How Is Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treated
Inflammatory breast cancer is generally treated first with systemic chemotherapy to help shrink the tumor, then with surgery to remove the tumor, followed by radiation therapy. This approach to treatment is called a multimodal approach. Studies have found that women with inflammatory breast cancer who are treated with a multimodal approach have better responses to therapy and longer survival. Treatments used in a multimodal approach may include those described below.
Is A Preventative Double Mastectomy For Me
A woman newly diagnosed with breast cancer will often say, when discussing her surgical options, Why not just take them both off? These patients often express a desire to never have to worry about my breasts again, particularly those women who have had difficulty with screening procedures in the past or have a history of multiple breast biopsies. Women in whom the primary cancer was initially missed often lose faith in mammography and other screening methods and may feel that the only way to be sure this will not happen to them in the future is to remove both breasts.
Double mastectomies have been featured more in the mainstream media, increasing awareness of this option. Furthermore, the option of immediate reconstruction serves to make this route more appealing than in the past. But what is the real risk of developing a new cancer in the other breast? Do double mastectomies really save lives or improve quality of life? The answer is different for every woman. This article seeks to address these issues and assist individuals in making the most informed decision.
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Now Breast Cancer Awareness Month is over for another year, it is more important than ever to stress a key word: awareness. While over 80 per cent of breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50, and the chances of developing the disease in your twenties are relatively slim, it does not hurt to become and remain aware.
Peopleof all ages and from different walks of life are affected by breast cancer, andwhen it sneakily rears its ugly face, be it to you or a loved one, it can feellike the end of the world. Support and guidance is offered to patients andtheir families after diagnoses but you could also battle the disease before youenter the risk category of developing it. Thats right you can try and preventbreast cancer early on by knowing your stuff, whether you are 20 or 60, astudent or retired.
Variousbreast cancer charities across the UK, including Breast Cancer Care, offerinformation about breast awareness, how you can identify anything out of theordinary and when to seek medical advice. As a student, it can be dauntingthinking about these sorts of things, especially if you are far from home.However, your health should be at the top of your priorities list and soperforming the relevant checks regularly can save you a lot of unnecessarystress.
Take care to take care of yourself
Case study: It can happen at university
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Premature Menopause And Loss Of Fertility
Premature menopause and loss of fertility are significant considerations in young women undergoing treatment for breast cancer. The risk of menopause with chemotherapy is dependent on age and the intensity of chemotherapy. The likelihood of menopause following chemotherapy increases with increasing age. A woman who has chemotherapy at age 30 years is unlikely to become menopausal with treatment at age 35 the risk is around 18%, and at age 40 years the risk is around 40%.
If future childbearing is planned, the option of using assisted reproduction techniques before chemotherapy and hormone therapy should be considered. Generally, this is more successful if the woman has a partner so that embryos can be frozen for future use following one or more cycles of in-vitro fertilisation.
How The Disease Affects Aging Americansand What Additional Research Is Still Needed To Improve Care And Outcomes
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 .
While older adults represent a significant portion of breast cancer patients, there are still few standardized guidelines for how best to treat and screen this population. The first mammography guidelines for survivors of early-stage breast cancer who are over age 75, for example, were only just published in early 2021.
Here, we highlight some of the ways elderly people experience breast cancer differentlyand the importance of further research to improve outcomes.
How breast cancer affects the elderly
Older patients can respond to treatment differently. Chemotherapy, for example, requires a balance of providing the standard of care at recommended doses while monitoring potential toxicities and impact on quality of life. While elderly people with breast cancer are at a greater risk of side effects and treatment-related mortality, undertreatment at any age is linked to poor outcomes.
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Those With No Family History Of Breast Cancer May Still Be At Risk
As common as breast cancer is about one in eight women will be diagnosed in their lifetime there still are misconceptions about the disease.
I do hear frequently, Im not concerned I dont have any family history, well neither did I, said 13-year survivor Laura Stottlemyer who is a mammographer at MedStar Montgomery Medical Center in Olney, Maryland.
About 75% of those diagnosed actually have no family history, she said.
Having close relatives with breast cancer means youre more likely to develop the disease.
