Breast cancer is a common form of cancer that has been on the rise in recent years. Despite this, studies have shown that the rate of growth of breast cancer has not increased over time. On average, breast cancers double in size every 180 days, or about every 6 months. This means that a detectable tumor has likely been growing in the body for 2 to 5 years.
However, what is more important is whether early diagnosis through a fast-track system can improve patient outcomes.The underlying biology and kinetics of tumor growth are likely responsible for this slow rate of growth. Generally, it takes 280 days for a tumor's volume to double. This means that a 2 mm tumor, which is the lowest level detectable by mammography, has been present for more than 18 years. Other factors such as age at diagnosis, hormone status, personal and family history of breast cancer, and exposure to alcohol, cigarettes, or pollution can also affect the rate at which breast cancer can grow or spread over a year.Hormone-receptor-positive breast cancers, which rely on the hormone estrogen to grow, tend to move more slowly.
In stage 0, the cancer is non-invasive and has remained within the ducts or lobules of the breast. However, certain types of breast cancer such as triple negative breast cancer and HER2-positive breast cancer can grow at a rapid rate.To classify breast cancer, a doctor will perform a biopsy to remove cancer cells from the breast. If early signs of breast cancer are found or there is suspicion that a person may have breast cancer, additional tests may be requested. Treatment usually involves surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of both.If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with breast cancer, you may be wondering how quickly it can spread.
Experts understand that some types of breast cancer tend to be more aggressive and move quickly while others move more slowly. The doctor may also consider how a person responds to previous or current treatment to determine the likely change or progression of the cancer.