Breast cancer can be a confusing diagnosis. There are different types of breast cancer. According to a recent online article understanding the differences can help a woman to make better choices about her treatment. According to the article research published in the Journal Nature and later published in the New York Times was based on a groundbreaking genetic analysis focusing on the different types of breast cancer tumors. The conclusion is that breast cancer is not one disease but a variety of different diseases that many times have no common link besides where they appear in the body. The types of cancer in the study included triple negative breast cancer, luminal cell breast cancer, and HER2 positive breast cancer. Triple negative breast cancer from a genetic perspective is rare but deadly and is more directly linked with ovarian cancer and the type of lung cancer than other breast cancers. One positive note is that there is some belief that ovarian cancer drugs may help fight this type of cancer. Luminal cell breast cancers are common estrogen fueled cancers yet they’re actually two different types. Luminal A and luminal B. Women diagnosed with luminal A tumors tend to fare better than those diagnosed with luminal B tumors which leads some medical professionals to believe that patients diagnosed with luminal A breast cancer should have treatment that is more aggressive. HER2 positive breast cancers have extra copies of the gene known as HER 2 and are given Herceptin, which is known to block the gene. This new genetic study found that not all HER2 positive tumors are alike and some may respond to Herceptin better than others. The researchers emphasize that more studies need to be done before the findings can actually be translated into changes in clinical treatments. Dr. Seify is committed to helping his patients understand their breast reconstruction options. Dr. Seify works closely with treating physicians including the oncologist, the radiologist, as well as the general surgeon, so that patients are able to take advantage of the best options available. Dr. Seify encourages patients to consider breast reconstruction early after their diagnosis so that they can make an informed decision as to whether breast reconstruction is the right choice for them.
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