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Breast Cancer Health Center

Medical Reference Related to Breast Cancer

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - Treatment Options for Lobular Carcinoma In Situ (LCIS)

    Treatment of lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS) may include the following:Biopsy to diagnose the LCIS followed by regular examinations and regular mammograms to find any changes as early as possible. This is called observation.Tamoxifen to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer.Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy. This treatment choice is sometimes used in women who have a high risk of getting breast cancer. Most surgeons believe that this is a more aggressive treatment than is needed.Clinical trials testing cancer prevention drugs.Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with lobular breast carcinoma in situ. For more specific results, refine the search by using other search features, such as the location of the trial, the type of treatment, or the name of the drug. General information about clinical trials is available from the NCI Web site.

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

  6. Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Treatment - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Early Stage Breast Cancer (Stage I and II)

    Surgery is recommended as the primary treatment of breast cancer in pregnant women. Since radiation in therapeutic doses may expose the fetus to potentially harmful scatter radiation,[1] modified radical mastectomy is the treatment of choice. Conservative surgery with postpartum radiation therapy has been used for breast preservation.[2] An analysis has been performed that helps to predict the risk of waiting to have radiation.[3,4]If adjuvant chemotherapy is necessary, it should not be given during the first trimester to avoid the risk of teratogenicity. Chemotherapy given after the first trimester is generally not associated with a high risk of fetal malformation but may be associated with premature labor and fetal wastage. If considered necessary, chemotherapy may be given after the first trimester. Data on the immediate and long-term effects of chemotherapy on the fetus are limited.[2,4,5,6,7,8,9]Studies using adjuvant hormonal therapy alone or in combination with chemotherapy

  7. Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - 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 the treatment of 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 which

  8. 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

  9. Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - 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.

  10. Breast Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Description of Evidence

    BackgroundIncidence and mortalityWith an estimated 232,340 cases expected, breast cancer will be the most frequently diagnosed nonskin malignancy in U.S. women in 2013.[1] In the same year, breast cancer will kill an estimated 39,620 women, second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer mortality in women. Breast cancer also occurs in men, and it is estimated that 2,240 new cases will be diagnosed in 2013.[1] Despite a prior long-term trend of gradually increasing breast cancer incidence, data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program show a decrease in breast cancer mortality of 1.9% per year from 1998 to 2007.[2]Screening for breast cancer decreases mortality by identifying and treating cases at an earlier stage. Screening also identifies more cases than would become symptomatic in a woman's lifetime, so breast cancer

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