Money And Financial Support
If you have to reduce or stop work because of your cancer, you may find it difficult to cope financially.
If you have cancer or you’re caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to financial support, for example:
- if you have a job but can’t work because of your illness, you’re entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer
- if you don’t have a job and can’t work because of your illness, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance
- if you’re caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to Carers Allowance
- you may be eligible for other benefits if you have children living at home, or if you have a low household income
Find out what help is available to you as soon as possible. The social worker at your hospital will be able to give you the information you need.
Unique Challenges For Young Adults
Breast cancer in young adults is just different. We are at a different phase of our lives and encounter unique challenges compared to older persons. These challenges may significantly impact our quality and length of life. Some of the unique challenges and issues young adults face:
- The possibility of early menopause and sexual dysfunction brought on by breast cancer treatment
- Fertility issues, because breast cancer treatment can affect a womanâs ability and plans to have children
- Many young women are raising small children while enduring treatment and subsequent side effects
- Young breast cancer survivors have a higher prevalence of psychosocial issues such as anxiety and depression13
- Questions about pregnancy after diagnosis
- Heightened concerns about body image, especially after breast cancer-related surgery and treatment
- Whether married or single, intimacy issues may arise for women diagnosed with breast cancer
- Challenges to financial stability due to workplace issues, lack of sufficient health insurance and the cost of cancer care
Breast Cancer In Young Women
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. About 1 in 8 women will get breast cancer during her life.
Although breast cancer mostly occurs among older women, in rare cases breast cancer does affect women under the age of 45. About 9% of all new cases of breast cancer in the United States are found in women younger than 45 years of age.
Breast cancer in young women is
- More likely to be hereditary than breast cancer in older women.
- More likely to be found at a later stage, and is often more aggressive and difficult to treat.
- Often coupled with unique issues, including concerns about body image, fertility, finances, and feelings of isolation.
All women are at risk for getting breast cancer, but some things can raise a womans risk for getting breast cancer before age 45. Learning what factors increase your chance of getting breast cancer is an important first step in assessing your risk. Learning the symptoms of breast cancer also may also help you know when to talk to your doctor.
Many women who have a mastectomy have the option of having the shape of the removed breast rebuilt.external icon
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Can Exercise Help Reduce My Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer
Exercise is a big part of a healthy lifestyle. It can also be a useful way to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer in your postmenopausal years. Women often gain weight and body fat during menopause. People with higher amounts of body fat can be at a higher risk of breast cancer. However, by reducing your body fat through exercise, you may be able to lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
The general recommendation for regular exercise is about 150 minutes each week. This would mean that you work out for about 30 minutes, five days each week. However, doubling the amount of weekly exercise to 300 minutes can greatly benefit postmenopausal women. The longer duration of exercise allows for you to burn more fat and improve your heart and lung function.
The type of exercise you do can vary the main goal is get your heart rate up as you exercise. Its recommended that your heart rate is raised about 65 to 75% of your maximum heart rate during exercise. You can figure out your maximum heart rate by subtracting your current age from 220. If you are 65, for example, your maximum heart rate is 155.
Aerobic exercise is a great way to improve your heart and lung function, as well as burn fat. Some aerobic exercises you can try include:
Remember, there are many benefits to working more exercise into your weekly routine. Some benefits of aerobic exercise can include:
Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
After the treatment of breast cancer, long-term follow-up is necessary. There is a risk of local and distant relapse, and hence an interprofessional team approach is necessary. The women need regular mammograms and a pelvic exam. Also, women with risk factors for osteoporosis need a bone density exam and monitoring for tumor markers for metastatic disease. For those who are about to undergo radiation therapy, a baseline echo and cardiac evaluation are necessary. Even though many types of integrative therapies have been developed to help women with breast cancer, evidence for the majority of these treatments is weak or lacking.
Over the past four decades, the survival rates of most breast cancer patients have improved. Of note is that the presence of breast cancer has gradually slowed down over the past decade, which may be due to earlier detection and improved treatments. The prognosis for patients with breast cancer is highly dependent on the status of axillary lymph nodes. The higher the number of positive lymph nodes, the worse the outcome. In general, hormone-responsive tumors tend to have a better outcome. In breast cancer survivors, adverse cardiac events are common this is partly due to the cardiotoxic drugs to treat cancer and the presence of traditional risk factors for heart disease. The onus is on the healthcare provider to reduce the modifiable risk factors and lower the risk of adverse cardiac events. [Level 5)
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In Situ Breast Carcinoma Incidence
- There are around 8,100 new breast carcinoma in situ cases in the UK every year, that’s 22 every day .
- In females in the UK, breast carcinoma in situ accounted for around 8,200 new cancer cases in 2017.
- In males in the UK, breast carcinoma in situ accounted for around 40 new cancer cases in 2017.
- Incidence rates for breast carcinoma in situ in the UK are highest in people aged 65 to 69 .
- Each year around a tenth of all new breast carcinoma in situ cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over .
- Since the early 1990s, breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates have almost tripled in the UK. Rates in females have almost tripled , and rates in males have increased by more than nine-tenths .
- Over the last decade, breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates have increased by a third in the UK. Rates in males have remained stable, and rates in females have increased by a third .
- Most in situ breast carcinomas are intraductal.
- In situ breast carcinoma is more common in White females than in Asian or Black females.
- Breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates in England in females are 28% lower in the most deprived quintile compared with the least, and in males are similar in the most deprived quintile compared with the least .
- Around 910 cases of breast carcinoma in situ each year in England in females are linked with lower deprivation.
- An estimated 63,800 women who had previously been diagnosed with in situ breast carcinoma were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.
Further Tests For Breast Cancer
If a diagnosis of breast cancer is confirmed, more tests will be needed to determine the stage and grade of the cancer, and to work out the best method of treatment.
