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What Is Breast Cancer? What Causes Breast Cancer? Breast Cancer


Editor's Choice
Main Category: Breast Cancer What Is Breast Cancer?
Also Included In: Cancer / Oncology; Women's Health / Gynecology Tweet
Breast cancer is a tumor
Last Updated: 01 May 2013 that has become
Original Date: 17 Jul 2012 malignant - it has
developed from the
Like 493 breast cells. A
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'malignant' tumor can
spread to other parts of
Breast cancer is a kind of cancer that the body - it may also
develops from breast cells. Breast invade surrounding tissue. When it spreads around the
cancer usually starts off in the inner body, we call it 'metastasis'. Read more...
lining of milk ducts or the lobules that
supply them with milk. A malignant
tumor can spread to other parts of the Most Popular Articles
body. A breast cancer that started off in
the lobules is known as lobular 1 Month 3 Months 6 Months
carcinoma, while one that developed
from the ducts is called ductal 10 Years On Tamoxifen Halves Breast Cancer
Recurrence Risk
1
carcinoma.
Which Women Should Receive Preventive Breast
Cancer Drugs?
2
The vast majority of breast cancer cases
occur in females. This article focuses on Current ratings for:
breast cancer in women. To read about What Is Breast Cancer? What Causes Breast Cancer?
We Need More Breast Cancer Trials For Younger
Patients Urge Experts
3
breast cancer in men (male breast cancer)
Patient / Public: 3.92 (12 votes)
click here. Healthcare Prof: 4.67 (6 votes)
Reducing Your Risk Of Breast Cancer 4
Article opinions: 12 posts
Breast cancer is the most common invasive
Cancer Spread May Be Stopped By Blocking
Development Protein
5
cancer in females worldwide. It accounts for
16% of all female cancers and 22.9% of invasive cancers in women. 18.2% of all cancer deaths Breast Cancer Screening Does Not Reduce
Deaths Says Study Of 40 Years Of
6
worldwide, including both males and females, are from breast cancer. Mammograms

Breast cancer rates are much higher in developed nations compared to developing ones. Osteoporosis Drug Bazedoxifene Stops Growth Of
Breast Cancer Cells
7
There are several reasons for this, with possibly life-expectancy being one of the key factors -
breast cancer is more common in elderly women; women in the richest countries live much South Asian Women Have Higher Breast Cancer
Risk Than White Women, UK
8
longer than those in the poorest nations. The different lifestyles and eating habits of females in
rich and poor countries are also contributory factors, experts believe.

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The anatomy of a female breast
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1. Chest wall. 2. Pectoralis muscles. 3. Lobules (glands that make milk). 4. Nipple surface. 5. www.drbrill.com/Augmentations
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What are cancer symptoms?
A mature human female's breast consists of fat, connective tissue and thousands of lobules - www.healio.com/CancerSymptoms
Ask the Experts: Find out what exactly
tiny glands which produce milk. The milk of a breastfeeding mother goes through tiny ducts the symptoms of cancer are.
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The breast, like any other part of the body, consists of billions of microscopic cells. These cells Doctor: Know These 3 Warning Signs
You're About to Suffer Dementia
multiply in an orderly fashion - new cells are made to replace the ones that died. In cancer, the
cells multiply uncontrollably, and there are too many cells, progressively more and more than Osteoporosis Treatment
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Cancer that begins in the lactiferous duct (milk duct), known as ductal carcinoma, is the most
common type. Cancer that begins in the lobules, known as lobular carcinoma, is much less
Conditions Information
common.
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What is the difference between invasive and non-invasive breast cancer?
View list of all 'What Is...' articles »
Invasive breast cancer - the cancer cells break out from inside the lobules or ducts and
invade nearby tissue. With this type of cancer, the abnormal cells can reach the lymph nodes,
and eventually make their way to other organs (metastasis), such as the bones, liver or lungs.
The abnormal (cancer) cells can travel through the bloodstream or the lymphatic system to
other parts of the body; either early on in the disease, or later.

Non-invasive breast cancer - this is when the cancer is still inside its place of origin and has
not broken out. Lobular carcinoma in situ is when the cancer is still inside the lobules, while
ductal carcinoma in situ is when they are still inside the milk ducts. "In situ" means "in its original
place". Sometimes, this type of breast cancer is called "pre-cancerous"; this means that
although the abnormal cells have not spread outside their place of origin, they can eventually
develop into invasive breast cancer.

What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?


A symptom is only felt by the patient, and is described to the doctor or nurse, such as a
headache or pain. A sign is something the patient and others can detect, for example, a rash or
swelling.

