Is breast cancer still a death sentence?

caines | 10/11/2012, 5:30 a.m.

Studies indicate that triple-negative breast cancer tends to be one of the most aggressive forms of the disease and that it is more likely to spread beyond the breast and to recur after treatment. And it is more likely to affect Black and Hispanic women and younger people before age 40 or 50. Among those doing noteworthy research in order to better arm the medical world in its treatment of this form of breast cancer is Cooperwood. He recently secured a patent for a drug that may be the missing link to victory. I have been interested in breast cancer since I was a teenager and the disease took the life of my aunt, he said. But I never thought my research would involve breast cancer as my Ph.D dissertation dealt with HIV. I was always concerned with diseases that affected the Black population. And FAMU is the kind of university where the mission is to address health disparities such as triple-negative breast cancer. Cooperwood says he believes that he and his team are getting close to developing a compound that bears close resemblance to estrogen chemical structures. From there we would be much closer to developing estrogen receptive blockers, he added. If it all sounds quite technical thats because it is. But what readers need to understand is that Cooperwood and his team of research assistants feel that they are very close to discovering a drug that could one day effectively treat triple-negative breast cancer, extending the survival rate of millions of women. That is good news. By D. Kevin McNeirkmcneir@miamitimesonline.com