Items in AFP with MESH term: Breast Neoplasms
Guide to Mammography Reports: BI-RADS Terminology - Editorials
ABSTRACT: The results of recent large clinical trials have led physicians and patients to question the safety of menopausal hormone therapy. In the past, physicians prescribed hormone therapy in an attempt to improve overall health and prevent cardiac disease. Hormone therapy appears to increase the risk of breast cancer when used for more than three to five years; therefore, regulatory agencies now advise that physicians prescribe it only to treat menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and vaginal atrophy, with the smallest effective dosage and for the shortest possible duration. Although estrogen is the most effective treatment for hot flashes, alternatives such as venlafaxine and gabapentin are effective for some patients. Herbal formulations such as dong quai, ginseng, kava, and dietary soy, among others, do not appear to benefit patients more than placebo. In contrast to systemic estrogen therapy, topical estrogen therapy for vulvovaginal atrophy is more appealing for certain patients because it does not require the addition of a progestogen for endometrial protection. Some have advocated selective estrogen reuptake modulators as alternatives to hormone therapy for the prevention of menopausal osteoporosis. The decision to use either therapy depends on clinical presentation and a thorough evaluation of the risks and benefits, because both have potential detrimental health effects and both are linked to an increased risk of venous thromboembolism.
Impact of Family Physicians on Mammography Screening - Editorials
Breast Cancer in Older Women - Article
ABSTRACT: The American Geriatric Society currently recommends screening mammography for women up to 85 years of age whose life expectancy is three years or longer. The value of clinical breast examinations in older women needs further study. Total mastectomy and partial mastectomy with postoperative radiation therapy yield similar results in localized breast cancer. Postoperative irradiation may be avoided in women with small tumors (2.5 cm or less in diameter) who have undergone quadrantectomy. Lymph node dissection is important for tumor staging but significantly increases the risks and morbidity of surgery. Lymph node mapping may obviate the need for lymphadenectomy in many older women. Adjuvant hormonal therapy for at least two years appears to be beneficial in all women with hormone-receptor-rich tumors. Adjuvant chemotherapy is indicated in women with lymph node involvement or high-risk tumors with no lymph node involvement. Unless life-threatening metastases are present, hormonal therapy is the first approach to metastatic cancer. Chemotherapy is indicated if endocrine therapy is unsuccessful or life-threatening metastases are present. Most chemotherapy regimens appear to be well tolerated, even by women over 70 years of age. Special treatment should be employed for metastases to tumor sanctuaries (i.e., brain, eyes), the long bones, the spine and the chest wall.
ABSTRACT: Approximately 10 to 15 percent of all breast cancers are thought to be familial and about one third of these cases are due to an inherited mutation in a BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer-susceptibility gene. The lifetime incidence of breast cancer in mutation carriers is above 50 percent, and carriers of BRCA1 mutation also have a substantially increased risk of ovarian cancer. BRCA1 and 2 mutations are associated with early-onset breast cancer, and some experts call for aggressive screening of affected persons. Monthly self-examination of the breasts beginning at age 18 and annual clinical examinations and mammography after age 25 have been recommended but are of unproven benefit. Prophylactic mastectomy and oophorectomy have been advocated by some authorities, but these interventions are disfiguring and for some carriers of the gene, they are unnecessary. The patient's decision to undergo genetic screening is complicated by the technical difficulty of the test, the substantial cost and the still incomplete understanding of the penetrance of disease in known mutation carriers.
Pros and Cons of Genetic Screening for Breast Cancer - Editorials
Is Raloxifene the Answer to the HRT Story? - Editorials
NCCN and ACS Collaborate on a Patient's Version of the NCCN Practice Guidelines for Breast Cancer - Special Medical Reports
Managing Menopause - Article
ABSTRACT: Many women will spend one third of their lifetime after menopause. A growing number of options are available for the treatment of menopausal symptoms like vasomotor instability and vaginal atrophy, as well as the long-term health risks such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis that are associated with menopause. Currently, hormone replacement therapy (estrogen with or without progestin) is the primary treatment for the symptoms and long-term risks associated with menopause. However, recent evidence calls into question the protective effect of estrogen on cardiovascular disease risk. The association of risk for breast cancer with estrogen replacement therapy also has not been fully clarified. In addition, many women cannot or choose not to take hormones. For treatment of osteoporosis and heart disease, pharmacologic choices include antiresorptive agents such as bisphosphonates and calcitonin, and estrogens or selective estrogen receptor modulators such as raloxifene. In addition, complementary options that include vitamins, herbal treatments, exercise and other lifestyle adaptations are gaining increased interest. The growing number of choices and questions in this area emphasizes the need to individualize a treatment plan for each woman to meet her specific needs.