Guest editor: Dr Debu Tripathy
Breast cancer is the most common cancer type in women worldwide, with around 1.5 million new cases diagnosed every year. Despite the high incidence, advances in detection and treatment in recent years mean that more women than ever are surviving breast cancer, with an 89% 5-year survival rate in Western countries. Although men can also be affected, male breast cancer is very rare, accounting for less than 1% of all cancer in men.
Advances in molecular subtyping of breast cancer and the development of targeted therapies have greatly impacted breast cancer survival rates, and many clinical trials are now underway to determine the best therapeutic strategy for those with different types of breast cancer, as well as in the pre- and post-surgical setting. Although breast cancer risk increases greatly with age, around 7% of all cases occur in women under 40, and there are unique issues facing younger women with breast cancer, such as long-term treatment effects and the impact on fertility. As people are living longer with breast cancer, clinicians are increasingly recognizing the impact of disease prognosis and treatment on quality of life, with ongoing efforts aimed at defining the optimal treatment strategy for individual patients.
This article collection in BMC Medicine aims to highlight the latest progress in breast cancer risk profiling, detection and treatment, as well as the long-term issues faced by those surviving breast cancer. We are seeking submissions of research articles covering all areas of breast cancer medicine, including clinical studies of new therapies, molecular genomics and translational advances.