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5 Women Taking Down Breast Cancer

These innovators are developing vaccines, technology, and more ways to fight the disease.

This year, breast cancer awareness month kicked off with some encouraging news: A new report from the American Cancer Society found that breast cancer death rates in the U.S. fell by 39 percent from 1989 to 2015. Women have had more opportunities to fight back due to earlier detection, better screening, and more effective treatments. But this type of cancer continues to touch a lot of lives—it’s estimated that more than 250,000 American women will be diagnosed in 2017—so scientists are continuing to look for innovative solutions to better spot, manage, and treat cancer. Women are spearheading some of the biggest developments, and their game-changing research is laying the groundwork for new therapies in fields like genetics, optics, and vaccines.

Ahead, we spoke with some of the leading female scientists who are making a difference in breast cancer research today.