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The first symptoms of breast cancer are usually an area of thickened tissue in the woman's
breast, or a lump. The majority of lumps are not cancerous; however, women should get them
checked by a health care professional.

According to the National Health Service,


UK, women who detect any of the following
signs or symptoms should tell their doctor:

A lump in a breast
A pain in the armpits or breast that
does not seem to be related to the
woman's menstrual period
Pitting or redness of the skin of the
breast; like the skin of an orange
A rash around (or on) one of the
nipples
A swelling (lump) in one of the armpits
An area of thickened tissue in a breast
One of the nipples has a discharge;
sometimes it may contain blood
The nipple changes in appearance; it
may become sunken or inverted Some of the possible early signs of breast cancer

The size or the shape of the breast


changes
The nipple-skin or breast-skin may have started to peel, scale or flake

What are the causes of breast cancer?


Experts are not sure what causes breast cancer. It is hard to say why one person develops the
disease while another does not. We know that some risk factors can impact on a woman's
likelihood of developing breast cancer.

Getting older - the older a woman gets, the higher is her risk of developing breast
cancer; age is a risk factor. Over 80% of all female breast cancers occur among women
aged 50+ years (after the menopause).

Genetics - women who have a close relative who has/had breast or ovarian cancer are
more likely to develop breast cancer. If two close family members develop the disease, it
does not necessarily mean they shared the genes that make them more vulnerable,
because breast cancer is a relatively common cancer.

The majority of breast cancers are not hereditary.

Women who carry the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have a considerably higher risk of
developing breast and/or ovarian cancer. These genes can be inherited. TP53, another
gene, is also linked to greater breast cancer risk.

A history of breast cancer - women who have had breast cancer, even non-invasive
cancer, are more likely to develop the disease again, compared to women who have no
history of the disease.

Having had certain types of breast lumps - women who have had some types of
benign (non-cancerous) breast lumps are more likely to develop cancer later on. Examples
include atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ.

Dense breast tissue - women with more dense breast tissue have a greater chance of

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developing breast cancer.

Estrogen exposure - women who started having periods earlier or entered menopause
later than usual have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. This is because their
bodies have been exposed to estrogen for longer. Estrogen exposure begins when
periods start, and drops dramatically during the menopause.

Obesity - post-menopausal obese and overweight women may have a higher risk of
developing breast cancer. Experts say that there are higher levels of estrogen in obese
menopausal women, which may be the cause of the higher risk.

Height - taller-than-average women have a slightly greater likelihood of developing breast


cancer than shorter-than-average women. Experts are not sure why.

Alcohol consumption - the more alcohol a woman regularly drinks, the higher her risk of
developing breast cancer is.

Radiation exposure - undergoing X-rays and CT scans may raise a woman's risk of
developing breast cancer slightly. Scientists at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Center found that women who had been treated with radiation to the chest for a childhood
cancer have a higher risk of developing breast cancer. (Link to article)

HRT (hormone replacement therapy) - both forms, combined and estrogen-only HRT
therapies may increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer slightly. Combined
HRT causes a higher risk.

Certain jobs - French researchers found that women who worked at night prior to a first
pregnancy had a higher risk of eventually developing breast cancer. (Link to article)

Canadian researchers found that certain jobs, especially those that bring the human body
into contact with possible carcinogens and endocrine disruptors are linked to a higher risk
of developing breast cancer. Examples include bar/gambling, automotive plastics
manufacturing, metal-working, food canning and agriculture. They reported their findings
in the November 2012 issue of Environmental Health.

Cosmetic implants may undermine breast cancer survival - women who have
cosmetic breast implants and develop breast cancer may have a higher risk of dying
prematurely form the disease compared to other females, researchers from Canada
reported in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) (May 2013 issue).

The team looked at twelve peer-reviewed articles on observational studies which had been
carried out in Europe, the USA and Canada.

Experts had long-wondered whether cosmetic breast implants might make it harder to spot
malignancy at an early stage, because they produce shadows on mammograms.

In this latest study, the authors found that a woman with a cosmetic breast implant has a
25% higher risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer when the disease has already
advanced, compared to those with no implants.

Women with cosmetic breast implants who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a 38%
higher risk of death from the disease, compared to other patients diagnosed with the same
disease who have no implants, the researchers wrote.

After warning that there were some limitations in the twelve studies they looked at, the
authors concluded "Further investigations are warranted into the long term effects of
cosmetic breast implants on the detection and prognosis of breast cancer, adjusting for
potential confounders."

