Breast cancer

Essay by lybrian1 December 2008

download word file, 6 pages 3.0

Breast cancer is a type of cancer that affects the glandular breast tissue and more specifically the main topic of this essay is how IKBKE and BRCA genes cause breast cancer. Breast cancer affects 240,000 women every year and less than one percent of breast cancer sufferers are males. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in North America. There are well over 2.4 million breast cancer survivors and this is due several detection techniques, including mammograms and new treatments arisen in the past decade such as radiation therapy. These treatments along with early-detection campaigns have changed the outlook of breast cancer sufferers. Currently these treatments also come with many unwanted side affects but researches are actively seeking new treatments to minimize or even eliminate these side effects with new treatment techniques. The subtopics in this essay are: the causes of breast cancer, detection techniques and the treatments.

Subtopic One - Causes of Breast Cancer Nobody knows the absolute cause of breast cancer but researchers have discovered a new breast cancer gene called I-kappa-B kinase epsilon or IKBKE, which is overly active in 30 to 40 percent of women with breast cancer. IKBKE helps trigger a response to invading viruses and is normally active only in immune system cells. It has no known function in healthy breast cells, but it may signal a cell to grow out of control if a DNA mutation causes the gene to become active. Females are born with a healthy version of the gene IKBKE, but a mutation occurs during life that causes it to produce excess copies of itself in breast cells. Those who are born with this overly active gene are at a greater risk of developing breast cancer at an earlier age. The cancerous cells contained a mutation...