**Update** 9.22.17 Follow Cancer Treatment Centers of America on Twitter for the most up to date information.
Breast cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers affecting American women today. In fact, recent statistics indicate that one in eight American women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. Over 252,000 new cases were expected to be diagnosed throughout 2017, and that number is just referring to cases of invasive breast cancer.
Scientists and medical professionals have long been seeking better solutions that will allow for earlier diagnosis and more targeted treatment options. Cancer Treatment Centers of America have been leaders in advanced diagnostic procedures and treatment options for cancer patients for decades, and this technology continues to be improved upon.
Improvements in the Diagnosis of Breast Cancer
There are several issues involving the diagnosis of breast cancer that needs improvements. One such problem lies within the high number of false positives that women receive during annual testing procedures. A false positive occurs when a woman’s initial test results reveal that she has breast cancer but later imaging or biopsy tests prove negative for the existence of cancer.
Scientists are currently seeking to create molecular methods for screening for breast cancer. These sophisticated techniques will be able to more easily differentiate between scar tissue, benign breast conditions, and actual cancerous tumors so that a proper diagnosis can be given more promptly. These improved technologies can also be useful for women who are at a high risk of developing breast cancer but are not able to get mammograms due to other existing health conditions.
Molecular Breast Imaging, or MBI, utilizes a radioactive substance during the testing procedure. This substance is injected into the patient and will be absorbed by any tumors, allowing them to photographed easily by a special type of camera. The breast is not compressed with this procedure the way it is with typical mammograms, so this will allow for a proper three-dimensional image of the breast to be created.
This technology will also be incredibly useful for younger women who typically have more dense breast tissue that is hard to image properly. Young women are the most likely patients to receive a false positive diagnosis, so this procedure sounds promising for reducing the number of those affected by these false positive test results.
Improved Treatment Options for Breast Cancer
Looming on the horizon concerning breast cancer treatment options, molecular immunotherapy appears to be a promising treatment technique for future breast cancer patients. It’s been common knowledge among medical professionals for decades now that the human immune system is extremely powerful. Immunotherapy is a targeted approach to the treatment of disease whereby the immune system is enhanced to help it fight cancer on its own.
The use of monoclonal antibodies is one way in which immunotherapy can be performed. Monoclonal antibodies are proteins that are created in a laboratory setting. These proteins have specific molecules that naturally bind to certain areas within the body, allowing them to be used as a vehicle to deliver drugs or other treatments directly to the site of a tumor. This results in an extremely targeted method of killing cancer cells without affecting healthy cells or creating as many side effects for the patient.
Since traditional chemotherapy and radiation treatments actually lower the immune system and create side effects relating to this process, the possibility of using techniques that keep the immune system boosted is an interesting and welcome one.
Cancer Treatment Centers of America
Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) is a national network of five hospitals fully dedicated to caring for cancer patients across the United States. Following an integrative method of treating cancer, CTCA offers both conventional treatments as well as complimentary integrative therapies aimed at controlling pain and improving the patient’s overall well-being.
Richard Stephenson founded Cancer Treatment Centers of America when his own mother became a cancer patient and subsequently succumbed to the disease. Mr. Stephenson was dissatisfied with the limited treatment options available to his mother during her illness and sought to improve the existing methods for cancer diagnosis and treatment. The first CTCA hospital was opened in Zion, Illinois in 1988 and four others have been opened since that time. Cancer Treatment Centers of America have received many commendations from both patients and medical boards for their scientifically advanced approach to patient care. They continue to be an industry leader in the development of techniques designed to enhance diagnosis and improve survival rates of breast cancer patients across America.
Breast cancer continues to be a concern for women all across the country since it is exceedingly common today. New technologies that will provide a better experience for cancer patients everywhere is right around the corner. Figuring out which treatment option is best for each patient will be the next areas to be researched so that targeted care can be provided for everyone touched by this disease. Through earlier diagnosis and more targeted treatment options for patients everywhere, we may be able to reduce the number of those affected by this disease and improve the survival of breast cancer patients in the coming years.