What Is A Normal Breast
No breast is typical. What is normal for you may not be normal for another woman. Most women say their breasts feel lumpy or uneven. The way your breasts look and feel can be affected by getting your period, having children, losing or gaining weight, and taking certain medications. Breasts also tend to change as you age. For more information, see the National Cancer Institutes Breast Changes and Conditions.external icon
What Can Health Care Providers And Hospitals Do
- Provide meeting space for cancer support groups.
- Encourage participation in research, including clinical trials.
- Encourage women to assist with the design and participate in studies of women who have had early-stage cancer and have finished therapy.
- Encourage eligible women to get mammograms at recommended intervals.
- Assure that your cancer cases are reported to your hospital cancer registry or The South Carolina Central Cancer Registry .
What Are The Types Of Breast Cancer
The most common types of breast cancer are:
- Infiltrating ductal carcinoma. This cancer starts in the milk ducts of the breast. It then breaks through the wall of the duct and invades the surrounding tissue in the breast. This is the most common form of breast cancer, accounting for 80% of cases.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ is ductal carcinoma in its earliest stage, or precancerous . In situ refers to the fact that the cancer hasn’t spread beyond its point of origin. In this case, the disease is confined to the milk ducts and has not invaded nearby breast tissue. If untreated, ductal carcinoma in situ may become invasive cancer. It is almost always curable.
- Infiltrating lobular carcinoma. This cancer begins in the lobules of the breast where breast milk is produced, but has spread to surrounding tissues in the breast. It accounts for 10 to 15% of breast cancers. This cancer can be more difficult to diagnose with mammograms.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ is a marker for cancer that is only in the lobules of the breast. It isn’t a true cancer, but serves as a marker for the increased risk of developing breast cancer later, possibly in both or either breasts. Thus, it is important for women with lobular carcinoma in situ to have regular clinical breast exams and mammograms.
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Breast Cancer Is Now The Most Common Cancer In The World Says Who
Weve all known for a while now that breast cancer is the most commonly-occurring cancer in women. In fact, according to the World Cancer Research Funds the year 2018 saw over 2 million breast cancer cases all over the world.
Since then, the ever-rising number of breast cancer cases have actually catapulted this disease to the number one cancer in terms of incidence. Yes, breast cancer has overtaken lung cancer as the most common form of the disease.
For the first time, breast cancer now constitutes the most commonly occurring cancer globally, Andre Ilbawi, a cancer specialist at the WHO, told a UN briefing ahead of World Cancer Day on Thursday.
Lung cancer was the most common type for the last two decades, but is now in second place, ahead of colorectal cancer, which is the third most widespread, Ilbawi said.
But why is breast cancer on a rise?
Ilbawi noted that obesity in women was a common risk factor in breast cancer, and is also driving overall cancer numbers.
As the global population grows and life expectancy increases, cancer is expected to become more common, rising to about 30 million new cases per year in 2040 from 19.3 million in 2020, Ilbawi said.
The coronavirus pandemic is disrupting cancer treatment in about half the countries it surveyed, Ilbawi said, pointing to delays in diagnosis, healthcare workers being under extreme stress and research being impacted.
1. Keep your weight in check 2. Exercise regularly
What Symptoms Should I Look For
So if you find a lump, skin change, or any other breast changes or unusual discharge from your nipple, see your health care provider right away. Do not wait. Do monthly breast self-exams. See your health care provider each year for a breast exam. And if you are 40 or older, have a mammogram once a year.
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Risks And Causes Of Breast Cancer
The exact cause of breast cancer is unknown, but factors that seem to increase risk include:
- gender being a woman
- getting older women over 50 years of age are invited to take part in yearly mammograms to screen for breast cancer
- heredity having several close family members who have had breast cancer
- previous history of breast cancer women who have had breast cancer have a greater risk of developing it again
- certain breast diseases some types of breast disease that are found through mammograms indicate an increased risk.
Myth : Oral Contraceptive Pills Increase The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Fact: It is commonly believed that breast cancer is related to hormones. Hence, oral contraceptive pills or OCPs, widely used for contraception by women in reproductive age groups, increase the risk of breast cancer.
Though female hormones play a significant role in breast cancer, there is conclusive and sufficient evidence that oral contraceptive pills do not increase the risk of breast cancer. However, hormone replacement therapy used in postmenopausal women to mitigate the effects of menopause leads to an increased risk of breast cancer. Therefore, it should be cautiously used and administered only if indicated.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Breast pain can be a symptom of cancer. If you have any symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.
Different people have different symptoms of breast cancer. Some people do not have any signs or symptoms at all.
Some warning signs of breast cancer are
- New lump in the breast or underarm .
- Thickening or swelling of part of the breast.
- Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.
- Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.
- Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.
- Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.
- Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.
- Pain in any area of the breast.
Keep in mind that these symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not cancer.
If you have any signs or symptoms that worry you, be sure to see your doctor right away.
What Should People Know About Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers among women in New York State. Each year in New York, over 16,400 women are diagnosed with breast cancer and about 2,500 women die from the disease. It is estimated that one in eight women will develop breast cancer during her life.
Men also get breast cancer, but it is very rare. About 160 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year in New York State.
