Breast Cancer Treatment News and Information

What is Breast Cancer and what causes it?

Through advancements in cancer research, better treatments and early detection, more and more women are surviving breast cancer.

Breast cancer begins when cells in the breast start to grow out of control, often resulting in a tumor that can often be seen on an x-ray or felt as a lump. If the tumor is malignant, the cells can invade surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to distant areas of the body. Breast cancer occurs almost entirely in women, but men can get it, too. After skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in women in the United States.

Breast cancers can start in various regions of the breast, however most breast cancers begin in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple (ductal cancers). Breast cancer may also begin in the glandular tissue called lobules (invasive lobular carcinoma) or in other cells or tissue within the breast.

It’s also important to understand that most breast lumps are not cancer, they are benign. Benign breast tumors are abnormal growths, but they do not spread outside of the breast and they are not life threatening.

The precise reasons why some women develop breast cancer and others do not, remains unclear. Women with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop breast cancer. Medical researchers believe that the greater a woman’s exposure to the hormone estrogen, the more susceptible she is to breast cancer. Family history can also be a factor. According to the Mayo Clinic, doctors estimate that about 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations passed through generations of a family. A number of inherited mutated genes that can increase the likelihood of breast cancer have been identified. The most common are breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2), both of which significantly increase the risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.

Breast Cancer Symptoms

In initial stages of the disease, breast cancer may not cause any symptoms. A lump may be too small for you to feel or to cause any unusual noticeable changes. Often, an abnormal area turns up on a screening mammogram (X-ray of the breast), which leads to further testing. Signs and symptoms of breast cancer may include one or more lumps or thickening which feels different surrounding tissue, changes to the skin over the breast, scaling, flaking or peeling of the pigmented area of skin surrounding the nipple (areola) or breast skin, change in the size, discharge from the nipple which is not breast milk, shape or appearance of a breast, breast pain, a newly inverted nipple and redness or pitting of the skin over your breast.

These changes also can be signs of less serious conditions that are not cancerous, such as an infection or a cyst. If you are experiencing any symptoms or feel you may be at risk for developing breast cancer, see your doctor.

For more information regarding breast cancer, please visit the American Cancer Society website.

See below for updated news and information regarding breast cancer including new medical research, treatments and advancements. 

Latest Breast Cancer News

‘Sweet Spot’ for Additional Breast Imaging Found

(SOURCE: RUSH UNIVERSITY MEDICAL CENTER) - Breast cancer detection increases significantly when radiologists recall mammogram patients for additional imaging more often than recommended by the current guidelines, according to a study by a radiologist at Rush. The study determined that the "sweet spot" for finding breast cancer is in the recall range of 12 to 14 percent, compared to the current guidelines of ...
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Big data brings breast cancer research forwards by ‘decades’

(SOURCE: CANCER RESEARCH UK) - Scientists have created a 'map' linking the shape of breast cancer cells to genes turned on and off, and matched it to real disease outcomes, which could one day help doctors select treatments, according to a study published in Genome Research today (Wednesday).* In a revolutionary new approach, Cancer Research UK-funded scientists at The Institute of Cancer ...
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Breast Cancer Treatment News: Natural compound could improve treatment of triple-negative breast cancer

(SOURCE: UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI-COLUMBIA) - More than 100 women die from breast cancer every day in the United States. Triple-negative breast cancers, which comprise 15 to 20 percent of all breast tumors, are a particularly deadly type of breast disease that often metastasize to distant sites. Now, University of Missouri researchers have found that luteolin, a natural compound found in herbs such ...
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Timing of chemo affects inflammation, mice study suggests

(SOURCE: THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY) - Finding ‘sweet spot’ for drug administration could help patients. The time of day that breast cancer chemotherapy drugs are given affects the amount of damaging inflammation in the body, a new study in mice suggests. That’s important because inflammation, particularly in the brain, is believed to contribute to many of the neurological side effects of ...
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Breast Cancer Research Findings: Breast Cancer Prognosis of African-American Patients May Improve with Administration of Chemotherapy Before Surgery, Study Finds

(SOURCE: GEORGIA STATE UNIVERSITY) - Administering chemotherapy to African-American breast cancer patients prior to surgery could improve their prognosis and survival rates from the disease, according to a new study. A research team led by Georgia State University found African-American breast cancer patients who receive chemotherapy prior to surgery exhibit trends of reduced regional (in lymph nodes) recurrence and distant (in remote ...
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Breast Cancer Research: Protein identified by Mass. General team may protect tumor-initiating cells in breast cancer

(SOURCE: MASSACHUSETTS GENERAL HOSPITAL) - Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have identified a protein that may play an essential role in maintaining a population of tumor-initiating cells (TICs) – treatment-resistant cells responsible for cancer recurrence and metastasis – in breast cancer, as well as a compound that appears to reduce the molecule’s ability to protect TICs from the effects of chemotherapy.  Results ...
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Breast Cancer Treatment News: Mayo Clinic researchers identify new potential treatment for cancer metastasis

(SOURCE: MAYO CLINIC) - Breast cancer metastasis, the process by which cancer spreads, may be prevented through the new use of a class of drugs already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Mayo Clinic researchers have identified that a key drug target, CDK4/6, regulates a cancer metastasis protein, SNAIL, and drugs that inhibit CDK 4/6 could prevent the spread ...
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(SOURCE: HOUSTON METHODIST) - Houston Methodist Hospital researchers have advanced a potential treatment for metaplastic breast cancer—the most aggressive subtype of triple negative breast cancer, into patients in just under four years.  In a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (early online Dec. 31), a multi-institutional team led by Jenny C. Chang, M.D., director of the Houston Methodist ...
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Breast Cancer Treatment Research: Vaccine Shows Promising Results for Early-Stage Breast Cancer Patients

(SOURCE: MOFFITT CANCER CENTER) - Immunotherapy is a fast growing area of cancer research. It involves developing therapies that use a patient’s own immune system to fight and kill cancer. Moffitt Cancer Center is working on a new vaccine that would help early-stage breast cancer patients who have HER2 positive disease. The HER2 protein is overexpressed in nearly 25 percent of ...
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Scripps Florida Scientists Develop Drug Discovery Approach to Predict Health Impact of Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals

(SOURCE: SCRIPPS RESEARCH INSTITUTE) - Breast cancer researchers from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed a novel approach for identifying how chemicals in the environment—called environmental estrogens—can produce infertility, abnormal reproductive development, including “precocious puberty,” and promote breast cancer. Environmental estrogens work by binding to the estrogen receptor, a protein in cells that guides sexual maturation and ...
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