Thanks to new research, breast cancer sufferers may have a way to find out the severity of their ailment.
According to recent research conducted and published in BioMed Central’s open access journal, it is now shown that elevated CRP levels are predictive of a poor prognosis for breast cancer patients.
C-reactive protein (CRP) is synthesized by the liver in response to infection or injury and it is noticeably increased during tumor growth and inflammation.
While elevated CRP has been found associated with a poor outcome for many solid tumors, past researchers questioned its validity in the case of breast cancer. Opinions have changed however based on data taken from a 7 year study that was conducted in Denmark on over 2000 breast cancer patients.
According to Medicalnewstoday:
The researchers found that regardless of lifestyle, menopause status and presence of cardiovascular disease, increasing levels of CRP resulted in increasingly poor prognosis. The five-year survival decreased from 90% for low CRP to 74% for high levels of CRP, disease-free survival reduced from 87% to 74%, and deaths from breast cancer increased from 11% to 20%.
Dr Kristine Allin, who was involved in the massive study, had the following to say:
“Elevated CRP at time of diagnosis remained predictive of overall survival rates regardless of patient’s age, tumor size, lymph node status, or presence of metastasis, and whether or not the patient was estrogen receptor positive. It was still true even when we excluded patients which we believed to have bacterial infections because of their very high CRP levels.”
So what does all this mean and how does it help? Allin answered that question in this statement:
“Measuring CRP levels for breast cancer patients seems to be an easy way to predict the severity of the patient’s disease, this may allow clinicians to alter their treatment tactics and improve cancer survival rates.”