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World J Clin Oncol. Aug 10, 2014; 5(3): 283-298
Published online Aug 10, 2014. doi: 10.5306/wjco.v5.i3.283
Pathogenesis, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer
Rupen Shah, Kelly Rosso, S David Nathanson
Rupen Shah, Kelly Rosso, S David Nathanson, Department of Surgery, Wayne State Medical School at Henry Ford Health System, Detroit, MI 48334, United States
Author contributions: Shah R and Rosso K contributed to the conception and design, acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data; Nathanson SD contributed to the drafting the article and revising it critically for important intellectual content.
Correspondence to: S David Nathanson, MD, Department of Surgery, Wayne State Medical School at Henry Ford Health System, 2799 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202, United States.
Telephone: +1-313-9162917 Fax: +1-313-9168193
Received: December 28, 2013
Revised: February 14, 2014
Accepted: May 14, 2014
Published online: August 10, 2014

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting women worldwide. Prediction models stratify a woman’s risk for developing cancer and can guide screening recommendations based on the presence of known and quantifiable hormonal, environmental, personal, or genetic risk factors. Mammography remains the mainstay breast cancer screening and detection but magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound have become useful diagnostic adjuncts in select patient populations. The management of breast cancer has seen much refinement with increased specialization and collaboration with multidisciplinary teams that include surgeons, oncologists, radiation oncologists, nurses, geneticist, reconstructive surgeons and patients. Evidence supports a less invasive surgical approach to the staging and management of the axilla in select patients. In the era of patient/tumor specific management, the advent of molecular and genomic profiling is a paradigm shift in the treatment of a biologically heterogenous disease.

Keywords: Breast cancer, Risk factors, Screening, Staging, Surgical management, Adjuvant therapy

Core tip: This is a review of past and current literature/landmark trials in the etio-pathogenesis, diagnosis and management of breast cancer. We have attempted to cover this vast topic in review form and hope that it will serve as a reference for clinicians who treat patients with breast cancer.