Diagnosing breast cancer

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Women are usually diagnosed with breast cancer after a routine breast cancer screening, or
after detecting certain signs and symptoms and seeing their doctor about them.

If a woman detects any of the breast cancer signs and symptoms described above, she should
speak to her doctor immediately. The doctor, often a primary care physician (general
practitioner, GP) initially, will carry out a physical exam, and then refer the patient to a specialist
if he/she thinks further assessment is needed.

Below are examples of diagnostic tests and procedures for breast cancer:

Breast exam - the physician will check both the patient's breasts, looking out for lumps
and other possible abnormalities, such as inverted nipples, nipple discharge, or change in
breast shape. The patient will be asked to sit/stand with her arms in different positions,
such as above her head and by her sides.

X-ray (mammogram) - commonly used for breast cancer screening. If anything unusual is
found, the doctor may order a diagnostic mammogram.

Breast cancer screening has become a controversial subject over the last few years.
Experts, professional bodies, and patient groups cannot currently agree on when
mammography screening should start and how often it should occur. Some say routine
screening should start when the woman is 40 years old, others insist on 50 as the best
age, and a few believe that only high-risk groups should have routine screening.

In July, 2012, The American Medical Association said that women should be eligible for
screening mammography from the age of 40, and it should be covered by insurance.

In a Special Report in The Lancet (October 30th, 2012 issue), a panel of experts explained
that breast cancer screening does reduce the risk of death from the disease. However,
they added that it also creates more cases of false-positive results, where women end up
having unnecessary biopsies and harmless tumors are surgically removed.

Another study, carried out by scientists at the The Dartmouth Institute for Healthy Policy &
Clinical Practice in Lebanon, N.H., and reported in the New England Journal of Medicine
(November 2012 issue), found that mammograms do not reduce breast cancer death
rates.

A team from the University of Copenhagen reported that women who have false-positive
mammogram outcomes may suffer long-lasting stress and anxiety, in some cases this can
last up to three years. They published their findings in Annals of Family Medicine (March
2013 issue).

Researchers from the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit, Michigan, found
that breast cancer mortality was higher among older women whose time-lapses between
their last mammogram and their breast cancer diagnosis were longer. They presented
their findings at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting
2013.

Team leader, Michael S. Simon, M.D., M.P.H., said "We found that for women age 75 and
older, a longer time interval between the last mammogram and the date of breast cancer
diagnosis was associated with a greater chance for dying from breast cancer."

2D combined with 3D mammograms - 3D mammograms, when used in collaboration


with regular 2D mammograms were found to reduce the incidence of false positives,
researchers from the University of Sydney's School of Public Health, Australia, reported in
The Lancet Oncology.

The researchers screened 7,292 adult females, average age 58 years. Their initial
screening was done using 2D mammograms, and then they underwent a combination of
2D and 3D mammograms.

Professor Nehmat Houssami and team found 59 cancers in 57 patients. 66% of the
cancers were detected in both 2D and combined 2D/3D screenings. However, 33% of them
were only detected using the 2D plus 3D combination.

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The team also found that 2D plus 3D combination screenings were linked to a much lower
number of false positives. When using just 2D screenings there were 141 false positives,
compared to 73 using the 2D plus 3D combination.

Prof. Houssami said "Although controversial, mammography screening is the only


population-level early detection strategy that has been shown to reduce breast cancer
mortality in randomized trials. Irrespective of which side of the mammography screening
debate one supports, efforts should be made to investigate methods that enhance the
quality of, and hence potential benefit from, mammography screening.

We have shown that integrated 2D and 3D mammography in population breast-cancer


screening increases detection of breast cancer and can reduce false-positive recalls
depending on the recall strategy. Our results do not warrant an immediate change to
breast-screening practice, instead, they show the urgent need for randomised controlled
trials of integrated 2D and 3D versus 2D mammography."

Beast ultrasound - this type of scan may help doctors decide whether a lump or
abnormality is a solid mass or a fluid-filled cyst.

Biopsy - a sample of tissue from an apparent abnormality, such as a lump, is surgically


removed and sent to the lab for analysis. It the cells are found to be cancerous, the lab will
also determine what type of breast cancer it is, and the grade of cancer (aggressiveness).
Scientists from the Technical University of Munich found that for an accurate diagnosis,
multiple tumor sites need to be taken. (Link to article)

Breast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan - a dye is injected into the patient.
This type of scan helps the doctor determine the extent of the cancer. Researchers from
the University of California in San Francisco found that MRI provides a useful indication of
a breast tumor's response to pre-surgical chemotherapy much earlier than possible
through clinical examination. (Link to article)

Staging describes the extent of the cancer in the patient's body and is based on whether it is
invasive or non-invasive, how large the tumor is, whether lymph nodes are involved and how
many, and whether it has metastasized (spread to other parts of the body).

