Breast Cancer

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Stigma is likely exacerbated by our many ‘pink’ campaigns to raise breast cancer awareness and improve outcomes for women.

Breast cancer campaigns might be pink, but men get it too

Although breast cancer is usually seen as a woman’s disease, around 145 Australian men were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, and around 25 died from it.
Prolonged periods of stress can aid in the spread of cancer. from shutterstock.com

Chronic stress effects help cancer spread, researchers find

Chronic stress accelerates cancer growth in mice, according to a new study, pointing to potential treatment targets to slow the progression of cancer to other organs.
Understanding the DNA of tumours allows researchers to target treatment to each individual. Erika/Flickr

How cancer doctors use personalised medicine to target variations unique to each tumour

Personalised medicine is based on the idea that by understanding the specific molecular code of a person’s disease, and particularly its genetic makeup, we can more accurately tailor treatment.
Young women in Kano, northern Nigeria. Access to cancer screening in the region is particularly problematic. Reuters/Goran Tomasevic

What’s stopping Nigerian women from being screened for cancer?

Women in northern Nigeria are not going for cancer screenings early enough. There are myriad social, cultural and economic reasons for this. But early detection would save their lives.
Women with DCIS or stage 0 breast cancer have the same chance of dying from breast cancer as the rest of the population – 3.3%. CristinaMuraca/Shutterstock

Treating ‘stage 0’ breast cancer doesn’t always save women’s lives so should we screen for it?

We're told that finding symptoms of disease early will prevent the more serious consequences. But for pre-cancerous lesions, also known as stage 0 breast cancer, the picture is much more complicated.
Australia’s Federal Court last year rejected Ms D'Arcy’s appeal and ruled companies could patent genes they isolated. Dan Peled/Shutterstock

Remind me again, how can companies patent breast cancer genes?

The High Court challenge is the last resort for Ms D'Arcy's test case against companies patenting human genes and has implications for patients, clinicians and researchers.
While we search for a cure, we are still searching for cause. A volunteer hangs bras during a promotion against breast cancer in Switzerland in 2008. Ruben Sprich/Reuters

The mystery of breast cancer

Major causes have been identified for most common cancers, like liver and lung. But we still haven't identified one for breast cancer.
Challenges to the patents for BRCA mutation tests in Australia and the United States resulted in opposing conclusions. Christiana Care/Flickr

Gene patents may sound scary but soon they may no longer matter

Recent cases in Australia and the United States and a new case in Canada show how controversial the subject of gene patents is. But technological advances and the cost of patenting may soon mean gene patents…
Participants and guests at a Walk for Breast Cancer decked out in pink. Breast cancer walk image via www.shutterstock.com

Awash in pink, but breast cancer awareness isn’t a cure

Awareness efforts can focus public attention and help scientists raise funds for research. But the impact on eradicating the disease itself and helping patients today is much less clear.

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