Literature Research


Literature research is basically a discussion of existing developments and information on a given concept. The research paper will give a detailed discussion on the recent research on breast cancer. On addition, ideas that might be of great importance in the future may also be discussed as well as the underlying short comings. Literature research has made it possible to advance the findings of the given research in the proceeding years. Breast cancer is a health issue which continues to affect many women and middle aged ladies a cross the globe and for this reason many organizations have decided to realize a lot of funds in order for further research to be conducted (silverman 2005, p 294).


This research paper will solely focus on the breast cancer research that was conducted with the objective of evaluating the present knowledge limitation on the same. The aim of this particular research was to analyze the existing knowledge gap as far as breast cancer is concerned. Basing on the fact that this research paper is on literature research some other factors will be included. For instance before the research was conducted a research plan was made which clearly specified the intended aims and there importance. Therefore the main objective of this research was to determine the existing knowledge limitation or gap about breast cancer. This objective is instrumental in offering the needed help to breast cancer patients. The main reason of carrying out the research was to identify specific breast cancer research areas which if targeted would result to marked improvement in the patients.

Focus and scope of the literature search

The focus of the research paper was on evaluation of present knowledge limitation on breast cancer which is a health issue. The paper has looked at this issue though the main focus was on the methodologies, aim, and potential application and analysis structures. The literature obtained was obtained from secondary sources. An example of such sources includes JSTOR online journals.

Research plan

In this section the main focus is on the ready done research and what was discovered. For example there is a lot of information that has been published concerning breast cancer and its important research areas. For instance specific genes that may cause hereditary breast cancer are already known. These genes carry penetrative mutations of very high levels and that is the reason they might cause hereditary breast cancer. These genes include BRCA2 and BRCA1. Even though these genes have high penetrative powers they are only reported to cause less than 5% of breast cancer. Therefore other genes which cause breast cancer have been identified in the past years. These other genes have been divided into two groups on the basis of the amount of the penetrative alleles. Other contributing factors need further studies in order to learn more about the other breast genes which are more susceptible to cancer (Schofield et al 2006, p 890).

The above mentioned genes are not sufficient in exploiting the necessary information about breast cancer. Therefore there are still knowledge gaps which need to be filled if better treatment has to be discovered. Great knowledge is needed concerning the predisposition genes of cancer in relation to penetration intensity as well as other environmental factors. For instance little knowledge is known about how improper functioning of these genes leads to cancer. For example, researchers have not clearly known how deficiency of BRCA1 genes leads to basal like breast cancer. Basing on the fact that less than 5% of all breast cancers results from deficiencies and complications arising in above mentioned genes it is important to put a lot of effort on the other factors that cause the greater percentage of cancer. 

On addition to the known knowledge about the cancer causal genes it is important to note that there has been a marked progress in identifying the local factors which control mammary development in all the stages. This has been possible by generating knockout and transgenic strains of mouse in an extensive array. These animal models were used because they are supported by embryological classical approaches which make transplantation of an entire mammary gland and other ductal rudiments possible. These approaches have been instrumental in increasing knowledge about the essential signaling developmental pathways which are today considered to be the main cause of breast tumors (Corner et al 2006, p 270).

Research design and methods

This step is important in accomplishing the laid down objective. Since this research is scientific it involves the materials that will be used as well as the required method. The methods that were employed included a meeting of former and current members of scientific Advisory Board of Breast Cancer Campaigns. Other practitioners who attended the meeting included the United Kingdom resident clinicians as well as the leading scientists. The invited guests were selected on the basis of their published works, clinical stature, and research activity and by use of the first breast cancer database which was developed by researchers in 1988. On addition, seven essential breast cancer research areas were selected in order to meet the set objective. The countries which were taken into account when choosing the research areas included United Kingdom, United States and Europe. This is because these countries have been on the front line in fighting breast cancer.

An analysis of the researches on breast cancer that were funded was done. These areas included prevention of breast cancer, genetics of breast cancer, psychological aspects of the disease, progression of breast cancer, initiation of the disease, disease markers and targets and therapies of breast cancer. The participants were also asked to make short presentation of their areas of specialization, review the related literature and try to find the potential research gaps. The meeting had opinion leaders who were essential participants because of their systematic evidence. It is important to note that further literature review on the seven identified research areas was not conducted. The method that was used for this research was an open discussion which was a well organized formal meeting. The invited guests were reliable in getting the necessary information because of their personal profile and published research (Bordens & Abbot 2005, p 72).