A cancer's stage is a crucial factor in deciding what treatment options to recommend, and in
determining the patient's prognosis.

Staging is done after cancer is diagnosed. To do the staging, the doctor may order several
different tests, including blood tests, a mammogram, a chest X-ray, a bone scan, a CT scan, or
a PET scan.

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What are the treatment options for breast cancer?


A multidisciplinary team will be involved in a breast cancer patient's treatment. The team may
consists of an oncologist, radiologist, specialist cancer surgeon, specialist nurse, pathologist,
radiologist, radiographer, and reconstructive surgeon. Sometimes the team may also include an
occupational therapist, psychologist, dietitian, and physical therapist.

The team will take into account several factors when deciding on the best treatment for the

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patient, including:

The type of breast cancer

The stage and grade of the breast cancer - how large the tumor is, whether or not it has
spread, and if so how far

Whether or not the cancer cells are sensitive to hormones

The patient's overall health

The age of the patient (has she been through the menopause?)

The patient's own preferences

The main breast cancer treatment options may include:

Radiation therapy (radiotherapy)


Surgery
Biological therapy (targeted drug therapy)
Hormone therapy
Chemotherapy

Surgery

Lumpectomy - surgically removing the tumor and a small margin of healthy tissue around
it. In breast cancer, this is often called breast-sparing surgery. This type of surgery may be
recommended if the tumor is small and the surgeon believes it will be easy to separate
from the tissue around it. British researchers reported that about one fifth of breast cancer
patients who choose breast-conserving surgery instead of mastectomy eventually need a
reoperation. (Link to article)

Mastectomy - surgically removing the breast. Simple mastectomy involves removing the
lobules, ducts, fatty tissue, nipple, areola, and some skin. Radical mastectomy means also
removing muscle of the chest wall and the lymph nodes in the armpit.

Sentinel node biopsy - one lymph node is surgically removed. If the breast cancer has
reached a lymph node it can spread further through the lymphatic system into other parts
of the body.

Axillary lymph node dissection - if the sentinel node was found to have cancer cells,
the surgeon may recommend removing several nymph nodes in the armpit.

Breast reconstruction surgery - a series of surgical procedures aimed at recreating a


breast so that it looks as much as possible like the other breast. This procedure may be
carried out at the same time as a mastectomy. The surgeon may use a breast implant, or
tissue from another part of the patient's body.

Radiation therapy (radiotherapy)

Controlled doses of radiation are targeted at the tumor to destroy the cancer cells. Usually,
radiotherapy is used after surgery, as well as chemotherapy to kill off any cancer cells that may
still be around. Typically, radiation therapy occurs about one month after surgery or
chemotherapy. Each session lasts a few minutes; the patient may require three to five sessions
per week for three to six weeks.

The type of breast cancer the woman has will decide what type of radiation therapy she may
have to undergo. In some cases, radiotherapy is not needed.

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Radiation therapy types include:

Breast radiation therapy - after a lumpectomy, radiation is administered to the remaining


breast tissue

Chest wall radiation therapy - this is applied after a mastectomy

Breast boost - a high-dose of radiation therapy is applied to where the tumor was
surgically removed. The appearance of the breast may be altered, especially if the
patient's breasts are large.

Lymph nodes radiation therapy - the radiation is aimed at the axilla (armpit) and
surrounding area to destroy cancer cells that have reached the lymph nodes

Breast brachytherapy - scientists at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center revealed that
patients with early-stage breast cancer in the milk ducts which has not spread, seem to
benefit from undergoing breast brachytherapy with a strut-based applicator. This 5-day
treatment is given to patients after they have undergone lumpectomy surgery. The
researchers found that women who received strut-based breast brachytherapy had lower
recurrence rates, as well as fewer and less severe side effects. (Link to article)

Side effects of radiation therapy may include fatigue, lymphedema, darkening of the breast
skin, and irritation of the breast skin.

Chemotherapy

Medications are used to kill the cancer cells - these are called cytotoxic drugs. The oncologist
may recommend chemotherapy if there is a high risk of cancer recurrence, or the cancer
spreading elsewhere in the body. This is called adjuvant chemotherapy.

If the tumors are large, chemotherapy may be administered before surgery. The aim is to shrink
the tumor, making its removal easier. This is called neo-adjuvant chemotherapy.

