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Breast Cancer Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Breast Cancer

  1. Breast Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Patient Information [NCI] - Questions or Comments About This Summary

    If you have questions or comments about this summary, please send them to Cancer.gov through the Web site's Contact Form. We can respond only to email messages written in English.

  2. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Patient Information [NCI] - Breast Cancer Screening

    Tests are used to screen for different types of cancer.Some screening tests are used because they have been shown to be helpful both in finding cancers early and in decreasing the chance of dying from these cancers. Other tests are used because they have been shown to find cancer in some people; however, it has not been proven in clinical trials that use of these tests will decrease the risk of dying from cancer. Scientists study screening tests to find those with the fewest risks and most benefits. Cancer screening trials also are meant to show whether early detection (finding cancer before it causes symptoms) decreases a person's chance of dying from the disease. For some types of cancer, the chance of recovery is better if the disease is found and treated at an early stage. Clinical trials that study cancer screening methods are taking place in many parts of the country. Information about ongoing clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.Three tests are used by health care

  3. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Harms of Screening Mammography

    Mammography screening may be effective in reducing breast cancer mortality in certain populations, but it can pose harm to women who participate. The limitations are best described as false-positives (related to the specificity of the test), overdiagnosis (true-positives that will not become clinically significant), false-negatives (related to the sensitivity of the test), discomfort associated with the test, radiation risk and anxiety.False-Positives Leading to Possible Additional InterventionsThe specificity of mammography (refer to the Breast Cancer Screening Concepts section of this summary for more information) affects the number of additional interventions due to false-positive results. Even though breast cancer is the most common noncutaneous cancer in women, fewer than 5 per 1,000 women actually have the disease when they are screened. Therefore, even with a specificity of 90%, most abnormal mammograms are false-positives.[1] Women with abnormal

  4. Male Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Inflammatory Male Breast Cancer

    In inflammatory breast cancer, cancer has spread to the skin of the breast and the breast looks red and swollen and feels warm. The redness and warmth occur because the cancer cells block the lymph vessels in the skin. The skin of the breast may also show the dimpled appearance called peau d'orange (like the skin of an orange). There may not be any lumps in the breast that can be felt. Inflammatory breast cancer may be stage IIIB, stage IIIC, or stage IV.

  5. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options by Stage

    Stage I, Stage II, Stage IIIA, and Operable Stage IIIC Breast CancerTreatment of stage I, stage II, stage IIIA, and operable stage IIIC breast cancer may include the following:Breast-conserving surgery to remove only the cancer and some surrounding breast tissue, followed by lymph node dissection and radiation therapy.Modified radical mastectomy with or without breast reconstruction surgery.Sentinel lymph node biopsy followed by surgery.Adjuvant therapy (treatment given after surgery to lower the risk that cancer will come back) may include the following: Radiation therapy to the lymph nodes near the breast and to the chest wall after a modified radical mastectomy.Chemotherapy with or without hormone therapy.Hormone therapy.Monoclonal antibody therapy with trastuzumab combined with chemotherapy.A clinical trial of new targeted therapies.Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with stage I breast cancer, stage II breast

  6. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Cellular Classification of Breast Cancer

    The following is a list of breast cancer histologic classifications.[1] Infiltrating or invasive ductal cancer is the most common breast cancer histologic type and comprises 70% to 80% of all cases. Carcinoma, NOS (not otherwise specified).Ductal. Intraductal (in situ). Invasive with predominant intraductal component.Invasive, NOS.Comedo.Inflammatory.Medullary with lymphocytic infiltrate.Mucinous (colloid).Papillary.Scirrhous.Tubular.Other.Lobular. In situ. Invasive with predominant in situ component. Invasive.[2]Nipple. Paget disease, NOS.Paget disease with intraductal carcinoma.Paget disease with invasive ductal carcinoma.Other. Undifferentiated carcinoma.The following are tumor subtypes that occur in the breast but are not considered to be typical breast cancers: Phyllodes tumor.[3,4]Angiosarcoma.Primary lymphoma.References: Breast. In: Edge SB, Byrd DR, Compton CC, et al., eds.: AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. 7th ed. New York, NY: Springer, 2010, pp 347-76. Yeatman TJ, Cantor AB,

  7. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Patient Information [NCI] - nci_ncicdr0000257995-nci-header

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http://cancer.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.Breast Cancer Screening

  8. Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Late Stage Breast Cancer (Stage III and IV)

    First-trimester radiation therapy should be avoided. Chemotherapy may be given after the first trimester as discussed in the section on Early Stage Breast Cancer. Because the mother may have a limited life span (most studies show a 5-year survival rate of 10% in pregnant patients with stage III and IV disease), and there is a risk of fetal damage with treatment during the first trimester,[1,2] issues regarding continuation of the pregnancy should be discussed with the patient and her family. Therapeutic abortion does not improve prognosis.[1,2,3,4,5]References: Hoover HC Jr: Breast cancer during pregnancy and lactation. Surg Clin North Am 70 (5): 1151-63, 1990. Rugo HS: Management of breast cancer diagnosed during pregnancy. Curr Treat Options Oncol 4 (2): 165-73, 2003. Gwyn K, Theriault R: Breast cancer during pregnancy. Oncology (Huntingt) 15 (1): 39-46; discussion 46, 49-51, 2001. Clark RM, Chua T: Breast cancer and pregnancy: the ultimate challenge. Clin Oncol (R Coll Radiol) 1

  9. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Breast Cancer Diagnosis and Pathology

    Evaluation of Breast SymptomsWomen with breast symptoms are not candidates for screening because they require a diagnostic evaluation. During a 10-year period, 16% of 2,400 women aged 40 to 69 years sought medical attention for breast symptoms at their health maintenance organization.[1] Women younger than 50 years were twice as likely to seek evaluation. Additional testing was performed in 66% of these women, including invasive procedures performed in 27%. Cancer was diagnosed in 6.2%, most often stage II or III. Of the breast symptoms prompting medical attention, a mass was most likely to lead to a cancer diagnosis (10.7%) and pain was least likely (1.8%) to do so.Pathologic Diagnosis of Breast CancerBreast cancer is most often diagnosed by pathologic review of a fixed specimen of breast tissue. The breast tissue can be obtained from a symptomatic area or from an area identified by an imaging test. A palpable lesion can be biopsied with core needle biopsy or, less often, fine-needle

  10. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - To Learn More About Breast Cancer

    For more information from the National Cancer Institute about breast cancer, see the following: Breast Cancer Home PageWhat You Need to Know About™ Breast CancerSurgery Choices for Women with DCIS or Breast CancerPreventive MastectomyBreast Reconstruction After MastectomyAdjuvant and Neoadjuvant Therapy for Breast CancerSentinel Lymph Node BiopsyDrugs Approved for Breast CancerHormone Therapy for Breast CancerUnderstanding Cancer Series: Targeted Therapies (Advances in Targeted Therapies and Targeted Therapies for Breast Cancer)Targeted Cancer TherapiesInflammatory Breast CancerBRCA1 and BRCA2: Cancer Risk and Genetic TestingGenetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer SyndromesFor general cancer information and other resources from the National Cancer Institute, see the following:What You Need to Know About™ CancerUnderstanding Cancer Series: CancerCancer StagingChemotherapy and You: Support for People With CancerRadiation Therapy and You: Support for People With CancerCoping with

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