If your cancer was detected through the NHS Breast Screening Programme, you’ll have further tests in the screening centre before being referred for treatment.
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What Are The Stages Of Breast Cancer
There are two different staging systems for breast cancer. One is called anatomic staging while the other is prognostic staging. The anatomic staging is defined by the areas of the body where the breast cancer is found and helps to define appropriate treatment. The prognostic staging helps medical professionals communicate how likely a patient is to be cured of the cancer assuming that all appropriate treatment is given.
The anatomic staging system is as follows:
Stage 0 breast disease is when the disease is localized to the milk ducts .
Stage I breast cancer is smaller than 2 cm across and hasn’t spread anywhere including no involvement in the lymph nodes.
Stage II breast cancer is one of the following:
- The tumor is less than 2 cm across but has spread to the underarm lymph nodes .
- The tumor is between 2 and 5 cm .
- The tumor is larger than 5 cm and has not spread to the lymph nodes under the arm .
Stage III breast cancer is also called “locally advanced breast cancer.” The tumor is any size with cancerous lymph nodes that adhere to one another or to surrounding tissue . Stage IIIB breast cancer is a tumor of any size that has spread to the skin, chest wall, or internal mammary lymph nodes .
Stage IV breast cancer is defined as a tumor, regardless of size, that has spread to areas away from the breast, such as bones, lungs, liver or brain.
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 cancer 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.
Breast cancer in your 20s and 30s has been found to differ biologically in some cases from the cancers found in older women. For example, younger women are more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative and HER2-positive breast cancers than older women.
Here are some statistics about breast cancer in women under 40:
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What Are The Types Of Breast Cancer
The most common types of breast cancer are:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma. This cancer starts in the milk ducts of the breast. It then breaks through the wall of the duct and invades the surrounding tissue in the breast. This is the most common form of breast cancer, accounting for 80% of cases.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ is ductal carcinoma in its earliest stage, or precancerous . In situ refers to the fact that the cancer hasn’t spread beyond its point of origin. In this case, the disease is confined to the milk ducts and has not invaded nearby breast tissue. If untreated, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer. It is almost always curable.
- Infiltrating lobular carcinoma. This cancer begins in the lobules of the breast where breast milk is produced, but has spread to surrounding tissues in the breast. It accounts for 10 to 15% of breast cancers. This cancer can be more difficult to diagnose with mammograms.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ is a marker for cancer that is only in the lobules of the breast. It isn’t a true cancer, but serves as a marker for the increased risk of developing breast cancer later, possibly in both or either breasts. Thus, it is important for women with lobular carcinoma in situ to have regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
New Shape Or Increase In Breast Size
An particularly if the swelling is isolated to one breast or a change in the shape of the breast, can indicate issues within the tissue.
An unusual shape where the contour is distorted and theres a bulge in one part of the breast can be a sign of cancer, says Weiss.
It could feel like a lump, but it could also just be a region of the breast that feels firmer, and you cant really feel a lump within it, she says. It also often becomes more pronounced when moving in different positions.
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Should Women Under Age 40 Get Mammograms
In general, regular mammograms 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 or the cost of mammography. However, screening mammograms may be recommended for younger women with a family history of breast cancer and other risk factors.
For More Information See Breast Cancer On The Ncci Website
The National Cancer Control Indicators are a set of indicators across the continuum of cancer care, from Prevention and Screening through to Diagnosis, Treatment, Psychosocial care, Research and Outcomes. The NCCI website allows users to see visual representations of data on each indicator through interactive charts.
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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
Almost half 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, one in 10 women have never checked their breasts for new or unusual changes. Meanwhile, a fifth of women check their breasts once every six months or less, while 13% do this once a year or less.
Asked what stops or prevents them from checking their breasts more regularly, almost half of women said they forget. This is concerning when most cases of the disease are detected because women have spotted new or unusual changes to their breasts.
Some factors are outside our control, including:
A History Of Breast Cancer Or Breast Lumps
Women who have previously had breast cancer are more likely to have it again than those who have no history of the disease.
Having some types of noncancerous breast lump increases the chance of developing cancer later on. Examples include atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ.
Individuals with a history of breast, ovarian, fallopian tube, or peritoneal cancer
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Tests To Determine Specific Types Of Treatment
You’ll also need tests that show whether the cancer will respond to specific types of treatment. The results of these tests can give your doctors a more complete picture of the type of cancer you have and how best to treat it. The types of test you could be offered are discussed below.
In some cases, breast cancer cells can be stimulated to grow by hormones that occur naturally in your body, such as oestrogen and progesterone.
If this is the case, the cancer may be treated by stopping the effects of the hormones, or by lowering the level of these hormones in your body. This is known as “hormone therapy”.
During a hormone receptor test, a sample of cancer cells will be taken from your breast and tested to see if they respond to either oestrogen or progesterone. If the hormone is able to attach to the cancer cells , they’re known as “hormone receptor positive”.
While hormones can encourage the growth of some types of breast cancer, other types are stimulated by a protein called human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 .
These types of cancer can be diagnosed using a HER2 test, and treated with medication to block the effects of HER2. This is known as “biological” or “targeted” therapy.
What Else You Can Do To Help Reduce Your Cancer Risk
- Stay away from tobacco.
- Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
- Get moving with regular physical activity.
- Follow a healthy eating pattern that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and that limits or avoids red/processed meats, and highly processed foods.
- Its best not to drink alcohol. If you do drink, have no more than 1 drink per day for women.
- Protect your skin.
- Know yourself, your family history, and your risks.
- Have regular check-ups and cancer screening tests.
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 rates ) for persons are similar to the UK average in all the UK constituent countries.
Breast Cancer , Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2017