Metastatic Breast Cancer

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What if screening for cancer was as easy as checking your cholesterol? That's the promise of techniques currently in development that may one day make it possible to detect the earliest stages of cancer with an annual blood ...

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Forecasting the path of breast cancer in a patient

USC researchers have developed a mathematical model to forecast metastatic breast cancer survival rates using techniques usually reserved for weather prediction, financial forecasting and surfing the Web.

Nov 23, 2015
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New method for better treatment of breast cancer

A new study shows that a novel imaging-based method for defining appropriateness of breast cancer treatment is as accurate as the current standard-of-care and could reduce the need for invasive tissue sampling. The results ...

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Metastatic breast cancer is a stage of breast cancer where the disease has spread to distant metastases. It is a complication of primary breast cancer, usually occurring several years after resection of the primary breast cancer. Metastatic breast cancer cells frequently differ from the preceding primary breast cancer in properties such as receptor status, have often developed resistance to several lines of previous treatment and acquired special properties that permit them metastasize to distant sites, making them especially dangerous. The prognosis is often poor, distant metastases are the cause of about 90% of deaths due to breast cancer.

Breast cancer primarily metastasizes to the bone, lungs, regional lymph nodes, liver and brain, with the most common site being the bone. Lymph node metastsasis into the sentinel node and few surrounding nodes is regarded as a treatable local event and not metastatic breast cancer, both when occurring at primary presentation or later.

Typical environmental barriers in a metastatic event include physical (a basement membrane), chemical (reactive oxygen species or ROS, hypoxia and low pH) and biological (immune surveillance, inhibitory cytokines and regulatory extra-cellular matrix (ECM) peptides) components. Organ-specific anatomic considerations also influence metastasis; these include blood-flow patterns from the primary tumor and the homing ability of cancer cells to certain tissues. The targeting by cancer cells of specific organs is probably regulated by chemo-attractant factors and adhesion molecules produced by the target organ, along with cell-surface receptors expressed by the tumor cells.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

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