Breast Cancer
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Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women, the risk of breast cancer increases with age, it is most common after the age of 50. Each breast has 15- 20 sections (lobes), each of which has many smaller sections (lobules). The lobes and lobules are connected by thin tubes (ducts). The most frequent type of breast cancer is that starting in the ducts (ductal cancer), other types include cancer beginning in the lobes or lobules (lobular carcinoma), less common is Inflammatory breast cancer which causes the breast to be red, and swollen. The incidence of breast cancer has been increasing in Western countries, the rate of increase has been faster in younger women, however, the cause of most breast cancers remains unknown. World-wide about 794,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.

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Breast Cancer in Pregnancy
Breast Cancer Screening
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Paget's Disease of the Breast

Information Patients and the Public (42 links)


Information for Health Professionals / Researchers (15 links)

See also: Molecular Biology of Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer Organisations (11 links)

See also: National Cancer Organisations

Specialist Journals (12 links)

See also: Oncology Journals

Latest Research Publications

This list of publications is regularly updated (Source: PubMed).

Hasan R, Gavenonis SC, Shin MC
Utilizing digital breast tomosynthesis to improve accuracy of preoperative needle localization for surgical excisional biopsy.
Del Med J. 2015; 87(4):117-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
We describe a case of an 88-year-old female who presented for needle localization to undergo excisional biopsy of a subtle asymmetry in the left breast, with successful localization achieved using digital breast tomosynthesis. Initial attempts at localization under 2D mammography were inaccurate. Subsequent digital breast tomosynthesis application for triangulation resulted in better visualization of the target, and successful localization. Specimen radiography confirmed the lesion was accurately targeted and pathology revealed ductal carcinoma in situ. Needle localization guided by mammography and inherent limitations of 2D mammography are discussed, along with a literature review of tomosynthesis guided needle localization.


Ellis H
Amputation of the breast.
J Perioper Pract. 2015 Jan-Feb; 25(1-2):27-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Today we take for granted the blessing of anaesthesia and it is almost impossible for us to imagine the agonies that surgical patients underwent in the past. This description of a mastectomy, performed in 1720 by Lorenz Heister, Professor of Surgery and Anatomy in Altdorf in the republic of Nurnberg, (now part of Germany), gives a vivid idea of major surgery in those days. In this much shortened abstract from his lengthy report, which appears in the 1775 English edition of his textbook entitled 'Medical, Chirurgical and Anatomical cases and Observations' he discusses the preoperative preparation, the mastectomy itself, performed as quickly as possible and the tedious postoperative dressings of the inevitably suppurating wound.


Allinson VM, Dent J
Supportive care after breast cancer surgery.
Nurs Times. 2014 Oct 8-14; 110(41):20-3 [PubMed] Related Publications
Routine follow-up after treatment for breast cancer aims to monitor for recurrence, manage late effects of treatment and give patients information, support and reassurance. However, most symptoms of local recurrence are first identified by patients so time spent following up women who are essentially well may not be clinically beneficial or cost effective. To better use its resources, Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust developed a follow-up education programme for patients at low-to-moderate risk; after two years an audit showed it reduced overall patient anxiety and routine hospital appointments, maintained standards of care and provided patient with an effective support network.


Milroy MJ
Breast cancer screening.
S D Med. 2015; Spec No:69-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
Decreasing breast cancer mortality represents a high priority for patients and their health care providers. Assessment of individual risk combined with discussion of risks and benefits of screening is essential in assisting patients in making their screening decisions. This article reviews the literature in order to provide primary care providers information regarding risk assessment, controversies regarding screening including age to start screening, best interval for screening, age to stop screening and methods to perform screening. Providers are encouraged to initiate this conversation with their patients.

Related: USA


Shah M, Denlinger CS
Optimal post-treatment surveillance in cancer survivors: is more really better?
Oncology (Williston Park). 2015; 29(4):230-40 [PubMed] Related Publications
A substantial rise in the number of cancer survivors has led to management questions regarding effective post-treatment surveillance strategies. Although a number of professional societies have proposed surveillance guidelines, clinical practice varies; the general trend is toward more intensive strategies. The evidence supporting intensive surveillance is relatively lacking, with most studies showing that more intense surveillance regimens have minimal, if any, impact on outcomes in terms of survival, quality of life, or overall cost-effectiveness. This has been demonstrated in breast cancer, and data supporting a similar conclusion may be evolving in colorectal cancer, where large prospective studies call into question the utility of intensive surveillance; in prostate cancer, retrospective data suggest a similar trend. In this review, we discuss the established guidelines and current evidence regarding post-treatment surveillance, and we propose general management strategies in prostate, colorectal, and breast cancers.

Related: Colorectal (Bowel) Cancer Prostate Cancer USA


Gęgotek A, Cyuńczyk M, Łuczaj W, et al.
The redox status of human breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7 and MDA-MB231) treated with novel dinuclear berenil-platinum(II) complexes.
Pharmazie. 2014; 69(12):923-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study compared the effects of cisplatinum and novel berenil-platinum(ll) complexes on the redox status of breast cancer cells that were estrogen receptor-positive (MCF-7) or estrogen receptor-negative (MDA-MB231). Both cell lines were treated with cisplatinum or the following berenil-platinum(ll) complexes: Pt2(isopropylamine)4(berenil)2, Pt2(piperidine)4(berenil)2, Pt2(2-picoline)4(berenil)2, Pt2(3-picoline)4(berenil)2, and Pt2(4-picoline)4(berenil)2. Changes in levels of reactive oxygen species, levels and activities of antioxidants, and lipid peroxidation products levels were measured. All investigated compounds enhanced ROS generation, reduced the activity of antioxidant enzymes (e.g., glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase), and decreased levels of small-molecule antioxidants (GSH, vitamins E and A). Such conditions are conducive to generating oxidative stress and phospholipids peroxidation. Cellular phospholipids in MCF-7 cells were most sensitive to the Pt2(isopropylamine)4(berenil)2 complex, whereas MDA-MB231 cells were not particularly sensitive to any berenil-platinum(ll) complex. These findings will facilitate future anticancer drug design strategy for breast cancer pharmacotherapy.

Related: Cisplatin


Illouz YG
Breast cancer treatment by adipose-derived stem cells: an experimental study.
J Stem Cells. 2014; 9(4):211-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer is a leading cause of deaths in humans. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have been identified to possess powerful therapeutic properties in humans. The capability of MSC to migrate toward injured tissue suggests their potential in new clinical applications. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential role of adipose stem cells (ADSCs) for recovering cellular potential and delaying or treating breast cancer in an animals model of human breast cancer. Cellular adoptive immunotherapy using adipose derived mesenchymal stem cells tailored made for Breast Cancer patients would offer a new effective less invasive treatment method. ADSCs injected into the cancer tumor did not affect tumor growth and the cancer kept growing. ADSCs injected so that they surrounded the tumor decreased growth and the tumor had disappeared after 3 to 8 weeks and total recovery was maintained throughout the 6 months of study. The adipose stem cells are the "active" and "regenerative" part of fat. ADSCs may appear promising for their use as "secretor" of the supernatant substance against breast cancer cells.



Mammographic breast cancer screening. Part II. Non-randomised comparisons: results similar to those of randomised trials.
Prescrire Int. 2015; 24(159):99-102 [PubMed] Related Publications
Screening practices in the early 21st century may not have the same impact on breast cancer mortality than the small reduction seen in some randomised controlled trials. To determine whether non-randomised comparative studies can help to estimate the possible benefits of mass screening for breast cancer, we conducted a review of the literature using the standard Prescrire methodology. The most reliable non-randomised studies are those that combine historical and geographic comparisons, include follow-up data recorded for at least 10 years after the introduction of screening, and take into account the date of cancer diagnosis in mortality calculations. We identified eight such studies, all conducted in Scandinavian countries, in regions where screening was generally introduced during the 1980s and 1990s. Three studies conducted in Sweden showed no statistically significant reduction in all-cause mortality among women with breast cancer after the introduction of screening. One of the two Finnish studies (statistically the most powerful) and a Danish study showed a statistically significant decrease in breast cancer mortality after the introduction of screening. A study conducted in four Norwegian counties showed no significant reduction in breast cancer mortality after the introduction of screening. A meta-analysis of five of these studies, corresponding to a total of about 4.7 million woman-years, showed that the introduction of organised breast cancer screening among women aged 50 to 69 years was associated with about a one-sixth reduction in breast cancer mortality. Another study, published after this meta-analysis, was conducted throughout Norway and spanned more than 15 million woman-years. It showed that the introduction of organised screening was associated with about a one-quarter reduction in mortality attributed to breast cancer, equivalent to about 20 to 30 fewer breast cancer deaths per 10 000 women invited for screening. Overall, the results of these different studies are consistent with the small decrease in breast cancer mortality observed in randomised trials and their least stringent meta-analyses. This rather modest benefit must be weighed against the adverse effects of screening and treatment, which will be examined in a future issue.


Wang HC, Tseng YH, Wu HR, et al.
Anti-proliferation effect on human breast cancer cells via inhibition of pRb phosphorylation by taiwanin E isolated from Eleutherococcus trifoliatus.
Nat Prod Commun. 2014; 9(9):1303-6 [PubMed] Related Publications
Eleutherococcus trifoliatus has been used as a folk medicine since ancient times, especially as refreshing qi medicines. In our current study, taiwanin E, which possesses strong cytotoxicity, was isolated from the branches of E. trifoliatus by using a bioactivity guided fractionation procedure. Taiwanin E presented a potent anti-proliferation activity on the growth of a human breast adenocarcinoma cell line (MCF-7), with an IC50 value for cytotoxicity of 1.47 μM. Cell cycle analysis revealed that the proportion of cells in the G0/G1 phase increased in a dose-dependent manner (from 79.4% to 90.2%) after 48 h exposure to taiwanin E at a dosage range from 0.5 to 4μM. After treatment with taiwanin E, phosphorylation of retinoblastoma protein (pRb) in MCF-7 cells was inhibited, accompanied by a decrease in the levels of cyclin D1, cyclin D3 and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 (cdk4) and cdk6; in addition, there was an increase in the expression of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors p21(WAF-1/Cip) and p27(Kip1). The results suggest that taiwanin E inhibits cell cycle progression of MCF-7 at the G0/G1 transition.

Related: CDKN1A RB1


Ghodsi Z, Hojjatoleslami S
Breast self examination and mammography in cancer screening: women health protective behavior.
J Prev Med Hyg. 2014; 55(2):46-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) is one of the leading causes of death among women. Secondary prevention may enable early detection, but this is suboptimal among all Iranian women.
METHODS: This was a descriptive, analytic cross sectional study on 385 women 35 years old or more with no history of BC. Participants were selected by simple randomized method and were assessed through a two-part self-administered questionnaire and a self-examination checklist with content validity and test-re-test reliability.
RESULTS: 14.8% of women carried out breast self examination (BSE). Among them 5.7% was done in adequate timing and 9.4% performed it on a regular basis. The average age of BSE onset was 20.1 ± 7.6 and mean of Score was 6.25 ± 2.26 (2-11). 2.3% of participants performed BSE poorly, 7.5% fairly and 1.6% performed it well. 25.84% of samples had a history of mammography that 13% of whom received it as a result of prescription. The average age for mammography was 36 ± 7.2 (20-50) years and the frequency of mammography was 1.8 ± 1.4 (1-8) of times. Due to the low percentage of breast cancer preventive behaviors, in this study knowledge towards breast cancer was also measured because they are factors that are crucial in performance.
CONCLUSION: The results highlight the need to educate Iranian women to recognize the risk factors to promote early detection of breast cancer. Creation of health behavioral by focused educational programs might cause decrease of breast cancer prevalence.

Related: Cancer Screening and Early Detection


Leduc O, Fumière E, Banse S, et al.
Identification and description of the axillary web syndrome (AWS) by clinical signs, MRI and US imaging.
Lymphology. 2014; 47(4):164-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Axillary Web Syndrome (AWS) follows surgery for breast neoplasia and consists of one, or more frequently two or three, cords of subcutaneous tissue. Cords originate from the axilla, spread to the antero-medial surface of the arm down to the elbow and then move into the antero-medial aspect of the forearm and sometimes into the root of the thumb. The purpose of this study was to compare two techniques, ultrasound (US) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) for their sensitivity and accuracy in identifying AWS cords and to provide insights to the origin of this pathology. US examinations were performed on fifteen patients using a high frequency probe (17 MHz). We first palpated and marked the cord with location aided by maximum abduction. To identify the cord with MRI (1.5 Tesla), a catheter filled with a gel detectable under MRI was placed on the skin at the site of the cord. We found that in some US cases, the dynamic abduction maneuver was essential to facilitate detection of the cord. This dynamic method on ultrasound confirmed the precise location of the cord even if it was located deeper in the hypodermis fascia junction. US and MRI images revealed features of the cords and surrounding tissues. Imaging the cords was difficult with either of the imaging modalities. However, US seemed to be more efficient than MRI and allowed dynamic evaluation. Overall analysis of our study results supports a lymphatic origin of the AWS cord.


Koehler LA, Hunter DW, Haddad TC, et al.
Characterizing axillary web syndrome: ultrasonographic efficacy.
Lymphology. 2014; 47(4):156-63 [PubMed] Related Publications
The aim of this study was to determine if ultrasound could successfully characterize axillary web syndrome (AWS) and clarify the pathophysiologic basis of AWS as a vascular or lymphatic abnormality, or an abnormal tissue structure. This prospective study evaluated women who developed AWS following breast cancer surgery. Using an 18 MHz ultrasound transducer, images were taken of the AWS cord and compared to mirror images on the contralateral side. A blinded radiologist assessed the ultrasound characteristics of and structural changes in the skin and subcutaneous tissue and formulated an opinion as to the side in which AWS was located. Seventeen subjects participated in the study. No structure or abnormality consistent with AWS could be identified by ultrasound. There were no statistical differences between the ipsilateral and contralateral side in skin thickness; subcutaneous reflector thickness, number or disorganization; or subcutaneous tissue echodensity (p>0.05). The radiologist correctly identified the side with AWS in 12 of 17 subjects (=0.41). A distinct ultrasonographic structure or abnormality could not be identified in subjects with AWS using 18 MHz ultrasound. The inability to identify a specific structure excludes the possibility that AWS is associated with vein thrombosis or a fascial abnormality, and supports the theory that AWS may be pathology that is not visible with 18 MHz ultrasound, such as microlymphatic stasis or binding of fibrin or other proteins in the interstitial space.


Liu Q, Wang XZ, Mu DB, et al.
Correlation analysis of hormone receptors and the expressions of HER-2 and Ki-67 in breast cancer.
Eur J Gynaecol Oncol. 2015; 36(1):78-83 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to investigate the correlation and clinical significance of hormone receptors and the expressions of HER-2 and Ki-67 in breast cancer primary lesions and lymph node metastatic tissues.
METHODS: 83 cases were studied, who were performed breast cancer surgeries and confirmed the ipsilateral axillary lymph node metastasis by the postoperative pathological diagnosis. Immunohistochemical method was used to simultaneously detect the expressions of ER, PR, HER-2 and Ki-67 in the primary lesions and lymph node metastases.
RESULTS: ER exhibited the expression concordance rate as 85.5% in primary lesions and metastases, with significant difference (P = 0.039); the expression concordance rates of PR and HER-2 in primary lesions and metastases were 90.4% and 89.2%, respectively, without significant difference (P = 0.289, 0.180); between the Ki-67-highly-expressed primary lesions and Ki-67-lowly-expressed metastases, the expressions of ER in primary lesions and metastases exhibited statistical significance, with P as 0.031.
CONCLUSIONS: The primary lesions and lymph node metastases had higher consistency, while there was still about 10% patients showed differentiated expression. The simultaneous detection of breast cancer primary lesions and lymph node metastases was still very necessary.

Related: MKI67


Claudio-Campos K, Hernández-Rivera J, Rivera-Gutierrez J, et al.
Biological screening of select Puerto Rican plants for cytotoxic and antitumor activities.
P R Health Sci J. 2015; 34(1):25-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to evaluate the cytotoxic and anticancer activities of extracts from 7-species of endemic and native plants from Puerto Rico.
METHODS: The plant species selected for this study were Canella winterana, Croton discolor, Goetzea elegans, Guaiacum officinale, Pimenta racemosa, Simarouba tulae, and Thouinia striata. The dried plant material was extracted with a 1:1 mixture of CH2CI2-MeOH. The resulting crude extract was suspended in water and extracted with solvents of different polarities. The extracts were evaluated for their cytotoxic effects against Artemia salina and 3 breast cancer cell lines.
RESULTS: About 50% of the extracts evaluated against Artemia salina exhibited LC50 values of less than or equal to 200 μg/mL. The strongest activity was detected in the chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of Guaiacum officinale, with lethality values below 10 μg/mL. The extracts were further evaluated for their bioactivity as possible inhibitors of several breast cancer cell lines, with the extracts from Simarouba tulae and Croton discolor showing the highest percentages of growth inhibition. The dose- effect data analysis for the crude extracts of the different plants also confirms the high cytotoxicities of Guaiacum officinale, Simarouba tulae, and Croton discolor.
CONCLUSION: Based on our results, we concluded that the Simarouba, Croton, and Guaiacum plant extracts show cytotoxic and anticancer activities that merit closer investigation in order to identify the chemical compounds responsible for these bioactivities.


Mavaddat N, Pharoah PD, Michailidou K, et al.
Prediction of breast cancer risk based on profiling with common genetic variants.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(5) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Data for multiple common susceptibility alleles for breast cancer may be combined to identify women at different levels of breast cancer risk. Such stratification could guide preventive and screening strategies. However, empirical evidence for genetic risk stratification is lacking.
METHODS: We investigated the value of using 77 breast cancer-associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for risk stratification, in a study of 33 673 breast cancer cases and 33 381 control women of European origin. We tested all possible pair-wise multiplicative interactions and constructed a 77-SNP polygenic risk score (PRS) for breast cancer overall and by estrogen receptor (ER) status. Absolute risks of breast cancer by PRS were derived from relative risk estimates and UK incidence and mortality rates.
RESULTS: There was no strong evidence for departure from a multiplicative model for any SNP pair. Women in the highest 1% of the PRS had a three-fold increased risk of developing breast cancer compared with women in the middle quintile (odds ratio [OR] = 3.36, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.95 to 3.83). The ORs for ER-positive and ER-negative disease were 3.73 (95% CI = 3.24 to 4.30) and 2.80 (95% CI = 2.26 to 3.46), respectively. Lifetime risk of breast cancer for women in the lowest and highest quintiles of the PRS were 5.2% and 16.6% for a woman without family history, and 8.6% and 24.4% for a woman with a first-degree family history of breast cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: The PRS stratifies breast cancer risk in women both with and without a family history of breast cancer. The observed level of risk discrimination could inform targeted screening and prevention strategies. Further discrimination may be achievable through combining the PRS with lifestyle/environmental factors, although these were not considered in this report.


Abu-Dahab R, Abdallah MR, Kasabri V, et al.
Mechanistic studies of antiproliferative effects of Salvia triloba and Salvia dominica (Lamiaceae) on breast cancer cell lines (MCF7 and T47D).
Z Naturforsch C. 2014 Nov-Dec; 69(11-12):443-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Ethanol extracts obtained from two Salvia species, S. triloba and S. dominica, collected from the flora of Jordan, were evaluated for their antiproliferative activity against MCF7 and T47D breast cancer cell lines by the sulforhodamine B assay. The ethanol extracts were biologically active with IC50 values of (29.89 ±0.92) and (38.91 ±2.44) μg/mL for S. triloba against MCF7 and T47D cells, respectively, and (5.83 ±0.51) and (12.83 ±0.64) μg/mL for S. dominica against MCF7 and T47D cells, respectively. Flow cytometry analysis and the annexinV-propidium iodide (PI) assay revealed apoptosismediated, and to a lesser extent necrosis-induced, cell death by the S. triloba and S. dominica ethanolic extracts in T47D cells. The mechanism of apoptosis was further investigated by determining the levels of p53, p21/WAF1, FasL (Fas ligand), and sFas (Fas/APO-1). The extract from S. triloba induced a more pronounced enrichment in cytoplasmic mono- and oligonucleosomes than that from S. dominica (p < 0:05) in T47D cells. In response to the extract from S. dominica, but not from S. triloba, the proapoptotic efficacy was specifically regulated by p21. Extracts from both Salvia spp. did not enhance p53 levels, and apoptosis induced by them was not caspase-8- or sFas/FasL-dependent. Thus, our findings indicate that S. triloba and S. dominica ethanolic extracts may be useful in breast cancer management/treatment via proapoptotic cytotoxic mechanisms.

Related: Apoptosis


Giallauria F, Gentile M, Chiodini P, et al.
Exercise training reduces high mobility group box-1 protein levels in women with breast cancer: findings from the DIANA-5 study.
Monaldi Arch Chest Dis. 2014; 82(2):61-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To determine whether exercise training might exert anti-inflammatory effect by reducing HMGB1 levels in women with breast cancer (BC).
METHODS: We analyzed monocentric data from the DIANA (DIET AND ANDROGENS)-5 PROJECT. Study population consisted of 94 patients randomized into two groups: 61 patients (53 +/- 8 yrs, training group) were assigned to a structured exercise training intervention (3 times/week for the first 3 months, and once /week for the following 9 months); whereas 33 patients (52 +/- 7 yrs, control group) followed only the general indications to adhere to the life-style intervention suggestions of the DIANA protocol. At study entry and after 12 months, all patients underwent cardiopulmonary exercise testing, biochemical as- sessment [HMGB1, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), interleukin-6 (IL-6)]; and lipid and glycemic profile.
RESULTS: There were no significant differences between groups in baseline clinical and inflammatory profile. Among the training group, only 19/61 patients had high adherence to the exercise intervention. After stratifying the study population according to the level of adhesion to the exer- cise intervention, 1-year HMGB1 levels were lower among patients more adherent to exercise (p for trend = 0.001). Further adjusting for age, body mass index and baseline values, 1-year HMGB1 levels remained significantly and inversely associated to the level of adhesion to the exercise intervention (B = -0.97, SE = 0.43, p = 0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: Moderate intensity exercise training in BC survivors is associated with reduced HMGB1 levels that are proportional to the level of adhesion to the exercise intervention, independently from other classical inflammatory molecules, suggesting an exercise-induced anti-inflammatory effect mediated by HMGB1.


