Sunday, November 26

Advancements in Breast Cancer Treatment: A New Era of Personalized Care

A New Era of Personalized Care

Getting a breast cancer diagnosis can be scary, but things have changed a lot in how we treat it. Unlike the old days when everyone got the same treatment, now it's like having a personalized toolkit to fight the disease.

Survival rates have gone up, with only 5% of women at an average risk of dying within five years after a breast cancer diagnosis, down from 14% in the 1990s. Dr. Harold Burstein from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute explains, We may not always know why someone gets breast cancer, but the good news is that outcomes are improving.

Instead of using a one-size-fits-all approach, scientists can now categorize breast tumors based on cell type. This allows for tailor-made combinations of treatments. Surgery is still common, but chemotherapy might be smaller or skipped. New drugs like immunotherapy and targeted therapies are giving doctors more options.

Breast cancer comes in different types, like ER-positive or HER2-positive. Knowing this helps doctors choose the best treatments. Thanks to research in the last decade, tests can now identify gene mutations, predict tumor growth, and help customize treatments.

For ER-positive, HER2-negative breast cancer, the use of chemotherapy has become more selective. Powerful tools allow doctors to decide if a patient really needs it. Medications like CDK4/6 inhibitors are also used for high-risk cases.

HER2-positive breast cancer, a more aggressive type, has seen progress with targeted therapies like Herceptin. A new approach pairs chemotherapy with proteins for better results with fewer side effects.

Triple-negative breast cancer, a fast-growing type, is challenging, but new drugs and immunotherapy are showing promise. Even more promising is the future use of liquid biopsies, blood tests that can guide treatment based on circulating tumor DNA.

Dr. Burstein is optimistic about the coming years, mentioning new technologies like liquid biopsies. For metastatic breast cancer, which isn't curable yet, patients are living longer with new treatments improving their lives.

Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is rare but dangerous. Unlike other types, it doesn't always show a lump. Symptoms develop rapidly, and early signs are often mistaken for less serious issues. Dr. Filipa Lynce advises not to ignore changes in the breast, even without a lump. If symptoms persist, seeking medical attention is crucial.

Finally, for women diagnosed with breast cancer, a multidisciplinary care team is essential. Collaboration among specialists and communication with your healthcare team are key to better outcomes. Don't hesitate to ask questions and be an active part of your treatment plan.



1 comment

  1. I am a breast cancer (ER+ PR+ HER2+) survivor, so I know how important are these informations! I am grateful that I didn't get the triple-negative which is even more aggressive.

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