Almost 1 In 10 Cases Are In Younger Women
Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older, but 9% of cases are reported in women under 45, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Risk factors for this younger group include having a close relative who was diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 45, having mutations in breast cancer genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, and having Ashkenazi Jewish heritage.
While lumps in the breast are a more common sign of cancer, there are other symptoms to be aware of: dents or dimples in the breast, red or flaky rash, swelling, nipple discharge or an inverted nipple.
Symptoms Of Breast Cancer
Breast cancer can have a number of symptoms, but the first noticeable symptom is usually a lump or area of thickened breast tissue.
Most breast lumps aren’t cancerous, but it’s always best to have them checked by your doctor. You should also see your GP if you notice any of the following:
- a change in the size or shape of one or both breasts
- discharge from either of your nipples
- a lump or swelling in either of your armpits
- dimpling on the skin of your breasts
- a rash on or around your nipple
- a change in the appearance of your nipple, such as becoming sunken into your breast
Breast pain alone isn’t a symptom of breast cancer.
Learn more about the symptoms of breast cancer
After examining your breasts, your GP may refer you to a specialist breast cancer clinic for further tests. This might include a mammography or a biopsy.
Money And Financial Support
If you have to reduce or stop work because of your cancer, you may find it difficult to cope financially.
If you have cancer or you’re caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to financial support, for example:
- if you have a job but can’t work because of your illness, you’re entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from your employer
- if you don’t have a job and can’t work because of your illness, you may be entitled to Employment and Support Allowance
- if you’re caring for someone with cancer, you may be entitled to Carers Allowance
- you may be eligible for other benefits if you have children living at home, or if you have a low household income
Find out what help is available to you as soon as possible. The social worker at your hospital will be able to give you the information you need.
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Is Breast Cancer A Modern Illness
To the contrary: cancer has probably been around as long as humans. Skeletal remains of a 2,700 year old Russian King and a 2,200 year old Egyptian mummy have both been diagnosed with prostate cancers.
Breast cancer can also be traced right back to ancient Egypt, with the earliest recorded case described on the 1600 BC Edwin Smith Papyrus. Because breast cancer is quite outwardly visible in its most advanced state it frequently captured the vision and imagination of our ancestors enough for them to record it.
Beliefs About The Cause Of Breast Cancer
Throughout the ages, nobody has really been sure what causes breast cancer. Research still continues today.
Some of the earliest theories have long since fallen by the wayside. The Ancient Greeks, for example, believed that imbalances of bodily humors were responsible for breast cancer.
But many other historic theories do still influence modern thought, with remnants of early beliefs left behind to form common breast cancer myths. In the 17th and 18th centuries, lots of possible causes of breast cancer were suggested:
- physical injury to the breast
- blockages of the lymph glandsAn organ in the human or animal body which releases particular chemical substances for use in the body or for discharge into the surroundings.
- repressed or over-indulged sexual urges
- curdled milk left in the ducts
- compression from tight clothing, which formed the basis of the
By the 19th century, the hopelessness of not knowing gave rise to a wave of psychological theories such as surgeon John Rodmans bizarre suggestion that breast cancer was simply the fear of cancer.
It wasnt until the mid 20th century, with the discovery of DNAThe part of every cell that carries out genetic information on cell growth, division, and function. that scientists could finally begin to understand the role of genetics in breast cancer.
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What Is Breast Cancer
Cells in the body normally divide only when new cells are needed. Sometimes, cells in a part of the body grow and divide out of control, which creates a mass of tissue called a tumor. If the cells that are growing out of control are normal cells, the tumor is called benign. If, however, the cells that are growing out of control are abnormal and don’t function like the body’s normal cells, the tumor is called malignant .
Cancers are named after the part of the body from which they originate. Breast cancer originates in the breast tissue. Like other cancers, breast cancer can invade and grow into the tissue surrounding the breast. It can also travel to other parts of the body and form new tumors, a process called metastasis.
