Good News About Breast Cancer Trends
In recent years, perhaps coinciding with the decline in prescriptive hormone replacement therapy after menopause, we have seen a gradual reduction in female breast cancer incidence rates among women aged 50 and older. Death rates from breast cancer have been declining since about 1990, in part due to better screening and early detection, increased awareness, and continually improving treatment options.
What Causes Breast Cancer In Your 20s And 30s
Breast cancer happens when cells in the breast begin to grow and multiply abnormally. Changes in DNA can cause normal breast cells to become abnormal.
The exact reason why normal cells turn into cancer is unclear, but researchers know that hormones, environmental factors, and genetics each play a role.
Roughly 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to inherited gene mutations. The most well-known are breast cancer gene 1 and breast cancer gene 2 . If you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, your doctor may suggest testing your blood for these specific mutations.
Breast cancer in your 20s and 30s has been found to differ biologically in some cases from the cancers found in older women. For example, younger women are more likely to be diagnosed with triple negative and HER2-positive breast cancers than older women.
Here are some statistics about breast cancer in women under 40:
In Situ Breast Carcinoma Incidence
- There are around 8,300 new breast carcinoma in situ cases in the UK every year, that’s 23 every day .
- In females in the UK, breast carcinoma in situ accounted for around 8,300 new cancer cases every year .
- In males in the UK, breast carcinoma in situ accounted for around 30 new cancer cases every year in 2016-2018.
- Incidence rates for breast carcinoma in situ in the UK are highest in people aged 65 to 69 .
- Each year around a tenth of all new breast carcinoma in situ cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over .
- Since the early 1990s, breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates have tripled in the UK. Rates in females have around tripled , and rates in males have around doubled .
- Over the last decade, breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates have increased by almost a third in the UK. Rates in females have increased by around a third , and rates in males have remained stable .
- Most in situ breast carcinomas are intraductal.
- In situ breast carcinoma is more common in White females than in Asian or Black females.
- Breast carcinoma in situ incidence rates in England in females are 28% lower in the most deprived quintile compared with the least, and in males are similar in the most deprived quintile compared with the least .
- Around 910 cases of breast carcinoma in situ each year in England in females are linked with lower deprivation.
- An estimated 63,800 women who had previously been diagnosed with in situ breast carcinoma were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.
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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.
Fact : There Is Worldwide Evidence For A Link Between Induced Abortion And Breast Cancer
Even the Susan G. Komen Foundation does now recognize that birth control pill use is a risk factor for breast cancer. Regardless, Komen and the ACS still deny that abortion is also a risk factor for breast cancer . In their meta-analysis of the ABC issue, Brind et al. noted, Experimental evidence of a causal association between induced abortion and breast cancer in rodents was presented by Russo and Russo in 1980 .
Additionally, there has been a recent and remarkable increase in the evidence for an ABC link, especially from non-Western countries.
- Bangladesh A recent casecontrol report from the Dhaka Medical College employed a multivariate analysis. Women in Bangladesh are reported to have very traditional reproductive patterns, as Professor Joel Brind of Baruch College, City University of New York, explained, Almost all the women are married and with child by the time they are 20, and all of the kids are breastfed. Ninety percent had their first child at age 21 or younger . They typically neither take contraceptive steroids nor have any abortions. Nulliparty or abortion before first full-term pregnancy in a population in which breast cancer is almost unheard of, makes the relative risk very high .
China A more recent study from Northeast China found a family history of breast cancer and induced abortion increased the risk of breast cancer. Additionally, breastfeeding protected parous women from any subtype of breast cancer .
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Blood Estrogen Levels And Breast Cancer Risk
This summary table contains detailed information about research studies. Summary tables are a useful way to look at the science behind many breast cancer guidelines and recommendations. However, to get the most out of the tables, its important to understand some key concepts. Learn how to read a research table.
Introduction: Estrogens are natural hormones important for sexual development and other body functions. Before menopause, they are produced mainly in the ovaries. After menopause, they are produced mainly in fat tissue.
Women have different sources of estrogen before and after menopause. So, its important to look at studies of estrogen and breast cancer risk by menopausal status.
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Health Disparities In Young African Americans
In addition to these unique issues, research has shown that young African American women face even greater challenges.
- African American women under age 35 have rates of breast cancer two times higher than caucasian women under age 35.14
- African Americans under age 35 die from breast cancer three times as often as caucasian women of the same age.14
- Researchers believe that access to healthcare and the quality of healthcare available may explain these disparities. But scientists continue to investigate.
- Research also shows that young African Americans are more likely to get aggressive forms of breast cancer than anyone else.14
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Facts And Statistics Associated With Breast Cancer
According to the American Cancer Society Inc, in 2019, theres an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer diagnosed among women. Approximately 2,670 cases are in men. And there are also approximately 41,760n women and 500 men expected to have died from breast cancer in the 2019 survey.
Other facts and statistics on Breast Cancer that you should take note of include:
- 99% of breast cancer occur in women.
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women.
- A womans risk for developing breast cancer increases as she gets older.
- Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. In 2021, its estimated that about 30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women will be breast cancers.
- A womans risk of breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Less than 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it.
- About 85% of breast cancers occur in women who have no family history of breast cancer.
- The most significant risk factors for breast cancer are sex and age .
Facts About Breast Cancer In The United States
- In 2021, an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. as well as 49,290 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.
- 63% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a localized stage , for which the 5-year survival rate is 99%.
- This year, an estimated 43,600 women will die from breast cancer in the U.S.
- Although rare, men get breast cancer too. In 2021, an estimated 2,650 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the U.S. and approximately 530 will die.
