New Treatments Aim to Extend Survival for Women with Breast Cancer
A recent interview with a medical expert shed light on why actress Shannen Doherty’s tumor is not responding to treatment and why metastatic breast cancer continues to be a major challenge to treat.
One of the key takeaways from the interview is that different types of breast cancer respond differently to pharmacological therapies and have different paths of metastasis. The expert explained that tumors with positive hormone receptors tend to first metastasize to the bones, then to the liver and lungs, and it is rarer for it to affect the brain. The HER2 type can later metastasize to the brain and then to the lungs and other organs, while the triple negative type metastasizes to the brain and then to other organs.
The interview also highlighted the chronicity of metastatic breast cancer, explaining that treatments are aimed at keeping the cancer under control, not curing it. Over time, cancer cells can become resistant to therapy, leading to the need to change treatment plans.
However, the interview also provided a glimmer of hope, revealing that research has made significant strides in extending the survival of women with breast cancer. New drugs, such as conjugated antibodies, have yielded unprecedented results on all three types of breast cancer, and have doubled survival periods in recent years.
The expert emphasized the importance of prevention, urging women to perform breast self-examinations, seek medical attention for any suspicious symptoms, and adhere to screening programs and regular mammograms.
In an effort to support research and develop new drugs, the expert stressed the importance of time for patients and doctors alike.
The interview offers valuable insights into the complexities of treating metastatic breast cancer and highlights the ongoing efforts to extend the survival and improve the quality of life of women with the disease.