All breast cancers start in breast tissue. Some spread beyond the breast and nearby lymph nodes through lymphatic channels or the bloodstream or to other parts of the body, such as bones, brain, esophagus, liver, lungs or ovaries.
Cancer cells that invade nearby normal tissue are considered local or early stage disease. Cancer that spreads to nearby lymph nodes is considered regional or locally advanced.
Continue reading “What is metastatic breast cancer?”
Just because you can measure something, doesn’t mean that it is a good proxy from which to draw a conclusion.
In the case of web sites, one proxy used to measure “success” is an increasing number of page views over time. But if you redesign your site to make it easier for visitors to find what they are looking for, page views (per session) may decline. That would be a good thing, although it’s counter to the belief that more is better.
Turning to cancer, a similar counterintuitive proxy is “survival rate.”
Continue reading “Are breast cancer survival rates meaningful?”
Cancer that is detected early is smaller and more easily treated.
The American Cancer Society tells us on its website, “Getting regular screening tests is the most reliable way to find breast cancer early.” However, the more aggressive breast tumors tend not to be diagnosed by mammogram but by palpation (feel).
Continue reading “Is early breast cancer detection a myth?”
Modern society is a sedentary society. You don’t need me to tell you exercise is important. You already know that.
Research, both epidemiological and cohort studies, suggests that exercise can help reduce the risk of some breast cancers, particularly for pre-menopausal women. Exercise also helps reduce the risk of recurrence for menopausal women, with possibly a more positive effect for estrogen receptor positive breast cancer.
Continue reading “Managing breast cancer risk: the role of exercise”