Chemotherapy may also be administered if the cancer has metastasized - spread to other parts
of the body. Chemotherapy is also useful in reducing some of the symptoms caused by cancer.

Chemotherapy may help stop estrogen production. Estrogen can encourage the growth of
some breast cancers.

Side effects of chemotherapy may include nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue, sore
mouth, hair loss, and a slightly higher susceptibility to infections. Many of these side effects can
be controlled with medications the doctor can prescribe. Women over 40 may enter early
menopause.

Protecting female fertility - Scientists have designed a way of aggressively attacking cancer
with an arsenic-based chemo medication, which is much gentler on the ovaries. The
researchers, from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, believe
their novel method will help protect the fertility of female patients undergoing cancer treatment.

The scientists say they also developed a way of rapidly testing existing chemotherapy drugs for
their effect on ovarian function, so that doctors and patients can make decisions regarding
treatment that minimize damage to ovaries.

They reported their findings in the journal PLOS ONE (March 2013 issue). The authors claim
that the new nanoparticle chemo medication they designed is the first cancer drug to be tested
during development for its impact on fertility using the new rapid toxicity test.

Although more cancer patients are surviving today thanks to the advances in cancer therapies,
a significant number of female patients still face fertility loss after undergoing traditional
chemotherapy.

Co-principal study investigator Teresa Woodruff, said "Our overall goal is to create smart drugs

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that kill the cancer but don't cause sterility in young women."

Hormone therapy (hormone blocking therapy)

Used for breast cancers that are sensitive to hormones. These types of cancer are often
referred to as ER positive (estrogen receptor positive) and PR positive (progesterone receptor
positive) cancers. The aim is to prevent cancer recurrence. Hormone blocking therapy is
usually used after surgery, but may sometimes be used beforehand to shrink the tumor.

If for health reasons, the patient cannot undergo surgery, chemotherapy or radiotherapy,
hormone therapy may be the only treatment she receives.

Hormone therapy will have no effect on cancers that are not sensitive to hormones.

Hormone therapy usually lasts up to five years after surgery.

The following hormone therapy medications may be used:

Tamoxifen - prevents estrogen from binding to ER-positive cancer cells. Side effects may
include changes in periods, hot flashes, weight gain, headaches, nausea, vomiting,
fatigue, and aching joints.

A biomarker in breast cancer patients who do not respond, or who have become resistant
to Tamoxifen has been discovered by researchers at the University of Manchester,
England. They say that their discovery will help doctors decide which patients are suitable
or not for adjuvant (complementary) hormone therapy with Tamoxifen.

Aromatase inhibitors - this type of medication may be offered to women who have been
through the menopause. It blocks aromatase. Aromatase helps estrogen production after
the menopause. Before the menopause, a woman's ovaries produce estrogen. Examples
of aromatase inhibitors include letrozole, exemestane, and anastrozole. Side effects may
include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, skin rashes, headaches, bone pain, aching joints, loss
of libido, sweats, and hot flashes.

Ovarian ablation or suppression - pre-menopausal women produce estrogen in their


ovaries. Ovarian ablation or suppression stop the ovaries from producing estrogen.
Ablation is done either through surgery or radiation therapy - the woman's ovaries will
never work again, and she will enter the menopause early.

A luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist (LHRHa) drug called Goserelin will


suppress the ovaries. The patient's periods will stop during treatment, but will start again
when she stops taking Goserelin. Women of menopausal age (about 50 years) will
probably never start having periods again. Side effects may include mood changes,
sleeping problems, sweats, and hot flashes.

Biological treatment (targeted drugs)

Trastuzumab (Herceptin) - this monoclonal antibody targets and destroys cancer cells
that are HER2-positive. Some breast cancer cells produce large amounts of HER2 (growth
factor receptor 2); Herceptin targets this protein. Possible side effects may include skin
rashes, headaches, and/or heart damage.

Lapatinib (Tykerb) - this drug targets the HER2 protein. It is also used for the treatment
of advanced metastatic breast cancer. Tykerb is used on patients who did not respond well
to Herceptin. Side effects include painful hands, painful feet, skin rashes, mouth sores,
extreme tiredness, diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.

Bevacizumab (Avastin) - stops the cancer cells from attracting new blood vessels,
effectively causing the tumor to be starved of nutrients and oxygen. Side effects may
include congestive heart failure, hypertension (high blood pressure), kidney damage,
heart damage, blood clots, headaches, mouth sores. Although not approved by the FDA
for this use, doctors may prescribe it "off-label". Using this drug for breast cancer is
controversial. The FDA in 2011 said that Avastin is neither effective nor safe for breast

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cancer. (Link to article)

Swiss researchers found that Avastin offers only a modest benefit regarding disease
progression in women with advanced stage breast cancer. They added that it has no
impact on survival. (Link to article)

Low dose aspirin

Research carried out on laboratory mice and test tubes suggests that regular low-dose
aspirin may halt the growth and spread of breast cancer.

