What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
There are many different signs and symptoms of breast cancer, so regularly checking your breasts for anything different or new is important.
The earlier breast cancer is diagnosed, the better the chance of successful treatment. Getting to know what your breasts look and feel like normally means its easier to spot any unusual changes and check them with your doctor. Common breast cancer signs and symptoms include:
- A lump or swelling in the breast, upper chest or armpit. You might feel the lump, but not see it.
- Changes in the size or shape of the breast
- A change in skin texture i.e. puckering or dimpling of the skin
- A change in the colour of the breast – the breast may look red or inflamed
- Rash, crusting or changes to the nipple
- Any unusual discharge from either nipple
Over a third of women in the UK do not check their breasts regularly for potential signs of breast cancer.
According to a YouGov survey commissioned by Breast Cancer Now, a third of those who do check their breasts for possible signs and symptoms dont feel confident that they would notice a change.
Asked what stops or prevents them from checking their breasts more regularly, over half forgetting to check, over a third not being in the habit of checking, a fifth not feeling confident in checking their breasts, not knowing how to check , not knowing what to look for and being worried about finding a new or unusual change .
Some factors are outside our control, including:
How Many Breast Cancer Cases Are There In Women Under 40
About 5% of breast cancer cases occur in women under 40 years old. 4 It may be more difficult to diagnose breast cancer in young women because their breast tissue is denser than that of older women. Young women and their doctors may also be more likely to ignore a breast lump because of their low risk.
Breast Cancer Diagnosis And Survival Rates Over The Last 27 Years
The incidence of breast cancer has risen dramatically over the last 28 years, rising from about 9,827 new cases a year in 1994, to over 20,000 new cases a year in 2022. As a result, 1 in 7 women will now be diagnosed in their lifetime.
From NBCFs inception in 1994, five-year relative survival for breast cancer improved from 76% to 92%. This improvement is a result of research. But despite the improved survival rate, this year around 9 Australians will lose their lives to breast cancer every day. In 2022, there was over 3,200 deaths from breast cancer, including .
Unfortunately, despite improved survival rates, the number of deaths from breast cancer each year is still rising. This is being driven by the increase in diagnoses.
Don’t Miss: Is Bilateral Breast Cancer Metastatic
What Causes Breast Cancer In Your 20s And 30s
Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast begin to grow and multiply abnormally. Changes in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become abnormal.
The exact reason why normal cells turn into cancerous cells is unclear, but researchers know that hormones, environmental factors, and genetics each play a role.
Roughly 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to inherited gene mutations. The most well known are breast cancer gene 1 and breast cancer gene 2 .
If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, your doctor may suggest testing your blood for these specific mutations.
In some cases, breast cancer in your 20s and 30s has been found to differ biologically from the cancers found in older women.
For example, younger women are more likely to receive a diagnosis of triple-negative and HER2-positive breast cancers than older women.
more likely in adolescent and young women than in older women who have a diagnosis of early stage breast cancer.
Metastatic breast cancer means that the cancer has advanced to stage 4. It has moved beyond the breast tissue into other areas of the body, such as the bones or the brain.
Survival rates are lower for cancer that has metastasized to other parts of the body.
According to the American Cancer Society, the 5-year survival rate for women with breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body is 28 percent for all ages.
However, some signs and symptoms of breast cancer may
- changes in the skin
Trends In Breast Cancer Deaths
Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women. The chance that a woman will die from breast cancer is about 1 in 39 .
Breast cancer death rates have been decreasing steadily since 1989, for an overall decline of 43% through 2020. The decrease in death rates is believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments. However, the decline has slowed slightly in recent years.
Don’t Miss: Genes Associated With Breast Cancer
What Is Stage Ii
In stage II, cancer cells have spread or have been found in lymph nodes or axillary lymph nodes, located around the armpit near the breastbone. Like stage I, itâs also separated into two groups, Stage IIA and IIB, depending on how large of a tumor is found and where and how much the cancer cells have spread.
âWe basically need to know how big and if the tumor or cancer cells have spread to any lymph nodes, this will help us understand how and where to treat the patient,â Cruz said. âBut as with any stage, even if itâs spread, I tell my patients to remain calm so we can discuss how to fight against the cancer.â
In stage IIA, if a tumor isnât found, cancer cells are commonly found in one to three axillary lymph nodes, Cruz said. If there is a tumor, itâs usually not larger than two millimeters and has also spread to the lymph nodes.
In stage IIB, either a tumor or small cancer cells have spread to the lymph nodes. If it hasnât spread to the lymph nodes, the tumor is usually larger than five millimeters.
Factors That Affect Breast Cancer Risk
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , youre more likely to develop breast cancer at a young age if:
- You have close relatives who received a diagnosis of breast cancer at a young age or a diagnosis of ovarian cancer at any age.
