With October and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month around the corner, I wanted to discuss breast cancer today, especially because it is the second most common cancer in women. Recent studies have shown a new way of detecting if breast cancer will be aggressive or recurring. This research was featured on AARP.com this past month and the key finding was a protein that regulates iron in cells was shown to possibly predict recurrence.
The protein is called ferroportin and they found that when levels of the protein increased in cancer cells, the cancer’s growth rate slowed. Data on 800 women with breast cancer who were followed for 10 years showed that ferroportin levels were linked to recurrence.
The hope for the future is that doctors may be able to save chemotherapy and radiation for women who have a poor prognosis according to their ferroportin levels. Researchers are also looking into the possibility of manipulating the protein to change the duration of the disease.
This is a very new finding in the fight against breast cancer. While it is still not the cure, it is at least getting us closer to it as well as offering hope to the 1.3 million women in the world who are diagnosed ever year with this cancer.