Scientists from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City and the University of
Kansas Medical Center explained that their tests on cancer lines and in mice showed that
aspirin not only slowed the growth of cancer cells and shrank tumors considerably, but
also stopped metastasis (cancer spreading to new sites).

Their research involved assessing aspirin's effects on two types of cancer, including the
aggressive "triple-negative" breast cancer which is resistant to most current treatments.

Cancer campaigners cautioned that although the current results show great promise, this
research is at a very early stage and has yet to be shown to be effective on humans.

Exercise and cancer survival rates - an report published in the Journal of the National
Cancer Institute explained that physical activity is associated with lower rates of breast and
colon cancer deaths. (Link to article)

Preventing breast cancer


Some lifestyle changes can help significantly reduce a woman's risk of developing breast
cancer.

Alcohol consumption - women who drink in moderation, or do not drink alcohol at all, are
less likely to develop breast cancer compared to those who drink large amounts regularly.
Moderation means no more than one alcoholic drink per day.

Physical exercise - exercising five days a week has been shown to reduce a woman's
risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers from the University of North Carolina
Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill reported that physical activity - either
mild or intense and before or after menopause - can lower breast cancer risk, but
considerable weight gain may negate these benefits. (Link to article)

Diet - some experts say that women who follow a healthy, well-balanced diet may reduce
their risk of developing breast cancer.

Postmenopausal hormone therapy - limiting hormone therapy may help reduce the risk
of developing breast cancer. It is important for the patient to discuss the pros and cons
thoroughly with her doctor.

Bodyweight - women who have a healthy bodyweight have a considerably lower chance
of developing breast cancer compared to obese and overweight females.

Women at high risk of breast cancer - the doctor may recommend estrogen-blocking
drugs, including tamoxifen and raloxifene. Tamoxifen may raise the risk of uterine cancer.
Preventive surgery is a possible option for women at very high risk.

Breast cancer screening - patients should discuss with their doctor when to start breast
cancer screening exams and tests.

Breastfeeding - women who breastfeed run a lower risk of developing breast cancer
compared to other women.

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Survivors of breast cancer and diabetes risk
Postmenopausal women who survived breast cancer are more likely to develop diabetes,
compared to other women of their age who did not have breast cancer, researchers from the
Women's College Hospital, Women's College Research Institute, Toronto, reported in the
journal Diabetologia.

The authors added that breast cancer survivors who had undergone chemotherapy were
especially at risk of developing diabetes.

Over the last few years, scientists have become increasingly aware of a link between cancer
and diabetes. The association works the other way round too - women with diabetes are 20%
more likely to develop breast cancer after the menopause compared to their counterparts who
are not diabetic.

More women are surviving breast cancer, experts say, making it much more important to
understand what the long-term outcomes for survivors are as they grow older.

Written by Christian Nordqvist


Original article date: 5 February 2006. Article updated: 14th December 2012

View drug information on Avastin; Herceptin; Tykerb.

Copyright: Medical News Today


Not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today

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Breast Cancer As Inherited Disease

posted by Bill on 17 Jun 2013 at 4:32 pm

Breast cancer is a complex disease with both genetic and non-genetic risk factors. The
majority of breast cancer cases are sporadic, meaning the patient has no blood relatives
affected with the disease. Most people who develop breast cancer did not inherit an
abnormal breast cancer gene (BRCA1; BRCA2) and have no family history of the disease.
Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH), the most common form of iron overload disease, is an
inherited disorder that causes the body to absorb and store too much iron. Excess iron is
stored throughout the body in organs and tissues. Women often find themselves low on iron
due to the loss of blood during menstruation. HH is an autosomal recessive disorder caused
by mutations in the HFE gene, which regulates the amount of iron absorbed from food. A
person who inherits a defective gene from each parent will develop HH. A person who
inherits a defective gene from one parent is a carrier but usually does not develop the
disease. Carriers, however, might have a slight increase in iron absorption. HH is a common

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disease: 1 in 10 individuals carry one abnormal copy of the affected gene (carriers,
heterozygotes) and 1 in 400 - both copies of the abnormal gene. Joint pain is the most
common complaint of people with HH. However, many people have no symptoms when they
are diagnosed. If HH is not detected early and treated, iron will accumulate in body tissues
and may eventually lead to cancers (breast cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer,
pancreatic cancer). Women with a strong family history of breast cancer who do not have
genes associated with increased risk of breast cancer have mutations in the HFE gene
and/or excess iron in breast tissue after menopause.

