Friday Frontline: Cancer Updates, Research and Education on October 25, 2019

From the Food and Drug Administration’s call to action over breast implant-associated illness and lymphoma to a four-time survivor’s college football debut, here’s what is making headlines in the cancer space this week.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) responded on Wednesday to the public outcry for something to be done about the risks associated with breast implants. The agency recommended that manufacturers use boxed warnings that clearly label the risks, such as breast implant-associated illness, a rare form of lymphoma and other symptoms. Since the FDA began tracking the issue in 2011, the agency has linked implants to 573 cases worldwide of breast implant-associated anaplastic large cell lymphoma.

The FDA also called for the warning to include that breast implants are not lifetime devices and that complications may increase over time. A checklist was also proposed to provide patients with risks and guide conversations.

“Taken as a whole we believe this draft guidance, when final, will result in better labeling for breast implants that will ultimately help patients better understand breast implant benefits and risks, which is a critical piece in making health care decisions that fit patients’ needs and lifestyle,” Dr. Amy Abernethy, principal deputy commissioner, said in a statement.

A heat camera at a popular tourist attraction spotted a woman’s breast cancer. Bal Gill was at Camera Obscura and World of Illusions, in Edinburgh, Scotland, and after reviewing the images, she noticed a heat patch over her breast, according to a report by CNN.

The 41-year-old made a doctor’s appointment and later received a diagnosis of early-stage breast cancer. She has had two surgeries and has one more to go.

“I just wanted to say thank you: without that camera, I would never have known. I know it's not the intention of the camera but for me, it really was a life-changing visit,” Gill said.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg revealed this week that despite her latest bout with cancer she never stopped working out. The 86-year-old spoke at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law on Monday, and when asked if she has been able to return to the gym she said, “I never left it.”

Ginsburg has been working out twice a week with her personal trainer since her first cancer diagnosis in 1999. Her routine consists of push-ups, planks and weights.

In August, Ginsburg was treated with radiation for a pancreatic tumor. “Even in my lowest periods I couldn't do very much, but I did what I can,” Ginsburg told the audience.

A four-time cancer survivor made his college football debut over the weekend. Casey O’Brien has osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer, and has undergone 14 surgeries since he was 13 years old.

O’Brien, a redshirt sophomore who plays for the University of Minnesota, was called into the game against Rutgers University to hold for an extra point attempt in the fourth quarter, and the kick was good.

His teammates joined him in celebration and coach P.J. Fleck shared a victory hug after the game.

O’Brien later tweeted, “Only Coach in the country to give me a chance. Hard to describe what @Coach_Fleck means to me. Moment of a lifetime. Love this team and this program.”