Black Americans And Breast Cancer
The incidence of breast cancer overall is only slightly higher for white women than Black women, but in women under 45, breast cancer is more common in Black women. Black women are also more likely to die from breast cancer than women of other races or ethnicities. At least some of this increased risk is due to less access to follow-up care after an abnormal mammogram and lower rates of health insurance.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
The signs and symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A new lump or thickening in or near the breast or in the armpit
- A change in the size or shape of the breast
- A dimple or puckering in the skin of the breast. It may look like the skin of an orange.
- A nipple turned inward into the breast
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk. The discharge might happen suddenly, be bloody, or happen in only one breast.
- Scaly, red, or swollen skin in the nipple area or the breast
- Pain in any area of the breast
Breast Cancer Cell Lines
Part of the current knowledge on breast carcinomas is based on in vivo and in vitro studies performed with cell lines derived from breast cancers. These provide an unlimited source of homogenous self-replicating material, free of contaminating stromal cells, and often easily cultured in simple standard media. The first breast cancer cell line described, BT-20, was established in 1958. Since then, and despite sustained work in this area, the number of permanent lines obtained has been strikingly low . Indeed, attempts to culture breast cancer cell lines from primary tumors have been largely unsuccessful. This poor efficiency was often due to technical difficulties associated with the extraction of viable tumor cells from their surrounding stroma. Most of the available breast cancer cell lines issued from metastatic tumors, mainly from pleural effusions. Effusions provided generally large numbers of dissociated, viable tumor cells with little or no contamination by fibroblasts and other tumor stroma cells.Many of the currently used BCC lines were established in the late 1970s. A very few of them, namely MCF-7, T-47D, MDA-MB-231 and SK-BR-3, account for more than two-thirds of all abstracts reporting studies on mentioned breast cancer cell lines, as concluded from a Medline-based survey.
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Finding Your Best Treatment Team
After receiving a diagnosis, you will have several decisions to make about the healthcare providers who will handle your treatment.
Cancer treatment usually involves a team of people, such as a surgeon, a medical oncologist, a nurse practitioner, a counselor, a patient navigator, and specialists associated with your cancer type.
Factors to consider in choosing your oncologist and treatment team are their expertise in your cancer type, what your insurance will cover, your ability to travel to and from appointments and procedures, and recommendations from others.
Even after you have a treatment team, it is a good idea to look for another oncologist to get a second opinion on your diagnosis and treatment options. It is acceptable and sometimes common to change doctors during your treatment if you need to.
Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
There are several risk factors that increase your chances of getting breast cancer. However, having any of these doesnt mean you will definitely develop the disease.
Some risk factors cant be avoided, such as family history. You can change other risk factors, such as smoking. Risk factors for breast cancer include:
- Age. Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you age. Most invasive breast cancers are found in women over 55 years old.
- Drinking alcohol. Alcohol use disorder raises your risk.
- Having dense breast tissue. Dense breast tissue makes mammograms hard to read. It also increases your risk of breast cancer.
- Gender. According to the
While there are risk factors you cant control, following a healthy lifestyle, getting regular screenings, and taking any preventive measures your doctor recommends can help lower your risk of developing breast cancer.
Read A Brief Summary Of This Topic
breast cancer, disease characterized by the growth of malignant cells in the mammary glands. Breast cancer can strike males and females, although women are about 100 times more likely to develop the disease than men. Most cancers in female breasts form shortly before, during, or after menopause, with three-quarters of all cases being diagnosed after age 50. Generally, the older a woman is, the greater is her likelihood of developing breast cancer.
In the 20th and early 21st centuries, breast cancer was the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide. By 2012, however, that remained true only in less-developed countries. In high-income countries, lung cancer had overtaken breast cancer as the leading cause of death from cancer in women.
The most common symptom of breast cancer is an abnormal lump or swelling in the breast, but lumps may also appear beside the breast or under the arm. Other symptoms may include unexplained breast pain, abnormal nipple discharge, changes in breast texture, or changes in the skin on or around the breast.
