When Sally O'Neill's doctor told her she had an early form of cancer in one of her breasts, she didn't agonize about what she wanted to.
The 42-year-old mother of two young girls wanted a double mastectomy.
"I decided at that moment that I wanted them both taken off," says O'Neill, who lives in a suburb of Boston. "There wasn't a real lot of thought process to it. I always thought, 'If this happens to me, this is what I'm going to do.' Because I'm not taking any chances. I want the best possible outcome. I don't want to do a wait-and-see."
Credit (via Washington University in St. Louis/Shyam Kavuri, Ph. D.)
The top image shows untreated breast cancer cells with HER2 mutations. The bottom image shows how much these cells shrink after treatment with neratinib, an anti-HER2 drug currently in clinical trials.
The findings of new breast cancer research from Washington University could result in effective treatment for 4,000 additional patients in the United States each year. Scientists made the discovery after analyzing DNA sequencing data from 1,500 patients.
The research appears in the latest edition of Cancer Discovery.