Countless individuals are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. While the survival rate has gone up considerably since breast cancer was first discovered as a disease, around 40,000 women die from it each year.
The interesting thing is that about 84 percent of women survive more than ten years after diagnosis versus the 65 percent rate of survival that was ten years ago. The improvement in survival rates is thanks to a better understanding of what makes breast cancer tick and awareness that makes early detection possible.
Below is a list of breakthrough treatments that aim to increase the odds of surviving breast cancer.
1. Making Cancer Cells Predictable
The main problem with cancer cells is that they mutate in unpredictable ways. This makes treating them incredibly difficult. Triple-negative breast cancer is an example of one of the hardest types of breast cancer to treat, as it doesn’t respond to hormonal therapy or many of the other treatment methods available for breast cancer.
Laurie Glimcher, M.D. and dean of Weill Cornell Medical College, has been hard at work with her team researching breast cancer. Their efforts have paid off, as they’ve found a protein that may be responsible for activating tumor growth. If they can turn this protein off, then they may be able to slow down or completely stop the growth of breast cancer in some individuals.
2. Over-the-Counter Treatment
Aspirin is a common treatment for a variety of conditions, which includes things like heart disease. Researchers like Wendy Chen, M.D. and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, are finding that it may be able to prevent the development of breast cancer in some individuals.
The only caveat about using aspirin to prevent breast cancer is that the findings are very preliminary. Researchers have yet to find what mechanism might be used to deter cancer with an age-old drug like aspirin.
3. Stopping Cancer Cold
Treatments that affect cancer when it is very small or when there are few cells affected by it often provide the largest benefit to the patient. That’s why researchers such as Patricia Steeg, PhD. and deputy chief of the Women’s Malignancies Branch at the NCI Center for Cancer Research, have been researching treatments that may stop cancer before it can grow.
Their research has been successful to a point. While temozolomide may not be effective at shrinking brain tumors that stem from breast cancer, it has been shown to be effective at stopping breast cancer from ever reaching the brain. This could potentially extend the lives of patients by years while drastically improving their quality of life.
For more information on breast cancer treatments, be sure to read websites like the Breast Cancer Society or to read Breast Cancer Society reviews.