The Birth Of The Pathological Autopsy
Autopsies done by William Harvey in 1628 paved the way to learning more about human anatomy and physiology. Blood circulation was discovered, opening the doors for more research on diseases. It wasn’t until 1761 that autopsies were performed to research the cause of death in ill patients. Giovanni Morgagni of Padua was the first to do such autopsies.
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Beauty Expert Kym Douglas Shares Her Breast Cancer Journey
It was October 2020 and with the availability of COVID-19 vaccines still months away, Summers was facing medical treatment in the midst of a pandemic. Shed have to undergo chemotherapy, surgery and more regular intravenous infusions afterwards to make sure the disease was completely gone.
It was a little bit scary because they do really the fact that your immune system is suppressed, she recalled.
I had conversations with my roommate and my boyfriend since those were the two people who really would go out in the world and come back to see me that they had to be super careful.
Summers stayed at home most of the time, venturing out only for doctors appointments and relying on others to do grocery shopping. Like many cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, she struggled with losing her hair, which was a big part of her identity, she said.
The first time Summers saw locks of hair stay on her brush one morning on a Christmas trip with her father, she rushed to him in tears.
It was fine after seeing everybody’s initial reaction. I think that’s what I was most nervous about, not my own feelings, but everybody’s reaction to how I was going to look. And once I saw that, I was fine, she said.
Living With Breast Cancer
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can affect daily life in many ways, depending on what stage it’s at and what treatment you’re having.
How women cope with their diagnosis and treatment varies from person to person. You can be reassured that there are several forms of support available, if you need it. For example:
- your family and friends can be a powerful support system
- you can communicate with other people in the same situation
- find out as much as possible about your condition
- don’t try to do too much or overexert yourself
- make time for yourself
Read more about breast screening
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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.
Oldest Descriptions Of Cancer
Human beings and other animals have had cancer throughout recorded history. So its no surprise that from the dawn of history people have written about cancer. Some of the earliest evidence of cancer is found among fossilized bone tumors, human mummies in ancient Egypt, and ancient manuscripts. Growths suggestive of the bone cancer called osteosarcoma have been seen in mummies. Bony skull destruction as seen in cancer of the head and neck has been found, too.
Our oldest description of cancer was discovered in Egypt and dates back to about 3000 BC. Its called the Edwin Smith Papyrus and is a copy of part of an ancient Egyptian textbook on trauma surgery. It describes 8 cases of tumors or ulcers of the breast that were removed by cauterization with a tool called the fire drill. The writing says about the disease, There is no treatment.
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Types Of Breast Cancer
Some of the most common types of breast cancer include:
In situ cancers. These types haven’t spread past the duct or lobule where they started.
- Ductal carcinoma in situ . This is ductal carcinoma in its earliest stage . In this case, the disease is still in the milk ducts. But if you donât treat this type, it can become invasive. Itâs often curable.
- Lobular carcinoma in situ . This is found only in the lobules, which produce breast milk. It isn’t a true cancer, but it means youâre more likely to get breast cancer later. If you have it, get regular breast exams and mammograms.
Invasive cancers. These have spread or invaded the surrounding breast tissue.
Less common types include:
- Inflammatory breast cancer. This rare type is caused by inflammatory cells in lymph vessels in your skin.
- Paget’s disease of the nipple. This type affects the areola, the thin skin around your nipple.
- Phyllodes tumors of the breast. These rare tumors grow in a leaflike pattern. They grow quickly but rarely spread outside the breast.
- Metastatic breast cancer. This is cancer that has spread to another body part, like your brain, bones, or lungs.
How Common Is Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, except for skin cancers. The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer sometime in her life is about 13%. This means there is a 1 in 8 chance she will develop breast cancer. This also means there is a 7 in 8 chance she will never have the disease.
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The New Frontier Of Genetic Testing
As scientists deepen their understanding of the role of genetics in breast cancer risk, research has turned to developing individualized breast cancer treatments based on a womans genetic makeup. Meanwhile, some research focuses on techniques to repair or even replace harmful genes before breast cancer occurs.
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Summers mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in her late 20s, so Summers wanted to get her first mammogram at 21, but was turned away even after sharing her family history.
I wasn’t really even, I felt like, taken seriously until I was seen by a doctor who had done a biopsy and said yes, this is 100% cancer, she said.
