Breast cancer

Lancet. 2005 May 14-20;365(9472):1727-41. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)66546-4.


Breast cancer remains a public-health issue on a global scale. We report new information about the disease from the past 5 years. Early age at first birth, increasing parity, and tamoxifen use are related to long-term lifetime reduction in breast-cancer risk. Ductal carcinomas in situ has been suggested to be renamed ductal intraepithelial neoplasia to emphasise its non-life-threatening nature. An alternative approach, the progenitor/stem cell theory, predicts that only some tumour cells cause cancer progression and that these should be targeted by treatment. Mammography and ultrasonography are still the most effective for women with non-dense and dense breast tissues, respectively. Additionally, MRI, lymphatic mapping, the nipple-sparing mastectomy, partial breast irradiation, neoadjuvant systemic therapy, and adjuvant treatments are promising for subgroups of breast-cancer patients. Although tamoxifen can be offered for endocrine-responsive disease, aromatase inhibitors are increasingly used. Assessment of potential molecular targets is now important in primary diagnosis. Tyrosine-kinase inhibitors and other drugs with anti-angiogenesis properties are currently undergoing preclinical investigations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Breast Neoplasms* / prevention & control
  • Breast Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Chemoprevention
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors