Advances in the treatment for breast cancer have allowed for better outcomes and decreased mortality rates. Tamoxifen, the oldest and most frequently prescribed selective estrogen receptor modulator approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, has shown great efficacy, and studies of tamoxifen treatment lasting 5 years now have follow-up efficacy data that go past one decade. To better understand the evidence, the Early Breast Cancer Trialists’ Collaborative Group (EBCTCG) conducted a meta-analysis of 20 trials to ascertain the protective effects of tamoxifen in reducing recurrence and death ratios.
Mammography screening should be offered annually to women beginning at age 40 years, according to a new recommendation by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College).1 This change was brought about by the high incidence of breast cancer in the United States. Early detection of breast cancer has the potential to reduce the number of breast cancer–related deaths. The College previously recommended that women aged 40 years receive mammograms every 1 to 2 years and women aged 50 years have mammograms annually.
Breast cancer mortality appears to be decreasing not only in the United States but internationally as well. While mammography and screening supporters point to its efficacy as the main reason for this decrease, there is no definitive answer. With that in mind, Dr Philippe Autier, research director at the International Prevention Research Institute in Lyon, France, and colleagues sought to compare the trends in breast cancer mortality and the relative screening policies among 3 pairs of neighboring European countries.
Recently there have been numerous references in the news about the new types of estrogens that do not cause an increased risk of breast cancer. While studies looking at an increased risk of breast cancer with traditional hormone replacement use still do not show a clear consensus, it is generally accepted that there may an increased, albeit small, risk of breast cancer with the use of traditional replacement hormones.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Most of us are aware of the statistic that one out of every eight women will develop breast cancer at some point in their lifetime. However, an important point about this statistic is that most of these cancers do not occur until after the age of 50.
I saw a long time patient yesterday in the office. Gloria drops in once a year for a checkup. She brought me a funny birthday card and we teased each other about the effects of gravity and aging. During her exam she detailed for me how much fun she and her husband Francis are having running a small entrepreneurial business (home remodeling).
During the past eighteen years in my medical practice, I’ve had a direct impact (I hope a positive impact) on breast cancer treatment for over a thousand women confronting this diagnosis. During this time span the DECISION MAKING process has become increasingly complex.