Tag Archives: Surgery

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.”


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Breast Cancer – Health.com

Boy dies after undergoing surgery to remove 10-pound tumor from his face

Boy dies after undergoing surgery to remove 10-pound tumor from his faceA Cuban boy who underwent surgery last week to remove a 10-pound tumor from his face died in a Miami hospital on Friday, one of his physicians has announced.



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Maria Menounos Shares Video Taken 24 Hours After Her Life-Saving Brain Surgery

Maria Menounos Shares Video Taken 24 Hours After Her Life-Saving Brain SurgeryMaria Menounos is giving fans an intimate look at her recovery six months after her life-saving brain surgery



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Pentagon To Pay For Soldier’s Gender Reassignment Surgery

Pentagon To Pay For Soldier’s Gender Reassignment SurgeryThe Pentagon will pay for an active-duty soldier’s gender confirmation surgery, which took place Tuesday afternoon, according to a statement sent to multiple news outlets.



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5 Things to Know About Tamoxifen, the Breast Cancer Drug Jill Goodacre Has Been Taking Since Her Surgery

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In this week’s issue of People, former Victoria’s Secret model Jill Goodacre opens up about her five-year battle with breast cancer and the medication she’s been on to keep the disease at bay. Goodacre, who’s married to singer and actor Harry Connick Jr., went through surgery and radiation in 2012 after a tumor was detected via sonogram, and has taken the drug tamoxifen ever since.

As she approaches her five-year cancer-free mark, Goodacre says she’s looking forward to stopping tamoxifen. The medication can cause side effects, including weight gain, which Goodacre admits she’s struggled with.

“I’ve always been a pretty fit person, and so to be just rounder and heavier and not to really be able to do much about it—that’s been hard,” she told People. “It’s taken a lot out of my self-confidence.”

That’s a common problem among breast cancer survivors, says Nikita Shah, MD, medical director of the Cancer Risk Evaluation Program at Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center. (Dr. Shah has not treated Goodacre, but does prescribe tamoxifen to many of her own patients.)

Still, tamoxifen can be lifesaving, says Dr. Shah, and for many women, its benefits outweigh its potential side effects. Here’s what else breast cancer patients and their loved ones should know about the pros and cons of this treatment.

It can be a treatment or a prevention

Tamoxifen is in a class of drugs known as selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMs. These drugs work by attaching to estrogen receptors in breast cells, blocking estrogen’s ability to cause cell mutations that lead to cancer.

The drug—taken as a pill or a liquid—is often prescribed to pre-menopausal women after surgery for early-stage breast cancer. Because surgeons can’t always be sure they removed all of the cancer cells, tamoxifen can reduce the risk that those leftover cells will continue to multiply and the cancer will return.

It can also be prescribed to women, pre- or post-menopause who have not been diagnosed with breast cancer, if they have a high risk (1.67% or higher) of developing it over the next five years. These women are usually 35 or older, and have risk factors such as a family history of cancer or a history of abnormal biopsies.

RELATED: The 5 Breast Cancer Stages, Explained

It’s only effective for some types of cancer

Studies have shown that tamoxifen can reduce the risk of cancer in high-risk women by more than 30%. But because the drug affects estrogen receptors in the body, it only works against cancers that are estrogen-receptor-positive or progesterone-receptor positive. Together, these make up about two-thirds of all breast cancers, according to BreastCancer.org.

“The way tamoxifen works is you’re depriving your cancer cells of estrogen, which is their nutrition,” says Dr. Shah. “So that will only work for the cancers that are estrogen-fed or progesterone-fed.”

RELATED: 25 Breast Cancer Myths Busted

Other factors can affect how well it works, too

Some people have an abnormal version of an enzyme called CYP2D6, which may make tamoxifen less effective. (Some research has suggested this, although larger, more recent studies haven’t found a link.) Patients may want to consider being tested for this enzyme abnormality before starting tamoxifen, to make sure they’ll get the full benefit.

