Breast Cancer Treatments: Does It Really Benefit Women?

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Breast cancer is still considered as one of the diseases mostly observed among women, although, men can also have the disease. Many researches were conducted in order to identify really the major cause of breast cancer and have linked it to many risk factors. These researches paved way to the development of certain treatment modalities for breast cancer which are proven to be effective and efficient. However, some women do not benefit from the available treatment modalities for breast cancer, according to a new study.

Breast cancer just like any malignancies is a disease which is caused by uncontrolled growth and division of cells. It is usually diagnosed with physician and self-examination of the breasts. Other definitive tests such as mammography, ultrasound testing, and biopsy can also be used to identify breast cancer positive women.

As per the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health, “breast cancer affects one in eight women during their lives. Breast cancer kills more women in the United States than any cancer except lung cancer. No one knows why some women get breast cancer, but there are a number of risk factors. Risks that you cannot change include:

-          Age – the chance of getting breast cancer rises as a woman gets older

-          Genes – there are two genes, BRCA1 and BRCA2, that greatly increase the risk. Women who have family members with breast or ovarian cancer may wish to be tested.

-          Personal factors – beginning periods before age 12 or going through menopause after age 55”

According to the new study which was the very first study after 30 years to evaluate and analyze the benefits of breast cancer treatment modalities among women who have the disease. The researchers deemed to find out whether these breast cancer treatments are actually beneficial for all of the women across all age group. Unfortunately, results shows that not all women are having the desired benefits, specifically among the elderly.

In order to arrive to a certain conclusion, the researchers have analyzed and assessed data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and published in the National Vital Statistics Report every year starting year 1980 to 2007. The researchers have taken into account two parameters which include the rate and the risk of breast cancer death in newly diagnosed patients. That is compared to different ages of women. The research deemed to analyze the risk of breast cancer deaths which involved about 219,024 women who were diagnosed of having breast cancer back in the year 1980 to 1997. Study participants were ages 20 and over.

Moreover, results of the study concludes that among the women who belong to the age group of 20 to 64, breast cancer death rates were stable, as to the increased rate among those women who were 65 years old and over, and according to Benjamin Smith, M.D., assistant professor in MD Anderson’s Department of Radiation Oncology, he said: “We found that the oldest women, regardless of their race, and blacks, regardless of their age, are not benefiting as much from improvements in breast cancer treatments.”




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