Breast Tumor Section showing nonamplified HER-2/neu (<4 signals/nucleus). Cells are stained with DAPI. Probe is detected with flurorescein.
There is perhaps nothing more disturbing to a woman than a diagnosis of breast cancer. Beyond the usual fears associated with this dreaded disease is the uncertainty concerning the prognosis. Breast cancer is one of those cancers that can be very deadly but also from which there can be long term survival. Despite a plethora of indicators-tumor size, lymph node involvement, histologic type, nuclear grade, and DNA content-the ability to predict an outcome for any particular person, especially those who are node-negative, has proven problematic. Roughly 140,000 new breast cancer patients each year are node negative, and for the majority of them (two thirds) the prognosis is favorable. But, figuring out which third of these patients should receive aggressive treatment is the key, and more often than may be necessary, the...

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