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Breast cancer: What role does breast density play?

The female breast is made up of glands, fat and connective tissue. Breast density is considered to be high if the breast has a lot of glands and connective tissue in it, but not much fat tissue. The risk of breast cancer can be influenced by breast density. And very dense breast tissue makes it more difficult to see breast cancer tumors in x-ray images (mammograms).The proportions of glands, fat and connective tissue in the female breast don’t always stay the same. They change depending on various hormone levels. So a woman’s breast density can increase and decrease again during her menstrual cycle. The number of mammary glands decreases over time in many women, particularly during menopause, and then their breast density usually decreases too. But taking estrogen pills can increase breast density. Overweight women tend to have less dense breast tissue.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: March 9, 2017

Having a Breast Biopsy: A Review of the Research for Women and Their Families

This summary can help you talk with your doctor or nurse about breast biopsy. If you have a breast lump or shadow on your mammogram, a breast biopsy tells if it is cancer or not. This summary will tell you about the different kinds of breast biopsies. It will tell you what to expect if you have a breast biopsy.

Comparative Effectiveness Review Summary Guides for Consumers [Internet] - Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (US).

Version: May 26, 2016

Diagnostic tests for metastatic breast cancer

A number of different kinds of tests can be used to detect breast cancer or metastatic tumors elsewhere in the body. They are often combined to get a more accurate diagnosis. The treatment approach can then be chosen based on the outcomes of the tests.Your doctor is the first person to go to if you suspect you might have breast cancer, or if you think it has become worse or come back again. This might be your family doctor, your gynecologist or a specialist for outpatient cancer treatment. Different types of tests might be needed, depending on your symptoms. Your doctor might examine you or refer you to a hospital or specialized breast cancer center.A breast cancer center is a specialized hospital department or several specialized departments that work together. In Germany, special “certified” breast cancer centers examine and treat people who have cancer according to special criteria to ensure high quality care. Specialists working in breast cancer centers include gynecologists, psycho-oncologists, nurses and other medical professionals.Before any examination the doctor will always ask you about your symptoms, your general state of health and medical history.It is important that the doctor takes the time to explain the following things:Why the examination needs to be doneHow it is done and what can be found out by doing itWhether it is associated with any risks or side effects (e.g. exposure to radiation or a wound after minor surgery)What other kinds of examinations are possibleWhat can be done if you decide not to have the examinationsWhen you will get the results and discuss themYou always have the right to refuse any of the tests.The examinations and staging approach listed here are those described in the latest, German-language, breast cancer clinical practice guideline issued by the German Cancer Society and the German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Clinical practice guidelines act as decision aids for doctors and patients. They aim to help guarantee that treatment is the best it can be and quality-assured. Evidence-based guidelines will ideally be based on the results of good-quality research.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: March 23, 2016

Breast cancer: Overview

Being diagnosed with breast cancer often makes people feel very frightened and anxious. It is helpful to know that if you get breast cancer for the first time and it has not spread to other parts of the body, there’s a good chance that treatment will lead to a full recovery nowadays. Also, there are many options for getting support in daily life, returning to work or coping with the emotional and psychological aspects of the disease.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: March 9, 2017

Male Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of male breast cancer.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: July 18, 2016

Breast Cancer Treatment and Pregnancy (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of breast cancer during pregnancy.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: October 12, 2016

Breast Cancer Screening (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about tests used to detect or screen for breast cancer.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: February 22, 2017

Breast Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of ductal carcinoma in situ and invasive breast cancer.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: March 24, 2017

Lymphedema (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of lymphedema, a condition in which lymph fluid builds up in tissues and causes swelling.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: May 29, 2015

Childhood Vascular Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of childhood vascular tumors.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 7, 2017

Adjustment to Cancer: Anxiety and Distress (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the difficult emotional responses many cancer patients experience. This summary focuses on normal adjustment issues, psychosocial distress, and adjustment disorders.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: January 7, 2015

Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumors.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: July 28, 2015

Osteosarcoma and Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma of Bone Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of osteosarcoma/malignant fibrous histiocytoma of bone.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: January 27, 2017

Adult Primary Liver Cancer Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of adult primary liver cancer.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: October 20, 2016

Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: July 19, 2016

Childhood Extracranial Germ Cell Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of childhood extracranial germ cell tumors.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: August 12, 2016

Wilms Tumor and Other Childhood Kidney Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of Wilms tumor.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 12, 2017

Unusual Cancers of Childhood Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of unusual cancers of childhood such as cancers of the head and neck, chest, abdomen, reproductive system, skin, and others.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 6, 2017

Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the health problems that continue or appear after cancer treatment has ended.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: August 11, 2016

Childhood Hodgkin Lymphoma Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: March 14, 2017

Systematic Reviews in PubMed

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Systematic Review Methods in PubMed

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