Thursday, August 22, 2013

Its all about the language

Who calls it a relapse when cancer recurs? I didn't know anyone did. It has a different connotation. But maybe in Australia its common.

There is a new bit of medical research (because we have to keep those researchers working) in Australia where they found a gene that half of women with estrogen positive breast cancer have. If women have the gene, they could alter the timing of chemotherapy.

Basically a basic blood test could determine if patients have the gene. 

"The test would be used to determine when cancer cells are most vulnerable to chemotherapy, which would be used to kill them off and prevent a relapse.

At present patients with this type of cancer typically receive anti-oestrogen therapy and generally respond well. Within 15 years, however, half develop drug resistance, followed by relapse and death."

How's that for putting it morbidly? Nice - huh?

"Scientists believe the anti-oestrogen therapy weakens the BCL-2 gene, which protects the cancer.

The idea would be to test all patients and correctly time the use of chemotherapy to kill off the cancer and prevent a relapse when the gene is sufficiently weak."

So its much more specific.

But its a theory now and has to go through testing and trials and don't go holding your breath because it will be quite a while.

I just wish that they could be a  little nicer in their phrasing and skip the damn word 'relapse'.

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