Breast Cancer is a kind of cancer that develops from breast cells, usually starting off in the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply them with milk. A cancerous tumour can spread to other parts of the body.
A large number of reported cases of Breast Cancer have been reported by females, therefore most of the focus on the treatment of this disease is on women.
Breast Cancer accounts for up to 16% of all female cancers and causes about 19% of all cancer deaths worldwide.
For many women, Breast Cancer may seem like a death sentence.
Symptoms of Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer symptoms are felt by the patient, who then describes this to a physician, although some of the signs like swelling or a lump can be detected.
One of the first symptoms of Breast Cancer is an area of thickened tissue in the woman’s breast, or a lump on the Breast. A majority of these lumps may not be cancerous, thus women need to have them checked by a healthcare professional as soon as they notice them.
Solutions and Treatments
Many solutions have been proposed and used for the treatment and prevention of the spread of Breast Cancer and these treatments vary depending a number of factors:
- The stage of the tumour.
- The patient’s age, general health, and preferences.
- The patient’s menopausal status.
Some of these solutions include surgery, where a mastectomy or a lumpectomy is performed to remove the cancer cells from the body. This may be accompanied by radiation therapy as well as chemotherapy on the patient.
This cocktail of solutions have worked in many cases, and failed in others, thus no prescribed treatment is guaranteed to work perfectly.
A team of researchers at the European Cancer Organisation (ECCO) have made an astounding discovery in the treatment of this condition. In their study, this staggering new cancer therapy destroyed cancerous tumours in just 11 days without chemotherapy. This was the first time a drug for this disease has shown such a response.
According to the American Cancer Society, around 1 in 5 Breast Cancers are human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-positive, or HER2-positive.
The new treatment, which involved a combination of two drugs lapatinib and trastuzumab, showed astounding results against HER2 positive Breast Cancer.
257 women with HER2 positive Breast Cancer were enrolled in the programme. They were split into groups and treated for 11 days prior to surgery. Women who were treated with the drug combination were compared to women who received only one drugs or no drugs before undergoing surgery.
To assess results, samples of the tumour tissue were taken from an initial biopsy and once again during surgery.
It was found that there was a drop in Ki67 Protein, indicating cell proliferation. 17% of women treated with the drug combination had minimal residual disease, while for a further 11%, the drugs had eradicated their tumours.
These results could revolutionise the future treatment of Breast Cancer and could even allow patients to avoid going through Chemotherapy post-surgery, thus reducing the adverse side effects and giving them a better quality of life.