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One in every eight women will develop breast cancer over the course of their lifetime. Twenty percent of those women who survive breast cancer will develop recurrent breast cancers, contributing to tens of thousands of cancer-related deaths each year.
1 Treating cancer until symptoms fade is often insufficient. Undetected cancer cells may survive what appears to be an effective treatment, only to return more aggressively years later. But research in this field, inspiring my own, has allowed the situation to improve. Over the last 10 years, breast cancer related deaths have halved.2 Not by coincidence, research in preventing recurrent cancers has skyrocketed.
Cancer is the result of unchecked cell growth in a particular part or parts of the body. Cancer cells begin as normal cells. Through a regulated mechanism, our bodies’ cells grow, divide and die. But sometimes the regulatory system is disrupted. The normal cells take on abnormal characteristics. They rapidly divide and grow without restrictions. This leads to tumors and to cancerous cells breaking free and spreading to other parts of the body. The propagation of cancerous cells is dangerous and deadly