- You have changes in the genes BRCA1 or BRCA2 or other breast cancer genes, or you have close relatives with changes in those genes but you havent been tested yourself.
- You have Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
- You received radiation therapy to your breast or chest when you were a child or young adult.
- Youve had other breast conditions in the past.
- Your doctor has told you that you have dense breast tissue.
Talk with your doctor about your personal and family medical history. They can help you assess and manage your risk of breast cancer.
The following factors about your personal health and lifestyle might affect premenopausal breast cancer risk, per a 2017 World Cancer Research Fund report:
Younger adults tend to develop forms of breast cancer that are more aggressive or harder to treat than those that typically affect older adults.
For example, younger adults are more likely to develop:
- estrogen receptor -negative breast cancer
- progesterone receptor -negative breast cancer
- breast cancer with high levels of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2
Early detection and treatment are important for improving breast cancer survival at any age.
You May Like: Breast Cancer Of The Nipple
Why Is Weight A Factor
Women who are overweight or obese have higher levels of estrogen in their bodies. Even though the ovaries stop making estrogen after menopause, the hormone is still stored and produced in fat tissue. Estrogen causes certain types of breast cancer to grow and spread. Work with your doctor to develop a weight loss plan that fits your life, if necessary.
From Cured To Stage 4
Others, like Teri Pollastro, a 54-year-old stage 4 patient from Seattle, respond surprisingly well.
Diagnosed with early stage ductal carcinoma in situ in 1999, Pollastro underwent a mastectomy but did not receive chemotherapy, radiation or tamoxifen, since her cancer was ER negative.
âThey used the C-word with me, they told me I was cured,â she said. âEvery time I went back to my oncologist, he would roll his eyes at me when I had questions.â
In 2003, Pollastro switched to Seattle Cancer Care Alliance where she saw Dr. Julie Gralow, a breast cancer oncologist and clinical researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Gralow discovered Pollastroâs cancer had metastasized to her liver.
âMy husband and I were in shock,â said Pollastro of her mets diagnosis. âYou donât go from being cured to stage 4.â
Pollastro went on Herceptin, a type of immunotherapy for women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer, and did six months of chemotherapy.
âI felt better right away with the treatment,â she said. âBut the problem is, it stopped . Thatâs what you can expect with mets. And thereâs always some residual cancer. And that starts percolating.â
And along with mets, she also had to deal with many misconceptions regarding her disease.
The Mercer Island, Washington, mother of two, who often counsels newly diagnosed patients, sometimes even found it difficult to relate to early stage breast cancer survivors.
Also Check: How Long Can You Live With Breast Cancer With Treatment
Invasive Ductal Carcinoma Treatment At Moffitt
In the Don & Erika Wallace Comprehensive Breast Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, our multispecialty tumor board reviews each thepatients breast cancer staging of many of our patients during a weekly meeting. This unique approach provides our patients with the benefit of highly individualized treatment based on multiple expert opinions in a single location, where we also offer comprehensive screening, diagnostic and supportive care services without the need for referrals.
If youd like to learn more about invasive ductal carcinoma stages and treatment options, call or complete a new patient registration form online. At Moffitt, we are providing every new patient with rapid access to a cancer expert within one day, a turnaround faster than that offered by any other cancer hospital across the country.
You May Like: Can Men Have Breast Cancer
Will I Die Of Breast Cancer
This is a difficult question to answer early in your cancer care but it is still worth asking. Many people just diagnosed with cancer have no idea how much of a risk to their life their unique situation poses. Most breast cancers carry a low risk of recurrence, especially early-stage cancers. The answer is usually reassuring.
Also Check: Breast Cancer And Irregular Periods
Similar Articles Being Viewed By Others
Carousel with three slides shown at a time. Use the Previous and Next buttons to navigate three slides at a time, or the slide dot buttons at the end to jump three slides at a time.
01 October 2019
Ettore Bidoli, Saverio Virdone, Diego Serraino
19 June 2020
Ines Mesa-Eguiagaray, Sarah H. Wild, Jonine D. Figueroa
26 February 2019
Mathias Kvist Mejdahl, Jan Wohlfahrt, Niels Kroman
02 October 2019
Érika de Abreu Costa Brito, Marcela Sampaio Lima, Rosana Cipolotti
17 September 2022
Isaac Allen, Hend Hassan, Antonis C. Antoniou
volume 12, Article number: 7048
An to this article was published on 26 May 2022
This article has been
What Are The Risk Factors
Some women are at an increased risk of breast cancer in their 20s or 30s. These risk factors include:
- having a close family member who was diagnosed with breast cancer before age 50
- having a close male blood relative with breast cancer
- having a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
- having received radiation treatment to the chest or breast before age 30
- hormonal factors, such as the early start of menstruation, use of birth control pills, or anovulatory infertility
Other risk factors that apply to women of any age include:
- having a high percentage of breast tissue that appears dense on a mammogram
- having had a previous abnormal breast biopsy
- having had your first menstrual period before age 12
- having your first full-term pregnancy after age 30
- never having a full-term pregnancy
- being physically inactive or overweight
- being of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage
- drinking heavy amounts of alcohol
Recommended Reading: Breast Cancer Relief Committee Pac
All Cancers Combined Incidence By Age
Incidence rates are strongly related to age for all cancers combined, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2016-2018, on average each year more than a third of new cases were in people aged 75 and over.
Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply from around age 55-59. The highest rates are in the 85 to 89 age group for females and males.
Incidence rates are significantly higher in females than males in the younger age groups and significantly lower in females than males in the older age groups.The gap is widest at age 40 to 44, when the age-specific incidence rate is 2.1 times higher in females than males.
All Cancers , Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018
Children aged 0-14, and young people aged 15-24, each account for less than one per cent of all new cancer cases in the UK . Adults aged 25-49 contribute around a tenth of all new cancer cases, with almost twice as many cases in females as males in this age group. Adults aged 50-74 account for more than half of all new cancer cases, and elderly people aged 75+ account for more than a third , with slightly fewer cases in females than males in both age groups. There are more people aged 50-74 than aged 75+ in the population overall, hence the number of cancer cases is higher in 50-74s, but incidence rates are higher in 75+s.
Breast Cancer Incidence By Sex And Uk Country
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 15% of all new cancer cases .
In females in the UK, breast cancer is the most common cancer . In males in the UK, it is not among the 20 most common cancers .
99% of breast cancer cases in the UK are in females, and 1% are in males.
Breast cancer incidence rates rate ) for persons are similar to the UK average in all the UK constituent countries.
Breast Cancer , Average Number of New Cases Per Year, Crude and European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018
Also Check: How Long Can Someone Live With Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Why Is Staging Important
During your initial diagnosis, you and your cancer team will work together to develop a treatment plan. Staging allows you to answer the following questions:
- How does this cancer typically progress?
- Which treatments may work?
Some of the staging may be even more in-depth, but in general, its designed to prepare a more tailored approach to your disease. Your care team will be able to explain any new terms and what they mean for you.
Expert cancer care
Prognostic And Predictive Factors
Numerous prognostic and predictive factors for breast cancer have been identified by the College of American Pathologists to guide the clinical management of women with breast cancer. Breast cancer prognostic factors include the following:
- Axillary lymph node status
- Estrogen receptor/progesterone receptor status
- HER2 gene amplification or overexpression
Cancerous involvement of the lymph nodes in the axilla is an indication of the likelihood that the breast cancer has spread to other organs. Survival and recurrence are independent of level of involvement but are directly related to the number of involved nodes.
Patients with node-negative disease have an overall 10-year survival rate of 70% and a 5-year recurrence rate of 19%. In patients with lymph nodes that are positive for cancer, the recurrence rates at 5 years are as follows:
- One to three positive nodes 30-40%
- Four to nine positive nodes 44-70%
- 10 positive nodes 72-82%
Hormone receptorpositive tumors generally have a more indolent course and are responsive to hormone therapy. ER and PR assays are routinely performed on tumor material by pathologists immunohistochemistry is a semiquantitative technique that is observer- and antibody-dependent.
Don’t Miss: Do People Survive Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Study Design Period And Setting
An institutional-based cross-sectional study was conducted among women who were attending family planning services in Pastoralist health facilities in South Omo Zone, Southern Ethiopia from January to February 2022. This study was conducted in the pastoralist health facilities of South Omo, the zonal structure of Southern Ethiopia. The South Omo Zone is principally characterized by socially marginalized communities with the lowest socioeconomic status as well as dominated by nomadic and pastoralist ways of life. It has a diverse ethnic group that contains around 21 different tribes. It is also one of the border zones, and 750 km from the center of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. Jinka town, the Capital of South Omo has 3 governmental health facilities such as Jinka General Hospital , Millennium Health center, and Bethemal Health center.
How Many Countries Have Breast Cancer Screening Programs
Currently breast cancer screening programs are running in> 26 countries across the world . The introduction of early detection breast cancer screening programs has resulted in increased breast cancer detection rates for all age groups. Numerous studies investigating the benefits of screening programs have demonstrated a reduction in mortality rates, with maximal benefit seen in women aged 5070 years .
Read Also: What Is The Worst Stage Of Breast Cancer
What Is The Average Age Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer, like most cancer, is a disease of aging. The median age of a breast cancer diagnosis is 62 and nearly 20 percent of women diagnosed are over the age of 75, according to the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results registry. One 2015 analysis, the most recent available, estimated that as the general population continues to age, invasive breast cancer cases will double by 2030 in the U.S. Of those new breast cancer cases, women aged 70 to 84 were expected to make up a larger, rising proportion of diagnoses , while women aged 50 to 69 would make up a smaller, declining proportion .