Why does something so miserable and evil have to look so pretty? Breast cancer cells really need to have an un-makeover! These cells create the cancer which is currently the third leading cause of death for women in the United States, with over 192,000 diagnosed cases each year. My mom had it twice, my grandma had it twice (and is still living), numerous relatives have undergone biopsies for it, one of my past students’ mom had it, friend’s relatives have had it…..there aren’t that many people that haven’t had their lives touched by this disease in one way or another. The world of breast cancer treatment (and cancer treatment in general) is constantly evolving as new techniques are introduced. That’s why “pink” isn’t a fad, its not a theme for a month out of the year…..it’s a way to save lives.
I came across an article today about a new breakthrough for breast cancer treatment. While it may have come too late save my mom, it could save my sister, my nieces or myself! Freezing tumors is something that has been talked about in the cancer community for quite some time, but it wasn’t truly targeted towards breast cancer — until now.
A new study from the University of Michigan found that freezing breast tumors was helpful for stopping the spread of cancer in mice. This has prompted a new clinical trial for humans to see if this is a viable treatment. There are two different freezing (cryoablation) techniques that are being studied, rapid freezing (30 seconds) and a slower freezing technique, both of which are done by applying a cold probe directly on the tumor. Rapid freezing seems to be the leader of the two techniques currently, but definitive results are yet to come from further research. Cryoablation has also shown promise in treating other types of cancer, such as prostate and kidney.
After seeing different treatments that are available for cancer patients now, I am definitely in support of this technique. It boasts to yield better results with less cosmetic effects, and in my book seems a lot easier to cope with than the endless rounds of chemotherapy and radiation (along with the other problems they entail).
Looking back to 1987 when I first learned about cancer (it was limited because I was so young), so much progress has been made and I am fully confident that better treatments like this will be constantly evolving. Even chemotherapy and radiation have evolved leaps and bounds (as well as the treatments/medicines to accompany them to help the patient cope with the treatments) over the past twenty or so years. Stage 2 breast cancer in 1987 was nearly a death sentence, and today stage 2 means that it was caught pretty early! The cancer community has been getting great support over the past few years and I hope it continues. Cancer is the “elephant in the room”, we all know its there, whether in our families or in those around us, but it is going to take us truly working together to fight this thing. After all, we are kind of tiny compared to elephants!
* If you want to read the entire article on this fascinating new treatment, follow this link!