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New Cancer Report May Help Doctors ID Which Patients More At Risk

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- A new national report on cancer offers a road map for targeting cancer more precisely.

As Mary Bubala reports, it's giving doctors and patients essential information to fight the disease.

The new report includes key findings about the type of people who face a greater risk from breast cancer.

At Ricki Fairley's annual checkup in 2012, doctors found a tiny lump. She was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer.

"It's more rare. It's more aggressive, and there aren't a lot of treatment options for it," said Fairley.

But now, new nationwide data may help doctors identify which patients are most at risk, and which treatments are best.

For the first time, researchers examined the four major types of breast cancer, including triple negative, then determined how often ethnicity and race, poverty levels, age and other factors played a role.

"This is just such a complex disease. We used to think of breast cancer as you were before or after menopause. It really is more about the biology of the cancer," said Dr. Joanne Mortimer, City of Hope oncologist.

The research found non-Hispanic blacks had a higher rate of triple negative breast cancer and late stage disease than other racial groups.

The study also looked at other cancers and found lung, colorectal and prostate cancers are down--but incidence of thyroid, kidney and liver cancers are up for both men and women.

"I'm a survivor. I'm going to beat this," said Fairley.

Fairley, now 58-years-old, says she's doing well after having aggressive chemo and radiation. She says she also eliminated stress in her life and moved to the beach.

The latest study also shows oral cancer, related to HPV, increased among white men.

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