New Hope for Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Reported October 30, 2007
FOUNTAIN VALLEY CITY, Calif. (Ivanhoe Broadcast News) — It’s breast cancer awareness month, but you may not be aware of one of the most aggressive forms of the disease. It’s called inflammatory breast cancer, or IBC. Although it accounts for only 1 percent to 5 percent of all breast cancers, historically less than half of diagnosed patients survive. There are no effective therapies for it, but something new is improving patients’ odds.
When Janice Freed was told she had inflammatory breast cancer, she had never heard of the disease. She wasn’t alone.
“As I went through the process of finding doctors, talking to nurses and talking to people, I found more and more and more — even people in the medical profession — have never heard of inflammatory breast cancer. And that frightened me a great deal,” says Freed.
Also frightening is the fact only about half of patients survive. Now a new breast cancer drug may change that.
“This is a home run. It’s a whole new form of therapy,” says John Link, M.D., an oncologist from Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in Fountain Valley City, Calif.
The drug Tykerb works by interrupting the signal that tells cancer cells to divide, making them go into cell death.
“It’s interrupting that message that’s telling the cell to be cancer,” Dr. Link says.
In a study on Tykerb, 86 percent of IBC patients had their tumor shrink by at least 50 percent.
“My hope is that we’ll be able, in a few years, to say that toxic chemotherapy stuff we used to use is, is gone,” Dr. Link says
It’s a daily oral pill, which makes it easier for patients in their fight.
Sadly, Freed lost her fight to the cancer, but treatments like this could help others win their’s.
For more information, please contact:
John Link, M.D.
9900 Talbert Ave.
Fountain Valley, CA 92708