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Breast Cancer Genes

posted by Scott on 5 Jun 2013 at 4:52 am

Researchers have found genes (BRCA1, BRCA2, TP53 and PTEN) that can increase a
woman's risk of developing breast cancer. Breast cancers often display extensive structural
and numerical chromosome aberration and have among the most complex karyotyes of all
cancers. Genome rearrangements are potentially an important source of mutation in breast
cancer but little is known about how they might contribute to this disease. Most breast
cancers are considered sporadic with no precise genetic or environmental cause
determined. Researchers should no longer consider genome rearrangement and point
mutation as separate from one another. A defining feature of breast cancer is its
heterogeneity. Breast cancers have distinct histopathological features, genetic and genomic
variability. The challenge of identifying causative mutations in breast cancer has, therefore,
been particularly difficult as hundreds of genes are mutated or rearranged and thousands
of genes are differentially expressed between subtypes of breast tumors.

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prevention of breast cancer

posted by ketan on 16 May 2013 at 8:42 am

it can be controlled by use chemicals or with help microbes

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Iron, Cobalt, Nickel, Aluminum And Breast Cancer

posted by David on 12 Apr 2013 at 2:41 am

All metals can cause disease through excess. Essential metals can affect the human body
in the case of deficiency or imbalance. Toxic and carcinogenic effects are dependent upon
the amount of metal ingested, entry rate, tissue distribution, concentration achieved, and
excretion rate. Particulate matter includes a variety of different compounds that are
naturally present as tiny particles. They include metals-carcinogens such as iron, cobalt
and nickel. Like fibers, particulate matter is most often inhaled, but can also be ingested
into the digestive tract. Metals-carcinogens themselves, their soluble salts, and various
insoluble compounds can produce breast cancer, lung cancer and other cancers. The
prevailing belief around the World is that aluminum is linked to degenerative brain diseases
such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Numerous studies have shown that free iron
concentrations in breast tissue (especially the ductal tissue) is playing a major role in
stimulating breast cancer development. Dietary intake of iron does not always (and
immediately) correlate with breast cancer. That is why some studies found no link between
iron intake in the diet and breast cancer. Some things we do can cause too much of the iron
to be released into surrounding tissues. Excessive estrogen can displace iron from its
protective proteins, thus increasing free iron levels and associated breast cancer risk.
Previously it was thought that a spillover of free iron occurred only when the protective
proteins (transferrin and ferritin) were fully saturated (hemochromatosis). Aluminum (and
alcohol) can displace the iron from its protective proteins, raising the level of carcinogenic
free iron, even when these protective proteins are not fully saturated with iron. If this occurs
within the breast, free iron levels in the breast ductal tissue can become dangerously high

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and over time induce tumor formation. Many inactivated vaccines contain aluminum salts to
boost the immune reaction. Studies have shown that this aluminum is slowly dispersed all
over the body and may be concentrated in breast ducts. With the ability of aluminum to
displace iron from its protective proteins, we may not only see a dramatic increase in breast
cancer, but also other iron-related diseases, such as liver degeneration, neurodegenerative
diseases and diabetes.

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Iron And Breast Carcinogenesis

posted by Thomas on 8 Apr 2013 at 2:34 pm

Free iron is a pro-oxidant. The carcinogenicity of iron has been demonstrated in animal
models, and epidemiologic studies have shown associations with several human cancers. In
addition to its independent role as a pro-oxidant, high levels of free iron may potentiate the
effects of estradiol, ethanol, and ionizing radiation (three established risk factors for breast
cancer). Iron overload and the disruption of iron homeostasis with a resulting increase in
free iron may contribute to the development of breast cancer. Body iron stores increase in
women following menopause. In order to identify the role of iron in breast carcinogenesis,
improved biomarkers of body iron stores are needed, as are cohort studies which assess
heme iron intake.

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fight breast cancer

posted by vanessa on 1 Apr 2013 at 9:15 pm

love our life

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age and breast cancer

posted by sahar d .salman on 16 Mar 2013 at 10:56 am

from my experience as sonologisit in iraq


there is no relation between age and breast ca
now can occur in younger age group

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Breast Cancer Statistics And Ferromagnetic Cancer Theory

posted by Vadim on 9 Jan 2013 at 11:28 pm

Breast cancer is usually treated with surgery and then possibly with chemotherapy or
radiation, or both. Hormone positive cancers are treated with long term hormone blocking
therapy. Breast cancer is one of the leading cause of cancer death among women of all
races and Hispanic origin populations. Non-complicated anti-iron methods of The Old
Testament can beat any breast cancer. Cancer researchers of all races (who can't
understand Iron Conception / Ferromagnetic Cancer Theory) can treat their daughters and
mothers by 'iron surgery' (steel scalpel blades), chemotherapy, radiation and hormone
blocking therapy.

