Breast Cancer Treatment Breakthroughs

Listen to the October 28th 2012 segment of Inspirational Women:

To Learn about how genome studies are revolutionizing breast cancer care. Now we know that there is more to genetics of breast cancer than we have known before.

There are four types of genetically distinct breast cancer according to April 2013 NY Times article:
There are at least four genetically distinct breast cancers. They may have different causes and definitely respond differently to treatment. Two related subtypes, luminal A and luminal B, involve tumors that feed on estrogen; they may respond to a five-year course of pills like tamoxifen or aromatase inhibitors, which block cells’ access to that hormone or reduce its levels. In addition, a third type of cancer, called HER2-positive, produces too much of a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2; it may be treatable with a targeted immunotherapy called Herceptin. The final type, basal-like cancer (often called “triple negative” because its growth is not fueled by the most common biomarkers for breast cancer — estrogen, progesterone and HER2), is the most aggressive, accounting for up to 20 percent of breast cancers.

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