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Women with inflammatory conditions like arthritis may want to consider seeking lab testing for breast cancer. New research indicates that this inflammation may play a role in the spread of breast cancer cells.
Prior studies in mice have shown that individuals with arthritis are more likely to develop breast cancer. The new findings are among the first to show that this inflammatory joint condition may play a role in the spread of tumor cells throughout the body.
For the study, researchers from the University of North Carolina studied the effects of breast cancer in mice bred to have arthritis. The results showed that these mice were more likely to have tumor cells spread to the lungs and bones. Pro-inflammatory molecules associated with the joint condition appeared to play a role in the metastasis.
"The clinical implications of this research are huge," said lead researcher Lopamudra Das Roy. "We already have data that show that women with breast cancer and arthritis have lower survival as compared with women with breast cancer and no arthritis.
Das Roy added that the finding could help researchers find new drug targets that prevent the spread of breast cancer.
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