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Zinc Isotopes Could Help With Early Breast Cancer Detection

Posted on February 19, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Researchers at the University of Oxford in the UK are looking to zinc isotopes for a new method of catching breast cancer at its early stages. The best time to catch breast cancer is before symptoms such as lumps, swelling, and changes in the nipples, are apparent. Monitoring changes in composition of zinc isotopes in breast tissue could be a biomarker for breast cancer, and could allow doctors more time and options for treatment and containment of the cancer cells.

The research team took cues from earth scientists’ methods for measuring how metals are processed in natural matter. They used techniques that can detect minute changes in metal composition to monitor the changes in zinc in the bloodstream prior to cancer development.

It is well-known that breast cancer tissue contains higher levels of zinc, but researchers are still working to understand why this is the case. The UK researchers found that breast cancer tumors had lighter zinc isotopic composition than blood and healthy breast tissue. These findings are significant advancements in early detection methods that could become standard tests after more trials and establishing protocols.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women after skin cancers. It is the second leading cause of cancer death in women and an estimated 40,000 women will die from it this year. As with most cancers, the treatment for the disease can often be as bad as the disease itself, leaving patients weakened and succeptible to infection.

Cancer patients undergoing treatment may be unable to work and earn an income. If this has occurred to you or a loved one, Disability Help Group is here to help. For assistance and support for your Social Security disability claim, call today – -(800)-800-3332.