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    Breast Cancer Health Center

    Medical Reference Related to Breast Cancer

    1. Breast Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - nci_ncicdr0000062751-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

    2. Breast Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - Breast Cancer Screening Modalities—Mammography

      Mammography Description and BackgroundMammography utilizes ionizing radiation to image breast tissue. The examination is performed by compressing the breast firmly between two plates. Such compression spreads out overlapping tissues and reduces the amount of radiation needed to image the breast. For routine screening in the United States, examinations are taken in both mediolateral oblique and craniocaudal projections. Both views should include breast tissue from the nipple to the pectoral muscle. Radiation exposure is 4 to 24 mSv per standard two-view screening examination. Two-view examinations are associated with a lower recall rate than are single-view examinations because they eliminate concern about abnormalities due to superimposition of normal breast structures.[1]Under the Mammography Quality Standards Act (MQSA) enacted by Congress in 1992, all U.S. facilities that perform mammography must be certified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ensure the

    3. Breast Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - 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 Screening - Inflammatory 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.Inflammatory breast cancer of the left breast showing peau d'orange and inverted nipple.

    5. Breast Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - 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, Metastatic or Recurrent - General Information about Breast Cancer and Pregnancy

      Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. The breast is made up of lobes and ducts. Each breast has 15 to 20 sections called lobes,which have many smaller sections called lobules. The lobes and lobules are connected by thin tubes called ducts. Anatomy of the breast,showing lymph nodes and lymph vessels. Each breast also contains blood ...

    7. Breast Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - Stages of Breast Cancer

      After breast cancer has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread within the breast or to other parts of the body. The process used to find out if the cancer has spread within the breast or to other parts of the body is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the stage in order to plan treatment.Methods used to stage breast cancer can be changed to make them safer for the fetus. Standard methods for giving imaging scans can be adjusted so that the fetus is exposed to less radiation. The following tests and procedures may be used in the staging process:Sentinel lymph node biopsy: The removal of the sentinel lymph node during surgery. The sentinel lymph node is the first lymph node to receive lymphatic drainage from a tumor. It is the first lymph node the cancer is likely to spread to from the tumor. A radioactive substance and/or blue dye is injected near the tumor. The

    8. Breast Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - About This PDQ Summary

      Purpose of This SummaryThis PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about the treatment of male breast cancer. It is intended as a resource to inform and assist clinicians who care for cancer patients. It does not provide formal guidelines or recommendations for making health care decisions.Reviewers and UpdatesThis summary is reviewed regularly and updated as necessary by the PDQ Adult Treatment Editorial Board, which is editorially independent of the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The summary reflects an independent review of the literature and does not represent a policy statement of NCI or the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Board members review recently published articles each month to determine whether an article should:be discussed at a meeting,be cited with text, orreplace or update an existing article that is already cited.Changes to the summaries are made through a consensus process in

    9. Breast Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - Breast Cancer Screening Modalities—Beyond Mammography

      Clinical Breast ExaminationNo randomized trials of clinical breast examination (CBE) as a sole screening modality have yet been reported. The Canadian National Breast Screening Study (NBSS) compared high-quality CBE plus mammography to CBE alone in women aged 50 to 59 years (refer to the Clinical Breast Examination section in the Overview section of this summary for more information). CBE, lasting 5 to 10 minutes per breast, was conducted by trained health professionals, with periodic evaluations of performance quality. The frequency of cancer diagnosis, stage, interval cancers, and breast cancer mortality were similar in the two groups and compared favorably with other trials of mammography alone, perhaps because of the careful training and supervision of the health professionals performing CBE.[1] Breast cancer mortality with follow-up 11 to 16 years after entry (mean = 13 years) was similar in the two screening arms (mortality rate ratio, 1.02 [95% confidence interval

    10. Breast Cancer, Metastatic or Recurrent - Breast Cancer Screening Concepts

      BiasNumerous uncontrolled trials and retrospective series have documented the ability of mammography to diagnose small, early-stage breast cancers, which have a favorable clinical course.[1] Although several trials also show better cancer-related survival in screened versus nonscreened women, a number of important biases may explain that finding:Lead-time bias: Survival time for a cancer found mammographically includes the time between detection and the time when the cancer would have been detected because of clinical symptoms, but this time is not included in the survival time of cancers found because of symptoms.Length bias: Mammography detects a cancer while it is preclinical, and preclinical durations vary. Cancers with longer preclinical durations are, by definition, present during more opportunities for discovery and therefore are more likely to be detected by screening; these cancers tend to be slow growing and to have better prognoses, irrespective of screening.Overdiagnosis

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