- 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime
- Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. It is estimated that in 2021, approximately 30% of all new women cancer diagnoses will be breast cancer.
- There are over 3.8 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.
- On average, every 2 minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States.
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Example Of The Impact Of A Relative Risk
Using our example of the exercise study above, we can show how absolute risks affect the number of extra cases.
Inactive women have a 25 percent higher risk of breast cancer than active women .
Since older women are more likely to get breast cancer, a lack of exercise has a greater impact on breast cancer risk in older women than in younger women.
First, lets look at the women in the study ages 70-74 years.
The study finds 500 women per 100,000 who are inactive develop breast cancer in one year. This is the absolute risk for women with the risk factor, lack of exercise.
The study also shows 400 women per 100,000 who are active develop breast cancer in one year. This is the absolute risk for women without the risk factor.
The relative risk is 1.25 for women who are inactive compared to those who are active.
Among women ages 70-74, being inactive led to 100 more cases of breast cancer per 100,000 women in one year .
Now lets look at the women in the study ages 20-29.
The study finds 5 women per 100,000 who were inactive developed breast cancer in one year. And, 4 women per 100,000 who were active got breast cancer.
Here again, the relative risk is 1.25.
However, in women ages 20-29, being inactive led to only 1 extra case of breast cancer per 100,000 women .
So, the same relative risk of 1.25 led to many more extra cases of breast cancer in the older women than in the younger women .
Clinical Considerations And Recommendations
How should individual breast cancer risk be assessed?
Health care providers periodically should assess breast cancer risk by reviewing the patients history. Breast cancer risk assessment is based on a combination of the various factors that can affect risk Box 1610111213. Initial assessment should elicit information about reproductive risk factors, results of prior biopsies, ionizing radiation exposure, and family history of cancer. Health care providers should identify cases of breast, ovarian, colon, prostate, pancreatic, and other types of germline mutation-associated cancer in first-degree, second-degree, and possibly third-degree relatives as well as the age of diagnosis. Women with a potentially increased risk of breast cancer based on initial history should have further risk assessment. Assessments can be conducted with one of the validated assessment tools available online, such as the Gail, BRCAPRO, Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm, International Breast Cancer Intervention Studies , or the Claus model 34.
Is screening breast self-examination recommended in women at average risk of breast cancer, and what should women do if they notice a change in one of their breasts?
Should practitioners perform routine screening clinical breast examinations in average-risk women?
When should screening mammography begin in average-risk women?
How frequently should screening mammography be performed in average-risk women?
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Triple Negative Breast Cancer Facts
1. Hormone treatments is not possible with this type of breast cancer.2. This is a much rarer type of breast cancer that affects a higher rate of Hispanics, African Americans, younger people and people that have a BRACA 1 gene mutation.3. Approximately 80% of BRACA 1 gene mutation tumors are triple negative.4. There is a strong correlation between an autosomal inheritance pattern and TNBC but most studies fall short of calling it a causal relationship.5. This cancer is harder to treat, is more likely to recur in the first five years after treatment and can be more aggressive BUT all of the factors including successful treatment largely depend on the stage in which the cancer is identified and the grade of the tumor.6. TNBC has a higher recurrence rate in the first five years after remission while other cancers like estrogen receptor positive cancers have much lower rates of recurrence during the first five years of remission.7. While TNBC recurs at a higher rate in the first five years once the five year mark passes with each additional year of survival the odds of recurrence is drastically reduced.8. After 5 years the chance of recurrence of TNBC is reduced by 50%.9. With each year after the 5 year mark the chance of recurrence is reduced by an additional 10%-15%.10. Long term survivors have almost a 0% rate that the disease will recur. With other breast cancers the recurrence rate climbs after the first 5 years.
Relative Risks In Research
You can put your knowledge of relative risks to work right away.
These tables show research behind many recommendations and standards of care related to breast cancer discussed in this section.
If you dont know how the research process works , our How to read a research table section is a good place to start before looking at the tables.
Learn more about breast cancer research.
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Healthy People 2030 Target
- There is no Healthy People 2030 target for smoking rates among cancer survivors, though Healthy People does include a national objective to increase the mental and physical health-related quality of life of cancer survivors however, the goal for the general population is to decrease to 5 percent the proportion of people who are current cigarette smokers.
Healthy People 2030 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services. Note: Goals are indicated as blue line on Detailed Trend Graphs.
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:
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Fact : The Role Of Delayed Childbearing Relative To Breast Cancer Risk Was An Early Epidemiological Insight
Professor Brian MacMahon, MD , former head of the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, has been honored as the founder of modern epidemiology . He led a team of investigators, whose seminal Western work was published in 1970. After reviewing data from seven areas of the world, this research team concluded that delayed childbirth increased the subsequent risk of breast cancer: Women having their first child when aged under 18 years had only about one-third the breast cancer risk of those whose first birth is delayed until the age of 35 years or more .
These same researchers subsequently confirmed that a delay in having a first baby did increase the risk of breast cancer. In fact, a woman’s relative risk of breast cancer increased by 3.5 percent for every year of delay in age at first birth .
Breast Cancer Survivor Shares Scary Symptom That Led To Diagnosis At 22 Years Old: It Was Awful
In January 2016, just ten months prior to the life-changing diagnosis, Finkelstein recalled that she began experiencing pain in her right breast and felt a little bit of a lump.
I really didnt think anything of it, she told In The Know. I touched it once, maybe twice, and then I kind of forgot about it.
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A few months later in August, Finkelstein, who was entering her fourth year at McGill University at the time, says she began waking up with what she thought were nosebleed stains streaked across her sheets. Only weeks later did she realize that the stains were actually the result of nipple discharge, one of the more common symptoms of breast cancer.
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your physician ASAP.
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