Beyonce’s Dad Puts Spotlight on Male Breast Cancer

TUESDAY, Oct. 15, 2019 — Beyonce Knowles’ father first suspected something was wrong when he noticed a dot of blood that kept appearing on his shirts and bedsheets.

“Imagine a piece of white paper and you took a red pen and just put a dot,” Mathew Knowles told the New York Times. “That’s what it looked like in my T-shirt.”

Knowles scheduled a mammogram in July after he squeezed a nipple and a bit of bloody discharge came out. The diagnosis: stage 1A breast cancer.

Knowles is one of about 2,670 cases of breast cancer that will occur among men in 2019, according to the American Cancer Society. About 500 men die from breast cancer every year.

“Most men who get breast cancer usually present with a mass behind the nipple,” said Dr. Hank Schmidt, an associate professor of surgery with the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

It’s an extremely rare form of cancer in men, and male breast cancer accounts for just 1% of all breast cancer cases, said Dr. Siddhartha Yadav, a hematology-oncology fellow with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Men just don’t have as much breast tissue in which a tumor could grow, Yadav said. They also don’t have high levels of the female hormone estrogen, which can fuel breast cancer.

“Men just don’t have that kind of exposure,” Yadav said.

About 9 out of 10 male patients with breast cancer have estrogen receptor-positive tumors, making their cancers more sensitive to the smaller levels of estrogen typically found in men, according to a new review Yadav and colleagues conducted of nearly 11,000 men with breast cancer.

Because of this, treatment options for men are largely constrained to those developed for women, Yadav and Schmidt said. Not enough male patients are available to conduct solid clinical trials.

Men with breast cancer typically undergo either a lumpectomy combined with radiation treatment or a full mastectomy, the experts said.

Knowles chose a mastectomy, which he underwent the same month as his diagnosis. Lymph nodes removed at the same time showed that the cancer hadn’t spread elsewhere in his body. He plans to undergo a second mastectomy early next year to reduce his future risk.

That is one major difference between male and female treatment for breast cancer, according to the review by Yadav and colleagues published Oct. 7 in the journal Cancer.

More than 7 out of 10 men choose to undergo a full mastectomy for their breast cancer, while in women about two-thirds will choose a breast-sparing lumpectomy, Yadav said.

Even though male breast cancer is rare, most of these cancers appear to be caught at an early stage, Yadav’s review concluded.

About 38% of men are diagnosed at stage 1, while about 43% are diagnosed at stage 2, the researchers found.

This might be related to the fact that men just don’t have a lot of breast tissue, said Schmidt, who wasn’t involved with the review.

“If there is a tumor, people may be more likely to notice it,” Schmidt explained.

About 44% of male breast cancer patients receive chemotherapy, and 62% with estrogen receptor-positive tumors get anti-estrogen therapy, according to the study authors.

“Roughly one-third of men with ER-positive tumors aren’t getting anti-estrogen therapy,” Yadav said. “That is an area for improvement.”

Screening all men for breast cancer simply wouldn’t be effective, given the disease’s rarity, Yadav said.

But since genetics appear to play a large role in male breast cancer, it might make sense to screen men who carry BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations or have a family history of breast cancer, Yadav said.

“We could potentially screen that population,” Yadav said. “That would be a very limited number of people.”

Knowles learned that he has a BRCA2 mutation, which is more common among male breast cancer patients. He has urged his daughters to undergo genetic testing as well.

Although it’s pretty well-known that men can develop breast cancer, there’s a stigma that remains, Yadav said.

Yadav related the story of a recent male patient who went in for a mammogram and became embarrassed that he was surrounded by women there for the same screening.

“He felt so uncomfortable that he asked the people at the mammogram place if he could come in after the office closed,” Yadav said.

Removing this stigma could go a long way toward men getting the treatment they need, Yadav said.

