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Breast Cancer Update 2010

Breast Cancer Update 2010

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women. The first symptom of this cancer for many women is a lump in their breast. However it must be pointed out that many women have breast lumps which are benign (non cancerous) so it is important to check with your doctor to determine the status of such lumps.

It is always caused by a genetic abnormality (a “mistake” in the genetic material). However, only 5-10% of cancers are due to an abnormality inherited from your mother or father. About 90% of breast cancers are due to genetic abnormalities that happen as a result of the aging process and the “wear and tear” of life in general.

The types of treatment for breast cancer include Radiotherapy, Chemotherapy, Biological therapies, Hormone therapy, and Complementary therapies. The number of cancer cases could be reduced by people leading a healthier life. What you eat, what you drink, how you live and how active you are all factors that can affect your risk of developing cancer. Resveratrol may have a part to play in helping to prevent this cancer following some findings by a research team led by Eleanor Rogan of the Eppley Institute for Research in Cancer and Allied Diseases at the University of Nebraska which demonstrated that resveratrol suppresses the abnormal cell growth that leads to most types of breast cancer.

A breakthrough in the development of a breast cancer vaccine brings hope that the vaccine will someday be used to prevent cancer in adult women. Human tests of the vaccine could begin as early as next year. The drug makes the immune system attack a particular protein found in most breast cancer cells and the mammary tissues of breastfeeding women.

Further research is working with a drug made from a sea sponge which is for women with advanced breast cancer. The new drug is used for women who have had multiple treatments with no cure and it has improved survival by approx two months for the women who take the drug. It is helpful for women who have had their cancers spread or come back. Doctors think that this new drug may in the future become part of the standard treatment for breast cancer patients. So there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel in the battle to prevent this cancer.