Are We Making Progress Against Breast Cancer?
Breast cancer receives more funding and publicity than any other cancer, by far. There are more new cases of lung and prostate cancer every year than of breast cancer, and breast receives more than double the federal research funding. And as for public awareness, it’s not even close. There are NFL players wearing pink cleats and sweatbands on primetime TV. Pink ribbons are everywhere. This is an incredible achievement by the movement of organizations and individuals who spread the message, donated, and shopped consciously to support this widespread cancer. With that said, where do we stand today on solving breast cancer? At DoGoodBuyUs, we wanted a progress report.
Turns out, the progress on breast cancer is pretty damn exciting. Researchers recently announced they had identified four distinct types of breast cancer, a finding that could effect everything we know about this disease. It could explain why some drugs and treatments work in certain cases and not in others. And there’s a real possibility that this research will lead to new treatments, which is exciting news for anyone who has ever seen a treatment not work.
In the past two years, the FDA has added 3 new drugs to the list of 16 approved treatments for late-stage breast cancer, when the cancer is at its deadliest and least treatable point. Approval on 2 state-of-the-art tools for screening and early detection was also announced, including the first X-ray device that shows three-dimensional images of the breast. This level of detail will help doctors with their accuracy of diagnosis and may prevent the need to do additional testing on thousands of women. And possibly lead to more successful treatments.
And just a few weeks ago, the FDA approved a new type of ultrasound device that when used with standard mammography, can detect early signs of cancer in more dense breast tissue. The FDA says this is an important advance for women with dense breasts (which they say accounts for 4 in 10 women who get mammograms) because their tissue had been more difficult to examine which increased their risk of late detection. And we all know late detection makes treatment much, much more difficult…
As for treatment, scientists around the world continue to push the cutting edge in hopes of finding a cure. Innovation continues to occur in cancer research, including a major effort between the National Institutes of Health, the FDA, and others, which seeks to develop personalized treatments based on the genetic makeup of specific breast tumors. Genetically targeted and personalized treatments are the future for cancer treatment, and breast cancer patients are some of the earliest recipients of this work.
Progress is great. But scientists and activists will quickly tell you there is so much work to be done in the effort to find a cure. And if not a cure, to get closer to making this a chronic disease that can be managed. At DoGoodBuyUs, we try to make having an impact easier and more fun than just making a donation. That’s why we’re set on creating a place for conscious shoppers to discover new products and new causes everyday, so that our generation makes an even bigger impact on finding a cure. And has fun doing it.