Category Archives: Cancer

Julia Louis-Dreyfus ‘Feeling Happy and Ready to Rock’ After Breast Cancer Surgery

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Julia Louis-Dreyfus has undergone surgery as she continues to fight her battle with breast cancer.

On Wednesday, the 57-year-old Veep actress revealed the news of her operation on Twitter — telling fans that she was recovering well.

“Hoorah! Great doctors, great results, feeling happy and ready to rock after surgery,” Louis-Dreyfus wrote. “Hey cancer, ‘F— you!’ ”

Ever the comedian, Louis-Dreyfus included a glamorous photo of herself with the tweet, which she joking referred to as, “My first post op photo.”

Louis-Dreyfus was diagnosed with breast cancer in September, days after she won her sixth consecutive outstanding lead actress Emmy for her role as Selina Meyer on Veep (which set the record for most wins for a performance in the same role for the same series).

“1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one,” she tweeted at the time. “The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”

The Seinfeld alum has remained positive on social media throughout her battle. In January, she completed her last round of chemotherapy — something the sons she shares with husband Brad Hall (Charlie, 20, and Henry, 25) celebrated on Instagram with a video of themselves lip-syncing the words to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.”

“My beauty boys @henryhallmusic @charlie_hall made this for me today, my last day of chemotherapy,” Louis-Dreyfus captioned the video. “Pretty swell, right? Ain’t they sweet?”

Later that month, Louis-Dreyfus was rewarded for her work in Veep with the trophy for outstanding performance by a female actor in a comedy series at the 2018 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Though she watched the 2018 show from home, Louis-Dreyfus addressed her win in a tweet.

“I wish I could have been @SAGawards tonight but have to admit it’s pretty fun to watch in my pj’s,” she joked on Twitter. “So honored to win. So proud to be a union member. So happy for my @VeepHBO bozos for winning ensemble award. Miss being at the table with you all. How was the chicken?”

Before the show, Louis-Dreyfus’ Veep costar Tony Hale gave an update on her health status, saying she’s doing “fantastic” since completing chemotherapy.

“She’s really doing great,” he said on The PEOPLE, Entertainment Weekly & TNT Official SAG Awards Red Carpet Live Show, adding that they’ll likely resume filming on the final season of the HBO hit this summer.

Matt Walsh tole EW that Louis-Dreyfus has even started easing back into work. “We’ve seen [Julia], she’s done some table reads, she’s doing well, she’s finished her last chemo, she’s in recuperation,” he said. “Her prospectives have remained excellent throughout. She’s very well loved; she’s a tremendous person.”


www.health.com/syndication/julia-louis-dreyfus-breast-cancer-surgery “>
Breast Cancer – Health.com

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Shared a Video Her Sons Made for Her Last Day of Chemo, and I’m Not Crying, You’re Crying

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Some big news out of the office of the Former President of the United States of America: Today is the *last* day of chemotherapy for Julia Louis-Dreyfus, who was diagnosed with breast cancer late last year.

The Emmy-winning actress — who has perfectly played Veep/President/Former Veep and President Selina Meyer — has been undergoing chemotherapy to treat the cancer. She has been sharing her journey along the way with all of us, because we love her, and we literally only want the best for her. Production on Veep’s seventh and final season was also juggled around to accommodate JLD’s treatment, and she has kept a positive, upbeat outlook since she first announced this back in September.

And now, she’s here to announce that her chemo is finally done, and rather than post a celebratory Instagram, she’s instead sharing what her sons sent her. Her sons with husband Brad Hall, Henry and Charlie, put together a cute little video where they jam out to Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” — obviously to signify that it’s about time the cancer BEAT IT out of JLD’s body.

Oh, wait, also did I say cute video? I mean to say incredibly cry-worthy, because come on, they’re celebrating their mom, our president, JLD finishing chemo. It deserves a good cry.

