Breast Cancer is the most common cancer among women. There are four main subtypes based on pathology profiles (see the overview and expert section for work carried out in our Centre), many more if stratified by molecular profiles. Research into specific parameters, such as progression, response to treatment and risk of dissemination for each of breast cancer subtype takes us closer to the best approach to help each cancer patient.
We also share the unique story of a determined, dynamic and inspiring breast cancer patient, who kindly shared her ongoing journey: that of a seemingly unlikely and unpredictable diagnosis of secondary breast cancer. Ann Mc Brien’s breast cancer was caught during routine screening at a very early stage, and should have been cured. She’s on a mission to mobilize the public, funders and research community for the reality that there are not enough awareness, funding and treatment opportunities for patients with Secondary Breast Cancer.
Ann’s mission is what gets some of us out of bed in the morning, including Tamara Mc Erlain, a 2nd year PhD student that is currently investigating how breast cancer succeeds in colonizing the lung.
Facts and Figures
- The most common cancer type in women (30% of the cases)
- 55,500 new cases diagnosed in UK each year, 15,000 in NI
- While survival rates improved in the last 40 years, patients who develop secondary breast cancer have incurable disease and a life expectancy of 2-3 years (disproportionally affecting women under 50)
One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Research developed by multiple groups within the PGJCCR contributes to refinements towards early detection, as well as molecular and genetic stratification of multiple subtypes and patients to determine the best treatment plan towards the best possible outcome, and to allow identifying which patients are at higher risk for relapse or secondary breast cancer.
Breast cancer affects and kills more women than any other cancer. Clinicians diagnose over 50,000 breast cancers in the UK every year, representing 1 in 7 women. However, with funding and research efforts, more and more treatments are developed and it is becoming a very treatable cancer.Read more from our Experts
Editor: Dr Cristina Branco
Guest Editor/Expert Content: Dr Paul Mullan
Contributors: Dr Zoe Angel, Ann McBrien & Tamara McErlain
Publication Design: Kiera McGill