Milas J, Samardzić S, Milas K
Malignant neoplasms of breast and female genital organs (C50, C51-C58) in the Osijek-Baranja County, Croatia.
Coll Antropol. 2014; 38(4):1135-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
Breast cancer (C50) and neoplasms of female genital organs (C51-C58) represent one of the most frequent cancer groups among females in economically developed countries. The Institute of Public Health of the Osijek-Baranja County in collaboration with different county institutes provide updated information on the cancer occurrence and trends in the Osijek-Baranja County (OBC). The aim of this article is to provide information on the tendencies relating to these cancer groups in the OBC during the period from 2001 to 2009, which will be the first report on these cancer sites on a county level in Croatia. This article processes data on cancer incidence and mortality, appertaining age distribution, median age, cancer survival and length of stay in the county hospitals collected in period 1996-2010. In the OBC, the overall incidence rates of breast, cervix uteri, corpus uteri and ovary cancer were, using the EU standard population, 82.9, 13.0, 19.0 and 14.5/100,000, respectively, and are all characterized by a declining tendency in the second period except breast can- cer. The overall breast incidence rate resembles the Croatian average and way exceeds the corresponding Central and Eastern Europe incidence rates, but is still bellow the Northern Europe ones. Also, the overall mortality rates of breast, cervix uteri, corpus uteri and ovary cancer were 29.6, 5.0, 8.1 and 9.6/100,000, respectively, and are all featured by a increasing tendency. The cancer 5-year relative survival rate from breast, cervix uteri, corpus uteri and ovary cancer in period 2001-2005 amounted to 64.2%, 66.1%, 57.4% and 43.0%, respectively. The overall median ages at diagnosis of breast, cervix uteri, corpus uteri and ovary cancer totalled 61.9, 56.4, 66.4 and 60.8 years, respectively, while the median ages at death from these cancers were 68.7, 65.7, 70.3 and 67.6 years, respectively. During the entire 9-year period, the average length of stay in hospital due to breast, cervix uteri, corpus uteri and ovary cancer were 12.1, 14.8, 18.5 and 11.3 days, respectively. The length of stay in hospital decreased for all but for ovary cancer. Implementation and consolidation of women's awareness of these cancers and relating early diagnostic activities within the OBC population seem to be the most effective ways to reduce the appertaining risks and thus to encourage changes in the lifestyle.

Related: Gynacological Cancers


Fuller MS, Lee CI, Elmore JG
Breast cancer screening: an evidence-based update.
Med Clin North Am. 2015; 99(3):451-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
Routine screening mammography is recommended by most groups issuing breast cancer screening guidelines, especially for women 50 years of age and older. However, both the potential benefits and risks of screening should be discussed with individual patients to allow for shared decision making regarding their participation in screening, age of commencement and conclusion, and interval of mammography screening.

Related: Cancer Screening and Early Detection


Chan HP, Hu C, Yu CC, et al.
Added value of using a cocktail of F-18 sodium fluoride and F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose in positron emission tomography/computed tomography for detecting bony metastasis: a case report.
Medicine (Baltimore). 2015; 94(13):e687 [PubMed] Related Publications
Current nuclear imaging of the skeletal system is achieved using technetium-99m (Tc-99m) methylene diphosphonate (MDP), F-18 sodium fluoride (NaF), or F-18 fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). However, comparisons of these are rare in the literature. We present a case of a 51-year-old female with suspicious lung cancer due to main symptoms of dyspnea, nonproductive cough, and pleural pain. Tc-99m MDP whole-body bone scan (WBBS) showed multiple bony metastases. Five days later, positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) images using both F-18 NaF and a cocktail of F-18 NaF and F-18 FDG were obtained on the same day 2 hours apart. The former showed more foci and precisely showed bony lesions compared to those obtained using Tc-99m MDP WBBS. However, the latter demonstrated more extensive radiotracer uptake, especially in osteolytic lesions, and additional soft tissue lesions in the left axillary and surpraclavicular nodes as well as the left pleura. Surgical biopsy was performed in left axillary nodes, and the metastatic carcinoma was found to be of breast origin. This case demonstrated that a cocktail of F-18 NaF and F-18 FDG could be useful in PET/CT for not only detecting more skeletal lesions but also guiding biopsies accurately to the affected tissue.


