Thursday, May 26, 2011

Breast Cancer - Newest Treatment

Newest Treatments For Breast Cancer

Among women in the United States, breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer (next to skin cancer). Aside from lung cancer, breast cancer claims more American women's lives than any other form of cancer. It is estimated that nearly one in every eight women in this country will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime.

It is because of these statistics that researchers work hard to find new and innovative ways to treat breast cancer. For many years, there were relatively few options for treating breast cancer. Lumpectomies, mastectomies have been, and remain, a first line of defense against cancer, but each has its advantages and disadvantages. Lumpectomies, for example, often require four to six weeks of radiation therapy following surgery. Mastectomies have more post-operative complications and a longer recovery time.

Hormone therapies have found some success against hormone receptor-positive cancers by lowering the production of estrogen and blocking the effects of existing estrogen in the patient. This treatment is, unfortunately, useless against hormone receptor-negative cancers.

Another method of treating cancer is chemotherapy. A common problem with chemotherapy treatments has been the drugs' inability to specifically target the dividing cancer cells, instead interfering with all cell division in the body. This interference can lead to aches, nausea, lack of energy, and hair loss. In more extreme instances, bone loss and treatment-induced leukemia have occurred.

In the past several years, doctors have discovered new ways to use targeted therapy to deliver the drugs used in chemotherapy directly to the cancer cells, and avoid interference with normal cell processes, as well as reduce the side effects associated with the solvents used to dissolve chemotherapy drugs such as Taxol. One such drug being used today is Abraxane, which uses a process called protein-bound nanoparticle technology to create "packages" of Taxol that have been bound to albumin, a substance that is found naturally in the body and is dissolved in water. With this advancement, there is less need for chemical solvents in the delivery process which may lead to side effects. Also, because growing cancer cells tend to rapidly accumulate albumin during the growth process, doctors theorize that binding the Taxol to albumin causes the cancer cells to actively seek out and absorb the drug for its piggybacked albumin, thus more effectively targeting the cancer over other, normally dividing cells.

Over 2.5 million women are breast cancer survivors. With new advancements in treatment available now, and future discoveries on the horizon, that number is expected to steadily increase in the future.

You can fight your cancer naturally with the Breast Cancer Diet