Cancer - The Road Ahead
end of the 1990s was a boom time for discoveries in breast cancer research.
New therapies were discovered and discarded at a confusing rate. Now that
we're into the 21st century, where are we headed and what can we expect?
in the past consisted of a diagnosis of cancer and surgical removal of
the offending cells followed by a regimen of radiation and chemotherapy.
Research is changing both the diagnosis and the treatment.
is more important than ever to the treatment of breast cancer. Women are
getting the message that early detection is the best guarantee of survival.
Breast self examination
mammograms are a regular part of more women's lives. The techniques
used for diagnosis are getting more sophisticated than ever. Steroscopic
imaging allows for a better look at the breast tissue than either mammography
are able to provide.
a lump or irregular tissue is found, the next step is biopsy. New biopsy
trends are improving the results and making the process a little more
pleasant for the patient. Needle biopsies and sentinel
node mapping are modern techniques for naming the growth and
deciding on relevant treatments.
latest treatments stem from the emerging knowledge of the progression
of this disease including genetic testing for breast cancer. The more scientists discover about what makes a cell
go haywire, the better they are at finding ways to change the behavior,
or even prevent it.
are being tailored to specific types of breast cancer. Breast cancer
now is seen as estrogen receptor positive or negative. Some overexpress
HER-2/nue and MRP others do not. Each is unique and needs a drug that
targets that specific cancer. This improves the success of the treatment.
The targeting of specific types of cells also means less toxic side effects
for patients undergoing chemotherapy
even some talk of vaccines, although the research is in the animal testing
stage at this point.
looks good for those with a diagnosis of breast cancer . The arsenal of
new drugs is growing due to the focus on research and funding for research
that emerged during the 1990s. Independent foundations founded by friends
and relatives of breast cancer victims are an important part of this development.
All of those runs, walks and bicycle rides and stamps are translating
into new hope for everyone affected by this disease.
updated April 22, 2017