Certain medications, including diphenhydramine (Benadryl), cimetidine (Tagamet), and some antidepressants can also block the activity of the CYP2D6 enzyme. "That's why it's very important to make sure your oncologist knows every medication you're taking, including supplements," says Dr. Shah. 

Five years is recommended, but 10 years may be better

After breast cancer treatment, most women who take tamoxifen take it for five years. But recent studies have suggested that it can reduce women’s risk for breast cancer even further if it’s taken for 10 years, says Dr. Shah.

However, tamoxifen is only recommended after breast cancer treatment for women who haven’t gone through menopause yet; after menopause, other drugs—called aromatase inhibitors—are known to work better. “If a woman becomes post-menopausal during those five or 10 years she’s on tamoxifen, we will switch her to this other group of drugs that is 20 to 25% more effective,” says Dr. Shah.

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It does have side effects—but they may be overestimated

Despite its protective effects against cancer, some women stop taking tamoxifen because of side effects like hot flashes, mood swings, nausea, vomiting, or weight gain or loss. The drug can cause menstrual irregularities, and changes in sex drive or sleep patterns as well. (Tamoxifen also raises the risk for more serious health issues, like blood clots and uterine cancer; though for most women, the overall risk for these problems is still small.)

But many women who take tamoxifen are perimenopausal, and a recent study found that some women mistake naturally occurring symptoms of menopause with side effects of tamoxifen. In the study, symptom-related drop-out rates were similar across a nearly five-year period for women who took tamoxifen and for those who took a placebo pill.

“Patients will say I started taking tamoxifen and I gained 40 pounds,” says Dr. Shah. “But that’s probably a combination of hormonal and lifestyle changes they’re going through. Tamoxifen can cause some fluid retention, and it could maybe cause a 2- or 3-pound weight gain, but beyond that there are probably other things going on as well.”

Dr. Shah says it’s important to talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing side effects, rather than stopping a recommended course of tamoxifen. “There are ways to manage the side effects, and most of them are not permanent. They get better with time,” she says.


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Breast Cancer – Health.com

Border Agents Apprehend 10-Year-Old After Emergency Surgery

Border Agents Apprehend 10-Year-Old After Emergency SurgeryU.S. Border Patrol officers waited as a 10-year-old girl in Texas with cerebral palsy underwent emergency surgery and then detained her, after first discovering she was an undocumented immigrant at a checkpoint on her way to the hospital, according to immigrant rights advocates and her family.



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How Going to a Naked Hot Springs Retreat Helped Me Accept My Breast Cancer Surgery Scars

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This writer is part of Health.com's contributor network. Learn more about the contributor network and how to join.

Having breast cancer at age 39 wreaked havoc on my body—and killed my sex drive too. After 69 blood draws, 22 chemotherapy infusions, 11 infections (staph, kidney, and yeast, to name just a few), and seven invasive surgeries (including reconstruction surgery for my breasts and a full hysterectomy), I felt like Frankenstein. I didn't have a left nipple. Both breasts rocked red, angry-looking scars. I literally couldn't feel large swaths of my chest and stomach, and I felt furious and sad about having my tubes tied. I'd experienced emotional trauma, mental fog, physical weakness, even the loss of my eyelashes. The end result? I was avoiding sex with my husband of 15 years.

Before cancer, our sex life was normal. But after cancer, I sometimes had trouble believing that I was still a sexual being. I assumed that my (awesome) spouse now viewed me as broken, ugly, or less-than. I sought out support groups, but still felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, that my cancer would return at any moment.

I wasn't alone in feeling this way. Angel Wells, a 34-year-old I met through Bay Area Young Survivors (BAYS), a support group for young women living with breast cancer in the San Francisco area, had a similar experience. "Not only did breast cancer take one of my breasts, it broke my sexuality," she told me in an email. "I was completely unprepared for the pain and lack of sex drive, not to mention the strain on my relationship. I feel broken as a woman."

