Taking Charge: Who Gets Breast Cancer
There are no rules about who gets this disease. The two most significant risk factors are being a woman, and increasing age. However, there are other factors that may increase your risk, and some that may lower it.
The development of breast cancer may be influenced by factors that affect the levels of female hormones that circulate in your body throughout life. These factors include the age when you began your menstrual period, the number of times you have been pregnant, your age at first pregnancy, whether you have breastfed your children, and your level of physical activity.
A Family History Of Breast Cancer
Having someone in your family with breast cancer doesnt automatically mean your own risk is increased. For most people, having a relative with breast cancer does not increase their risk.
However, a small number of women and men have an increased risk of developing breast cancer because they have a significant family history.
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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% Of This Type Of Cancer Occurs In Women Over The Age Of 50
Genetics and family history may determine the likelihood of getting the Big C. If a close relative has it, the risk of you contracting it is high. That said, breast cancers are common, and a majority of them are not hereditary. The possibility of breast cancer may arise if you had benign breast lumps.
They include atypical ductal hyperplasia and lobular carcinoma. There is a likelihood of them metastasizing if they develop again. Further, women with high levels of estrogen are more likely than their peers to have breast tumors. If you had your periods earlier than other women your age, be alert to this.
How heavy you are may decide whether you get breast cancer or not. Obese menopausal women are more likely than their slimmer peers to develop growths in their mammary glands. They tend to produce higher levels of estrogen.
An interesting point to note is that taller women are more prone to breast cancer than shorter ones, though experts still need to establish the reason for this. Women who consume more alcohol have a higher risk than others of developing breast cancer.
If you want to kick cancer to the curb, take no more than one alcoholic beverage per day.
Breast cancer raises its ugly head because of increased levels of estrogen and progesterone in the female body.
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.
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Stage Of Breast Cancer
When your breast cancer is diagnosed, the doctors will give it a stage. The stage describes the size of the cancer and how far it has spread and helps to predict the outlook.
Ductal carcinoma in situ is sometimes described as stage 0. Other stages of breast cancer describe invasive breast cancer:
- stage is â the tumour is “in situ” and there’s no evidence of invasion
- stage 1 â the tumour measures less than 2cm and the lymph nodes in the armpit aren’t affected there are no signs that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body
- stage 2 â the tumour measures 2-5cm, the lymph nodes in the armpit are affected, or both there are no signs that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body
- stage 3 â the tumour measures 2-5cm and may be attached to structures in the breast, such as skin or surrounding tissues, and the lymph nodes in the armpit are affected there are no signs that the cancer has spread elsewhere in the body
- stage 4 â the tumour is of any size and the cancer has spread to other parts of the body
Women Older Than 65 Have Worse Outcomes After Breast Cancer Diagnosis
- Tags:Progesterone-Receptor Positive, Estrogen-Receptor Positive, Ductal Carcinoma In Situ, Invasive or Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma, Invasive or Infiltrating Lobular Carcinoma, Luminal A Breast Cancer, Luminal B Breast Cancer, 65 and older, Early-stage: Stage 0 — DCIS , Early-stage: Stage IA, Early-stage: Stage IB, Early-stage: Stage IIA, Early-stage: Stage IIB, and Early-stage: Stage IIIA
A large study has found that women older than 65 diagnosed with early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer had worse outcomes than younger women with similar diagnoses. The research was published in the Feb. 15, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Nearly 9,800 women participated in the TEAM trial:
- 1,357 were 75 or older
- 3,060 were age 65 to 74
- 5,349 were younger than 65
All the women were diagnosed with early-stage, hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer. All had surgery to remove the cancer and then got hormonal therapy according to the study’s protocol. Some of the women got other treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy, as directed by their doctors. The women were followed for different periods of time after diagnosis. Half were followed for more than 5 years and the other half were followed for fewer than 5 years.
Older women were more likely to die during the study’s follow-up period. By age range, the proportion of women who died from breast cancer was:
- 8.3% 75 or older
- 6.3% age 65 to 74
- 5.7% younger than 65
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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 .
Does A Benign Breast Condition Mean That I Have A Higher Risk Of Getting Breast Cancer
Benign breast conditions rarely increase your risk of breast cancer. Some women have biopsies that show a condition called hyperplasia . This condition increases your risk only slightly.
When the biopsy shows hyperplasia and abnormal cells, which is a condition called atypical hyperplasia, your risk of breast cancer increases somewhat more. Atypical hyperplasia occurs in about 5% of benign breast biopsies.
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Mortality Rates And Number Of Breast Cancer Deaths
Sometimes its useful to have an estimate of the number of people expected to die from breast cancer in a year. This number helps show the burden of breast cancer in a group of people.
Numbers, however, can be hard to compare to each other. To compare mortality rate in different populations, we need to look at mortality rates rather than the number of breast cancer deaths.
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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How Do Tamoxifen Raloxifene Anastrozole And Exemestane Reduce The Risk Of Breast Cancer
If you are at increased risk for developing breast cancer, four medications tamoxifen , raloxifene , anastrozole , and exemestane may help reduce your risk of developing this disease. These medications act only to reduce the risk of a specific type of breast cancer called estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. This type of breast cancer accounts for about two-thirds of all breast cancers.
