ORLANDO, Fla. – Breast cancer impacts one in every eight American women. Researchers are constantly searching for new ways to diagnose and treat this all-too-common disease.
Kristen Lyons was only 39 when she noticed a suspicious lump in her breast.
“I just, I felt something and I thought, huh, it was real tiny, but it just felt different,” Lyons said.
It was breast cancer.
“It was about Tic Tac sized. It was very tiny, very treatable and hadn’t spread into the lymph nodes or anything like that,” she said.
Researchers are working hard to ensure that other women have a positive outcome like Lyons. One of the latest breakthroughs is a drug called Trodelvy. It was approved for patients with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer, a type of breast cancer that’s usually very hard to treat.
Several new treatments for HER2-positive breast cancer that have also gained approval in the last two years are: Enhertu, Nerlynx, Tukysa, and Phesgo.
Liquid biopsy is another recent breakthrough that’s made a difference in breast cancer care. It’s essentially a blood test that detects the presence of cancer. In a study from Memorial Sloan Kettering in New York, researchers used the test in women with estrogen receptor-positive metastatic breast cancer to successfully identify gene mutations and tailor treatments. Breakthroughs that could help more women beat breast cancer.
An artificial intelligence algorithm is also helping doctors identify breast cancer on mammograms. In a study from Sweden, the AI technique was better at detecting breast cancer than six radiologists. Pairing a radiologist with AI produced even better results.