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How Many Women Have Breast Cancer

How Common Is Breast Cancer

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Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer. This also means there is a 7 in 8 chance she will never have the disease.

How Many People Survive Breast Cancer

  • Almost nine in ten of women survive breast cancer for five years or more.
  • Breast cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the past 40 years in the UK due to a combination of improvements in treatment and care, earlier detection through screening and a focus on targets, including faster diagnosis.
  • An estimated 600,000 people are alive in the UK after a diagnosis of breast cancer. This is predicted to rise to 1.2 million in 2030.

For many the overwhelming emotional and physical effects of the disease can be long-lasting.

Every year around 11,500women and 85 men die from breast cancer in the UK thats nearly 1,000 deaths each month, 31 each day or one every 45 minutes.

Breast cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death in the UK.

Breast cancer is a leading cause of death in women under 50 in the UK.

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 .

Since 2007, breast cancer death rates have been steady in women younger than 50, but have continued to decrease in older women. From 2013 to 2018, the death rate went down by 1% per year.

These decreases are believed to be the result of finding breast cancer earlier through screening and increased awareness, as well as better treatments.

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Fact : The Breast Cancer Epidemic Is Ongoing

The increase in the incidence of breast cancer that began some 40+ years ago was abrupt. Moreover, this tragic epidemic continues, as evidenced by the annual number of new cases of breast cancer in U.S. women at the beginning of each of the last five decades: 1970 , 1980 , 1990 , 2000 , and 2010 . This trend represents an alarming, even if slowing, rate of increase in the American breast cancer epidemic. Increases by decade have been: 1970s , 1980s , 1990s , and 2000s .

Breast cancer has clearly become much more common in the United States, and other developed Western countries, as well as developing nations . The essential question is why?

Age At First Menstrual Period First Pregnancy And Menopause

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The earlier menstruation begins , the higher the risk of developing breast cancer.

The later the first pregnancy occurs and the later menopause occurs, the higher the risk. Never having had a baby increases the risk of developing breast cancer. However, women who have their first pregnancy after age 30 are at higher risk than those who never have a baby.

These factors probably increase risk because they involve longer exposure to estrogen, which stimulates the growth of certain cancers.

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Lifetime Risk Of Breast Cancer Worldwide

Women who live in developed countries tend to have a higher lifetime risk of breast cancer than women who live in developing countries .

Although we dont know all the reasons for these differences, lifestyle and reproductive factors likely play a large role .

Low screening rates and incomplete reporting can make rates of breast cancer in developing countries look lower than they truly are and may also explain some of these differences.

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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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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:

How Much Does Hrt Increase Risk

Why Are So Many Young Women Getting Breast Cancer?

The risk of developing breast cancer between the ages of 50 and 69 is around:

  • 63 in every 1,000 women who have never used HRT
  • 83 in every 1,000 women who use combined HRT for five years from the age of 50
  • 68 in every 1,000 women who use oestrogen-only HRT for five years from the age of 50

Oestrogen-only HRT increases the risk of womb cancer, so is generally only offered to women who have had their womb removed .

Tibolone is another type of HRT that contains a steroid that acts like oestrogen and progesterone. Tibolone users also have an increased risk of breast cancer, but probably less so than combined HRT users.

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Certain Benign Changes In The Breast

Some changes in the breast seem to increase risk of breast cancer. They include

Having dense breast tissue also makes it harder for doctors to identify breast cancer.

For women with such changes, the risk of breast cancer is increased only slightly unless abnormal tissue structure is detected during a biopsy or they have a family history of breast cancer.

Mammography And Rates Of Early Detection Over Time

Mammography screening became widely available in the U.S. in the 1980s and 1990s. During this time, diagnoses of early stage breast cancer, including ductal carcinoma in situ , increased greatly . This was likely due to the increased use of mammography screening during this time period .

Among women 50 and older, rates of DCIS increased from 7 cases per 100,000 women in 1980 to 83 cases per 100,000 women in 2008 . From 2012-2016, rates of DCIS declined by about 2 percent per year .