Her sons aren’t the only ones celebrating this victory right now. When Julia finishes with her cancer treatment, we’re all rootng for her.

 

Also JLD’s birthday is in *two* days, so yeah, this milestone is a pretty good reason to really celebrate extra hard this year. We’re sending JLD all our love and the best. We need this former President now more than ever.


www.health.com/syndication/julia-louis-dreyfus-last-day-chemo “>
Breast Cancer – Health.com

This Device Might Help Find Signs of Breast Cancer—but Do You Really Need It?

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We’re all afraid of breast cancer. Let’s get that out in the open right off the bat. It's understandable, considering that breast cancer is the leading type of cancer and the second-highest cause of cancer death (after lung cancer) in women.

Naturally, most of us want to do whatever we can to lower our risk of breast cancer or to catch it early, when it’s easiest to treat. That goal has fueled years of debate over when women should start going for regular mammograms and how often to get them. Personally, after years of reporting on breast cancer screening and other medical exams, I'm leery of looking too hard for something—a concept experts call over-testing, which can lead to over-diagnosis.

RELATED: 9 Things to Know Before Your First Mammogram

Now, there's an at-home device that supposedly can give women even more information about their boobs. The device, called the Pink Luminous Breast, is kind of like a high-tech flashlight. When a woman presses it against her skin, a red LED light illuminates her breast tissue. With your boob aglow, you’re supposed to be able to spot clusters of new blood vessels (called angiogenesis) which can, in some cases, be a sign of possible cancer. Should a women spot shadows or clusters when using the device, she can bring that information to a doctor to see if her breasts warrant further testing.

"We want to inspire an awareness lifestyle,” says Pink Luminous Breast founder Marylin Dans. After having a nodule in her breast removed at age 17, she’s always been extra careful with her breast health, she explains. “I think you should keep it next to your electric toothbrush, turn off the lights, and check yourself every so often. It motivates you to do more self-exams and allows you to feel a little more secure.”

But doctors are skeptical. “I don’t think too many radiologists would recommend this as any sort of screening method,” says Janna Andrews, MD, a breast and gynecological cancer specialist and assistant clinical professor of radiation medicine at the Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell in New York. Because it’s categorized as a class one medical device by the FDA, it can be sold without the stringent clinical testing required of medical devices that can actually diagnosis or treat a condition, Dr. Andrews explains. “We don’t have any evidence of its efficacy or how it compares to mammography,” she says.

RELATED: 9 Breast Cancer Symptoms That Aren’t Lumps

If illuminating your breast did turn up abnormalities, you'd still need a mammogram to know what those irregularities mean. “This is not under the guidance of anybody who is trained,” says Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at Orlando Health Hospital in Florida. If everything looks all-clear with the device, you might be tempted to skip a visit to the doctor. “It may give a false sense of security," she says. "I wouldn’t want anybody to miss anything.”

The device could also cause unnecessary concern. “Clinical breast exams are no longer encouraged because of false positives,” Dr. Andrews explains. Monthly breast exams find too many suspicious lumps that turn out to be nothing to worry about. “I have to think that something like this could potentially lead to more false positives as well.”

Instead, experts recommend sticking to routine mammograms and getting familiar with your breasts the old fashioned way–with your hands. If you feel a lump or notice other changes in your breasts, it’s always worth bringing up with a professional. “If you notice something is feeling a little different than it always has, you can inform your doctor about that,” Dr. Greves says. “Just be aware of your breasts so you can be the first one to know if there’s a change.”

RELATED: All the Ways Your Boobs Change as You Age

The Pink Luminous Breast website says the device “is intended to be a breast health familiarity assistance tool,” something that could help you in the process of getting to know your girls. Personally, I don't see the need to spend $ 149 on a breast health familiarity assistance tool when I have two hands, but Dans disagrees. “I feel awkward doing it—it’s weird to touch yourself,” she says. “What Pink does is it gives you the ability to use a second sense—your eyes—and look underneath your skin.”

