Breast Cancer is still on the rise in the United States. I say STILL because, despite all the efforts in research, early detection, advanced pathology, and genetic testing, the number is climbing. Which means we are losing this so-called “war on cancer.” New statistics are saying breast cancer is the second deadliest cancer among women only behind lung cancer.
For this reason, many of us have lost faith in the medical community and in their ability to treat and care for us. Are they actually looking for the best outcomes so that we can live a long healthy life? All this research and testing seems to have gotten us nowhere fast!
For women who have or had breast cancer, one of their biggest fears is the fear of recurrence. This can be crippling, especially for someone who with a history of breast cancer in their family or has watched a loved one die from metastatic breast cancer. This fear can be worse than having cancer in the first place! Part of my work as cancer coach is to help women overcome this paralyzing fear.
Some promising news emerged on “Medical News Today” from Duarte, CA.
Dr. Peter P. Lee, chair of the Department of Immuno-Oncology at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center, is the senior author of the new study, which appears in the journal, Nature Immunology.
“New research looks at the body’s antitumor inflammatory response to devise a blood test that may soon predict a person’s chances of experiencing breast cancer recurrence.”https://www.nature.com/articles/s41590-019-0429-7
The study tested 40 women with breast cancer over four years. They found that people with cancer tend to have T-Reg cells that have less active pro-inflammatory signaling pathways and more active immune-suppressive signaling pathways. This finding resulted in the development of a simple blood test to accurately predict breast cancer recurrence within a 3-5 year time period.
“Knowing the chance of cancer relapse will inform doctors how aggressive a particular patient’s cancer treatment should be,” Dr. Lee explains. “The [cytokine signaling index] is an overall reflection of a patient’s immune system at diagnosis, which we now know is a major determinant of future relapse.”
These kinds of blood tests are the future of personalized medicine. It will change the course of the current “standard of care” method and move us closer to determining what is necessary and what is not when it comes to individualized cancer treatments. With amazing information that blood tests like these provide, I predict that millions of women could potentially skip the chemo path.
“Staging and new tests based on genomic analysis of the tumor are currently available for risk stratification. However, a predictive blood test would be even more attractive, but is not yet available. We are trying to change the status quo.” Dr. Lee says.
Good news for the future!
As always, the key to treating breast cancer or any cancer is to trust that you are doing the absolute right thing for you and your body. Tests like these can help you make better decisions for your healing journey; keeping in mind, that it all rests within your power to make your body as inhospitable as possible to cancer.
As of this writing July 2019, the test is not available for the public. There is no published prediction on when it will receive approval.