Tamoxifen and raloxifene are in a class of drugs called selective estrogen receptor modulators . These drugs work by blocking the effects of estrogen in breast tissue by attaching to estrogen receptors in breast cells. Because SERMs bind to receptors, estrogen is blocked from binding. Estrogen is the fuel that makes most breast cancer cells grow. Blocking estrogen prevents estrogen from triggering the development of estrogen-receptor-positive breast cancer.
Anastrozole and exemestane are in a class of drugs called aromatase inhibitors . These drugs work by blocking the production of estrogen. Aromatase inhibitors do this by blocking the activity of an enzyme called aromatase, which is needed to make estrogen.
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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Risk Of Breast Cancer By Age
A womans risk of developing breast cancer based on her age is as follows:
- 30 years old: 0.49% or 1 in 204
- 40 years old: 1.55% or 1 in 65
- 50 years old: 2.4% or 1 in 42
- 60 years old: 3.54% or 1 in 28
- 70 years old: 4.09% or 1 in 24
About 5% of breast cancer cases occur in women under 40 years old. It may be more difficult to diagnose breast cancer in young women because their breast tissue is denser than that of older women. Young women and their doctors may also be more likely to ignore a breast lump because of their low risk.
Breast cancer that occurs in young women tends to be more aggressive and less likely to respond to treatment. Women who are diagnosed with breast cancer before age 40 are more likely to have a genetic mutation that puts them at higher risk. Screening for the BRCA gene mutation may begin at age 25.
Other signs for young women to be aware of include:
- A lump in the breast
- Nipple discharge
- Focal pain
- Skin changes on the breast
Mammogram screening is recommended to begin between ages 40 and 50 based on your individual risk factors.
Effect Of Proficiency On Breast Cancer Mortality
In the study by Newcomb and associates,38 although BSE performance was not effective overall, in subgroup analysis more thorough BSE was associated with a decreased risk of advanced breast cancer.38 However, no statistical adjustment was made for multiple comparisons. Also, subjects highly compliant with thorough BSE may differ significantly from noncompliant subjects in other ways , which may influence breast cancer mortality. In the secondary analyses, the effectiveness of some individual components of BSE was also evaluated, with conflicting results. Because of potential selection and other biases, and susceptibility to type I error, it is impossible to draw conclusions about BSE proficiency based on results of such studies.
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Benefits Harms And Costs
Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer among Canadian women, accounting for 30% of all new cancer cases each year. In 2000 an estimated 19 200 Canadian women would have been diagnosed with breast cancer, and 5500 would have died from the disease. To date, 2 large randomized controlled trials, a quasi-randomized trial, a large cohort study and several casecontrol studies have failed to show a benefit for regular performance of BSE or BSE education, compared with no BSE. In contrast, there is good evidence of harm from BSE instruction, including significant increases in the number of physician visits for the evaluation of benign breast lesions and significantly higher rates of benign biopsy results.
Why Are Older Women More Vulnerable To Breast Cancer New Clues
- DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
- More insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer has been gained by researchers. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors.
Scientists from the Department of Energys Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have gained more insights into why older women are more susceptible to breast cancer. They found that as women age, the cells responsible for maintaining healthy breast tissue stop responding to their immediate surroundings, including mechanical cues that should prompt them to suppress nearby tumors.
Their work sheds light on how aging alters cellular and molecular functions, and how these changes contribute to the prevalence of breast cancer in older women. The disease is most frequently diagnosed among women aged 55 to 64, according to the National Cancer Institute.
The research appears online June 5 in the journal Cell Reports. It was led by Mark LaBarge of Berkeley Labs Life Sciences Division, with help from first author Fanny Pelissier and other Berkeley Lab scientists, and researchers from UC Berkeley and Norways University of Bergen.
We think this is a defense mechanism. The epithelia tissue recognizes that stiffness isnt good and produces tumor suppressants, says LaBarge.
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A Healthy Lifestyle Can Reduce Breast Cancer Risk For All Women
Healthy behaviors also play a big role in breast cancer cases.
“Hispanic and Asian womens risk changes when they come from their native country to the United States and are exposed to this country’s sedentary lifestyle and fattening diet, says Bevers.
For example, breast cancer risk is not very high in Asian women. If they come to the United States and adopt the lifestyle, their breast cancer risk increases. The same is true of Hispanic women who move from their native countries and adopt an American lifestyle.
Race is only one factor that affects your breast cancer risk. Lifestyle choices also play a role. There are steps women of all races can take to reduce their breast cancer risk.
Maintain a healthy weight, especially after menopause. Being overweight or obese raises your risk for a number of cancers, including breast cancer.
Avoid alcohol. If you choose to drink, limit yourself to one drink per day. Alcohol raises risk for several types of cancers, so men should limit themselves to two drinks per day.
Exercise. Women who are physically active have a lower-than-average risk of breast cancer. Women who are not active have a higher-than-average risk. Aim for 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week.
Manage hormones naturally. Using hormone therapy during menopause increases your risk of breast cancer and possibly ovarian cancer.
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.
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