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Breast Cancer Funding & Financial Burden

  • The estimated national costs of care for breast cancer is expected to reach $20.5 billion by 2020.
  • The economic value of life lost due to premature death from breast cancer is estimated to reach $121 billion by the year 2020.
  • Theres a low level of federal and NGO funding for breast cancer prevention and etiology research. Low funding levels in this area may be a result of a research funding strategy that is more focused on developing cures rather than on prevention.

What Should People Know About Breast Cancer

The secrecy and shame around womens cancers

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in New York State. Each year in New York, over 16,400 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 2,500 women die from the disease. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her life.

Men also get breast cancer, but it is very rare. About 160 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in New York State.

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Breast Cancer Screening And Covid

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to miss their mammograms. If you are due for a mammogram, do not wait. Call your health care provider to schedule your appointment as soon as you can. If you are having any symptoms of breast cancer, call your health care provider right away. Getting a mammogram regularly is the best way to find breast cancer early, when it may be easier to treat.

Health care providers are taking steps so that important health visits can happen safely. All staff and patients must wear masks and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before going in the office. Equipment, exam rooms and dressing rooms are cleaned after each patient. Other safety steps may include socially distanced waiting rooms, on-line check in, and more time added between appointments.

Breast Examination By A Health Care Practitioner

A breast examination may be part of a routine physical examination. However, as with breast self-examination, a doctor’s examination may miss a cancer. If women need or want screening, a more sensitive test, such as mammography, should be done, even if a doctor’s examination did not detect any abnormalities. Many doctors and medical organizations no longer require an annual breast examination by a doctor.

During the examination, a doctor inspects the breasts for irregularities, dimpling, tightened skin, lumps, and a discharge. The doctor feels each breast with a flat hand and checks for enlarged lymph nodes in the armpitthe area most breast cancers invade firstand above the collarbone. Normal lymph nodes cannot be felt through the skin, so those that can be felt are considered enlarged. However, noncancerous conditions can also cause lymph nodes to enlarge. Lymph nodes that can be felt are checked to see if they are abnormal.

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What Can I Do To Reduce My Risk

If several members of your family have had breast or ovarian cancer, or one of your family members has a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, share this information with your doctor. Your doctor may refer you for genetic counseling. In men, mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes can increase the risk of breast cancer, high-grade prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer.

If genetic testing shows that you have a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, your doctor will explain what you should do to find cancer early, if you get it.

All men can lower their risk by keeping a healthy weight and exercising regularly.

Types Of Mastectomy The Following Types Of Mastectomy May Be Offered

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Total mastectomy

A total mastectomy, or simple mastectomy, removes all of the breast and the tissue that covers the chest muscles . The lymph nodes, nerves and muscles in the chest are left in place. The nipple may or may not be removed.

If you plan to have a breast reconstruction, your doctors may try to do a skin-sparing mastectomy when they remove the cancer. A skin-sparing mastectomy is like a total mastectomy except that the surgeon doesnât remove the skin that covers the breast. This approach means that breast reconstruction can be done with very little scarring that can be seen.

Modified radical mastectomy

A modified radical mastectomy removes all of the breast, the nipple, most or all of the lymph nodes in the armpit and the tissue that covers the chest muscles . Nerves and muscles are usually left in place.

This type of mastectomy is used for breast cancer that has spread to lymph nodes. It is also used to treat inflammatory breast cancer.

A radical mastectomy is an operation that removes more muscle, lymph nodes and other tissues than a modified radical mastectomy. It is now very rarely used to treat breast cancer.

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What Is Yale Medicines Approach To Detecting And Treating Breast Cancer In Men

Our radiologists are uniquely qualified to diagnose even the rarest forms of breast cancer, including male breast cancerearly and accurately. Our radiologists who subspecialize in breast imaging are among the most highly skilled leaders in the field. They are nationally and internationally recognized for their skill in diagnosing breast cancer. Additionally, our radiologists conduct research on 3D mammography and dense breast imaging, which is advancing the field of radiology.

A man with a breast-related complaint will be scheduled for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound within a few days, Dr. Andrejeva-Wright says. If a suspicious mass is seen, then a needle biopsy is scheduled soon after. If a diagnosis of breast cancer is made, our intake specialists coordinate all necessary appointments with the patient as soon as possible, so that treatment can begin quickly.

