New Biomarker Discovered for Breast Cancer

p66ShcA Biomarker for Breast Cancer

p66ShcA Biomarker for Breast Cancer

Researchers have discovered a protein which may be able to act as a biomarker for the most dangerous forms of breast cancer.

The protein p66ShcA, has higher expression levels in metastatic breast cancers. By detecting this protein, doctors will be able to determine if the breast cancer has started to spread.

The research was published in the October issue of Molecular and Cellular Biology. According to the researchers:

We showed that elevated p66ShcA expression levels are strongly associated with expression of numerous epithelial to mesenchymal transition genes in all breast cancer subtypes,” lead study author Josie Ursini-Siegel of McGill University said in a press release. “Thus, p66ShcA may serve as one of the first prognostic biomarkers to identify poor outcome breasts cancers regardless of their molecular subtype.

Breast cancer usually kills by metastasizing to other parts of the body and killing the patient from cancer in those areas. Patients with metastatic breast cancer usually see the breast tumors expressing cancer cells to other organs via the bloodstream.

This biomarker could allow doctors to better determine the prognosis of patients and put them on the right course of treatment sooner. If a patient presents with this biomarker, doctors would know that the tumors may have metastasized and aggressive forms of treatment are needed.

Thyroid Cancer Symptoms

Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer


The thyroid gland is a large endocrine gland found in the neck below the thyroid cartilage that forms the adams apple. The gland controls how rapidly the body uses energy, how the body responds to hormones and it makes proteins. The thyroid gland does these things by producing thyroid hormones including triiodothyronine (T3) and tetraiodothyronine (T4). These hormones affect the growth rate and function of many parts of the body and manipulate the rate of metabolism within the body.

Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

The technical description for Thyroid cancer is a malignat thyroid neoplasm with comes from parafollicular or follicular cells. Typically the thyroid cancer is often first detected as a nodule in the thyroid which can found by an examination from your doctor. Nodules are somewhat commonplace though, with 95% of nodules not malignant. Other early symptoms include an enlarged lymph node, pain in the neck and possibly a change in voice.

Symptoms of hyperthyroidism can sometimes be associated with a large metastatic tumor. Nodules in the thyroid are more serious for younger patients because they are less common in people below 20. If a young person has nodules it is far more likely to be malignant.

Diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer

After a general practitioner locates a thyroid nodule during a physical exam, the patient is usually forwarded to an endocrinologist or thyroidologist who normally perform an ultrasound to confirm the presence of the nodule. They then assess the condition of the thyroid and do tests on the strength of thyroid hormones and anti-thyroid antibodies. That helps them determine if a thyroid disease is present and has caused the nodule.

To finally determine if cancer is present, a fine needle aspiration cytology test is performed.

Thyroid Cancer Classification

Thyroid cancer is classified into the following categories:

  • Papillary thyroid cancer – The most common form of thyroid cancer usually found in young females. Makes up about 75%-80% of cases, it has a very good prognosis
  • Follicular thyroid cancer – makes up 10% to 20% of cases
  • Medullary thyroid cancer – makes up 5% to 8% of cases
  • Poorly differentiated thyroid cancer
  • Anaplastic thyroid cancer – makes up less than 5%

The follicular and papillary types of thyroid cancer have a much better prognosis than medullary and undifferentiated thyroid cancer types.

Thyroid Cancer Treatment

Thyroid cancer is similar to prostate cancer in that it is very common in older adults, is slow growing and often doesn’t even require treatment. Slow growing thyroid cancer may not even produce any symptoms, so the patient isn’t aware of any problems and can pass away from another illness before the thyroid cancer becomes a concern. For this reason, a slow growing thyroid cancer is rarely treated.

For faster growing thyroid cancer there are a number of options. Surgery is sometimes used with the thyroidectomy and lobectomy procedures being two of the most common approaches.

Radioactive Iodine-131 is often used post-surgery to treat patients who have papillary or follicular thyroid cancer. It is used for ablation of residual thyroid tissue after the surgical work has been performed. Some types of thyroid cancer, including medullary, anaplastic, and many Hurthle cell cancers do not benefit from radioactive iodine-131 treatment.

Occasionally external radiation is also used to help relieve pain or when the cancer is unable to be removed by surgery.

Some new drugs including Sorafenib and Sunitinib have shown promising results for the treatment of thyroid cancer.

Prognosis for Thyroid Cancer

For the most common form of thyroid cancer, papillary, the prognosis is very good with an overall 5 year survival rate of around 97%. There are 4 stages of development of thyroid cancer and if caught at stage I or stage II, papillary thyroid cancer has a 100% 5 year survival rate. At stage III that shortens to 93% and at stage IV that becomes 51%. There is currently a greater trend towards early detection of thyroid cancer, which has led to a boost in the survival rates.

The follicular and medullary have similar 5 year survival rates, however stage IV medullary thyroid cancer patients have a much lower 5 year survival rate ay 28%.

Anaplastic thyroid cancer is always stage 4 and has a poor 5 year survival rate at 7%. This relatively rare form of thyroid cancer is very aggressive and has shown resistance to the traditional forms of thyroid cancer treatment. Anaplastic thyroid cancer usually spreads into the surrounding tissue rapidly, also explaining the poor survival rate.

Thyroid cancer is much less common in men than it is in women, with women being three times more likely to be afflicted.

Mesothelioma cancer diagnosis

What is Mesothelioma|

What is Mesothelioma

Diagnosing the various forms of cancer is not always an accurate science.  The initial symptoms can present in a large number of ways and sometimes it takes time to associate the symptom with the illness.

With Mesothelioma, often the condition is not diagnosed until the cancer has accumulated in the organ, in this case, the lungs.  Because it is difficult to detect before the actual cancer starts accumulating, the survivability is poor.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by the breathing in of asbestos, a material that has been used for construction in the past.  Asbestos has been phased out of production for household use once the dcotors and scientists were made aware of the problems associated with the material.

It is an especially difficult type of cancer to diagnose because the symptoms often don’t appear for many years after the initial exposure to material and the symptoms are often confused for other types of illnesses.

The prognosis of mesothelioma relies on measuring the distance of the metastasis from where it started.  So if it starts in the lungs, as most cases do, if the metastasis has spread to other organs, that determines the chance of surviving and how treatment is performed.

Doctors have written about 3 types of mesothelioma, the most common being the one affecting the longs initially, which is caused by breathing in contaminants including asbestos and other fibros materials.

Initially the lungs are inflamed and eventually tumors begin to grow within the lungs, making it very difficult for the patient to breath.

The next mesothelioma is peritonal mesothelioma, which affects the peritoneum and the final variety of this affliction is pericardial mesothelioma which affects the covering of the heart itself.

Mesothelioma has not been recorded as being a result of smoking cigarettes, but it is important to note that smoking can exacerbate the symptoms associated with mesothelioma.

Researchers have said that mesothelioma has also presented in a person infected with the Simin Virus 40 and has even developed from exposure to radiation.  However the most common form is mesothelioma of the lungs as a direct result of exposure to asbestos or other fibrous material.

Mesothelioma is a very difficult cancer to treat and prognosis is not good.  However there has been some success with irradiation therapy, surgey and chemotherapy.

Because of the difficultly in treating this kind of cancer, the best cure is prevention and awareness of the dangers of these materials.  Most countries have special laws for the handling of asbestos and other dangerous materials so in the next few decades we should see the decline in the rates of mesothelioma in the community.