Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in one of several areas of the breast, including the ducts that carry milk to the nipple, small sacs that produce milk (lobules), and nonglandular tissue. Sometimes breast cancer stays in the tissue in which it began. Bit it can also move into other nearby tissue or lymph nodes.

Breast cancer does not discriminate. It affects mothers, daughters, working women, celebrities — and even some men. For women, the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is about 1 in 8; for men it is 1 in 1,000.

Some women are more likely to develop breast cancer than others. They include older women; those who have a mother, sister, or daughter with breast cancer; those who have previously had breast cancer or a benign breast condition; women with dense breasts; those who have had radiation to the chest or breast; and women who drink a lot of alcohol. Having several risk factors doesn't mean a woman will inevitably develop breast cancer. Likewise, having few risk factors doesn't offer 100% protection against it.

Treatments for breast cancer include removal of the affected breast (mastectomy), removal of the tumor and small amount of surrounding tissue (lumpectomy), radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy.

Breast Cancer Articles

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that can develop in one of several areas of the breast, including the ducts that carry milk to the nipple small sacs that produce milk (lobules) non-glandular tissue. Breast cancer is considered invasive when the cancer cells have penetrated the lining of the ducts or lobules. That means the cancer cells can be found in the surrounding tissues, such as fatty and connective tissues or the skin. Noninvasive breast cancer (in situ) occurs when cancer cells fill the ducts but haven't spread into surrounding tissue. (Locked) More »

Stereotactic Biopsy of the Breast

Stereotactic biopsy of the breast is a special type of large core needle biopsy. It is one method of guiding the biopsy needle to the desired location in the breast. Core needle biopsy can also be guided by ultrasound or by the standard x-ray techniques used in mammography. Large core needle biopsy is often the diagnostic method of choice to evaluate abnormalities that are visible on a mammogram but cannot easily be felt by hand. Core needle biopsy may not be suitable for women who have: An irregularity close to the chest wall, the nipple, or the surface of the breast Certain types of calcium deposits in the area of concern Very small breasts In these situations, accurate results from a core needle biopsy may not be possible. Instead, your doctor may recommend a surgical biopsy. (Locked) More »

Finding lung cancer early

A large study evaluating the effectiveness of using CT scans to screen for lung cancer could lead to earlier detection and treatment, and possibly fewer deaths. In November 2010, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) announced preliminary results from the largest randomized trial of lung cancer screening ever conducted. The study, called the National Lung Screening Trial (NLST), included over 53,000 current and former heavy smokers, ages 55 to 74, who had no signs or symptoms of lung cancer when they agreed to be in the study. The full results of the trial haven't even been reported yet. The NCI has said publication in a peer-reviewed journal is scheduled for some time in 2011. The full results should have breakdowns by gender, race, smoking status (current vs. former), and other details that may be revealing about who will benefit most from screening with CT scans. More »

Calcium beyond the bones

Though calcium is essential for bones and muscles, it can accumulate in the body in unwanted places. There is concern that calcium intake may be to blame for calcium buildups in joint and tendons as well as kidney stones and breast calcifications. So how does calcium get deposited beyond the bones? Here's what we know so far. More »