Breast Cancer At A Glance

Breast Cancer in the U.S.:

  • Breast cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death among non-white women nationwide.
  • Breast cancer is the 3rd leading cause of death among white women.
  • 14.1% of the estimated U.S. cancer cases in 2012 will be due to breast cancer.
  • In 2015, it is estimated that 231,840 U.S. women will develop breast cancer, and 40,290 will die of it.
  • Nationwide, the probability of developing breast cancer in a lifetime is 1 in every 8 women.
  • 80% of all breast cancer cases are found in women over the age of 50.

Major breast cancer risk factors:

  • Women over age 50

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Treatment Of Specific Types Of Breast Cancer

For inflammatory breast cancer, treatment usually consists of both chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Mastectomy is usually done.

For Paget disease of the nipple, treatment is usually similar to that of other types of breast cancer. It often involves simple mastectomy or breast-conserving surgery plus removal of the lymph nodes. Breast-conserving surgery is usually followed by radiation therapy. Less commonly, only the nipple with some surrounding normal tissue is removed. If another breast cancer is also present, treatment is based on that type of breast cancer.

For phyllodes tumors, treatment usually consists of removing the tumor and a large amount of surrounding normal tissue around the tumor)called a wide margin. If the tumor is large in relation to the breast, a simple mastectomy may be done to remove the tumor plus wide margins. Whether phyllodes tumors recur depends on how wide the tumor-free margins are and whether the phyllodes tumor is noncancerous or cancerous. Recurrence rates are

  • For noncancerous phyllodes tumors: 10 to 17%

  • For cancerous phyllodes tumors: 21 to 36%

Cancerous phyllodes tumors can metastasize to distant sites such as the lungs, bone, or brain. Recommendations for treatment of metastatic phyllodes tumors are evolving, but radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be useful.

Treatment Of Noninvasive Cancer

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For ductal carcinoma in situ, treatment usually consists of one the following:

  • A mastectomy

  • Removal of the tumor and a large amount of surrounding normal tissue with or without radiation therapy

Some women with ductal carcinoma in situ are also given hormone-blocking drugs as part of their treatment.

For lobular carcinoma in situ, treatment includes the following:

  • Classic lobular carcinoma in situ: Surgical removal to check for cancer and, if no cancer is detected, close observation afterward and sometimes tamoxifen, raloxifene, or an aromatase inhibitor to reduce the risk of developing invasive cancer

  • Pleomorphic lobular carcinoma in situ: Surgery to remove the abnormal area and sometimes tamoxifen or raloxifene to reduce the risk of developing invasive cancer

Women with lobular carcinoma in situ are often given tamoxifen, a hormone-blocking drug, for 5 years. It reduces but does not eliminate the risk of developing invasive cancer. Postmenopausal women may be given raloxifene or sometimes an aromatase inhibitor instead.

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Examples Of Rates Versus Numbers

Say, town A has a population of 100,000 and town B has a population of 1,000. Over a year, say there are 100 breast cancer deaths in town A and 100 breast cancer deaths in town B.

The number of breast cancer deaths in each town is the same. However, many more people live in town A than live in town B. So, the mortality rates are quite different.

In town A, there were 100 breast cancer deaths among 100,000 people. This means the mortality rate was less than one percent .

In town B, the mortality rate was 10 percent .

Although the number of deaths was the same in town A and town B, the mortality rate was much higher in town B than in town A .

Lets look at another example. In 2021, its estimated among women there will be :

  • 100 breast cancer deaths in Washington, D.C.
  • 720 breast cancer deaths in Alabama
  • 4,730 breast cancer deaths in California

Of the 3, California has the highest number of breast cancers. However, that doesnt mean it has the highest rate of breast cancer. These numbers dont take into account the number of women who live in each state. Fewer women live in Alabama and Washington, D.C. than live in California.

Other factors may vary by state as well, such as the age and race/ethnicity of women. So, to compare breast cancer mortality , we need to look at mortality rates.

In 2021, the estimated mortality rates are :

  • 26 per 100,000 women in Washington, D.C.
  • 22 per 100,000 women in Alabama
  • 19 per 100,000 women in California

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