Nearly 230,000 new cases of breast cancer, most of which are women, are expected in 2012, with a total of nearly 40,000 deaths from the disease.
Aside from skin cancer, it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the 2nd leading cause of cancer death among women.
Both the occurrence and death due to breast cancer have declined somewhat in recent years, largely due to a decline in hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use among postmenopausal women.
Breast cancer is significantly influenced by dietary and lifestyle factors, in part evidenced by the nearly 3-fold higher occurrence in developed countries compared to underdeveloped ones.
A number of risk factors are known to be associated with breast cancer occurrence, and the risk factors for younger women are not necessarily the same for women over 40.
Among the most well-established risk factors include:
Risk factors for younger women also include:
Other known risk factors include:
Mammography Screening by mammography is recommended by a number of cancer organizations. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends individualized, informed decision making about when to start mammography.
Cancer staging and classification
Staging is the process of finding out how much cancer there is in a person’s body and where it’s located. It’s how the doctor learns the stage of a person’s cancer. Physical exams, imaging procedures, laboratory tests, pathology reports, and surgical reports provide information to determine the stage of a cancer.
Genetic evaluation Genetic evaluation may be recommended, as a number of genetic mutations have been associated with prognosis (outlook) and help to predict how beneficial different treatments may be.
Vitamin D level Vitamin D levels have been found to be predictive of breast cancer risk and higher grade tumors.
Multiple nutritional supplements have been associated with reduced cancer incidence and/or cancer progression. The list below contains those with the greatest evidence-base and benefit, though it is not necessary that they all be included.
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