Vienna – A group of British researchers studying the factors influencing the recurrence of breast cancer said that after analyzing a 1,000 breast cancer patients, their findings might lead to improved treatments.
Most breast cancer patients are cured after treatment, but the disease returns in about one in five patients, either in the same location as the original tumor or in other parts of the body, according to the study presented at the European Cancer Congress in Vienna.
After analyzing 161 cases of cancer come back, it turned out that there were genetic differences between primary and recurring tumors. The differences seen can predispose cancer to return, combined with mutations acquired throughout the period from the first diagnosis to the subsequent relapse. Some of these genetic alterations are potentially targetable with drugs.
“We have found that some of the genetic mutations that drive breast cancers that relapse are relatively uncommon among cancers that do not relapse at the point of primary diagnosis” study leader Dr. Lucy Yates said in European Cancer Congress in Vienna. She is a clinical research oncologist at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England.
The results can help not only better choose the right treatment combination but also enhance the use of the information about the primary tumor increase. Now doctors could be able to select the right therapy for each breast cancer patient.
“This study also underlines the fact that we should consider a recurrence of cancer as a new event, and carefully select the right treatment for the recurrent tumor as opposed to just relying on information from the first occurrence,” added Dr. Peter Naredi, scientific co-chair of the cancer congress as reported by Web MD.
Breast Cancer Month in Kent
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and many members of the Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority will wear blue T-shirts with pink logos in support of it.
“Early detection is the key to one having better treatments to catching it when it’s small and simple, and for recovery that is crucial […] We support anything we can do to help promote that” said engineer Nikki Smith, who helps organize the cancer awareness campaign to Kent Reporter.
The International Association of Fire Fighters initiated the T-shirt idea about 10 years ago. Kent has participated each year when firefighters wear the shirts under their uniforms. And the campaign has turned into making people aware of all cancers not only breast cancer.
“The national statistics say one in eight women will get breast cancer,” Smith added. “The stats for firefighters say one in three will get cancer. It’s a lot more prevalent in our lives. We’ve had firefighters in our department get cancer and we just had a Renton firefighter die of cancer. We see it more and more, unfortunately.”