The research involved fifty six breast cancer researchers from the United Kingdom who are very prominent as well as grant holders of breast cancer campaigns. These practitioners took part in a gap analysis of the current situation of breast cancer. A series of presentation were done in cycles by the selected representatives. These presentations were based on the seven selected key breast cancer research areas. After the presentations that were done in cycles each group presented a summarized paper which highlighted the necessary action and recommendations as per the identified knowledge gap. The set aim could only be effectively accomplished when there is proper analysis of the collected data. Therefore it is important to note that every research method has its advantages and limitations. And for this case proper data collection and analysis plays an important role in obtaining the desired results. Biasness of the employed literature may greatly hinder the researchers from getting accurate results and that is the reason why it is important to consult many sources.

The several presentations on the existing research gaps on the selected topics were followed by constructive debates. Through which the submitted information was greatly discussed and explored. This was important in eliminating any perceived misconceptions that might be there. Some questions which were used to guide the discussion includes; what is currently known, what are the existing knowledge gaps and the issues that need to be solved in order to fill these gaps as well as the transitional implications. One of the main challenges of this research method is that not all the invited guests may attend the meeting. For instance in this research twenty three invited guests declined their invitation therefore there contribution to the ongoing research was not received. Such limitations are an obstacle to getting accurate results because total participation is essential in meeting the set goal (McNeely M et al 2006, p 32).

The design structure

The collected information was analyzed basing on the above mentioned questions. These questions were formulated in a manner that they could capture all the needed information. Therefore complete exploration of the raised issues and breast cancer gaps were fully looked at by answering the four raised questions. These questions were employed as a four pointed structure that was aimed at completing the presentation by fully exploring all the raised themes. On addition these structural questions were instrumental in completing the discussion on the findings which had already been obtained. The interactive discussion session was carried out using expert opinions which were evidence based. Every daily discussion was shaped, cross referenced and further developed in the subsequent weeks. For instance each participating group was required to give a summary of their research which was to be fully referenced. These summarized findings were to be circulated among the other groups for analysis and clarification. Through this process the collected information was further refined in order to remove existing errors. The fully discussed themes were later unified in one paper which was represented as a complete research.

Limitations and advantages of the employed method

There are several types of research methods which are general used for data collection. Each type of this method has its advantages and limitations. For instance literature review is commonly used to write research papers. Despite its commonality if not well used there can be great biasness in the collected information and such errors tempers with the accuracy of the information. As a result the objective or aim of the given research may not accurately be obtained. In order to reduce some of these errors researchers are normally advised to consult a number of books written by different authors. This is very important because it aids in getting many ideas and view points of the same concept as seen by different scholars and experts. Another way of data collection is employment of questionnaires. This method may seem very convenient though one is likely to collect incorrect information. Since the researcher is limited because he cannot demand the truth from the consulted person; some of the information that may be obtained may not be true. In order to reduce this weakness most researchers opt to get their questionnaires filled with staff members of the specific targeted organization as a way of getting accurate information (Beiske 2007, p. 40).

Other research methods include scientific experimentations which are evidence based. Scientific experimentations have there advantages and limitations. For instance, in scientific researches there are some set assumptions which are used in data analysis. On addition, a sample is normally used to carry out the given research because it is very expensive to involve the whole population in a desired research. For example, this specific cancer research used a small population of scientists and practitioners in collecting the desired information because it is almost an impossibility to use every scientist. Therefore the obtained result is equated to the entire population in question. Usage of a sample has its limitations and advantages. For instance it is relatively cheap to use it in carrying out research. On addition the accuracy of the needed information depends on how the sample was reached at and on the process that were used in data analysis.

Since the set meeting only composed of the specific experts in the research field there is a high chance of getting more accurate information. On the contrary the information would have been more accurate if all the invitees honored the invitation and submitted their contribution. Basing on the fact that the collected data was analyzed through the conducted discussion and literature reviews of the publications of the invited experts the contribution of every member was instrumental in achieving the set goals. Therefore it is very evident that some ideas may have not been aired or discussed because of the absence of some of the invited guests (Brett J et al 2005, p. 920).

The form of presentation is also instrumental in getting the accurate information. This is because the discussions and individuals ideas were communicated through presentation. For these reason a point that may be poorly presented may be easily ignored by the other participants just the way debates are carried out. On addition, a theme with insufficient evidence and backup may be easily brushed off by other scholars. Since this was a scientific research any presentation that was not evidence based according to the standard principles might have been ignored by the other experts. Therefore proper presentation and sufficient scientific evidence was essential in accurately meeting the set objective. The main advantage of this research method is that it increases accuracy because of the numerous discussions and debates. These methods played a great extend in removing any unnecessary information or contributions that were not evidence based.

