Can Transgender Women Get Breast Cancer
Although there hasnt been very much research in this area, a study in 2019 suggested that transgender women undergoing hormone treatment have an increased risk of breast cancer compared to cisgender men .
According to the study carried out by researchers from the University Medical Centre in Amsterdam, trans women were around 47 times more likely to develop breast cancer than cis men.
Over the course of the study, 15 cases of invasive breast cancer were detected in 2,260 transgender women that the researchers were following. In cisgender men, over the same period of time, only 0.32 cases of breast cancer would be expected to be detected.
This is why scientists suggest transgender women are 47 times more likely to develop breast cancer. However, 15 out of 2,260 is still a very small number of cases.
The study also showed that trans men have a lower breast cancer risk than cis women .
Trans People And Breast Screening
Routine breast screening can pick up breast cancer before there are any signs or symptoms. During these screenings, a person will have a test called a mammogram to look for cancer that may be too small to see or feel. The sooner breast cancer is diagnosed, the more successful treatment is likely to be.
In the UK, women aged 50 to 70 are invited for a mammogram every three years as part of a national breast screening programme.
The NHS breast screening programme offers screening to trans women, and also to trans men who have not had top surgery. However, youll only be automatically invited for screening if you are registered as a female with your GP. If you dont want to be invited for breast screening, you can contact your local screening service to opt out. Find your local breast screening service.
If you wish to change the gender you are registered as with the NHS, you can apply for a new NHS number. Contact your GP for details.
Personal History Of Early Breast Cancer
Women diagnosed with invasive breast cancer are at a higher risk of developing cancer in their other breast.
There are also a number of non-invasive breast conditions that are associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. These include ductal carcinoma in situ , lobular carcinoma in situ and atypical ductal hyperplasia .
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How Common Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States, except for skin cancers. It is about 30% of all new female cancers each year.
The American Cancer Society’s estimates for breast cancer in the United States for 2021 are:
- About 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women.
- About 49,290 new cases of ductal carcinoma in situ will be diagnosed.
- About 43,600 women will die from breast cancer.
Breast cancer mainly occurs in middle-aged and older women. The median age at the time of breast cancer diagnosis is 62. This means half of the women who developed breast cancer are 62 years of age or younger when they are diagnosed. A very small number of women diagnosed with breast cancer are younger than 45.
Using The Oral Contraceptive Pill
A number of studies suggest a womans breast cancer risk is increased while she is taking the oral contraceptive pill and for up to 10 years after stopping it. For most young women in their 20s and 30s the increase in risk is small, but for older women and those with other strong risk factors the risk may be greater.
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Who Gets Breast Cancer
In 2022, the American Cancer Society estimates there will be 290,560 new cases of to be diagnosed in the U.S., along with 51,400 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. An estimated 43,780 people will lose their lives to breast cancer.
Anyone with breast can get breast cancer, even men. About 1 in 8 U.S. women and 1 in 833 U.S. men will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of their lives.
People of all ethnicities get breast cancer. People with different lifestyle habits and from different walks of life develop breast cancer. People with breast cancer can be fit or , vegetarians or meat-eaters, regular exercisers or couch potatoes.
What all people with breast cancer have in common are bad copies, or mutations, in the DNA of their breast cells. DNA makes up the genes of a . It carries a set of directions that tell cells when to grow and how to stop growing.
These mutations can sometimes come from your mother or father at birth. More often, these mutations develop at some point in your life. Some people are more likely to develop a because cancers run in the family. Others who have been exposed to certain things during their lives are more likely to get a mutation. We are still learning about the causes of these mutations and why people get them.
Here are some more facts and statistics about who gets breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Survival Rates By Stage And Age
The relative 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is 91%. This means that those who have breast cancer are, on average, 91% as likely as those who dont have the disease to live for at least 5 years after their diagnosis. The survival rate is an estimate across the population, and an individuals chance of survival is dependent on their specific characteristics and the nature of the tumour, such as the stage of the breast cancer at diagnosis, the age, gender and the subtype of the breast cancer .
