Breast Cancer: Latest Research

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 02/2016

ON THIS PAGE: You will read about the scientific research being done now to learn more about this type of cancer and how to treat it. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

Doctors are working to learn more about breast cancer, ways to prevent it, how to best treat it, and how to provide the best care to people diagnosed with this disease. The following areas of research may include new options for patients through clinical trials. Always talk with your doctor about the diagnostic and treatment options best for you.

  • Research on the causes of breast cancer, such as endocrine (hormone) disrupters, environment causes, diet, and lifestyle choices, to find other ways to help prevent the disease

  • New ways to prevent breast cancer and to help find breast cancer early

  • Developing ways to best evaluate the genes and proteins at work in each patient and each breast cancer, to determine the best treatment options for each patient

  • Evaluating the need for axillary node dissection after a positive sentinel node biopsy or if non-surgical treatment has helped to remove cancer in a lymph node

  • Testing shorter radiation schedules and more targeted radiation approaches

  • Testing new drug therapies and combinations of therapies, such as new chemotherapy and hormonal treatments, and targeted therapies including those that target HER2 either during or after treatment with trastuzumab, and those that are aimed at improving the effectiveness of hormonal therapy

  • Determining what early-stage cancers may not need chemotherapy

  • Determining the best ways to give hormonal therapy

  • Finding new reconstructive surgery approaches

  • Finding better ways of reducing symptoms and side effects of current breast cancer treatments in order to improve patients’ comfort and quality of life

  • Learning more about the social and emotional factors that may affect patients’ treatment plans and quality of life

Looking for More About the Latest Research?

If you would like additional information about the latest areas of research regarding breast cancer, explore these related items that take you outside of this guide:

The next section in this guide is Coping with Side Effects and it offers some guidance in how to cope with the physical, emotional, and social changes that cancer and its treatment can bring. Or, use the menu on the side of your screen to choose another section to continue reading this guide.