Analysis strategies

Analytic strategies are very important in any given research because they play a very essential role. Errors in the collected data can only be minimized through the employed analytic strategies. Therefore in this particular research errors were reduced by distributing the collected information for verification. On addition, the conducted debates and discussion played a great role in verifying the collected information. Publication of the results obtained as well as the new discoveries paves way for acceptance or rejection of the given information. Through these process mistakes that might have been conducted and other gross errors were eliminated. In order to accomplish the set objective it is important for the researchers to learn to use new models and strategies which can effectively filter the unnecessary information. For instance, in science there is common use of specific accepted models through which standardized information is obtained (Thompson et al 2009, par. 4).

Proper analytic strategies are not only employed in science because they are also used in other disciplines as a way of reducing gross problems that may be experienced because of the underlying errors. The results which are reached basically depend on the employed method and in turn the conclusion is completely dependent on the analytic strategies that would have been employed. For instance, basing on the breast cancer research the collected results and the conclusion that was reached was directly affected by the research method and the analytic strategies that were used. The aim of the research was to identify the existing knowledge gaps as far as breast cancer is concerned. This research was important to the researchers because they knew that one’s the gaps have been identified it will be easy to help the affected patients. Since their intentions and objective was valid, accurate data was instrumental for accomplishing the set goals.

For this particular research, results were collected basing on every step and procedure that was carried out. For instance it was discovered that there still remain knowledge gaps as far as predisposition genes of cancer are concerned. The specific knowledge gap was divided into two. For example there was inadequate information as far as environmental interaction with the genes was in question. There is need for identification of breast genes of a low penetrative cancer disease. The unavailable knowledge about the two breast genes often led to poor patient care. Therefore the additional necessary information was essential in improving the care that is accorded to the patient because it plays a great role in their quick recovery. Despite of these limitations it was discovered that the above knowledge gaps solely depended on individual understanding of how BRCA2 and BRCA1 improper functioning leads to breast cancer. For these reasons it is important for further research to be conducted in order to determine the influence of proteins on these genes (Brett J et al 2005, p 920).

It is also important to conduct more research on other causative causes of the disease since the two genes cause a relatively small percentage of the disease. The main cause of breast cancer is the growth of somatic mutations which may be as a result of genetic changes in other genes. Sequencing genomic approaches are currently yielding much fruit in identification of many unknown somatic mutations that reportedly cause the disease. Other factors that contribute to wide spread of breast cancer are histone medication and DNA modifications. Such areas need much study in order for practitioners to be more knowledgeable in this area. On addition it is important for scientists to re-arrange the genomes in order to ease the related research. Some of the common DNA modifications that results to breast cancer include deletions, additions, translocation and amplification of the specific genes.

Potential application

This research is very instrumental in further breast cancer researches. Additional information on the causes of cancer and the specific genes will play a great role in improving the medical care of the patient. The most common and instrumental implication of this research is the increased fight against breast cancer. This automatically leads to improved health among the people. Since the disease affects most women compared to men. Cataloguing of genetic rearrangements which affect many genes will ease further researches and as a result there will be a marked improvement on required medication. Also there is an urgent need for scientists and medical practitioners to formulate ways which can be useful in examining genetic sequence levels. This will enable researchers to quickly identify the given modification that might have occurred in the genetic sequence that may make an individual to be susceptible to breast cancer.

Currently alleles which have low penetrating power are being identified though there might be other challenges in the future like identification of the specific causative agents. For such challenges to be overcome it is important for researches to identify sequencing capacity of high throughput. Such advancement will greatly help in detecting variants that are common in specific blocks of the genes. On addition it will be very useful if scientists collect control DNA that affect people who are not Europeans in order to clearly identify genetic allies that affect the European population (silverman 2005, p 294). Biological assays which are very sensitive must be developed because they can play an important role in determining the existing differences in the causative alleles. Therefore it is important for practitioners in basic biology to co-work with those in epidemiology to ease the work. Examination and identification of phenotypes that may have a correlation with breast cancer is also needed.


The research paper has fully covered the required areas and the set objective was met. The aims, methods, potential application and strategies which were used in this research were quantitatively and qualitatively analyzed. Proper analysis of these research methods as well as their advantages and limitations were done. 

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