Despite the fact that breast cancer is one of the most fatal illnesses, there have been a lot of medical breakthroughs, which mean that having breast cancer need not be the end of the world. We have heard – and we continue to hear – about real stories wherein women have overcome the challenges of breast cancer. One of the most recent of these women is Christina Applegate. Let’s look at some of the important developments in breast cancer research.
It used to be that the standard for screening was mammography. This method basically identified lumps and calcification in the breast tissue. Today, however, MRI is also used to detect breast cancer and it is far more effective and accurate.
The cutting edge in breast cancer drugs today are called aromatase inhibitors (AIs). According to studies, women who have been treated with these drugs have a higher chance of cancer NOT coming back.
Better biopsy procedures
It used to be that a biopsy meant a lot of pain and other inconveniences. Today, the standard is that doctors only remove several lymph nodes from the patient. Called the sentinel lymph node biopsy, the procedure accurately detects if there are cancer cells.
Better treatment options
This includes the use of gene-focused treatments. Aside from taking a look at the patient’s genes, doctors are working on the genes of the cancer cells. This kind of procedure could mean more knowledge about the exact nature of the cancer and provide insight that could lead to more effective treatment options.
Originally posted on October 21, 2008 @ 5:02 pm