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Breast cancer

Most commonly diagnosed cancer in women in the UK 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime Commonest cause of death in women aged 40-50 Around 350 men are diagnosed with breast cancer every year in UK ( ie rare ) Main risk factors →
 Gender being woman Age more than 80 % of breast cancers occur in women over age 50
Very rare below age 20 and rare below 30 Significant family history- around 5 % cases due to BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene

Death rates have fallen to almost fifth in the last 10 yrs
78 % survive breast cancer for more than 10 or more years ( 2010-11 England and Wales ♀ only )

Breast screening-NHS Breast screening programme invites all women aged between 50-70 for screening every 3 yrs A woman may be eligible for screening before age 50 if they have a family history of breast cancer ( 30-49 ) A woman who is age over 70 can arrange appt by contacting local screening unit MRI superior to mammography in women under 50 ( if high risk due to family hx ) Simple breast self-examination has no evidence ( as an effective means of screening )

Refer using USC for appt within 2 weeks-Aged 30 and over and have an unexplained breast lump with or without pain OR
 Aged 50 and over with any of the following symptoms in one nipple only

 discharge retraction other changes of concern.Skin changes that suggest breast cancer OR Aged 30 and over with an enexplained lump in axilla

Consider non-urgent referral in people < 30 with an unexplained breast lump with or without pain


  1. Cancer Reasearch UK -Breast Cancer via
  2. Suspected Cancer: Recognition and referral NICE guideline NG 12 June 2015 via
  3. Breast Cancer Screening NHS Choices via
  4. Effect of mammographic screening from age 40 years on breast cancer mortality (UK Age trial): final results of a randomised, controlled trial – The Lancet Oncology


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