The main things that we do look for are first-degree relatives, Stottlemyer said. And that would include your mother, your sisters or even daughters. And, it can extend to the male side of the families including father, brother or even sons.
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Colon And Rectal Cancer And Polyps
For people at average risk for colorectal cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends starting regular screening at age 45. This can be done either with a sensitive test that looks for signs of cancer in a persons stool , or with an exam that looks at the colon and rectum . Talk to your health care provider about which tests might be good options for you, and to your insurance provider about your coverage. No matter which test you choose, the most important thing is to get screened.
If youre in good health, you should continue regular screening through age 75.
For people ages 76 through 85, talk with your health care provider about whether continuing to get screened is right for you. When deciding, take into account your own preferences, overall health, and past screening history.
People over 85 should no longer get colorectal cancer screening.
If you choose to be screened with a test other than colonoscopy, any abnormal test result needs to be followed up with a colonoscopy.
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Should Women Under Age 40 Have Regular Mammograms
In general, regular screening mammograms in the absence of breast symptoms are not recommended for women under 40 years old, in part, because breast tissue tends to be more dense in young women, making mammograms less effective as a screening tool. In addition, most experts believe the low risk of developing breast cancer at a young age does not justify the radiation exposure of mammography. However, screening mammograms may be recommended for younger women with a family history of breast cancer and other risk factors.
Early Detection Saves Lives
The chance of a woman up to age 85 developing breast cancer is one in eight.
Approximately 17,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in Australia. When breast cancer is detected early, women have a much greater chance of being treated successfully and for most women the cancer will not come back after treatment.
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How Quickly Breast Cancer Develops
You may have heard remarks that cancer has been present for five years before it is diagnosed, and this may sometimes be true.
The actual time it takes for breast cancer to grow from a single cancer cell to a cancerous tumor is unknown, as estimates based on doubling time assume that this is constant throughout the duration of tumor growth.
If doubling time were constant, cancer with a doubling time of 200 days would take 20 years to develop into a detectable tumor, and a doubling time of 100 days would take 10 years to be evident on exam.
In contrast, a breast tumor with a doubling time of 20 days would take only 2 years to develop.
Since the majority of studies have found the average doubling time to be between 50 days and 200 days, itâs likely that most breast cancers that are diagnosed began at least 5 years earlier .
Possible Signs And Symptoms Of Cancer In Young Adults
There are many reasons cancers in young adults might not be recognized right away. Sometimes the early symptoms of cancer can overlap with those from much more common illnesses or injuries. Young people might feel run down, get sick, or have bumps or bruises that could mask the early signs of cancer. But its important to be aware of the common signs and symptoms of cancer. These can include:
- An unusual lump or swelling, especially in the neck, breast, belly, or testicle
- Unexplained tiredness and loss of energy
- Easy bruising
- Ongoing pain in one part of the body
- Unexplained fever or illness that doesnt go away
- Frequent headaches, sometimes along with vomiting
- Sudden eye or vision changes
- Loss of appetite or unplanned weight loss
- A new mole or other spot on the skin, or one that changes in size, shape, or color
More information on common symptoms for specific cancers can be found in Types of Cancers That Develop in Young Adults. Other symptoms are also possible, depending on the type of cancer.
Many of these symptoms are much more likely to be caused by something other than cancer. Still, see a doctor if you have any of these symptoms especially if they dont go away or they get worse.
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How Can I Be Sure I Dont Have Cancer
What are some general signs and symptoms of cancer?
Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can have several symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.
Most breast lumps are not cancerous, but its always best to have them checked by a doctor.
You should also see a GP if you notice any of these symptoms:
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- discharge from either of your nipples, which may be streaked with blood
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast pain is not usually a symptom of breast cancer.
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When To Start Screening
We recommend mammogram screening to start no earlier than age 40 and no later than age 50 for women of average risk for breast cancer, and continue through to at least age 74, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Screening mammography should occur at least once every two years. For women whose screening mammograms show they have dense breasts, an extra testa breast ultrasoundis recommended.
Dr. Andrejeva-Wright says it is important to talk with a health care provider about when you should start getting mammograms, based on your unique health profile, and to make an appointment to see your doctor if you notice any unusual breast changes.
