New research shows that primary breast cancer has the ability to essentially shut down its own spread. These findings may help freeze cancer cells before they get chance to form secondary tumours. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), in the United States, it is estimated that a total of 2,66120 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018. Where almost 41,000 of these cases will result in death.
However, since early 1990’s as the NCI show, the number of breast cancer deaths has been steadily decreasing.
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Overall, the five-year survival rate for breast cancer is now close to 90 percent.
After receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, it is important to check whether it has spread beyond the original site of the tumour.
As a result, more and more researchers have been focusing on the process of metastasis in the hope that a better understanding of it will lead to better strategies for prevention.
New research, published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, sheds such light on the process of metastasis in breast cancer, uncovering a previously unknown aspect of it.
In a rodent model of breast cancer, they found that primary tumours have the ability to stop the “breakaway” cancer cells from traveling to other sites in the body.
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The primary tumour does this by triggering an inflammatory response from the immune system. Once activated, the immune system dispatches “search patrols” of immune cells throughout the body. The main role of these cells is to find the locations where breakaway cells may be trying to settle and create new tumours.