Breast cancer is the most invasive cancer in women. As a matter of fact, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death right after the first one which is lung cancer.
Thanks to advances in treatment and screening there is a dramatic improvement in survival rates since 1989. In the U.S. there are approximately 3.1 million survivors of breast cancer.
The chance of dying from breast cancer is actually 1 in 37 or 2.7 %. In fact, in 2017, approximately 252,710 new breast cancer diagnoses are expected in a woman. Moreover, in 2017 about 40,610 might die due to breast cancer.
Facts on Breast Cancer
- This is the most common cancer among women.
- Symptoms are thickening or lump in the breast and specific changes to the nipple or the skin.
- Usually, the risk factors are genetic. However, certain lifestyle factors like excessive alcohol consumption, increase the likelihood of breast cancer.
- For breast cancer, there are different treatments available such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
- There are breast lumps which aren’t cancerous. However, women who are concerned about a specific change or lump need to consult a doctor immediately.
Research on This Topic
In Amsterdam at the European Breast Cancer Conference, there was a presentation of new research on this topic. The study author Nigel Bundred presented this researchwhich was about the effectiveness of certain drugs.
They had tested the drugs Lapatinib and Herceptin, i.e., trastuzumab. These 2 drugs are already used in the treatment of breast cancer. However, for the first time, these two drugs are combined.
This combination is used before chemotherapy and surgery. According to the results of the study, thanks to this combination the researchers could get rid of certain types of breast cancer in eleven days.
More About the Research
Cancer Research UK actually funded this research. This research aimed to use these particular drugs in order to fight a protein by the name HER2.
HER2 actually means human epidermal growth factor receptor no.2. This protein impacts the division and growth of the cancer cells. In addition, it’s more likely to return in comparison to other types of cancer.
This treatment is different in comparison to other therapies because it removes the need for surgery and chemotherapy, the researchers report.
Moreover, there are no temporary side effects, which makes the treatment less harmful to the body. Temporary side effects are fatigue, vomiting, and hair loss. Any alternatives when it comes to cancer breast treatments are welcomed.
Results of the Study
This study included 257 women. All women had HER2 positive breast cancer, half took the drug combo, and the other half of the group were actually the control group.
According to the results, those who took the drug, 17 percent of the cases had significantly shrunken tumors, and 11 percent actually had no remaining cancer cells in 2 weeks.
On the other side, the control group who only took Herceptin had 0 percent trace of cancer cells. Moreover, only 3 percent had a drop in tumor size.
Apparently, the combination of 2 drugs had a significant effect on the breast cancer cells in comparison to when these drugs are used on their own. But currently, the only issue is that Herceptin is only available for use with chemotherapy and not on its own.
Maybe this study will change things. When it comes to breast cancer treatment, there is need of more research on this topic. However, this specific research is a big step in the battle against one of the deadliest disease in the world – breast cancer.