Breast cancer is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue. Certain mutations that take place in breast cells and are not repared, lead to an anormal uncontrolled growth of those cells. They keep growing more and more without dying and eventually they can lose diferentation and spread to the rest of the body, originating metastasis. Queensland scientists (Australia) from the QIRM Berghofer Medical Research Institute have founded a genetic switch that indicates that the cancer is about to spread and how quickly will it do it.
There is a gene fragment (micro RNA) that controlls the cells, making sure that they are able to reproduce but that they don’t go out of control. But when it dissapears, it’s when cells start to reproduce uncontrollably. That’s why we know that cancer is about to spread when this micro RNA is missed. But the main problem is that if cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it can kill people. Only breast cancer is not that dangerous (after 5 years of diagnosis 96% of patients will be alive).
In the original source, we have some more information: This genetic switch is more important than it looks, because it’s not only in breast cancer, it’s a common celullar process in stomach, brain, liver and skin cancer. Because of this, with time we can end up having a drug to prevent it. The source where I read the new didn’t said all, but it had no mistakes in the information that it provided.
In my opinion, this a really big discover. If this is really a common celullar process, maybe with a bit of time scientists can produce a drug to prevent cancer, or at least to make it imposible to spread all over the body (and this way, less people will die, because like I said before, only breast cancer doesn’t kill many people). If government invest money in this type of investigations, many people with cancer will survive, and it’ll worth all the money that has been used.