Experts Finds Reasons Why Breast Cancer Often Spread to the Lungs

Breast CancerBreast cancer is the number one diagnosed cancer and the number two cause of cancer-related deaths among women in North America. If detected early, traditional chemotherapy and radiation have a high success rate, but once the disease spreads beyond the breast, many conventional treatments fail. In particular, the lung is one of the most common and deadly sites of breast cancer metastasis and this has a significant impact on patient quality of life and survival. Breast cancer that is detected early can be treated successfully via chemotherapy and radiation. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to the bones, but can also spread to the liver, lungs, and brain. As the cancer progresses, it may affect any organ. It can also metastasize to the skin of the chest (near where the cancer started).

According to the American Cancer Society, the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer during her life is about 1 in 8. The chance of dying from breast cancer is about 1 in 36. Right now there are more than 2.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.

The lung is one of the most common and deadly sites of breast cancer metastasis and this has a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life and survival. A new research report published by experts at Western University and the Lawson Health Research Institute helps to explain why breast cancer often spreads or metastasizes to the lung.

Previous work by this research team has found that a specific type of breast cancer cell, the breast cancer stem cell (CSC), is responsible for metastasis in animal models, particularly to the lung.

With the current study, researchers observed that breast cancer stem cells (CSC) have a particular propensity to migrate towards the lung and grow there. They also identified specific interactions between breast CSCs and lung-derived proteins that could be disrupted to reduce the metastatic behavior of breast cancer.

The American Cancer Society explains that even when the cancer has spread to a new area, it’s still named after the part of the body where it started. Breast cancer that has spread to the lungs is still breast cancer, not lung cancer, and is treated as metastatic breast cancer.

Recommended treatment options for the condition include surgery, radiation therapy, anti-estrogen treatment, chemotherapy, herceptin, and hormonal therapies, like tamoxifen or arimidex.

Cancer researchers engaged in studies such as the above would have to depend on oncology transcription provided for various relevant medical reports. Research transcripts containing the new insights gained into a particular aspect of the cancer is of great importance with regard to developing improved treatment options for breast cancer. Moreover, the results of cancer research studies will form the basis for future clinical studies that will help in early detection and successful treatment.

Julie Clements

About Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.