Signs Of Breast Cancer Every Woman Over 50 Should Know
Nobody is exempt from cancerit can happen to anyone at any time, but women over a certain age are at a greater risk. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common type for women and after the age of 50, the risk increases. While younger women do get breast cancer, the National Health Service states, “The condition is most common in women over age 50 who have been through the menopause. About 8 out of 10 cases of breast cancer happen in women over 50.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also says age is a major factor with breast cancer and, “Studies have shown that your risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors. The main factors that influence your risk include being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older.”
Have Questions Or Concerns About Your Breast Health Dont Delay Find Answers Fast
Thanks in large part to earlier detection and advances in breast cancer staging and treatment, this disease is more survivable than ever. Thats a trend all of us can feel good about.
So if youre due for screening, call to schedule a mammogram at one of our breast health centers in the Twin Cities. Oftentimes, we can offer same-day and next-day appointments.
If you have another breast health concern or are noticing any unusual symptoms, dont ignore what youre feeling. Make an appointment with a primary care doctor. Primary care doctors are experts in diagnosing and treating hundreds of conditions.
How Long Can You Have Breast Cancer Without Knowing
Breast cancer has to divide 30 times before it can be felt. Up to the 28th cell division, neither you nor your doctor can detect it by hand. With most breast cancers, each division takes one to two months, so by the time you can feel a cancerous lump, the cancer has been in your body for two to five years.
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Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer
Common symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A lump in your breast or underarm that doesnât go away. This is often the first symptom of breast cancer. Your doctor can usually see a lump on a mammogram long before you can see or feel it.
- Swelling in your armpit or near your collarbone. This could mean breast cancer has spread to lymph nodes in that area. Swelling may start before you feel a lump, so let your doctor know if you notice it.
- Pain and tenderness, although lumps donât usually hurt. Some may cause a prickly feeling.
- A flat or indented area on your breast. This could happen because of a tumor that you canât see or feel.
- Breast changes such as a difference in the size, contour, texture, or temperature of your breast.
- Changes in your nipple, like one that:
When In Doubt Get Checked Out
If youre experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, or if youre having pain at times other than the start of your menstrual cycle, it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor about getting a mammogram. Theres no need to panic. Schedule an appointment with your gynecologist, who will typically examine you and then refer you for a mammogram. Mammograms effectively detect 84% of breast cancers so when youre given a clean bill of health you can set your mind at ease. If your mammogram detects a suspicious mass, you may need to be evaluated further. If you do have breast cancer, you can expect a better outcome, because the earlier cancer treatment begins, the better patient outcomes usually are. If you live in Maryland, Washington, D.C. or the surrounding areas and want to be examined by a breast cancer specialist, contact us at .
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Breast Cancer Survival Rate
Breast cancer survival rates vary widely based on many factors.
Two of the most important factors are the type of cancer you have and the stage of the cancer at the time you receive a diagnosis. Other factors that may play a role include:
shows theres a higher mortality rate in People of Color with breast cancer diagnoses compared with white people. One reason for this may be healthcare disparities.
The good news is breast cancer survival rates are improving.
According to the ACS , in 1975, the 5-year survival rate for breast cancer in women was 75.2 percent. But for women diagnosed between 2008 and 2014, it was 90.6 percent.
The 5-year survival rates for breast cancer differ depending on the stage at diagnosis. They range from 99 percent for localized early stage cancers to 27 percent for advanced metastatic cancers.
How Is Breast Cancer Treated
There are several breast cancer treatment options, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, immunotherapy and targeted drug therapy. Whats right for you depends on many factors, including the location and size of the tumor, the results of your lab tests and whether the cancer has spread to other parts of your body. Your healthcare provider will tailor your treatment plan according to your unique needs. Its not uncommon to receive a combination of different treatments, too.
Breast cancer surgery
Breast cancer surgery involves removing the cancerous portion of your breast and an area of normal tissue surrounding the tumor. There are different types of surgery depending on your situation, including:
Chemotherapy for breast cancer
Your healthcare provider may recommend chemotherapy for breast cancer before a lumpectomy in an effort to shrink the tumor. Sometimes, its given after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells and reduce the risk of recurrence . If the cancer has spread beyond your breast to other parts of your body, then your healthcare provider may recommend chemotherapy as a primary treatment.
Radiation therapy for breast cancer
Radiation therapy for breast cancer is typically given after a lumpectomy or mastectomy to kill remaining cancer cells. It can also be used to treat individual metastatic tumors that are causing pain or other problems.
