Breast Cancer Breakthrough

Thursday, April 19th 2007, 10:24 am
By: News On 6

An Indiana cancer researcher says she's closer to a cure Thursday. The doctor came to Tulsa to share her discovery with breast cancer survivors like, Heidi Floyd. Floyd lost her mother to breast cancer. News On 6 anchor Terry Hood reports when she was about to become a mother for the fourth time, she heard the same diagnosis her mother did.

"My mind immediately went back to what my mother went through, and I was afraid for myself, but mostly I was afraid of the baby I had within me," said Floyd.

Doctors recommended she abort the baby and start chemotherapy.

"And for me, that's not an option,” said Floyd. “In my mind, I had something very good inside of me and something very bad, and I didn't understand why we had to get rid of the good to focus on the bad."

Doctors like Linda Malkas try to focus on the bad so people like Floyd don't have to. After 17 years of cancer research, Malkas believes she's found a way to pinpoint cancer cells, by picking out a protein found only in malignant tumors.

"It will revolutionize how we treat, find and cure cancer," said Malkas.

Malkas’ discovery still faces years of scrutiny, but if it holds up, cancer could be diagnosed sooner than ever, potentially saving thousands of lives.

"Within our time, in our generation, we're going to see cancer change," said Malkas.

Floyd underwent chemotherapy during the final six months of her pregnancy. She credits researchers like Malkas with saving her and her healthy baby boy.

"He just turned two years old, and his name is Noah,” said Floyd. “My husband named him Noah not only because he helped his family, but he made it through the flood, and he did. He really did. He's a good, strong, healthy, naughty, two-year-old boy."

Thursday’s event was sponsored by the Tapestry of Faith gift shop to raise money for the Vera Bradley Foundation. That foundation pays for Malkas’ research at Indiana University.

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