Symptoms of Breast Cancer | Breast cancer diagnosis and treatment | Breast cance Treatment and Prevention | Breast Cancer Symptoms and Diagnosis
Description of Breast Cancer
There are several types of breast cancer, but the common types are ductal carcinoma occurring in 85 – 90 percent of the cases and lobular carcinoma occurring in about eight percent of the cases.
Ductal carcinoma arises in the ducts the passageway which carries milk from the milk-producing lobules to the nipple. Lobular carcinoma arises in the lobules part of the lobe which ends in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk.
Breast cancer treatment
The mainstay of breast cancer treatment is surgery. Adjuvant hormonal therapy (with tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor) is given when the tumor expresses estrogen receptors or progesterone receptors. Chemotherapy is given for more advanced stages of disease. Monoclonal antibodies are sometimes used, especially for HER2-positive tumors. Radiotherapy is given after surgery to the region of the tumor bed, to destroy microscopic tumors that may have escaped surgery. Treatments are constantly being evaluated in randomized, controlled trials, to evaluate and compare individual drugs, combinations of drugs, and surgical and radiation techniques. The latest research is reported annually at scientific meetings such as that of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and St. Gallen, Switzerland.These studies are reviewed by professional societies and other organizations, and formulated into guidelines for specific treatment groups and risk category.
In planning treatment, doctors can also use PCR tests like Oncotype DX or microarray tests that predict breast cancer recurrence risk based on gene expression. In February 2007, the first breast cancer predictor test won formal approval from the Food and Drug Administration. This is a new gene test to help predict whether women with early-stage breast cancer will relapse in 5 or 10 years, this could help influence how aggressively the initial tumor is treated.
Radiation therapy is also used to help destroy cancer cells that may linger after surgery. Radiation can reduce the risk of recurrence by 50-66% (1/2 – 2/3rds reduction of risk) when delivered in the correct dose.
In 2008, the American College of Surgeons Oncology Group began a National Cancer Institute funded study to explore the success of cryoablation therapy in the treatment of Invasive Breast Carcinoma. The Visica 2TM Treatment System from Sanarus Technologies was chosen as the exclusive cryoablation treatment technology for the study, which is currently in Phase 2.
Worldwide, breast cancer is by far the most common cancer amongst women, with an incidence rate more than twice that of colorectal cancer and cervical cancer and about three times that of lung cancer. However breast cancer mortality worldwide is just 25% greater than that of lung cancer in women.In 2004, breast cancer caused 519,000 deaths worldwide (7% of cancer deaths; almost 1% of all deaths).The number of cases worldwide has significantly increased since the 1970s, a phenomenon partly blamed on modern lifestyles in the Western world.
The incidence of breast cancer varies greatly around the world, being lower in less-developed countries and greatest in the more-developed countries. In the twelve world regions, the annual age-standardized incidence rates per 100,000 women are as follows: in Eastern Asia, 18; South Central Asia, 22; sub-Saharan Africa, 22; South-Eastern Asia, 26; North Africa and Western Asia, 28; South and Central America, 42; Eastern Europe, 49; Southern Europe, 56; Northern Europe, 73; Oceania, 74; Western Europe, 78; and in North America, 90.Breast cancer can strike at any age, but only 5% of all breast cancers occur in women under 40 years old.
Women in the United States have the highest incidence rates of breast cancer in the world; 141 among white women and 122 among African American women.Among women in the US, breast cancer is the second-most common cancer (after skin cancer) and the second-most common cause of cancer death (after lung cancer).Women in the US have a 1 in 8 (12.5%) lifetime chance of developing invasive breast cancer and a 1 in 35 (3%) chance of breast cancer causing their death.In 2007, breast cancer was expected to cause 40,910 deaths in the US (7% of cancer deaths; almost 2% of all deaths).This figure includes 450-500 men who die annually in the U.S. out of approximately 2000 who contract it.
In the US, both incidence and death rates for breast cancer have been declining in the last few years in Native Americans and Alaskan Natives.Nevertheless, a US study conducted in 2005 by the Society for Women’s Health Research indicated that breast cancer remains the most feared disease,even though heart disease is a much more common cause of death among women. Many doctors say that women exaggerate their risk of breast cancer.
Several studies have found that black women in the U.S. are more likely to die from breast cancer even though white women are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease. Even after diagnosis, black women are less likely to get treatment compared to white women.Scholars have advanced several theories for the disparities, including inadequate access to screening, reduced availability of the most advanced surgical and medical techniques, or some biological characteristic of the disease in the African American population. Some studies suggest that the racial disparity in breast cancer outcomes may reflect cultural biases more than biological disease differences. Research is currently ongoing to define the contribution of both biological and cultural factors.
45,000 cases diagnosed and 12,500 deaths per annum. 60% of cases are treated with Tamoxifen, of these the drug becomes ineffective in 35%
Understanding Breast Cancer
How breast cancer happens, how it progresses, the stages, and a look at risk factors.
Screening and Testing
The tests used for screening, diagnosis, and monitoring, including mammograms, ultrasound, MRI, CAT scans, PET scans, and more.
Types of Breast Cancer
The different types of breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC), invasive lobular carcinoma (ILC), inflammatory breast cancer, male breast cancer, recurrent breast cancer, metastatic breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Recurrence
Recurrence of breast cancer is classified as local, regional, and distant. A distant recurrence is the same as advanced (metastatic) breast cancer. A local recurrence is breast cancer that has returned after treatment, in or close to the original tumor location. It can often be effectively treated. Regional recurrence may be in the chest wall muscles, or in lymph nodes located beneath your sternum, just above your collarbones, and around your neck.
Treatment and Side Effects
What it is, who it’s for, advantages, side effects, and what to expect when you get it.
The link between hormones and breast cancer and how different groups of drugs including ERDs, SERMs, and aromatase inhibitors can affect that link.
Complementary & Holistic Medicine
How complementary medicine techniques such as acupuncture, meditation, and yoga could be a helpful addition to your regular medical treatment. Includes research on complementary techniques and ways to find qualified practitioners.
Treatment Side Effects
A reference list of side effects and their explanations.
Breast-conserving surgery lumpectomy, mastectomy, and lymph node dissection, and what to expect from each.
Who should get it, how it works, different types, side effects, and how to manage them.