According to the CDC, about 264,000 women and 2,400 men are diagnosed with breast cancer annually. Additionally, about 4,200 women and 500 men die from breast cancer each year.
As a result, October Breast Cancer Awareness Month is still just as important as it has ever been. It’s imperative that we keep on shining a light on both breast cancer survivors and those who have lost their battles with breast cancer so that we can fight cancer and hopefully cure cancer one day.
The good news is that October Breast Cancer Awareness Month has helped raise a lot of money in recent years to push breast cancer research forward. There are so many exciting developments going on within the world of breast cancer research.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the most promising examples of up-and-coming breast cancer research. Learn more about it below.
Studies on the Connection Between Lifestyle and Breast Cancer
Scientists are constantly studying all of the different things that they think can cause breast cancer. They’re obviously doing this because, if they can identify the causes of breast cancer, they can theoretically help people avoid getting diagnosed with it.
As of right now, they’ve discovered a bunch of things that they think might cause breast cancer. But they’re also actively studying the connection that might exist between a person’s lifestyle and their chances of getting diagnosed with breast cancer.
More specifically, they’re trying to find out if there might be a connection between breast cancer and:
- Physical activity
- Weight gain or weight loss
If they’re able to find a connection between breast cancer and any of these things, it could be huge. It could mean that people could potentially lower their breast cancer risk by making changes to the way they’re living.
Studies on the Role That Gene Mutations Play in Breast Cancer
In the past, researchers have revealed that breast cancer does seem to be hereditary. If someone in your immediate family had breast cancer in the past, it could mean that you’re at a higher risk of being diagnosed with it at some point.
What researchers don’t yet know, though, is which gene mutations can lead to people being diagnosed with a hereditary form of breast cancer. They’re digging into this right now to see if they can identify the gene changes that could increase your chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer if it runs in your family.
Studies on the Potential Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer
Could you be at an increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer if you’re exposed to certain toxic chemicals or pollutants in the air? This is yet another aspect of things that scientists are researching at the moment.
The thought is that there might be some environmental factors that could play a part in a person being diagnosed with breast cancer. But researchers are still in the very early stages of studying this aspect of things.
It’s why we still need October Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’ll help to generate the funds that will be necessary to explore how environmental causes could be to blame for some forms of breast cancer.
Studies on Lowering the Risk of Breast Cancer With Hormonal Medications
Over the years, some studies have suggested that women who take certain hormonal medicines might be able to bring down their chances of being diagnosed with breast cancer. These medicines include:
Early research on these hormonal medications appears to be very promising. Scientists believe that some of them could be effective when certain groups of women take them.
But there is still a whole lot of research to be done on these medications. It’s why there are so many ongoing studies that are devoted to them.
Studies on Using Non-Hormonal Medication to Reduce the Breast Cancer Risk
Hormonal medications aren’t the only kinds of medications that researchers are studying to try and figure out which drugs might be effective in preventing breast cancer. There are also a bunch of non-hormonal medications that are being put under the microscope.
Ruxolitinib is one excellent example of this. Although it’s typically used to treat myelofibrosis, it could also come in handy for those people who are currently at an increased risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer.
There are also supplements that might be able to work wonders for those who are battling breast cancer. Some SARMs—or Selective Androgen Receptor Modulators—might be useful in treating breast cancer. You should consider learning about where to buy SARMs if you’re interested in using them yourself.
You should also try to keep tabs on all the SARMs research for breast cancer that is being done.
Studies on Testing Certain Biomarkers to Create Breast Cancer Treatments
After someone is diagnosed with breast cancer, their doctor will typically take a closer look at the breast cancer tissue found in them to look for certain biomarkers. They’ll test the biomarkers ER, PR, and HER2 so that they can come up with the most effective treatment plan possible.
There is some hope that doctors will soon be able to test other biomarkers as well. This could provide them with all the information they’ll need on how to treat breast cancer patients and how to predict if breast cancer could come back in the future.
Studies on New Imaging Tests Used to Detect Breast Cancer
One of the many keys to treating breast cancer is trying to identify its presence as early on as possible. The quicker that a doctor is able to diagnose a patient with breast cancer, the greater their chances of survival.
