From Ina Jaffe’s breast cancer news to a couple moving up their wedding due to a cancer diagnosis, here’s what’s happening in the cancer landscape this week.
Ina Jaffe, a correspondent for NPR, penned an essay about her journey with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer.
“I've been keeping a secret. I've decided to tell it,” she began.
Jaffe shared that she received her diagnosis two years ago and refrained from sharing it with friends or strangers because she was still “in the hysterical stage.”
“Because, faced with an incurable cancer diagnosis, I did what any normal person would do: I stopped sleeping. I stopped eating. I sobbed a lot. I was grieving for my own life,” she wrote.
Eventually, she told 50 of her closest friends and three editors at NPR who also kept the secret per her request. This past week, she decided to publicly share the news in hopes of helping others and expressing her outrage.
“Up to 30% of women with early-stage breast cancer progress to stage 4,” Jaffe said. “I thought that you were more likely to get metastatic breast cancer if you'd been diagnosed with a more-advanced stage of breast cancer to begin with. Wrong again. It's not dependent on your stage at original diagnosis. I was stage 1B when I was first diagnosed in January 2012.”
She also explained that she had a titanium rod implanted in her thigh to deal with a bone metastasis and brain radiation, among other treatments.
Carene and Cameron Hughes exchanged their vows on Sunday after moving up their wedding, which was originally scheduled for August. The couple had to push the wedding up because doctors found a tumor on Cameron’s pancreas, as well as two lesions on the liver. The cancer is stage 4.
“I didn’t want the memories of our wedding to be me rolling down the aisle in a wheelchair or something like that, I wanted it to be a memory she could have, and kids could have, even after I’m gone,” Cameron Hughes told WXII 12 News.
The Hughes and their four children still have hope that a clinical trial at Duke University could make a difference, but are taking the news one day at a time.
“Don’t take life for granted. You know, I’m 51 and I’ve lived a pretty good life. There’s things I want to see that I may not get to see, so live life, be happy, love, one love,” Cameron Hughes said.
Children who are born through assisted reproductive technology (ART), such as in vitro fertilization, intracytoplasmic sperm injection and frozen embryo transfer, do not have an increased risk of cancer. The research was presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology annual meeting this week.
The results are "quite reassuring, especially for children conceived by IVF, and are an important contribution to the current knowledge about health risks in ART-offspring," study author Dr. Mandy Spaan, of Amsterdam University Medical Center and the Netherlands Cancer Institute, told U.S. News.
The study may help doctors communicate better about any potential health risks for future children of patients who are considering fertility treatments. It will also provide gynecologists with "evidence-based information about the association between ART and cancer risk in children and adolescents," said Spaan in a news release.
Trey Mancini, a Baltimore Orioles player who missed the entirety of the 2020 season after a stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis, recently accepted an invitation from Major League Baseball to participate in the Home Run Derby.
This season was Mancini’s return to baseball after undergoing treatment for the cancer. He is consistently among baseball’s best in maximum exit velocity, according to ESPN.
Mancini’s cancer was initially found just days after the spring training season had been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At 29, he never expected to receive the diagnosis his father, 58, had received a few years prior.
“There were times early on when I wasn’t entirely sure I’d be playing baseball again,” Mancini told MLB. “I'd be lying if I'd say that was the first thing that came to mind. The whole time I just wanted to be healthy long-term and live a long life. And baseball definitely was on the back burner when I was going through all that.”
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