Breast Cancer

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., speaks a roundtable Monday at Metro High School in St. Louis. She was joined by St. Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill is venturing out across Missouri to gather input and garner public support about making college less expensive.

The Democratic senator kicked off a statewide tour on college affordability at Metro High School in St. Louis. She spent time Monday morning talking with college administrators from local institutions -- including Washington University, the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Webster University and St. Louis Community College.

Dr. Heidi Miller, (left) and breast health navigator Cherese Agard work at Family Care Health Center in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood of St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

In the past six years, staffers at Family Care Health Center in St. Louis have doubled the number of women coming in for regular mammograms.

It’s part of a region-wide push for “breast health navigators”: women who reach out to other women who aren’t getting mammograms and frequently don’t have health insurance. Then, they figure out how to get them in the door.

provided by the office of Sen. Claire McCaskill

“I very recently learned that I have breast cancer,” Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., announced in a statement on Monday.

In a note on her Tumblr page, McCaskill, 62, wrote that her prognosis is good and that she expects a full recovery. The cancer was detected during a routine mammogram, and McCaskill said she will be in St. Louis for three weeks to receive treatment.

Parth Shah

(Updated 11:40 a.m., Thurs., June 19

More than 30,000 people gathered for the 16th annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Saturday morning, turning downtown St. Louis into a sea of pink balloons and tutus.

Over the past 16 years, Susan G. Komen St. Louis has raised $29 million for breast cancer research and treatment. But attendance at the annual race has been on the decline. There were 10,000 fewer participants at this year’s race compared to 2013.

Bradley Schlaggar


Most people have heard about the undesirable side effects that chemotherapy has on the body of people suffering from cancer. There's balding, fatigue and loss of appetite, to name a few.

Until recently, however, chemotherapy’s effects on the brain weren’t widely recognized. The cognitive side effects – a  fuzzy memory and poor attention span – were usually dismissed by physicians, scientists and even some cancer patients.

The symptoms have a name: Post-chemotherapy cognitive impairment, or “chemobrain,” among those who suffer from it.

Robert Joiner

The day Sha Fields was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, her fiancé came along to offer moral support, and he has been by her side since then. She says she used to wonder how to repay his years of unconditional support. The chance came last year, when the husband, Cliff, was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The Siteman Center for Advanced Medicine at Washington University had no data on how unusual it is for a husband and wife to have cancer, but Sha says she is hearing that the experience is becoming more common.

Washington University

Updated on August 29 to change 13% to 11% after further clarification from study co-author Graham Colditz.

A new study out of Washington University suggests that young women who drink regularly are at increased risk for developing breast cancer.

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Lori Jackson was vigilant about getting yearly mammograms. She had gotten mammograms since the age of 35 because her older sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer at age 37.

In spite of this, Jackson was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer in 2009. She was 44.

When Sally O'Neill's doctor told her she had an early form of cancer in one of her breasts, she didn't agonize about what she wanted to.

The 42-year-old mother of two young girls wanted a double mastectomy.

"I decided at that moment that I wanted them both taken off," says O'Neill, who lives in a suburb of Boston. "There wasn't a real lot of thought process to it. I always thought, 'If this happens to me, this is what I'm going to do.' Because I'm not taking any chances. I want the best possible outcome. I don't want to do a wait-and-see."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Sandra Garrett knew something had gone wrong inside her body a decade ago when her left hand became limp, falling from her chin and sliding down her chest. She later found a lump on her left breast and “had no idea how long it had been there.”

National Human Genome Research Institute

Cancer is cruel and it impacts the lives of far too many people and their families.  According to the World Health Organization, breast cancer kills 458,000 people each year.

Recently, actress and director Angelina Jolie, in a New York Times op-ed entitled My Medical Choice, announced she received a double mastectomy in order to minimize her risk of getting breast cancer.

Jolie has a genetic predisposition to breast cancer.  Her mom died from the disease at the age of 56.

(via Washington University in St. Louis/Shyam Kavuri, Ph. D.)

The findings of new breast cancer research from Washington University could result in effective treatment for 4,000 additional patients in the United States each year. Scientists made the discovery after analyzing DNA sequencing data from 1,500 patients.

The research appears in the latest edition of Cancer Discovery.

So what does this research mean?

Dave Cornthwaite / Expedition1000

Dave Cornthwaite is a remarkable British adventurer and he just completed a 1,000 mile swim down the Missouri River, ending in St.

Dave Cornthwaite / Expedition1000

Update: Dave was interviewed by Don Marsh on St. Louis on the Air on Monday. You can listen to that conversation by clicking here.


This morning The Gateway Arch was the last stop on British swimmer Dave Cornthwaite’s 1000-mile journey down the Missouri River, completing the last few miles on the Mississippi River. 

Matthew Ellis / Washington University

Researchers at Washington University used new technology to unravel the entire genetic helix for a subset of breast cancer, called basal-like, and found that it is more like ovarian cancer than other types of breast cancer.

The study’s co-Leader, Mathew Ellis, said that means techniques used to tackle ovarian cancer could be more effective than traditional methods for basal-like breast cancer.

“The more we understand about an individual breast cancer the more we can actually treat the patient accurately,” Ellis said.  “I like to call this genome forward medicine.”

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Finding from Washington University could hold key to more targeted breast cancer treatments

Researchers at Washington University have uncovered a genetic mutation that explains why some women don't respond to a common form of breast cancer treatment.

Before surgery, most women with breast cancer receive aromatase inhibitors, which reduce the production of estrogen to shrink the size of tumors. But it doesn't always work.

(via Flickr/Eddie~~S)

$1.3 million ATM Solutions money restolen

The $6.6 million robbery of ATM Solutions in St. Louis in 2010 is believed to be the largest heist ever in St. Louis. It turns out the robbers themselves were victimized, too - at least $1.3 million was re-stolen. 

Cancer study shows limiting alcohol reduces chances of developing breast cancer

A new study today finds that young women with a family history of breast disease can reduce their risk of developing breast cancer by avoiding alcohol. The research, published in the journal "Cancer", looked at more than nine-thousand young women starting in 1996 and tracked them through 2007.

(National Cancer Institute/Bill Branson)

A new project in north St. Louis aims to lower breast cancer death rates for women of color.

Washington University sociologist Sarah Gehlert says even though nationwide white women are more likely to get breast cancer, black women are about 35 percent more likely to die of the disease.

She says in St. Louis that number is closer to 60 percent.

(Washington University School of Medicine/ Matthew J. Ellis)

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have shown that estrogen-lowering drugs can help reduce the need for mastectomy in some breast cancer patients.

Estrogen is known to increase tumor growth in the majority of breast cancer patients.

In a new study, post-menopausal women with large breast cancer tumors were given one of three estrogen-lowering drugs before surgery.

Study lead Dr. Matthew Ellis says all three drugs were equally effective in shrinking tumors and reducing the need for complete breast removal.