Cancer

Team finds key to common cancer pathway

Scientists have long known that the protein p53, when mutated, is a critical factor in the onset of many different kinds of cancer. In its unmutated form, however, it is known to protect against cancer.

Medications

Stress hormones promote breast cancer metastasis

It has long been thought that stress contributes to cancer progression. Scientists from the University of Basel and the University Hospital of Basel have deciphered the molecular mechanisms linking breast cancer metastasis ...

Cancer

Infertility is linked to small increased risk of cancer

A study of over 64,000 women of childbearing age in the USA has found that infertility is associated with a higher risk of developing cancer compared to a group of over three million women without fertility problems, although ...

Cancer

A peek into lymph nodes

The vast majority of cancer deaths occur due to the spread of cancer from one organ to another, which can happen either through the blood or the lymphatic system. However, it can be tricky to detect this early enough. Researchers ...

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Breast cancer (malignant breast neoplasm) is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas. Breast cancer is a disease of humans and other mammals; while the overwhelming majority of cases in humans are women, men can sometimes also develop breast cancer.

The size, stage, rate of growth, and other characteristics of the tumor determine the kinds of treatment. Treatment may include surgery, drugs (hormonal therapy and chemotherapy), radiation and/or immunotherapy. Surgical removal of the tumor provides the single largest benefit, with surgery alone being capable of producing a cure in many cases. To somewhat increase the likelihood of long-term disease-free survival, several chemotherapy regimens are commonly given in addition to surgery. Most forms of chemotherapy kill cells that are dividing rapidly anywhere in the body, and as a result cause temporary hair loss and digestive disturbances. Radiation is indicated especially after breast conserving surgery and substantially improves local relapse rates and in many circumstances also overall survival. Some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones such as estrogen and/or progesterone, which makes it possible to treat them by blocking the effects of these hormones.

Worldwide, breast cancer comprises 22.9% of all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) in women. In 2008, breast cancer caused 458,503 deaths worldwide (13.7% of cancer deaths in women). Breast cancer is more than 100 times more common in women than breast cancer in men, although males tend to have poorer outcomes due to delays in diagnosis.

Prognosis and survival rate varies greatly depending on cancer type, staging and treatment. However, survival rates across the world are generally good. Overall more than 8 out of 10 women (84%) in England that are diagnosed with the disease survive it for at least 5 years.

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