Pignol JP, Vu TT, Mitera G, et al.
Prospective evaluation of severe skin toxicity and pain during postmastectomy radiation therapy.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 91(1):157-64 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To prospectively capture acute toxicities and pain associated with postmastectomy radiation therapy (PMRT), to analyze patient and treatment risk factors for severe side effects.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Women referred for PMRT were prospectively enrolled and assessed weekly during and after radiation therapy. The endpoint included severe National Cancer Institute Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Effects grade 3 moist desquamation, other skin symptoms, and pain.
RESULTS: Of 257 patients, 73 (28.4%) experienced extensive moist desquamation, 84 (32.7%) Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Effects skin toxicity grade 3, and 57 (22.2%) a pain impacting on daily life activities. Among symptoms only grade 3 moist desquamation was significantly associated with severe pain (P<.001). On multivariate analysis, smoking, high-energy photons, and skin bolus were significantly associated with severe moist desquamation. Skin toxicity doubled for smokers, with 40% severe pain, 48% grade 3 moist desquamation, and 64% grade 3 skin toxicity. Without skin bolus 4.2% had severe pain, none moist desquamation, and 2.1% grade 3 skin toxicity. When skin bolus was used on alternate days, the frequency increased to 15% for pain, 22% for moist desquamation, and 26% for grade 3 skin toxicity. When bolus was used daily, 32% had pain, 41% moist desquamation, and 47% grade 3 skin toxicity. Symptoms peaked 1 to 2 weeks after the end of PMRT.
CONCLUSIONS: The present cohort study suggests excessive radiation toxicity after PMRT. Among factors associated with an increase of toxicity are smoking habits and the use of skin bolus.


Catsburg C, Kim RS, Kirsh VA, et al.
Dietary patterns and breast cancer risk: a study in 2 cohorts.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2015; 101(4):817-23 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Evidence for a role of dietary risk factors in the cause of breast cancer has been inconsistent. The evaluation of overall dietary patterns instead of foods in isolation may better reflect the nature of true dietary exposure in a population.
OBJECTIVE: We used 2 cohort studies to identify and confirm associations between dietary patterns and breast cancer risk.
DESIGN: Dietary patterns were derived by using a principal components factor analysis in 1097 breast cancer cases and an age-stratified subcohort of 3320 women sampled from 39,532 female participants in the Canadian Study of Diet, Lifestyle and Health (CSDLH). We conducted a confirmatory factor analysis in 49,410 subjects in the National Breast Screening Study (NBSS) in whom 3659 cases of incident breast cancer developed. Cox regression models were used to estimate HRs for the association between derived dietary factors and risk of breast cancer in both cohorts.
RESULTS: The following 3 dietary factors were identified from the CSDLH: healthy, ethnic, and meat and potatoes. In the CSDLH, the healthy dietary pattern was associated with reduced risk of breast cancer (HR for high compared with low quintiles: 0.73; 95% CI: 0.58, 0.91; P-trend = 0.001), and the meat and potatoes dietary pattern was associated with increased risk in postmenopausal women only (HR for high compared with low quintiles: 1.26; 95% CI: 0.92, 1.73; P-trend = 0.043). In the NBSS, the association between the meat and potatoes pattern and postmenopausal breast cancer risk was confirmed (HR: 1.31; 95% CI: 0.98, 1.76; P-trend = 0.043), but there was no association between the healthy pattern and risk of breast cancer.
CONCLUSION: Adherence to a plant-based diet that limits red meat intake may be associated with reduced risk of breast cancer, particularly in postmenopausal women.

Related: Canada


Delgado-Cruzata L, Zhang W, McDonald JA, et al.
Dietary modifications, weight loss, and changes in metabolic markers affect global DNA methylation in Hispanic, African American, and Afro-Caribbean breast cancer survivors.
J Nutr. 2015; 145(4):783-90 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lower levels of global DNA methylation in tissue and blood have been associated with increased cancer risk. Conversely, cross-sectional analyses of healthier lifestyle patterns have been associated with higher levels of global DNA methylation.
OBJECTIVE: In this trial, we explored the associations between changes in lifestyle modifications (diet, weight loss), metabolic markers, and global epigenetic biomarkers in white blood cells.
METHODS: Study participants were Hispanic, African American, and Afro-Caribbean overweight and sedentary female breast cancer survivors (n = 24) who participated in a larger randomized, crossover, pilot study of a 6-mo weight loss intervention and who had available blood specimens. Anthropometric measures, a food-frequency questionnaire, and peripheral blood were collected at baseline, 6 mo, and 12 mo. Plasma samples were analyzed for metabolic markers (insulin, glucose). We measured DNA methylation of long interspersed nucleotide element 1 (LINE-1) and satellite 2 by pyrosequencing and MethyLight, respectively, and global DNA methylation by the luminometric methylation assay (LUMA).
RESULTS: DNA methylation of LINE-1 was statistically significantly elevated at 6 mo [75.5% vs. 78.5% (P < 0.0001)] and 12 mo [75.5% vs. 77.7% (P < 0.0001)], compared to baseline. Over a 12-mo period, changes in percentage body fat and plasma glucose concentrations were positively associated with LINE-1 DNA methylation (β = 0.19, P = 0.001) and LUMA DNA methylation levels (β = 0.24, P = 0.02), respectively. Similarly, 12-mo changes in dietary measures such as vegetable (β = 0.009, P = 0.048), protein (β = 0.04, P = 0.001), and total caloric (β = 0.05, P = 0.01) intake were positively associated with changes in LUMA DNA methylation, as was intake of fruit positively associated with changes in LINE-1 DNA methylation (β = 0.004, P = 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS: Our hypothesis-generating results suggest that lifestyle modifications may be associated with changes in global DNA methylation detectable at 6 and 12 mo. These biomarkers may be useful intermediate biomarkers to use in future intervention trials. This trial was registered at clinicaltrials.gov as NCT00811824.


