Breast Cancer Scientific Overview

Did you know that premenopausal women with a BMI of 30 or above have an 82% higher likelihood of developing Triple Negative Breast Cancer as compared to women with a BMI below 25?

Did you know that triple negative breast cancer, despite treatment, is more likely to return than other forms of breast cancer?

In USA, 13% of females will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. However, among women with the BRCA1 mutation, 55-72% will develop breast cancer by the age of 70-80 years and about 70% of these cases will be triple negative breast cancer.

Triple negative breast cancers are aggressive and can grow quickly, however, your prognosis depends on more factors than your cancer subtype.

Currently, the standard treatments for triple negative breast cancer include surgery, radiation therapy and systemic therapy. However, researchers are making significant progress on triple negative breast cancer treatments. Ongoing clinical trials are testing new combinations of drugs and new approaches to existing treatments.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. In 2020, there were 2.3 million women diagnosed with breast cancer. The median age at the time of diagnosis is 62. In most Western countries, the mortality rate has decreased in recent years, especially in younger age groups, because of improved treatment and earlier detection. However, breast cancer is still the leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women in Europe and worldwide. Breast cancer happens when cells in your breast acquire the ability to grow in an uncontrolled way. When the abnormal growth remains in the breast tissue, it is called non-invasive breast cancer. However, breast cancer can also invade and grow into the tissue surrounding the breast which is called invasive breast cancer.

Breast cancer as many other cancers arises from gene mutations. Most gene mutations linked to breast cancer are acquired, meaning that change takes place in breast cells during your life rather than having been inherited. However, about 5 to 10% of breast cancers are hereditary. Emerging data suggests that lifestyle factors such as Western-style diet, obesity and the consumption of alcohol appear to increase risk of breast cancer development.

Breast exam by the doctor and mammography are the most common screening tests for breast cancer. If a preliminary assessment shows an indication of breast cancer, more tests will be performed to confirm the diagnosis. The most definitive way is to take a sample from the suspicious area and send them to the laboratory to determine if your cells are cancerous or not.

Breast cancer is divided into three distinct subtypes based on the expression of certain proteins called estrogen and progesterone receptors and HER2. Knowing the status of these proteins in breast cancer cells are necessary to guide your treatment options.

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