Breast Cancer Breakthroughs for 2013

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Breast Cancer Breakthroughs for 2013

Everyday, we become more aware of a disease that affects nearly one in eight women. Learn about the latest preventative measures and treatment options for breast cancer in 2013.

Breast cancer is a disease that affects nearly one in eight women, and more people are becoming aware of this relatively common disease everyday. Fortunately, we have also made progress on preventative methods and treatment options that may beat the disease for good.

A few of these breakthroughs are:

Exercise and Berries:  Mindy Kurzer, PhD from the University of Minnesota, studied the effects of exercise on breast cancer and found that exercise can lower the risk for breast cancer by as much as 40%. Kurzer states that exercise changes the way your body handles estrogen (which often fuels breast cancer).  Berries have also been proven to reduce the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive (ER-Positive) tumors, a type of beast cancer found in 70% of patients.

Dense Breast Tissue:  Having denser breasts increases the risk of cancer by at least twofold, according to Karla Kerlikowske, MD at the University of California, San Francisco. With the added tissues comes a greater likelihood of having potentially cancerous cells and an unclear visual for tumors on the mammogram. A digital breast tomosynthesis (3D digital mammogram) provides a more complete image that is useful especially for women with dense breast tissue.

Intraoperative Radiation Therapy: According to Holly Pederson, MD at the Cleveland Clinic, a new approach of administering one high dose of radiation during a lumpectomy (surgical removal of a malignant tumor) presents less risk than the traditional procedure. This is because radiation is only delivered to a one-centimeter area around the surgical site rather than having radiation on the whole breast.

MarginProbe: What is MarginProbe? This new, FDA-approved device is able to assist surgeons in the removal of tumor cells by detecting whether or not the cells are hard or soft. Cancerous cells are harder because they have more collagen than normal cells. The MarginProbe boasts in being able to remove all of the cancerous cells during one surgery.

Written by Katherine Chua


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