Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 276,000 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 42,000 will die of the disease in 2020. In addition, some 2,620 men are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer and 520 will die of the disease this year.

Breast cancer is the most common type of non-skin cancer in women in the United States, accounting for 15 percent of all new cases. And it is second to lung cancer as a cause of cancer death in American women. 

There are a number of different types of breast cancer. The most common form of breast cancer is ductal carcinoma, which begins in the cells of the ducts. Cancer that begins in the lobes or lobules is called lobular carcinoma and is more often found in both breasts than are other types of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is a rare type of breast cancer in which the breast is warm, red, and swollen.

Being female and older in age are the main risk factors for breast cancer. Other risk factors include estrogen (made in the body), dense breast tissue, age at menstruation and first birth, taking hormones for symptoms of menopause, smoking, obesity, and not getting enough exercise.

Hereditary breast cancer makes up 5 percent to 10 percent of all breast cancer diagnoses. Women who have certain gene mutations, such as mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, have an increased risk of developing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. 

Men can also develop breast cancer, making up slightly less than 1 percent of those diagnosed each year. Radiation exposure, high levels of estrogen, and a family history of breast cancer can increase a man’s risk of the disease.

What is the AACR Doing in this Area?

The San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

The annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium is presented by the AACR, the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at UT Health Science Center San Antonio, and the Baylor College of Medicine. This year’s SABCS® will be held December 8-12, 2020 as a virtual symposium. The five-day scientific conference geared to an international audience of basic scientists, physician-scientists, clinical investigators, and breast care providers, as well as patient advocates seeking an exchange of new information in experimental biology, etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and therapy of premalignant breast disease and breast cancer.

The AACR, an SABCS cosponsor, honored two renowned researchers for their work in breast cancer at the 2019 SABCS held Dec. 10-14 at the Henry B. González Convention Center, San Antonio.,

Myles Brown, MD, was the recipient of the 2019 AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research award, supported by Aflac Inc. Dr. Brown, the Emil Frei III professor of medicine at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, was recognized for his pioneering research involving steroid receptor-coregulators that has put a spotlight on the dynamic ability of these proteins to regulate the genome.

Celina Kleer, MD, received the 2019 AACR Outstanding Investigator Award for Breast Cancer Research, supported by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Dr. Kleer, the Harold A. Oberman collegiate professor of pathology at the University of Michigan Medical School and Rogel Cancer Center, was recognized for her work in generating key insights into the development of aggressive forms of breast cancer and for advancing the characterization of clinical biomarkers and potential therapeutic targets for these cancer subsets.

The 2020 AACR Outstanding Investigator in Breast Cancer Research Award and  AACR Distinguished Lectureship in Breast Cancer Research will be presented at the upcoming SABCS in December.