Women and Breast Cancer

Women and Breast Cancer

Breast cancer causes more than 450,000 deaths each year.1 It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women2 and the second-leading cause of cancer death among women.3 If detected early, when the cancer is localized in the breast, five-year survival statistics are approximately 98%.4 

  • 1.4 million women globally are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.5
  • By 2020, there will be over 1.7 million new cases of breast cancer annually.5
  • In 2009, breast cancer resulted in an economic burden of $28.4 billion.5

 

Breast cancer forms in the ducts and in the lobules for the breast.3,5,6 Many breast cancers can be estrogen-, progesterone-, or HER-2/neu-positive, which causes the cancer to grow. HER-2/neu positivity is associated with more-aggressive disease, decreased overall survival, and a higher probability of recurrence.6,7

 

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Risk Factors

There are numerous risk factors8 for breast cancer:

  • Age—women over 50 years
  • Gender
  • Reproductive history, such as menstruation before 12 years, first pregnancy after 30 years, never having given birth, or menopause before 50 years
  • Family history
  • Gene mutations, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Obesity
  • Insufficient exercise
  • Race/ethnicity—Caucasian persons are more at risk
  • Hormone replacement

 

Symptoms

Breast cancer symptoms9 present in a variety of ways, and some people have no signs or symptoms. Breast cancer may be diagnosed after a routine mammography.

 

Signs or symptoms of breast cancer include changes in the breast, such as:

  • Lump in the breast or armpit
  • Thickening/swelling
  • Irritation or dimpling of skin
  • Nipple indention or pain
  • Nipple discharge other than breast milk (including blood)
  • Change in size or shape
  • Any pain

 

Solutions

Reducing the burden of breast cancer in women includes:

  • Understanding risk factors
  • Making rapid, accurate diagnoses when symptoms occur
  • Implementing appropriate therapies
  • Monitoring treatment

 

Laboratory diagnostic testing plays an integral role in caring for women with breast cancer. Siemens' comprehensive solutions follow the complete continuum of care for breast cancer, including risk assessment and early prevention, diagnosis, therapy, and aftercare. In addition, our solutions in healthcare IT support the exchange of data for making informed decisions.


 

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CEA

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