The 5-year survival rate for Stage 1 breast cancer is, on average, 100% and Stage 2 is 95%. For locally advanced cancers the survival rate is 81%, while the 5-year survival rate for Stage 4 is significantly lower at 32%.
The 5-year survival rate also differs depending on the age group. For those aged over 85, the 5-year survival rate is 75%, while for those between 40 and 44 years of age it is 93%.
While the 5-year survival rate post-diagnosis is 91%, the survival rate 10 years after diagnosis of breast cancer is 86%.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
In its early stages, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. In many cases, a tumor may be too small to be felt, but an abnormality can still be seen on a mammogram.
If a tumor can be felt, the first sign is usually a new lump in the breast that was not there before. However, not all lumps are cancer.
Each type of breast cancer can cause a variety of symptoms. Many of these symptoms are similar, but some can be different. Symptoms for the most common breast cancers include:
- a breast lump or tissue thickening that feels different than surrounding tissue and has developed recently
- breast pain
- changes to the appearance of the skin on your breasts
- a lump or swelling under your arm
If you have any of these symptoms, it doesnt necessarily mean you have breast cancer. For instance, pain in your breast or a breast lump can be caused by a benign cyst.
Still, if you find a lump in your breast or have other symptoms, you should see your doctor for further examination and testing.
Causes Of Breast Cancer
Doctors do not know the exact causes of breast cancer. But there are risk factors that can increase your chance of developing it.
Having one or more risk factors does not mean you will get breast cancer. Also, having no risk factors does not mean you will not develop it.
Breast cancer is likely to be caused by a combination of different risk factors, rather than just one.
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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.
Family History And Inherited Genes
Some people have a higher risk of developing breast cancer than the general population because other members of their family have had particular cancers. This is called a family history of cancer.
Having a mother, sister or daughter diagnosed with breast cancer increases the risk of breast cancer. This risk is higher when more close relatives have breast cancer, or if a relative developed breast cancer under the age of 50. But most women who have a close relative with breast cancer will never develop it.
Some people have an increased risk of breast cancer because they have an inherited gene fault. We know about several gene faults that can increase breast cancer risk and there are tests for some of them. Having one of these faulty genes means that you are more likely to get breast cancer than someone who doesnt. But it is not a certainty.
Two of these faulty genes are known as BRCA1 and BRCA2. These are not common. Only about 2 out of every hundred of breast cancers are related to a change in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Ionising radiation includes tests such as x-rays and CT scans and treatment such as radiotherapy.
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Complementary And Alternative Medicine
Complementary and alternative medicine are medicines and health practices that are not standard cancer treatments. Complementary medicine is used in addition to standard treatments, and alternative medicine is used instead of standard treatments. Meditation, yoga, and supplements like vitamins and herbs are some examples.
Many kinds of complementary and alternative medicine have not been tested scientifically and may not be safe. Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits before you start any kind of complementary or alternative medicine.
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 Causes Breast Cancer
We dont know what causes each case of breast cancer. But we do know many of the risk factors for these cancers . For example, lifestyle-related risk factors, such as what you eat and how much you exercise, can increase your chance of developing breast cancer, but its not yet known exactly how some of these risk factors cause normal cells to become cancer. Hormones also seem to play a role in many cases of breast cancer, but just how this happens is not fully understood.
We do know that normal breast cells can become cancer because of changes or mutations in genes. But only about 1 in 10 breast cancers are linked with known abnormal genes that are passed on from parents . Many genes have not yet been discovered, so women with a family history of breast cancer might have inherited an abnormal gene that doesn’t show on a genetic test. Most breast cancers develop from acquired gene changes that have not yet been identified.
Breast Cancer And Birth Control
Some research has shown that taking hormonal birth control slightly increases the risk of breast cancer. However, once you stop using hormonal birth control, risk levels eventually return to normal.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center also notes that the overall cancer risk for teens remains low, even though using hormonal birth control minimally increases the risk of developing cancer.
If you use hormonal birth control and youre concerned about your cancer risk, please discuss your options with your doctor before stopping your birth control.