Wolfe AR, Atkinson RL, Reddy JP, et al.
High-density and very-low-density lipoprotein have opposing roles in regulating tumor-initiating cells and sensitivity to radiation in inflammatory breast cancer.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 91(5):1072-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We previously demonstrated that cholesterol-lowering agents regulate radiation sensitivity of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) cell lines in vitro and are associated with less radiation resistance among IBC patients who undergo postmastectomy radiation. We hypothesized that decreasing IBC cellular cholesterol induced by treatment with lipoproteins would increase radiation sensitivity. Here, we examined the impact of specific transporters of cholesterol (ie lipoproteins) on the responses of IBC cells to self-renewal and to radiation in vitro and on clinical outcomes in IBC patients.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Two patient-derived IBC cell lines, SUM 149 and KPL4, were incubated with low-density lipoproteins (LDL), very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL), or high-density lipoproteins (HDL) for 24 hours prior to irradiation (0-6 Gy) and mammosphere formation assay. Cholesterol panels were examined in a cohort of patients with primary IBC diagnosed between 1995 and 2011 at MD Anderson Cancer Center. Lipoprotein levels were then correlated to patient outcome, using the log rank statistical model, and examined in multivariate analysis using Cox regression.
RESULTS: VLDL increased and HDL decreased mammosphere formation compared to untreated SUM 149 and KPL4 cells. Survival curves showed enhancement of survival in both of the IBC cell lines when pretreated with VLDL and, conversely, radiation sensitization in all cell lines when pretreated with HDL. In IBC patients, higher VLDL values (>30 mg/dL) predicted a lower 5-year overall survival rate than normal values (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.9 [95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.05-3.45], P=.035). Lower-than-normal patient HDL values (<60 mg/dL) predicted a lower 5-year overall survival rate than values higher than 60 mg/dL (HR = 3.21 [95% CI: 1.25-8.27], P=.015).
CONCLUSIONS: This study discovered a relationship among the plasma levels of lipoproteins, overall patient response, and radiation resistance in IBC patients and IBC patient-derived cell lines. A more expansive study is needed to verify these observations.

Related: AKT1 EGFR


Hamilton SN, Tyldesley S, Li D, et al.
Second malignancies after adjuvant radiation therapy for early stage breast cancer: is there increased risk with addition of regional radiation to local radiation?
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 91(5):977-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: This study was undertaken to determine whether there was an increased risk of second malignancies (SM), particularly lung cancer, in early stage breast cancer patients treated with the addition of nodal fields to breast and/or chest wall radiation therapy (RT).
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Subjects were stage I/II female breast cancer patients 20 to 79 years of age, diagnosed between 1989 and 2005 and treated with adjuvant RT at our institution. Patients were included if they survived and did not have SM within 3 years of diagnosis. Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated to compare SM incidence to cancer incidence in the general sex- and age-matched populations. Secondary malignancy risks in patients treated with local RT (LRT) to the breast/chest wall were compared to those in patients treated with locoregional RT (LRRT) to the breast/chest wall and regional nodes, using multivariate regression analysis (MVA) to account for covariates.
RESULTS: The cohort included 12,836 patients with a median follow-up of 8.4 years. LRRT was used in 18% of patients. The SIR comparing patients treated with LRT to the general population was 1.29 (CI: 1.21-1.38). No statistically significant increased incidence of in-field malignancies (SIR, 1.04; CI: 0.87-1.23) and lung cancers (SIR, 1.06; CI: 0.88-1.26) was detected. The SIR comparing patients treated with LRRT to the general population was 1.39 (CI: 1.17-1.64). No statistically significant increased incidence of in-field malignancies (SIR, 1.26; CI: 0.77-1.94) and lung cancers (SIR, 1.27; CI: 0.76-1.98) was detected. On MVA comparing LRRT to LRT, the adjusted hazard ratio was 1.20 for in-field malignancies (CI: 0.68-2.16) and 1.26 for lung cancer (CI: 0.67-2.36). The excess attributable risk (EAR) to regional RT was 3.1 per 10,000 person years (CI: -8.7 to 9.9).
CONCLUSIONS: No statistically significant increased risk of second malignancy was detected after LRRT relative to that for LRT. The upper limit of the EAR was approximately 1% at 10 years.

Related: Lung Cancer


Peterson D, Truong PT, Parpia S, et al.
Predictors of adverse cosmetic outcome in the RAPID trial: an exploratory analysis.
Int J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys. 2015; 91(5):968-76 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To evaluate factors associated with adverse cosmesis outcome in breast cancer patients randomized to accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy or whole-breast irradiation in the RAPID (Randomized Trial of Accelerated Partial Breast Irradiation) trial.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: Subjects were trial participants with nurse-assessed global cosmetic scores at baseline and at 3 years. Adverse cosmesis was defined as a score of fair or poor. Cosmetic deterioration was defined as any adverse change in score from baseline to 3 years. The analysis is based on data from the previously reported interim analysis. Logistic regression models were used to assess the association of risk factors for these outcomes among all patients and those treated with APBI only.
RESULTS: Clinicopathologic characteristics were similar between subjects randomized to APBI (n=569) or whole-breast irradiation (n=539). For all subjects, factors associated with adverse cosmesis at 3 years were older age, central/inner tumor location, breast infection, smoking, seroma volume, breast volume, and use of APBI; factors associated with cosmetic deterioration were smoking, seroma volume, and use of APBI (P<.05). For APBI subjects, tumor location, smoking, age, and seroma volume were associated with adverse cosmesis (P<.05), and smoking was associated with cosmetic deterioration (P=.02). An independent association between the V95/whole-breast volume ratio and adverse cosmesis (P=.28) or cosmetic deterioration (P=.07) was not detected. On further exploration a V95/whole-breast volume ratio <0.15 was associated with a lower risk of cosmetic deterioration (p=.04), but this accounted for only 11% of patients.
CONCLUSION: In the RAPID trial, a number of patient tumor and treatment-related factors, including the use of APBI, were associated with adverse cosmesis and cosmetic deterioration. For patients treated with APBI alone, the high-dose treatment volume was not independently associated with an adverse cosmetic outcome, and a useful clinical threshold could not be identified.


