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, …

Be Aware of “Breast Cancer Awareness” Scams

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month – time to think pink. But also take a clue from those theme-hued ribbons and other merchandise. Your desire to support the search for a cure for the second-biggest cause of cancer death among women can be the perfect opening for charity scammers. The same thing can happen when natural disasters and other in-the-news events prompt the opening of hearts and wallets. Sign up for the AARP Money Matters newsletter There are lots of legitimate …

Every Invasive Breast Tumor Needs This Test

Women who have been diagnosed with invasive breast cancer – meaning a tumor in the tissue, not in a duct – must be tested for the HER2 gene and protein, according to new guidelines from two expert groups. The HER2 test can indicate whether a tumor is aggressive and fast-growing. If the test shows a tumor is HER2-positive, meaning it has an extra copy of the HER2 gene or high levels of HER2 protein, a woman can be treated with …

Ginseng Helps Patients Fight Cancer Fatigue

High doses of pure American ginseng, taken by cancer patients and survivors for just two months, brought marked improvement in the severe fatigue often experienced both during and after chemotherapy, a new study has found. Cancer-related fatigue, experienced by up to 90 percent of cancer patients,  is a profound tiredness that is not relieved by sleep or rest. “It can significantly impact the ability of people to accomplish the things they are used to doing every day,” lead researcher Debra …