According to research, including a , use of oral contraceptives increases the risk of early onset breast cancer in people under 25 years old who have a BRCA gene mutation.
Doctors should exercise caution before recommending oral contraceptives to someone in this group.
That said, an increased breast cancer risk is just one of many factors to consider before deciding on the right birth control method.
Teens going through the earlier stages of puberty may notice lumps near their nipples. Tenderness and soreness are also possible. These occur during normal breast development and arent a cause of concern on their own.
Your period can also cause tenderness and soreness in the breasts.
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Types Of Breast Lumps That Teens Can Get
The most common type of breast cancer found in teens is secretory adenocarcinoma. This is generally a slow growing, nonaggressive cancer.
Though theres little chance of this type of cancer spreading to other parts of the body, spread to local lymph nodes has been noted in a few cases.
Most breast lumps in teenage girls are fibroadenomas, which are noncancerous. An overgrowth of connective tissue in the breast causes fibroadenomas.
The lump is usually hard and rubbery, and you can move it around with your fingers. Fibroadenomas account for 91 percent of all solid breast masses in girls younger than 19 years old.
Other less common breast lumps in teens include cysts, which are noncancerous fluid-filled sacs.
Banging or injuring breast tissue, possibly during a fall or while playing sports, can also cause lumps.
If you feel anything unusual in your breast, see your doctor. They will ask:
- about your familys medical history
- when you discovered the lump
- if theres nipple discharge
- if the lump hurts
If anything looks or feels suspicious, your doctor will have you undergo an ultrasound. This test uses sound waves to see into your breasts. It can help determine whether a lump is solid, which is an indication of cancer.
If its fluid-filled, that will most likely indicate a cyst. Your doctor may also insert a fine needle into the lump to draw out tissue and test it for cancer.
Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Stage 4 breast cancer can have a tumor of any size, and its cancer cells have spread to nearby and distant lymph nodes as well as distant organs.
The testing your doctor does will determine the stage of your breast cancer, which will affect your treatment.
Although they generally have less of it, men have breast tissue just like women do. Men can develop breast cancer too, but its much rarer.
According to the ACS , breast cancer is 100 times less common in white men than in white women. Its 70 times less common in black men than in black women.
That said, the breast cancer that men develop is just as serious as the breast cancer women are diagnosed with. It also has the same symptoms.
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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 your age, gender, and race.
shows theres a higher mortality rate in non-white people diagnosed with breast cancer 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.
Five-year survival rates for breast cancer differ depending on stage at diagnosis, ranging from 99 percent for localized, early stage cancers to 27 percent for advanced, metastatic cancers.
Breast Cancer Statistics In Canada
Each year, the Canadian Cancer Society releases predictive cancer statistics. Just last month, their 2019 report was released. This report highlights most cancers in Canada, including updated estimates of incidence, survival, and mortality.
We encourage you to read the entire publication for yourself. But, in the meantime, heres a quick run-through of their most recent findings as relates to breast cancer in Canada in 2019.
BREAST CANCER IS THE MOST COMMONLY DIAGNOSED CANCER IN CANADIAN WOMEN.
This fact still rings true in 2019. According to the Canadian Cancer Societys 2019 predictive stats, 1 in 8 females is expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. On top of that, breast cancer is still expected to make up more new cases of cancer in Canadian women in 2019 than other cancers. Heres a snapshot:
THE AGE-STANDARDIZED INCIDENCE RATE HAS NOT CHANGED IN THE PAST 5 YEARS.
In the 1990s, the breast cancer incident rate rose. However, this was largely due to advancements in mammography screening and provincial screening programs that helped diagnose more breast cancers. However, today, there has been virtually no change in the projected age-standardized incidence rate over the past 5 years, moving from 126.1 cases per 100,000 women in 2015 to 128 cases per 100,000 women in 2019.
THE RATES OF BREAST CANCER IN YOUNG WOMEN ARE LOW.
CANADAS BREAST CANCER MORTALITY RATE IS STILL THE LOWEST IT HAS BEEN SINCE 1950.
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