Boobs. Melons. The twins. There are hundreds of nicknames for breasts. When there’s a breast cancer diagnosis, the light-hearted nicknames disappear. Scientific terms arise. In this trying time, we’ll be your bosom buddy. Find a breast cancer clinical trial today.
19,371 females and 164 males were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019. It’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australian women, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island women.
Breast cancer is the abnormal growth of the cells within the breast that grow uncontrollably. Over time, these cancer cells have the potential to spread to other parts of the body.
Looking for how to help someone with breast cancer? At HealthMatch, we’re bringing forward tomorrow’s treatments. We have more than 22 trials available for breast cancer, including ones aimed at triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), targeted therapy and immunotherapy.
people will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day ¹
commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia is breast cancer ²
women will be diagnosed with breast cancer by 85 ³
The McGrath Foundation has been supporting people with, and affected by, breast cancer since 2005. Specifically, the McGrath foundation fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses, who provide physical, physiological and emotional support from diagnosis and throughout treatment.
McGrath Foundation Support Services
Support is available for anyone, and absolutely free. No referral is required. People can find a specialist nurse using their ‘Find a Nurse’ map, or by calling their telephone support service on 1800 183 338.
My Care Kit is a resource from the Breast Cancer Network Australia. It contains a specially designed Berlei bra, and soft form inserts. It’s available free of charge for women who undergo surgery for the disease.
Check Yourself is a free phone app from the Keep A Breast Foundation. Available on iPhone and Android, it provides a visual step-by-step overview of the breast self-exam. It also allows users to schedule an automatic monthly reminder to check their breasts.
Breast cancer occurs when there is abnormal cell growth in the lining of the breast lobules (milk-producing glands) or in the breast ducts (passages that drain milk from the lobules to the nipple). These abnormal cells can also grow in the fatty and fibrous tissue of the breast.
There are different types and subtypes of the disease.
Types include non-invasive and invasive. Non-invasive is where the cancer is contained within the milk ducts of the breast lobules. Invasive is where the cancer has spread outside the ducts or lobules of the breast, into surrounding breast tissue.
Breast cancer cells may express hormone markers, which can further characterise the type of breast cancer a person may experience.
Hormone receptor-positive breast cancer is where the cancer cells need hormones – estrogen or progesterone – to grow. Two-thirds of breast cancers fall into this subtype.
HER-2 positive breast cancer is where the cancer cells have too much of a specific protein – human epidermal growth factor receptor 2. This particular protein promotes the growth of cancer cells.
Triple-negative breast cancer has none of the three receptors – estrogen, progesterone and HER2. Around 15% of breast cancers fall into this subtype.
Only 5-10% of all breast cancers are the result of a strong family history. These are from inherited gene mutations, including BRCA1; BRCA2; TP53; PTEN, and CHEK2.
Some people may not experience any symptoms. This is why self-examinations, mammograms and physical examinations by health professionals are so important.
For those that do experience symptoms, they may include new lumps in the breast or under the arm; nipples sores; nipple discharge; changes in size or shape of the breast; dimpling in the skin of the breast; rashes or red swollen breasts.
Treatment depends on the extent of the cancer. Treatments include surgery; chemotherapy; radiation therapy; hormone therapy, and palliative care.
The five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 90.8%. The ten-year survival rate is 83%.
A clinical trial is a scientific study involving patient or non-patient (healthy) human volunteers. They help determine whether medicines are safe and effective to introduce as new treatments for a particular disease or condition.
HealthMatch matches you to clinical trials, in an easy-to-understand process.
After completing a medical questionnaire, our platform searches for and filters eligible trials for you. You’re able to view matches and apply for trials, on your trial dashboard.
We’ll put you in direct contact with the trial group once you’ve been accepted. We won’t stop searching until we’ve found you the right match.
1 Breast Cancer Network Australia, Current breast cancer statistics in Australia (PDF)
2 3 Australian Government Cancer Australia, Breast cancer in Australia statistics