Raw October: raising breast cancer awareness — one fact, figure, feeling, and photograph at a time.
I have a friend who is a cancer researcher, and I must admit, he is pretty much a superhero in my book. I mean, he spends his days and nights (when not wrangling three little kids) trying to cure a horrible disease — I am totally in awe of that. I am also in awe of the researchers who recently discovered that there are four molecular subgroups of breast cancer, each group with its own biology and survival outlooks, which has resulted in a new and unprecedented peek into breast cancer.
The study of samples from 825 breast cancer patients has led to the identification of the following subtypes of breast cancer: HER2-enriched (HER2E), Luminal A (LumA), Luminal B (LumB), and Basal-like. The implications of uncovering these groups are huge — it has been determined, for example, that the Basal-like group (also known as triple negative breast cancer) shares genomic similarities with serous ovarian cancer; now, researchers can compare treatments across these two cancers. Also, it seems that half of HER2-positive cancers belong to the HER2E subtype; the other half belong to Luminal subtypes — now we know that there are at least two types of HER2-positive tumors; as a HER2-positive girl, I wonder which group is mine and what meaning this has for my survival.
There is so much more to this study, and I can’t possibly do justice to fully explaining it, but I can point you in the direction of a press release on the National Cancer Institute website, where you will likely find yourself in awe of what superstars like my friend are doing with their days and nights.