More information

The American Cancer Society has more about breast cancer in men.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: October 2019 – Daily MedNews

‘Mush-Mush and the Mushables’ PutS the Fun in Fungi

Anyone who has seen Disney’s 1940 classic Fantasia knows that animated mushrooms can be a lot of fun to watch. That’s why French studio La Cabane and Belgium’s Thuristar are hoping that young audiences will be drawn to their new CG-animated series, Mush-Mush and the Mushables. The 48 x 11’ series, which targets 4- to 7-year-old viewers, follows the forest adventures of Mush-Mush, his best friends and the rest of the Mushable community, as they explore, grow and discover the joys of wildlife.

Mush-Mush was created by Elfriede de Rooster (Belgium), a self-taught CG-sculpting artist (Zbrush) who grew a passion for 3D-printing,” says producer Perrine Gauthier, who founded La Cabane studio in 2015. “So the character of Mush-Mush was first born as a little figurine. About four years ago, in 2015, Elfriede contacted us to offer her CG modelling talents to our projects, but when we discovered that she had created this little world of Mushables, we proposed to develop a series and an IP together!”

Gauthier, a TeamTO alum whose other credits include series such as My Knight and Me, Angelo Rules and Plankton Invasion, then reached out to Thuristar founder Joeri Christiaen (Plankton Invasion, My Knight and Me) for art direction and to flesh out the graphic look for the characters and the detailed, semi-realistic backgrounds and lighting. “I think Mush-Mush is a rare blend of strong author’s vision and high commercial potential,” says Gauthier. “The graphic roots of the project give it an immediate and universal appeal. There’s really this feeling of wanting to be a part of that world … It’s different, but recognizable, like a ‘familiar fantasy’. The Mushables are a little bit like us, but they have their very peculiar way of life. They are relatable and unique!”

Mush-Mush and the Mushables

Mush-Mush and the Mushables

Warm and Musical Shrooms

Gauthier believes that while there’s a warm and charming feel to this world, the writing and directing style is fast-paced and full of comedy and twists — and that’s why buyers have really responded to this combination. “Music is another essential element and part of our companies’ DNA,” the producer adds. “The composers (Frederik Segers and Jan Duthoy) have even built their own instruments (mostly made of bamboo) to create Mush-Mush’s very own musical identity, which also includes a few songs.”

Gauthier and Christiaen work with Cube Creative to produce the CG animation which is done in Blender, from CG pre-production to animation and rendering. Mush-Mush launches the new animation pipeline for Cube. The show also features 2D black-and-white segments produced in Toon Boom Harmony.

Overall, the producers believe that kids are going to be drawn to the appealing world of the Mushables. “Every Mushable has a special talent, and our heroes are discovering theirs while having fun and also making mistakes,” explains Gauthier. “The comedy element is key in these character-driven stories. The Mushables are a fun and imperfect community that you get attached to. The forest is also like a gigantic playground! Kids love building treehouses, tracking animal footprints or scouting for worms (and so did their parents when they were young!). Mush-Mush focuses on a macro-level that sparks the imagination of young ones even further and invites them to the fascinating world of moss, mushrooms and insects.”

Mush-Mush and the Mushables

Mush-Mush and the Mushables

The producer says it has been great to see Mush-Mush find a home with a wide variety of broadcasters at a time when there are so any reboots and adaptations in the market. “It was in Annecy that we started pitching the project three years ago,” recalls Gauthier. “Today we’re thrilled that the series is in production, scheduled to air in close to 150 countries starting next year — and that we’re now exploring more exciting opportunities for the IP, to hopefully turn Mush-Mush into a new, long-lasting brand… and ‘mush mush’ more!”

Mush-Mush and the Mushables is produced by La Cabane & Thuristar, and co-produced and distributed by CAKE. Broadcasters include Turner/Boomerang (EMEA, LatAm and APAC), Canal+ Family/Piwi+ (France), VRT-Ketnet and RTBF-OUFtivi (Belgium), RTS (Switzerland) and RTL Telekids (The Netherlands).

Perrine Gauthier

Perrine Gauthier

Animation Magazine

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