Understanding Breast Cancer

Understanding Breast Cancer

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The mysterious disease of cancer, including breast cancer, has plagued mankind since the dawn of recorded history. Regarding the elusive cause of the disease, the qFather of Medicine, q Hippocrates of Athens (460a€“377 BC), wrote that, qFor instability is characteristic of the humours and so they may be easily altered by nature and by chance.q The enigma has persisted until today. In 1971, then President Richard Nixon signed the National Cancer Act and declared a qWar on Cancer.q He believed the counsel of scientists and physicians that if sufficient resources were committed to the fight, cancer could be virtually eliminated within 5 years. The prophesy failed. Although mortality from a few cancers, most notably leukemias, has been significantly reduced, carcinomas, cancers of the epithelium, which account for 80% of cancer deaths, remain unchanged. While tremendous advances have taken place in our understanding of the molecular and cellular mechanisms operant in cancer, it has proven exceedingly difficult to prevent the occurrence or to halt the progress of the disease. The very best therapy remains early detection while the primary tumor is small and localized to a single site, followed by removal of the offending growth by surgery and/or radiation. The great challenge of finding a cure confronts us yet, and it is effective intervention at the molecular level that offers our best hope. We still must find the qmagic bullet.qTUMOR GROWTH How long does it take for breast cancer to develop from initial transforma- tion of a single cell into an invasive metastasis and disseminated disease? Although cases vary, the somewhat surprising answer is from 7 to 17anbsp;...

Title:Understanding Breast Cancer
Author:Joel D. Pardee
Publisher:Biota Publishing - 2011-01-01


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