Hashemian M, Aminshokravi F, Hidarnia A, et al.
Farsi version of the multidimensional health locus of control and God locus of health control scales: validity and reliability study among Iranian women with a family history of breast cancer.
J Pak Med Assoc. 2014; 64(9):1057-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To determine the Persian version's reliability and validity of the Multidimensional Health Locus of Control and God Health Locus of Control scales among women with family history of breast cancer.
METHODS: The cross-sectional study was conducted in Sabzevar, Iran, in 2012. It randomly selected women with family members affected by breast cancer. Predesigned questionnaires were completed through interviews. Content and face validity was evaluated using the opinions of a panel of experts, and construct validity was confirmed by applying confirmatory factor analysis.The instruments' reliability was assessed using Cronbach's alpha and test-retest reliability.
RESULTS: There were 200 women in the study with their age ranging between 18 and 69 years and revealed the following; root mean square error of approximation for Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale = 0.013, and God Locus of Health Control Scale = 0.077; comparative fit index = 0.999, 0.998; incremental fit index = 0.999, 0.998;Tucker-Lewis fit index = 0.998, 0.998; and normed fit index = 0.983, 0.997 respectively. Cronbach's alpha was 0.61 for Internal Health Locus of Control, 0.8 for Chance Health Locus of Control, 0.68 for Power Health Locus of Control and 0.9 for God Locus Health Control.
CONCLUSION: The Persian version of the subscales supported the main version.


Anzalone CL, Cohen PR, Tschen JA, MacFarlane DF
Radiation-associated atypical vascular lesions: vascular lesions with endothelial cell atypia presenting in the radiation port of breast cancer patients.
Skinmed. 2014 Nov-Dec; 12(6):344-8 [PubMed] Related Publications
Atypical vascular lesions are an uncommon adverse sequela to the radiotherapy of tumors. Many characteristics are shared between atypical vascular lesions caused by radiation port and well-differentiated radiation-induced angiosarcomas. The authors retrospectively reviewed the medical literature using PubMed, searching the terms acquired, atypical, benign, lymphangioma, lymphangioendothelioma, lymphangiomatous, lesion, papules, progressive, and vascular. Patient reports and previous reviews of the subject were critically assessed and the salient features are presented. Atypical vascular lesions associated with the radiation port present as clinically innocuous flesh-colored to erythematous papules or plaques. The condition presents within the radiation field, approximately 3 years after initial treatment. While the exact me chanism remains to be elucidated, growing evidence supports an association between radiation-associated atypical vascular lesions and radiation-induced angiosarcomas. Atypical vascular lesions within a radiation port are suggested to be in a state of morphologic continuum, which may progress into the more aggressive, malignant angiosarcoma. The authors recommend consideration for biopsy of new skin lesions within or adjacent to radiation. While it is clear that atypical vascular lesions caused by radiation are not equivalent to angiosarcoma, growing evidence supports that radiation-associated atypical vascular lesions may progress to angiosarcoma in some patients; therefore, the authors recommend excision of the lesion with margins depending on clinical judgment and the lesion encountered.

Related: Skin Cancer


Martin LJ, Melnichouk O, Huszti E, et al.
Serum lipids, lipoproteins, and risk of breast cancer: a nested case-control study using multiple time points.
J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015; 107(5) [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: There is strong evidence that breast cancer risk is influenced by environmental factors. Blood lipid and lipoprotein levels are also influenced by environmental factors and are associated with some breast cancer risk factors. We examined whether serial measures of serum lipids and lipoproteins were associated with breast cancer risk.
METHODS: We carried out a nested case-control study within a randomized long-term dietary intervention trial with 4690 women with extensive mammographic density followed for an average of 10 years for breast cancer incidence. We measured lipids in an average of 4.2 blood samples for 279 invasive breast cancer case subjects and 558 matched control subjects. We calculated subaverages of lipids for each subject based on menopausal status and use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) at blood collection and analyzed their association with breast cancer using generalized estimating equations. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: High-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) (P = .05) and apoA1 (P = .02) levels were positively associated with breast cancer risk (75(th) vs 25(th) percentile: HDL-C, 23% higher; apoA1, 28% higher) and non-HDL-C (P = .03) and apoB (P = .01) levels were negatively associated (75(th) vs 25(th) percentile: non-HDL-C, 19% lower; apoB, 22% lower). These associations were observed only when lipids were measured when HRT was not used. Total cholesterol and triglyceride levels were not statistically significantly associated with breast cancer risk.
CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that serum lipids are associated with breast cancer risk in women with extensive mammographic density. The possibility that interventions for heart disease prevention, which aim to reduce non-HDL-C or raise HDL-C, may have effects on breast cancer risk merits examination.

Related: Canada


Zenn MR
Staged immediate breast reconstruction.
Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015; 135(4):976-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
With the increasing popularity and acceptance of nipple-sparing mastectomy with immediate reconstruction comes an associated higher complication rate of nipple and skin necrosis. Historically, management of this risk has been addressed by predictive technologies or staged surgery with placement of an initial tissue expander. Certain high-risk patients, such as those with large cup size, previous surgery, or previous radiation, may not even be considered for an immediate nipple-sparing mastectomy approach due to even higher rates of complications. This report details a delay technique that allows safe preservation of the nipple-sparing mastectomy tissues, even in high-risk individuals, and facilitates straight-to-implant reconstruction without the need for tissue expansion. The aesthetic benefits, time savings, and acceptable complication profile in this series are presented.


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