|By Meagan Pant, Dayton Daily News, Ohio|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Breast cancer survivors may have better information about what exercises are and are not safe for them.
And women could have a new resource to help them choose whether to undergo genetic testing that can determine their risk of developing the disease.
Three researchers at local universities are working on those projects -- just a small part in the nation's multi-million dollar endeavor to find better treatments for breast cancer and help the women and men affected by it.
"We don't know where the next breakthrough is going to come from, so that is why we have to invest," said
Researchers pursue every avenue
This year, nearly 40,000 women will die from breast cancer and another 300,000 will develop it in some form, according to the
Some will experience the most aggressive type -- called triple-negative by doctors -- that is currently being studied in one of 20 laboratories dedicated to breast cancer at
Some will become resistant to common treatments, a problem being studied in one of 20 breast cancer research labs at the
And some will develop tumors that spread into their lungs, which has been the target of Cambronero's research at
Cambronero said if breast cancer cannot be eradicated completely, at least he hopes his research will be able to ensure it does not spread, so it can be treated like a chronic disease, such as diabetes.
"The long-term is to try to prevent metastasis," which he said is what kills patients. "The very long-term is to try and see if we can contain the disease," he said.
'More information... is critical'
There is no cure for lymphedema and no standard way to screen for it or diagnose it, according to
"It becomes a chronic disease," Fisher said.
With funding from the
Fisher's work to develop better information for women who have had breast cancer is critical, said
"The more information you can have on what you do is critical," she said.
During the last three years and with a
Women can ask questions and interact with an avatar through the web-based program to learn about the "ups and downs" of genetic testing, said Wolfe, who is working with
"The tutor appears to help women better understand the issues," he said. "And also make better decisions around genetic testing."
'On the cusp'
Breast cancer survivor
"For me, I think research is very important in understanding and curing breast cancer. How my cancer was treated is different than someone else years ago," she said.
Discoveries in labs and clinical trials have already changed the way doctors detect, treat and predict breast cancer.
In the 1970s, there was just one accepted surgical option: mastectomy. Only one randomized trial had tested mammograms as an early way to detect breast cancer; combination chemotherapy was in its early stages of research; and no one had identified the genes that put a person at greater risk of breast cancer, according to the
Today, doctors prefer to do a lumpectomy followed by radiation; mammograms are routine; combination chemotherapy is standard; and several genes associated with breast cancer have been identified, according to the institute.
And the future promises "more effective and less toxic" treatments for breast cancer, the organization says.
Shapiro says the progress comes in "incremental" stages. "It's not like one day we don't have a cure and one day we're curing the disease," he said.
But, after more than 23 years of work in the field, Shapiro said he is more hopeful than ever that researchers are making progress.
"I think the future is very bright," he said. "I think that we're on the cusp of something great. More effective treatments. More cures. The next 25 years will be even more fantastic in terms of what we can actually do for people who have this disease."
-- Breast cancer facts
-- 2.9 million women living in
-- A woman has a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime
-- 88 percent of deaths from breast cancer are women age 50 and older
-- The median age for breast cancer diagnosis was 61 years old in recent years
-- Women should begin annual mammograms at age 40
-- 2,240 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 410 will die from the disease
"Meet Your Breast Cancer Researcher" event at the
What: Learn about new advances in breast cancer research with interactive discussions
Register: Online at uchealth.com/events/breast-cancer-researcher or call 513-584-3810
Explore more information about the
SPECIAL COVERAGE: BREAST CANCER AWARENESS
Today's newspaper is dedicated to those whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.
Inside this special edition, you will learn about the important cancer research happening here locally.
In today's Life section, readers share the lessons they have learned through the cancer journey. You also will find a guide to local cancer care options, local resources and important information about prevention and detection.
For five years, we have printed an annual Pink Paper edition to promote awareness of this disease that impacts so many lives.
Thank you readers, for joining us in the fight.
You will find information about the
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