Hormone therapy for breast cancer
Immunotherapy for breast cancer
Ductal Carcinoma In Situ
Ductal carcinoma in situ refers to an area of abnormal cells on one milk duct.
When a person receives this diagnosis, the cells have not invaded the surrounding breast tissue. However, having ductal carcinoma in situ can increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer later.
This condition generally does not cause symptoms. Doctors find through mammography. Rarely, a person may notice a lump in the breast or some discharge from the nipple.
Breast Cancer Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
Most breast cancer symptoms are discovered by women during regular dailyactivities like bathing. Knowing how your breasts look and feel, andbeing alert for the signs and symptoms of breast cancer, like a lump,can help you detect the disease early, when it’s easiest to treat.
Most breast changes are due to hormonal cycles or conditions that are less worrying than breast cancer. However, if you experience any of the following breast cancer symptoms, even if they seem mild, see your doctor.
- A lump in the breast or armpit is the most common symptom of breast cancer. Patients often describe this as a ball or a nodule. Lumps may feel soft and rubbery or hard. Unless you have small breasts or the lump is very large, you probably wont be able to see it.
- Nipple changes, including the nipple turning inward, pulling to one side or changing direction
- Ulcer on the breast or nipple
- Thickening of the skin, resulting in an orange-peel texture
Though rare, men can also get breast cancer. The most common symptoms of male breast cancer are a lump, discharge or dimpling.
What Is A Normal Breast
No breast is typical. What is normal for you may not be normal for another woman. Most women say their breasts feel lumpy or uneven. The way your breasts look and feel can be affected by getting your period, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications. Breasts also tend to change as you age. For more information, see the National Cancer Institutes Breast Changes and Conditions.external icon
Treatment Options Change With Age
Dr. Torrey tells us, “The biology and behavior of breast cancer affects the treatment plan. Some tumors are smaller but grow quickly, while others are larger and grow slowly. Treatment options and recommendations are very personalized and depend on several factors, including:
- The tumor’s subtype, including hormone receptor status , HER2 status, and nodal status
- The stage of the tumor
- Genomic tests, such as the multigene panels Oncotype DX or MammaPrint, if appropriate
- The patient’s age, general health, menopausal status, and preferences
- The presence of known mutations in inherited breast cancer genes, such as BRCA1 or BRCA2, based on results of genetic tests
Even though the breast cancer care team will specifically tailor the treatment for each patient and tumor, called “personalized medicine,” there are some general steps for treating early-stage and locally advanced breast cancer.
It is much more common for a POSTmenopausal cancer to be “hormone sensitive” where we often treat with hormone ablative therapies. Hormone-positive breast cancers are considered slow-growing tumors, which can mean a good overall prognosis, where typically less aggressive systemic therapies would be indicated.”
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Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
To determine if your symptoms are caused by breast cancer or a benign breast condition, your doctor will do a thorough physical exam in addition to a breast exam. They may also request one or more diagnostic tests to help understand whats causing your symptoms.
Tests that can help your doctor diagnose breast cancer include:
- Mammogram. The most common way to see below the surface of your breast is with an imaging test called a mammogram. Many women ages 40 and older get annual mammograms to check for breast cancer. If your doctor suspects you may have a tumor or suspicious spot, they will also request a mammogram. If an atypical area is seen on your mammogram, your doctor may request additional tests.
- Ultrasound. A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the tissues deep in your breast. An ultrasound can help your doctor distinguish between a solid mass, such as a tumor, and a benign cyst.
Your doctor may also suggest tests such as an MRI or a breast biopsy.
If you dont already have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
Breast Cancer Is One Of The Most Common Diseases Among Women Although Breast Cancer Survival Rates Have Increased The Number Of Deaths Associated With This Disease Is Steadily Declining Know Symptoms And Causes Of This Deadly Disease
Breast cancer is one of the most common diseases among women in which the cancer forms in the cells of the breasts. Considerable support for breast cancer awareness and research funding has always helped in creating advances in the diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. It originates in a woman’s breast tissue and occurs when the breast cells mutate and grow out of control. This creates a mass of tissue . Similar to other cancers, breast cancer can grow into the tissue around your breast. It can also move to other parts of your body and find new tumors.
To have a better understanding of the disease, it is necessary to know about the causes and symptoms-
1) Demographic Characteristics– Demographic predictors of breast cancer risk are age and race or ethnicity.
2) Genetic Predisposition- If the woman has a family history of breast cancer, then also it is difficult to escape from the serious disease.
