The month of October is moving to a close, but there are still more pink events out there and an amazing outpouring of pink support for breast cancer!
Let’s take a quick look at what’s going on in the battle against breast cancer.
We’ve come a long way. Based on the Gail model there are now risk prediction tools for breast cancer. The Gail model takes into account five factors including your current age, age when you started menstruating (menarche), previous breast biopsies, age at first live birth, and amily history of breast cancer.
A disadvantages of the Gail model is that it doesn’t take into account age at which a family member was diagnosed and whether the disease occurred in both breasts — early onset and bilateral disease suggests a BRCA mutation carrier.
Based on the model, the National Cancer Institute is one site that now offers a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool.
“The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool is an interactive tool designed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) to estimate a woman’s risk of developing invasive breast cancer. The tool has been updated for African American women based on the Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences (CARE) Study.”
Remember that the results are meant to be discussed with your health care provider.
In addition to the Gail model, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have developed a way to quickly estimate a woman’s risk for invasive breast cancer. The new model, based on a measure of breast density that is already reported with the majority of mammograms today, is the first to be validated across multiple ethnic groups living in the United States.
The model could one day be used to help calculate a woman’s risk for breast cancer each time she has a mammogram, providing her with a realistic sense of her likelihood to develop breast cancer in the future.
The latest news involves bone density and breast cancer. High bone density shows a correlation to an increased breast cancer risk. Check out this ABC news video.
Have you heard of the Oncotype DX?
“Oncotype DX is a clinically validated laboratory test, ordered by authorized healthcare providers, that predicts the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence in women with newly diagnosed, early stage invasive breast cancer. Oncotype DX also assesses the benefit from chemotherapy.”
This gene expression profile evaluates 21 of the most likely gene predictors of breast cancer recurrence. For more information on this and more news on how Oncotype DX is pioneering genetic assays into other areas check out the site.
BRCA1 and BRCA2
From the National Cancer Institute:
Alterations or mutations, in certain genes make some women more susceptible to developing breast and other types of cancer. Inherited alterations in the genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 (short for breast cancer 1 and breast cancer 2) are involved in many cases of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. Researchers are searching for other genes that may also increase a woman’s cancer risk.
The likelihood that breast and/or ovarian cancer is associated with BRCA1 or BRCA2 is highest in families with a history of multiple cases of breast cancer, cases of both breast and ovarian cancer, one or more family members with two primary cancers (original tumors at different sites), or an Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish background. However, not every woman in such families carries an alteration in BRCA1 or BRCA2, and not every cancer in such families is linked to alterations in these genes.
For information on what a positive and a negative BRCA1 or BRCA2 test result means and further options please read the NCI Fact Sheet on genetic testing.
What’s going on in Breast Cancer Clinical Trials?
Check out the National Cancer Institute clinical trials in progress including:
Soy consumption has been associated with reduced risk for developing breast cancer. Ovarian hormones and breast density are considered breast cancer risk markers. We propose to test the hypothesis that consumption of soy protein reduces ovarian steroid hormones and results in a corresponding reduction in breast density.
For more information on finding a clinical trial near you check out the Battling Cancer Clinical Trial posts in the archives.
Let’s end today’s post on pink!
Check out the Tiger Lily Foundation, an organization that educates, empowers, advocates for, supports, and inspires young women affected by breast cancer.