I decided to give it a hesitant try. After charging the device for a few minutes, I turned off the lights in my bathroom and bumped up the brightness on the Pink Luminous Breast.

The resulting sorta-creepy red illumination made me feel like I was a passenger on Ms. Frizzle's Magic School Bus. I checked out a few different vantage points, pausing as I looked at shadowy veins, all of which seemed pretty normal to me. Still, I found myself becoming a little queasy about peering into my body so intimately. So I powered down the device, feeling more awkward about looking at blood vessels than I do about feeling myself up.  

I still have more than a decade to decide when to have my first mammogram. But a mammogram—or at least an appointment with a doctor—is the only way to figure out what to do with the information gleaned from using the Pink Luminous Breast. Trying it out left me wondering what would have happened if I was more of a worrier about my breast cancer risk. Would I have booked an appointment for the following day? 

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In most women with an average risk of breast cancer, screening doesn’t start until at least age 40 and sometimes later. But Pink Luminous Breast’s website says women over 25 should start using the device. “Even in a woman with a very high risk of breast cancer, we typically don’t recommend starting screening before age 30,” Dr. Andrews says. That’s because women in their 20s have just a 0.1% risk of developing breast cancer in the next 10 years, according to the American Cancer Society. For women in their 30s, that number rises to just 0.5%. Younger women also have denser breasts, which might obscure the view. “I would have to think it would not be as effective in dense breasts,” Dr. Andrews says.

For now, I'm sticking to old-fashioned, device-free breast familiarity. Both Dr. Andrews and Dr. Greves expressed gratitude that Pink Luminous Breast wants to help women, but they didn't think it built a strong enough case to ignore current standards of care just yet. Bottom line, says Dr. Greves: “We can’t recommend or endorse a product that’s not fully regulated or FDA approved.”


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Breast Cancer – Health.com

Husband of Bride Who Died of Breast Cancer 18 Hours After Hospital Wedding Speaks Out

Many couples go into their wedding day dreaming of a lifetime of love. But Heather and David Mosher of East Windsor, Connecticut, knew that what should have been a new beginning for them, was going to be the end.

Heather, 31, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, and David, 35, wed at Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut, on Dec. 22. Heather died just 18 hours later. Her last words were the vows she recited to her husband.

“It was the hardest day of my life. Especially the 45 minutes or so of the service itself,” David tells PEOPLE. “As we were approaching the ceremony, it just had this feeling like it was more of a funeral than it was a wedding because I knew my time with her was coming to an end.”

“I just bawled through the whole ceremony and, for me, it was such a sad occasion, because I knew I wouldn’t see her again,” he adds. “When someone’s your soulmate, you’re never the same when you lose that part of yourself. There’s a part of me that died when she died.”

Heather was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer on Dec. 23, 2016, the same day David asked her to marry him.

“I had been planning to propose to her that night anyway, even before the diagnosis,” he says. “I wasn’t gonna let that change my decision to marry her.”

Over the next year, he watched her health deteriorate as the cancer spread throughout her body to her brain. Still, David and Heather were determined to marry each other.

“We had known even before I proposed that we were soulmates … it was just something that was important to us,” he said of their plans to marry despite Heather’s illness. “We already called each other husband and wife, but we just felt that we deserve a chance to celebrate that in front of our friends and family.”

Heather spend the final months of her life at the hospital, where doctors advised the couple to move up their wedding date. They had originally planned a Dec. 30 wedding, but hospital officials warned the couple that Heather likely would not make it until then.

In emotional photos of the ceremony, Heather is shown in her hospital bed wearing a wedding gown and veil along with a breathing mask. Still, she smiled and lifted her hands as family and friends surrounded her.

“She was just so happy and triumphant, because she knew that in a way she had beat cancer because she lived longer than anyone thought she was going to,” David says. “She made it to her wedding day, which was her biggest goal. Cancer couldn’t take that away from her.”

