Breast Cancer Growth Varies With Women's Age

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Breast cancer growth varies not only with tumor type, but also with women's age, showing significantly fast growth in younger women.

A team of researchers from Cancer Registry of Norway created a mathematical formula which can calculate tumor growth rate based on tumor type and patient's age. The formula can also calculate breast cancer sensitivity to mammography screening tests.

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Researchers examined data of 395188 women aged from 50 to 69 using the new mathematical tool and found that 1 out of 20 women had tumor size doubled in a year. Similar amount of women had women doubled tumor size in 6 years. Faster breast cancer growth was detected mainly in younger women. Tumor growth rate slows down with age, according to data. Average time for a tumor to double in size is about 1.7 years.

The research also estimated tumor sensitivity to mammography screening tests. Bigger breast cancers are more easily detectable than those smaller. 5 millimeter tumors have only a 26% of detection chance, compared to 10 millimeter tumors with 91% of detection chance.

The study comes with important data for doctors improving breast cancer early detection process. Declining breast cancer rates in developed countries are mainly achieved thanks to early detection, this is why it is extremely important to have improved mammography screening tests and an optimal screening schedule.

This research suggests that mammography screening must be taken once a year to diagnose tumor as soon as possible. The study also gives an idea how aggressive the breast cancer treatment should be according to patient's age.

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