Ali Kent, 35, another BAYS member, said she, too, has struggled to get her sex life back on track. "The almost complete lack of sex drive, weight gain, and awful pain associated with sex now is unfair," she said.

RELATED: 14 Things Women With Metastic Breast Cancer Want You to Know

According to Karen Whitehead, a Georgia-based counselor who specializes in issues like cancer and life transitions, these are unfortunately not uncommon experiences for breast cancer survivors. "The scars from breast cancer can affect a woman's sense of sexuality and femininity, self-esteem, sex drive, desire for intimacy, and body image," she explained to me in an email. "It is not uncommon for women to feel defective or damaged in some way."

To try and rediscover my withered sexuality, I decided to visit a clothing-optional hot springs resort in Northern California. Today it's a non-profit retreat, but Sierra Hot Springs was once considered a sacred place by Native Americans. Situated next to a forest and alpine valley, it seemed like it would be a rustic, healing escape—and maybe it could help me come to terms with my new body.

When I arrived, I instantly felt worlds away from my normal urban routine of medical appointments, writing, cooking, and walking my dog. After checking in, I made my way to the main pool area, a gorgeous open-air dome with a hot tub and cold plunge baths. Butterflies, dragonflies, bees, and hummingbirds flitted through the tall trees.

The all-gender locker room was right next to the pool. Inside, two women were wearing bikini bottoms, but everyone else was completely nude. I wasn't ready for that just yet, though; in a move straight out of junior high, I quickly removed my cotton dress and underwear, rolled them up and placed them in a nearby wooden cubby, and draped a towel around my body.

Outside by the pool, I chose a lounge chair at the end of the row, wanting as much seclusion as I could get. The male-to-female ratio was about 50:50; there were naked bodies everywhere, but I felt self-conscious. No one else was missing a nipple, I noticed—I didn't even see any C-section scars. Not yet ready to bare my skin, I kept my towel tightly wrapped while I tried to read and enjoy the peace and quiet.

RELATED: 9 Things to Know Before Your First Mammogram

After a while, I noticed a woman in her 70s with her grey hair up in a bun. She walked slowly, with a soft smile, back to her chair from the hot tub. We didn't speak, but I felt a connection to her; surely, like me, she has faced challenges, and perhaps even illnesses of her own? And if she could walk around confidently, I could too, right? I longed for the peace she had in her own skin.

I finally got the strength to make my way to the hot tub, and let myself float and bob on my back with my breasts in the air. It was serene and freeing to look up at the sky while buoyed by water. Later, I tried to channel the older woman's confidence as I walked back to my chair. The wooden deck was warm, and I felt like I was finally ready to turn over on my back and let my breasts be free.

As I let the towel drop, I felt a fluttering in my belly, like I was about to get up and speak in front of a large group. But looking around, I realized that no one was looking at me. I sat back and enjoyed the feeling of the sun on my skin—scars and all.

 

Mary Ladd is currently the co-author of The Wig Report, a humorous graphic novel about hospitals, hair loss, and major illness.


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Breast Cancer – Health.com

Senate delays healthcare vote as McCain recovers from surgery

Senate delays healthcare vote as McCain recovers from surgeryBy David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate will delay its consideration of healthcare legislation while Arizona Republican Senator John McCain recuperates from surgery, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday. McCain’s absence cast doubt on whether the Senate would be able to pass the legislation to dismantle and replace Obamacare.



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Senate delays healthcare vote as McCain recovers from surgery

Senate delays healthcare vote as McCain recovers from surgeryBy David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Senate will delay its consideration of healthcare legislation while Arizona Republican Senator John McCain recuperates from surgery, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on Saturday. McCain’s absence cast doubt on whether the Senate would be able to pass the legislation to dismantle and replace Obamacare.



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10-Month-Old Twins Joined at the Top of Their Heads Are Separated in Delicate Surgery

10-Month-Old Twins Joined at the Top of Their Heads Are Separated in Delicate SurgeryAt 10 months old, a set of twins joined at the head were successfully separated.



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