Healthy cells can reprogramme to become cancerous but the process is reversible
(Mirror Daily, United States) – A new great discovery was made in the field of medicine and now an analysis of breast tissue DNA can detect cancer cells and expose the risk of cancer.
A new study conducted by researchers at University College London indicates that screening the DNA from breast tissue can help doctors discover if the woman in cause presents a risk of developing breast cancer, despite the fact that she is healthy at the moment of the screening.
Different factors such as family history, late menopause and early periods could be indicators of breast cancer as they modify the genetic program of breast cells. If doctors manage to find these cells and analyze them, they could learn whether their now healthy patients could develop breast cancer in the future.
Besides predicting the cancer using these epigenetic signatures found in breast tissue, doctors could work on developing certain intervention or pre-treatments to prevent cancer from developing.
The study was conducted on 569 breast tissue samples, which included both cancer free samples as well as cancerous samples. Comparing them, researchers have found that about 30 percent of DNA alterations were conclusive with cancer samples and they identified the way cells were reprogramming to change from healthy to cancerous.
These epigenetic alterations can be either prevented or reversed as long as they are caught in time, before the cell changes completely. In this way, scientists will be able to prevent breast cancer in more and more women by developing techniques and strategies that could help them reverse the reprogramming of cells.
In the United States, about 12 percent of women develop breast cancer sooner or later. Many of them do not survive it, as breast cancer has the second largest death rates in our country immediately after lung cancer.
According to data gathered last year, there are over 2.8 million women who have a breast cancer history including both treated women as well as the ones undergoing treatment at the current time.
Managing to make a change in these numbers and decrease the risk of women to develop breast cancer would indeed be a breakthrough in medicine, one that could save many lives.
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