Research findings on early detection of breast cancerFor successful treatment of any kind of cancer, including breast cancer, early detection is of paramount importance. However, research on breast cancer is now being focused more on prevention, which aims at finding ways of decreasing the risk of getting breast cancer ever. Use of drugs which block the undesirable effects of estrogen to the breast tissue has been one of the great advances made in this arena. Estrogen is one of the female hormones that are greatly linked to some kinds of breast cancer.

Researchers of breast cancer have also been working hard on how the detection can be improved. While mammography is still the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to detecting breast cancer, medical experts have also been investigating how MRI screening can help spot the tumors. Still, the benefits of the computer aided mammography for making breast X- rays much more detailed and clearer are also being looked into as well.

Prevention of breast cancer

When it comes to heading breast cancer off, SERMs- selective estrogen receptor modulators have shown a great promise. These drugs are able to replicate effects of the estrogen on some body tissues but prevent other tissues from being blocked by estrogen. Currently, FDA has approved to SERMS for breast cancer prevention:

Tamoxifen: this one is a member of drugs referred to as anti- estrogens that belongs the effects of estrogen on the body. Research findings show that it can help reduce cancer risk in women.

Raloxifene: this is an anti- estrogen also and the drug was initially intended for osteoporosis prevention, but research showed that it could also lower breast cancer risk.

A woman can take either raloxifene or tamoxifen for a period of five years and this will lower the risk of getting breast cancer ever in their lifetime by half. Both drugs come with some side effects as they increase the risk of stroke, blood clots and even uterine cancer as well as spurring hot flashes as well. These side effects lead to most women not taking them to prevent some cancer which they even might not have anyway. Another research on breast cancer has been looking on how aromatase inhibitors can reduce the risk of getting new breast cancer for postmenopausal women already having the cancer.

Detection of breast cancer

The best way of finding hidden breast cancer for most women is mammograms. This is essentially the gold standard. X ray can be able to detect between 80 and 90 percent of the cancer in women even without them reporting the symptoms at first. MRI is a recommended choice for breast cancer detection for women with a genetic risk of getting breast cancer as they carry either the BRCA1 or the BRCA2 gene. PET scans are also being used for detection of breast cancer as well when a radioactive material is injected for tracking the tumors in the body.