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AS the Government launches a prevention programme for the condition, our writer discovers how we can help ourselves. How do I know if I’ve got type 2 diabetes?Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 per cent of all diabetes cases.
TIM CLARKEBill Hartston is receiving treatment for prostate cancerEvery weekday morning I have started the day with a 10-minute session at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, lying on my back on a sort of scanner while my prostate is bombarded with high-intensity X-rays.The treatment involves 37 such sessions and there is only a week left before they finish.
As soon as my cancer was diagnosed six months ago I was put on a hormone treatment to weaken the cancer cells and stop them from spreading. A NEW study has found that becoming a brother or sister could reduce a child’s likelihood of becoming obese. During the study, researchers analysed the genetic features of 2,000 frozen samples of breast cancer tumours, taken from women diagnosed with the disease over the past 10 years. The large study has shown that breast cancer tumours can be classified into 10 new subtypes with varying outlooks. Professor Carlos Caldas from Cancer Research UK said: “Essentially, we've moved from knowing what a breast tumour looks like under a microscope to pinpointing its molecular anatomy – and eventually we'll know which drugs it will respond to”. Today’s news is based on a laboratory study that analysed the genetic makeup and genetic activity in more than 2,000 breast cancer tumours.
One area at the forefront of cancer research is the move towards “personalised treatment”, in which doctors look at the unique genetics of a tumour and create a bespoke treatment plan designed to take advantage of a tumour’s vulnerabilities. The research was generally covered as a “breakthrough” study by the newspapers, which took their lead from a press release accompanying publication of the study online. Also, the tone of some press coverage might be worrying for women living with the condition, as it suggests we currently struggle to treat breast cancer effectively. The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Cambridge, Cancer Research UK, the University of Columbia, Canada and a number of other institutions worldwide. Scientists collected samples from more than 2,000 primary breast tumours that had been frozen and kept in tumour banks in the UK and Canada (primary means they originated in the breast tissue rather than spreading from another part of the body).
Scientists then looked at the variations in DNA in the tumours and related them to the activity of the genes in these tumours.
Using information from their “discovery” set of 997 breast tumours the researchers were able to classify the tumours into 10 different subtypes, based on similarities in their common genetic characteristics. As part of their extensive analyses, the researchers also identified several genes within the tumours that look like they may be involved in driving tumour growth. Overall, the researchers say that their findings show a new way to divide breast cancers into subgroups based on their genetic characteristics. Professor Caldas also argues that the variations in tumour genetics mean that we should now consider breast cancer to be an umbrella term for an even greater number of diseases. The new research provides a large, thorough look at the genetic behaviour of breast tumours and has identified subtypes of cancer that each have different long-term outlooks. However, even though it provides a valuable contribution towards breast cancer research, the results of this study will not affect the way women are currently given routine treatment for breast cancer.


It is possible that, in the future, doctors may be able to use this information in routine clinical practice to set up personalised cancer treatments, where doctors could determine the genetic type of a tumour and tailor treatment accordingly.
Landmark British study that could revolutionise breast cancer treatment: It turns out it's actually TEN different diseases. New hope for breast cancer patients as new studies show there are TEN types of the disease.
It’s the type that develops as we age and get overweight and unhealthy, although some children and overweight young adults are now developing it, too. I am pleased to say that it all seems to be going well and to be much less disruptive of my life than I had feared.Prostate cancer is incredibly common, more than 100 people a day are diagnosed with it, a 10 per cent increase in the past five years. The radiotherapy is designed to finish them off by zapping them with something similar to X-rays but 1,000 times as strong.Before I signed up for it, the procedure and possible side effects were explained in detail. The newspaper says that a “landmark” study has reclassified the country’s most common cancer in “breakthrough research” that could revolutionise the way we treat breast tumours. From this analysis, scientists found breast cancer could be classified into 10 different broad types according to their common genetic features. This research is a valuable contribution to scientists’ understanding of the genetic basis of breast cancer and it may also help to explain why, at present, some tumours appear to respond well to treatment while others do not. Understanding the genetic makeup of tumours is important as their genetics can potentially influence whether they are resistant or susceptible to particular drugs, and also their behaviour within the body.
For example, if a breast tumour carries a gene that might make it resistant to what is normally the first choice drug, doctors might instead opt for a drug the tumour has no genetic resistance to. The Guardian’s headline – “Breast cancer treatment gets boost” – is misleading, as it will take several years before researchers will know whether and how treatments for breast cancer could be tailored to the new subtypes. This is not necessarily the case as it is generally one of the cancers with the best outlooks. It was funded by Cancer Research UK, the British Columbia Cancer Foundation and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. They then looked at whether tumours could be classed into subgroups based on them sharing similar genetic variations and gene activity patterns, and whether these subgroups had different clinical outcomes. The researchers found that the different subgroups had different clinical outcomes, including how likely women with different tumour types were to die from their breast cancer.
This new knowledge provides a valuable contribution to scientists’ attempts to understand the genetic basis of breast cancer and why some treatments do and don’t work in different patients.
This is because we have only really scratched the surface of how genetics might control subtypes of tumours within historical cancer samples.
The genomic and transcriptomic architecture of 2,000 breast tumours reveals novel subgroups. Last week former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman revealed that he is undergoing treatment for the disease, although he is expected to make a full recovery as it was caught in the early stages. They believe that when another baby is born parents often change habits around the house such as the way they feed their child and when.


It is possible that, in the future, doctors may be able to use this information to predict the outlook for individual breast cancer patients better and to tailor treatments accordingly. The aim of the study was to find out if the genetic characteristics of the tumours could be classified and matched according to clinical outcomes.
In March this year, scientists released the results of a major study looking at cancer genes and how they govern responses to drugs.
In a similar vein, the Daily Mirror’s headline claiming there is “new hope” for breast cancer patients could falsely raise expectations in women who currently have the disease. More than 80% of women diagnosed with breast cancer will still be alive five years later, and survival rates are continuing to improve.
They initially analysed the genetic characteristics of a set of 997 tumours (the “discovery group”). There is still a need to explore what various genetic combinations do within tumours in living people, including how they respond to therapies. As the scientists acknowledge, further work is needed to understand how tumours classified under each subgroup behave and also how they respond to different treatments.
However, it’s important to note that this study will not affect the way women are currently treated for breast cancer.
At present, the results are useful for research purposes rather than for treating patients, but they do represent a big step forward.
Of course, a lot more work is needed in the fight against breast cancer, but it is worth remembering that, in recent decades, there have been massive improvements in the treatment of breast cancer, and women given a diagnosis at the present time have a good chance of long-term survival. As reported by the BBC, Cancer Research UK is going to begin using the new subgroups in its clinical trials of treatments for breast cancer. Suddenly, her blood sugar levels fell from 12 at diagnosis to about 5-5½, which is within the normal range, and her symptoms disappeared. I asked about this and was told that it was because damage caused to surrounding areas by the treatment itself can affect PSA levels. As the scientists acknowledge, before these findings can affect clinical practice, further work is needed to understand how tumours classified under each subgroup behave, and also which treatments they may respond to.
So they leave it until about eight weeks after treatment has ended before testing.As for side effects I have only been affected by one of those that was warned about, that is an occasional feeling of extreme tiredness. They also analysed 617 samples of normal (non-cancerous) breast tissue to compare with the tumour samples.
It is also the biggest cause of preventable sight loss in people of working age, it increases your risk of needing kidney dialysis and also causes amputations because of the damage to nerves.



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