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Advances in research promising for breast cancer

Many Ohio women die from breast cancer, and some of them do because their doctors failed to diagnose them in time. Three 2016 studies show promise for better identification of women who are likely to develop breast cancer, better testing and improved treatment of existing cancers.

Researchers at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom found 93 different genes that can cause breast cancer. This could lead to the identification of women who are most at risk of developing breast cancer so that they can be more closely monitored. Other researchers in France and Australia discovered that the proportions of specific isotopes in the blood change when cancer is first present. This could lead to the development of a simple blood test that could reveal breast cancer in its earliest stages and with greater accuracy than doctors' interpretation of mammograms.

The third advance involved research conducted in the U.K. of 257 women who had very aggressive breast cancers. The women were given a targeted combination of drugs that hone in on cancer cells to destroy them. Eleven percent of the women were completely cancer-free after only 11 days, a truly exciting discovery.

Sixteen percent of breast cancer cases are not identified correctly by doctors when they interpret mammograms. This is a potentially fatal doctor error. When a woman has cancer in its early stages, she is more likely to be able to beat it. If the diagnosis is delayed, then the case has an opportunity to grow and spread, making death more likely. Women who were not properly diagnosed with breast cancer and who have suffered harm as a result might want to discuss what happened to them with a medical malpractice attorney.

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