Breast cancer is one form of cancer that is extremely
treatable by surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or hormonal
therapy. The best prognosis, is when it is detected in the early
stages. Use of mammography is best for the early detection of breast
cancer. The therapy used is based on the health and age of the patient,
stage of the disease, results of the pathology, and information
from the tumor such as the presence of tumor necrosis, size of the
tumor, estrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor levels in the
tumor tissue. Patients who are overweight may have a poorer prognosis.
Prognosis varies by race. African-Americans and Hispanics usually
have a poorer prognosis than Caucasians.
Female relatives may be at a higher risk of also producing the disease.
It is recommended that they be screened. Please, consult a doctor
Approximately 1 in every 100 cases of breast cancer occur in men.
Hormonal contraceptives are known to increase the chances of breast
cancer a small amount. The risk does go down over time and appears
to be gone after 10 years.
Cancer diagnosis may be confirmed by a biopsy with a needle. If
the tumor tissue is surgically removed, part of it will be processed
for estrogen-receptor and progesterone-receptor levels.
Some studies suggest that perioperative blood transfusions impairs
survival in breast cancer patients. It is best to limit the transfusion
of blood to breast cancer patients whenever possible. A modified
radical mastectomy rarely requires a transfusion, even when combined
with submuscular insertion of an implant for reconstruction. If
the breast is to be reconstructed using a tissue flap following
a modified radical mastectomy, the need for blood transfusions will
probably be necessary. The patient should plan on donating their
own blood ahead of time in case a blood transfusion is necessary.
Studies show that periodic follow-up with bone scans, liver sonography,
chest x-rays, and blood tests of liver function do not improve the
chances survival any more than a routine physical examination. These
tests permit earlier detection of recurrent disease, but the patient's
survival appears to be unaffected. Therefore, the usual follow-up
for patients with no signs of the disease after their treatments
of stages I-III breast cancers should be a physical examination
along with annual mammography.
If a recurrence happens after a lumpectomy followed by radiation,
the best cure is usually a mastectomy. The disease-free survival
rate at 5 years is 58% and at 10 years it is 50%.
HRT is generally not used for menopause because estrogen is a proven
growth factor for most breast cancer cells. However, the prognosis
of women who took HRT before developing breast cancer appears better.
This could be because of increased office visits and physicals that
lead to an earlier detection of tumors.