International Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Today marks the beginning of International Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One of the scariest diagnostics for women is breast cancer, as it counted for 571,000 deaths worldwide in 2015, according to the World Health Organization. Being one of the biggest killers for both women and men early detection is key.
With new technologies, women can now find out if they run the risk of having breast cancer by finding out whether they have the breast cancer gene.
Advanced research has also found that certain DNA mutations are linked with high potential relapse risks for a certain type of cancers. With other mutations associating with better outcomes.
These discoveries could aid in predicting which patients have the odds of their cancer returning. This information would lead to potential aggressive treatments being developed for high-risk mutation patients.
Author Obi Griffith, an assistant professor of medicine of Washington University School of Medicine, says that with the new studies they hope patients who are likely to do well with treatment can be identified by doctors against patients who are likely to have their cancer reoccur.
“Those with mutations that are associated with a good prognosis may need less intensive therapy than they might otherwise receive. But if a patient’s tumour has mutations linked to high risk of relapse, it’s useful to know that early so they can be treated with more aggressive therapies or even potential investigational therapies that could be targeted to their specific mutations.”
According to Nature Communications, one of the most common forms of breast cancer are estrogen receptor positive breast cancer. These kinds of cancers drive tumour growth and count for most cases every year.
Several treatment options exist for ER positive breast cancer patients that block the oestrogen receptors preventing tumour growth. These types of hormonal therapies work better and are far less dangerous than general chemotherapy and radiation.
Griffith believes that with the research, they might have found everything of importance, but the studies show there is still much to be discovered.
With all this research it is still vital for women and men to do their own research when it comes to early breast cancer detection. Especially young people, who are still at risk of getting the disease. UK based charity CoppaFeel, is the first breast cancer charity to bring awareness to young people.
They aim to equip younger people with the knowledge and tools to detect cancer early. They work in line with the NHS and Public Heath to inform young people at schools, work, universities, surgeries, festivals, the media and online.