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How Often Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed

How Common Is Breast Cancer

How is Breast Cancer Diagnosed?

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.

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.

What Is Carcinoma In Situ

Some people are diagnosed when the cancerous cells are still totally within a duct or lobule. These are called carcinoma in situ , as no cancer cells have grown out from their original site.

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ is the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer and about 1 in 5 new breast cancer cases will be DCIS. A carcinoma in situ is easier to treat and has a better outlook than an invasive cancer.
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ results in abnormal cells in the milk producing glands of the breasts. These cells rarely spread outside of the lobules to other parts of the breast or body.

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Breast Examination After Treatment For Breast Cancer

After surgery

The incision line may be thick, raised, red and possibly tender for several months after surgery. Remember to examine the entire incision line.

If there is redness in areas away from the scar, contact your physician. It is not unusual to experience brief discomforts and sensations in the breast or nipple area .

At first, you may not know how to interpret what you feel, but soon you will become familiar with what is now normal for you.

After breast reconstruction

Following breast reconstruction, breast examination for the reconstructed breast is done exactly the same way as for the natural breast. If an implant was used for the reconstruction, press firmly inward at the edges of the implant to feel the ribs beneath. If your own tissue was used for the reconstruction, understand that you may feel some numbness and tightness in your breast. In time, some feeling in your breasts may return.

After radiation therapy

After radiation therapy, you may notice some changes in the breast tissue. The breast may look red or sunburned and may become irritated or inflamed. Once therapy is stopped, the redness will disappear and the breast will become less inflamed or irritated. At times, the skin can become more inflamed for a few days after treatment and then gradually improve after a few weeks. The pores in the skin over the breast also may become larger than usual.

What to do

Can Cancer Form In Other Parts Of The Breast

What are the signs of breast cancer?

Cancers can also form in other parts of the breast, but these types of cancer are less common. These can include:

  • Angiosarcomas. This type of cancer begins in the cells that make up the lining of blood or lymph vessels. These cancers can start in breast tissue or breast skin. They are rare.
  • Inflammatory breast cancer. This type of cancer is rare and different from other types of breast cancer. It is caused by obstructive cancer cells in the skins lymph vessels.
  • Paget disease of the breast, also known as Paget disease of the nipple. This cancer affects the skin of the nipple and areola .
  • Phyllodes tumors. These are rare, and most of these masses are not cancer. However, some are cancerous. These tumors begin in the breasts connective tissue, which is called the stroma.

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Grade Of The Cancerous Cells

A sample of breast cancer tissue can be looked at under the microscope. By looking at certain features of the cells, the cancer can be graded.

  • Grade 1 – the cancer cells tend to be slow-growing and less aggressive.
  • Grade 2 – is a middle grade.
  • Grade 3 – the cancer cells tend to be fast-growing and more aggressive.

The Cost Of Breast Cancer Treatment For Young Women

Everyone with breast cancer is at risk for suffering from economic toxicity with the diagnosis, says Dr. Silber. At the time they are diagnosed with breast cancer, younger women are less likely to be financially sound or to have established themselves in a career that provides sick leave and paid time off theyre also likelier to have small children, she says.

If you suffer from economic challenges prior to a cancer diagnosis, breast cancer is going to make that worse, says Dr. Silber. Thats especially true for younger women who are from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds and dont have access to the services or much leeway in terms of employment, she says.

I take care of women who are young, poor, single mothers who may be working at jobs that dont have good human resources supportlike, for example, a young woman working at a mini mart at night, says Dr. Silber. She may be doing hard and not particularly safe work, and might not have health benefits.

It can be a struggle to keep a job or get a raisebreast cancer patients may become semi-unemployable due to all the medical appointments they need, she explains.

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Is It Possible To Diagnose Breast Cancer Early

Yes. The most effective way to catch breast cancer while it’s easiest to treat and before it can spread is with regular screening mammograms. For women at average risk of breast cancer, the American Cancer Society recommends those who are:

  • Between 40 to 45 have optional yearly mammograms
  • Between 45 to 54 have yearly mammograms
  • 55 and older switch to mammograms every other year or, if they prefer, continue to have them yearly

The ACS recommends women at high risk of breast have a mammogram and, in some cases, a breast MRI every year starting at age 30.

