Latest on Breast Cancer Screenings and Treatments

October 4, 2022

woman in distressBy Souzan El-Eid, MD, FACS

According to the American Cancer Society, 287,850 women in the United States will be newly diagnosed with invasive breast cancer cases, along with 51,400 new cases of non-invasive cancers, in 2022. There will also be about 2,710 new invasive breast cancer cases in men, who represent one percent of all breast cancer statistics.

When to get screened and how frequently

Once a person is diagnosed with breast cancer, it is crucially important that they schedule genetic testing. Sadly, 43,250 women are expected to pass away from breast cancer in 2022. On a brighter note, the death rates have been dropping in women over 50. This is believed to be due to improved screening methods with earlier detection and treatment advances.

The standard recommendation for screening is still a yearly mammography after age 40, preferably using 3D technology for those with dense breast tissue. If a woman is considered high-risk with personal or family history, the screening becomes more frequent, with possible additional imaging testing and/or genetic testing.

Advanced treatments on the horizon

On August 5, the FDA approved the first targeted therapy for patients with HER2-low metastasized breast cancer, which is cancer that has spread to other parts of the body and cannot be surgically removed. This example of targeted therapy delivers chemo directly to cancer cells, sparing healthy cells and thus decreasing total body toxicity. Immunotherapy is a treatment to help one’s immune system fight cancer by boosting or helping the system recognize and attack cancerous cells.

These examples of treatment advancements are the results of research and clinical trials, for which patients are highly encouraged to participate.

The Breast Care Center at Summerlin Hospital offers annual cash-pay screenings weekdays in October with a physician’s order, unless screenings are already covered by your insurance provider. Learn more about these screenings.

Dr. Souzan El-Eid is a breast surgeon at Comprehensive Cancer Centers and serves as the Medical Director of the Breast Care Center and co-chair and co-moderator of the Breast Tumor Board at Summerlin Hospital, where she is a cancer liaison physician for its cancer program. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor of General Surgery at Touro University Nevada and Adjunct Professor at UNLV School of Medicine. 

For more information on Comprehensive Cancer Centers, visit their website or call 702-255-1133.