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Breast Cancer Care blog

Responding to a new test developed by The Institute of Cancer Research, which could predict the type of treatment an individual breast cancer patient needs, Rachel Rawson, Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist, at Breast Cancer Care says:

“We welcome any new research that has the potential to improve the effectiveness of treatments or help to tailor treatments to an individual.

“For the 55,000 women diagnosed every year in the UK making decisions around benefits of certain treatments and resulting side effects can often be agonising and confusing, so this new test could have a real positive impact.

“We will await the further long term results of this study with interest. Anyone with questions or concerns can call Breast Cancer Care’s freephone Helpline, 0808 800 6000.”

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For further information, please contact:

Sheryl Plant, Press Manager, Breast Cancer Care

020 7960 3532 (out of hours 07702 901 334)

sheryl.plant@breastcancercare.org.uk

Notes to editors

About Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist breast cancer support charity working throughout the UK. We were founded in 1973 by Betty Westgate, who was herself diagnosed with breast cancer. In the ensuing forty years we have supported millions of women and their families through our face-to-face, phone and online services. We also provide training, support and networking opportunities to specialist breast cancer nurses, and Breast Cancer Care publications are used by the majority of breast cancer units throughout the UK. We campaign for better support and care and promote the importance of early detection, involving people with breast cancer in all that we do. Visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk or call our free helpline on 0808 800 6000.

Post date: 27 February 2015

Exactly why some people get breast cancer and some don't is not fully understood. It can be difficult to get your head around your personal risk of getting breast cancer. You may read news stories about breast cancer risk; however these are often based on limited or questionable research, or involve only a small number of people.

Our updated risk webpages can help you understand what risk is and what risk factors may apply to you. We have also produced a handy infographic (PDF) to help you digest this information.

Risk factors

‘Risk factors’ can increase or decrease the likelihood of getting breast cancer. The three main risk factors for developing breast cancer are ones we can’t do anything about:

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  • gender
  • getting older
  • significant family history.

There are other factors that can slightly increase or decrease the risk of developing breast cancer. Some examples of factors that can increase your risk are:

  • having previously had breast cancer
  • period starting before the age of 12
  • being overweight (especially after the menopause)
  • drinking more alcohol than the recommended daily amount.

Significant family history

For most people, having a relative with breast cancer does not automatically increase their risk. However, a small number of women and men may have an increased risk of developing breast cancer because they have a significant family history. Our pages on breast cancer in families have more information about this.

Reducing your risk

Try not to become worried about risk factors that you cannot change. The three main risk factors are not something we can control. However, some risk factors can be reduced by a change in lifestyle choices and this may also help improve your general health, for example:

  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • doing regular exercise
  • not drinking more alcohol than the recommended daily amount
  • limiting your intake of saturated fats.

Sticking to these lifestyle choices may not prevent you from getting breast cancer. Your individual risk is unique and may change over time. So it’s important to remain breast aware throughout your life. Read more in our Your breasts, your health – throughout your life booklet.

Post date: 25 February 2015

Welsh International Rugby star Mike Phillips has become an official ambassador for Breast Cancer Care Cymru and is encouraging cyclists to sign up to Velothon Wales 2015 to raise vital funds for the charity.

Velothon Wales is a closed road sportive which will take place in the breath-taking scenery of South-East Wales on Sunday 14 June 2015. The ride offers experienced cyclists a 120km route, or a less challenging 50km route option. Breast Cancer Care is calling on cyclists to take part via one of their prestigious charity entries. The target of £95,000 raised by this year’s cyclists will help the charity continue to support the 2,800 people diagnosed with breast cancer in Wales each year.

Mike, who was joined by teammate Jamie Roberts to launch the Velothon Wales campaign, has supported Breast Cancer Care Cymru in the past and said; “I have been supporting the charity for almost a year, so I was thrilled to be asked to become an official ambassador. I want to encourage all cycling enthusiasts to take part in the Velothon Wales event this year to raise money for this important cause. Meeting the women at the Welsh Fashion Show and hearing their stories was an extremely humbling experience for me. Knowing I can help raise awareness and let people know that Breast Cancer Care is here to support women affected by breast cancer is fantastic.”

