According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, aside from skin cancer. As a prominent concern for a wide-range of women, continued research is beneficial in bringing breast cancer awareness and education to the forefront. Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Franklyn Elliott stays abreast of the latest breast cancer research as many of his patients are breast cancer survivors.
From previous research it is known that women with denser breasts are at higher risk for breast cancer, however, recent research has now discovered why breast cancer patients with dense breasts are more likely to develop aggressive tumors that may spread.
Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine studied mouse models of breast cancer and breast tumor samples from patients. They found that a protein sits on the surface of tumor cells, binds to collagen and activates a multi-step pathway that encourages tumor cells to spread. This protein is known as DDR2 and is one factor that contributes to maintaining high levels of the protein, SNAIL 1, inside the tumor cell’s nucleus, which is required for cell spread. This new research is important in developing drugs that may be able to stop the invasion of these cancerous tumors and reduce metastasis.
Breast density and skin elasticity can also be a factor for breast reconstruction patients as certain reconstructive surgery options, like breast reconstruction with an implant, may be more difficult if there is not a lot of tissue remaining after cancer removal or if the remaining skin doesn’t easily stretch.
Breast reconstruction surgery after breast cancer removal remains one of Dr. Elliott’s passions; he has been performing both plastic and reconstructive surgery for over 25 years. If you are interested in learning more about your breast reconstruction options please call our office. Connect with Dr. Elliott on Facebook, Twitter, and Google + for the latest plastic surgery news and information.