One of the most significant concerns of breast cancer patients is the rate at which the cancer is likely to spread. If the rate and aggressiveness with which the cancer will spread cab be determined, the aggressiveness of the chemo treatment can also be determined. Patients with a type of cancer that is less likely to spread need not be treated as aggressively as the ones with cancer that has a tendency to spread rapidly.
Breast cancer is a disease that takes a physical and emotional toll on the patient. The violent effects of chemo on the body disturbs even the strongest of individuals. Therefore, if the strength of the chemo treatment that must be administered can be determined it will be of great help to several women suffering from this devastating disease.
As a result of recent studies, researchers have been able to discover how to determine, with a certain level of accuracy, the rate at which the breast cancer cells in a particular patient is likely to spread. This is groundbreaking research because as of now there is no reliable method by which physicians can predict what cancers will spread and how rapidly they will. This makes it very difficult to determine which patients should receive aggressive chemo and which ones need not.
For patients who have been recently diagnosed with breast cancer, there is no hundred percent accurate way of predicting whether the cancer cells will return with a vengeance even after they finish treatment. If doctors are able to identify those patients who need especially aggressive chemo sessions because their cancer cells have a propensity to spread rapidly and aggressively, the right treatment can be administered at the right time to save lives. At the same time, unnecessary treatments and hardships can also be avoided by patients who do no particularly need aggressive chemo courses.
The researchers studied a group of women with cancer that had not spread to their lymph nodes and who had not received any chemo or hormonal therapy. The results that were gathered from them were then used to analyze the tumor cells and identify the specific markers that predict relapse of cancer. Studying how these genes travel give researchers a fairly accurate method of predicting what type of cancer they are dealing with, whether the cancer cells are likely to return in future and whether it will spread aggressively.
The results of the study give patients more options to decide on how they need to approach the disease.