Rachael Power, Area Fundraiser for Wales said, “We are thrilled that Mike has decided to come on board as Breast Cancer Care Cymru’s official ambassador and support Velothon Wales. Mike launched the Best Foot Forward health walks which help those affected by breast cancer and he did a wonderful job at The Show, and was so supportive of everyone involved so the decision to ask him was an easy one. One in seven women in Wales will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, so there has never been such an urgent need for Breast Cancer Care Cymru’s unique support services."

To sign up to take part in the Velothon Wales on behalf of Breast Cancer Care visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk/velothonwales  or www.velothon-wales.co.uk. Everyone that registers will be in with a chance of winning a Breast Cancer Care cycling jersey signed by Mike Phillips and teammates.

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For further information, please contact:

For more information about Breast Cancer Care please contact the press office on 0207 960 3463 or email press@breastcancercare.org.uk

To interview Rachael Power Area Fundraiser for Breast Cancer Care Cymru please call 02920 234077 or email Rachael.power@breastcancercare.org.uk

Notes to editors

About Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist breast cancer support charity working throughout the UK. We were founded in 1973 by Betty Westgate, who was herself diagnosed with breast cancer. In the ensuing forty years we have supported millions of women and their families through our face-to-face, phone and online services. We also provide training, support and networking opportunities to specialist breast cancer nurses, and Breast Cancer Care publications are used by the majority of breast cancer units throughout the UK. We campaign for better support and care and promote the importance of early detection, involving people with breast cancer in all that we do. Visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk or call our free helpline on 0808 800 6000.

 

Post date: 24 February 2015

6128 If you have invasive breast cancer, your specialist team will usually want to check if any of the lymph nodes under your arm contain cancer cells. (There's a diagram of the lymphatic system on the right).

Knowing whether lymph nodes are affected helps your team to decide whether or not to recommend additional treatments.

To find out your surgeon will often suggest a sentinel lymph node biopsy. It identifies whether or not the first lymph node (or nodes) is clear of cancer cells. If it is, this usually means the other nodes are clear too, so no more will need to be removed.

But if cancer cells are in the sentinel node(s) your team will usually recommend treating the axilla (under the arm) to remove some or all of the remaining lymph nodes. This might be with surgery or radiotherapy. Both of these treatments increase the risk of developing lymphoedema; and in many cases the lymph nodes removed during this further surgery don’t contain any cancer cells, meaning the operation may not have been needed.

Finding out more

Surgeons are now debating whether it’s necessary to treat the lymph nodes with further surgery or radiotherapy in everyone with a positive sentinel lymph node biopsy.

A large UK-led study called POSNOC (Positive Sentinel Node: adjuvant therapy alone versus adjuvant therapy plus Clearance or axillary radiotherapy) is under way to find out more about this. Your surgeon may talk to you about it or if you’re interested and think it may be relevant, ask your specialist team.

We're here to help

You can read more about cancer research trials.

And you can call us free on 0808 800 6000 with any questions about this issue or any other breast health concern.

 

 

Post date: 23 February 2015

Responding to research showing women back the idea of more breast screens for those at high risk of cancer Samia al Qadhi, Chief Executive at Breast Cancer Care, says:

“The idea of tailoring screening depending on your genetic risk has great potential. We know women often worry about whether they should have mammograms more or less often.

“However, the NHS Breast Screening Programme is already struggling to cope with demand. Before we even begin to consider changes that could lead to more people having mammograms, it must be ensured there are sufficient resources to screen all eligible women and give them high quality treatment.

“Screening does have limitations as well as benefits. Breast Cancer Care wants all women to have access to clear information about screening so they can make an informed choice about whether or not to attend.”

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For further information, please contact:

Sheryl Plant, Press Manager, Breast Cancer Care

020 7960 3532 (out of hours 07702 901 334)

Sheryl.plant@breastcancercare.org.uk

About Breast Cancer Care

Breast Cancer Care is the only specialist breast cancer support charity working throughout the UK. We were founded in 1973 by Betty Westgate, who was herself diagnosed with breast cancer. In the ensuing forty years we have supported millions of women and their families through our face-to-face, phone and online services. We also provide training, support and networking opportunities to specialist breast cancer nurses, and Breast Cancer Care publications are used by the majority of breast cancer units throughout the UK. We campaign for better support and care and promote the importance of early detection, involving people with breast cancer in all that we do. Visit www.breastcancercare.org.uk or call our free helpline on 0808 800 6000.

Post date: 20 February 2015