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Stem Cell Research And Breast Cancer

1481 words - 6 pages

     Breast cancer is a disturbing reality for many women in the United States today. One out of every eight women will acquire breast cancer in her life time. Forty-thousand women were expected to die just last year alone from breast cancer and over 276,000 women have been diagnosed with new cases of breast cancer since 2003. Breast cancer is the leading cancer detected among Caucasian and African American women in the United States today. Swift action must be taken to eradicate breast cancer in America and throughout the world now. Many promising options exist in the fight against breast cancer, yet none has the potential to have a greater effect then stem cell research.
     Today, the exact cause of breast cancer is still somewhat of a mystery. Therefore, prevention options are very limited. Women with a family history of breast cancer, or who are overweight, or smoke and use alcohol, or who have their first full term pregnancy after thirty, or who are never pregnant, or have either an early start or late end to menstruation are just a few of the women who may be exposed to breast cancer at some point throughout her life span. These women, and others who are also at risk, are encouraged to take precautionary measures to combat the onset of breast cancer. One option recommend is the use of pre- ventitive medications such as tamoxifen. This drug has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for women who are at high risk for obtaining breast cancer. Women also in danger are encouraged to practice early detection methods. This includes monthly self examinations, yearly doctor examinations, and yearly mamograms for women over the age of forty. Women who suffer the greatest risk of exposure to breast cancer are even asked to consider the aggressive measure of preventive surgery. A removal of breast tissue, called a mastectomy, is an option for those women at the highest risk levels to prevent breast cancer from beginning.
     Women who use any or all of these measures reduce their risk of breast cancer. Even so, these women are still in jeopardy of contracting breast cancer. The fact is, the specific cause of breast cancer is unknown. These treatment options do not guarantee that at risk women will not be burdened with this deadly disease. What is needed to eliminate completely this terrible killer is stem cell research and therapy.

     Stem cells are the basic building blocks of each and every aspect of our bodies. Stem cells occur naturally in everyone. These cells have the potential to create every cell our body needs. There are currently two types of stem cells that researchers have the capability to work with, embryonic and non-embryonic (otherwise know as adult stem cells). Currently research, although limited, is being conducted using both types of stem cells. Non-embryonic adult stem cell therapies are even being used to treat...

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