Breast Cancer : The Second Most Common Cancer

2975 Words Mar 31st, 2015 12 Pages
Project Background (3 pages)

Breast Cancer
Female breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world with over 1.6 million cases diagnosed in 2012 (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2012). Deaths from breast cancer within Australia have increased by 380% from 2003 to 2012 (ABS, 2012)(Smith et al., 2012). An individual’s risk of developing breast cancer increases dramatically with age until 50 where it plateaus giving women a 1:8 lifetime risk (Kamangar et al., 2006)(Davies, 2012). There are several varieties of breast cancer with the most frequent being invasive ductal carcinoma (Fernandez-Vega et al., 2013).
Invasive ductal carcinomas begin in the duct before ductal hyper-proliferation and invasion of the surrounding breast tissue, enabling metastasisn (Fernandez-Vega et al., 2013). In contrast, cells that remain within the basement membrane of the duct are known as non-invasive ductal carcinomas (Yoneda et al., 2012). The alternate type of breast cancer is lobular carcinoma, which makes up the remaining 15% of all breast cancers (Yoenda et al., 2012)
As breast cancer is heterogeneous both morphologically and genetically, diagnosis and treatment has been difficult (Neve et al., 2006). The current diagnostic tools rely upon histology in conjunction with markers such as oestrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) (Yoenda et al., 2012)(Lendorf et al., 2011). Despite the heterogeneous nature of breast cancer…
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