Pink October: a common fight
Few people know that breast cancer is the most common in the world. In 2020 alone, there were 2.3 million cases that represent 11.7% of all tumors in men and women, surpassing lung cancer (11.4% of cancers). To combat this disease, prevention is essential and consists of limiting risk factors and early detection. The good news is that most breast cancers are treatable if caught early.
When discovered early and with proper treatment, breast cancer usually has a good prognosis. Furthermore, the latest scientific discoveries in the fight against cancer are encouraging. Everything seems to indicate that future treatments will be based on a personalized approach and precision medicine. For example, thanks to genomics (a recent science that studies the genome of an individual or a tumor), researchers have discovered, in the case of breast cancer, eight different categories of tumors as well as their characteristics and vulnerabilities.
In addition, a series of new scientific techniques that have emerged improve early diagnosis. Liquid biopsy, for example, can detect tumor cells in the blood, make a more accurate assessment of the tumor type, and monitor treatment response. In addition, new therapies that target molecular alterations in tumors and immunotherapies that activate the patient’s defenses to fight them will be added to conventional treatments such as chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgery.
Hearing the words “you have cancer” changes the lives of millions of people each year. They are men and women we love, our sisters, our friends, our colleagues. So together, let’s make this month an opportunity to spread the word about the importance of screening and raise awareness about this disease and its consequences.