WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Fifty years ago the only option available for people diagnosed with breast cancer was a major surgery. Today, with so many options, including radiation, patients may only need a few weeks of treatment.
IU Health Arnett Radiation Oncologist Matthew Orton said new treatments available at Arnett Cancer Services can help patients get back to their normal lives in no time.
"The most common of which is one that allows us to take that six or seven weeks and shorten it down to three to four weeks for most women with early stage breast cancer," Dr. Orton said. "For a select group of women we can even shorten that course down to one week."
With new developments in the world of breast cancer research every year. Orton said in the future he expects to see more individualized therapy for patients.
"By doing that we're able to treat each woman individually based on their tumor as opposed to treating them just by which stage they present at," Orton said. "That allows us to perfectly select, or hopefully perfectly select, the ideal amount of treatment for each woman."
"Really taking people's tumor and access very specifically as accurately as possible to what this cancer cells so this person is not going to be treated with something that would harm her without giving any benefit," Veterinarian and Pharmacologist Sophie Lelievre said.
Lelievre said when it comes to breakthrough research in the ways people can prevent breast cancer - Purdue is on top.
"We are taking the lead at Purdue and it is an international effort because all countries are affected by breast cancer and everybody wants to decrease the incidents but the only way is to do primary prevention research," Lelievre said.
Dr. Lelievre said researchers are taking a closer look at how nutrition plays a role in preventing all types of cancer. In her lab researchers are building realistic models of tumors to better understand how our bodies react to certain treatments.
With innovative research and new treatments, Dr. Orton said more and more people are beating the disease every year.
"We have seen that the number of women dying each year from breast cancer has been decreasing. This started in the mid 1990s and continues to today," Orton said. "I think this is a great success for anyone who has been involved with the fight for breast cancer at any stage."
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