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Breast Cancer Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Breast Cancer

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Breast Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Health Professional Information [NCI] - About This PDQ Summary

    Purpose of This SummaryThis PDQ cancer information summary for health professionals provides comprehensive, peer-reviewed, evidence-based information about breast cancer prevention. 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 Screening and Prevention 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

  4. Genetics of Breast and Ovarian Cancer (PDQ®): Genetics - Health Professional Information [NCI] - High-Penetrance Breast and / or Ovarian Cancer Susceptibility Genes

    BRCA1andBRCA2IntroductionEpidemiologic studies have clearly established the role of family history as an important risk factor for both breast and ovarian cancer. After gender and age, a positive family history is the strongest known predictive risk factor for breast cancer. However, it has long been recognized that in some families, there is hereditary breast cancer, which is characterized by an early age of onset, bilaterality, and the presence of breast cancer in multiple generations in an apparent autosomal dominant pattern of transmission (through either the maternal or paternal lineage), sometimes including tumors of other

  5. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - 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.

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

  7. Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - nci_ncicdr0000062770-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 Treatment and Pregnancy

  8. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Triple-Negative Breast Cancer

    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is defined as the absence of staining for estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2/neu. TNBC is insensitive to some of the most effective therapies available for breast cancer treatment including HER2-directed therapy such as trastuzumab and endocrine therapies such as tamoxifen or the aromatase inhibitors. Combination cytotoxic chemotherapy administered in a dose-dense or metronomic schedule remains the standard therapy for early-stage TNBC.[1] A prospective analysis of 1,118 patients who received neoadjuvant chemotherapy at a single institution, of whom 255 (23%) had TNBC, found that patients with TNBC had higher pathologic complete response (pCR) rates compared with non-TNBC patients (22% vs. 11%; P = 0.034).[2][Level of evidence: 3iiDiv] Improved pCR rates may be important since in some studies, pCR is associated with improved long-term outcomes.Platinum agents have recently emerged as drugs of interest for the treatment of TNBC. One

  9. Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Screening - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Breast Cancer

    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. Lobules end in dozens of tiny bulbs that can produce milk. The lobes, lobules, and bulbs are linked by thin tubes called ducts.Anatomy of the female breast. The nipple and areola are shown on the outside of the breast. The lymph nodes, lobes, lobules, ducts, and other parts of the inside of the breast are also shown.Each breast also contains blood vessels and lymph vessels. The lymph vessels carry an almost colorless fluid called lymph. Lymph vessels lead to organs called lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body. They filter substances in lymph and help fight infection and disease. Clusters of lymph nodes are found near the breast in the axilla (under the arm), above the collarbone, and in the chest.See

  10. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - About This PDQ Summary

    About PDQPhysician Data Query (PDQ) is the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) comprehensive cancer information database. The PDQ database contains summaries of the latest published information on cancer prevention, detection, genetics, treatment, supportive care, and complementary and alternative medicine. Most summaries come in two versions. The health professional versions have detailed information written in technical language. The patient versions are written in easy-to-understand, nontechnical language. Both versions have cancer information that is accurate and up to date and most versions are also available in Spanish.PDQ is a service of the NCI. The NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH is the federal government's center of biomedical research. The PDQ summaries are based on an independent review of the medical literature. They are not policy statements of the NCI or the NIH.Purpose of This SummaryThis PDQ cancer information summary has current

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