Courtesy of the National Cancer Institute.

Breast Cancer is one of the leading cancers for women; it is the second most common cancer for women, next to skin cancer.

It has also been classified as the second most common cause of death for women, next to lung cancer.

The probability of a women having cancer increases as your age increases.

Every year there is approximately 200,000 new cases and over 40,000 deaths per year.

Mortality rates are slowing in recent years due to early detection and new treatments.

Paget’s Disease is a type of breast cancer.

Another complexity is metastatic disease which is when cancer spreads from the original location to another area in the body.

Women have 3-4x the risk if a mother or sister has breast cancer.

Previous breast cancer also increases the risk.

In the U.S  breast cancer is more common in white women – but incidence is rising in non-whites.

Routine Breast Cancer screening is essential for early diagnosis.

 

Risk factors:

  • Age of first child (after 35)
  • Never having a child
  • Early menarche
  • Late natural menopause
  • Alcohol
  • And More

Symptoms:

  • Lumps in breast
  • Lumps in lymph nodes
  • Changes in breast size
  • Changes in breast shape
  • Pain in breast
  • Pain in lymph node
  • Skin dimpling
  • Nipple inversion
  • Nipple Discharge
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Peau d’orange – Skin Inflammation, redness, warmth, swelling, and pain.

 

Screening

Breast cancer screening can be done by:

1.)  X-ray
2.)  Mammography
3.)  MRI
4.)  Breast self-examination

Staging

TX –  cannot be assessed
TO – No evidence of tumor
T1 – Size of Tumor is less then 2cm.
T2 – Size of Tumor is greater then 2cm, less then 5cm
T3 – Size of Tumor is greater then 5cm
T4 – Tumor of any size found in chest wall or skin

Nx – nearby lymph nodes cannot be assessed
NO – Cancer is not found in lymph nodes
N1 – Cancer is found in 1-3 axillary [arm-pit] lymph nodes or one mammary lymph node
N2 – Cancer spread to 4-9 axillary [arm-pit] lymph nodes
N3 – 10+ lymph nodes or cancer found in lymph node under clavicle (collar bone) or above clavicle or others

MX –  No Metastasis can be assessed
MO –  No distant spread
M1 – Spread to distant organs is found

Some inherited breast cancers have been found on chromosomes 17 and 13

BRACA1 and BRAC2 are known genes and mutations of p53 have been seen in young women.

Early detection, mammograms, and especially Self-Examination are extremely important.

 

Treatment

  • Surgery
  • Hormonal therapy (Tamoxifen or Aromatase)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy

Men:

Breast cancer is 100x less common in men then women

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