Essay about Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer is one of the most widespread cancers among women worldwide. In the US, it is the most common, and the leading cause of cancer related deaths among women between 45 – 64 years of age (Clegg et al., 2002; Ward et al., 2008). Early detection and improved treatment procedures have resulted in gradual decline in the number of deaths caused by the disease since 1990. Nevertheless, in 2009, the estimated death toll for the disease was 40,170 (American Cancer Society, 2009). The gravity of the disease therefore demands further research towards its early diagnosis, and for evaluating the prognosis of its course.
Breast cancer is a heterogeneous disease characterized by the complex interplay of molecular, genetic and
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The principal mechanism leading to pain and inflammation is the arachidonic acid (AA) pathway. AA is typically bound to the membrane phospholipids and is released by a group of enzymes known as the phospholipases A2’s. AA acts as the precursor of the group of bioactive lipids collectively known as the eisosanoids. There have been several reports that AA and the eicosanoids are intimately linked to cancer biology (Markaverich et al., 2007; Nie et al., 2001; Pan et al., 2008; Sveinbjornsson et al., 2008). The downstream enzymatic pathways of AA, the cycloxygenases (COX) and the lipoxygenase (LOX) pathways, are responsible for the synthesis of the eicosanoids from AA. Elevated levels of the COX-2 protein have been reported in archived breast cancer tissue, and studies indicate that the overexpression of COX-2 is sufficient to induce mammary tumor formation in transgenic mice (Denkert et al., 2004; Liu et al., 2001). Human cancerous breast tissue indicates 3- to 30-fold higher 12-LO mRNA when compared to the normal breast tissue (Ding et al., 2003; Natarajan et al., 1997). There is sufficient evidence that the products of the COX and LOX enzymatic pathways, the eicosanoids, such as the prostaglandin (PG) PGE2 and

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