They originally planned to get married at a local church, but just two days before the ceremony, they knew they had to plan for a hospital wedding. Heather died at 12 p.m. on Dec. 23 and the family held her funeral on Dec. 30 at 11 a.m. at the church — the same date, time and place the couple originally planned to get married.

“Here I am giving a eulogy for my wife, yet that was the moment I was actually supposed to be reciting my vows to her,” David says. “I’m up at the podium next to the altar of the church and I was an emotional mess, but I made it through the eulogy.

“It took everything I could just to get through that. The more I thought about how this is supposed to be our wedding day and instead I’m saying goodbye to her was just, they don’t make words to describe how that feels”


www.health.com/syndication/husband-cancer-patient-wedding-dies-heather-mosher “>
Breast Cancer – Health.com

Mom with Breast Cancer and Daughter with Alopecia Pose Bald Together in Emotional Photo Shoot

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Kristi Tavenner and her 7-year-old daughter Rose have a special message: “Bald is beautiful.”

Tavenner, who has breast cancer, and Rose, who has alopecia, proudly showed off their looks in a sweet mother-daughter photo shoot recently, in a display that quickly went viral.

“Both of these gorgeous ladies are bald for different reasons,” Kellie, of Kellie Rose Photography, wrote of the women in a post on the Love What Matters Facebook page. “Rose began going out fully bald when all her hair fell out a few years ago.”

She adds: “It was beautiful to hear from Kristi about how Rose helped her to be brave when she began to lose her hair during chemotherapy treatments.”

In the shots, Tavenner and little Rose are shown smiling and laughing as they embrace each other in the photos. Both wore earrings and floor-length gowns.

“They are two of the most beautiful people I’ve met, inside and out,” Kellie added. “They are here to show everyone that BALD IS BEAUTIFUL!”

Tavenner was diagnosed with breast cancer in April.

“Kristi and I had become good friends in the past year, and after she found out that she was going to have to undergo chemotherapy treatments after her full mastectomy, we were just talking about how she felt about losing her hair,” Kellie tells PEOPLE.

“While she felt understandably a little scared about it, she also felt like it might be a special way to bond and relate to her daughter who has alopecia”

It seems Tavenner has long drawn on her daughter’s strength. In an April Facebook post, the doting mother wrote that Rose lost all her hair in 2016 — “She hasn’t let this disease slow her down and will only grow stronger,” she wrote.

“Thanksgiving 2015 I noticed 2 bald spots the size of a quarter on the back of her head,” Tavenner continued. “In 4 months she went from full head of gorgeous hair to completely bald … In the end, our beautiful Rose still shines like a star and loves to the fullest.”


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Breast Cancer – Health.com

12 Things That Probably Don’t Increase Breast Cancer Risk

We expose the myths, urban legends, and old wives' tales surrounding what causes breast cancer.

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Breast Cancer – Health.com

12 Reasons Your Boobs Hurt

Aching breasts are often nothing to worry about. But everything from your period to your workouts to your meds could be causing your pain. Here's what you should know–and when to talk to a doctor.

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Breast Cancer – Health.com

6 Causes of Lumps That Aren’t Breast Cancer

It's probably not cancer–but that doesn't mean you can ignore a lump in your breast.

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Breast Cancer – Health.com

College Student with Breast Cancer Underwent Treatment Without Missing a Single Class

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Colleen Cappon’s senior year of college was different than most. While she lived in an apartment with her friends, stayed up late doing homework and went to parties on campus, the then 21-year-old had another side of her life that made her very different from the average college student.

Every other weekend, she left school to drive two hours from campus to her hometown of Watertown, New York, where she would undergo chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer.

