I have become very fond of these ladies. They are living their lives to the fullest (something we should all be doing!) and managing medical challenges as they arise. Unfortunatley, the breast cancer community tends to keep these ladies at </p><p>an arms distance, and the focus is on curable breast cancer in October. With this being said, I am happy to invite ALL OF YOU to a celebration of life and awareness on October 13, Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day. We will have several wonderful speakers: Dr. Nayana Dekhne Director of the Comprehensive Breast Clinic, Jennifer Martens, R.N. Oncology Nurse manager, Debra Luria Ph.D, A.P.R.N, Clinical Psychologist and survivor and my dear friend Eileen Kastura, a three year metastatic survivor. We will meet in the lovely Salisbury Garden at Royal Oak Beaumont at 3pm for tea (light snacks) and talk! Please RSVP, so we can be assured to have enough food and drink available for the celebration.</p><p>Living DownstreamWalking Upstream A Movie Night brought to us by the Michigan Breast Cancer Coalition. This powerful documentary revolves around Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D when she receives a cancer diagnosis. She then begins to research and uncover some of the possible enviormental causes of cancer. Sandras personal story about her cancer journey and her discoveries is a night not to be missed! This movie viewing will be held at the PNC Bank Building in Troy.</p><p>Volunteers are a big part of what makes S&amp;C successful. Please join us for a volunteer appreciation night December 8th! If you have volunteered for us or are interested in volunteering come join us the night for a light meal, friendship, sharing and a big thank you from us!</p><p>Have a wonderful Fall and Holiday Season!warm regards, Lorelei</p><p>Sharing &amp; Caring is a non-profit organization dedicated to confronting breast cancer with </p><p>knowledge , support and hope. Our programs are run entirely on contributions from people </p><p>like you. We are proud to provide quality programs at no charge. Please consider a gift to S&amp;C in honor of someone special or in support of your favorite Sharing &amp; Caring program. All </p><p>contributions are tax deductible. Thank you for sharing and thank you for caring. </p><p> Greetings from Lorelei</p></li><li><p>Often women with Stage IV breast cancer feel like outsiders. Attention and focus is given to women whose breast cancer is "curable." Are there any initiatives underway across the U.S. to bring more attention to women who are living with breast cancer day in and day out? Dr. Norton: The comment is absolutely right. A lot of the communication and resources are focused on patients with primary breast cancer rather than recurrent breast cancer. However, there are efforts to correct that. One of the major changes in metastatic breast cancer over the years is conversion from an acute fatal disease to a chronic one that people can live with. I have people with metastatic breast cancer that I've cared for for 25 years. I expect that we're going to see more and more people with long survival with this disease, which is always a prelude towards disease cure. I suspect we're in that transition now. Dr. Weiss: New therapies for breast cancer are usually first introduced in clinical trials for women with metastatic disease, so women with metastatic disease truly are pioneers for new treatments and approaches in the future. I have mets to my liver and bones, and because most of the time I look great, people assume I am great when really I feel like crap and am tired. When they say, "Wow, you look so normal," it is so hard to not break down and cry and yell at them. What can I do? Dr. Norton: Basically, you need somebody to talk to about your own individual psychological situation and relationship to this illness. Many people need some individual counseling - not because you're ill or you're doing things wrong, but to gain coping skills so psychologically you can do as well as you seem to be doing physically. Dr. Weiss: Often people will take their cue from you. So if you are looking glamorous, strong, and courageous, people will want to assume that you are everything that you seem plus more. Dealing with expectations your own, as well as others is one of the challenges of living with metastatic breast cancer. Ideas from a therapist can be quite helpful in this situation. It seems to me that women with Stage IV cancer on clinical trials face a great deal of uncertainty regarding effectiveness of their treatment. Are there particular/specific ways of helping these women cope with day-to-day living on clinical trials? Dr. Norton: Uncertainty is part of life and if you have a serious disease, that uncertainty is heightened. Being on a clinical trial in many ways reduces that uncertainty since the schedule of testing for the status of the disease is determined by experts and adhered to carefully. It is very important when one has a serious disease to do everything possible to do well with that disease, including establishing a relationship with a doctor or nurse with whom you have a great deal of trust. When you are doing everything you can to do well, then you should turn your attention to living as full a life as possible. It is a mistake to become a professional patient. Your illness is only one part of your life; the other parts of your life also deserve your attention and respect. Make decisions and go on with your life. Enjoy the people