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Breast cancer - why do people believe...?

posted by Nanny on 10 Nov 2012 at 4:34 am

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Why do people believe that the solution to breast cancer is as easy as lowering your iron
intake or boosting your immune system etc with supplements?

Or that current medical treatments are brutal and ineffective? I suspect people who hold
these views have not actually been diagnosed with the disease. It is not a pleasant journey
to be treated for BC but I do believe that treatment based on clinical trials holds the best
hope for survival. As to why we develop BC in the first instance, a lot of the factors are well
understood. The problem with suggesting that you may be consuming too much meat, etc,
etc, lays the "blame" on the patient for their condition, and to my knowledge there is no
actual clinical studies that show these simplistic notions have merit. Give me cut, poison and
burn any day. I believe I will survive because of clinical trials and effective medical treatment
strategies. As to why I got BC, I don't actually care too much, I just deal with it.

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Iron And Breast Cancer

posted by Russell on 22 Sep 2012 at 9:21 pm

Ferroportin is a transmembrane protein that transports iron from the inside of a cell to the
outside of it. The researchers found that ferroportin levels are strikingly lower in breast
tumors than in normal tissue. Ferritin is a ubiquitous intracellular protein that stores iron and
releases it in a controlled fashion. The researchers found that women with breast cancer
had much higher levels of ferritin in their breast fluid, which was 5X higher in women with
breast cancer. Increased concentrations of iron in postmenopausal women, as a result of
menstrual cessation, contribute to a high incidence of breast cancer. Breast cancer rates
are highest in countries with a high standard of living and a high consumption of meat. Iron
is abundant in meat, particularly in red meat and processed meat products. Understanding
the role of iron imbalance in breast cancer could lead to new therapeutic treatments.

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Breast Cancer And Ferromagnetic Theory Of Cancer

posted by Vadim on 17 Sep 2012 at 3:32 am

Breast cancer is a tumor that has become malignant - it has developed from the breast
cells. Breast cancer cells are more likely to spread to certain parts of the body than others.
Breast cancer cells travelling in the lymphatic system can spread to lymph nodes anywhere
in the body. The main breast cancer treatment options may include: radiation therapy
(radiotherapy), surgery [scalpel blades are usually made of hardened and tempered steel,
stainless steel, or high carbon steel; in addition, titanium, CERAMIC, diamond and even
obsidian knives are not uncommon], biological therapy (targeted drug therapy), hormone
therapy and chemotherapy. Breast cancer is the most common cause of death from cancer
in women worldwide. According to the Ferromagnetic Theory of Cancer (Theory from The
Old Testament), any cancer is a subtle iron disease. Any human cell should be interpreted
as a society of dia-, para-, superpara-, ferri- and ferromagnetic nanoparticles. Normal
breast cells are cells with NON-NUMEROUS intracellular superparamagnetic, ferrimagnetic
and ferromagnetic nanoparticles (breast cancer cells - with NUMEROUS). Breast cancer
should be interpreted as intracellular superpara-ferri-ferromagnetic ‘infection’. Cancer
researchers can successfully destroy breast cancer by non-complicated anti-iron methods
of The Old Testament. Anti-iron intratumoral injections [sulfur (2%) + olive oil (98%); 36.6C -
39.0C] (by CERAMIC needles) can suppress any tumors and large metastases. Anti-iron
accurate slow blood loss (even 75%) [hemoglobin control], anti-iron goat’s milk diet and
anti-iron drinking water containing hydrogen sulfide can neutralize any micro-metastases.

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Breast Cancer

posted by libra9 on 9 Aug 2012 at 6:21 am

I am currently an advocate for a woman with invasive ductal carcinoma. Some suggestions:

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It is important for women with dense breast tissue to know that mammograms fail to detect
cancers 60% of the time.

Also, become informed about "radiation-induced breast cancer stem cells." This new
discovery seems to explain why cancer returns to women receiving radiation therapy.

With your doctors permission, re-build your immune system with a naturopathic approach.

Bottom Line: The "community standard" (cut, poison, burn) is quite brutal with many side
effects, including psychological.

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