3) Reproductive factors– Research has claimed that reproductive transitions are one of the factors in the development of breast cancer.
4) Lifestyle factors– Breast cancer risk develops if a person is overweight or obese, drinks alcohol or stays inactive.
5) Environmental factors– An environment that consists of pollutants and toxic chemicals are responsible for possible risk factors for breast cancer.
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Are There Complications Of Breast Cancer
Possible complications from breast cancer treatment include:
- Lymphoedema in some cases, removing your lymph nodes may cause swelling, discomfort and pain in the arm, shoulder and upper body.
- Early menopause certain treatments, especially chemotherapy and hormone therapy, can cause menopause symptoms, such as hot flushes, joint pain, or a change in sex drive, to occur earlier than usual.
- Anxiety and depression research shows that anxiety and depression are common among women with breast cancer. One study found that up to 50 per cent of women with early breast cancer may experience anxiety and/or depression in the year after diagnosis.
How To Reduce Risk
There is no guaranteed way to prevent breast cancer, but there are certain steps a person can take to lower their risk.
Actions that may lower the risk of breast cancer include:
- Get to a healthy weight: High body weight and weight gain as an adult increase the risk of breast cancer after menopause. The
Several benign breast conditions can cause symptoms that resemble those of cancer. Some of these issues require treatment, while others go away on their own.
Though these conditions are benign, they can cause:
- discomfort or pain
Some common benign breast conditions include:
If a person is unsure what is causing any breast-related symptom, they should talk with a doctor as soon as possible.
As with most cancers, early breast cancer detection and treatment leads to a better outcome. People should attend regular breast examinations and tell a doctor about any breast-related symptoms or changes.
According to the ACS , when a doctor diagnoses breast cancer before it has spread beyond the breast, the relative 5-year survival rate is 99%.
Relative survival rates can help people understand the likelihood of treatment being successful. A relative 5-year survival rate indicates the percentage of people living 5 years after their diagnosis compared to people without the disease.
When breast cancer has spread beyond the breast to the lymph nodes, the 5-year survival rate is 86%. The same survival rate for cancer that has spread to other organs is 29%.
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Symptoms Of Regional Recurrence
Symptoms of a regional recurrence may include:
- lumps in your lymph nodes under the arm or near the collarbone
- pain or loss of sensation in your arm or shoulder
- swelling in your arm on the same side as the original breast cancer
If youve had a mastectomy or other surgery related to breast cancer, you might get lumps or bumps caused by scar tissue in the reconstructed breast. This isnt cancer, but you should let your doctor know about them so they can be monitored.
As with any cancer, early detection and treatment are major factors in determining the outcome. Breast cancer is easily treated and usually curable when detected in the earliest stages.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women, according to the World Health Organization . Whether youre concerned about breast pain or tenderness, its important to stay informed on risk factors and warning signs of breast cancer.
The best way to fight breast cancer is early detection. Talk with your doctor about when you should start breast cancer screening.
If youre worried that your breast pain or tenderness could be something serious, make an appointment with your doctor today. If you find a lump in your breast see your doctor.
What Is The Outlook For Someone With A Breast Cancer Recurrence
Overall survival rates for breast cancer are generally based on the stage of the cancer at initial diagnosis.
Treatment for local and regional recurrence is often successful. However, theres still a risk of developing distant metastases. Because there are so many variables, its difficult to provide an overall prognosis. Your oncologist can provide a clearer understanding of what to expect for your exact situation.
Metastatic breast cancer can be treated and go into remission, but its not considered curable.
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What Is Breast Cancer
Cancer occurs when changes called mutations take place in genes that regulate cell growth. The mutations let the cells divide and multiply in an uncontrolled way.
Breast cancer is cancer that develops in breast cells. Typically, the cancer forms in either the lobules or the ducts of the breast.
Lobules are the glands that produce milk, and ducts are the pathways that bring the milk from the glands to the nipple. Cancer can also occur in the fatty tissue or the fibrous connective tissue within your breast.
The uncontrolled cancer cells often invade other healthy breast tissue and can travel to the lymph nodes under the arms. Once the cancer enters the lymph nodes, it has access to a pathway to move to other parts of the body.
See pictures and learn more about the structure of the breast.
Can Breast Cancer Be Prevented
Unfortunately, there isnt a way to prevent breast cancer completely. However, lifestyle choices such as maintaining a healthy weight and lowering alcohol consumption can help to reduce your risk of breast cancer.
If you are at high risk of developing breast cancer, your doctor may suggest hormone treatments , or a pre-emptive mastectomy.
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