Why Do Black Women Have Denser Breasts Than White Women

2,600 men diagnosed with breast cancer every year

It is unknown why Black women tend to have denser breast tissue than white women. Dense breast tissue makes it difficult to spot breast cancer on mammograms. Dense tissue shows up white on mammograms, as do cancer cells, increasing the likelihood that a radiologist will miss a tumor. A missed diagnosis can lead to larger tumors and delays in treatment.

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What Is The Average American Womans Risk Of Developing Breast Cancer During Her Lifetime

Based on current incidence rates, 12.9% of women born in the United States today will develop breast cancer at some time during their lives . This estimate, from the most recent SEER Cancer Statistics Review , is based on breast cancer statistics for the years 2015 through 2017.

This estimate means that, if the current incidence rate stays the same, a woman born today has about a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during her life. On the other hand, the chance that she will never have breast cancer is 87.1%, or about 7 in 8.

For men born in the United States today, the lifetime risk of breast cancer is 0.13%, based on breast cancer statistics for the years 2015 through 2017. This means that a man born today has about a 1 in 800 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some time during his life.

Does Breast Cancer Affect Women Of All Races Equally

All women, especially as they age, are at some risk for developing breast cancer. The risks for breast cancer in general arent evenly spread among ethnic groups, and the risk varies among ethnic groups for different types of breast cancer. Breast cancer mortality rates in the United States have declined by 40% since 1989, but disparities persist and are widening between non-Hispanic Black women and non-Hispanic white women.

Statistics show that, overall, non-Hispanic white women have a slightly higher chance of developing breast cancer than women of any other race/ethnicity. The incidence rate for non-Hispanic Black women is almost as high.

Non-Hispanic Black women in the U.S. have a 39% higher risk of dying from breast cancer at any age. They are twice as likely to get triple-negative breast cancer as white women. This type of cancer is especially aggressive and difficult to treat. However, it’s really among women with hormone positive disease where Black women have worse clinical outcomes despite comparable systemic therapy. Non-Hispanic Black women are less likely to receive standard treatments. Additionally, there is increasing data on discontinuation of adjuvant hormonal therapy by those who are poor and underinsured.

In women under the age of 45, breast cancer is found more often in non-Hispanic Black women than in non-Hispanic white women.

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What Is The Best Treatment For Breast Cancer

Treatment options which may be considered include surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and hormone treatment. Often a combination of two or more of these treatments is used. The treatments used depend on:

  • The cancer itself – its size and stage , the grade of the cancer cells, and whether it is hormone responsive or contains HER2 receptors AND
  • The woman with the cancer – your age, whether or not you have had your menopause, your general health and personal preferences for treatment.

You should have a full discussion with a specialist who knows your case. They will be able to give the pros and cons, likely success rate, possible side-effects and other details about the various possible treatment options for your type of cancer.

You should also discuss with your specialist the aims of treatment. For example:

Assessing The Extent And Spread

Diagnosis

If you are confirmed to have breast cancer, further tests may be needed to assess if it has spread – for example:

  • Blood tests.
  • How large the tumour has grown.
  • Whether the cancer has spread to local lymph nodes in the armpit.
  • Whether the cancer has spread to other areas of the body .

Finding out the stage of the cancer, the grade of the cells and the receptor status of the cancer helps doctors to advise on the best treatment options. It also gives a reasonable indication of outlook.

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Pakistan Sees Surge In Murder Of Women

“I came across many women who did not want to be physically examined because of hesitation and shyness,” said Nayyar, a resident of the southern port city of Karachi.

“Many women from less developed areas of the country who came to be treated were at an advanced stage,” she added.

“When I asked them the reason for the late diagnosis, they said they had felt shame” in talking about breast cancer, she noted.

Nayyar’s daughter, Nimra, who frequented the cancer hospital where her mother received treatment, said rural women had told her that they “could not have imagined telling their male relatives about this disease.”

“In our case my mother informed my brother and me,” she told DW.

She said many stage 3 breast cancer patients she met said they did not have any female family members with whom they could share their concerns.

“They felt ashamed talking about this with their sons or other male family members,” she said.