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How Much Do Tamoxifen And Raloxifene Lower The Risk Of Breast Cancer
Multiple studies have shown that both tamoxifen and raloxifene can reduce the risk of developing estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer in healthy postmenopausal women who are at high risk of developing the disease. Tamoxifen lowered the risk by 50 percent. Raloxifene lowered the risk by 38 percent. Overall, the combined results of these studies showed that taking tamoxifen or raloxifene daily for five years reduced the risk of developing breast cancer by at least one-third. In one trial directly comparing tamoxifen with raloxifene, raloxifene was found to be slightly less effective than tamoxifen for preventing breast cancer.
Both tamoxifen and raloxifene have been approved for use to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer in women at high risk of the disease. Tamoxifen is approved for use in both premenopausal women and postmenopausal women . Raloxifene is approved for use only in postmenopausal women.
Less common but more serious side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include blood clots to the lungs or legs. Other serious side effects of tamoxifen are an increased risk for cataracts and endometrial cancers. Other common, less serious shared side effects of tamoxifen and raloxifene include hot flashes, night sweats, and vaginal dryness.
Breast Cancer Supersedes Lung As Most Common Cancer Diagnosis
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Female breast cancer has become the most common cancer worldwide, with an estimated 2.3 million new cases diagnosed last year alone, according to the Global Cancer Statistics2020 report.
Lung cancer remained the top cause of cancer mortality, responsible for about 1.8 million deaths in 2020.
The report, published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, is a product of long-standing collaboration between American Cancer Society and International Agency for Research on Cancer that aims to support and promote cancer prevention and control efforts worldwide, Hyuna Sung, PhD, principal scientist at American Cancer Society, told Healio.
We intended to provide a contemporary and comprehensive global overview of patterns in cancer burden and present the most up-to-date global cancer statistics in terms of cancer occurrence and deaths due to cancer according to sex, geography and levels of development, Sung said. Understanding the contemporary burden of the disease is an essential step to monitor progress made against cancer and identify disparities across the globe.
In the report, researchers highlighted differences in incidence and mortality among cancer types, as well as inequities in cancer control efforts around the world.
Cancer deaths were highest for lung cancer , followed by colorectal , liver , stomach and female breast cancers.
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Myth : Breast Cancer Is Related To The Consumption Of Unhealthy And Fatty Foods
Fact: Several people believe that as they are doing exercise, eating a healthy diet, not smoking and drinking, and leading a healthy lifestyle, they cannot develop breast cancer. A healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body weight does reduce the risk of developing several metabolic diseases, including certain cancers, but it does not eliminate the threat.
There is no definite association of any particular food or dietary habit with breast cancer, except alcohol. People consuming alcohol are more likely to develop breast cancer.
What Is Secondary Breast Cancer
Secondary breast cancer is when breast cancer spreads from the breast to other parts of the body, becoming incurable. Breast cancer most commonly spreads to the bones, brain, lungs or liver.
While it cannot be cured, there are treatments that can help control certain forms of the disease for some time and relieve symptoms to help people live well for as long as possible.
There are an estimated 35,000 people living with secondary breast cancer in the UK. In around 5% of women, breast cancer has already spread by the time it is diagnosed.
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Breast Cancer: The Worlds Most Common Cancer
In 2021, breast cancer became the most common cancer in the world, and although we typically take the month of October to focus on awareness for women, its important to understand that men are not excluded from breast cancer statistics.
For women, the risk of breast cancer increases, nearly doubling in fact, if she has a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed in their lifetime. However, almost 85 percent of breast cancer cases happen to occur in women who have no family history at all. For men, breast cancer is a little different. The risk is low, affecting only one in 833 men. Although some risk factors remain the same as for women, such as age and family history, men are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer from being overweight or obese, having diabetes, Klinefelters syndrome which occurs when men are born with two X chromosomes, use of hormone drugs or exposure to large amounts of radiation.
Regardless, in both sexes African-Americans are more likely to develop the disease and die from it than individuals of Asian, Hispanic, or Native-American descent. White individuals, both male and female, are the second most likely to develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Knowing the signs and symptoms can help both a woman and a man keep track of any changes in their body that they need to be aware of, and help them realize when its time to see a doctor and receive the care thats needed before the cancer grows and becomes more resilient to treatment.
Can Cancer Form In Other Parts Of The Breast
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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What Is Invasive Ductal Carcinoma
Breast ducts are the passageways where milk from the milk glands flows to the nipple.
Invasive ductal carcinoma is cancer that happens when abnormal cells growing in the lining of the milk ducts change and invade breast tissue beyond the walls of the duct.
Once that happens, the cancer cells can spread. They can break into the lymph nodes or bloodstream, where they can travel to other organs and areas in the body, resulting in metastatic breast cancer.
Interactive Statistics With Seer*explorer
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SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by gender, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.
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When A Cure For Breast Cancer Isn’t Possible
If breast cancer has been diagnosed in its later stages, the cancer may have spread to the point where a cure is no longer possible. Treatment then focuses on improving quality of life by relieving the symptoms with medication to relieve pain, nausea and vomiting. The Cancer Council Victoria booklet called Advanced Cancer: Living with Advanced Cancer may be helpful to read.
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
Over a third 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, a third of those who do check their breasts for possible signs and symptoms dont feel confident that they would notice a change.
Asked what stops or prevents them from checking their breasts more regularly, over half forgetting to check, over a third not being in the habit of checking, a fifth not feeling confident in checking their breasts, not knowing how to check , not knowing what to look for and being worried about finding a new or unusual change .
Some factors are outside our control, including:
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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.
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.
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