Breast cancer is a common disease that affects a lot of women, particularly in Singapore. It is usually treated with surgery and a follow-up therapy.
Researchers are now studying a new way to treat this disease using light. This method could lead to fewer side effects and better care for patients.
A Fight Against Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a big problem for women all over the world, but especially in Singapore, where it is the most common cancer for women.
Doctors often have to remove the cancer through surgery, and sometimes they have to take out nearby lymph nodes as well.
After surgery, patients usually go through a follow-up therapy. This is to kill off any cancer cells that might have spread to other parts of the body.
The follow-up therapy can be in the form of radiotherapy, which uses radiation, or systemic therapy, which involves medication.
Sometimes, only the tumor is removed from the body, and this is known as breast conserving therapy.
This has been found to make patients happier than when all of the breast is removed. However, radiotherapy is usually needed after the surgery.
Radiotherapy uses a type of energy called photon beams to damage the tumor. This can have side effects like hardening or distortion of the breast, and there is also a small risk of harm to the skin, lung, heart, and remaining breast tissues.
Also, this treatment is given daily over 3 to 5 weeks, which can be a long and tiring process for the patient.
A Bright New Approach
A team of scientists from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and National University Hospital (NUH) have found a new way to treat breast cancer.
This method, known as photodynamic therapy, uses light to kill cancer cells. This is great because it doesn’t need any wires for power.
The team used a special drug that can be given to patients through their veins. When this drug is hit with blue light, it can kill the cancer cells without harming other cells.
The challenge was to get the blue light deep enough into the body, as it usually can’t reach very far when it’s applied to the skin. The researchers found a solution by creating a special silicone breast implant.
This implant is filled with nanoparticles that can be activated by a different type of light, which can reach deeper into the body. This light then changes into the blue light needed to activate the drug.
The Future of Breast Cancer Treatment
The breast implant created by the NUS team has several benefits. It can be easily shaped and is soft, making it suitable for use in breast reconstruction after surgery.
The implant can also stay in place for a long time, which means the light treatment can be given whenever it is needed.
This new treatment can be a great addition to the existing ways of treating breast cancer.
It can potentially reduce the need for chemotherapy or radiation by controlling the local tumor. This could lead to fewer side effects and a better quality of life for patients.
Professor Daniel Teh, who led the research, said that while the new treatment might not replace the current ones, it could make a significant difference in cancer treatment.
Professor Celene Ng from NUH added that this discovery could change how breast cancer is treated, as it allows more tissue to be removed, reduces the chance of the cancer coming back, and improves the look of the breast after treatment.
In the fight against breast cancer, this new light treatment could be a bright ray of hope. It can help reduce the burden of the disease and the side effects of conventional therapies.
The future of breast cancer treatment could be brighter, thanks to the efforts of these researchers.
If you care about breast cancer, please read studies about stuff in sunscreen may play a role in breast cancer development, and when you eat your meals may help reduce breast cancer risk.
For more information about cancer prevention, please see recent studies about vitamin that is particularly important for your cancer prevention, and results reveal that new drug shows promise against pancreatic cancer and breast cancer.
The study was published in ACS Nano.
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