Power Color of the Month? Pink!

It may not be your favorite color. But won’t you consider wearing something pink — the color of health and hope — to get the word out that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month? Watching breast-cancer survivor Hoda Kotb’s recent interview with Joan Lunden, who was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer last June, reset my heart to January 2012, when I lost my dear best friend, Charla Krupp, to the disease. Indeed, every woman I know says her life has …

Anti-Cancer Gel May Be Safer Than Pill

For women with an early form of breast cancer, the oral drug tamoxifen can help prevent a recurrence, but the pill also has serious side effects. Could a tamoxifen skin gel, applied directly to the breast, avoid the side effects while still blocking the cancer cells? The answer may be yes, according to a small, but intriguing new study by researchers with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Both the skin gel and the pill versions of tamoxifen delivered the …

Former ‘Good Morning America’ Host Joan Lunden Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

Joan Lunden, one of TV’s most celebrated talk show hosts and news anchors, revealed June 24 that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. “I heard those words that every woman fears and never wants to hear: ‘You have breast cancer,’ ” Lunden, 63, told Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, a show Lunden cohosted from 1980 to 1997. >> Sign up for the AARP Health Newsletter  Lunden learned the diagnosis after a tumor was identified in an ultrasound exam …

MFG Movie and Video Preview: May 9

Mother’s Day Weekend beings three fine new films-two based on true stories-that focus on women of all ages and stages of life.     Belle Handsomely filmed, beautifully acted, the true story of a half-African woman raised in an aristocrat’s home at the tail end of slavery in the British Empire takes some of the hard themes studied in 12 Years a Slave and wraps them in Jane Austen finery. The luminous Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays the title role; Tom Wilkinson …

Mammogram Study: Are We Missing the Point?

It’s a large, new study that raises doubts about the value of mammograms in preventing breast cancer deaths, but a lot of the publicity and debate about it seems to have missed an important point. According to the 25-year Canadian study, published Tuesday in BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal), there was no difference in the number of breast cancer deaths between women who got annual mammograms and women who got an annual physical breast exam by a nurse. The …

Cancer Still Top Killer, But Death Rate Is Dropping

En español I The good news about the cancer death rate over the past 20 years is that it’s dropped 20 percent, according to a new report from the American Cancer Society. The report, published in the American Cancer Society’s journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, says the decline translates to roughly 1.3 million people who avoided dying from the disease between 1991, when the death rate hit its peak, and 2010. Much of that progress, notes the report, …