Breast Cancer Stages 04
Doctors use stages of breast cancer to describe how far along the cancer has grown or spread. Stages range from 0 to 4 . Each stage has further subcategories of A, B, or C.
Stage 0 The cancer is noninvasive and shows no evidence of leaving the part of the breast where it began. One type of stage 0 cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ .
Stage 1 The cancer cells are spreading to surrounding breast tissue, but the group of cancer cells or the tumor remains very small. It is usually easily treatable.
Stage 2 The cancer has begun to grow but it remains only in the breast or nearby lymph nodes. Treatment is not usually very difficult.
Stage 3 The cancer has begun invading lymph nodes, muscle, and other body tissue near the breast, but it has not reached organs farther away. Treatments vary according to the person and type of breast cancer.
Stage 4 The cancer is very advanced and has spread to several organs or other parts of the body. Stage 4 breast cancer is considered incurable, but women may live several years or more with ongoing treatment.
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Cytotoxics And Targeted Therapies
are a relatively new class of cancer drugs that can overcome many of the issues seen with the use of cytotoxics. They are divided into two groups: small molecule and antibodies. The massive toxicity seen with the use of cytotoxics is due to the lack of cell specificity of the drugs. They will kill any rapidly dividing cell, tumor or normal. Targeted therapies are designed to affect cellular proteins or processes that are utilised by the cancer cells. This allows a high dose to cancer tissues with a relatively low dose to other tissues. Although the are often less severe than that seen of cytotoxic chemotherapeutics, life-threatening effects can occur. Initially, the targeted therapeutics were supposed to be solely selective for one protein. Now it is clear that there is often a range of protein targets that the drug can bind. An example target for targeted therapy is the BCR-ABL1 protein produced from the , a genetic lesion found commonly in and in some patients with . This has enzyme activity that can be inhibited by , a drug.
Who Gets Breast Cancer
Men can get breast cancer too, but they account for less than 1% of all breast cancer cases. Among women, breast cancer is the most second most common cancer diagnosed, after skin cancer, and the second leading cause of cancer deaths, after lung cancer.
On average, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. About two-thirds of women with breast cancer are 55 or older. Most of the rest are between 35 and 54.
Fortunately, breast cancer is very treatable if you spot it early. Localized cancer can usually be treated before it spreads.
Once the cancer begins to spread, treatment becomes more complicated. It can often control the disease for years.
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Stage 4 Breast Cancer
Stage 4 breast cancer can have a tumor of any size. 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 70 times less common in Black men than in Black women. Its 100 times less common in white men than in white women.
That said, the breast cancer that men develop is just as serious as the breast cancer that women develop. It also has the same symptoms. If youre a man, follow the same monitoring instructions as women and report any changes to breast tissue or new lumps to your doctor.
Genetic Testing For Breast Cancer: Brca1 And Brca2
In some cases, particularly if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, a doctor may suggest genetic testing for two of the most common gene mutations known to increase risk for developing these cancers: BRCA1 and BRCA2. Inherited BRCA gene mutations cause about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers and about 10 to 15 percent of ovarian cancers. There are other genes implicated in breast cancer risk, though they are much rarer than the BRCA mutations.
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Prevention Of Breast Cancer
While you can’t change certain risk factors, such as your family history or your age, research shows there are a number of lifestyle modifications you can make to reduce your risk of breast cancer, even if you’re high risk.
Limit yourself to less than one alcoholic drink a day and don’t smoke.
Control your weight being overweight or obese increases your risk of breast cancer, particularly after menopause. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight. The American Cancer Society recommends that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week, ideally spread throughout the week.
Women who breastfeed for at least several months may also lower their risk.
Hormone therapy to alleviate symptoms during menopause can increase your risk for breast cancer. Consider nonhormonal options or use the lowest dose that works for you.
