Pictures worth a thousand words

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This memorable illustration is making the rounds on social media now, and well it should. With words and visuals anyone can understand, it shows what breast cancer can look like.

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The face of the enemy

This new video shows how a cancerous breast cell actively captures and pulls in healthy cells to form tumors. It was posted by scientists at the University of Iowa.

Dr. David Soll, a biology professor at the university who was part of the research team, said it takes as little as 5 percent of cancerous cells in the body to form tumors in this way, a fact that was previously unknown. Rather than cells just sticking together or multiplying in place, these “hunter” cells actively send out cable-like structures to capture and pull in other cells.

Knowledge may be power, but it’s still unnerving to watch these rogue cells in action, behaving so … purposefully.

 

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The original paper, “Mediated coalescence: a possible mechanism for tumor cellular heterogeneity,” was published in the American Journal of Cancer Research.

It started six months ago

Unsure about what I might find and not needing any downers about this breast cancer thing, I’ve deliberately avoided many open forums on the subject. Consequently I don’t know if a lot of women write about how they came to discover their cancer, but this is what led to my diagnosis. Every case is different, of course.

October 2014 — It started last October, when I first felt some odd little twinges in my left breast. No big deal, I thought. I’m 72. New aches and pains are to be expected. Sometimes they were sharp enough to make me wince, but I still didn’t think enough of it to mention it to my doctor Continue reading