And we pioneered the use of chemotherapy before surgery to shrink breast cancer tumors, reducing damage to surrounding tissue.

Our integrative medicine experts can help you manage the stress of breast cancer treatment, as well as its potential side effects, such as chemotherapy-induced nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, or lymphedema (buildup of fluid in the arm and hand). Screening guidelines developed by Memorial Sloan Kettering researchers recommend an annual clinical breast examination by a healthcare professional starting at age 25 and an annual mammogram starting at age 40 for women of average risk without symptoms. Although you're two to three times more likely to get breast cancer if you have a strong family history of the disease, only 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are inherited, meaning that they are linked to gene mutations passed down in families, such as the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations Several other risk factors may slightly boost your chances of getting breast cancer.

About 80 percent of breast cancers are found in women over age 50 — many of whom have no other known risk factors for the disease. This is because breast cancer is diagnosed at an earlier and localised stage in nations where populations have access to medical care, and progressive improvement in treatment strategies. The About Breast Cancer section of this website has the latest information to help you better understand breast cancer risk factors, screening, diagnosis, treatment, metastatic breast cancer, survivorship and more.

Although after five years of treatment their cancers had gone, over the next 15 years a steady number of women found that their cancer spread throughout their body - some up to 20 years after diagnosis. There are a range of treatments for breast cancer, with the type or combination used depending on how the cancer was diagnosed and the stage it has reached. For tumours at greater risk of recurrence i.e. bigger, more aggressive cancers, or cancers that have spread to the lymph nodes, additional treatment (adjuvant therapy) can be given after surgery.

Breast cancer treatment regimens differ widely based on the type of cancer, its stage, its sensitivity to hormones, the patient's age and health, and other factors. Most breast cancers are diagnosed in women over age 50, but it's not clear why some women get breast cancer (including women with no risk factors) and others do not (including those who do have risk factors). If you've been diagnosed with breast cancer , you'll want to know what stage it is. The answers will help you and your doctors know more about what's ahead and decide on your treatments.

Ancient medicine, from the time of the Greeks through the 17th century, was based on humoralism , and thus believed that breast cancer was generally caused by imbalances in the fundamental fluids that controlled the body, especially an excess of black bile 152 Alternatively, patients often saw it as divine punishment 153 In the 18th century, a wide variety of medical explanations were proposed, including a lack of sexual activity, too much sexual activity, physical injuries to the breast, curdled breast milk, and various forms of lymphatic blockages, either internal or due to restrictive clothing. Stage I. In stage I, the cancer cells haven't spread beyond the breast and the tumor is no more than 2 centimeters in size. But when women should start getting the tests, and how often, depends a lot on her particular set of risk factors for breast cancer: whether she smokes and whether she has a family history of the disease, for example.

Those studies also show that the high number of lesions found by mammography, some of which were false positives, led to a surge in additional testing, biopsies and radical treatments, including mastectomy and even prophylactic mastectomy, in which women decide to remove both breasts even if there are tumors in only one. Overzealous screening for cancers of the thyroid, prostate, breast and skin , for example, leads many older people to undergo treatments unlikely to extend their lives, but which can cause needless pain and suffering, said Dr. Lisa Schwartz, a professor at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.


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