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The Silver Lining in Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Silver Lining in Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 04, 2022
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The World Health Organization reports that breast cancer is still one of the two most frequent kinds of cancer worldwide, and it accounts for 5% of all cancer-related fatalities each year. In any given year, more than 265,000 people in the United States may be diagnosed with this disease. There is, however, cause for optimism. Exciting breakthroughs in breast cancer detection and treatments have resulted from research, which will benefit patients for years to come. 

The Research Advances Against Breast Cancer (So Far) 

The latest research lays the possibility for improved breast cancer treatment and detection. 

Scientists researching Worldwide Cancer Research in France have uncovered a mechanism through which the tissue surrounding breast cancer tumors might block immune cells from accessing cancer cells and eliminate them. Their discoveries might lead to new approaches to immunotherapy that are more effective and improved techniques to identify breast cancer. 

One of the initially targeted therapies for triple-negative breast cancer may soon be available, thanks to a new medicine. 

Birinapant is a novel medication that has been the subject of research conducted by Dr. Najoua Lalaoui, a researcher at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Australia. Her studies have recently revealed that birinapant has the potential to be one of the first targeted therapies for triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive type of breast cancer. 

Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) was long perceived as an aggressive form of the disease that has been very difficult to treat successfully.  However, new treatments and research are changing this perception.  

While TNBC accounts for about 10% to 15% of all diagnosed breast cancers, it is difficult to detect early on, so the disease can often spread throughout the body before it's found. 

Triple-negative breast cancer found its name because it does not show common signs of breast cancer, such as three characteristics of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR), or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Though this can make treatment more challenging, it’s important to note that most cancers are triple-negative at first and may become more responsive to other types of treatment over time. 

Three years from now, clinical trials of a potential new cancer vaccine might begin. 

As a result of a recent scientific achievement, researchers who receive funding from Worldwide Cancer Research are getting ready to begin conducting clinical tests on a novel cancer vaccine. The group working on this problem in Queensland, Australia, under the direction of Associate Professor Kristen Radford, has high hopes that they will be able to start clinical trials within the next three years. They also believe that their findings will apply to various cancers, including breast cancer. 

Researchers have identified a gene as a significant contributor to breast cancer's ability to metastasize. 

Dr. Sara Sigismund, who works at the European Institute of Oncology in Italy, was one of the researchers that contributed to the finding that a gene known as EPN3 plays an important part in the process by which breast cancer can develop and spread to other the body's systems. The researchers have figured out the specifics of how this gene functions and they believe that EPN3 may be able to serve as a new target for the development of new medications to treat breast cancer. 

Disability Benefits for Those Living with Breast Cancer 

If you have breast cancer, you can qualify for Social Security disability payments in one of three ways: 

Compassionate Allowances Conditions and Breast Cancer 

The Social Security Administration (SSA) created the Compassionate Allowances program to promptly provide payments to those with serious conditions and insufficient medical proof. SSA will expedite your disability claim if you qualify for Compassionate Allowances. 

The SSA prefers pathology and surgical reports as proof that your breast cancer qualifies for Compassionate Allowance care. SSA may utilize your doctor's opinion if these reports are unavailable. 

Breast Cancer and Disability Listing Eligibility 

The SSA's Listing of Impairments (the "Blue Book") lists certain medical illnesses and the standards needed to show impairment for each. SSA will automatically find you handicapped if your condition fits one of these entries, which includes breast cancer 

SSA will seek proof of your breast cancer's type, size, and location. SSA will request pathology results and other medical reports if you've been hospitalized. 

Assess Your Remaining Functional Capacity 

When you don't satisfy the requirements of disability listing under the Listing of Impairments, it is seen that your breast cancer isn't as severe as the listing demands, the SSA will examine your residual functional capacity (RFC) to see if you can work any job. 

The SSA will use your medical data to determine your RFC. You can get a comprehensive medical evaluation from your doctor to assist the SSA in establishing an appropriate opinion. Your doctor's RFC form is most useful for this. 

Speak to Financial Professional Today 

For more information on disability insurance and benefits with relation to breast cancer, reach out to your financial professional today. They can help you navigate through these tough decisions.