Oncology & Cancer

Targeting drug-resistant breast cancer with estrogen

Researchers at Dartmouth's and Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC) hope to make estrogen therapy a more accessible treatment option for breast cancer patients who could benefit from it. Anti-estrogen ...

Medical research

Bone microenvironment fosters breast cancer metastatic behavior

Two studies led by Baylor College of Medicine shed new light on the unanswered question of why estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer sometimes grows back in the bone and spreads to other tissues despite effective ...

Oncology & Cancer

Exercise benefit in breast cancer linked to improved immune responses

Exercise training may slow tumor growth and improve outcomes for females with breast cancer—especially those treated with immunotherapy drugs—by stimulating naturally occurring immune mechanisms, researchers at Massachusetts ...

Oncology & Cancer

Detonating fuse for breast cancer discovered

Breast cancer is the most common type of tumor found in women. Each year in Germany alone, 69,000 new cases are diagnosed. Around 80 percent of tumors originate in the luminal cells, the milk-producing cells of the mammary ...

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Breast cancer (malignant breast neoplasm) is a type of cancer originating from breast tissue, most commonly from the inner lining of milk ducts or the lobules that supply the ducts with milk. Cancers originating from ducts are known as ductal carcinomas; those originating from lobules are known as lobular carcinomas. Breast cancer is a disease of humans and other mammals; while the overwhelming majority of cases in humans are women, men can sometimes also develop breast cancer.

The size, stage, rate of growth, and other characteristics of the tumor determine the kinds of treatment. Treatment may include surgery, drugs (hormonal therapy and chemotherapy), radiation and/or immunotherapy. Surgical removal of the tumor provides the single largest benefit, with surgery alone being capable of producing a cure in many cases. To somewhat increase the likelihood of long-term disease-free survival, several chemotherapy regimens are commonly given in addition to surgery. Most forms of chemotherapy kill cells that are dividing rapidly anywhere in the body, and as a result cause temporary hair loss and digestive disturbances. Radiation is indicated especially after breast conserving surgery and substantially improves local relapse rates and in many circumstances also overall survival. Some breast cancers are sensitive to hormones such as estrogen and/or progesterone, which makes it possible to treat them by blocking the effects of these hormones.

Worldwide, breast cancer comprises 22.9% of all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers) in women. In 2008, breast cancer caused 458,503 deaths worldwide (13.7% of cancer deaths in women). Breast cancer is more than 100 times more common in women than breast cancer in men, although males tend to have poorer outcomes due to delays in diagnosis.

Prognosis and survival rate varies greatly depending on cancer type, staging and treatment. However, survival rates across the world are generally good. Overall more than 8 out of 10 women (84%) in England that are diagnosed with the disease survive it for at least 5 years.

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