More boob, less happy, mice cause cancer

I got another fill on the old expander today. With just a bit of padding, I’m about even – in size that is. But the “pretend” side is about 12 feet higher than the “real” side. This is a bit of a problem, since I am only about 5 1/2 feet tall.

My plastic surgeon told me she needed to “state her case” in favor of me getting a prophylactic mastectomy. Blah, blah, blah … all the reasons you’ve heard before … blah, blah, blah. I immediately burst into tears as soon as she walked out of the room. She came back in proudly carrying some pictures to show me and was shocked to see me unable to talk.

I wasn’t crying about the stupid surgery. I was crying because my hormones are a total mess from Tamoxifen. I’ve come to terms with the surgery. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, it makes total sense to me to do a prophylactic mastectomy and it doesn’t make any sense to me to keep it. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, it makes no sense whatsoever to do a prophylactic mastectomy and all the sense in the world to keep it. On Sundays, I think about puppies.

In fact, I made the decision already not to make any decision for a few months. I told my plastic surgeon this at my appointment last week and she agreed it was a fine approach, but she has seen 10,000 patients since then and totally forgot.

The Tamoxifen is trying to kill me. I’m a stark raving bitch. I have to muster all of my energy not to say nasty things to everyone, including cashiers at the grocery store. What did the poor cashiers do? Well, they were breathing my air, mainly, but the fact they require me to actually pay for my products is another good reason to hate them.

And then there is the bursting into tears for not very good reasons. While some of you may think a “cut off your breast” pep talk from a doctor is a reason to cry, I don’t really think that crying over the fact that your 5-year-old has not done the thing you asked her to do 10 times in the last 20 minutes is very productive. I will have to wake up weeping and will have to cry myself to sleep at night if I have to come undone over her not listening to me.

Oh, yeah. Guess what else I found out today? Mice cause breast cancer. At least, that’s what I think this abstract is saying:

Holland JF, Melana S, Nepomnaschy I, Jiang J, Pogo BG-T.. Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY; Mount Siani School of Medicine, NYork, NY

The provirus of human mammary tumor virus (HMTV), 90-95% homologous to MMTV, the retrovirus known to cause breast cancer in mice, has been identified in human breast cancers (BC) (Cancer Res 2001, 61:1754-9). A unique env gene sequence homologous to MMTV (Cancer Res 1995, 55:5173-9) has been detected in 30-40% of BC in four countries of the Americas, two in Europe, and in Australia; in 60-75% of four of five African countries; but 0-12% in China, Japan and Vietnam, congruent with the natural habitat of mus domesticus, the common house mouse (Brit J Cancer 2000, 82:446-51; Clin Cancer Res 2004, 10:5647-9; Cancer 2004, 101:721-6). Normal tissue from the same breast with a positive tumor does not contain viral sequences, thus eliminating germ line inheritance (Clin Cancer Res 2001, 7:283-4). The long terminal repeat (LTR) genes of HMTV display systematic frame shift differences from MMTV (Cancer Res 2004, 64:4105-11). We report herein that characteristic B type retroviruses bud from primary BC cell cultures, with molecular properties identical to those of the provirus. In co-culture experiments HMTV can be transmitted through a viral filter to recipient human mammary epithelia and to cultured human B and T cells. The virus is integrated and can be detected as specific sequences by PCR. It is expressed as demonstrated by western blotting and immunocytchemistry.These data support the concept that a large portion of human breast cancer is associated with a retrovirus closely related to a virus oncogenic for mouse mammary gland. The known infectivity of MMTV for human breast cells (Cancer Res 2005, 65:6651-9) and the transmissibility of HMTV in our experiments raise the possibility that a major segment of human breast cancer is caused by an infection, explaining in part the worldwide differences in incidence.

Author: rosie

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3 Comments

  1. Is that abstract even written in English? I couldn’t read a damn thing.

    I’d make a fine doctor, wouldn’t I?

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  2. I tried, honest to goodness, I tried to read that abstract. I’m college-educated for the love of God and I couldn’t get through the first sentence. And they want people to take more “ownership” over their own health care. Yeah, right!

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  3. Here’s how I read the abstract… First, viruses modify the DNA of the cells they invade… that’s their MO. A large sampling of breast cancer cells from a certain tumor type have been found to include the same DNA sequences as this particular mouse-borne virus, so therefore it is believed that the mouse-borne virus is swapping the DNA and thereby causing the cancerous growth. This is indirectly supported by the fact that this type of cancer tumor is also more prevalent in geographic areas where the mouse is located.

    I’m no geneticist, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

    — Troy, husband/know-it-all

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