Try to avoid exposure to radiation and environmental pollution.Medical-imaging methods, such as computerized tomography, use high doses of radiation. While more studies are needed, some research suggests a link between breast cancer and cumulative exposure to radiation over your lifetime. Reduce your exposure by having such tests only when absolutely necessary.
What Can I Expect If I Have Breast Cancer
If youve been diagnosed with breast cancer, your healthcare provider will talk with you in detail about your treatment options. Treatment and recovery will be different for everyone, so they can tell you what to expect in your situation.
Is breast cancer fatal?
People with early-stage breast cancer often manage their condition successfully with treatment. In fact, many people whove received a breast cancer diagnosis go on to live long, fulfilling lives. Late-stage breast cancer is more difficult to treat, however, and can be fatal.
What is the survival rate for breast cancer?
The overall five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 90%. This means that 90% of people diagnosed with the disease are still alive five years later. The five-year survival rate for breast cancer that has spread to nearby areas is 86%, while the five-year survival rate for metastatic breast cancer is 28%. Fortunately, the survival rates for breast cancer are improving as we learn more about the disease and develop new and better approaches to management.
Keep in mind that survival rates are only estimates. They cant predict the success of treatment or tell you how long youll live. If you have specific questions about breast cancer survival rates, talk to your healthcare provider.
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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:
shows theres a higher mortality rate in People of Color with breast cancer diagnoses 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.
The 5-year survival rates for breast cancer differ depending on the stage at diagnosis. They range from 99 percent for localized early stage cancers to 27 percent for advanced metastatic cancers.
Diagnosis Of Breast Cancer
To determine if your symptoms are caused by breast cancer or a benign breast condition, your doctor will do a thorough physical exam in addition to a breast exam. They may also request one or more diagnostic tests to help understand whats causing your symptoms.
Tests that can help your doctor diagnose breast cancer include:
- Mammogram. The most common way to see below the surface of your breast is with an imaging test called a mammogram. Many women ages 40 and older get annual mammograms to check for breast cancer. If your doctor suspects you may have a tumor or suspicious spot, they will also request a mammogram. If an atypical area is seen on your mammogram, your doctor may request additional tests.
- Ultrasound. A breast ultrasound uses sound waves to create a picture of the tissues deep in your breast. An ultrasound can help your doctor distinguish between a solid mass, such as a tumor, and a benign cyst.
Your doctor may also suggest tests such as an MRI or a breast biopsy.
If you dont already have a primary care doctor, you can browse doctors in your area through the Healthline FindCare tool.
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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)
Breast Exam By Your Doctor
The same guidelines for self-exams provided above are true for breast exams done by your doctor or other healthcare professional. They wont hurt you, and your doctor may do a breast exam during your annual visit.
If youre having symptoms that concern you, its a good idea to have your doctor do a breast exam. During the exam, your doctor will check both of your breasts for abnormal spots or signs of breast cancer.
Your doctor may also check other parts of your body to see if the symptoms youre having could be related to another condition.
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Reproductive Factors And Steroid Hormones
Late age at first pregnancy, nulliparity, early onset of menses, and late age of menopause have all been consistently associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Prolonged exposure to elevated levels of sex hormones has long been postulated as a risk factor for developing breast cancer, explaining the association between breast cancer and reproductive behaviors.
Clinical trials of secondary prevention in women with breast cancer have demonstrated the protective effect of selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatase inhibitors on recurrence and the development of contralateral breast cancers. Use of SERMs in women at increased risk for breast cancer has prevented invasive ER-positive cancers. These data support estradiol and its receptor as a primary target for risk reduction but do not establish that circulating hormone levels predict increase risk.
A number of epidemiologic and pooled studies support an elevated risk of breast cancer among women with high estradiol levels. The Endogenous Hormones and Breast Cancer Collaborative Group reported a relative risk of 2.58 among women in the top quintile of estradiol levels.
A meta-analysis by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer of 58 international studies that included 143,887 postmenopausal women with invasive breast cancer and 424,972 without breast cancer concluded the following about menopausal HRT and breast cancer :