So you have heard the words “breast cancer” and “adenoid cystic” and you turned to the internet and googled “it” and here you are.  You’ve been surfing around online trying to make sense of what is happening to you, to sort it out and to put together some sort of plan. I know, I did the same thing.  That is why I started breast cancer MyStory.  It is here for you so you’d have a soft space online to land when the hard diagnosis of breast cancer hits.  Take your time to wander our site.  In all your frantic worries of the moment, don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers (thus the photo reminder to the left that I took of a pot of summer waning on my back patio). We are here for you 24/7 and you are welcome anytime.

 The following is from the Adenoid Cystic Foundation:

What is Adenoid Cystic?

Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma (ACC) is a rare malignancy of secretory glands, typically originating in the salivary glands though it does appear in other primary sites, including the palate, nasopharynx, tongue base, larynx, trachea, lacrimal gland, breast and vulva. There are approximately 1,200 new cases of ACC diagnosed each year in the United States, about 60% of which involve women. This cancer has a slow, and sometimes relentless, progression characterized by frequent recurrences and metastases to sites such as the lungs, liver and bones.

Cancer researchers point to genetic alterations as the underlying cause of all cancers. Only a small portion (perhaps 10%) of cancers is believed to be inherited, and ACC is not one of these inheritable cancers. Rather, as with the vast majority of cancers, ACC appears to develop from genetic alterations caused by a person´s environment, such as through exposure to radiation or carcinogens. Unlike some other cancers of the head and neck, ACC is not linked to tobacco, alcohol use or viral infection.

Although the definitive cause of ACC is not known at the moment, there is very strong evidence that ACC tumor cells are driven by the presence of too much of a protein called “myb”. ACCRF-affiliated researchers are undertaking extensive studies to understand how to interfere with the molecular pathways that permit “myb” to spur tumor growth. Undoubtedly, better understanding of the biology of ACC will lead to better treatments for patients.

For more background on the disease, please follow these links on current treatments, our ongoing research and how you can take action!


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Breast Cancer MyStory is searching for stories to feature on our website in 2013 to help inspire others with your type of breast cancer. Is it you?  Please submit your story…it just might help someone else.

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