Breast Cancer
Topic write up

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NIH LogoThe National Institutes of Health (NIH), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the nation’s medical research agency — making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. NIH is made up of 27 Institutes and Centers, each with a specific research agenda, often focusing on particular diseases or body systems.

Although cancer has plagued the world for the entirety of human history, it was not until the early 1900s that people came together to create prominent cancer advocacy associations worldwide and to develop national cancer legislation in the United States. In March of 1930, the Senate Commerce Committee heard the testimony of leading cancer researchers, advocates, and other cancer specialists. They told stories of cancer incidence in the United States, explained possible cures, and expressed the need for a national clinic. Since then, multiple legislative acts and amendments have broadened the role of the National Cancer Institute in supporting and improving cancer research. Breast Cancer—Patient Version

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Studies have shown that your risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors, but the main factors that influence your risk include being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older. Yet, some women, and men, will get breast cancer even without any other risk factors that they know of. However, having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease, and not all risk factors have the same effect. If you have breast cancer risk factors, talk with your doctor about ways you can lower your risk and about screening for breast cancer. What are the Risk Factors for Cancer? (CDC)

On the Book Shelf

Reference books can be a great way to answer your questions and learn more. Visit your local public or academic library as a resource for finding current and researched information.

Artificial Intelligence in Breast Cancer Early Detection and Diagnosis book cover image Shaikh, K., Krishnan, S., Thanki, R. (2021). An Introduction to Breast Cancer. In: Artificial Intelligence in Breast Cancer Early Detection and Diagnosis. Springer, Cham.

A Teenager's Guide to Your Parent's Breast Cancer [PDF book] "My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer in my sophomore year of high school.Teenagers Guide to Parents Breast Cancer It put a lot of strain on my family and I, and I wanted to write a guidebook that could help other teenagers to navigate their parent’s diagnosis and treatment and not have to rely on the vast and confusing sources often found on the internet." - Kaya Hoffman of Eagle Scouts BSA Troop 555

Living with Breast Cancer book cover image

Living with Breast Cancer: The Step-by-Step Guide to Minimizing Side Effects and Maximizing Quality of Life | Jennifer A. Shin, MD, MPH; David P. Ryan, MD; and Vicki A. Jackson, MD, MPH; and Michelle D. Seaton | Johns Hopkins University Press | 2022 | 352 pages | ISBN: 978-1421444437

The Breast Cancer Book cover imageThe Breast Cancer Book: A Trusted Guide for You and Your Loved Ones | Kenneth D. Miller, M.D., Melissa Camp, M.D., M.P.H., and Kathy Steligo | Johns Hopkins University Press | 2021 | 456 pages | ISBN: 978-1421441917

Medical discoveries advance health and wellness

Diversity in medicine and science helps inform our understanding of health and wellness for all races, ethnicities, and genders, so it's important that everyone has the opportunity to participate. How do we raise awareness, support and education to include everyone in breast cancer research?

Joyce Brown photo
Joyce Brown is an All of Us Participant Partner. The All of Us Research Program appeals to her because of the opportunities it presents for networking, advocacy, and information sharing for patients and within the medical community. What is All of Us?

Joyce Brown (she/her) was born and raised in Chicago. She is now retired after a career working in a nursing home, in retail, and most recently as a church secretary. Joyce is a survivor of breast cancer, which she discovered in her body through a routine mammogram. Since becoming cancer free three years ago, she has taken it upon herself to do all she can for other patients and survivors. Joyce serves on multiple breast cancer task forces and survivor groups and spends much time in the community raising awareness about disparities and educating community members about preventive and other resources. She says she never wants women to feel alone and helpless.

"In the U.S. today, a Black woman is about 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than a white woman."

Komen’s Health Equity Initiative initially targets 10 U.S. cities where disparities in late-stage breast cancer diagnoses and mortality are the greatest. The goal is to reduce the mortality gap by 25 percent in the areas where inequities are the greatest. (August 2, 2021)

AABCA logoAfrican American Breast Cancer Alliance, Inc. (AABCA) was founded in October 1990 for awareness, networking, resources and support for Black women and men impacted by breast cancer.

TOUCH LogoTOUCH, the Black Breast Cancer Alliance drives the collaborative efforts of patients, survivors, advocates, advocacy organizations, health care professionals, researchers and pharmaceutical companies to work collectively, with accountability, towards the common goal of eradicating Black Breast Cancer.

Redes En Acción is dedicated to reducing Latino cancer with a national network of community groups, researchers, government health agencies and the public. Redes En Accion logoCore activities include research, training, and stimulating awareness of cancer and resources in Latino communities.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) in its effort to raise awareness of Advancing Health Equity – Addressing Cancer Disparities created a short video and discussion guide about breast cancer.

Featured Books
Title: Healing
Author Theresa Brown
Publisher Workman Press
Year published 2022
Book image Healing book cover
Title: The Undying
Author Anne Boyer
Publisher Picador
Year published 2020
Book image The Undying book cover
Title: We Had to Be
Author Joely A Serino
Publisher Independent
Year published 2022
Book image We Had to Be book cover

Terms of use: Network of the National Library of Medicine (NNLM) staff offer these health discussion resources for educational use. The materials included do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the author, publisher, or the sponsoring agencies of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).