Breast cancer is well known to be the biggest cancer threat to women the world over. Because of this, modern medicine is constantly working to create even more effective methods for early detection – the best preventative against breast cancer as things stand. But, despite frequent advancements, breast cancer was still responsible for the deaths of over 500,000 women in 2011.
Statistics such as these demand more drastic measures to be taken. The world needs a process that doesn’t just involve detection, but actively works to eliminate cancer cells. And it would appear that a UK-funded trial on cancer research has uncovered a treatment method that could potentially completely eliminate breast cancer in under two weeks.
A Pair of Drugs Can Eliminate Breast Cancer in 11 Days
Recent research has focussed on a trial surrounding two particular drugs; these being Herceptin and Lapatinib. Conducted in Amsterdam, this research may have uncovered a way to completely eliminate select forms of breast cancer in as little as 11 days.
These two drugs are already used to treat a particular form of breast cancer; one formed through the protein HER2. However, the drugs are given to patients following tumour removal. They are intended to prevent the reformation of cancerous tumours, and do so by targeting the HER2 protein.
The research that was conducted around these drugs was aimed at administering these drugs to women suffering with breast cancer before they underwent any surgery. The result may have been small, but it was certainly significant. According to research, 11 percent of the cancer patients were completely free of cancer inside of two weeks, and 17 percent of the cases showed a significant reduction in tumour size.
This represents a dramatic discovery – not because of its significance in the field of cancer research, although this must be seen as a breakthrough, but largely because these drugs are considered to be commonplace in the treatment of cancer.
With medicine that was already available to post-surgical cancer patients, doctors may be able to eliminate cancer completely in some cases without any surgery or chemotherapy whatsoever.
The Future of Cancer Treatment
Chemotherapy is reputed for its debilitating nature. Aside from the well-known side-effect of hair loss, the treatment also sees patients suffer from intense vomiting, fatigue, and sometimes even a loss in cognitive functions. This new treatment has the possibility to allow patients to avoid chemotherapy altogether, and stand a better chance at beating cancer.
Though this treatment only applies to one of several types of breast cancers, it definitely represents a significant step forward in the battle to beat cancer indefinitely.