With this in mind, researchers are studying all kinds of new imaging tests that could make detecting breast cancer easier than it has ever been. If these imaging tests do what researchers think they can do, it could put doctors in a position to attack breast cancer better than they do now.
Some of the imaging tests that are being studied are:
- Electrical impedance imaging
- Positron emission mammography
There are also new imaging tests popping up all the time. Each one brings something a little different to the table and has the potential to completely change the way in which doctors diagnose breast cancer.
Studies on the Radiation Therapy Utilized to Treat Breast Cancer
Radiation therapy is one of the main treatments that is used to treat breast cancer. But it can really take a toll on a person when they’re being treated with it.
Because of this, there are studies being done on the effect that shorter radiation therapy treatments can have on breast cancer. Some researchers think that shorter radiation therapy treatments could be as effective as longer ones, especially in patients who were diagnosed with breast cancer very early on.
If this turns out to be true, it could make breast cancer treatment slightly more comfortable than it is now. It could also prevent a breast cancer diagnosis from turning a person’s world upside-down.
Studies on New Forms of Radiation Therapy Being Used to Fight Breast Cancer
In an attempt to make radiation therapy more effective than it is now, some researchers are conducting tests on new forms of radiation therapy. Proton beam radiation, for example, is a form of radiation therapy that is being tested at the moment.
Early studies have already suggested that proton beam radiation might be safer than traditional radiation while still being every bit as effective. If this proves to be true, those fighting breast cancer might be able to use this treatment method as opposed to relying on traditional radiation.
There is still so much work to be done in this area of study. But the early returns have been promising and have shown the need for additional research into new forms of radiation treatment.
Studies on Combining Different Medications to Treat Breast Cancer
As we alluded to earlier, scientists are doing a ton of research on different medications that might be able to prevent breast cancer in the first place. But they’re also looking at different medications that can help to treat breast cancer once a person has been diagnosed with it.
To take things a step further, these scientists are also toying with the idea of seeing how they might be able to combine medications to get better results. For instance, they’re studying how a person might react to taking two targeted drugs at a time in an effort to beat breast cancer.
Additionally, scientists are always looking at different immunotherapy drugs and seeing how they can help breast cancer patients. Some of these medications are:
You could make the argument that this is some of the most important research that is being done on breast cancer right now. If scientists can beef up the number of medications that can be used to fight cancer, it would be huge.
You could also make the argument that this research is the sole reason why the world needs October Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This month helps to bring in a lot of the money that is used to research the various breast cancer medications.
Studies on Eliminating the Fatigue That Often Accompanies Breast Cancer
Breast cancer—and any form of cancer, for that matter—is going to wreak havoc on just about every part of a person’s body. People often struggle to lead normal lives when they’re going through breast cancer treatments.
One of the most debilitating parts about being diagnosed with breast cancer is that it’ll leave you exhausted. It’s not uncommon at all for those with breast cancer to suffer from what’s called extreme fatigue. They simply don’t have the energy to do all the things they would normally do.
This is one more aspect of breast cancer that is being studied at length. Researchers think that they might be able to find medications that could help those breast cancer patients who have trouble getting out of bed because of their fatigue.
Studies on Breast Cancer Coming Back
Breast cancer recurrence is something that all breast cancer survivors need to worry about. Anywhere from 3 to 15% of survivors will find that their breast cancer will come back within a decade of them defeating it.
Why is this? Well, it’s anyone’s guess as of right now. But there is quite a bit of research being done on why breast cancer comes back in some people and not others. If scientists can pinpoint the reason for this, they might be able to stop breast cancer from coming back in everyone who has it.
Those with hereditary breast cancer, in particular, are at a greater risk of having breast cancer come back than others. Researchers want to find out why this is so that they can hopefully find a way to prevent breast cancer recurrence.
Don’t Ever Forget October Breast Cancer Awareness Month
October is the start of one of the busiest times of the year. It can be easy for some people to overlook October Breast Cancer Awareness Month because of this.
But you should make every effort to keep it on your radar. You should also make it a point to donate some money to an organization that specializes in studying breast cancer. Your donation could help to make a big difference in the world.
Check out some more informative health-related articles by poking around on the rest of our blog.