Just weeks before Cappon began her senior year at the State University of New York at Cortland in 2007, she was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. That summer, while she was getting ready for a night out with friends, doing what she calls the “boob scoop” into her bra, she felt a lump in her breast. A bit alarmed but not overly concerned, Cappon thought she should see a doctor just in case. At her subsequent doctor’s appointment, she had an ultrasound done. The doctor told her it was likely just a fibroadenoma — a mass of dense cells. She recommended that when Cappon came back over winter break, she get the mass removed.

But something felt off to Cappon, and she thought, “Why wait until Christmas?” She still had a month to go before heading back to school, so she decided to have it removed. “I can’t really explain it,” she tells PEOPLE of her gut instinct.

The mass was removed and then tested per standard procedure. And as she soon found out, Cappon’s instincts might have saved her life: The test revealed she had breast cancer.

At the time of her diagnosis, Cappon, who is now 31 and living in Albany, New York, was set to start her senior year of college. She had her class schedule, her lease signed on an apartment with friends and she didn’t want to give up that experience.

But she had to start treatment — and the sooner, the better. So Cappon devised a plan with her doctors. Every other Thursday night, she’d drive the two-hour distance from campus to her parents’ house. On Friday, she’d undergo chemotherapy, spending the rest of the weekend at home to recover before heading back to school on Sunday evening.

“I’m a very social person,” she says of her choice to stay in school while undergoing chemotherapy. “I knew if I missed out on this, it was not going to be good for my mental health during my treatments. And they say that’s the half of it, the attitude and positive environment and everything.”

She spoke with each of her professors about the situation, and confirmed with her academic advisor that she’d be able to schedule her classes on Monday through Thursday. Everyone was supportive, she says, and professors told her not to stress about deadlines and assignments — they’d be happy to accommodate any schedule changes she needed. But Cappon didn’t want to be accommodated: She made it through her whole senior year without missing a single class or assignment.

“I’m such a stubborn person, and it kind of pissed me off that this was even happening in the first place, so I made it a point to be like, ‘No, I’m not going to miss any classes. I’m not going to miss any exams, I’m going to do all my homework assignments,'” she said. “And I did.”

Though she was making frequent trips home each month for chemotherapy, Cappon was able to retain much of her “normal life” at school, she says. She even went to parties when she was feeling up to it.

Cappon finished her four months of chemotherapy in December 2007. That same month, she underwent a double mastectomy, an experience that turned more emotional than she was expecting. She went on to have reconstructive surgery in May 2008.

“I almost had been looking forward to [the mastectomy], because after all this treatment, and having cancer, I was like, ‘I can’t wait to get rid of this part of my body that had the cancer in it, and I’m going to feel so much better,’ ” she says. “And a big part of me did feel better after the surgery, but there’s also a big part that feels almost a little resentful. Especially at 21 years old. Let’s be real, your breasts look the best they’re ever going to look, and I’m getting rid of them.”

But for Cappon, the timing of her diagnosis wasn’t the hard part. In fact, she views it as something positive, despite her young age. In college, she had more time to relax and sleep than she would have had she been working a full-time job. And since she was living with her friends, there were constant distractions from the cancer.

“It was a great situation to be in, honestly,” Cappon says. “I was never alone, I didn’t have a job yet, I could nap between classes whenever I felt like it.”

What was difficult, she says, was the uncertainty that came along with getting a diagnosis that so few women her age had received. Not only was it isolating, but it came with medical hurdles, too. She consistently found questions left without an answer: Her doctors couldn’t tell her if she’d suffer common side effects, or if she’d be able to have children after her treatment was over.

“There were a lot of unanswered questions,” she says. “There were a lot of questions about the side effects. I was told one time, ‘We’re not sure if your hair is going to fall out, because you’re so young, maybe your body will react differently.’ “

Perhaps the biggest unanswered question was about her fertility. Unlike many young women with breast cancer, Cappon wasn’t able to freeze her eggs before starting treatment because of how aggressive her tumor was.

