Breast cancer stem cells and stress that leads to recurrence
May 6, 2011
A new report from the University of Michigan pays tribute to several doctors researching cancer, including breast cancer.
Dr. Max Wicha identifies the stem cells for breast cancer in 2003, while Drs. Ronald Buckanovich, Diane Simeone and Mark Prince worked on ovarian, prostate and head and neck cancer.
Despite skepticism as to whether stem cells could be found in tumors of the breast and colon, as well as brain and prostate, scientists have been making inroads in these areas.
Dr. Wicha's team was the first to find solid tumor stem cells, and since then Dr. Wicha has studied the relationship between stress and breast cancer recurrence as well.
"[Patients] have been telling us for years that they're convinced that bad stress is related to the cancer coming back," Wicha told the news source. He has since found substantial support for that claim.
"If an organ is damaged in an automobile accident, normal cells of the organ send out distress signals to the stem cells in that organ to start reproducing themselves so they can heal the organ," said Wicha, alluding to cancer stem cells that would also start growing.
More than 200,000 women were newly diagnosed with breast cancer in the U.S. last year. The American Cancer Society recommends that women over the age of 40 receive yearly mammograms.