• Breast Cancer

    Notes from a recent interview topic on NPR’s story of the day

    So much money has been raised, but where are we at in getting towards the cure?

    For a person who has a small tumor –the choice to get a mastectomy does not improve the chance of cure. For most people breast conservation has the exact same cure rate. Other situations mastectomy does improve cure.

    Once breast cancer is diagnosed. There is a package approach that seems to lead to the best cure rate. Better surgical radiation and chemotherapy are the answer.

    An alternative idea that is not well developed or practiced at this point:
    Immune stimulation –making the cancer itself create an immune reaction.

    Ideas to prevent rather than treat:
    -Vaccine to prevent the disease
    cleaning up the environment to remove the cause –toxins that are linked to the cause of breast cancer.
    Increasingly identifying specific genetic correlations to the type of breast cancer that the individual has.
    Getting research that focuses on eradication of the disease is troubled because of the paradigm of funding. The challenge is due to the studies being more difficult (for example of what types of toxins are causing the cancer. These types of studies require very intense interviewing and following for years, besides they are not very sexy for the pharmaceutical companies.
    Prevention and early detection- in the ‘race for the cure’ the cure doesn’t really actually get discussed much. Under 40,000 deaths/year but the incidence has stayed the same for decades despite the amount of money being spent. Which is what you would expect based on the priorities that are in place with the research.

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