“You don’t really care or think about having kids when you’re 21, until someone says you might not be able to,” she says. “They just said, ‘We’re going to give you this treatment, and we don’t really know what your future is going to be like. Let’s just concentrate on surviving this first,’ ” she says. “I go off the medicine in January, and it’s really just a toss-up.”

It’s a tough future for a 21-year-old to face. Cappon is now married to her college boyfriend, who she was dating during her cancer treatment. She says that at the time, she was open with him about the possibility that she wouldn’t be able to have children one day, and told him that she’d understand if he ended their relationship. “In the beginning, I said, ‘I don’t know what is going to happen with this kids thing. If you want out, I understand,’ ” she says.

Her boyfriend didn’t want out, and encouraged her to go through with the double mastectomy. His support brought a level of relief to the experience, she says.

“I feel a little guilty about it sometimes, because I had a boyfriend throughout the whole time that was encouraging me to do everything I could to make sure I came alive out on the other side of this,” she says. “Other young women who don’t have a serious boyfriend and are out in the dating world, who’ve had mastectomies, that has to be really tough, and weigh on your decision to get the surgery.”

Almost 10 years later, they’re hoping to start a family in the near future and they’re discussing her going off the drug Tamoxifen, which she has been on for the past decade in hopes of reducing the risk of the cancer coming back. For the first time, having a family is a real possibility within sight. Whether she’ll be able to, however, is unknown. She’s still not sure if she’ll be able to have children once she’s off the medication. She was one of the first women her age to go on the drug for a 10-year period, she says, and was told back in 2007 that they’d simply have to wait and see if it would affect her ability to have children.

“Again, more uncertainty,” she says. “But at least I’m here.”

In the years since her first post-chemo and surgery screening showed no evidence of cancer in May 2008, Cappon has connected with many other young women with breast cancer, something that she says has been “really rewarding.”

“I remember really clearly when I was diagnosed feeling like there was no one I could find at my age who had done this and came out okay on the other side, leading a healthy, normal life,” she says. “You’ve just gotta keep your chin up and remember you’re going to come out on the other side.” 


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Breast Cancer – Health.com

Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Veep Costars ‘Psyche Her Up’ for Third Round of Chemotherapy

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This article originally appeared on People.com.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has some pretty special “darling bozos” in her life.

The Veep star — who announced her battle with breast cancer in September — went in for her third round of chemotherapy on Thursday, and her costars Matt Walsh and Sam Richardson decided to film a small sketch to motivate her.

“2 of my darling Bozos (love them so much) psyche me up for 3rd chemo today,” Louis-Dreyfus, 56, captioned the video on Twitter. “And guess what? It worked! I’m psyched AF.”

In the clip, Walsh, 53, and Richardson, 33, decided send some “motivational quotes” to “psyche her up” ahead of her treatment. They sit down to Google some ideas, but only seem to be coming up with quotes from less-than-ideal candidates: Joseph Stalin, Kevin Spacey and Harvey Weinstein.

Eventually they give up and decide to sing for her instead, breaking into a rendition of Survivor’s “Eye Of The Tiger.”

“Kick some a— today, Julia!” they cheer.

Louis-Dreyfus revealed her breast cancer battle on social media Sept. 28, writing, “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one. The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring friends, and fantastic insurance through my union.”

“The bad news is that not all women are so lucky,” she added. “So let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.”

RELATED: Julia Louis-Dreyfus Calls for Universal Health Care After Breast Cancer Diagnosis — 5 Times She Got Political

The announcement came just days after Louis-Dreyfus won her sixth consecutive outstanding lead actress Emmy for her role as Selina Meyer on Veep, setting the record for most wins for a performance in the same role for the same series.

HBO told PEOPLE that Louis-Dreyfus learned of her diagnosis one day after the Sept. 17 award show, noting that “it in no way impacted the decision to make this the final season” and that the production schedule will be adjusted as needed.

“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time,” said the network in statement. “We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of Veep.”

A premiere date for Veep season 7 has not yet been announced.


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Breast Cancer – Health.com