Any time a woman feels a breast mass, which does not go away, while doing a breast self-exam at any age, she should get it checked out, says Dr. Silber.
More than half of the time, women detect breast cancers themselves when they notice an unusual breast change. Whenever there is a new mass or lump, tell your doctorit should be evaluated by a clinical physical examination followed by breast imaging, says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright. Other signs to be aware of include asymmetry of the breasts and nipple changes such as discharge or peeling skin around the nipple.
Says Dr. Andrejeva-Wright, These symptoms dont mean you have breast cancer, but its a reason to seek an opinion from a medical provider.
How Is Breast Cancer In Children Treated
The treatment for cancer of the breast in children varies and will depend on the tumor or type of cancer.
Children with benign fibroadenomas dont usually need treatment. Instead, theyll be carefully monitored for changes that might indicate concern, such as changes in size or characteristics of a mass. In many cases, the fibroadenomas will disappear without any treatment at all.
Children with malignant breast cancer will need treatment. Theyll receive care from a pediatric oncology team.
Treatments normally include:
- radiation therapy to target and kill the cancer cells and stop the growth of new cancer cells
- surgery to remove the tumor
New therapies, including targeted drug therapies to attack cancer cells without harming other cells in the body, are an option. Treatment will also depend on the childs overall health and whether other cancers are present.
The pediatric oncology team will help develop the appropriate plan for each child.
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What Is Breast Cancer In Children
Breast cancer occurs when cancer cells grow in breast tissue. The disease is most commonly found in women.
The risk of breast cancer increases with age, with the highest risk between ages 70 and 74 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Cases in children are rarer but not impossible.
Often when children have tumors in their breast tissue, the tumors arent cancerous. Instead, theyre what is known as fibroadenomas.
Fibroadenomas are benign and dont cause symptoms. Children with fibroadenomas still need to be monitored because, rarely, they can grow and become cancerous.
Breast Cancer During Pregnancy
Very few pregnant women are diagnosed with breast cancer. But because more women are choosing to have children later in life, and because the risk of breast cancer increases as women age, there may be more cases in the future. Today about 1 out of 3,000 pregnant women is diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer presenting during pregnancy may be more difficult to diagnose than breast cancer in the young non pregnant woman due to the hormonal effects of pregnancy on breast tissue. Young women who present with breast cancer during pregnancy tend to have larger, more advanced cancer at diagnosis.
Treatment options for breast cancer that presents during pregnancy depend on the gestational stage at diagnosis. While many women will assume that the pregnancy must be terminated, this is not necessarily the case as breast cancer can be treated successfully during pregnancy. Surgery may be performed at any gestation. It is a commonly held misconception that general anaesthesia significantly increases the risk of spontaneous abortion. While there may be a very small increase in risk to the foetus, this is not of clinical significance. The surgical options of breast conserving surgery and mastectomy are the same as for any breast cancer, with the same considerations of tumour size and location, breast size, likely cosmetic outcome, and patient preference.
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Breast Cancer Vs Normal Development
Normal breast development can resemble breast cancer, and it is not possible to tell what is normal and what is not based on a comparison of symptoms.
Normal breast development, however, usually follows a pattern. It begins with nickel-sized lumps under each nipple, and the breasts gradually grow from these lumps.
Breast cancer, in general, is survivable with prompt treatment. This is particularly true of noninvasive breast cancers, and of breast cancers that have not spread to other areas of the body.
Treatments often include chemotherapy, radiation, medication, surgery, or a combination of these.
Who Should Have A Regular Screening Mammogram
The biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer are being a woman and getting older. BreastScreen Australia targets women aged 50 to 74, as 75% of all breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50.
- Screening mammograms are often less reliable for women under 40 years of age. The density of breast tissue in younger women often makes it difficult to detect cancers on mammograms.
- All women aged 40 to 49 years who have no breast symptoms also have free access to the BreastScreen Australia program should they choose to a have a screening mammogram.
- All women aged 50 to 74 years are encouraged to have a free mammogram every two years through BreastScreen Australia.
- Women aged 75 and over who have no breast symptoms also have free access to the BreastScreen Australia program. They should discuss whether to have a mammogram with their doctor.
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