A breast cancer information session at a women’s hospital in Abbottabad

Guidelines For Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer screening guidelines for average risk women have become confusing. One organization recommends that women start getting mammograms every other year at age 50 and another recommends yearly mammograms between age 45 and 55 with every other year mammograms thereafter. One reason for these differences is disagreement as to whether annual mammography in younger women can reduce the risk of dying of breast cancer. At Johns Hopkins, we continue to recommend annual mammography beginning at age 40 for average risk women,

Extra screening tests are recommended for women with higher than average risk for breast cancer. Current guidelines suggest that if you have more than a 20% risk of developing breast cancer during your lifetime you should consider adding screening breast MRI to your mammogram. Women who carry mutations in BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, or CHEK2 will meet this risk threshold. Other women with family history of breast cancer or a history of a breast biopsy showing high risk changes may meet this criterion as well. You can calculate your breast cancer risk online using the Gail model or the BCSC model . Breast specialists in the Johns Hopkins Breast Center have access to additional resources for calculating your breast cancer risk. At Johns Hopkins enhanced surveillance for high risk women consists of a breast exam every 6 months alternating mammograms with MRI scans.

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Where Should Women Seek Counsel Regarding Risk Assessment For Breast And Ovarian Cancer

It can be very complex to put a patients family and personal health history together to determine what is relevant. Johns Hopkins Medicines Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service, also known as the BOSS clinic, assists patients and referring physicians. BOSS clinic appointments are comprehensive single visits that provide patients with a care plan and help them understand their risk, whether they should be tested for BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, and how they should most effectively screen for breast and ovarian cancer.

If You Have A Family History Of Breast Cancer

‘I am a thriver’: Men tell their stories of surviving breast cancer

UK guidelines recommend that women with a moderate or high risk of breast cancer because of their family history should start having screening mammograms every year in their forties.

If you are younger than 40 and have an increased risk of breast cancer, you should be offered yearly MRI scans from the age of 30 or 40. This depends on your level of risk.

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Everything You Should Know If You Need A Follow

  • Personal Stories

Heres the first thing you should know if you ever have an abnormal screening result: theres a very good chance its nothing to worry about. Most abnormal findings turn out to be either benign breast conditions or just normal breast tissue.Still, its crucial to do whatever follow-up is recommendedbecause if it is cancer, the sooner you get diagnosed and treated, the more likely you are to survive. So keep calm and find out what to expect.

With Insights Into The Effect Of Breast Cancer On Black Women

This article is part of Breast Cancer and Black Women, a destination in our Health Divide series.

A diagnosis of breast cancer is life-changing, but it doesnt have to be life-threatening.

While breast cancer can be deadly for all women if not diagnosed at an early stage, people have remarkable outcomes when diagnosed early. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Compared to White women, Black women are less often diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer, when it’s highly treatable. They also more often receive a diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of breast cancer that requires urgent treatment.

Early detection and prevention are the keys to turning these statistics around.

This article will discuss the role of mammograms, self-examinations, ultrasounds, and other tests in the diagnosis of breast cancer and provide insights into the effect of breast cancer on Black women.

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What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer

Like many conditions, risk factors for breast cancer fall into the categories of things you can control and things that you cannot control. Risk factors affect your chances of getting a disease, but having a risk factor does not mean that you are guaranteed to get a certain disease.

Controllable risk factors for breast cancer

  • Alcohol consumption. The risk of breast cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. For instance, women who consume two or three alcoholic beverages daily have an approximately 20% higher risk of getting breast cancer than women who do not drink at all.
  • Body weight. Being obese is a risk factor for breast cancer. It is important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
  • Breast implants. Having silicone breast implants and resulting scar tissue make it harder to distinguish problems on regular mammograms. It is best to have a few more images to improve the examination. There is also a rare cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma that is associated with the implants.
  • Choosing not to breastfeed. Not breastfeeding can raise the risk.
  • Using hormone-based prescriptions. This includes using hormone replacement therapy during menopause for more than five years and taking certain types of birth control pills.

Non-controllable risk factors for breast cancer

Body Image And Sexual Problems

Common Symptoms of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Your feelings about your body may change after treatment for breast cancer. Managing body image issues may involve talking openly about your concerns with your partner and discussing your feelings with your doctor. Your doctor may be able to refer you to groups that can offer support and information.

Sexual problems can be caused by the physical or emotional effects of cancer or its treatment. Some women may feel less sexual pleasure or lose their desire to be intimate. For more information, see the topic Sexual Problems in Women.

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Who Gets Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women other than skin cancer. Increasing age is the most common risk factor for developing breast cancer, with 66% of breast cancer patients being diagnosed after the age of 55.

In the US, breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in women after lung cancer, and it’s the leading cause of cancer death among women ages 35 to 54. Only 5 to 10% of breast cancers occur in women with a clearly defined genetic predisposition for the disease. The majority of breast cancer cases are “sporadic, meaning there is no definitive gene mutation.

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