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Andressa Fernandes Rodrigues De S
2Senology Discipline, UNINOVE University, São Paulo, Brazil
2Senology Discipline, UNINOVE University, São Paulo, Brazil
3Centro de Referência da Saúde da Mulher , São Paulo, Brazil
1Senology Discipline, São Paulo Federal University, São Paulo, Brazil
3Centro de Referência da Saúde da Mulher , São Paulo, Brazil
How Is Breast Cancer Diagnosed
During your regular physical examination, your doctor will take a thorough personal and family medical history. He or she will also perform and/or order one or more of the following:
- Breast examination: During the breast exam, the doctor will carefully feel the lump and the tissue around it. Breast cancer usually feels different than benign lumps.
- Digital mammography: An X-ray test of the breast can give important information about a breast lump. This is an X-ray image of the breast and is digitally recorded into a computer rather than on a film. This is generally the standard of care .
- Ultrasonography: This test uses sound waves to detect the character of a breast lump whether it is a fluid-filled cyst or a solid mass . This may be performed along with the mammogram.
Based on the results of these tests, your doctor may or may not request a biopsy to get a sample of the breast mass cells or tissue. Biopsies are performed using surgery or needles.
After the sample is removed, it is sent to a lab for testing. A pathologist a doctor who specializes in diagnosing abnormal tissue changes views the sample under a microscope and looks for abnormal cell shapes or growth patterns. When cancer is present, the pathologist can tell what kind of cancer it is and whether it has spread beyond the ducts or lobules .
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Breast Cancer Metastasis To The Stomach That Was Diagnosed After Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection
1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama, Japan
2Department of Breast and Endocrine Surgery, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan
3Department of Endoscopy, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan
4Department of Pathology, Okayama University Hospital, Okayama, Japan
A 52-year-old woman presented with stage IIB primary breast cancer , which was treated using neoadjuvant chemotherapy . However, the tumor persisted in patchy areas therefore, we performed modified radical mastectomy and axillary lymph node dissection. Routine endoscopy at 8 months revealed a depressed lesion on the gastric angles greater curvature, and histology revealed signet ring cell proliferation. We performed endoscopic submucosal dissection for gastric cancer, although immunohistochemistry revealed that the tumor was positive for estrogen receptor, mammaglobin, and gross cystic disease fluid protein-15 . Therefore, we revised the diagnosis to gastric metastasis from the breast cancer.
2. Case Presentation
Ovarian Ablation Or Suppression
In women who haven’t experienced the menopause, oestrogen is produced by the ovaries. Ovarian ablation or suppression stops the ovaries working and producing oestrogen.
Ablation can be carried out using surgery or radiotherapy. It stops the ovaries working permanently and means you’ll experience the menopause early.
Ovarian suppression involves using a medication called goserelin, which is a luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist . Your periods will stop while you’re taking it, although they should start again once your treatment is complete.
If you’re approaching the menopause , your periods may not start again after you stop taking goserelin.
Goserelin is taken as an injection once a month and can cause menopausal side effects, including:
- hot flushes and sweats
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What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
Like many conditions, risk factors for breast cancer fall into the categories of things you can control and things that you cannot control. Risk factors affect your chances of getting a disease, but having a risk factor does not mean that you are guaranteed to get a certain disease.
Controllable risk factors for breast cancer
- Alcohol consumption. The risk of breast cancer increases with the amount of alcohol consumed. For instance, women who consume two or three alcoholic beverages daily have an approximately 20% higher risk of getting breast cancer than women who do not drink at all.
- Body weight. Being obese is a risk factor for breast cancer. It is important to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.
- Breast implants. Having silicone breast implants and resulting scar tissue make it harder to distinguish problems on regular mammograms. It is best to have a few more images to improve the examination. There is also a rare cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma that is associated with the implants.
- Choosing not to breastfeed. Not breastfeeding can raise the risk.
- Using hormone-based prescriptions. This includes using hormone replacement therapy during menopause for more than five years and taking certain types of birth control pills.
Non-controllable risk factors for breast cancer
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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