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Breast Cancer Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Breast Cancer

  1. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage I, II, IIIA, and Operable IIIC Breast Cancer

    Primary TherapyLocal-regional treatmentStage I, II, IIIA, and operable IIIC breast cancer often requires a multimodality approach to treatment. Irrespective of the eventual procedure selected, the diagnostic biopsy and surgical procedure that will be used as primary treatment should be performed as two separate procedures. In many cases, the diagnosis of breast carcinoma is made by core needle biopsy. After the presence of a malignancy is confirmed, treatment options should be discussed with the patient before a therapeutic procedure is selected. Estrogen-receptor (ER) and progesterone-receptor (PR) protein status and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) status should be determined for the primary

  2. Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Stage Information for Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy

    Procedures used for determining the stage of breast cancer should be modified for pregnant women to avoid radiation exposure to the fetus. Nuclear scans cause fetal radiation exposure.[1] If such scans are essential for evaluation, hydration and Foley catheter drainage of the bladder can be used to prevent retention of radioactivity. Timing of the exposure to radiation relative to the gestational age of the fetus may be more critical than the actual dose of radiation delivered.[2] Radiation exposure during the first trimester (>0.1 Gy) may lead to congenital malformations, mental retardation, and increased relative risk of carcinogenesis. Doses greater than 1 Gy may produce congenital abnormalities. Doses of 0.1 Gy may result in fewer defects. Chest x-rays with abdominal shielding are considered safe, but as with all radiologic procedures, they should be used only when essential for making treatment decisions.[1,3] A chest x-ray delivers 0.00008 Gy.[4]For the diagnosis of bone

  3. Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Other Considerations for Pregnancy and Breast Cancer

    LactationSuppression of lactation does not improve prognosis. If surgery is planned, however, lactation should be suppressed to decrease the size and vascularity of the breasts. If chemotherapy is to be given, lactation should also be suppressed because many antineoplastics (i.e., cyclophosphamide and methotrexate), when given systemically, may occur in high levels in breast milk and would affect the nursing baby. In general, women receiving chemotherapy should not breastfeed.Fetal Consequences of Maternal Breast CancerNo damaging effects on the fetus from maternal breast cancer have been demonstrated, and there are no reported cases of maternal-fetal transfer of breast cancer cells. Consequences of Pregnancy in Patients with a History of Breast CancerBased on limited retrospective data, pregnancy does not appear to compromise the survival of women with a previous history of breast cancer, and no deleterious effects have been demonstrated in the fetus.[1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9] Some

  4. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - General Information About Breast Cancer

    Other PDQ summaries containing information related to breast cancer.

  5. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Special Populations

    Individuals With Little to Gain from ScreeningWomen with limited life expectancyAchieving balance between the benefits and harms of screening is especially important for women with a life expectancy of 5 years or less. Such women might have end-stage renal disease, severe dementia, terminal cancer, or severe comorbid disease with functional dependencies in activities of daily living. Early cancer detection and prompt treatment are unlikely to reduce morbidity or mortality within a woman's 5 years of expected survival, but the negative consequences of screening will occur immediately. Abnormal screening may trigger additional testing, with the attendant anxiety. In particular, the detection of a low-risk malignancy would probably result in a recommendation for treatment, which could impair rather than improve quality of life, without improving survival. Despite these considerations, many women with poor life expectancy due to age or health status often undergo screening

  6. Breast Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Health Professional 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.

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

    Early Stage Breast Cancer (Stage I and Stage II)Treatment of early stage breast cancer (stage I and stage II) may be surgery followed by adjuvant therapy as follows: Modified radical mastectomy.Breast-conserving surgery: Lumpectomy, partial mastectomy or segmental mastectomy.Breast-conserving surgery during pregnancy followed by radiation therapy after the baby is born.Surgery during pregnancy followed by chemotherapy after the first 3 months of pregnancy.Clinical trials of surgery followed by hormone therapy with or without chemotherapy.Late Stage Breast Cancer (Stage III and Stage IV)Treatment of late stage breast cancer (stage III and stage IV) may include the following:Radiation therapy.Chemotherapy.Radiation therapy and chemotherapy should not be given during the first 3 months of pregnancy.

  8. Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer (PDQ®): Genetics - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Get More Information From NCI

    Call 1-800-4-CANCERFor more information, U.S. residents may call the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Cancer Information Service toll-free at 1-800-4-CANCER (1-800-422-6237) Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time. A trained Cancer Information Specialist is available to answer your questions.Chat online The NCI's LiveHelp® online chat service provides Internet users with the ability to chat online with an Information Specialist. The service is available from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Information Specialists can help Internet users find information on NCI Web sites and answer questions about cancer. Write to usFor more information from the NCI, please write to this address:NCI Public Inquiries Office9609 Medical Center Dr. Room 2E532 MSC 9760Bethesda, MD 20892-9760Search the NCI Web siteThe NCI Web site provides online access to information on cancer, clinical trials, and other Web sites and organizations that offer support

  9. Breast Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Changes to This Summary (09 / 26 / 2013)

    The PDQ cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above.Editorial changes were made to this summary.This summary is written and maintained by the PDQ Screening and Prevention Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of NCI. The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or NIH. More information about summary policies and the role of the PDQ Editorial Boards in maintaining the PDQ summaries can be found on the About This PDQ Summary and PDQ NCI's Comprehensive Cancer Database pages.

  10. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Changes to This Summary (09 / 20 / 2013)

    The PDQ cancer information summaries are reviewed regularly and updated as new information becomes available. This section describes the latest changes made to this summary as of the date above.Editorial changes were made to this summary.

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