The battle against breast cancer in NW Ohio

Last year over 192,000 women in the United States were diagnosed with breast cancer. 40,000 deaths were attributed to the disease. The breast cancer mortality rate has been in decline in recent years, thanks to early detection and new drugs. Dr. Iman Mohamed is an oncologist at the University of Toledo Medical Center. She sees about 50 breast cancer patients each week. "In two thirds to three quarters of our patients, nobody knows the cause, in about 7-10 percent we know that it is hereditary," Dr. Iman said. Dr. Iman works closely with Dr. Manahor Ratnam, a clinical researcher who has received several grants over the years from the American Cancer Society. Dr. Ratnam says that one of the challenges for scientists is developing drugs to combat drug resistance cancer tumors. "Most laboratories are interested in establishing the various mechanisms through which these tumors are resistant and to develop drugs that will overcome this resistance," Dr. Ratnam said. Both Dr. Mohamed and Dr. Ratnam stress that getting a breast cancer diagnosis is not the automatic death sentence it used to be, that with early detection and treatment many women can live fulfilling lives for many years after their diagnosis.