Breast cancer advances offer promise

Many Arizona women suffer from breast cancer. Some of them are misdiagnosed by their doctors, resulting in delayed treatment and worse prognoses. Others suffer harms from the harsh treatments that they must undergo. So far in 2016, three advances in breast cancer research provide some hope for women who develop the disease.

One study conducted by researchers in the U.K. involved 257 women who had been diagnosed with aggressive forms of breast cancer. The women were administered a combination of two drugs that target breast cancer cells made by GlaxoSmithKline and Roche Laboratories. The researchers found that 11 percent of the women who received the drugs were cancer-free after just 11 days.

Another group of British researchers identified 93 different genes that can cause breast cancer, potentially aiding doctors in identifying women who are at high risk for developing the disease. Researchers in Australia and France discovered that changes occur in the proportions of certain isotopes in the cells when a woman has breast cancer. This could lead to women being able to be diagnosed with breast cancer in its earliest stages using blood tests. Currently, 16 percent of cases involving mammograms are not accurately diagnosed, leading to potential injury and harm to women.

A doctor’s failure to diagnose breast cancer can lead to permanent injury or death. If an accurate diagnosis is delayed, then the woman’s cancer may progress to a much worse stage, making it likelier to lead to her death. A medical malpractice attorney may help seek appropriate compensation for women who have been seriously injured or for the families of women who have died because of doctor errors.