that you love. And that's the best way to reduce fear. Dr. Weiss: Dr. Norton taught me a long time ago that there's only one of each of you, and each person deserves to be hopeful and believe that you can do well. As a physicians in practice for more than 20 years, we have both learned that the patients who may seem to have the worst prognosis can beat out the odds and show us that they too have a chance of beating the statistics and living well. There are patients I took care of 15 years ago who I was sure would never make it who are still writing me Christmas cards. Dr. Norton: I have noticed over the many decades I've done this that expecting to do well often leads to doing well. Visualizing a happy future often leads to a happy future. The only way you can guarantee that you're going to do poorly is to stop fighting.</p><p>Reprinted from</p><p>Ask the ExpertOur Expert:</p><p>Larry Norton, MDMedical Director, Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center</p><p>Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer CenterMarissa Weiss, MD</p><p>President,</p></li><li><p>Support Groups:Breast Cancer Support Groups: Come join us to meet other ladies who are recently diagnosed or long-time survivors who have had similar experiences. These groups provide an opportunity for women to discuss the unique challenges facing them as breast cancer survivors. Feel free to participate and share your story or just listen and perhaps make a new friend. The sessions are led by a psychologist, social worker, or nurse practitioner. </p><p>Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group: This very specific group is designed to meet the needs of ladies who have advanced or metastatic breast cancer. Often women with stage four breast cancer feel unable to talk about the unique challenges they face and this format provides a safe arena to discuss what is on your mind. Please join us if you have been diagnosed with metastasis, or a recurrence of breast cancer. This group meets in the Royal Oak Cancer Center 2nd Floor Administrative Conference Room, in Suite 210. Tuesday, November 1st, 7:00 pm. Facilitated by Debra Luria, Ph.D, A.P.R.N. of Psychological Institute of Michigan.</p><p>Look Good Feel Better: This program is presented in conjunction with the American Cancer Society to help women who are currently undergoing cancer treatment to improve their appearance and self image by teaching them hands-on beauty techniques to overcome the appearance-related side effects of cancer treatments. We will also learn how to tie head scarves, and get tips on choosing the right wig. Please call 248-964-3430 for reservations at Troy, or 248-551-8585 for reservations at Royal Oak. Program meets at 10:00 am at the Troy Beaumont Wilson Cancer Resource Center and at 6:00 pm at the Royal Oak Beaumont 1st Floor Cancer Center Classroom. Meeting dates are Mondays: October 10th, November 14th and December 12th.</p><p>October, November &amp; December</p><p>Royal Oak Beaumont Groups meet in the Cancer Center 1st Floor Classroom Monday, October 10th at 2:00 pm. Monday, November 14th at 2:00 pm. Thursday, December 1st at 7:00 pm. Monday, December 12th at 2:00 pm. Troy Beaumont Groups meet in the Wilson Cancer Resource Center, across the bridge from the Hospital Monday, October 17th, at 10:30 am</p><p> Monday, November 21st at 10:30 am. </p><p>ALL Sharing &amp; Caring events are RESERVATIONS REQUIRED! Please call 248-551-8585 and let us know you plan to attend. If no one is available to take your call, a message with your name, phone </p><p>number and which program you want to attend will complete your registration. </p></li><li><p>Other Offerings This Quarter - October, November, December</p><p>My Fingers are Tingling, is this Neuropathy?: Thursday, October 6th, 7:00 pm Troy Beaumont What is neuropathy, anyway? Please join us as Dr. Laura Nadeau, medical oncologist, discusses neuropathy, what it is, how it can be prevented, why it happens and how to manage it. We will meet in the Atrium classroom (next to the Sterling Cafe) of the Beaumont Professional Building on the East side of Dequindre. (across the bridge from Troy Beaumont Hospital. Please park in the professional building parking lot.)</p><p>Metastatic Breast Cancer Awareness Day Tea: Thursday, October 13th, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Royal Oak BeaumontDuring the month of October, pink ribbons are everywhere, promoting a cure for breast cancer. Unfortunately, for the 155,000 survivors living with metastatic breast cancer, cure is not always an option. These women and men long for their voices to be heard, to increase research funding to find new therapies to extend their lives. Please join us in embracing these survivors! Dr. Nayana Dekhne, Director of Beaumonts Breast Care Center, Debra Luria, Ph.D, Psychologist, Jennifer Martens, RN, along with Eileen Kastura, 3 year metastatic breast cancer survivor, will host this special recognition tea. Enjoy tea/coffee, cookies, cake and fruit at this inspirational gathering. We will meet in the Debra Saber Salisbury Memorial Garden, located on the 6th floor of the South Hospital. Take the golden elevators up from the South Lobby. Please RSVP!! Prevention and Management of Lymphedema: Thursday, October 13th, 7:00 pm Royal Oak Beaumont and again on Thursday, November 17th, 7:00 pm Troy BeaumontPresented by Dr. Justin Riutta, Director of the Beaumont Lymphedema Clinic. Discussion of risk factors, prevention and man...</p></li></ul>